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Samsung Galaxy A3 2017 vs Galaxy A3 2016: What’s the difference?

Samsung Galaxy A3 2017 vs Galaxy A3 2016: We compare the new version of Samsung’s Galaxy A3 mobile phone to last year’s model, to see what has been updated and what specs have changed.

Samsung’s Galaxy A Series handsets are a step down from its premium flagship phones like the Galaxy S7, but still offer some great specs and features for a more affordable price. They usually come in a range of sizes, indicated by their numerical values; the Galaxy A3 is the smallest, the Galaxy A5 sits in the middle and the Galaxy A7 is the biggest. The higher the number, the better the specs too – and the bigger the asking price.

Last year’s Galaxy A3 2016 was a solid all-round handset, and at 4.7-inches was pleasingly compact too. It’s now been refreshed in the form of the Samsung Galaxy A3 2017, but what’s the difference and how have the specs been changed? And should owners of the A3 2016 upgrade? Here’s our full comparison review.

For more info on the latest A Series phones, including UK price and release date, head over to our Galaxy A3, A5 and A7 2017 feature. Also check out our Galaxy A5 2017 vs Galaxy A5 2016 comparison review, to see how this year’s A5 stacks up against last year’s.

Read next: Galaxy A3 2017 vs Moto G4 Plus vs Lenovo P2 vs Xperia X Compact

Samsung Galaxy A3 2017 vs Galaxy A3 2016: Specs at a glance

Phone Galaxy A3 2016 Galaxy A3 2017
Screen size 4.7-inches 4.7-inches
Screen resolution 1280×720 1280×720
Water resistant? No Yes
Fingerprint sensor? No Yes
OS Android 6.0 Android 6.0
Processor Snapdragon 410 Octa-core 1.6GHz (TBC)
Memory 1.5GB 2GB
Storage 16GB 16GB
MicroSD? Yes (up to 256GB) Yes (up to 256GB)
Battery 2300mAh 2350mAh
USB Micro USB Type C
Rear camera 13MP (f/1.9) 13MP (f/1.9)
Front camera 5MP (f/1.9) 8MP (f/1.9)

Samsung Galaxy A3 2017 vs Galaxy A3 2016: What’s the difference?

A cursory glance at the specs chart above shows that there isn’t a massive amount of difference between the new Galaxy A3 2017 and last year’s model. They’re both 4.7-inch phones packing 720p HD Super AMOLED screens, for instance, so you can expect reasonably crisp and colourful visuals.

They also look very similar, rocking an attractive metal and glass design that’s reassuringly hardy as well as smart. However, the updated Galaxy A3 2017 is water resistant, so you can give it a dunking with no ill effects. The Galaxy A3 2016 would have met with an untimely demise.

Likewise, the new Galaxy A3 2017 boasts a fingerprint sensor built into the home button beneath the screen. This feature was missing from the 2016 version, so anyone tempted by quick and convenient security measures has a reason to upgrade.

We’re yet to receive confirmation from Samsung on the exact processor used in the Galaxy A3 2017, but the memory has been boosted to 2GB for a smoother, faster everyday experience. You can once again boost the meagre 16GB of storage with a memory card, adding a further 256GB if needed.

You get a 13-megapixel rear camera on the new 2017 edition of the Galaxy A3, just like on last year’s phone. The f/1.9 aperture lens on the front and rear cameras matches last year’s configuration, and we’re once again expecting the Galaxy A3 to struggle in low light. However, in most other conditions the A3 2017 should capture sharp, detailed snaps.

Meanwhile the selfie camera has been bumped from a 5-megapixel snapper to 8-megapixels, for greater clarity.

Battery life was already great on last year’s Galaxy A3, and the new A3 mobile only slightly increases the battery capacity. However, you now get a Type C USB port, for easier charging and faster data transfer.

We’ll be bringing you our full verdict on the Galaxy A3 2017’s performance, battery life and more in our fulk review.

Read next: Samsung Galaxy A3 2017 UK price, release date and pre-order info


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