Expert review of the Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)
- The device is waterproof, which means calling in the rain is not a problem at all.
- The Galaxy A5 has subtle curves which make the device a comfortable fit in your hand.
- Samsung's Touchwiz layer contains fewer pre-installed apps.
- Unlike the Galaxy S models, you can't wirelessly charge the A5.
Out of the box
"It sure looks a lot like the Galaxy S7." That was my first thought upon seeing the Samsung Galaxy A5 2017. In a positive sense, of course. The A5 is made of glass, which gives it a luxurious appearance. The glass front and back subtly merge into the metal edge. On that edge, you'll find two separate ports for your SIM and micro SD cards. Continue to rotate the device, and you'll see the USB-C connector on the bottom, with the headphone jack right next to it.
Specifications at a glance
The Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) has quite a few tricks up its sleeve. For example, the casing has been made dustproof and waterproof. Useful when calling during a heavy shower. The selfie camera has received a considerable upgrade compared to its predecessor. The number of megapixels has jumped from 5 to a whopping 16. The new design also takes after its brothers, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, a little. Below, I'll illustrate these points.
For the first time, Samsung has provided its A series with a waterproof exterior, since the Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) is IP68 certified. That means water and dust won't stand a chance. You're probably thinking: what about the SIM card and microSD slot? Samsung has covered these ports with a rubber strip. I tested the phone's waterproofness by plunging it into a bowl of water for 15 minutes. It was able to resist this easily. Remarkably, I could even still operate the device while it was in the water.
Casing and camera
It was clear as day to me when I put the new Galaxy A5 side to side with its predecessor: the Galaxy A5 has undergone a metamorphosis. The metal edge now has the same color as the device; it used to be silver. An elegant look, if you ask me. As far as the use of materials goes, the casing has remained the same. Both the screen and the glass on the bag feature rounded edges. The Galaxy A5 fit the palm of my hand perfectly.
The rear camera and the selfie camera on the Galaxy A5 share the same number of megapixels, a relatively rare phenomenon on smartphones. Which is a positive! You see, I'm not a person who takes selfies every day, but I can definitely appreciate this improvement compared to its predecessor. The selfies I made while testing this device were razor-sharp, as expected. Samsung has also provided the selfie camera mode with a nice extra: the shutter button can be moved.
Picture taken in the dark
I can confirm: the Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) is a neat piece of technology at a reasonable price. It shares its looks with its brothers in the S series, and it even copies some of their functions, such as the always-on screen. My personal highlight is the selfie camera. Taking a photo at the same resolution as with the rear camera is quite a feat. That also goes, of course, for shooting videos. Are you looking for a smartphone that delivers solid performance and has an elegant appearance? In that case, the Samsung Galaxy A5 is truly recommended.