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.

  • I'm worried if it's getting updates later on the line.
  • Even the original A3 which launched in late 2014 with KitKat got updated to Lollipop and then Marshmallow.
    So these guys will also get at least 2 major OS updates.
  • My dad has the 2016 model. It's currently on 6.0.1 Marshmallow on the November patch. It's getting December if they kept its consistency. You're not exactly getting timely updates with these phones, but for security updates, until recently, it's been pretty speedy.
  • Oh wow what an amazing phone,water n dust resistant?
  • Looks solid, but fast-charging over USB-C is somewhat concerning to me. Is it a new standard that makes use of Power Delivery or is it the older QC 2.0-based standard?
  • Note 7 and Galaxy C9 Pro have QQC2.0 over USB-C, not even QQC3.0. I'm as sure as I can be that QQC4.0, which makes it compatible with USB Power Delivery, won't be available until the Snapdragon 830 series chips.
  • See, that makes me concerned. After Jerry's HTC 10, botched USB-C implementations and Google's updated guidelines on proprietary standard via USB-C, I would expect major OEMs to start making their standards tie-in with USB Power Delivery sooner rather than later.
  • they need 7.0.1 - this cycle is nasty too much clutter and saturation.
  • Launching with Android marshmallow in 2017? Samsung, WTH?
  • I'm worried they are releasing more phones before they figure out what caused the Note 7 incident
  • So Samsung should just stop trying to make money . And who says they don't already know what happened to the note 7^^
  • They have figured out what caused it. They've concluded their investigation and are preparing to announce their findings soon:
  • I love the new water and dust resistance! That's something many phones really need! Would definitely purchase the A5 just because of the screen size. The 16mp selfie camera really says a lot about how society goes about their lives. I really hope the day never comes when the front camera is better than the rear. A droid a day keeps the Apple away
  • Vivo is going to launch a phone with dual front cameras :/
  • As is Oppo. The F3 Plus.
  • "I really hope the day never comes when the front camera is better than the rear." Oppo F1. It has already happened.
  • Vivo V5. HTC One M8 even, in some situations according to certain reviewers.
  • Water and dust resistance is the new midrange standard in 2017?
  • Looks nice would like to but the a3 in my phone rotation. In blue please
  • It's good to see Samsung brining these cool specs down to midrange phones. The A5 seems pretty cool just wish it was a 4.7 inch display.
  • My 5.1 s7 is smaller then my 4.7 htc m8 don't think you'll notice the difference
  • Exactly
  • I know mega pixels aren't everything, but isn't it odd the midrange devices usually have higher mega pixel cameras than the flagship, especially the front facing camera. I'd assume these don't handle low light nearly as well, but the average consumer still thinks more megapixels is better.
  • They'll handle low light about as well as my note 5 16 mag . Which is pretty good but not as good as the s7
  • They sound/look very promising. What about prices?
  • I think there all under $400
  • Thanks.
  • Will any of these phones come to the US?
  • Looks pretty good. But Samsung had better price it right. This could be very competitive.
  • Nice offerings. I'd consider a A5 or A7, depending on the prices and availability in Canada..
  • You guys up north get killed over your taxes good luck
  • Yeah... I probably should look at picking up an S7 before it gets discontinued.
  • I guess mooses up North Canada has gone eating too much taxes 😂