Samsung Galaxy A3 and Samsung Galaxy A5: First Impressions
Samsung, which has never had any shortage of models available in the market at any given time, has launched a new assault on the mid-range segment. The new Galaxy A3 and Galaxy A5 slot in alongside the new Galaxy E5 and Galaxy E7, and many of the features of the two new lines overlap. We had a chance to spend some hands-on time with all four at the company's launch event in Mumbai.
The primary difference is that the A-series models have metal bodies while the E-series are made of polycarbonate. Unlike the convention established with Samsung's popular Galaxy S lineup, the number at the end of each model name does not correspond to when it was launched. Far from simplifying its lineup and naming schemes, Samsung now uses the number to differentiate models based on screen size.
The new Samsung Galaxy A3 has a 4.5-inch screen while its sibling, the Samsung Galaxy A5, has a 5-inch screen. We're particularly interested to see the Galaxy A3 come in with a reasonable-sized screen, since this has become an underserved market for quite some time now. There are plenty of people who still prefer phones that can be used in one hand.
Samsung touts the new Galaxy A-series as slim and light, and this is true of both models. While the Galaxy A5 weighs 123g, the Galaxy A3 comes in at just 110g. Both are comfortable to hold and use, though the A3 in particular seemed to fit perfectly in our hands. The build quality of both models was also quite satisfying.
The metal bodies are subtle, and in fact Samsung's plastic E-series which launched alongside have chrome rims that look shinier. While looks might be deceiving, the A-series phones are definitely metallic to the touch. The shape is still true to Samsung's template, but these phones have straighter edges and less rounded corners than their E-series counterparts. The front face extends to the phone's edges, and there's a subtle dotted pattern around the screen. The trademark oblong Home button is beneath the screen, and the capacitive Back and Recents buttons are invisible till you tap them.
The cameras protrude slightly from the rear on both phones. Being unibody designs, there is no removable cover. The microSD and SIM card slots are on the right edge below the power button, while volume buttons are on the left. The headset socket is on the bottom, next to the Micro-USB port.