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
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Google WiFi review
- 2 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
- 3 Huawei GR5 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 4 Sony Xperia XZ Premium phone: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Blackberry KEYone phone: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- HP Omen laptops include a first: Nvidia Max-Q graphics technology
- HP's Omen X Compact Desktop can morph into a backpack VR PC
- HP's Omen Accelerator can give your laptop some guts
- HP reboots Omen desktop with more of what gamers love
- Samsung to detail new Tizen OS for smart home appliances, IoT devices
PCW Evaluation Team
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
- Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- Linksys Velop mesh WiFi review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- CCDigital Agile Business AnalystNSW
- FTNV1 Cleared Software Configuration Engineer - Defence Projects - North Ryde areaNSW
- FTService Desk Consultant - Must have baseline or NV1 clearanceOther
- FTNetscout Integration EngineerOther
- FTMid - Senior Web DeveloperWA
- FTGun Java Developers wanted (move to Melbourne)NSW
- CCMicrosoft Systems AdministratorVIC
- CCUser Experience DesignerACT
- FTJava Developers wanted (Banking/ Finance experience ideal)VIC
- CCTest AnalystACT
- FTNetwork ArchitectSA
- FTProject Manager ( Loyalty projects)Other
- TPSenior Business AnalystNSW
- CCServiceNow Technical Architect - CANBERRA BASEDQLD
- CCProgram Coordinator - Large Transformation ProgramNSW
- CCPMO SupportVIC
- CCSAP Fiori Functional ConsultantNSW
- FTSenior .NET DeveloperWA
- CCIBM Tivoli Network Configuration Lead - TelcoVIC
- FTTechnical/ Architecture Java LeadVIC
- CCData Architect - CRMVIC
- FTTechnology Sales SpecialistACT
- FTIteration ManagerOther
- FTRelease Coordinator - Fixed TermOther