In 2016, Samsung experienced the worst. But that should not make us forget that the South Korean hardly ever misses its main products. Galaxy S7, Galaxy A3 and A5 (version 2016), Galaxy J7, Gear Fit 2, Gear S3 … impossible to find a mediocre device in the list. Last year, mid-range smartphones were his biggest surprises, raising new expectations. The Galaxy A5 (2017) has recently lived up to all expectations. Now here is the Galaxy A3. Smaller, cheaper, but even more ambitious.
A small Galaxy S7
For around 300 euros, Chinese manufacturers like Xiaomi have learned to impress us. For 329 euros, Samsung replies forcefully. At this price, he delivers an all-glass smartphone, with a back that only the camera (without protuberance) and the flash come to brighten. As is the case with the Galaxy S7 and the Mi5s, this rear face is slightly curved, for even more comfort.
The only problem with metal slices is that they are a little slippery. Above all, they demonstrate that the manufacturer has not overlooked the quality of the finishes, worthy of the high-end. The 4.7-inch screen occupies a large part of the front panel and allows for a more compact format than the iPhone 7 – the same diagonal – in height and width. Access to the power buttons (right) and volume controls (left) is easy. At the bottom, there is a physical Home button now equipped with a fingerprint sensor, overhanging a USB Type-C connector. Other good news is that the device is IP68 certified and will therefore survive a fall into the water.
The legacy of Note 7
Unsurprisingly, Samsung is still relying on its Super Amoled technology, with HD definition and a resolution of 312 dpi. As a result, we benefit from an infinite contrast ratio which does a lot in terms of display quality. The brightness of 461 cd / m2 completes a rather pleasing picture. There is also the Always On Display function, which displays basic information (time, date, charge level, notifications) when the screen is off.
Other functions launched on the 2016 flagships are also imported. Among them, the Game Launcher which allows to group all the games. It incorporates Game Tools, a virtual button through which you can record video sequences during a game, deactivate alerts or lock the screen.
Samsung is doing the same thing as last year by serving an Android-based overlay Marshmallow (6.0), due to the lack of Nougat (7.0), expected in the coming weeks. However, the settings menu has been simplified with appreciable settings. It is, for example, possible to remove the rectangular frame around the icons. Notifications are well organized, sorted by application. The fingerprint sensor has been responsive and reliable, without surpassing some less expensive competitors such as the Honor 6X.
Adequate power, unforgettable autonomy
Unlike the Mi5s, the Galaxy A3 is not supposed to be a racing beast. Its Exynos 7870 is modestly clocked at 1.6 Ghz and supported by 2 GB of RAM. Compared to last year, the improvement is slight but very real: the smartphone goes from a score of 35,000 to 45,000 under Antutu 6. If the device now displays approximately 50 images per second with Epic Citadel, in fact , do not expect to take advantage of all the details of the most demanding games of the moment. It will, in fact, slightly lower the graphics level to get a real fluidity in the game.
On a daily basis, navigation between the different applications is done without the slighreview slowdown. The real weakness of this Galaxy A3 is its storage capacity of 16 GB (9.7 GB on ignition), which will be eaten too quickly. You will have to do this with a microSD card (up to 256 GB).
When we launched our versatile autonomy review procedure – which mixes several types of use (including video, surfing and many others), we had in mind the incredible results of last year. The endurance had then exceeded 12 hours. And we were not disappointed. In 2017, the 2350 mAh battery sends us around … 14.35 of versatile autonomy! An insane number that places the Galaxy A3 in fourth place for the most enduring smartphones for this type of autonomy. Knowing that the device exceeds 17 hours on calls (which is very correct), you can probably count on it for two days in a row.
What you need in a photo
While the new Galaxy A5 offers a nice combo of two 16-megapixel sensors (front and rear), the A3 only has 13 megapixels at the back and eight at the front. Compared to last year, the improvements are slight. There is not a lot of detail, but it is enough for those who do not need to print their photos in large format. The colors are more realistic and the contrast is good. Not surprisingly, many of these qualities are lost as the light fades.
In video, it’s the status quo, with very suitable sequences but which lack stabilization. We had a few bursts of development, but the conditions – very gray sky – were not the most favorable. Samsung has also revised its photo app, which works on the Snapchat culture: little information on the screen, lots of swipes from one mode to the other. In fact, it’s very convenient to switch to selfie mode by flicking the device up and down. The floating key is well thought out for taking a selfie, without having to twist your thumb.