Today Samsung announced two new smartphones that fit into their portfolio of mid-range devices. They are the Galaxy A3 and A5. Normally there's not a lot to get excited about when it comes to the launch of mid-range phones, but there's something very unique about these two new phones from Samsung. Samsung has long been criticized for their primarily plastic construction on their phones and tablets. This was improved with the designs of the Galaxy Alpha and the Note 4 which sported a metal band that went around the edges of the device. The Galaxy A3 and A5 take this even further with full metal unibody designs, much like what HTC has been doing for quite some time now. Before getting into the design, I've laid out the specifications that Samsung has revealed in a chart below. Some of their listed specs like the CPU are unfortunately very vague.

  Galaxy A5 Galaxy A3
SoC 1.2GHz Quad Core 1.2GHz Quad Core
Display 5.0" HD Super AMOLED 4.5” qHD Super AMOLED
Network 2G / 3G / 4G LTE (Category 4) 2G / 3G / 4G LTE (Category 4)
Dimensions 139.3 x 69.7 x 6.7mm, 123g 130.1 x 65.5 x 6.9mm, 110.3g
Camera 13MP Rear Camera, 5MP Front Camera 8MP Rear Camera, 5MP Front Camera
Battery 2300 mAh 1900 mAh
OS Android 4.4 KitKat Android 4.4 KitKat
Connectivity 802.11a/b/g/n + BT 4.0, USB2.0, GPS/GNSS, NFC 802.11b/g/n/ac + BT 4.0, USB2.0, GPS/GNSS, DLNA, NFC
SIM Size NanoSIM NanoSIM

As you can see, there's nothing too extraordinary with regards to the specifications. There's really no concrete way to determine if they use something like a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 part, or one of Samsung's own Exynos SoCs. Samsung has also not specified the exact resolution for the Galaxy A5, but based on its position in their lineup, and their past distinction between HD and Full HD Super AMOLED displays, it would make sense that the Galaxy A5 has a resolution of 1280x720. For connectivity both devices omit 802.11ac support, which is not surprising for devices in this segment of the market. Samsung is advertising their support for Cat4 LTE and Bluetooth 4.0.

The appeal of these phones is the design and materials. Both devices look similar to the Galaxy Alpha, with chamfered edges, flat sides, and a textured bezel surrounding the display. They both come in five colors, Champagne Gold, Light Blue, Pearl White, Midnight Black, Platinum Silver, and Soft Pink. Despite being budget devices, both the Galaxy A3 and A5 sport a metal unibody construction which is a major shift in Samsung's design for smartphones, and a shift that I never expected to see first made in Samsung's mid-range smartphones. It will definitely be interesting to see how this is extended to future flagship smartphones from Samsung.

Samsung hasn't stated the expected price for the Galaxy A3 and A5, and have only stated that it will be coming to select markets including China in November of this year. 

Source: Samsung via Android Police

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  • theduckofdeath - Saturday, November 1, 2014 - link

    Top 10 annoying things you read on the internet:
    Why make a list? Apple trolls claiming the rights to everything fills most of those spots.
  • djscrew - Sunday, November 2, 2014 - link

    I love how people view it as Android vs Apple and that any criticism of either device is tantamount to taking sides. How about you look at it like this. Apple dominates the market because they focus on making a few good products. Samsung meanwhile seems to be spraying a firehose of products at the market with the hopes that something sticks. It's sort of dumb. I also know people who have had Sammy phones break on them (not dropped or abused) and Sammy did not provide any warranty whatsoever.
  • lolipopman - Saturday, November 1, 2014 - link

    Did I read that right? The phone with a 5 inch screen only has a resolution of 1080p but the 4.5 inch one has qHD. What is this?
  • lolipopman - Saturday, November 1, 2014 - link

    Never mind, I'm an idiot.
  • extide - Sunday, November 2, 2014 - link

    qHD is not QHD ;) but yeah its stupid they are si\o similarly named
  • stefstef - Saturday, November 1, 2014 - link

    as always a good, reasonably priced product from Samsung. much more attractive than the americano Skunk phones. rotten blackberry, chinadized Motorola, freaky crappy Google and the slaughterhouse products from once Quality handymaker Nokia. asia rules, Keep up the good work Samsung !
  • piiman - Saturday, November 1, 2014 - link

    Damn it looks like an iPhone So when will Apple file the suit? Any guesses?
  • ws3 - Saturday, November 1, 2014 - link

    I had the opportunity to read a Korean language Samsung strategy paper last night.
    The gist of the paper was that Samsung Electronics feels very threatened by the rise of Xiaomi in China.Their solution (or as the paper said, their new weapons) are metal-body phones and flexible displays. They lamented the fact that Xiaomi beat them to market with a metal bodied phone in CHina.

    In my opinion the paper was another example of Samsung's gimmick-based approach to electronics. They seem to be convinced that their profits dropped 60% because they got out-gimmicked by Xiaomi, so they vow to respond by doubling down on gimmicks.
  • StrangerGuy - Saturday, November 1, 2014 - link

    You mean they will release a metal model with 800x480 screen and a lame dual core, plastic models with flexible screen with 3 different screen resolutions, 4 screen sizes for 15 individual SKUs not counting regional variants, then add in region locking, lagwiz UI and bloatware to take up 90% of the internal flash...While all are so overpriced it makes Xiaomi laugh out loud and potential buyers left confused whether Samsung will even update the firmware 3 months down the road.

    "Why? Why people ain't buying them up? Because we don't have enough models yet!", Samsung.
  • tipoo - Sunday, November 2, 2014 - link

    I wonder if that low 1.2GHz clock points to Cortex A7s?

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