Flashback: a look back at the best Samsung Galaxy A phones through the years

Samsung constructed up the Galaxy A sequence as a well-liked line of premium mid-rangers. This week we noticed three new additions, however to understand how far the sequence has come we have to look back to the starting. We already examined the very starting of the line, the Galaxy Alpha, which needed to the smooth and trendy as an alternative of a options earlier than appears to be like model flagship like the Galaxy S5.

We’re not going to cowl each single A-series cellphone, as an alternative we’ll attempt to verify in on the extra fascinating fashions. We will see that they refined the Alpha formulation – that was a bit extra model over substance for many Samsung followers, so the firm shifted the stability in direction of extra worth.

We see that in the Samsung Galaxy A7. At simply 6.3mm thick, it was thinner than even the Alpha (6.7mm). Its metallic body and 5.5″ 1080p Super AMOLED show made it stand out in opposition to run of the mill mid-rangers. In our review we described it as an inexpensive different to the Galaxy Note4 for individuals who had no want for a stylus. Getting in comparison with a Note implies that the A7 actually managed to promote its premium picture.

Samsung Galaxy A7
Samsung Galaxy A8

Samsung Galaxy A7 • Samsung Galaxy A8

However, it was the Galaxy A8 that was Samsung’s thinnest smartphone as much as that time – it measured solely 5.9 mm thick. It had an expansive 5.7″ Super AMOLED show, as giant as the Galaxy Note of that 12 months, but its skinny metallic body was fairly gentle. It could have lacked an S Pen, however it was extra inexpensive than the Galaxy Note5 and had a microSD slot, which the Note5 didn’t.

Yes, Samsung has been yanking then restoring the reminiscence card slot on Notes for over 5 years now.

The following 12 months added an additional step to the A-series ladder, the Galaxy A9 (2016). It was the largest premium smartphone that Samsung had made as much as that time – its large 6.0″ screen dwarfed even the Galaxy Note5 (5.7″).

There was a Pro mannequin, which upgraded the digital camera from 13MP to 16MP and the battery from 4,000 mAh to five,000mAh. Both variations have been powered by the Snapdragon 652, which was certainly one of the first chipsets to function the beefy Cortex-A72 CPU core.

Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016)
Samsung Galaxy A9 Pro (2016)

Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016) • Samsung Galaxy A9 Pro (2016)

The Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016) needed to accept reusing the Snapdragon 615 chipset of the 2015 mannequin, although the variations in the Exynos received a completely different chip. We can spend a number of paragraphs detailing the variations between the 20nm Exynos 5430 Octa on the outdated cellphone and the 28nm Exynos 7580 Octa on the new mannequin, however for the functions of this text suffice it to say that it was not a straight improve.

Samsung had a goal with the Galaxy A7 (2016) – a significantly well-liked group of 5.5″ phones from Chinese manufacturers that have been consuming into its market share. We assume that explains most of its strangeness, it was constructed to a explicit set of options.

The Galaxy A8 (2016) was a nearer to a high-end gadget, nonetheless. It used the Exynos 7420, the flagship chipset of the Galaxy S6 from the 12 months earlier than. It had a giant 5.7″ Super AMOLED show like the authentic A8, although apart from the chipset the upgrades have been pretty minor.

Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016)
Samsung Galaxy A8 (2016)

Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016) • Samsung Galaxy A8 (2016)

The following 12 months Samsung shaved the prime off the A-series – the Galaxy A7 (2017) was as excessive because it received. It had a 5.7″ Super AMOLED show and an Exynos 7880 chipset. And whereas that may sound like an improve over the 7420, it’s not. It had solely Cortex-A53 cores, so this was not a appropriate substitute for the A8 (2016).

This brings us to the 2018 sequence, which scored a couple of digital camera firsts. The Galaxy A9 (2018) was the first cellphone in the world with 4 cameras on the back: 24MP large, 8MP ultrawide, 10 MP 2x telephoto and 5MP depth sensor.

You can take a look at camera samples from our overview. Image high quality had points, the important digital camera by no means fairly delivered sharp photographs with well-balanced colours. Still, should you needed a telephoto digital camera on a Samsung in 2018 your selections have been a Galaxy S9+, a Note8 or an A9.

There was additionally the Galaxy A8s (which offered as A9 Pro in South Korea), however we’ll skip this one over due to its restricted availability. We will word that the A8s was Samsung’s first cellphone with a punch gap selfie digital camera, which turned a staple of the S sequence a few months later. Around this time there have been a few China-only A-series phones, however we do not need to get off monitor.

Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)
Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018)
Samsung Galaxy A8s

Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) • Samsung Galaxy A8s

The Galaxy A7 (2018) dropped the telephoto lens, however a triple digital camera on a mid-ranger was nonetheless pretty uncommon back then. Also, this one had an Exynos 7885 chipset – regardless of a mannequin quantity that’s solely 5 factors away from A7 (2017)’s chipset, this one packed a couple of high-performance Cortex-A73 cores and upgraded to next-generation Mali-G71 GPU. It was a chipset far more befitting a excessive finish cellphone.

Next is certainly one of the extra distinctive entries of the Galaxy A sequence – the Galaxy A80 from early 2019. It is thus far the solely Samsung to make use of a flip up digital camera. The flip up mechanism was house to Samsung’s first 48MP digital camera, which was joined by an 8MP ultrawide shooter and a 3D Time of Flight sensor.

The 6.7″ Super AMOLED panel was dubbed a “New Infinity Display” by advantage of not having an irksome notch or punch gap. Also, this was certainly one of the first Samsungs to assist 25W quick charging (the battery had 3,070 mAh capability).

Samsung Galaxy A80
Samsung Galaxy A90 5G

Samsung Galaxy A80 • Samsung Galaxy A90 5G

We cannot end our overview with out mentioning the Galaxy A90 5G. It was the first A-phone with 5G connectivity, one thing the sequence is scuffling with in 2021 (two of the three new A-phones this week have been 4G). Also, this one was powered by the Snapdragon 855. Not dangerous for a mid-ranger, huh?

The A-series has produced some distinctive units over the years, but additionally a few much less spectacular examples. We assume that the 2018 and 2019 fashions is when the sequence discovered its footing by exhibiting its experimental nature.

We know we rushed through half a decade of cellphone launches – this was simply an outline. Some of those phones deserve a devoted Flashback article, we definitely need to revisit the Galaxy A80 once more (and we need to see a sequel much more). Which one is your favourite A-series cellphone?

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