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Samsung's waterproof midrange phones make a splash in Aus

The midrange A5 and A7 are launching in Australia next week, and Samsung is packing its flagship features into phones that sell for half the price.

Aloysius Low/CNET

Midrange isn't a dirty word. It helps that we're officially in I Can't Believe It's Not Flagship territory with the feature set of Samsung's new Series A range. Released overseas in January, the Series A phones pack in pretty much every big feature from Samsung's flagship Galaxy S range, save the processors.

The A5 and A7, Samsung's 5.2-inch and 5.7-inch phones respectively, use USB Type-C connections, fast charging, 16-megapixel front and rear cameras, fingerprint scanners and, most impressively, IP68 water and dust resistance (that's "officially dunkable," as I described the rating to a colleague).

Samsung Australia's VP of IT and Mobile Richard Fink said the Korean tech giant skipped the local launch of last year's A range because the phones were missing water resistance -- a key feature for Aussies. Likewise, the 4.7-inch A3 is the baby in the range, but you won't be seeing it in local stores because Aussies generally go for the big brothers.

The A5 and A7 still bear a few of those midrange hallmarks, both good and bad. You'll get expandable storage (32GB base, up to 256GB), score impressive battery life thanks to a full HD screen and previous-generation Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

The phones will be available in black and gold from the Samsung online store from February 16, and from Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, Virgin Mobile and local retailers soon after. The major telcos will offer the A5 and A7 on range. The A5 sells for AU$649 and the A7 comes in at AU$799. Local competition in the midrange looks to be getting quite fierce, and the Galaxy A range is playing to win.

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