Samsung Galaxy A3 – Review
The Samsung Galaxy A3 is a compact smart phone that is able to be purchased at an affordable price, starting at £299.99 in fact. However, this phone may not look like the best deal if you look solely at the specs list, but after a few moments of use you can easily forget that you have the A3 in your hand and not the high-end S7. It comes with plenty of flagship features, alongside some entry level additions.
The days of plastic Samsung devices are well and truly over, with this handset built from glass and metal predominantly with small remnants of that plastic past. In comparison to the A3’s bigger brother, the S7, the only tell tale sign they aren’t of similar production is how the colours appear – with the A3 being a more plain aesthetic compared to the S7’s more shiny and metallic look. The glass used to put this device together is Gorilla Glass 4, some high-spec stuff here – and the design of the A3 also features curved edges on the backside for a better grip. You’ll also find a headphone jack on the bottom, along with a fingerprint scanner between two soft keys on the front, it has a Type-C charging port, but does not feature a microSD slot to remind you this isn’t the top device from the company. The handset is IP68 certified, so a splash in the water won’t hurt.
A weird design feature on the device is found in the placement of the speaker, which has been positioned above the power button on the side. It’s a unique place to put it, but does mean if your holding the phone sideways it won’t be accidentally covered at all, no matter which way your holding it. But walking around holding the phone and you may cover the speaker if using the handset normally.
The display of the A3 is one of its high points, considering nearly all entry level and mid range handsets pack LCD screens, the A3 has a Super AMOLED one. Samsung have brought a flagship quality down to the mid range here, and the 4.7-inch screen is brilliantly vivid and presents colours superbly. There are plenty of adjustments to can make to the display via settings, although the best mode is the standard setting (Adaptive mode.)
The A3 is surprisingly faster than its specs list will lead you to believe, with it being powered by an Exynos 7870 chipset and a Mali-T830 GPU. It doesn’t lag or struggle severely with tasks, but for the price many will argue it should be packing more power – as handsets like the Moto G5 Plus has more power for less money.
The camera on the A3 is more than adequate for this price range, and can actually capture some pretty detailed shots. It has a rear 13MP camera with an f/1.9 aperture, this camera seems to have faster shutter speeds in low light than the previous 2016 A3 edition. There is also minimal shutter lag, so you will rarely lose a shot as the phone is fast enough to deal with it. There is, however, no OIS (optical image stabilisation), which means shots that are taken in poor light will need a very steady hand. The camera is generally not as good as the high tech ones you’ll find on the more expensive Samsung devices. There isn’t much control over the camera settings either, and you’ll find that you may need to correct camera mistakes more than you’d like. There is also no 4K recording on this device, with the quality topping out at 1080p. The sharpness of the images seems pretty good but it does struggle to focus on very close subjects.
The A3’s battery will supply you with around a day of use, depending on what tasks you wish to fulfil on it of course. It has a 2350aMh battery capacity under the hood, and seems to stream video apps extremely well, losing little battery over the hours of video watching.
Overall the Samsung Galaxy A3 is a very decent and capable mid range phone, it has good aesthetics too. The battery life is sufficient along with the screen size, along with that super vibrant AMOLED display. All of this in a nice and refreshing compact handset, it’s a phone made for an easy purchase, and at a cheap price.