​Samsung unwraps skinny, octacore, full-metal 5.5-inch Galaxy A7

New eight-core smartphone fills out Samsung's A-series line-up.

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The Samsung Galaxy A7. Image: Samsung

Samsung has followed up its full metal-bodied Galaxy A3 and A5 handsets with a slightly larger 5.5-inch sibling, the Galaxy A7.

The Galaxy A7 rounds out Samsung's line of Galaxy A-series smartphones, introduced last year, aimed at buyers who prefer metal over plastic, and "sophisticated design" over cutting-edge specs.

Looks-wise, the A7 is basically the same as the Galaxy A3 and A5, two nearly identical devices featuring full aluminum, unibody construction. The phones referenced design elements from the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Alpha, but lacked their higher-end specs and fell well short of any comparison to the iPhone 6.

Samsung has, however, given the A7 more grunt than the A3 and A5, both of which had 1.2GHz quadcore processors. Instead, the Galaxy A7 has an octacore processor, consisting of 1.8GHz quadcore and 1.3GHz quadcore processors, while the dual SIM variant has 1.5GHz and 1GHz quadcore processors.

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The A7's 5.5-inch HD super AMOLED display is on par with the A5's. Like its siblings, the A7 also comes with LTE Category 4, supporting download speeds of up to 150Mbps and uploads of 50Mbps to help consumers upload selfies tweaked with Samsung's 'wide selfie' or 'beauty face' features. Other key features include its 13-megapixel auto-focus front camera and five-megapixel rear camera.

The device also comes with 2GB RAM, 16GB of in-built storage, and a microSD slot on the side that supports up to 64GB additional memory. To support the larger screen and extra power, the phone comes with a 2600 mAh capacity battery. Notably, the A3 and A5 came with non-removable batteries.

The A7 is on the slim side: at 6.3mm deep, it's half a millimetre thinner than the iPhone 6 and slimmer than the A5 and A3. Still, it doesn't quite crack the Oppo R5's 4.85mm depth. Otherwise, the A7 weighs in at 141g with dimensions of 151mm long and 76.2 mm wide.

The Galaxy A7 is available in black, white, and gold and will ship with Android KitKat, though presumably it will get a Lollipop update at some point in the future.

The latest device from Samsung comes as the company attempts to deal with falling profits from its smartphone business and places greater emphasis on the Chinese and Indian markets. The A3 and A5 were both launched in China first, and got a second launch in India last week alongside the new mid-range Galaxy E5 and Galaxy E7.

Samsung hasn't said which markets Galaxy A7 will be available in, and hasn't given a release date yet.

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