- Price vs performance
- Slow camera
- Average performance
- Low internal storage
- Redundant apps pre-loaded
Blending mid-tier performance with the look of a flagship phone, Samsung’s A-series is known for its attention to details and stylish designs. This year’s releases are finally out and on paper the 2016 A3 looks nice. But do the figures translate to a good experience?
Let’s check what reviewers are saying!
One phrase repeated over and over was “it looks like a Galaxy S6 Mini.” If you were a fan of the flat glass and metal design of the S6, you’ll be thrilled with the A3. PC Advisor UK declared, “Galaxy A-series now has a premium design worthy of Samsung’s flagship family at a mid-range price.” Some reviews noted that the flat back led to slipping and some questioned the long-term durability of all that shiny glass, but overall, reviewers were fans.
Flipping around to the front, you’ll find a 4.7-inch 720p Super AMOLED screen. In typical Samsung fashion, the screen wowed reviewers. PC Advisor UK said, “Viewing angles are decent, the display is plenty bright.” Phone Arena noted, “I’ve seen much more detailed screens on phones of this tier, but even on the new Galaxy A3, I’ve almost never found image detail to be insufficient or text to be difficult to read.”
Keeping all those pixels moving smoothly, you’ll find a 1.5Ghz quad-core Exynos processor and 1.5GB of RAM. Performance reviews were mostly positive--though some noted problems with heavy multitasking or complex graphics. Android Pit summed things up well, saying, “Neither gamers nor the generally impatient are going to be thrilled with the Galaxy A3.”
You’ll find 16GB of internal storage to load up your favorite apps, games or movies. With the pre-installed apps, that dwindles down to just over 9GB. Fortunately, the phone includes support for microSD cards of up to 128GB.
Though the phone is new, its a little behind on Android releases--running Android 5.1.1 Lollipop with Samsung’s TouchWiz UI. If you’re not a fan of earlier TouchWiz versions, reviewers were quick to point out that Samsung seems to be dialing back their features and changes to provide a truer Android experience.
While the phone’s 2300mAh battery might look weak on paper, reviewers found battery life to be good. Phone Arena noted, “the new Galaxy A3 will last through a day of moderate use.” Android Pit fared even better, saying, “You can get about two days of use out of it and it seems well equipped to deal well with heavy use. Integrated energy-saving features also afford you great control over which apps are disabled in standby mode.”
If you’re hoping to snap pictures while out and about, you’ll find a 13MP rear camera with flash and a 5MP front-facing lens for selfies and video chat. Reviews on the cameras were mixed. PC Advisor UK said, “At this price the photo quality is acceptable, with realistic colours and reasonably sharp detail.” Many reviews noted a considerable delay when focusing--particularly in low light.
Overall, reviews of the phone were positive. The biggest area of contention was pricing. Many phones with similar if not better specs are available in this price tier, though maybe not with the polish of the A3.
Android Pit summed up the phone, saying, “The performance is not outstanding, but it is adequate for the price. Its shortcomings are, however, offset to a degree by its strong battery life.” Expert Reviews was more positive, declaring, “If you're not really bothered by which version of Android you have and you've been desperately waiting for Samsung's next, true 'mini' phone, then you really can't get much better than the Galaxy A3 2016.”