If you're looking for a great deal on a new phone, then you needn't look further than the updated Samsung Galaxy A series. But with three models on offer, which is right for you? We're comparing and contrasting the new 2017 versions of the Galaxy A3, A5, and A7 so you can make a great buying decision!
The Galaxy A Series
Whilst Samsung might be better known for their high end Galaxy S and Note series of phones, they actually make a fair few budget phone versions as well. The A series debuted in 2014 with the Galaxy Alpha, and has had new models added to the range a few times a year since then.
Designed to be more affordable than the top shelf S series, but to still offer great features and stunning design and build quality, the Galaxy A series is a fantastic mid-level range of phones. So if you're looking for a great phone at the right price, these are going to be good choices. There are three new 2017 models available, the A3, the A5, and the A7, so let's take a look at how they compare.
Performance and Power
We all want great performance specs, so let's take a look at processor numbers first. The smallest of the three, the A3 gets an octo core 1.6 GHz processor and has 2 GB of RAM. The two other models both get identical 1.9 GHz octo core processors and run 3 GB of RAM. Obviously, the A5 and A7 are the more powerful phones, but that A3 should be more than fine for surfing, game playing and watching videos.
In terms of operating system, all three phones are running Android, and all three come of the box with 6.0 Marshmallow, so no differences there.
What About Screens?
Screens are where we see the real difference between these three models. Let's start with the A3, and that gets a 4.7 inch display. That's Super AMOLED, and gets 720 x 1280 pixels, so about 312 PPI. The A5 has a 5.2 inch screen, again Super AMOLED, with 1080 x 1920 pixels, so around 424 PPI. Finally, the A7 has a large 5.7 inch screen, Super AMOLED, again 1080 x 1920 pixels, but since it's a larger screen that works out to just about 386 PPI.
That 4.7 inch display on the A3 is going to be pretty cramped for a lot of users, and on screen typing is a little fiddly. However, the lower PPI on the A7 means that the display isn't quite as sharp as it could be. In terms of display, it's the A5 that really offers the best compromise between screen size and good, clear picture quality.
And the Cameras…
Samsung tend to make good cameras, and the cams seen on the A series are no exception to that. The A3 gets a 13 MP rear cam and an 8 MP front camera. The A5 and A7 both get large 16 M rear cams and 16 MP front cams as well. That's pretty high resolution for this price point. All the cameras come with tons of features, including LED flash, auto focus, panorama mode, and face detection.
To be honest, even the lower resolution A3 cameras are very, very good. It could be worth paying a little extra to get those 16 MP front cams on the A5 and A7 if you take a lot of selfies though, or if you do a lot of facetime or video calling.
When it comes to internal memory, the A3 gets 16 GB of storage, whilst the A5 and A7 both get 32 GB. However, all three models come with SD card slots for up to 256 GB of extra storage. All three get great connectivity with WiFi, 3G, 4G, and Bluetooth. And all three are IP 68 certified, meaning that they're dustproof and waterproof at depths of up to 1.5 metres for up to thirty minutes.
We're seeing fast charging USB type C chargers on all three models, as well as fingerprint scanners. And when it comes to battery power, there are some real differences. The A3 gets a 2350 mAh battery, good for around 17 hours of talk time. The A5 gets a 3000 mAh battery, good for around 16 hours of talk time. And the A7 gets a giant 3600 mAh battery, good for around 23 hours of talk time.
Obviously, the smallest A3 is the cheapest model, and that goes for around £260. The A5 is about £350. The problem comes with the A7, which for some reason is quite difficult to get hold of in the UK. However, prices run at around £500 or so, and importing models from the EU is easily done if this is the phone you want.
So Which is the Best Buy?
Choosing a phone is a pretty personal decision, and chances are that you've already seen the spec that was the big selling point for you. Obviously, if you're looking for a large screened phone, then the A7 is the way to go. Don't forget that it can be difficult to track down the A7 in the UK though.
But when it comes to the best overall decision, then we're going to have to go with the A5. It's simply the best combination of specs for the money. Yes you get a smaller screen than on the A7, but you get better general picture quality, and you get the same great processing power and camera set as the A7 offers. And all for £150 cheaper. And, let's face it, £150 is a lot to spend for just a little extra screen space…
Whichever model you go for, you're sure to get a great phone at a great price, and that's what the Galaxy A series is all about. Can't afford a top end Galaxy S8 or S8+? The A series is the next best thing, and you'll save yourself plenty of cash.