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The A series comes next to the flagship S series for Samsung. This series is meant for those who want a premium Samsung phone without paying a premium.
With the launch price of 28,500.
Can samsung galaxy A5(2016) stand against the cheaper Chinese phones having better specs, Or will it end up just like the previous generation A series phones?
Let's find out !
Samsung galaxy A5(2016) shouts premium and it is quite evident once you hold it in hand. Metal and glass unibody with gorilla glass 4 front and back make this phone look absolutely gorgeous but slippery to hold along with being a fingerprint magnet.The design of the phone is clearly inspired by the more expensive samsung galaxy S7 due to subtle curves which makes it a lot easier to handle. The front of the phone is dominated by a 5.2 inch full HD amoled display (which we'll talk about later) with minimal bezels, a physical home button which doubles as a fingerprint scanner and capacitive backlit navigation buttons. All buttons on the phone offer good feedback which include volume rockers on the right and power button on the left. There is sadly just a single speaker placed at the bottom along with micro USB port and a 3.5 mm audio jack, unfortunately no USB type C support here ! There's also omission of physical led notification light which is quite odd.
Apart from this the Samsung galaxy A5(2016) is well built and feels great in hand with its very slim profile (7.3 mm) and weighs just adequate (155 g).
Samsung makes one of the best displays in the market right now and the Samsung galaxy A5(2016) is no exception with a full HD(1920×1080) resolution the 5.2 inch screen on the phone looks vivid. The sunlight legibility of the display is nice, the screen is sharp, tends to be oversaturated at times but all that can be corrected by various display modes in the phone. Overall display is one of the best part of the phone.
Specifications and software:
The Samsung galaxy A5(2016) is powered by Samsung's own 1.6 Ghz octa-core Exynos 7580 SoC, which is a little puzzling because it's the same SoC that powers the lower mid-range Galaxy J7. This chip is a decent performer with an Antutu benchmark of around 42,000 and 13 fps in GFXbench. This chip is equivalent to snapdragon 615 which can be found on phones half the price like moto g turbo, yu yuphoria and even Samsung’s own galaxy J7. Other than that the phone offers 4G LTE support on both SIM slots, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage which can be expanded up to 128GB, dual-band Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, FM radio, and USB OTG. There's also support for fast charging and Samsung has also jumbled in a 10W fast charger with the phone.
On the software side the Samsung galaxy A5(2016) is outdated as it still runs on android lollipop 5.1.1 with Samsung's touchwiz UI on top of it. There are a lot of duplicate apps like S Health, S Voice, My Galaxy and what not. Samsung also bundles several of Google's and Microsoft's popular apps. There are some important additions like split screen multitasking and ultra power saving mode but they come with a lot of bloat bundled in which cannot be uninstalled.
There's just one word to describe performance for Samsung galaxy A5(2016) i.e. decent. App loading times are fair, there's a slight lag whenever there are a lot of applications running in the background but it's bearable. The phone is able to handle most of the heavy titles like Asphalt 8 and GTA Vice city with fair ease maintaining its cool. The call quality on the phone was also nice.
The fingerprint scanner on the phone works but we've now seen better implementation of a fingerprint scanner in phones like moto g4 plus, redmi note 3 , lenovo ZUK Z1 etc. which are a lot cheaper. Also one has to cover the entire scanner to record his or her fingerprint. The speaker is also fairly loud but can be easily covered while holding the phone due to it's placement at the bottom. The 2900 MAH battery is able to hold well and can easily last a day with a lot of juice still left.
The Samsung galaxy A5(2016) packs in a more than capable camera sensor with a f/1.9 13 MP resolution with optical image stabilisation(OIS) at back which is able to reproduce some stunning pictures with nice dynamic range and vibrant colours. During the day the pictures are detailed but may be over saturated and look more vibrant than the scene itself. As we move to the dark or artificial lighting, the camera tends to overexpose to cover up the lack of light and the pictures seem to be decent with a little graininess.
The front snapper is a f/1.9 5 MP sensor which simply gets the job done, nothing special about it. It is a wide angle, lens so is able to capture a wide shot but the airbrush beauty effect is evident even in normal mode which steals the detail from a capable sensor.
One area where the phone crumbles down is the video, the output is not as stable as one would expect from a phone with OIS. The phone is unable to focus properly due to lack of phase detection autofocus and a poor camera UI which makes matters worse. There are a lot of the flagship camera features but the UI lacks polish. For instance, burst mode is now one of the shooting modes, and needs to be selected separately as it doesn't work in Auto mode. There aren't any shooting modes for video; all you can do is change the resolution. There's no shortcut to toggle HDR from the viewfinder as that's a separate shooting mode too. There's no option for 4k video recording either.
Overall the camera on the Samsung galaxy A5(2016) is decent and more than capable but the software is what pulls it down.
Overall Samsung galaxy A5(2016) is a decent phone with a lot of pros going its way like:
But it is not perfect either because of:
With a launch price of 28,500 Samsung is asking way too much for this phone . Phones like xiaomi mi5, oneplus 2 etc. are much better value for money. Phones like moto g4 plus and ZUK Z1 offer almost same at half the price. If it would have launched at around 18,000 to 20,000 rupees this would have been a lot easier to recommend but for now, Samsung galaxy A5(2016) is not a value for money and there are better offerings out there at a lower price.