Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) review: Bite-sized

Bite-sized

GSMArena team, 16 January 2017.

Telephony

The Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) comes in single-SIM and dual-SIM flavors (we have the single-SIM version). There's no indication that the phone supports VoLTE.

Dialer - Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) review Call log - Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) review All contacts - Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) review In-call screen - Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) review
Dialer • Call log • All contacts • In-call screen

There's native support for blocking incoming calls - you can block specific numbers and all anonymous calls.

Blocking unwanted calls - Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) review More call settings - Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) review
Blocking unwanted calls • More call settings

Loudspeaker

The loudspeaker on the Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) is in an unusual position, but you're unlikely to block it (at least not unintentionally). It posted a Good mark, matching the Galaxy S7 and iPhone 7. The audio is clean even at max volume, but the speaker needs the right sound to be loud - for music it's closer to average loudness.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Sony Xperia X Compact 64.1 65.1 69.5 Below Average
Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime 63.1 67.3 71.3 Average
Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) 66.1 66.9 75.5 Good
Samsung Galaxy S7 69.5 69.3 71.1 Good
Apple iPhone 7 67.6 73.2 75.7 Good
Huawei nova 69.2 71.9 80.6 Very Good
Huawei Mate 9 83.1 74.5 85.0 Excellent

Messaging and text input

Samsung preloaded its own Messaging app to handle SMS/MMS instead of using Google's Allo (which isn't even available out of the box). The app has a clean but powerful interface, much of its functionality hides behind a slide-out menu on the right.

This menu lets you view all photos (or even general attachments) in a conversation, sort of like a two-person gallery. You can also insert canned responses, block numbers (or just mute notifications for the contact) as well as pin the conversation thread so it's always on top.

Threaded view - Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) review Chatting with Dee Dee - Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) review Slide-out menu - Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) review
Threaded view • Chatting with Dee Dee • Slide-out menu

You can insert smilies and photos, similar to popular chat apps (except that files are sent over MMS).

Attachments: Smilies - Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) review Attachments: Photos - Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) review
Attachments: Smilies • Photos

The Samsung Keyboard handles text input. It can be heavily customized - you can resize it (in height and width), hide the number row and add additional symbols (punctuation on long key press).

Samsung Keyboard: Portrait - Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) review Samsung Keyboard: Landscape - Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) review Samsung Keyboard: Resizing - Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) review
Samsung Keyboard: Portrait • Landscape • Resizing

Swipe input can be tasked with one of two tasks - move the cursor or text input. A High contrast mode is available for people with poor eyesight.

Swipe input - Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) review High contrast mode - Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) review
Swipe input • High contrast mode

Other apps

Samsung's S Health is available and it can track your walks/runs and your sleep. With help from the right accessory, it can track a lot more - it works with Samsung's activity trackers, of course, but you can connect heart rate monitors, bike sensors, smart scales, even blood pressure and glucose monitors. Both Bluetooth 4.0 LE and ANT+ accessories are available.

For those who need motivation, you can challenge a friend and compete to win virtual crowns. You also get a global leaderboard so you know where you stand. S Health can cooperate with a number of third-party apps (from Withings and others).

S Health: Main screen - Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) review S Health: Leaderboard - Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) review S Health: Tracked stats - Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) review S Health: Compatible accessories - Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) review
S Health: Main screen • Leaderboard • Tracked stats • Compatible accessories

The Calendar starts in a split-screen view - dates go on top, events on the bottom.

Calendar - Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) review Calendar - Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) review Calendar - Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) review
Calendar

The File manager shows the most recent files by default and supports basic folder operations as well as compression.

File browser - Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) review File browser - Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) review File browser - Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) review File browser - Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) review
File browser

Finally, there's Galaxy Apps, an alternative source of apps. A number of Samsung apps are available here, including ones not pre-installed on the Galaxy A3 (2017). You can also find freebies and exclusives here.

Galaxy Apps - Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) review Galaxy Apps - Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) review Galaxy Apps - Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) review Galaxy Apps - Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) review
Galaxy Apps

Reader comments

  • Anonymous

That's totally true today you won't become an Ip68 Waterproof or any metal on your phone just plastic I used the A5 2016 and A3 2016 they're so good

  • Economist

That phone is the best midranger, compared to the 2020 A-series. New A-series are useless crap made to work not more than a year. A3 2017 was one of the last reliable samsung phones. I hope one day samsung will start producing useful and practical ph...

  • Anonymous

Replace the battery?