Welcome to my Samsung Galaxy A5 Review. The Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) is a mid-range Android device produced by Samsung as part of their Galaxy line up. It is the successor to the Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016). I’d like to thank the Ideas Network who sent me the device on a two weeks loan basis on behalf of Vodafone U.K who stock the phone for £350 on Pay As You Go or from as little as £0 upfront with plans starting from £28 a month on Pay Monthly.
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Samsung Galaxy A5 Review: Specifications and performance
The Samsung Galaxy A5 is a mid-range device that packs some fairly decent specifications. The SoC running the show here is Samsung’s own Exynos 7780. This SoC is complete with an Octa-core 1.9Ghz processor and is paired with 3GB of RAM. While certainly nowhere near as powerful as the flagship Galaxy S8, these specifications do make the A5 a decent phone. I would even go as far as calling it a budget Galaxy S7.
In terms of onboard storage, the Samsung Galaxy A5 comes packing 32GB of it. Not bad considering most other mid-range phones come with a slightly less impressive 16GB instead. It also comes with a microSD slot for using memories card up to 256GB in size.
The display is a 5.2-inch Super AMOLED Full HD screen with a resolution 1080 x 1920. The DPI for this display is 424. It offers deep dark colors and nice smooth brighter colors. The brightness levels are brilliant and I even had no issues using the phone outside on a bright day.
Samsung has used 16-megapixel shooters for both the front and rear cameras of the Samsung Galaxy A5. The inclusion of a 16-megapixel shooter on the front of the phone as well as the back is a nice little bonus.
In charge of giving the Samsung Galaxy A5 power is an nonremovable 3000mAh Li-Ion battery that Samsung claims offers up to 16 hours of talk time on 3G, as well as up to 53 hours of music playback.
For the full list of specifications, check out the table below.
|Category||Galaxy A5 (2017)|
|Network||LTE Cat 6|
|Display||5.2-inch FHD 1080p|
|OS||Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow (“Grace” UX)|
|Camera||Rear : 16MP (F1.9), Front : 16MP (F1.9)|
|Storage||32GB + SD|
|Dimensions||146.1 x 71.4 x 7.9mm|
|Battery||3,000mAh, Fast Charging
All of this adds up to a decent enough device that will get through most tasks with ease, even when multi-tasking. I did have a few issues involving stuttering and an overall effect on the smoothness of the user experience. This is an issue I have found on a few Samsung phones and the issue just seems to revolve around their skin on top of Android.the skin here is Samsung’s own TouchWiz Grace UX. This is Samsung’s latest version of its TouchWiz Android skin. This gives the UI a clean appearance complete with flat icons and a greater amount of use for white spaces on the display. The Grace UX also comes with Secure Folder functionality, which allows the user to protect files and some applications with an OS level passcode.
Playing games on the A5 wasn’t much of a drag at all. Most games handled really well, even graphic intense games. So if you’re a mobile gamer, the A5 shouldn’t be a disappointment at all. Just remember to close a few background tasks if playing anything resource hungry.
The skin here is Samsung’s own TouchWiz Grace UX. This is Samsung’s latest version of its TouchWiz Android skin. This gives the UI a clean appearance complete with flat icons and a greater amount of use for white spaces on the display. The Grace UX also comes with Secure Folder functionality, which allows the user to protect files and some applications with an OS level passcode.
Samsung Galaxy A5 Review: Design
The Samsung Galaxy A5 is a stunning looking device. It takes much of its design from the Galaxy S7. So much so that it’s mostly the little things that are different for example, the S7 has a microUSB port, while the A5 has a USB Type-C port, the A5 has a speaker located on the right-hand side of the phone while the S7 speaker setup is located on the bottom of the phone and there’s a heartbeat sensor on the back of the S7, whereas there isn’t one at all on the A5. These may be small differences, but the other difference is the feel. While the A5 feels nice, it’s not as nice as the S7 is to hold.
The front of the A5 is home to a 5.2-inch display, a physical home button that doubles as a fingerprint scanner, an earpiece, several sensors and the front-facing camera. Unfortunately, there’s no notification LED present and instead, you get the choice of turning on Samsung’s ‘Always on Display’ to show you notifications on the screen, while still managing to save power.
Flipping the phone over reveals again a striking resemblance to the S7, with the only real differences being the lack of a heart rate sensor on the A5 and a shiny logo on the S7 compared to the dull one on the A5. Unfortunately, as I learned, the back is a scratch magnet as well as a fingerprint magnet thanks to the glossy finish.
Down the right-hand side of the A5 is a mono speaker and this is actually something I don’t like at all. The reason I don’t like it is that when using the phone in landscape mode, it’s very easy to cover the speaker up, meaning the sound is getting blocked off. This happened a lot to me when playing games and watching movies. The problem isn’t existent in portrait mode, fortunately. Also, present down this side is the power button.
The left-hand side is home to the sim number 1 tray and volume rockers. There are in fact two sim trays on the A5. This is to allow the user to make use of two sims and also a microSD card as most of dual sim devices make you choose between a second sim or a microSD card due to space limitations. The second tray in this phone, which is located at the top of the device is home to sim number 2 and the microSD holder.
As mentioned above the top is home to the sim number 2 tray as well as a small microphone. There’s nothing else to see here at all. While the top is bare the bottom does see a bit more action as it houses a Type C USB port, a small microphone and a 3.5mm audio jack connection.
The real icing on the cake here is the IP68 dust and water resistance rating. Which means the A5 is most likely to survive a downpour of rain or an accidentally drop down the toilet as well as accidentally being buried in dirt. The addition of this rating is a nice touch, particularly on a mid-range device. Unfortunately, I can’t test these claims as the device isn’t mine, but given the harsh testing environment required to earn these ratings, I have no doubt about it at all.
Samsung Galaxy A5 Review: Battery performance
Samsung has successfully managed to make the A5 a decent battery conserver while in use. This is thanks to the highly efficient CPU in use. Watching movies from a streaming service such as Amazon Prime Video or Netflix wasn’t as harsh as I was expecting, instead, I saw only 6 to 10% of battery drain while streaming for roughly 2 hours.
In most cases of general use, I was able to still have above 50% charge left at night, giving me at least two days worth of usage between each charge. Going all out with the phone did lessen this though and on days where I was playing resource intensive games and browsing the web all day, I found myself having to stick the phone on charge at bed time.
Samsung Galaxy A5 Review: Camera
The Galaxy A5’s rear camera is a fantastic shooter. It captures detailed shots really well and gives you an end result photo that looks fantastic even in low light situations. The camera application is just right and offers a quick and hassle-free way to take shots and record videos.
The front camera shares the same specifications as the rear camera but does suffer a bit more when it comes to focusing as autofocus is missing. It works really well though and if you’re a fan of selfies, you’ll be happy with the results this thing gives. it also works really well with applications like Skype for video calling.
Samsung Galaxy A5 Review: Little things that matter
The A5 comes with a fingerprint scanner. It is located within the home button. I have to admit it’s not really as good as I expected. The small area of the home button makes it harder to get the entire fingertip on the sensor in one go, this leads to more often that not getting the ‘No match message’. This put me off using the fingerprint scanner to unlock the device. If it was anything like the LG G5 or Nexus 6P which both have circular fingerprint scanners, it would be a lot better.
Samsung Galaxy A5 Review: Overall
The A5 is an amazing device. With a price of £350, it might seem a little less wallet-friendly than other mid-range phones out there, but I must admit it does offer a lot of bang for the buck. You’re getting a mid-range device that sports decent specifications and rocks a premium design. Samsung really has gone all out this year to give the A5 a boost of life. If you’re in the market for a device that works well and kicks ass in the design department, I would recommend this. Thank you for taking the time to read my Samsung Galaxy A5 review.
Thank you for taking the time to read my Samsung Galaxy A5 review and thank you again to the Ideas Network for providing me with a Samsung Galaxy A5 review unit.
Last update on 2020-07-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API