Samsung Galaxy A3 review

Samsung has adopted a premium design for its A3 handset. We went hands on with the handset to see if its performance can match its looks.
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Samsung Galaxy A3 review

The Samsung Galaxy A3 is a good-looking smartphone that’s perfect for taking and sharing photos with family and friends. And the phone will keep going as long as you do thanks to an impressive battery life. But does Samsung’s premium new design make up for its awkward software? Let’s take a look.

THE BEST BITS

  • Two good cameras let you share fantastic photos
  • Chic new design looks amazing
  • A beautiful screen helps you to enjoy more
  • Impressive battery life so you can play all day

HOW IT LOOKS

The design of the Samsung Galaxy A3 really stands out. Its body is made from a single piece of metal, so it looks and feels smooth, modern and really well built. And it’ll easily slip into your pocket or bag as it’s one of the slimmest smartphones ever.

It’s not just super slim, but generally pretty small. That makes it fit comfortably in your palm. The reason it’s such a good size is its 4.5 inch screen. We think that’s about the perfect screen size if you’re looking for a phone that you can use with one hand. And Samsung has always made great screens, so the one on the Galaxy A3 shows everything you do in stunning quality. It’s bright, colourful and full of detail so whether you want to watch a movie, read a book or play a game, you’ll really enjoy it. We think it’s the best screen you can get for the price.

HOW IT WORKS

The Galaxy A3 runs the Android KitKat operating system, Google’s mobile software. It means that you get instant access to Google’s great apps, like Google Maps for navigation and Gmail for emails, and you can browse more than a million apps and games on the Google Play Store. So you’ll be able to find endless uses for the phone, from planning a holiday with the Kayak app to reading a book on the Kindle app.

Android also gives you a simple walk through to get the phone set up. It makes it effortless to start using the phone quickly and do things like set up your emails.

But after that, things get a little more complicated. That’s because Samsung customises Android with its own TouchWiz software, which changes how the phone works. It can be hard finding the settings you need, like when you want to change your background or ringtone, because Samsung’s menus feel cluttered. There seems to be too many options and not enough order to them.

CAMERA

But Samsung did get the camera right. You can easily open it up from the lock screen thanks to a little shortcut in the bottom right corner. That means you can start taking photos in seconds so you never miss a moment. And whether you shoot selfies with the front camera or pictures of the family with the back camera, the photos you take look brilliant. That’s because the front camera has a sharp 5MP resolution, more than double the resolution of a HD TV, while the back camera takes that all the way up to 8MP. And the colours in your photos look natural, which adds to the high detail to create lifelike images.

HOW IT RUNS

If you like games or books, the Galaxy A3 is great for keeping you entertained. Because the screen’s so sharp, everything looks great, and the phone’s fast enough to run top games smoothly. But if you like watching movies or listening to music with the volume turned up, you’re not going to be impressed by the Galaxy A3’s speaker. It’s not very loud and things don’t sound very clear.

But whatever you do on your phone, you won’t have to worry about battery life with the Galaxy A3. It’s not got the biggest battery for a phone its size, but it does last a surprisingly long time. You can happily use the phone all day without worrying about the battery going flat before you get home.

OUR VERDICT

We really like the Samsung Galaxy A3. It looks good, has a decent camera and an impressive battery life. It’s not perfect, but it’s not far off? We think it’s one of the best phones you can get for the price but if you want something with a slightly bigger screen, check out the Samsung Galaxy A5.

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