8.3/10
Informr score
The Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) currently has an Informr score of 8.3 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 10 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Excellent screen for the price
  • Great battery life
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • NFC support
  • microSD support

What's bad

  • Dim camera with slow focus
  • TouchWiz UI feels cluttered
  • Bloatware
  • Not for intense gaming
  • Questionable future performance

At the middle of Samsung’s 2016 mid-tier line up you’ll find the Galaxy A5. While on the outside, it looks every part a flagship phone, its internals make some compromises to make your wallet happy. Did Samsung strike a good balance of price and performance?

Let’s see what reviewers are saying!

The A-series has seen a serious upgrade on the design front for 2016. Their metal and glass design has made the phrase “budget-friendly S6” a common thing in reviews. This phone features the flat design of last generation’s flagship series and even brings a fingerprint scanner to a more affordable handset.

Expert Reviews UK weighed in on the design, saying, “its glass back means it's rather prone to picking up messy fingerprints most of the time, but its hard, slim frame does feel immensely comfortable in your hand and its narrow bezels make it easy to grip despite its somewhat slippery rear surface.”

Heading around front, you’ll find a 5.2-inch 1080p Super AMOLED display. As usual, reviews on the display are outstanding. Alphr says, “The screen quality is top-notch.” Recombu describes the screen as “bright, sharp and eye-poundingly vibrant.” If your often on-the-go, they also point out, “On top brightness you’ll have no trouble with sun glare, while the Super AMOLED panel pumps out rich, gorgeous colours that bring images to life.”

Reviews agree the eight-core 1.6Ghz Exynos processor and 2GB of RAM powering the phone is ready to take full advantage of the beautiful display. Android Pit tested the phone for a week and declared, “No annoying delays or slowdowns were apparent when I was browsing and opening a succession of apps. Even graphically elaborate games ran smoothly across the screen.”

You’ll find 16GB of internal storage to keep your favorite apps, music, movies and games at your fingertips. Need more room? The phone supports microSD cards of up to 128GB.

Reviews of the phone’s 2900mAh battery were also positive. Alphr tested the phone and said, “In most circumstances, this is a phone that will comfortably last a full day’s use and more.” Android Pit had great results in their testing, saying, “Even with intensive use, this phone won’t need to see a power source until after about two days.”

The phone’s 13MP rear camera offers optical image stabilization for clearer shots. The 5MP front-facing shooter is plenty for selfies and video chat. Reviews of both cameras were so-so. Android Authority highlighted the problems pointed out in most reviews, saying, “The big problem with this camera is its tendency to overexpose a lot, and HDR doesn’t do a lot with addressing this issue, only creating a brighter image instead. When this issue doesn’t show up however, the pictures do look good, with vibrant colors and a decent amount of detail.”

Another area with mixed reviews is the TouchWiz interface. Phone Arena says, “TouchWiz does have good looks. Its colors are bright and fun, it feels fresh and lighthearted, and it's starting to show signs of taste, with its own, distinguishable icon shapes and styles, which remain impressively consistent throughout the UI.” While some reviewers worried that the additions in the interface slowed down the phone, most also agreed that the latest version of TouchWiz is closer to stock Android than most earlier versions.

Reviews of the A5 (2016) are positive. It appears Samsung made the right compromises to balance out price and value. Recombu summed up opinions of the phone well, saying, “Dependable performance, solid battery life and great features like the excellent dual cameras and fingerprint sensor make it an essential purchase for those who desire flagship quality, but can’t afford those premium price tags.”


Operating system
Android
Processor
1.6 GHz
Screen Size
5.2"
Camera
13+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


Notebookcheck

The new 2017 version of Samsung's Galaxy A5 (SM-A520F) is in no way inferior to its competition - the Korean manufacturer delivers a really good smartphone. Its successful design and, above all, its outstanding battery life are convincing. Although the performance does not set standards, it is very...

- Daniel Schmidt, Notebookcheck
Recombu

It’s not a perfect mid-range phone, but it consistently hits all the key notes you’d want a device in this class too, and it does so very well. It also does an excellent job of distilling down some of the main draws of the Galaxy S7 flagship, so if you’re looking for a similar expe...

- Alex Todd, Recombu
Alphr

Samsung’s mid-range Galaxy A5 is a first-class mobile

- Jonathan Bray, Alphr
Expert Reviews

The only real problem with the Galaxy A5 (2016) is that it currently costs just as much as a Galaxy S6 if you're buying on contract. When the S6 has a higher resolution screen, a faster processor, more onboard storage and a better camera, it's not really much of a contest. The one thing the A5 (2016...

- Katharine Byrne, Expert Reviews
Recombu

The Samsung Galaxy A5 6 is a brilliant refresh of an already solid smartphone, and one of the best £300 mobiles you’ll find (alongside greats such as the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact and Motorola Moto X Force). Dependable performance, solid battery life and great features like the excellent du...

- Chris Barraclough, Recombu


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Quick view

Screen Size
5.2"

The Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)'s screen size is 5.2 inches with x pixels resolution.

Processor
1.6 GHz

There is a Qualcomm MSM8939 Snapdragon 615 Octa core 1.6 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on proprietary operating system firmware.

Camera
13+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 13+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 5+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
16 GB

Internal memory is 16 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 128 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
2900mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 2900 mAh battery. Samsung's performance ratings are 3.1 days standby time, 960 minutes, 960 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

Galaxy A5 (2016) Specs

Overview
Release date December 15, 2015
Regions available United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1900/2100 MHz
LTE:
2100/800/850/900 /1800/2600/2300 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
SIM card size
Nano-SIM
Dual SIM No
Operating System No

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm MSM8939 Snapdragon 615 Octa core 1.6 GHz
Internal Storage 16 GB
RAM 2 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 0.29 W/kg
Body: 0.47 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 2900 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to: 840 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 960 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 960 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 3.1 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Plastic
Colors Black, White, Gold, Pink
Dimensions [H x W x D] 14.5 x 7.1 x 0.7 cm (5.7 x 2.8 x 0.3 in)
Weight 155 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology Super AMOLED
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution x pixels
Pixel density 424 pixels
Size 5.2 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating Yes
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen, Corning Gorilla Glass 4
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key Yes
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.1
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HID, HFP, HSP, PAN
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 128 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC Yes
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
13+ megapixels
Multi-camera
No
Zoom
No
Flash
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Brightness control, Effects, Geotagging, ISO, Multi-shot, Night mode, Panorama, Exposure Value, HDR, Voice activation
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, 3G2 / 3GPP2, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV, ASF, FLV, AVI
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
Resolution
5+ megapixels
Zoom
No
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MIDI, MP3, AAC, AMR-WB, AMR, WMA, WAV, M4A, OGG
Radio Yes (FM)
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, 3G2 / 3GPP2, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV, ASF, FLV, AVI
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Viewable document types No
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable ()
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Additional Sensors: Fingerprint sensor
Related Links Manual (PDF)
Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) Reviews
Where to buy Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
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