Samsung unveils Galaxy A 2017 series, adds water resistance and 16MP cameras

Samsung has unveiled the 2017 refresh of the Galaxy A series. The Galaxy A3 2017, A5 2017, and A7 2017 will be up for sale in Russia and select Asian markets starting later this month, followed by availability in Europe in February. There are a lot of interesting additions in this year's refresh, but three features stand out: IP68 water resistance, USB-C connectivity, and 16MP front and rear cameras.

With IP68 certification — the same rating as the Galaxy S7 — the Galaxy A series are immune to the ingress of dust, and can survive in up to 5 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. There's also USB-C with Fast Charging, microSD card slot, NFC with support for Samsung Pay and an always-on display mode for viewing the time and calendar without switching on the screen. All three models are launching with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow and not Nougat.

The phones also sport 16MP front and rear cameras with faster autofocus and better performance in low-light conditions. You can enable a floating camera shutter button that lets you take selfies with ease, and the display itself lights up (serving as a front-facing flash module) when you're taking selfies.

As for the design, the Galaxy A 2017 series phones retain a metal and glass design, although the glass at the back is curvier when seen against previous models. The other major alteration is the speaker griller, which has been moved to the right hand side.

The Galaxy A3 2017 features a 4.7-inch 720p display, octa-core SoC clocked at 1.6GHz, 2GB of RAM, 16GB storage, and a 2350mAh battery. Being the entry-level model, it doesn't get the 16MP cameras, instead, you'll have to make do with a 13MP shooter at the back and an 8MP camera up front.

The Galaxy A5 2017 fares better with a 5.2-inch Full HD display, 3GB of RAM, 32GB storage, octa-core SoC clocked at 1.9GHz, and a 3000mAh battery. The Galaxy A7 2017 has the same specs as the A5, with the main differences being a larger 5.7-inch Full HD display and a 3600mAh battery.

The Galaxy A 2017 series phones will be available in four color options: Black Sky, Gold Sand, Blue Mist and Peach Cloud. What do you guys make of Samsung's new mid-range phones?

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.