- Dim camera with slow focus
- TouchWiz UI feels cluttered
- 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.”