Head-to-Head: Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016) vs Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017)

Samsung’s off to a great start this 2017 with the introduction of refreshed Galaxy A series handsets. The Galaxy A3 (2017) is the smallest and cheapest entry from the line-up and it sees plenty of hardware upgrades from the last iteration. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the two handsets.

Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016)Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017)
1.4GHz quad-core processor1.6GHz octa-core processor
4.7-inch HD Super Amoled display4.7-inch HD Super Amoled display
16GB expandable storage (up to 128GB)16GB expandable storage (up to 256GB)
13-megapixel rear camera, f/1.9 aperture13-megapixel rear camera, f/1.9 aperture
5-megapixel front camera, f/1.9 aperture8-megapixel front camera, f/1.9 aperture
Dual SIMDual SIM
WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1, NFCWiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC
Fingerprint scanner
USB Type-C port
IP68 certification
2300mAh battery2350mAh battery
Android 5.1.1 Lollipop (upgradable to 6.0.1)Android 6.0.16 Marshmallow

The 2016 model’s quad-core processor gets upgraded into an octa-core chipset with faster clock speeds. Assuming Samsung does the same like with the A3 (2016), depending on the region, the 2017’s SoC can be a¬†Qualcomm Snapdragon or an Exynos chipset.

The handset’s RAM is now an even 2GB, 500MB more than before. Base storage remains the same, but the 2017’s maximum capacity has been doubled to 256GB.

In the camera department, we can see that the new A3 is packing a front camera with a higher MP rating. As for how the new snappers perform, we’ll have to wait for an in-depth hands-on review.

Battery capacity gets a little nudge upwards, but will still be problematic for heavy users. The new A3 will be loading Android Marshmallow, for some reason, despite Nougat having launched three months ago.

The fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C port and the much-vaunted IP68 water and dust resistance are new in the Galaxy A 2017 series. These features are much-welcomed additions to Samsung’s midrange offerings and will definitely go a long way in justifying the handset’s price point, which is currently up in rumor land as of the moment.

Externally, the 2017 version still sports the same metallic and glass finish we’ve come to love (or hate, due to its slipperiness) in last year’s model. Aside from rounder corners, and a few design nudges here and there, the new 2017 handset doesn’t really see much of a facelift.

While the A3 (2016) came with Gorilla Glass 4 protection, there’s no mention of it on the press release spec sheet for the 2017 version.

Overall, the new Galaxy A3 (2017) brims with upgraded internals and new, useful features despite having mostly the same looks. We’ll have to wait for Samsung’s pricing scheme to appropriately judge if this one’s a worthy buy.

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