In 2016, Samsung Galaxy A5 has upgraed.
The Galaxy A5 has had a complete makeover. In place of the plastic-looking but actually aluminium rear is a new Gorilla Glass 4 panel, while Samsung has swapped out the 5in HD screen for a 5.2in full-HD SuperAMOLED display. There’s a new fingerprint scanner built into the Home button, while the chassis has expanded to allow a higher-capacity 2,900mAh battery. The corners are a little less rounded, the phone is a little taller and the rear camera doesn’t protrude so far, but it really wouldn’t be difficult to mistake the Galaxy A5 2016 for the Samsung Galaxy S6, which is now available for around only ￡50 more. Also
Under the hood are more changes, which are visible to the end user through the Galaxy A5’s greatly improved performance. Last year we were disappointed to find a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 quad-core chip inside the A5 2015, but Samsung has corrected that mistake with the 1.6GHz Exynos 7580, an octa-core chip based on the Cortex-A53, paired with 2GB of RAM. MicroSD support has also been expanded from 64- to 128GB, although you’ll still find just 16GB of internal storage.
The Samsung Galaxy A5 2016 is not yet available direct through Samsung, but our review sample was supplied by Mobile Fun. The mobile phone accessories retailer is selling the Galaxy A5 for ￡319, and should have stock within two- to three weeks. We reviewed the black version, but the Galaxy A5 is also available through Mobile Fun in white and gold. Also see: Best budget phones 2016
At ￡319 the Samsung Galaxy A5 2016 comes in around ￡50 lower than last year’s flagship Galaxy S6, now available SIM-free for around ￡363 from Amazon UK. While we really like the new Samsung Galaxy A5 for 2016, if you can afford that extra outlay you get a lot more bang for your buck – the Galaxy S6 is faster, with more internal storage (although no microSD support) and has a Quad-HD screen, to name just a few of its advantages over the A5.
It’s worth pointing out that Mobile Fun will also be stocking the 2016 Galaxy A3 and Galaxy A7, and at ￡399 the Galaxy A7 is actually more expensive than the Galaxy S6, which makes this A5 appear to be much better value. Check out our best SIM-only deals to get the best Galaxy A5 package.
As we noted, the Samsung Galaxy A5 is in many ways similar in design to the Galaxy S6, with the new mirror-finish glass front and rear and fingerprint scanner built into the home button. There are some subtle differences in the overall shape and size (the Galaxy A5 has a slightly larger 5.2in screen, for example), but this 2016 A5 is every bit a gorgeous and premium-looking smartphone. Also see: Best Android phones 2016
With no removable back panel the Galaxy A5 feels tough, and not at all fragile thanks to its Gorilla Glass 4 protective armour. Unfortunately we see the same problems here as we did with the S6: fingerprints – and they’re everywhere.
You’ll barely notice the increase in thickness over the A5’s predecessor, but this has allowed Samsung to pack in a 2,900mAh battery that offers very good runtime. The A5 is still slim at 7.9mm, but feels sufficiently weighty in the hand at 155g. The rear camera juts out a little at the rear, but not enough to make the A5 2016 rock on a desk.
A standout feature is the full-HD SuperAMOLED panel, which measures 5.2in on the diagonal and is large enough for all your multimedia needs. We’re huge fans of SuperAMOLED and its vibrant, slightly oversaturated colours and deep, rich blacks. It’s not just better-looking (in our opinion) than more common IPS, but more energy-efficient since it doesn’t require a backlight. Even so, the screen is plenty bright, while viewing angles are strong and detail is sharp – the Galaxy A5 has a pixel density of 424ppi, which is higher than even the latest iPhone 6s.