Device maker Samsung on Wednesday unveiled updated versions of its mid-range Galaxy A line that include a more robust feature set without the premium cost.
“With the introduction of the Galaxy A (2016), we took the consumer feedback on our original Galaxy A models and made thoughtful and impactful improvements,” said Samsung’s IT and Mobile Business CEO JK Shin.
According to Samsung, the updated devices are aimed at a “wide range of consumers” in what is almost certainly an attempt to regain market share from up and coming competitors Xiaomi and Huawei. In October, a report from TrendForce forecast that Samsung may face its first ever year-over-year decline in smartphone shipments this year, with about a one percent dip expected. Conversely, Huawei is forecast to see a whopping 40 percent growth over its 2014 figures and Xiaomi is expected to achieve 14.6 percent growth in its annual shipment totals.
Expected to hit shelves in China in mid-December, the 2016 Galaxy A3, A5 and A7 will all come with AMOLED displays, a 13mp rear camera and a 5 mp front camera. The devices will also include a new quick launch feature for the camera, as well as new special effects for “selfie” shots.
The lineup comes in a range of screen sizes, including the A3’s 4.7-inch screen with 1,280×720 resolution, the A5’s 5.2-inch screen with a 1,920×1,080 display and the A7’s 5.5-inch screen with the same. The A5 and A7 will also both feature a 1.6GHz Octa Core processor, while the A3 will utilize a 1.5 GHz Quad Core. Both the A5 and the A7 will feature fast charging batteries, with a capacities of 3,300mAh and 2,900mAh, respectively, where the A3 will include a standard 2,300mAh battery.
All three devices will run on Android’s Lollipop 5.1 operating system and include 16GB of storage.
Interestingly, both the A5 and A7 will include support for Samsung Pay – and a fingerprint sensor for security – despite the fact that the mobile payment system is currently only available in the United States and South Korea.
Given the mid-December roll out date for the devices, the feature appears to support recent rumors that Samsung is planning to expand Samsung Pay to include China, the United Kingdom and Spain in the first quarter of 2016. Should the mobile payment system be rolled out in January, Samsung would beat Apple – which is reportedly aiming to launch Apple Pay in China by early February – to the Chinese market.
Either way, Samsung will likely prove to be stiff competition for Apple, as Samsung Pay’s flexible NFC-magstripe combination technology that allows payment virtually anywhere a credit card can be swiped.
Samsung Pay has already seen some success in the Asian market, handling more than 1.5 million transactions worth $30 million in the first month following its launch in South Korea.
According to a report from SamMobile, the A3 will cost around $350 and the A5 will run around $420. Pricing details for the A7 were not shared, but expectations put the cost at around just under $500.