Getting started with the Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017): design and premium features

Samsung began the new year by presenting at the CES in Las Vegas the Galaxy A5 2017, its smartphone flagship of the mid range, which includes the Galaxy S7 lines for many. Pending our complete test, I propose you to discover first impressions on this new device, which unfortunately is running an older version of Android, namely Marshmallow.


Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) – Release Date and price

the Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 was formalized in early January and will be available for purchase starting February 3, 2017. You can buy it in France for 429 euros. Four colors are available: yellow, gold, pink, blue and black (or even black sky, gold sand, peach cloud, blue mist if you prefer the terms of Samsung). With 10 euros more, you can buy the OnePlus 3 T .

Inside the box, you will find the cable USB Type – C, the charger 5V / 2A, headphones and the tool to extract the housing dedicated to SIM/microSD card.


Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) – Design and finish

the Galaxy A5 2017 offers, without doubt, a sleek design that will turn heads of many users. Over the years, we have seen how different brands have been able to raise the level of finish and design of their mid-range smartphone, to such an extent that many models have nothing to envy to the high-end smartphones. The Galaxy A5 in 2017 is one of these, and the reference to the lines of the S7 is more than obvious.

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the reference to the lines of the Galaxy S7 is indisputable. © AndroidPIT

the Galaxy A5 2017 offer a unibody metal body covered by a 3D glass. It differs from the S7 Galaxy forward by thicker edges at the top but also down. Upstairs, in addition to the logo of the brand, we find the lens of the front camera, proximity sensor and speaker dedicated to calls. The Home button, which houses the fingerprint reader, is always located at the same location and between the capacitive buttons back and multitasking.

a sleek design that goes unnoticed for a smartphone mid range

the rear part has curved edges that are interrupted by the metal frame that surrounds the device. In addition to the Samsung logo, we find the LED flash and the lens of the main camera, which does not exceed. This means that when the smartphone is on a flat surface, it does not wobble. On this model, Samsung has managed a perfect symmetry.

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the camera does not protrude from the body. © AndroidPIT

another novelty that we may note is located on the right edge of the terminal that houses the power button and the speaker (of the Galaxy A5 2016 and Galaxy S7, it was on the bottom).

the speaker is located on the right side

an unusual choice probably motivated by the desire to avoid covering the speaker when using the unit in the sessions of game, for example.

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the location for the SIM card allows you to use a single card. © AndroidPIT

underneath the speaker takes place the power button. Taking mini-jack is now located on the right (and no longer on the left) the decision-making of USB Type-C at the bottom of the unit. Along the edge left, as expected, we find the two keys dedicated to the volume control and location dedicated to the nano-SIM. Housing for the microSD located on top. This is what differentiates most of the Galaxy A3 (2017) because the latter is a single slot for two cards (SIM and microSD) together.

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small difference with the previous model, the Mini-Jack is located on the right. © AndroidPIT

the black metal frame is suspended above and below by gray strips dedicated to the antennas. The Galaxy A5 2017, compared to the previous generation, softens its lines and is more large (46.1 x 71.4 x 7.9 mm) than the Galaxy S7, while now the same thickness. Compared to the latter, it is 7 grams heavier (152 grams instead of 159). But thanks to the effect created by the edges curved, you do not notice that its size is a few millimetres larger than the Galaxy S7 and A5 2016. 

thanks to the effect created by the curved edges, you notice its size is bigger than the Galaxy S7 and A5 2016 millimetres.

Take the A5 Galaxy is comfortable. The smartphone is easy to handle with one hand and does not slip. The choice of glass, as on other devices, attracts fingerprints. The black model used when the grip is beautiful, elegant, but he lacks a bit of personality. However, this is a personal opinion and so subjective and I am sure that the Galaxy A5 buyers will not be disappointed.


Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) – screen

the Galaxy A5 2017 offers a screen Super AMOLED of 5.2 inches with a Full-HD (1920 x 1080) resolution, either a pixel density of 412 ppp. All covered by a Gorilla Glass 4 glass to protect it from scratches. Technology, diagonal and definition are identical to the previous model. The colors, at first sight, are brilliant and correct and the same can be said for the angles. My first impressions are generally positive on the screen but nothing surprising. With the Super AMOLED Samsung plays at home. 

the Galaxy A5 2017 offers Always-On, a rare feature on a mid-range smartphone.

The main novelty is the Always-on mode, a feature introduced by the Galaxy S7, which allows you to control the time and date, as well as the battery even with the screen turned off. A rare feature on a mid-range smartphone.

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the Galaxy A5 (2017) offers Always-On mode. © AndroidPIT


Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) – other features

IP68 Certification

Samsung decided to give to the new line of Galaxy has launched on the market this year, the certification IP68, a rare feature in mid range devices. This certification protects your smartphone against dust and water. The Galaxy A5 2017, according to a statement of the brand, can be immersed up to 1.5 meter deep and up to 30 minutes.


Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) – software Interface

here is that the phone can lose points: it uses Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow and no Nougat. The latest version of Android is released in August and currently reaches the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge models, so we can expect to find soon on this Galaxy A5.

Not surprisingly, we find the classic interface of the South Korean manufacturer: TouchWiz. In recent years, the interface is improved with a cleaner, more modern look, but it will take our final test to truly get an idea… 

in practice, the smartphone offers 31.1 GB internal memory and 1.1 GB of RAM

among the preinstalled applications, you will find applications and services of Google, Samsung (with S-Health and S Voice) applications and the Microsoft applications (6 in total). By default, in practice, the smartphone offers 31.1 GB internal memory and 1.1 GB of RAM.

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in practice, the smartphone offers 31.1 GB internal memory and 1.1 GB of RAM. © AndroidPIT


Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) – performance

under the hood, we find an Exynos 7880 octocore processor which works at a frequency of 1.9 GHz, with 3 GB of RAM. The graphic part is ensured by the Mali T830MP3 chip. 32 GB internal memory are available, but you can increase it up to 256 GB with microSD card. Any after that watch the data sheet, the Galaxy A5 (2017) should provide decent performance.

I have not used it long but I can already tell you that the smartphone works smoothly, but it is the least of things for a new appliance. In our final test, we will more focus on performance and results on benchmarks.

With respect to the DAS, it comes to 0,522 W/Kg for the head and 1.39 W/Kg for the body (European data).


Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) – sound quality

as noted above, Samsung has decided to move the speaker on the right side to the left side. This choice allows to avoid covering the speaker with your hand when you use, especially in the phases of the game. We will see in our final test if this helps to improve the user experience.

Samsung has provided headphones we’ll of course test during our final test. You will find inside a radio antenna as well as various audio settings, like for example an equalizer, like the Galaxy A5 (2016).


Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) – camera

the goal of the camera is at the back as in the front, 16 megapixels. Samsung increases the level compared to the previous generation, particularly with regard to the front camera which was only 5 megapixels. Both objectives have an aperture f/1.9, but only the rear camera has optical stabilization.

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Samsung has also opted for a lens of 16 megapixels to the front of the unit. © AndroidPIT

the application of the camera offers several filters, accessed by a swipe from right to left. You will see then two modes: basic and beauty. There is also a mode that focuses on food: with filters, it allows you to optimize your pictures without having to go through a third-party application. You will also find the Pro, HDR, Panorama and night modes. On the camera, you will find Selfie panorama mode that caters to those who want to take selfies in group, as well as a feature to change the complexion of the skin, eyes and the shape of the face size.

The cameras record all two videos in 1080 p.

To get an idea of the potential picture, it will be our final test.


Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) – autonomy

a simple grip don’t nousp sounding unfortunately not to discover the full potential of the battery. For the moment, we can say only one thing: the Galaxy A5 2017 uses a 3000 mAh battery. Compared to the previous generation, it is a difference of 100 mAh.

The quick charge is also the part. We will test the battery in the next few days to get a sense of autonomy and how best to use the phone.

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) – technical specifications

    • model:

    • not available

    • size:

    • 146.1 x 71.4 x 7.9 mm

    • battery capacity:

    • 3000 mAh

    • screen size:

    • 5.2 inches

    • screen technology :

    • AMOLED

    • screen:

    • 1920 x 1080 pixels (424 ppp)

    • front camera:

    • 16 Megapixel

    • rear cameras:

    • 16 Megapixel

    • Version Android:

    • 6.0 – Marshmallow

    • User Interface:

    • TouchWiz

    • internal memory :

    • 32 GB

    • removable memory:

    • microSD

    • maximum clock frequency:

    • 1.9 GHz

    • connectivity:

    • HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2

first verdict

Samsung has shown that he does not want to remain on the sidelines in the middle of range : he wants to jump in this range. The Galaxy A5 (2017) offers a new design that could be confused with that of a high-end device, new colors that follow fashion, and features usually not found on the phones in this range: IP68 certification, C Type USB port and Always-On mode.

even the speaker was moved to improve the user experience. This small detail shows that the Galaxy A range benefits from the attention of the manufacturer and it plans to offer a quality product. The price of 429 euros, however, might scare some users, especially if you take into account of devices such as the 3T OnePlus, high-end device that costs a similar price.

first impressions are positive overall. This Galaxy A5 (2017) is a promising mid-range camera. We will see in our final test if he is able to make users happy.


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