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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  • StrangerGuy - Friday, October 31, 2014 - link

    Uh, maybe they should like concentrate on like making the best high-end Android phone like every year instead of tons of half-assed models everyday to throw on the wall with almost everything falling to the floor, especially hilariously underspecced and overpriced "budget" phones that makes Xiaomi laugh their butts off. Preferably with far less bloatware junk preinstalled.

    If they got that memo about their latest ugly Q3 financials, that is.
  • theduckofdeath - Saturday, November 1, 2014 - link

    Aren't they doing both? The reviews I've read about the Galaxy Note 4's are pretty unanimous on it being the best of the best right now.

    I really don't get why people promotes greedy sales tactics like the one Apple are using. Over-pricing one model weenie trying to convince people that this exact type of device is THE only one you want. Let people think for themselves.
  • theduckofdeath - Saturday, November 1, 2014 - link

    while, not weenie.

    I hate SwiftKey :)
    ...and also the lack of a simple edit button on this site. Come on Anandtech keep up with the times, will you? You were once the go to place for tech news. Haven't changed much around here since those 90's, except for the repetitive Apple promotions getting more and more out of hand.
  • garretelder - Thursday, December 4, 2014 - link

    Far from a top phone if you ask me! /Garret at
  • T1beriu - Friday, October 31, 2014 - link

    The scale of the phones from the main image is waaaaaay off.

    True proportions:
  • Brandon Chester - Friday, October 31, 2014 - link

    I accidentally made the A3 100px too short. Thank you for catching that.
  • solipsism - Friday, October 31, 2014 - link

    Didn't Samsung add USB 3.0 to a smartphone a year ago? Why are they now sticking with USB 2.0? People realized it wasn't making their read/write any faster due to NAND limitations?
  • Brandon Chester - Friday, October 31, 2014 - link

    Horrible connector.
  • cosmotic - Friday, October 31, 2014 - link

    The USB3 implementation was really flaky. Apparently there were problems with interference with data and voice while USB3 was connected. I think there were also driver problems and crashing/hanging/restarting issues.
  • Impulses - Friday, October 31, 2014 - link

    Seems USB 3.0 RF interference is much more common and an order of magnitude higher than 2.1... Intel has a whole whitepaper on 2.4GHz/BT interference with USB 3.0. Can't say it's ever affected me but the only 3.0 device I have is a hard drive... USB 3.0 causing certain Logitech wireless mice to malfunction is pretty well documented tho.

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