Samsung has somewhat quietly announced the 2017 iteration of its popular budget Galaxy A line, with the Galaxy A3, Galaxy A5 and Galaxy A7 2017 editions. These budget phones are going on sale in tertiary markets in January (Russia and select Asian markets), followed by European countries in February. We should see it spread wider after that, as the Galaxy A range was surprisingly popular in Australia in 2016.
There’s a lot that’s the same from last year, but new features include IP68 water resistance, USB-C connectivity across the range, and 16MP front and rear cameras. The IP68 rating is the same as found in the Galaxy S7 range, and those phones were not afraid of a bit of water, surviving immersion in up to 5 feet of water for 30 minutes or so. Gone is last year’s dated Micro-USB, replaced with the new standard USB-C which brings fast charging with it. There’s MicroSD support, NFC with Samsung Pay (and Android Pay) support, and always on display like the S7 and Note 7 featured in 2016.
All three, sadly, will launch with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, and being budget to mid-range, it’s unclear whether any will receive an update to Android 7.0 Nougat, but truth be told, this segment of the market won’t (and probably needn’t) care. The range sports 16MP cameras front and back (except for the A3, with a lesser front-facing camera), with improved camera software designed to make taking better selfies a bit easier.
For those who like a comparison table, here’s all the specs announced, side by side:
|Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017)||Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)||Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017)|
|Release date||January 2017||January 2017||January 2017|
|Resolution||1,280 x 720||1,920 x 1,080||1,920 x 1,080|
|Core config||1.6GHz x 8||1.9GHz x 8||1.9GHz x 8|
|Battery||2,350 mAh||3,000 mAh||3,600 mAh|
|Connector||USB C||USB C||USB C|
|Android OS||Android 6.0.1||Android 6.0.1||Android 6.0.1|