Samsung's new Galaxy A (2016) phones add Samsung Pay and other perks

The mid-range to low-end A7, A5, and A3 all return with feature enhancements

We can ooh and aah about Samsung's top phones, which currently lead our list of the best smartphones in the world right now, but not everyone wants to spend big on a flagship. Luckily, the company has just updated its lower-end options.

The Galaxy A (2016) line updates the Galaxy A7, Galaxy A5, and Galaxy A3 devices with updated design and various new perks, depending on model. All three were introduced about a year ago, although this summer's absurdly thin Galaxy A8 doesn't get an update this time around.

All three of the new Galaxy A phones look a fair bit like the Galaxy S6, although they're lower-specced than Samsung's flagships. Both the 5.5in A7 (up top) and 5.2in A5 (below) have 1080p displays, a 1.6Ghz octa-core processor, and newly added optical image stabilisation for the 13-megapixel back cameras, among other features.

Both also ship with 16GB storage, but have a leg up on Samsung's recent flagships: microSD support for cards up to 128GB. The A7 edges out its smaller sibling on RAM, though, 3GB to 2GB. Th devices also both offer fast charging, with a 3,300mAh battery on the A7 and 2,900mAh on the smaller A5.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy A3 is cut down in nearly every significant way: the 4.7in display is just 720p, plus it lacks a fingerprint sensor and Samsung Pay support, has no optical image stabilisation for its 13MP back camera, and has only a 1.5Ghz quad-core processor with 1.5GB RAM. At least you can still use a microSD card to boost past its 16GB internal storage.

Unfortunately, all three ship with Android 5.1 Lollipop, and there's no assurance in today's announcement that the devices will eventually be upgraded to Android 6.0 Marshmallow. That's disappointing, but if you're buying a mid-range handset, we suppose the expectations are looser.

No word yet on how much Samsung will actually charge for these devices, but the company plans to release them in China mid-month before expanding availability elsewhere in the world.

[Source: Samsung]