Mid-range smartphones are hard to get excited about, but the A5 is quietly impressive. Like last year’s model, it has a plain but classy design with a metal frame and tapered back. The 5.2in size feels modern without being too big. It comes in black, gold, pink or ‘Blue Mist’, the nearest option to white, which is a bit of an acquired taste.
As you’d expect from Samsung, the screen is AMOLED and looks great, covering the full sRGB color range with excellent accuracy. Its Full HD resolution looks very sharp indeed, even if it’s not quite enough for Samsung to certify this phone for use with its Gear VR headset – not something most people will care about. Brightness isn’t quite up to iPhone standards, but we didn’t find it a problem.
Inside, Samsung’s own Exynos 7880 processor is powerful enough to make Android apps feel smooth, even if it falls well behind rivals like the OnePlus 3T in gaming performance. Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow comes installed, but a free update to 7.0 Nougat is promised soon.
Both the front and back cameras now have 16 megapixels, and our shots came out well, even indoors. Also the photo app has also been tweaked to make it less fiddly to switch between options.
There’s no camera bump on the back; instead, Samsung has made the case thicker. That accommodates a bigger battery, which lasted just over 22 hours in our video playback test. It makes the new A5 a very good choice all round.
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 DESIGN ★★★★★
As first impressions go, the Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 is a looker. The loaner that I got to use was in Black Sky although it is also available in other elegant colors: Gold Sand, Peach Cloud and Blue Mist.
Elegant. Yes. That is the word. Everything looks so perfectly placed from the buttons to the rear camera, which does not protrude from the phone’s profile, being smooth and uniform all over when held. The finish is brushed metal for the band that goes around the phone’s sides, while the back is a non-removable semi-glossy plastic which provides the perfect counter-texture for the sides and edges.
The AS’s form factor sits perfectly in my hand, and I can navigate the 5.2-inch screen with just one hand without straining it even in the farthest edge, but also great for texting or playing games.
For the eternal clutz such as myself, the AS provides excellent screen protection with Corning Gorilla Glass 4.The phone is also IP68-certified dust- and waterproof (up to 30 minutes submerged in 1.5 meters).
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 HARDWARE ☆☆☆☆☆
The Galaxy A5 houses an Exynos 7880 Octa chipset with an octa-core Cortex A-53 processor clocking in at 1.9 GHz and a Mali-T830MP3 graphics chip.This is coupled with 3GB of RAM, giving the device more than enough for multitasking and playing games.
In terms of storage, the phone has 32GB of onboard storage which is expandable up to 256 GB via a microSD card slot. The A5 charges and connects to the computer via a USB Type-C 1.0 reversible connector.The A5 sports a 16-megapixel rear camera with autofocus and an LED flash while the front-facing camera is also at 16 megapixels.
The phone supports high-speed charging and has a battery capacity of 3000 mAh. I actually left the AS with 80 percent of battery left at the office for four days and the phone was still on standby with 15 percent when I got back. Not too shabby.
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 USER EXPERIENCE
As a smartphone user, I am not big on RAM-sucking applications. After all, I still use my laptop for the majority of what I need to get done. The A5, however, was able to handle my day-to-day applications including social media, photo-editing, and productivity applications without the slightest stutter.
I tried playing more graphics-heavy games and audio and video editing applications that required a huge chunk of memory, and I was pleasantly surprised that it was able to run them smoothly.
The interface is a clean version of Marshmallow 6.0.1 and is free from annoying preloaded widgets. Minimalists will love how very little is changed from the vanilla OS.
What I lack in software sophistication, I make up for with my incessant compulsion to take pictures of everything. Both the front and rear cameras were able to take very good pictures even in low light. The automatic setting can pretty much get me through the day, but the lack of manual options on the camera app was a bit of a letdown.
I’m an easy guy to please when it comes to smartphones, and the Galaxy A5 went beyond that. It stands as a good all around phone that can do what is asked of it, and able to assist users throughout the day with no problems.
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 VALUE ☆☆☆☆☆
Tech enthusiasts should know by now that the Samsung name tends to come with a premium in terms of price. However, people are actually getting a lot of phone for the price, with solid build quality and nice specs, the Galaxy A5 is worthy of Samsung’s name.
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 BOTTOMLINE
Samsung has finally done the midrange smartphone right. Good job.
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 SPECIFICATIONS:
5.2in 1980×1080-pixel screen • 16-megapixel rear camera • 16-megapixel front camera • 32GB flash storage • microSD card slot • 802.11ac Wi-Fi • Bluetooth 4.2 • 3G/4G • Android 6.0.1 • 146x72x7.9mm (HxWxD) • 157g
- Sleek and elegant design
- Great front and rear camera
- Price is on high side of midrange
It’s not the fastest phone around, especially if you like games, but the A5 has no major flaws and great
With a faster processor and 64GB of storage, this is a better phone, but the A5 saves you 60-odd quid