Samsung shows off a new Galaxy A7 phablet for 2017, now with water resistance

Samsung has just announced several new mid-range smartphone releases slated for launch in just a few weeks. The most notable of the bunch is the 5.7-inch Galaxy A7 phablet, now boasting a refined design with certified water/dust resistance and Samsung Pay capabilities.

Samsung shows off a new Galaxy A7 phablet for 2017, now with water resistance

Rumors of the new Galaxy A series of smartphones have been leaking around the internet for weeks and it looks like what we have been hearing about these new premium mid-range phones is true. The Galaxy A features a premium metal frame and 3D glass back that mimics Samsung’s premium design found on its flagship models.

The Galaxy A7 is the most premium of the three devices, sporting a 5.7 FHD AMOLED display (1080×1920), 3GB RAM, and a pair of 16 megapixel f/1.9 cameras. Other models in the lineup include the Galaxy A3 with a 4.7 HD display and the A5 with a 5.2 FHD display. While all three phones feature similar metal designs, they vary rather dramatically in terms of size and specs.

All three phones have the same aluminum construction and glass back but feature different chipset and RAM configurations. The Galaxy A will come in four colors — Black Sky, Gold Sand, Blue Mist, and Peach Cloud — and will have an always-on display so you can see notifications and widgets at a glance.

Samsung’s Galaxy A7 will run on Android Marshmallow and be equipped with USB Type C and 32GB of storage that is expandable with help from a micro SD card. Other premium features will include a fingerprint scanner and MST technology for Samsung Pay.

Given what we have seen so far, the A7 could be shaping up to be an excellent phablet for mobile photographers. Samsung says these cameras are now more stable with an improved autofocus that gives clear photos in low-light conditions.

An improved user interface lets you tap anywhere on the screen to easily snap a high resolution 16MP selfie and turns the display into a light box for brighter pictures. The easy swipe feature quickly changes modes and filters for picture effect to optimize photos and enhance the color of images.

The Galaxy A7 announcement comes just weeks after LG took the wraps off their upcoming mid-range phablet, the LG Stylo 3, which is expected to launch at CES this month. Judging from the initial specs, water resistance and a 16MP f/1.9 camera put the A7 well ahead of the Stylus in terms of flagship features on a mid-range device.

In a statement Monday, Samsung’s mobile boss DJ Koh said the company is always looking to ensure its customers have the most advanced products on the market.

“The latest Galaxy A series is a testament to this,” says Koh. We integrated our unique approach to design as well as the features Galaxy customers have come to love to provide added performance without compromising on style.”

All three Galaxy A series smartphones begin rolling out in Russia in early January, followed by launches in additional markets, with price points rumored in the $300-450 range. This is a phablet we will be keeping our eyes on here in the United States for sure.

Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) Specifications

  • Network: LTE Cat.6 * May differ by markets and mobile operators
  • Display: 5.7” FHD Super AMOLED
  • AP: 1.9GHz Octa Core
  • OS: Android 6.0.16 (Marshmallow)
  • Camera Rear: 16MP (F1.9)
  • Camera Front: 16MP (F1.9)
  • Video: MPEG4, H.265(HEVC), H.264(AVC), H.263, VC-1, MP43, WMV7, WMV8, VP8, VP9
  • Audio: MP3, AAC LC/AAC+/eAAC+,AMR-NB, AMR-WB, WMA, FLAC, Vorbis, Opus
  • Additional features: MST technology(Samsung Pay), Samsung KNOX, S-Voice, Dual SIM option * Samsung Pay launches may vary by market-readiness
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth® v 4.2, ANT+, USB Type-C,NFC (UICC, eSE)
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Proximity, Geomagnetic, RGB Light, Fingerprint scanner, Barometer
  • IP Code: IP68
  • Memory: 3GB RAM + 32GB Storage. Micro SD slot (up to 256GB)
  • Dimensions: 156.8 x 77.6 x 7.9mm
  • Battery: 3,600mAh Fast Charging

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