Samsung’s A series phones have been mid range devices and the company has been refreshing them every year. This year Samsung announced the Galaxy A5 2017, an upgrade to the 2016 variant. The new variant comes with upgraded specs including a 5.2 inch Full HD SUPER AMOLED display and is powered by Exynos 7880 Octa core processor coupled with 3GB of RAM and 32GB storage.
There is also a 16MP front and rear cameras along with Android 6.0 Marshmallow with the new Touchwiz UI. The device is priced Rs 28990. So how does this device perform in this segment? Is it a good overall package? Let’s find out in this detailed review.
Design and Build:
Design wise, the A5 2017 has lot of inspiration from the flagship device, the Galaxy S7. The Galaxy A5 comes with a flat rear panel with glass finishing which is curved towards the edges. The corners of the device are rounded and comes with a metallic chassis. The front panel has the curved display with Corning Gorilla Glass protection. There is a 16MP front camera, physical home button which is integrated with fingerprint scanner. The power key along with the speaker unit is on the right side while the volume keys are on the left along with the SIM tray.
The rear panel houses the 16MP camera,LED flash and the Samsung logo. The bottom panel has USB C type port and 3.5mm audio jack while the top house the second SIM tray. The build quality of the device feels really premium and quite good to hold in hands with the smaller 5.2 inch display. But having said that it is a bit slippery to use because of glass finishing. Overall, the Galaxy A5 looks and feels premium in the segment.
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 comes with a 5.2 inch Full HD SUPER AMOLED display with Corning Gorilla glass protection. The display quality is very good with vibrant colors with good sharpness levels. The viewing angles are also good and so is the brightness levels. The touch response feels very good and overall, the display is a treat to use, especially for multimedia consumption.
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 comes with Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box and also has the new Touchwiz UI on top of that. The new Touchwiz UI feels much better to use than the previous version and it also feels polished. You can see the custom settings panel and also the notification center quick toggles.
The UI also comes with some added features including support for gestures. It also has one handed operation, smart stay and smart capture. Another useful feature on Samsung phones is the always on display which can be activated from the settings. You can choose the layouts and the display options in the always on display.
The new UI also comes with a device maintenance option which includes maintenance for battery, storage, RAM etc. This can be accessed from the settings. Apart from these options the phone also features Secure folder, which is basically a password protected secure area for your personal files, apps etc. You can add images, documents and videos to the secure folder and also create another instance of the app inside the secure folder.
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 also comes with S Secure option which allows you to lock and hide apps along with securing the Wi-Fi. The UI on the device comes with good features and options along with customization tools like ability to download and install themes.
Overall, the UI has improved and looks polished as well.
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 is powered by in house processor, the Exynos 7880 Octa core coupled with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. The equivalent variant of Exynos 7880 is the Snapdragon 625. The 7880 on the Galaxy A5 performed pretty well in day to day tasks and there was no issues or lags on the phone. The Gaming performance of the device was also good with no heating while playing heavy graphic intensive tasks. The call quality of the phone was good and so was the speaker performance which was adequate. The speaker on the phone has a weird position on the side panel.
Multitasking was good on the device and overall, the device performed well in our testing. The phone comes with 32GB of storage and close to 24GB is available to the user in the first boot. You can also expand the storage using the dedicated SD card slot available on the phone.
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 comes with a 16MP rear camera with auto focus, LED flash and f/1.9 aperture. There is also a similar 16MP front camera for selfies with f/1.9. There is no auto focus on the front camera. The camera interface is a revamped on and features some good options including manual mode. You an also download additional modes on the camera from the Samsung store.
Now, talking about camera samples taken with the device, the rear camera performed pretty well in day light conditions with good detailing, sharpness levels and good color reproduction. In low light, the performance was mixed. While in some photos we got some really good results, while others had noise. The front facing selfie camera was average and since there is no auto focus, a lot of selfies turned out to be blurry and also muted in terms of the colors. Overall, we would say the camera on Galaxy A5 2017 is decent. Here are some of the samples taken with the phone.
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 packs a 3000mAh battery with fast charging included. The Exynos 7880 is an optimized chipset and does a good job overall in terms of the battery performance. We tested the battery performance of the phone and we found it could last slightly more than a day which is quite decent for the capacity.
So how good is the Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 for a price of Rs 28990? While the Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 comes with some really good upgrades in the form of good design, build, excellent display, optimized software and decent battery life, it competes with the likes of Honor 8, Zenfone 3 and also OnePlus 3 at this price segment. The Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 is a good overall package if you are looking for a decent mid range phone, but if you want a powerful phone for the price, we would still suggest the OnePlus 3.