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Last updated on the 17th of January at 2:08pm with 241,729 deals.
Our Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) Review
The Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) is almost the perfect example of a mid-range smartphone. While it's true that the display could be a little better, for the price you can't really complain. The design and battery life are excellent, the camera is capable of taking some great shots and while the OS might be slightly outdated, it works perfectly
Contract, PAYG or SIM Only?
Taking out either a 12 or 24-month contract is definitely a great option for the Galaxy A3. On a 24-month contract, for around £20 to £25 a month you’ll be able to receive unlimited calls, unlimited texts and 2GB to 4GB of data. While for around £30 to £40 a month, you’ll be able to receive unlimited calls, unlimited texts and up to 10GB of data.
Due to the fact its a mid-range smartphone, buying the Galaxy A3 outright and taking out a SIM Only or PAYG contract isn't such a terrible idea. It can cost you anywhere from £200 to £300, so providing you shop around a little bit you should be able to get a really good deal.
For under £10 for example, you’ll be able to get a SIM card with unlimited texts, 1000 minutes and 4GB of data.
The Galaxy A3 sports a distinctly average 4.7-inch display which at 720p just misses out on being Full HD. While colours appear fairly bright and lively with quite a bit of that pleasing pop awarded by Samsung's Super AMOLED technology, the fact it stands at 312ppi means that the A3's display isn't quite as sharp or richly detailed as it could be.
It does look slightly fuzzy and even a little blurred, particularly if you’ve been staring at the screen for long periods of time or are used to a more impressive display. This doesn't make it unusable by any means, but is definitely something to consider if you’re a heavy consumer of media.
For a mid-range smartphone, the Galaxy A3's 13MP rear camera with a wide f/1.9 aperture is capable of capturing some pretty good pictures. Shots are generally very clear and well-lit, containing a reasonable level of detail and natural looking colours.
Although it can struggle a little bit in more extreme conditions, very dark or very light for example, useful extras like Night and HDR mode will help to balance out the contrast and sharpen up your subject without making everything look too fake or washed out.
Video can be captured in 1080p and while it looks decent enough, it unfortunately doesn't come with any form of OIS so any tremor or shaking will be clearly visibly. If your somebody who takes a lot of video, you might seriously want to think about buying a tripod.
Samsung are known for their beautiful and innovative designs and the Galaxy A3 with its combination of shiny metal and durable polished glass is no exception, having been crafted to resemble one of its more premium siblings.
Weighing 138g and at just 7.9mm thick, it feels pleasantly lightweight and the smoothly curved sheet of 3D glass covering the back of the device ensures it sits comfortably in your hand.
Like the immensely well-received S7 and S8, the Galaxy A3 has received a rating of IP68 which means that it's super-resistant to water, dust and sticky fingerprints. That doesn't mean you’re able to completely submerge it in water however, just that it’ll survive an accidental trip into the bath.
An incredibly responsive fingerprint sensor sits at the bottom of the device along with a 3.5mm headphone jack and a USB Type-C port. There also no camera bump on the back which means you’re able to set it down on a flat surface and type without it rocking all over the place.
Like all other Samsung devices, the Galaxy A3 is powered by a CPU from their custom Exynos range. The 7870 comes with a decent 2GB of RAM and is able to offer a fairly good performance which is reflective of its status as a mid-range Android smartphone.
Load times are generally kept to a minimum and you shouldn’t have any issues with completing day-to-day activities like sending emails, updating social media and general internet browsing.
Games obviously aren’t going to look quite as pretty as they would on an 1080p Full HD device, but even the most graphically intense offerings are able to run really well with only the slightest stutter or occasional drop in frame rate.
One huge benefit of having a less powerful CPU is that your battery life will be able to last significantly longer. With moderate use, so making calls and texts, enjoying some YouTube videos and a fair amount of light gaming, you should be able to get nearly two days out of it.
Features and OS
It might be Marshmallow 6.0.1 and not the newer Nougat 7.0 running on the Galaxy A3 but longtime Android fans shouldn’t feel disappointed. Despite it being nearly two-years-old, Marshmallow is still a brilliantly smooth OS which is packed with a wide range of useful features.
You’ve got Google's great power saving app Doze, the highly unique search function Google Now On Tap and Always On which keeps useful features like the time and calendar up on the screen without wasting battery.
TouchWiz has been a bit of a sore subject for Android in the past but here Samsung have at least shown some evidence that they’re starting to listen to user complaints. It definitely feels more fluid than previous iterations and it's nice that you’re now able to hide unwanted widgets.
What we think
If you’re looking for a decent mid-range Android smartphone you could definitely do a lot worse than the Galaxy A3. It looks absolutely stunning, runs really well, is capable of taking some pretty good pictures and while the display might not be the best, its perfectly adequate for standard day-to-day use.
Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) Specification
- Display Size: 4.7"
- Display Resolution: 1280 x 720
- Display Type: Super AMOLED
- Primary Camera Flash: LED
- Primary Camera Resolution: 4160 x 3120
- Primary Camera Megapixels: 13
- Secondary Camera Megapixels: 8
- Memory Card Slot: MicroSD up to 256GB
- 2G Connectivity: GSM 850/900/1800/1900
- 3G Connectivity: HSDPA 850/900/1900/2100
- 4G Connectivity: LTE 700/800/850/900/1800/2100/2600
- 5G Connectivity:
- Bluetooth: 4.2 with LE
- GPS: A-GPS, GLONASS and Beidou
- Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
- Processor: 1.6 GHz Octa-core
- Chipset: Exynos 7870
- Talk Time: Up to 12 hours
- Weight (grams): 135
- Dimensions: 66.2 x 135.4 x 7.9 mm
- Battery Type: Non-removable
- IP Rating: IP68 - Dust and water resistant over 1.5 meter and 30 minutes
- Sim Type: Nano SIM
- Operating System: Android
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