Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
If you don't pay full price, this jack of all trades is a great value all-round android smartphone
- Good all-rounder
- Already hugely discounted
- Fingerprint reader is temperamental
At full price there's not much to recommend the jack of all trades, A5. However, it's already available at $150 discount and that makes it great value. But the fingerprint reader can prove annoying.
Price$ 649.00 (AUD)
Update: Before you choose a phone, check out the amazing Samsung Galaxy S8 review.
We’ve seen flagship phones from almost everyone launch in the past several weeks. But while we’re waiting Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S8 phone to appear, we’ve been given the latest iteration of the mid-range (and much more affordable) Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017 model).
Whereas the S-series is top of the line and feature packed, the A series represents a watered down version. There’s still lots to like, however.
5.2in, 1080 x 1920 AMOLED screen, 32/3GB RAM, 1.9GHz Exynos Octacore CPU, Mali-T830MP3 GPU, 16MP rear and 16MP front cameras, microSD, microUSB, Android 6.0.1, 3,000mAh battery, IP68 waterproof, 146 x 71 x 8mm, 157g. Full specs here.
Design and handling
The phone is available in black or ‘peach.’ Our glassy black model was an unremarkable, glassy black box (gallery here) but this will appeal to some people. It’s not too slippery (unlike the glass-coated, exploding Galaxy Note 7) and generally feels comfortable in the hand.
The 5.2-inch Full HD screen is colourful and bright as we’d expect from a decent AMOLED unit. The speakers provide a decent, well-rounded sound for conference calls which translates into modest treble and bass performance with music. They don’t, however, get very loud.
The Octacore processor keeps everything ticking along fast enough, we noticed little lag and most applications open quickly if not quite as instantly as the top-end phones.
We’re happy to see an IP68 dustproof and waterproof rating come with the phone – too few phones have this nowadays, especially at this level. It means that the phone can withstand submersion for 30 minutes in 1.5m of water. Just note there are caveats about fresh water and salt water so check that you’re following Samsung’s own interpretation of the rules if you want to avoid voiding your warranty. For what it’s worth, we used it in a shower and a steam room with no issues.
A potentially-useful feature is Samsung Pay which lets you store credit cards and store loyalty cards on the phone. However, while we loaded our supermarket rewards cards without a problem, credit card compatibility is severely limited to Citi and AmEx (in Australia).
The only real gripe we had was with the main button which doubles as a fingerprint reader. It’s quite narrow but it proved unreliable. It rarely recognized our finger on the first attempt and even locked us out for a full minute on several occasions. This gets even more annoying if you make use of Samsung’s excellent Knox security app which lets you lock files, apps and photos in a secure area to avoid other people seeing things they shouldn’t. To be fair, in normal temperatures with dry fingers it was much less of a problem, but any kind of mild-moistness around the sensor made it maddening to use and that could prove annoying.
The A5 has a (decent for a phone this size) 3,000mAh battery which easily lasts a full day under heavy use. Coupled with Samsung’s excellent Power Saving features this can be stretched to two with relatively-minor inconvenience.
Next: Camera and Conclusion
Read more: LG G6 phone: full, in-depth review
Join the newsletter!
We have five of these fabulous Logitech® SLIM COMBO keyboard covers to give away to our lucky PC World Readers. T&C's apply http://bit.ly/32MsZgc
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Google Pixel 3a review: Less is more
- 2 Moto G7 review: The new gold standard for budget buyers
- 3 Panasonic Lumix S1 review: Pushing your limits
- 4 Dell G7 review: Growing pains
- 5 Sony Bravia 2017 TVs: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Samsung launches new Galaxy A smartphones in Australia
- Samsung upgrade their Australian tablet range
- Dell launches its Rugged range
- Sony launches three new 4K HDR Home Cinema Projectors
- HP launches Omen by HP Challenger Series Tournament
PCW Evaluation Team
This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
- Samsung Galaxy Note 10 vs Note 10+ vs Note 10+ 5G
- Oppo Reno 5G review: Big Deal
- The Samsung Galaxy Book S is coming to Australia
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies