Wednesday , April 26 2017

Samsung’s bringing the features you love into the midrange; Galaxy A5 and Galaxy A7 launch in Australia next week

Samsung hosted a briefing in Sydney today to introduce Australia to its new Galaxy A5 and Galaxy A7 phones. The company is bringing some great value to the Australian midrange market, bringing “the features you love” down from the Galaxy S7 into the midrange A-series devices. We didn’t see these devices in Australia last year, so a big welcome is due to these new midrange powerhouses.

The big news is that you’ll find them online from next Thursday at the Samsung store, at some pretty decent prices. Firing a shot across the bow of some of the other players who’ve come to embrace our midrange market, the 5.2-inch Galaxy A5 is a serious contender for your money at $649, while the larger 5.7-inch Galaxy A7 comes in a bit higher at $799.

Physically, the phones bear more than a passing resemblance to last year’s Galaxy S7 series with a similar metal-and-glass body and finish, and they’re also offering the same water-resistant IP68 rating. They’re slightly thicker and heavier than their forebear, and the rear curve is contoured slightly differently. The bottom-mounted speaker has been switched up for a side-mounted forward-firing speaker – perhaps a sign of things to come to the Galaxy S8.

The phones pack 16MP front and rear cameras with an impressive f/1.9 aperture – the kind of setup that wowed us in 2015 with the Galaxy S6 although there’s no optical image stabilisation offered here. They’re also slightly thicker, which accounts for the complete absence of the camera bump protruding from the back.

Continuing the trend of bringing features down from the premier device range, both devices feature Samsung’s gorgeous Super AMOLED displays with bright screens and excellent viewing angles. The Galaxy S7’s “always on” feature is also starting to make its way downmarket, a welcome addition to these handsets.

Finally, there’s also a fingerprint sensor in the home button, Samsung Pay is fully supported on the devices, and they’ll obviously pair happily with your Samsung watches (and probably others). Battery size is predictably different between the devices too, with a 3,000 mAh battery in the smaller A5 and a whopping 3,600 mAh in the larger A7. Interestingly (or not), they’re USB-C devices with the fast charging features we’ve come to love in the Galaxy S6 and S7.

Samsung’s got some accessories on offer for the phone too, in the form of cases (the Neon Case offers some super bright colours, and there’s also a traditional S-View Case) and they’re also pushing a new water-resistant bluetooth speaker, the Level Box Slim that was unveiled at CES.

I picked up the phones and had a play at and found them to be speedy and responsive. Today’s event took place in a bright sunny venue in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, so there’s no sneaky camera samples worth looking over (every phone camera does well in that setting). My personal preference is for the A5, whose smaller size is more appealing to me for one-handed use.

Samsung’s put in a solid effort in these two phones, and continues to offer compelling choices to customers in both the smaller/standard and larger size classes.

We’ll have a full review of the 2017 Galaxy A series in the next few weeks. You can order one online from Thursday, and Samsung’s promised they’ll see carrier availability at a later date.

Official press photos follow.

Galaxy A5

Galaxy A7

Will you be checking out the Galaxy A series? Is the A5 or A7 right for you? Tell us in the comments!


Jason Murray   Deputy Editor

Before discovering the Nexus One, Jason thought he didn't need a smartphone. Now he can't bear to be without his Android phone. Jason hails from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane depending on his mood and how detailed a history you'd like. A web developer by day with an interest in consumer gadgets and electronics, he also enjoys reading comics and has a worryingly large collection of Transformers figures. He'd like to think he's a gamer, but his Wii has been in a box since he moved to Sydney, and his PlayStation Vita collection is quite lacking. Most mornings you'll find him tilting at various windmills on Twitter - follow @JM77 and say hi!

  • WAusJackBauer

    Awesome phones, did not expect this!

    EDIT: No A3? Very disappointed. Also those prices are silly, won’t sell crap all.

    • I wouldn’t be so quick to judgement there; these phones are around 40-50% cheaper than the S8 range, with about 80-90% of the same stuff. I think they may do alright.

      • WAusJackBauer

        Most mid ranges are in the $300 – $400 range (LG X Power, Moto G4 Plus, Oppo F1s)

        Even then it depends what you consider to be mid range (I consider Moto G4 Play to be mid range $280)

        • KJ

          The phones you mentioned are not mid range. Mid range would be the R9s, Moto Z Play etc, all phones around $600-700.

          • WAusJackBauer

            As I said, it depends what you consider to be mid range.

            Personally, spec wise, the Moto Z Play is flagship level.

    • Jason Murray

      A question was asked about the A3, the answer was that it’s small and the local market likes large screen phones.

      I’m less down on the price. The midrange has a lot of breathing space these days as the high end moves upward, $500-600 is a common price for a midrange phone now. I’m kind of ignoring the A7 because it’s huge and kinda out of that spec range

      • WAusJackBauer

        Most mid ranges are in the $300 – $400 range.

        Even then it depends what you consider to be mid range (I consider Moto G4 Play to be mid range $280

      • WAusJackBauer

        Maybe, but its definitely a shame.

        Android seriously has issues with decent compact phones and that’s exactly what the A3 2017 is 🙁

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  • Anthony

    They had to bring the A series this year as an alternative to those who are not ready for the S8 changes. The thin bezels, no home button, fingerprint scanner location and no flat screen variant will not be everyones cup of tea, so this model offers a familiar look and feel for those who like Samsung as it is. Any idea on the CPU/RAM specs for the Aussie market?

    • We will have these phones in hand shortly and will be able to confirm 🙂

      • Anthony

        Thanks champ, looking forward to a review..

  • TheCatMan

    Hope the A5 filters down to Vodafone. I am over premium phones and the A5 could be a great compromise.

  • GrKTcB

    These phones actually look good.

    The only Samsung phone I’ve owned has been a Galaxy Nexus, and I’ve been fairly negative towards Samsung from the start as I’ve never liked their software implementations.

    The A5 is actually a very good performer from some video reviews I’ve seen and gets very close to the S7 at 2/3’s of the price.

    There aren’t a lot of good phones in the ~$600 price range or cheaper with a screen around 5 inches for one handed performance with a solid build and performance.

    Could I make a small request and get you awesome guys over at Ausdroid to run Geekbench and Antutu so we can see how this Sammy SoC compares to the S7? I believe they’ll come with the Exynos 7880 Octa SoC unless they change things up for our market 😉


  • Darren Ferguson

    Would be interesting to compare these to high end phones released a year ago in regards to pricing.

  • Jason

    C7 much cheaper and probably good enough for many?

  • Me

    BOO !!!!!

    The only one I ever cared about in the A range was the A9 or A9 pro! Who cares about the boring A5 or A7!

    A7 priced at $799…….why not buy a C7 or C9 import for cheaper!

  • KK

    From where can i purchase these handsets in Sydney? (not online)

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