We've lost count of the times we've pressed the back or multitasking button without meaning to, inadvertently cancelling what we're doing or launching the recent apps screen. Because it's 5. You'll pretty much need a magnifying glass to see individual pixels. As Sunsung has used an AMOLED display the coloursare very vibrant and saturated, while the blacks are super inky, giving lots of life and contrast to all your videos and games.
So now you can have the time and any important notifications or events constantly on display on your lock screen, even in standby, without burning the screen like it would with LCD.
Samsung Galaxy A5 review: Premium feel at a mid-range price - P
Samsung likes to load up its phones with its own flavour of Android, this time built on top of Android Marshmallow. That's a generation behind the current top-end devices, which is perhaps one negative aspect of the device, although bargain-hunters may not mind or notice its lack of Android Nougat. The version of Samsung's software skin in the A5 is much lighter than previous years and, while still not perfect, it's a lot better. All the elements flow smoothly together and there aren't any migraine-inducing bright colours or clashes. The drop-down and settings menus are clean and clutter free with simple text and logos, while the app drawer shows the apps on top of a frosted glass backdrop over the homescreen wallpaper.
It also comes loaded with a number of Samsung's own apps like S Voice, which could soon be pushed aside in favour of the rumoured "Bixby" assistant , which is part of the reason Samsung runs its own software skin. There's also the Galaxy Apps store for downloading themes and wallpapers, as well as some exclusive games and offers.
One of the cool features in the A5 is the wallpapers which react to movement to change colour. By choosing a wallpaper with the appropriate logo icon display, the lock screen wallpaper can change colours based on the angle you're holding the phone. And, of course, there's the long screenshot which allows you to capture an entire page in one go, no matter how long that page is. While it's not quite as high-power as the Exynos chips found inside the latest Galaxy S range and the Meizu Pro 6 Plus , the Exynos octa-core chip inside the new A5 provides ample horsepower to get you through your daily tasks.
Even heavy mobile gamers should get by with it. Playing most games resulted in mostly smooth, flowing animation, although there was the odd stutter here and there that's not too dissimilar to what we've noticed on most phones on occasion. For the average user who just wants to play Candy Crush every now and then, catch-up with friends on Facebook, browse the web and WhatsApp all day, it's more than powerful enough.
It's paired with 3GB RAM to ensure your phone doesn't buckle under heavy load, and has 32GB of storage which is just about the minimum amount of space you'd want in a smartphone these days. If you do worry about running out of space for all your media, you'll be pleased to know there's a microSD slot that supports cards up to GB.
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Keeping all of this running all day is a 3,mAh battery which, in our testing, was capable of getting through a full day of fairly heavy use without needing to be plugged in. Most days we got through to bedtime with it just having hit the 20 percent "panic level". Samsung has built-in its own battery optimising features into its software. You can switch on a "medium" power saving mode to reduce screen brightness, limit processor speeds and switch off the Always On display. If that's not enough, you can switch on the "maximum" version which limits those features even more.
For more granular control you have the ability to choose which apps are allowed to use power and run in the background. Samsung states it also has fast-charging capabilities, except it isn't Qualcomm's industry standard Quick Charge technology. Sadly we couldn't test it since our unit didn't come with the official retail power adapter. As cameras go, the specifications of the A5's snapper certainly looks decent enough. However the sensor's quality doesn't come to competing with its bigger brother S7.
Samsung boasts that the main camera is speedy and accurate, and that you can use instant filters to add a boost to your photos without needing the help of Instagram. It even has a dedicated "food mode" for making your delicious eggs Benedict look even more delicious. Or something. In real-world use, the camera is capable of taking balance shots in good light with eye-pleasing sharpness and depth.
Samsung Galaxy A5 Smartphone Review
Localization was not possible indoors. A car trip provides more detailed data about accuracy. There was a deviation of not quite meters between both navigation systems at the end of our roughly kilometer route. In fact, the differences in tracking accuracy in difficult sections, such as crossing a bridge or in the woods, were relatively low between both devices. Samsung's Galaxy A5 was a bit more off-route in the woods than Garmin's device. However, the Galaxy A5 is well-suitable for navigation.
The phone app will be familiar to Samsung veterans, but it should not puzzle newcomers too much, either. Four tabs at the top of the screen open the keypad, the call log that, for example displays missed calls, the contacts and favorites determined by the user. The keypad's design is quite plain and provides big keys. However, it can only be used in portrait mode. Additionally, multiple settings allow rejecting calls from specified contacts directly, ending calls automatically by pressing the standby button, and many more options.
Unfortunately, the voice quality is not completely convincing. Though sound is quite loud in maximum volume, it is not always clear and hums sometimes. The microphone in the Galaxy A5 occasionally clicks and does not register our voice when we are a bit further away from the microphone. At least the background noise suppression functioned quite well. Samsung's Galaxy A5 has better camera equipment than most mid-range phones in the comparison.
At least the data on the spec sheet suggests that. The rear-facing camera has a resolution of 13 megapixels , an auto-focus and LED flash, and it records Full HD videos with 30 frames per second. The front sports a 5-megapixel camera with special features for selfies.
Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) review: Glass beauty
The pictures shot with the rear-facing camera are still sharp when zoomed. The image is either shot automatically via the self-timer or when volume up is pressed on the rocker. Although this feature works, our experience is that the face's sharpness is not always correct. Good selfies are also possible with the 5-megapixel front-facing camera, though they look a bit grainy. Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens.
One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device. A power supply, USB cord and a headset are in the box. The latter conveys a good sound and is also quite suitable for hands-free mode. Samsung includes a month warranty on the smartphone itself.
The battery and accessories are only repaired free of charge for six months. Naturally, this does not affect the implied warranty. The virtual keyboard provides many options and input methods.
However, its keys are also a bit small. The keys' generous spacing compensates for that and typing is thus relatively accurate. Voice dictation or swiping over the keyboard are just as possible as switching quickly between different keyboard language layouts and dictionaries by holding down the space bar for a longer time. The keyboard's lettering is very basic and clear despite the multiple features.
The touchscreen responded absolutely reliably and fast to our inputs. It is sensitive into its corners. Besides that, multi-touch gestures were almost always identified and implemented correctly. The volume rocker on the casing's left and the standby button on the right have a high-quality feel, and they both feature a good pressure point.
A physical home button that functions properly and two touch buttons that also always responded directly to our inputs are below the screen. The Super AMOLED screens by Samsung are known for their great color reproduction and absolute black because the organic light-emitting diodes simply do not light up in black areas. That is an average rate; we did not see a brightness difference on large, white surfaces with only our eyes.
Large, black surfaces on the screen look absolutely dark. The theoretical contrast ratio is thus infinite, and colors make a very vivid impression due to the high contrast. Samsung again installs different screen modes that can be set individually in the menu. Colors look a bit paler but more natural in "Standard," they are more emphasized in "Photo," and the colors are very bright in "Movie. We check just how accurate the color reproduction is with a photospectrometer and CalMAN software. The sRGB color space is used as the reference unless we note otherwise. Again, "Standard" mode displays the most accurate colors.
The colors are very close to the reference color space value.