Like small screens? The 4.7-inch Samsung's new Galaxy A3 will be your cup of tea (hands-on)

If you simply can't stand how big phones have become, the 2016 Samsung Galaxy A3 may be just the ticket.

Aloysius Low Senior Editor
Aloysius Low is a Senior Editor at CNET covering mobile and Asia. Based in Singapore, he loves playing Dota 2 when he can spare the time and is also the owner-minion of two adorable cats.
Aloysius Low
2 min read
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Editors' note: This hands-on first take shares some text with those of the new Samsung Galaxy A5 and A7.

Samsung's Galaxy A range of smartphones is designed for a younger, trendier crowd who can't afford its higher end flagships, such as the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. Announced late last year, the updated 2016 versions of these phones sport metal bodies similar to the S6 Edge, with shared design cues such as rounded edges and shiny glass rears.

While the specs can't quite compare with the Edge, the new Galaxy A phones will pretty much knock your socks off in the looks department, and really only vary depending on the screen sizes of the phone. For the Galaxy A3, this 4.7-inch stunner packs a 13-megapixel rear camera, 4G LTE connectivity and runs the latest Android 5.1.1 operating system.

The phone first made its debut in China alongside the Galaxy A5 and A7, and is set for global markets in the new few months. Alongside the other two phones, the A3 will also be sold in Southeast Asia. In Singapore, the A3 costs an affordable S$398, which converts to approximately $275, £190 and AU$395. Do check with your local retailer for exact pricing and availability.

Honestly, the Galaxy A3's good looks will serve it well with students who want something a little more fashion forward, while still not costing a bomb. Samsung is hoping this is the case, and I honestly think the good looks of the A3 will help it do well despite its somewhat lower-end specs.

Meet Samsung's updated Galaxy A smartphones (pictures)

See all photos

Smaller is better?

While the trend of larger screens for smartphones isn't stopping anything soon, the A3 takes a step backwards with its 4.7-inch display. Now, you might be thinking, isn't this the same size as the iPhone 6S? And isn't the look of the phone rather familiar too? Well, you wouldn't be wrong with that train of thought, but specs-wise, the A3 is a little dimmer than Apple's leading light.

The 4.7-inch display is only in HD resolution -- that's 1,280x720 pixels -- and is hardly anything to shout about, while the phone also lacks a fingerprint scanner. It is, however, a nice comfortable size that's easy to hold and use with one hand.

What's under the hood?

Besides support for most 4G LTE networks globally (apart from the US), the A3 features hybrid dual SIM card slots that let you use one of them as a microSD card slot with support for up to 128GB of storage space. Check out the rest of the specs below:

  • 4.7-inch screen with 1,280x720-pixel resolution
  • 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 410 processor
  • 1.5GB of RAM
  • 16GB of internal storage
  • 128GB microSD card slot for external storage
  • 2,300mAh battery
  • 13-megapixel camera
  • 5-megapixel front-facing camera
  • Android 5.1.1
  • 5.3 by 2.57 by 0.29 inches (134.5 by 65.2 by 7.3mm)
  • 4.66 ounces (132 grams)