Here is a review of the Samsung Galaxy A3 2016
smartphone. I hope it can help you decide what smartphone to buy next! I clearly remember buying this device in a hurry at Orange, the nearest phone provider store, after my previous phone had died on me. I've now had it for approximately 7 months. My situation was simple: I needed a fully functional smartphone as soon as possible, and my wallet was not in a very agreeable mood, to say the least. Putting aside all the salesman pitch, I wandered around the store to eventually pick this one. I needed an Android device, so I chose Samsung: their past products usually provided a good user experience. And this model was at least 2 or 3 times cheaper than the other smartphones of the same level.
Battery Life & Charging
I have to say, I did not believe at first that this phone could (as proclaimed by Samsung
) last more than 10 hours doing pretty much anything. My past experiences led me to believe that such claims are not to be believed in most cases. Yet, this model proved to me it was not always like that. Simply, I can do anything I like with this phone: call for hours, spend time on the Internet, listen to music, etc. without having to charge him. The phone can sometimes take up to more than an hour to recharge completely, but it really is a small price to pay for the hours of content a full battery can unlock
. If like me, you tend to forget to close applications and let them run in the background, you'll be happy to find a phone allowing you to get away with it.
Performance & Design
I've never had any problem watching HD videos or playing games, sometimes even switching between several applications running at the same time. The screen is responsive and as long as you're not counting frames, I'm willing to bet you don't need more. The Android OS really allows the user to take (if he wants to) full advantage of the power this little device can muster. Although it may not seem like much compared to other smartphones, the A3 does everything the every-man can expect from a portable connected device
The design suits what most customers expect from the Samsung A line. Still, it has nothing to envy from its big brother
, the A5. Smooth and sober, while remaining modern, the design is clearly the first thing that drew my attention. The other features just made sure to seal the deal. Alas, even this model has flaws
, as I soon discovered when a few friends of mine took it in their hands. I will come back to it shortly. I should mention that even though I chose the black version, the other colors had a beautiful finish as well.
Strength & Durability
There always is a progression when I get a new phone. At first, I take great care of it. Then, as time passes by, I take for granted that it's taken care of. Which means I forget it's in my back pocket when I sit down. Which means I will put it in an open pocket while listening to music and sadly look at the screen after it has fallen, hoping it's not shattered.
Suffice to say my expectations were met: even after this rough treatment, there is not a dent on the outside, not a single crack on the screen
(nice to see Samsung learns from what irritates most buyers). The phone is not bent, even after sitting on it. Now, I have not tested throwing it out the window, and I won't: as many smartphones, it still is inherently fragile. Still, I have to admit this phone is pretty resistant. After 7 months of daily abuse, it remains in the same shape as the day I bought it.
A step down from a hard-drive
One of the very best features of the Samsung Galaxy A3 2016 has to be the ability to multiply its memory by 9
(by adding a 128GB MicroSD card, going from the original 16GB to 144GB). Some will say it's one more thing to buy, but none will question if it is worth it. As someone always recording stuff, be it memos or videos, it's very convenient. And don't get me started on how much average-quality music files you can keep on it.
Compact & All-in-one
Samsung really made this device an affordable and lightweight version of its bigger and pricier siblings
. The word is to only cut down on the very high-end features that most people won't ever use on their smartphones, to make a light (132g) and affordable version of them. It keeps all the fun and gets rid of the unnecessary, in my opinion. Fast CPU, great screen, a reasonably low price, fast connection, etc. Did I mention (as someone who never takes photographs) that every time I launch the Camera I remind myself that I should use it more? At the end of the day, using the A3 is a versatile and fun experience that never gets frustrating.
As I mentioned earlier, one of the first impressions my friends got when they touched the device was how slippery
it can be. The finish, while nice to look at, makes it difficult for the phone to stay in place while in your hand
. It often resulted in me having to hold it two-handed, and eventually in me buying a leather cover. I previously stated the A3 is solid: true, but if the phone can slip out of every pocket you put it in, it's bound to fall and break eventually.
Not adapted for high-end users
As much as I love using this phone on a daily basis, I've come to realize what makes this phone great is also one of its greatest weakness: as a mid-range phone, it packs a good punch regarding basic features, but totally leaves out what a demanding high-end user might want
. I'm a casual video-game player, very interested in Virtual Reality. As I explained in the introduction, I did not buy this particular device to achieve such things, yet I sometimes find myself envious of friends that waited to buy pricier – and more capable – phones.
The Galaxy A3 2016 is, in my opinion, one of the most interesting pieces of technology 2016 has brought forth
. My experience with it has been nothing but pleasant so far, and the minor flaws it presents are wonderfully compensated by the attractive price, the design, the speed and the battery life. It's as if someone tried to sum up all the qualities of modern smartphones, before putting them into an actual device: I love it not only for its concept but also its simplicity. The A3 does well to avoid many traps so many other models easily fall into these days, and if you can forgive its few quirks, as I did, it will surely become a convenient and effective tool in your every-day life. I'm excited to learn Samsung has already released a 2017 version of the A3, and if the 2016 standards are respected or enhanced, I can't wait to get my hands on it. As I bought the device and went out of the store, it was raining cats and dogs outside. As a no-nonsense kind of person, I knew I would love this phone the moment I realized I had already everything I needed inside before I even reached my doorstep.
Overall Rating: 9/10