Samsung Galaxy A3 vs. Samsung Galaxy A5

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Here comes new Samsung smartphone series, it is Galaxy A. Samsung is really getting serious about metal, having now produced an entire line of phones with a premium metal build. Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, which are anounced recently, also have metal build.

Let’s take a look at the A series. In one corner there’s the lower mid-range Samsung Galaxy A3. It’s the baby of the range but with specs that push it above an entry level handset, while in the other there’s the Samsung Galaxy A5. It’s similar to the A3 but better in a number of ways. But how much better? Read on to find out.


Design and build quality

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The Samsung Galaxy A3 and Galaxy A5 have very similar designs, as you might expect from two phones in the same range. They both have a metal unibody, giving them a premium look and feel, but there are some slight differences.

Samsung Galaxy A5 a

First difference is that the Galaxy A3 is the smaller and lighter yet thicker of the two, coming in at 130.1 x 65.5 x 6.9mm and 110.3g, compared to the Samsung Galaxy A5’s 139.3 x 69.7 x 6.7mm and 123g, making the A5 larger and heavier yet ever so slightly slimmer. Neither of these phones feel over large though and the extra size and weight of the Galaxy A5 is a necessary side effect of having a bigger screen.

Metal unibody is a really big and new feature, since Samsung’s build quality over years have been heavily critisized. It gives premium feel in the hand, which is very defferent frome plastic phones.

Design itself has some similarities with previous Samsung phones, but now has more rectangle shape, rather than oval. Big home button under the display is something that we used to see on Samsung models.


Hardware

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The Samsung Galaxy A3 has a 4.5-inch 540 x 960 Super AMOLED display with a pixel density of 245 pixels per inch, while the Samsung Galaxy A5 has a 5.0-inch 720 x 1280 Super AMOLED display with a pixel density of 294 pixels per inch.

So they’re both Super AMOLED, which ensures they’re both bright and vivid, with wide viewing angles and deep contrast, but the Galaxy A5 is half an inch bigger and despite the larger size it’s also sharper, so unless you especially want a compact phone it’s probably the better of the two when it comes to screen quality.

Both the Samsung Galaxy A3 and the Galaxy A5 have a 64-bit 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 410 processor and both run Android 4.4 KitKat. However the Samsung Galaxy A5 has 2GB of RAM, while the Galaxy A3 has just 1GB.

In both cases those are mid-range specs and good enough that they should both be reasonable performers, but you can expect superior performance from the Galaxy A5, which is a solid mid-ranger, while the innards of the Galaxy A3 are only just above entry level.

Both phones have 16GB of built in storage and they both support microSD cards of up to 64GB. They also have the same connectivity options, with both supporting Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC, so there’s nothing to choose there.

Camera

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Both the Galaxy A3 and Galaxy A5 are pretty good camera phones, but they’re not identical. The Samsung Galaxy A3 has an 8 megapixel rear camera with an LED flash and the ability to shoot 1080p video at 30fps, while the Samsung Galaxy A5 has a 13 megapixel rear snapper with an LED flash and the ability to shoot 1080p video at 30fps. So the Galaxy A5 has more megapixels to play with and can therefore take sharper photos.

Samsung Galaxy A5 Sample Image

Samsung Galaxy A5 Sample Image

There’s no difference in front-facing cameras though, with both phones packing a 5 megapixel wide-angle snapper, making them great for selfies. They’re both chuck full of shooting modes too, such as rear-cam selfie and panorama.


Software

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Both phones come with Android KitKat, 4.4.4 version, and standard Samsung’s TouchWiz. In the future they might get Android Lollipop update. They come with some standard Samsung applications and there is full Google support with Play store for installing new applications.


Battery life and charging

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The Samsung Galaxy A3 has a 1900 mAh battery, quoted for up to 12 hours talk time or 60 hours of music, while the Galaxy A5 has a larger 2300 mAh juice pack which can supposedly last for up to 15 hours of talk time or 68 hours of music.

So there’s little difference here but you should be able to get a few more hours out of the Samsung Galaxy A5. Though both phones have Samsung’s ultra-power saving mode to help the battery go further.


Conclusion

The Samsung Galaxy A3 and Samsung Galaxy A5 are at once very similar and quite different. At first glance you’ll struggle to tell them apart, aside from the fact that the Galaxy A5 is larger, as they have the same design, complete with a stylish metal build. They’re similar in other ways too, with the same processors, the same version of Android, the same front-facing cameras, the same storage capacity and the same connectivity options.

But then there are also a lot of differences. The Samsung Galaxy A3 has a smaller screen than the Galaxy A5 and its lower resolution too, plus the Galaxy A3 only has half as much RAM as its larger sibling and it’s got a smaller battery and a lower megapixel rear camera.
All of which indisputably leaves the Samsung Galaxy A5 as the better phone of the two, but not by a significant margin and if you want a smaller handset the Galaxy A3 could still be a superior choice.

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