Samsung Galaxy A5 and A3

A couple of beautiful devices that offer up Samsung's new design on the cheap

If it wasn't clear at this point, Samsung is taking its new metal design seriously and expanding it throughout its new lineup — including these two new additions, the Galaxy A3 and A5. These budget-focused models are hitting India and Asia at low price points, but bring competitive specs, nice style and many of Samsung's trademark features and software.

The A5 comes in with a comfortable 5-inch 720x1280 AMOLED display, while the A3 has a smaller 4.5-inch 540x960 display of the same type. Aside from that they feel very similar, with both coming in under 7mm in thickness thanks in part to a non-removable back plate and battery. They both still have expandable storage thanks to an SDcard slot on the side, though, and decent enough batteries of 2300 and 1900mAh.

Both the A3 and A5 come in black, grey, white and gold colors, with varying textures through the line depending on what works best for the style. No matter the color choice you're getting a metal frame with Samsung's now standard chamfered edges, accented by a few more shiny bits around the buttons and camera. The finger scanner and heart rate monitors are gone, but again remember that these are relatively low-end devices.

In my brief time with the pair I found the interface to be snappily running on the quad-core processors — paired with 2 or 1GB of RAM — though the software is missing a few of the higher-end features that you'll find on the Galaxy S and Note lines. But this is all about the feel and style coming to a lower price point, and in that arena Samsung seems to have knocked it out of the park — the A5 and A3 are incredibly thin and light, with nice looks to boot. Samsung has a pair of solid devices here that are sure to do well like the cheaper looking — and most importantly feeling — low-end devices of yesteryear.

Galaxy A5 photos

Galaxy A3 photos