In recent months, Samsung has placed a stronger emphasis on premium build materials for its smartphones. The Galaxy A3 and A5 continue that trend, being the first full metal handsets we’ve seen from the company. However, neither device is flagship smartphone material, with mid-range specs across the board.
While the Samsung brand has become synonymous with unashamedly plastic devices, the last few months have seen the company take steps towards more premium build materials. While the Galaxy Alpha and Note 4 toted metal bands that added a touch of class to proceedings, the newly-announced Galaxy A5 and A3 are the first devices from the company to feature full metal unibody builds.
Perhaps a little unfortunately, the company has opted to pair the premium build with some decidedly mid-range specs. The A5 is the larger device, offering a 5-inch 1,280 x 720 Super AMOLED display, giving it 294 pixels per inch (PPI). It’s powered by an unspecified 1.2 GHz quad core processor with 2 GB of RAM and a 13 MP rear camera.
The Galaxy A3 carries the same CPU, 1 GB of RAM, an 8 MP rear shooter and a smaller 4.5-inch 960 x 540 display with 245 PPI. Both devices offer 16 GB internal storage with a microSD card slot for expandability up to 64 GB.
Samsung is pitching the new smartphones at younger consumers who perhaps don’t require the same market leading specs found in the company’s more prestigious handsets. Accordingly, both handsets pack a 5 MP front facing shooter designed specifically for selfies.
Both devices run Android 4.4 KitKat and will be available in 3G and 4G LTE variants. Samsung claims that they're the thinnest handsets it’s ever built, coming in at 6.7 mm (0.26 in) for the A5 and 6.9 mm (0.27 in) for A3. They’re also pretty light in the hand, weighing in at 123 g (0.27 lb) and 110 g (0.24 lb) respectively.
As you might expect, the fingerprint scanner we’ve seen on some of the company’s higher-end releases has been omitted here, but users will still get access to Ultra Power Saving Mode, helping them squeeze a few extra hours of battery life.
Both the Galaxy A3 and A5 will be available in gold, blue, pink, silver, black and white. They’ll arrive first in China starting November. Pricing information and availability in other regions are yet to be announced.