The new A5 2017 runs at the top because of its battery. Waterproofing is more than appreciable, screen AMOLED brings success, but sometimes disappointing in picture, the performance could have been better.

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) is back in the limelight and Samsung is trying to renew the feat in 2017. For this reason, the firm keeps the fundamentals and adds water resistance. The Galaxy A5 2017 is as good as its predecessor.

Expectations are great for the Galaxy A5 2017

After a model 2016 very widely acclaimed, and certainly among the best phones of mid-range of last year. Samsung has the daunting task of repeating the feat in 2017, at the risk of seeing its potential customers turn to competition, or even last year’s model, which has dropped substantially in prices this past year.

The firm must strike the right balance between adding new features and preserving the three pillars that made the success of the 2016 generation: battery, screen and design. Does the firm handle the pitch well enough to justify spending for this new curve?

Look: Samsung S7 from the outside

 The Galaxy A5 of 2016 adopted the aesthetic codes of the Galaxy S6, so naturally that of 2017 takes back those of the S7. One thus finds this format more rounded in the angles, the slight curvature on the sides of the back glass. The front is not, finally not as much as an “Edge” model; we are in front of a very slight curvature that some brands call a 2.5D screen, without this really making sense.

Aluminum rims are always made of aluminum, but the A5 is apparently thicker than the S7. On the whole, however, the telephones have the same thickness of 7.9 mm. This is more than the A5 2016 where we measured 7.3 mm. The 2017 model displays 159 grams on the scale, a few grams the same as the other two.

By retaining these aesthetic features, the A5 2017 deserves just as much as the congratulations we gave to its predecessor and the S7, although next year it will be time to change under penalty of seeing a certain monotony, design. The Galaxy S8 will give the way forward and the rumors are seductive. Last good aesthetic point for this A5 2017: the photo sensor no longer protrudes from the back, a fact become rare enough to be noticed.

We appreciate on the other hand less the colors a little “milky” (especially the blue and pink) proposed by Samsung. We advise the black, admitting that the tastes and the colors are not disputed.

AMOLED is good 

Like last year, Samsung has its A5 with a 5.2-inch screen. Here again, it is also this diagonal that is found on the S7. Unlike flagship, we have a Full HD definition, but still with an AMOLED panel and all the advantages that this includes, in terms of contrast.

The Galaxy A5 2017 also inaugurates a “blue light filter” mode similar to Apple’s Night Shift displaying a more yellow rendering when activated. It can be set to activate only at the end of the day. Rendered to promote sleep.

Just decent processor 

It’s about performance that things will begin to spoil. Samsung opted for an Exynos 7880 which consists of 8 ARM Cortex A53 cores that can reach 1.9 GHz at best. Graphic calculations are performed by a Mali T830 and the set is backed by 3 GB of RAM.

The good news also comes from the fact that Samsung now offers 32GB of default storage compared to 16 previously. Storage that can be enlarged by inserting a Micro SD Card. We regret however that the device is sold under Android 6.

Battery-life always on top

 The choice of Samsung on the processor, although criticized, is however coherent. The manufacturer wanted to preserve the main argument of last year’s model: autonomy. Once again, the Galaxy A5 2017 is among the most autonomous smartphones on the market if we set aside terminals that we will call “exotic”, with excessive batteries.

The 3000 mAh onboard the A5 will allow it to hold two days for a modest current use, and the day will be reached without great difficulty, even being a little greedy. However, long periods of 3D games should be avoided if this lifetime is to be guaranteed. We also appreciate the quick recharging which allowed us to fill all the accumulators in 1h30.

  • The fingerprint sensor is always present at the front on the physical button. One appreciates the placement and the reactivity, but one regrets to be able to register only three imprints.
  • The other “special” feature is therefore water resistance.
  • An IP68 certification that allows it to be immersed at 1m for 30 minutes without suffering damage. This is an additional lifetime guarantee that partly justifies the high price of the smartphone and this is a significant advantage over the competition.
  • As always, it should be remembered here that it is not a submarine smartphone. The idea is simply to avoid accidents.

Farewell OIS 

This year, Samsung has favored the Mpx by going from 13 to 16, with an opening that remains at f / 1.9. Paradoxically, the addition of these megapixels does not necessarily play in favor of the images. When there is light, no problem the A5 behaves very well. Today it is the union minimum.

In low light, it is a little more complex. In some cases, it works relatively well, in others the suppression of optical stabilization will force the phone to promote sensitivity over the duration of exposure to avoid a blur to move too much. To compensate, the image processing forces a little bit on the smoothing, which makes it lose in detail.

The overall rendering is enough to enjoy its everyday images. It is surprising however that after a Galaxy S7 also performing in photo, the firm has not attempted a similar approach with bigger photosites, especially since this is the trend now.

The front sensor of 16 mpx and opening to f / 1.9 does its job properly, with the result a gain of details compared to other smartphones. So letting sometimes appear some imperfections of the face … that you can hide at the time of the capture.

Competition is not far in the rearview mirror

In the end, the 2017 edition of the Galaxy A5 is an undeniable success. It must however be recognized that on this terminal more than elsewhere, the devil lodges in the details. As its predecessor the smartphone retains the main advantages: design and autonomy and gains waterproofness. This trio is a serious argument.

On the other hand, the small errors on the screen, the performance or the photo prevent it from posing as an undisputed master on the price segment. The Galaxy A5 2017 remains among the best in its class. You can buy with your eyes closed.