SINGAPORE - Samsung has upgraded its mid-range Galaxy A series smartphones with better cameras, and added new features such as water and dust resistance.
The Samsung Galaxy A (2017) will retail from Jan 21 for $648 while the Galaxy A5 (2017) is priced at $548.
With a metal frame, curved glass back and a front home button that also works as a fingerprint sensor, these new smartphones look very much like the Samsung Galaxy S7. They even have some of the S7's features, like the always-on display that show the clock or calendar even when the screen is turned off.
In a first for the Galaxy A series, these devices, like the S7, are certified to be resistant to water and dust with an IP68 rating. Also new to these phones is the reversible USB Type-C port for charging and data.
The 5.7-inch Galaxy A7 and the 5.2-inch GalaxyA5 are equipped with 16-megapixel front and rear cameras. The improved front camera takes better-looking selfies.To make it easier to take selfies, the camera app also has a new floating camera button that can be moved to any location on the screen.
Both models come with an expandable microSD slot (up to 256GB) and a 1,920 x 1,080-pixel Super Amoled screen.
In terms of processing power, the A7 and A5 sport a 1.9GHz octa-core processor with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage.
Despite the hardware upgrades, the Galaxy A series is still running Android 6.0.1 (Marshmallow) and not the latest Android 7.0 Nougat. Samsung declined to reveal when the phones will be updated to Nougat.
The phones are available in black, gold and pink. A new, glossy black variant of the Galaxy S7 edge smartphone will also start selling from Jan 7. It comes with 128GB of internal storage and costs $1,198.