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Last updated on the 21st of March at 8:09am with 340,402 deals.
Our Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Review
Remakes are an unpredictable business; you could be stuck with Vince Vaughan’s strangely pointless turn in Psycho, or you might find yourself pleasantly gripped by Scorsese’s The Departed, with Jack Nicholson gorging on the scenery and in blistering form. I digress…
The 2016 Galaxy A5 was a really good phone, impressing in almost every area, so the 2017 refresh has plenty to do to make it a worthwhile purchase over its predecessor.
Contract, PAYG or SIM Only
The appeal of the Galaxy A5 lies in its repackaging of ‘the best bits’ into something more affordable. You’ll find yourself throwing money at the flagship releases, so the A5 provides the opportunity to have a smartphone that feels top-end but trims the price down.
On contract you’ll find some seriously good deals, with the phone available for free upfront and from as little as £18.99 a month. You could trim a bit off that monthly price if you’re willing to throw around £40 at it upfront. If you want to get generous data allowances, at 2GB a month or more, then it’s going to be around the £22.99 a month mark.
You’ll pay anything between £250 and £350 to own the Galaxy A5 outright from the start, and that’s a marked difference from the cost of a flagship. It makes it a viable option for those who prefer the flexibility of SIM Only and Pay As You Go, although the latter is likely to deliver less value for money. The SIM Only plans are excellent, so if you’ve got the upfront cash to spend then it’s well worth considering.
The 5.2-inch Full HD Super AMOLED screen is beautifully crisp with rich colours. It’s a really good size, and certainly backs up the notion that Samsung can merge premium with mid-range. Of course it’s not as stunning as the screen on the S7 or the S8, but it’s superb at this price point.
The always-on feature that debuted in 2016 is thankfully present, and it’s customisable so you can show information like your calendar and the time whilst the phone is locked.
For the rear-facing snapper you’ll get a 16-megapixel primary sensor, and it performs well in varying light. Switch to HDR mode and you’ll get a slower shutter but better results for high contrast.
It’s 16 megapixels at the front as well, and whilst it doesn’t capture quite the same degree of detail it’s still pretty good.
For recording you get 1080p, and the phone captures crisp recordings with slick playback. There’s also new camera interface which uses swipes to switch between primary features, and this works really well, improving the overall snapper experience.
The Galaxy A5 looks a lot like the S7, which was to be expected, and the capture of that premium design is only going to help it sell.
The high-end feel is something Samsung users love, and with the Galaxy A5 you have a glass front back, with smooth curves, and a durable but lightweight metal frame. It’s comfortable to hold, and has the added bonus of a non-protruding camera.
The fingerprint sensor is mounted on the home key, as it is with the S7, and it also boasts IP68 dust and water resistance.
The 2017 Galaxy A5 runs on Samsung’s own Exynos 7880 processor, back by 3GB of RAM. This chip copes admirably with multitasking and 3D games, and you swiping around the UI feels really fluid and slick.
For internal storage you get 32GB, which is standard fare for a mid-range release, and memory is expandable up to 256GB with microSD cards.
Battery life is as expected, generally seeing you through a day if you hold back, but only half a day if you are somewhat more demanding of your phone.
What we think
There’s a lot on offer here, with the premium design, excellent screen and very capable chipset. The cameras, particularly the rear-facer, perform well, so you’re getting a smartphone which delivers in the key areas. The prices have dropped a little since release, moving away from the higher-end of mid-range, so it’s looking like decent value for money too.
Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Specification
- Display Size: 5.2"
- Display Resolution: 1920 x 1080
- Display Type: Super AMOLED
- Primary Camera Flash: LED
- Primary Camera Resolution: 4608 x 3456
- Primary Camera Megapixels: 16
- Secondary Camera Megapixels: 16
- Memory Card Slot: MicroSD up to 256GB
- 2G Connectivity: GSM 850/900/1800/1900
- 3G Connectivity: HSDPA 850/900/1900/2100
- 4G Connectivity: LTE
- Bluetooth: 4.2 with LE, EDR
- GPS: A-GPS, GLONASS and Beidou
- Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
- Processor: 1.9 GHz Octa-core
- Chipset: Exynos 7880
- Talk Time: Up to 12 hours
- Weight (grams): 157
- Dimensions: 146.1 x 71.4 x 7.9 mm
- Battery Type: Non-removable
- IP Rating: IP68 - Dust and water resistant over 1.5 meter and 30 minutes
- Sim Type: Nano SIM
- Operating System: Android
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