Samsung launches new phone line with lots of selfie features

Samsung launches new phone line with lots of selfie features

SINGAPORE - Samsung today showed off its newest line of smartphones - the Galaxy A series. Packed with plenty of features to help the user take that perfect selfie, the line is aimed squarely at the young and young-at-heart.

The Galaxy A3, A5, A7 smartphones (Samsung appends "4G" behind all the monikers, presumably so that users won't forget that these phones work on the 4G network) pack a 4.5-inch, 5-inch, and 5.5-inch screen respectively, and sport slim, full-metal bodies.

To help you create that perfect selfie, the phones have 5-megapixel front cameras and a host of selfie features.

The Wide Selfie feature - where you pan the phone and capture more friends or scenery to your sides - is not new, it was already on the Galaxy Note 4 last year. With the Palm Selfie feature, the phone can take the picture two seconds after you show your palm to it - I'm tempted to call this the "talk to the hand" feature. The Animated Selfie feature takes up to 20 pictures and combines them into an animated GIF that you can send to friends.

The most interesting selfie feature is Beauty Face, which lets you choose how much you want the phone to "smoothen" your skin, slim your face, and enlarge your eyes - practically making you prettier - in real time. I'm sure the ladies will love this feature.

I tried out the Beauty Face feature and am glad to report that "slimming the face" actually works - I looked like I lost 10kg when I pushed it to the extreme! (maybe the fact that I held the phone at a certain angle helped too?)

With the Beauty Face feature, maybe we'll see more bloggers post selfies and proudly claim that they are "un-photoshopped"?

My quick impression from briefly handling the phones: They were slim and light, and the texture nice to the touch. The Super AMOLED screens were bright and vibrant.

The phones run on Android 4.4.4 (Kit Kat) and weigh 110g to 141g. Samsung says that the A7, at 6.3mm, is the thinnest Galaxy smartphone to date.

The A3 and A5 will be available in five colours - Pearl White, Midnight Black, Platinum Silver, Champagne Gold, and Soft Pink. The A7 will come only in Pearl White and Midnight Black (probably because those are more "classy"?).

The black and white A3s and A5s will be in stores this Friday. The other colours will be available in February. The A3 will sell for $448 without contract, while the A5 will go for $598. Samsung says that the A7 will be available this quarter, but has yet to announce a price.

sinsh@sph.com.sg

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