Samsung has kicked off 2017 in style, with the release of two new and updated smartphones for its Galaxy A lineup. Though these phones are not flagship devices but the Korean behemoth has included features such as an improved camera, IP67 dust+water resistance, and enhanced performance. The phones will initially be made available in Russia in early-January.

The three A series smartphones that have been launched by Samsung today include — 5.7-inch A7 (costliest), 5.2-inch A5 (mid-range) and 4.7-inch A3 (cheapest). The prominent features that remain constant across all the devices start with the premium design and feel which is highlighted by its sleek metal frame and 3D glass back. These phones run on Android 6.0 Marshmallow and are available in a variety of color variants, namely Black Sky, Gold Sand, Blue Mist and Peach Cloud.

As for the internal specifications, the cheapest Galaxy A3 models features an octa-core 1.6Ghz processor coupled with  2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage. The Galaxy A5 and A7, on the other hand, pack in an octa-core 1.9Ghz processor along with a 3GB RAM and 32GB onboard storage. It also provides a microSD slot to enable storage expansion of up to 256GB.

The A3 hosts a 2,350mAh battery while the A5 and A7 pack a 3,000 mAh and 3,600 mAh battery respectively. The latter two also support fast charging technology, which enables the smartphones to charge to a higher percentage in no time.

The Galaxy A3 being the cheapest of the bunch hasn’t received a massive upgrade on the camera front. It packs a 13-megapixel rear camera along with a decent 8-megapixel front shooter for fulfilling your selfie requirements. The Galaxy A5 and A7 have been upgraded to include a combo of 16-megapixel rear and front cameras. They’ve been optimised to support a more accurate autofocus, low-light enhancements, and a cohort of modes, UI simplifications and add-on features.

On the connectivity front, all of three smartphones come packed with LTE Cat6, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2, ANT+, USB Type-C (moving past the widely popular microUSB) and NFC. But the biggest update in this low-lying series (as compared to flagships) comes in the form of IP68 water and dust resistance. This means that the A series smartphones can withstand elements, including rain, sweat, sand and dust.

Other features that have made their way into the Galaxy A series smartphones include Always-on display to instantly surface notifications & calendar updates at a glance; Samsung Pay to enable secure and fast mobile payment services (which shows the service is coming to India in the coming months, hopefully with the phone’s release).

Also, a Galaxy Note 7 feature has wiggled its way into this series — Secure Folders. It enables the user to compartmentalise files and apps that can only be accessed by you using a pattern, password or biometric authentication lock. This feature has been introduced to help you safely place important documents, such as passports, financial statements, credit card info, and others.

Speaking on the launch, DJ Koh, President of Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics, says,

At Samsung, we are always trying to ensure our customers have the most advanced products on the market. The latest Galaxy A series is a testament to this. We integrated our unique approach to design as well as the features Galaxy customers have come to love to provide added performance without compromising on style.

There is currently no information available on the pricing details as well as the availability of the devices globally. Samsung will launch the devices in Europe and India by the end of this month.

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