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article imageSamsung refreshes Galaxy phones for India, adds a worse display

By James Walker     Jul 12, 2016 in Technology
Samsung has announced new versions of its India-exclusive Galaxy On5 and Galaxy On7 Android smartphones. The budget-oriented devices are designed to appeal to the masses in one of the world's largest emerging digital markets.
As SamMobile reports, listings for the Galaxy On5 Pro and Galaxy On7 Pro went live on Amazon India yesterday. The new phones are exclusive to India and replace the Galaxy On5 and Galaxy On7 respectively. Rather than append "2016" to the name, Samsung has opted to brand these devices as "Pro," even though they offer little greater performance.
The design is a basic iteration over last year's models, based around classic Samsung looks. The metal sides give the phones a more premium feel than their price suggests. Below the display, capacitive multitasking and back keys flank a physical home button. Around the back, the 8MP (13MP for On7 Pro) primary camera protrudes slightly from the phone's casing, accompanied by a small LED flash.
Samsung Galaxy On5 Pro / On7 Pro
Samsung Galaxy On5 Pro / On7 Pro
Samsung / Amazon
To set the phones apart from their predecessors, Samsung has changed the display. The new panel could be seen as a downgrade though. The 5-inch 720p (5.5-inch for the On7 Pro) display is now based on LCD technology, rather than the crisper and brighter AMOLED of the original On5 and On7. The move will help to keep costs down at the expense of screen quality, potentially turning consumers away from the range.
Underneath the basic display, Samsung has used low-end processors to further reduce prices. The On5 Pro uses Samsung's own Exynos 3475 silicon. The On7 Pro is based on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 410. There's 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, a modest amount for modern devices.
Samsung Galaxy On5 Pro / On7 Pro
Samsung Galaxy On5 Pro / On7 Pro
Samsung / Amazon
Both phones will come preinstalled with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. The Galaxy On5 Pro and Galaxy On7 Pro are available in black and gold and cost Rs. 9190 (around $140) and Rs. 11,190 (around $170) respectively. They are available now from Amazon India.
Samsung's motivation for updating the On5 and On7 appears to be an attempt to introduce more Indian consumers to its brand through the launch of a budget-focused device. India is one of the world's fastest growing digital markets and a key area of competition for smartphone manufacturers, both local and international.
Samsung Galaxy On5 Pro / On7 Pro
Samsung Galaxy On5 Pro / On7 Pro
Samsung / Amazon
However, at $140, these devices are still prohibitively expensive for many people in the country. Additionally, the On5 Pro and On7 Pro offer little extra functionality to Indian consumers than any of Samsung's other devices, some of which are already sold in India. Samsung has added an Ultra Data Saving mode to save on costly data plans but otherwise the phones are fairly standard handsets.
Eighteen months ago, Samsung committed to "streamlining" its smartphone line-up in an attempt to reduce consumer confusion. After flooding the market with almost identical mid-range devices, it was forced to realise that less can sometimes be more. While the pledge held up throughout 2015, it looks like Samsung could be returning to its old approach of numerous regional devices. Last week, it updated its Galaxy J line-up, a series of mid-range phones that are also relatively unknown.
More about Samsung, Smartphones, Android, samsung galaxy, India
 
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