Review: Samsung Galaxy A5
Samsung Galaxy A5 is one of the three siblings launched by Samsung in the mid tier range of smartphones. Following the Design Trend of Note 5 and Alpha, the A5 too comes with a unibody design and looks stunning. Bundled along with good hardware and massive TouchWiz offering the A5 is a great device for the price.
The A5 is a has a unibody metal design. The device is surprisingly thin at 6.7mm and weighs just 123gms. The camera lens does protrude out a bit, but we’re happy it’s not like the one in S6. The unlock button is featured on the upper right side, while the volume rocker sits on the left. There a mini-USB in the bottom followed by a 3.5mm audio jack. The home button is typical Samsung, and also protrudes out a bit, which we found to be very helpful. The capacitive back buttons on the either side of the home button are yellowish in colour. On the back, there a 13MP Camera, LED Flash and the Speaker Grill. The SIM and SD Card slot are both located on the right side beneath the unlock button, which have to be opened by the key. The Aluminium Body definitely feels very premium, but is also tends to be slippery. Overall, Samsung has delivered a great design that everyone would love.
The device has a Super AMOLED Display which is encased in Corning Gorilla Glass 4. Being a mid range device, It has a resolution of 720P with 294ppi. It has a 71% body to display ratio and the bezels are average. The AMOLED Display complete met our expectations and is bright and vivid. It packs a nice punch of colors, which can be further customized by the user.
Performance and Hardware:
The Samsung Galaxy A5 packs a quad-core 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor, clocked at 1.2 GHz, along with the Adreno 306 GPU and 2 GB of RAM. The device comes with Android Kitkat out of the box, but Samsung has been rolling out the Lollipop update to almost all the variants. We did upgrade our device to 5.0.2 which worked alright. There are many bugs and the device stutters often. I was surprised to find that it lagged even when I had only Twitter and Snapchat open. Though RAM management is much better in Lollipop and UI Graphics have drastically improved. Most graphic intensive games took a while to load and lagged. Not surprising, but average games ran flawlessly. We did notice that the device heats up during intensive tasks, but it isn’t something to worry about. The aluminum body too adds to the heating being a good conductor. The Galaxy A5 comes with 16 GB of on-board storage, which is further expandable up to 64 GB. A full suite of connectivity options are available, including support for LTE. The device is Dual SIM, though you can either put a SIM and SD or a SIM and SIM. The LTE speed we got over Airtel Network in India is 35MBPS which is really good.
The speaker grill is located beside the camera, which is awkward. The speaker is not loud and lacks bass. Also, you need to keep the device facing down to actually listen to something.
On the battery front, the Galaxy A5 features a 2,300 mAh unit which is not removable. This is an unfortunate compromise that had to be made to accommodate the new unibody design. I got about 8 hours of battery life with moderate usage. I find the battery to be disappointing, a bigger battery would have been highly appreciated.
A5 rocks a 13MP rear shooter is sharp and crispy. Focus is quick and the depth are surprisingly good. Colors too are vivid and look very natural. You can completely rely on this pal for your pictures and Samsung’s in-app features too are really handy. In good lighting, images appear bright and vivid, and the quality remains quite good even as the lighting conditions deteriorate. There is a bit more grain to the images and they sometimes lack color, but it is still one of the better low light cameras out there.
The front camera is a 5MP unit and is least impressive. It lacks colors and and sharpness. Though pictures do not get grainy, they severely lack detail. If you’re a selfie addict, this phone is not for you .
On the camera software side of things, it isn’t as feature packed as you may be used to with Samsung cameras, with only a few shooting modes available. While more can be downloaded from the Samsung store, the available options are quite limited.
Out of the box, the Galaxy A5 is running Android 4.4 Kitkat, of course, with TouchWiz on top. There are three screens by default, with a swipe to the left giving you access to Flipboard, and pressing and holding on the screen lets you select various homescreen functions, settings, or add widgets. Apart from a few Samsung applications like S Planner, Voice Recorder, and My Files, the software is otherwise free of any bloatware.
A5 is is a great mid range offering from Samsung. Premium build, great rear camera and impressive display are the chief reasons to go for it. We would definitely not recommend this device for selfie lovers and heavy users as the camera and battery are disappointing.
If you can shed out a little more bucks, A7 is an even better contender with a bigger and better display and much more powerful processor.