Samsung Galaxy A3 2016 review
Premium Feel at a Rock-bottom Price
The Samsung Galaxy A3 2016 proves that premium build materials can be used without hiking up the price.
Design - Premium feel
The Samsung Galaxy A3 2016 is a really good looking smartphone that brings metal and glass together. The metal frame is very thin at 7.3mm and Samsung has chosen to incorporate the volume and power keys on opposing sides of the phone.
|Pocket friendly phones|
Both the front and back faces are made from Corning’s 2.5D Gorilla Glass 4, which is extremely durable and offers a nice finish, with its edges gently curving over to meet the metal frame. The total weight of the phone is 132g and this feels very light in the hand.
The 4.7” display places this phone towards the compact end of the market, yet there is plenty of definition with a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels. Samsung has used its Super AMOLED screen technology, so the viewing experience will be one of the richest around.
Looking for a phone with a bigger display? Read the Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) review
Processor - Quad-core performance
The Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016) has a quad-core 1.5GHz processor with 1.5GB RAM. While this may be nothing out of the ordinary, Samsung has had the forethought to include its Smart Manager software.
Smart Manager ensures that performance doesn’t drop over time. The software can scan for malware, identify apps that are using excessive battery power, clean the memory, close apps running in the background and detect unnecessary files that can be deleted.
Phone Set Up
Getting started - Samsung Smart Switch
The easiest way to get started with the Samsung Galaxy A3 2016, is to download Samsung Smart Switch from Google Play or the Galaxy Apps store. This app automates the process of moving content and contacts from an old smartphone.
This phone has a 16GB memory, of which 10.7GB is free for user storage. The memory can be expanded with a microSD card with any value of up to 128GB. For security, the lock screen can be protected with a Pattern, PIN or password.
OS - Android Lollipop with Samsung apps
The Android Lollipop OS has a unique look about it, as the user interface has been customised by Samsung. The Samsung tinkering sees the manufacturer pre-loading several apps of its own creation.
Update: Samsung is about to release a free update to Android Marshmallow for this phone.
S-Voice is Samsung’s voice assistant and this can be set to have a user-chosen wake-up command. S Planner handles your calender needs and reminders, while Smart Stay prevents the screen back light from turning off when you are looking at the display.
|About Android Marshmallow|
Samsung has also included its Download Booster, which downloads files larger than 30MB faster, by using Wi-Fi and the phone network’s 3G or 4G data signal simultaneously.
Google’s Android Lollipop OS offers its own pre-loaded apps, such as the Chrome web browser, Gmail, Maps for use with GPS, Play Music, Play Movies & TV, Drive cloud storage and YouTube.
Camera & Video
Photography - Quick Launch
Spontaneity and photography go hand-in-hand and Samsung’s Quick Launch features sees a double tap on the home key, opening the camera in under a second, for spur of the moment photography.
Both the 13MP main camera and the 5MP selfie camera have a f/1.9 aperture to help capture clear images in low light. Auto and Pro modes exist, along with Panorama, Continuous Shot, HDR and 1080p video recording.
|Best selfie smartphones|
The selfie camera has a Wide Selfie mode and this can be used to capture groups of people or more of the background. Just like panorama on the main camera, the user simply needs to pan from left to right to capture a wide panoramic image.
For better selfie photography, the shutter can be activated with a hand gesture or voice command, such as ‘Smile’, ‘Cheese’, ‘Capture’ or ‘Shoot’.
The 2,300mAh battery is well-sized for the 4.7” screen and will provide for up to 15 hours of internet browsing, 14 hours of video playback or up to 58 hours of audio playback.
As with all Samsung phones, the Samsung Galaxy A3 2016 has Power Saving and Ultra Power Saving Modes. There is also an App Power Saving feature that automatically disables apps that are using excessive battery power in the background.
Final thoughts: The Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016) will win the hearts of budget buyers, thanks to its use of premium materials. For those who are looking for a little more, read the Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) review.
Written by: Michael Brown