Why does Samsung keep doling out tens and tens of smartphone models a year if its declared new focus is on quality rather than quantity? It could be because not even the industry’s skipper knows what everybody wants, and so, constant experiments are seen as a way to stay ahead of the competition and on top of trend shifts.
Case in point, the Galaxy A9. It’s hard to pinpoint this new guy’s direct rivals, as upper mid-range phablets of its caliber aren’t exactly very common. As far as a target audience goes, it’s probably made up of people who don’t mind its colossal footprint, can’t afford a Note 5 or S6 Edge+, but still seek plenty of power, photography muscle, a sharp display, and premium build quality.
Of course, when Samsung chose to equip the A9 with a Full HD Super AMOLED 6-inch panel, octa-core Snapdragon 652 SoC, 3GB RAM, expandable 32GB storage space, 13 and 8MP cameras, fingerprint scanner, and 4,000 mAh battery, it consciously risked having to price the phone out of the masses’ range, not to mention dangerously close to flagship levels.
Ultimately therefore, the unconfirmed but very likely Chinese tag shouldn’t come as a shock, at the rough equivalent of $495, largely fitting the Samsung Galaxy A9’s near-high-end greatness, and our expectations following the recent regional announcement.
The questions of commercial release timing and Western availability unfortunately remain unanswered, though it’s possible next week’s CES festivities will help untangle the mystery. Would you be interested in the A9 on American or European shores if it required you to pay five Benjamins free of contractual obligations? How about five and a half? Six?