Samsung launches its first triple camera smartphone in a shift to its mid-end strategy

  • Samsung launched the Galaxy A7 on Thursday, the first smartphone in its portfolio that sports a triple camera.
  • Samsung mobile CEO DJ Koh previously told CNBC that the company plans to pack more tech into its mid-tier phones.
  • The Galaxy A7 is the first device as part of that strategy shift.
Samsung Galaxy A7. 
Samsung Electronics
Samsung Galaxy A7. 

Samsung launched the Galaxy A7 on Thursday, the first smartphone in its portfolio that sports a triple camera, as it seeks to fend of challenges from Chinese players.

The triple camera is made up of three different lenses — an 8-megapixel wide angle lens, a 24-megapixel lens and a depth lens that allows the camera to create so-called "bokeh effect" photos, which is when an object is in focus but the background is blurred.

Other Galaxy A7 features include:

  • Boosted camera with modes allowing users to take bokeh effect selfies.
  • A 6.0-inch display.
  • A side fingerprint sensor.

Samsung's Galaxy A series is its mid-range phones, priced below its flagship S and Note handsets. In the past, the technology giant's mid-range phones were popular in emerging markets and other countries where high-priced devices were not the norm. The strategy helped Samsung grow volumes quickly.

But in recent times, it has faced an onslaught of competition from Chinese players such as Huawei and Xiaomi, who have brought out more innovative devices at lower price points. These firms have debuted brand new features on their mid-range products before even their flagship devices.

Samsung did not follow that strategy, but it seems to be changing its tone. In an interview with CNBC earlier this month, Samsung's mobile CEO DJ Koh said the company plans to overhaul its smartphone strategy at the mid-range price point by packing new technology into its Galaxy A devices in order to appeal to millennials.

The Galaxy A7 is the first handset as part of the new strategy. The A7 is Samsung's first device with a triple camera and highlights how it's bringing new technology to lower-priced smartphones, even before its flagship handsets. But it's not the first triple camera smartphone in the world. Huawei unveiled the P20 Pro, which sports a triple camera, earlier this year.

Samsung's move comes amid a smartphone slowdown. Sales in its mobile division fell 20 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2018 with the company attributing it to lower-than-expected sales of its high-end Galaxy S9 device.

The Galaxy A7 will be available in select European and Asian markets from this fall, expanding to additional markets in the near future, Samsung said. No price was announced.

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