Samsung Galaxy A series – premium smartphones without the high price tag

Samsung Galaxy A series is positioned between the flagship S series (Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 edge and S6) and the J series. This makes it a mid-range super phone for those who wants more than an entry level budget smartphones.

The A series first started at a time when the S series was still plastic, polycarbonate chassis that is. Samsung wanted to demonstrated that they too can build high end smartphones with metallic body. Enter the Samsung Galaxy Alpha, a mid-range 4.7-inch smartphone that could be flagship and carries all the marks of an expensive phone. This was soon replaced by the Samsung Galaxy A series.

Carrying on from the Alpha, based on the same Octa-Core processor 1.8GHz Quad Core + 1.3GHz Quad Core processor, the Galaxy A8 is the latest in the series. The A series feature 4 different smartphones, the A3 with a 4.5-inch display, the A5 with a 5.0-inch display, the A7 with a 5.5-inch display and topping at 5.7-inch is the latest A8. With a full metal body, the A8 has everything you want in a flagship smartphones bar the high price ticket.

UPDATE 2016: The new Samsung Galaxy A5 has grown from 5.0-inch display to 5.2-inch display at Full HD resolution. The processor also received a boost. The Galaxy A3 and A7 also received some updates. The spec by spec comparison below has been updated to feature the new Samsung Galaxy A3 (A310F), Samsung Galaxy A5 (A510F) and Samsung Galaxy A7 (A710F).


Samsung Galaxy A8

10 Things You Need to Know About the Samsung Galaxy A Series

Here are 10 things you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy A Series. We compare the A series side by side focusing on 10 things that matters most.

1. Full Metal Body

The Samsung Galaxy A7 was dubbed the first Samsung smartphone to be build on an entirely metal chassis. This is followed by the Galaxy A8, Galaxy A5 and Galaxy A3. The full metal unibody offers a premium quality feel. You can feel the premium quality of the sleek full metal body in your hand. And with 3 unique colours, you can choose the Samsung Galaxy A series that best fits your personality and style.

2. Display

Only the Galaxy A8 and A7 comes with a Full HD 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution displays. The A5 has a HD 1280 x 720 pixels resolution while the A3 only has a 540 x 960 pixels resolution.

The A8 has the biggest screen at 5.7-inch while the A7 has a 5.5-inch display making both devices a Phablet. The A5 however has a 5.2-inch display and the A3 has the smallest of the series at 4.5-inch.


All devices come with adaptive Super AMOLED display that delivers true-to-life colours all the time. It intelligently adapts to the surroundings and ensures that the viewing experience is always maximised.

Samsung Galaxy A85.7-inch Super AMOLED, 1920 x 1080 (FHD) Display, 386 ppiBIGGEST DISPLAY, FHD

Samsung Galaxy A7: 5.5-inch Super AMOLED, 1920 x 1080 (FHD) Display, 401 ppiFHD

Samsung Galaxy A5: 5.2-inch Super AMOLED, 1920 x 1080 (FHD) Display, 424 ppi FHD, HIGHEST PIXEL DENSITY

Samsung Galaxy A3: 4.5-inch Super AMOLED, 540 x 960 (qHD) Display, 245 ppi

Samsung Galaxy A7

3. Processor

Depending on the region, the A7 uses either the Qualcomm processor or Samsung’s own Exynos 5420. The A8 uses the Exynos 5430 only. While the A5 and A3 uses the same Snapdragon 410. See the difference in speed between the devices below. We obviously favours the faster Exynos 5 Octa-Core in A8 and A7.

Samsung Galaxy A8: Exynos 5 Octa 5430 Octa-Core: Quad-core 1.8 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A53 with Adreno 405 – FASTER CPU

Samsung Galaxy A7: Qualcomm MSM8939 Snapdragon 615 Octa-Core: Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-core 1.0 GHz Cortex-A53 with Adreno 405- A700FD
Exynos 5 Octa 5430 Octa-Core: Quad-core 1.8 GHz Cortex-A15 & Quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A7 with Mali-T628 MP6 – A700FFASTER CPU

Samsung Galaxy A5: Qualcomm MSM8939 Snapdragon 615 Quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53
or Exynos 7580 Octa-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A53 with Adreno 405 or Mali-T720MP2 respectively

Samsung Galaxy A3: Qualcomm MSM8916 Snapdragon 410 Quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A53 with Adreno 306

4. Ultra Slim Profile and Super Narrow Bezels

Focusing on super narrow bezels and ultra slim profile, the type you would get on expensive smartphones, the A series pushes the squeezes the components and battery inside the phone to a mere 5.9mm, just over half a centimetre. To give you an idea of how this compares with its competitor, the new iPhone 6s is 6.9mm thick.

As for the side bezels, the space between the edge of the display to the edge of the chassis, Samsung managed to squeeze this down to a mere 2.5mm per side. Given what Samsung can do with the Galaxy S edge and S edge+ this comes as no surprise. The experience allowed them to shave out every 0.1 of a millimetre for a slender look and feel.

Samsung Galaxy A8: Thickness: 5.9mmNEW, SLIMMEST

Samsung Galaxy A7: Thickness: 7.3mm

Samsung Galaxy A5: Thickness: 7.3mm

Samsung Galaxy A3: Thickness: 7.3mm

Samsung Galaxy A5

 

5. Enhanced Cameras for Brighter, Clearer Images

Equipped with a 16 MP rear and 5 MP front camera – both featuring f 1.9 aperture – the Galaxy A8 capture brighter, clearer images even in low-light conditions. The A7 and A5 shares the same camera, a 13 MP rear and 5 MP front camera. With the HDR function, it eliminates shadows for an optimal photo. Access the camera app quickly by double clicking the home button. All rear cameras come with LED flash.

Samsung Galaxy A816.0 MP Rear + 5.0 MP Selfie Front Camera (both f1.9)

Samsung Galaxy A7: 13.0 MP Rear CMOS + 5.0 MP Selfie Front CMOS Cameras with Auto Focus and Flash

Samsung Galaxy A5: 13.0 MP Rear CMOS + 5.0 MP Selfie Front CMOS Cameras with Auto Focus and Flash

Samsung Galaxy A3: 8.0 MP Rear CMOS + 5.0 MP Selfie Front CMOS Cameras with Auto Focus and Flash

All camera supports image detection, voice recognition, the new Wide Selfie and Animated (GIF) Selfie functions. The Selfie functions are explained further below:

Fun Selfie Options

Wide Selfie

The Wide Selfie function gives you a huge 120° view and lets you get more people and landscape into your snaps – with the front camera.create a panorama-like selfie by merging three photos taken from the left/middle/right into one perfect group selfie. Now you can capture all your friends in one photo with up to 110° of range in portrait mode and 120° of range in landscape mode. And the auto-editing functions make sure you look your best in every shot. Use its Rear Cam Selfie function to automatically detect your face, allowing you to take incredible selfies with the rear camera.

Smarter selfie shooting

Forearms weren’t meant to be a distraction in your photos. With the Samsung Galaxy A series you don’t need to touch the button when taking selfies. Snap a selfie with your voice or palm and make your friends think your own personal photographer is following you around.

Animated Selfie

Animated Selfie lets you record those longer moments by snapping up to 20 continuous photos and automatically creating a sharable GIF instead of a movie

Galaxy A5 2016

6. Memory and Storage

All three smartphones the A5, A7 and A8 have 2GB of RAM while the A3 only uses half that amount at 1GB (or 1.5GB in some market). If managed properly, removing unused apps and reducing the number of notifications, 1GB or 2GB memory should be sufficient. If you are a power user, pick one with 2GB RAM. For storage, all devices comes with 16GB of ROM except for the A8 with 32GB. However, there is always the MicroSD expansion slot that supports an additional 64GB (A3, A5 and A7) or 128GB (A8).

Note that storage available to end user is lower than the total storage listed below.

Samsung Galaxy A8: 2GB RAM Memory, 32GB ROM Storage, MicroSD slot supporting up to 128GB

Samsung Galaxy A7: 2GB RAM Memory, 16GB ROM Storage, MicroSD slot supporting up to 128GB (extra 32GB MicroSD memory card included in some markets)

Samsung Galaxy A5: 2GB RAM Memory, 16GB ROM Storage, MicroSD slot supporting up to 128GB (extra 32GB MicroSD memory card included in some markets)

Samsung Galaxy A31GB or 1.5GB RAM Memory, 16GB ROM Storage, MicroSD slot supporting up to 64GB (extra 32GB MicroSD memory card included in some markets)

Samsung Galaxy A3

7. Dimensions and Weight

We have compared the thickness of these devices, but what about its foot print and weight. There is no denying that the bigger the display the bigger the foot print and so is the weight. Obviously bigger devices tend to be heavier. The A8 is the heaviest in the list, although only 10 grams heavier than the A7. While the A3 is the lightest, again only about 12 grams lighter than the A5. In any case, Samsung has done a great job minimising the side bezels to make the foot print as small as possible.

Samsung Galaxy A8: 158 x 76.8 x 5.9 mm, 151 grams – THINNEST

Samsung Galaxy A7: 151.5 x 74.1 x 7.3 mm (5.96 x 2.92 x 0.29 in), 172 grams

Samsung Galaxy A5: 144.8 x 71 x 7.3 mm (5.70 x 2.80 x 0.29 in), 153 grams

Samsung Galaxy A3: 134.5 x 65.2 x 7.3 mm (5.30 x 2.57 x 0.29 in), 132 grams – LIGHTEST

Galaxy A5 2016 c

8. Battery Life & Battery Capacity

It may be ultra-slim at 5.9 mm, but the Galaxy A8 packs plenty of punch in the power department – its 3,050 mAh capacity battery offers you to enjoy a wide range of media contents – such as movies, music, games and more – for even longer. The A7 has a 2600 mAh capacity battery, the A5 All A series phone have Ultra Power Saving mode that dramatically reduces battery consumption by shutting down unnecessary functions, to stay powered for longer.

Samsung Galaxy A8: Internet: up to 10hrs (3G), up to 11hrs (LTE), up to 13hrs (WiFi), Video Playback: up to 13hrs, Audio Playback: up to 51hrs. Talk Time: up to 17hrs (3G). Battery Capacity 3000mAh

Samsung Galaxy A7: Internet: up to 14hrs (3G), up to 14hrs (LTE), up to 17hrs (WiFi), Video Playback: up to 15hrs. Audio Playback: up to 78hrs. Talk Time: up to 17hrs (3G). Battery Capacity 3300mAh – BEST BATTERY LIFE

Samsung Galaxy A5: Internet: up to 14hrs (3G), up to 14hrs (LTE), up to 16hrs (WiFi). Video Playback: up to 14hrs. Audio Playback: up to 75hrs. Talk Time: up to 16hrs (3G). Battery Capacity 2900mAh

Samsung Galaxy A3:nternet: up to 12hrs (3G), up to 13hrs (LTE), up to 15hrs (WiFi). Video Playback: up to 14hrs. Audio Playback: up to 58hrs. Talk Time: up to 14hrs (3G). Battery Capacity 2300mAh

Galaxy A5 2016

9. Sensors

The A8 is the only phone with fingerprint scanner for safe and secure access to sensitive data for web logins, account verification and payment related pages.

Samsung Galaxy A8: Accelerometer, Fingerprint Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor

Samsung Galaxy A7: Accelerometer, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor, RGB Sensor

Samsung Galaxy A5: Accelerometer, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor, RGB Sensor

Samsung Galaxy A3: Accelerometer, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor, RGB Sensor

10. Network and Connectivity

Only the A7 and A8 supports Dual SIM (Nano-SIM) with a SIM slot and a hybrid SIM slot while the A5 and A3 only supports Single SIM. The hybrid SIM slot lets users make use of a Nano SIM or a microSD card. Operate with two different phone numbers at once or add memory with a Micro SD card.

Samsung Galaxy A8: Dual SIM (Nano-SIM 4FF) support. 4G FDD LTE, 3G and 2G. USB2.0, GPS, Glonass, 3.5mm Stereo jack, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2.4GHz + 5GHz VHT80 Dual Band, WiFi Direct, Bluetooth v4.1, PC sync with Smart Switch.

Samsung Galaxy A7: Dual SIM (Nano-SIM 4FF) support. 4G FDD LTE, 3G and 2G. USB2.0, GPS, Glonass, Beidou 3.5mm Stereo jack, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2.4GHz + 5GHz VHT40 Dual Band, WiFi Direct, Bluetooth v4.0, NFC, PC sync with Kies.

Samsung Galaxy A5: Dual SIM (Nano-SIM 4FF) support. 4G FDD LTE, 3G and 2G. USB2.0, GPS, Glonass, Beidou 3.5mm Stereo jack, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2.4GHz + 5GHz VHT40 Dual Band, WiFi Direct, Bluetooth v4.0, NFC, PC sync with Kies.

Samsung Galaxy A3: Dual SIM (Nano-SIM 4FF) support. 4G FDD LTE, 3G and 2G. USB2.0, GPS, Glonass, Beidou 3.5mm Stereo jack, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n 2.4GHz Single Band, WiFi Direct, Bluetooth v4.0, NFC, PC sync with Kies.

Others Features

Smart Manager

Stay up-to-date with a range of essential information on your device with the convenient Smart Manager app. Keep tabs on your battery usage, storage, RAM and anti-virus protection, and use the Quick Check function to optimise the way your Galaxy A series works with a single touch.