Wednesday, 25 February 2015 13:54

Samsung’s ultra-thin metal Galaxy A5 and A3 launch in Australia

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Two new additions to Samsung’s galaxy of smartphones have arrived Australia at $599 and $449 respectively, promising ‘stylish design and outstanding finish’ to tempt.

From 5 March 2015, Android admirers have two new Samsung smartphones to ogle and buy in stores in Australia, with the ‘full metal unibody design’ Samsung has previously eschewed.

At just 6.7mm thin for the Galaxy A5 and 6.9mm thin for the A3, and coming in Pearl White and Midnight Black colours, Samsung is gunning to recapture sales and the good graces of its galactic fan base.

Full details of the Galaxy A5 can be seen here at Samsung’s site, while Samsung’s page on the A3 is here. The A3 page isn't as detailed as the A5 page yet, but I'm sure Samsung is updating its Australian site accordingly as 5 March approaches. 

Prasad Gokhale, VP of IT and Mobile at Samsung Electronics Australia said: “The Galaxy A5 and A3 are new additions to the Galaxy family which are perfect for young Australians looking for a stylish device to keep them connected.

“Featuring some of Samsung’s latest technology including a Super AMOLED display and Adaptive Display technology, the Galaxy A5 and A3 offer a fantastic set of features in a stylish new design that we know this audience will love.”

One of the new features in this new A-Series range is ‘Safety Assistance’. This allows users to ‘discreetly send pictures, pre-recorded messages and GPS coordinates to pre-set VIPs with the Safety Assistance feature’, as well as a ‘Find My Mobile’ feature.

Samsung does note that for Safety Assistance to work, it needs to be set up first when you get your A5 or A3, and that ‘Find My Mobile’ needs to be set up first too, with details here, as well as a free Samsung account which Samsung devices ask you to set up anyway when you first get one.

Both models also feature a 5 megapixel front facing camera for higher quality selfies, including features such as ‘Wide Selfie, Palm Selfie, Animated GIF, Beauty Face Features and Rear-cam Selfie’ which let you capture selfies in high resolution by automatically detecting and focusing on a person’s face.

The A5 has a 13 megapixel read camera while the A3 sports an 8 megapixel shooter.

And, because they’re both 4G devices, you can naturally share photos and videos quickly and easily to your favourite social media sites.

Samsung also makes Super AMOLED screens, and has ‘adaptive display’ technology that changes the display image automatically, as required, which delivers ‘clear images with deep contrast for vivid and colourful content.’

The A5’s Super AMOLED screen is 5 inches, while the A3’s is 4.5-inches.

Inside both models is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor. Samsung makes no mention of it, but Qualcomm says this processor is both 32-bit and 64-bit capable, so the A5 and A3 could, in theory, be upgraded to a 64-bit version of Android Lollipop OS 5.x.

The A5 has 2GB of RAM while the A3 comes with 1.5GB of RAM, and both come with Android Kitkat 4.4. Both have 16GB of storage, of which 10.5GB is user accessible, and they both have a microSD slot able to take cards up to 64GB in size.

As seen on other Samsung’s S5 and Note 4, the A5 and A3 also feature Samsung’s Ultra-Power Saving Mode, Private Mode and Multiscreen features.

The A5 will be available from Vodafone at $599, while the A3 will be available from Telstra, Vodafone and Optus for $449 outright.

No doubt these telcos will also have the usual range of contract plans over 24 months which spreads the cost of the handset out over that time.

Samsung Galaxy A5 Products Specifications

Network
4G: LTE Cat4 (150/50Mbps)
3G: HSPA+ 42.2/5.76Mbps

Processor
1.2GHz Quad-Core Processor

Display
5.0” HD Super AMOLED

OS
Android 4.4 (KitKat)

Camera
Rear: 13MP AF with LED Flash
Front: 5.0MP

Camera Features
Wide Selfie, Rear-cam Selfie, Beauty Face Features

Video
H.263, H.264(AVC), MPEG4, VP8, VC-1, Sorenson Spark, MP43, WMV7, WMV8
Playback : FHD(1920*1080) @ 30fps

Audio
Codec: MP3, AAC/AAC+/eAAC+, WMA, AMR-NB/WB, FLAC, Vorbis(OGG), WAV

Additional Features
Ultra Power Saving Mode, Changeable Theme (Natural, Classic, Casual, Romantic), Private Mode, Multiscreen, Quick Connect

Google Mobile Service
Chrome, Drive, Photos, Gmail, Google, Google+, Google Settings, Hangouts, Maps, Play Books, Play Games, Play Newsstand, Play Movie & TV, Play Music, Play Store, Voice Search, YouTube

Connectivity
Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n

Bluetooth: 4.0(BLE)
ANT+
NFC
A-GPS/ GLONASS

Sensor
Accelerometer, Proximity, Geo-magnetic, RGB ambient light, Hall Sensor

Memory
Internal memory 16GB (up to 10.5GB user-accessible memory)
+ micro SD slot (up to 64GB)
2GB RAM

Dimension
139.3 x 69.7 x 6.7mm, 123g

Battery
2,300 mAh

Samsung Galaxy A3 Products Specifications

Network
4G: LTE Cat4 (150/50Mbps)
3G: HSPA+ 42.2/5.76Mbps

Processor
1.2GHz Quad-Core Processor

Display
4.5” qHD Super AMOLED

OS
Android 4.4 (KitKat)

Camera
Rear: 8MP AF with LED Flash
Front: 5.0MP

Camera Features
Wide Selfie, Rear-cam Selfie, Beauty Face Features

Video
H.263, H.264(AVC), MPEG4, VP8, VC-1, Sorenson Spark, MP43, WMV7, WMV8
Playback : FHD(1920*1080) @ 30fps

Audio
Codec: MP3, AAC/AAC+/eAAC+, AMR-NB/WB, FLAC, Vorbis(OGG), WAV

Additional Features
Ultra Power Saving Mode, Changeable Theme (Natural, Classic, Casual, Romantic)

Google Mobile Service
Chrome, Drive, Photos, Gmail, Google, Google+, Google Settings, Hangouts, Maps, Play Books, Play Games, Play Newsstand, Play Movie & TV, Play Music, Play Store, Voice Search, YouTube

Connectivity
Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth: 4.0(BLE)
ANT+
NFC
A-GPS/ GLONASS

Sensor
Accelerometer, Proximity, Geo-magnetic, RGB ambient light, Hall Sensor
Memory

Internal memory 16GB (up to 10GB user-accessible memory#) + micro SD slot (up to 64GB)
1.5GB RAM

Dimension
130.1 x 65.5 x 6.9mm, 110.3g

Battery
1,900 mAh

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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