Samsung Galaxy A3 and A3 Duos review: A-ddictive

The Samsung Galaxy A3 is the junior member of the company’s new metal-clad lineup. The least likely one to challenge the Alpha-dog but just as slim and sharp as the rest of its Galaxy A teammates.

Samsung Galaxy A3 ReviewSamsung Galaxy A3 ReviewSamsung Galaxy A3 ReviewSamsung Galaxy A3 ReviewSamsung Galaxy A3 Review
Samsung Galaxy A3 official photos

And it’s not all about the looks – with LTE and Super AMOLED available across the range, the Samsung Galaxy A3 has the same 64-bit chipset as the A5 and the same high-res front camera as the A7. Most of the other specs are of course duly toned down but the A3 is a pretty credible midrange package on its own.

It comes in single and dual-SIM flavors, which is a popular combo in the midrange – and does well to offer cat. 4 LTE on both.

The high-resolution selfie camera is still quite a novelty for Samsung – the A3 is among the few very recent phones to have one.

A Super AMOLED screen of qHD resolution and a 4.5″ diagonal and a Snapdragon 410 chipset under the hood are looking competitive enough.

So far so good. Samsung needs a strong start into 2015 after ending 2014 on a low note.

The Alpha bloodline will be Samsung’s trump card in the midrange and the Galaxy A3 will soon be joined by its bigger, better-equipped siblings.

But here and now, the Galaxy A3 will be keen to prove it has enough to offer.

Key features

  • Distinct LTE-enabled models (1.5GB RAM, NFC) and non-LTE models (1GB RAM, sans NFC) available regardless of number of SIM slots
  • 4.5″ qHD Super AMOLED touchscreen, 245ppi, with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 and an ambient light sensor
  • Android 4.4.4 KitKat with TouchWiz
  • Snapdragon 410 chipset, quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A53, Adreno 306 GPU
  • 8MP auto-focus camera, LED flash
  • 5MP front-facing camera with 1080p@30fps video recording
  • 16GB storage, microSD card slot (up to 64GB)
  • Wi-Fi b/g/n; Bluetooth 4.0; ANT+; GPS/GLONASS receiver
  • Active noise cancellation via a dedicated mic
  • 1,900mAh Li-Ion non-removable battery
  • Slim bezels and great screen-to-body ratio

Main disadvantages

  • On the pricey side at launch
  • Relatively low resolution display
  • Non-removable battery
  • Non-LTE model has less RAM and no NFC
  • The second SIM slot on the Dual SIM model doubles as a microSD slot, so you can only use it with a SIM card or a microSD card, but not both simultaneously

Where the Galaxy A3 comes short is display resolution. However, the Super AMOLED display should make up for the relatively low fidelity with great contrast and punchy colors.

The Snapdragon 410 chip, which isn’t going to break the sound barrier, but is of the new 64-bit generation and won’t be dealing with too much stress considering the screen resolution. It packs enough oomph for a midranger and things will only get better when Samsung are done with the Android 5.0 Lollipop update.

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The Galaxy A3 in person

Ready when you’re. Let’s proceed with our usual routine. Coming up, unboxing and design.

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