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Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Smartphone Review

Daniel Schmidt, Stefanie Voigt (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 02/14/2017

Water-resistant. The Galaxy A5 series now enters the third round and has to keep its ground when fighting in the strong mid-range. More power, bigger storage, and water and dust protection are to help here. The test will show whether this will suffice.

For the original German review, see here.

Samsung seems to have understood that the mid-range priced at around 400 Euros (~$423) is a highly competitive sector with really good smartphones and has thus treated the new Galaxy A5 (SM-A520F) to an extensive update. The good news first: The price remains stable at an RRP of 420 Euros (~$444).

A new Exynos processor operates underneath the glass and metal casing. It can fall back on a generous 3 GB of working memory. The integrated graphics card provides a higher performance and should render games better on the classy Full HD panel. The internal storage is now twice the size of the former Galaxy A5 (2016). Samsung has also strongly increased the megapixel count of the cameras. Furthermore, the battery is now a bit bigger. The IP68 standard, i.e. dust and water resistance, is unique in this category. The smartphone comes with good prerequisites to again catch up to its competitors.

Undeniably, OnePlus is the leader in this price range thanks to high-end specifications. However, Huawei's Nova Plus, Honor's 8, ZTE's Axon 7, and Lenovo's Moto Z Play are also strong competitors for the Galaxy A5 (2017).

Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 (Galaxy Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
3072 MB 
, LPDDR3
Display
5.2 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 424 PPI, capacitive, Super AMOLED, Corning Gorilla Glass 5, glossy: yes
Storage
32 GB eMMC Flash, 32 GB 
, 20.5 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5-mm combo audio jack, Card Reader: micro-SD max. 256 GB (SDHC, SDXC), 1 Fingerprint Reader, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: accelerometer, proximity sensor, position and g-sensor, digital compass, barometer, Wi-Fi Direct, Ant+
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2, GSM/GPRS/Edge (850, 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz), UMTS/HSPA+ (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz and AWS), LTE Cat. 7 (FDD: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 17, 20, 28; TDD: 38, 40, 41), LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 7.9 x 146.1 x 71.4 ( = 0.31 x 5.75 x 2.81 in)
Battery
3000 mAh Lithium-Ion, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 16 h
Operating System
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Camera
Primary Camera: 16 MPix (f/1.9, 27mm, autofocus, LED flash, Full HD videos)
Secondary Camera: 16 MPix (f/1.9, 1080p videos)
Additional features
Speakers: mono speaker, Keyboard: virtual, power supply, data cable, headset, quick start guide, Samsung apps, Microsoft apps, Facebook, 24 Months Warranty, USB Type-C, nano-SIM, IP 68 (water and dust resistant), Quick Charge, SAR rate: 0.522W/​kg (head), 1.390W/​kg (body), fanless
Weight
159 g ( = 5.61 oz / 0.35 pounds), Power Supply: 62 g ( = 2.19 oz / 0.14 pounds)
Price
429 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

Like the predecessor, aluminum and glass are used in Samsung's Galaxy A5 (2017). The latter is Corning Gorilla Glass 5. Its looks closely follow those of the S series. The smartphone is now also four grams heavier and a bit thicker. The manufacturer states a height of 7.9 millimeters, which our measurements confirm. The camera no longer protrudes out of the casing and closes flush with the rear so that the handset can be placed evenly on a table.

A drawback of the glass surface is that the smartphone tends to slip away slowly on slanted surfaces. However, the handset can be held securely. Its rigidness is also good. Warping attempts do not impress the Galaxy A5 and only leads to an occasional cracking noise. Pressure on the screen does not have any consequences thanks to the OLED technology. The gaps are also narrow and even; only the transition between the glass and metal bezel in the corners has to be criticized as it is a bit irregular. However, this does not affect the feel.

The battery is non-removable so the user cannot replace it. Two dedicated slots for a micro-SD card and nano-SIM are present. A dual-SIM model does not exist. The IP68 certificate is new. This means that the Galaxy A5 is now sealed against dust and that it is resistant to prolonged submersion in fresh water.

Samsung's Galaxy A5 (2017) is available in four colors: black, gold, blue (Brandeis Blue) and pink (Martian Pink).

Size Comparison

156.4 mm / 6.16 inch 76.4 mm / 3.01 inch 7 mm / 0.2756 inch 165 g0.3638 lbs152.7 mm / 6.01 inch 74.7 mm / 2.94 inch 7.35 mm / 0.2894 inch 158 g0.3483 lbs151.7 mm / 5.97 inch 75 mm / 2.95 inch 7.9 mm / 0.311 inch 175 g0.3858 lbs151.8 mm / 5.98 inch 75.7 mm / 2.98 inch 7.3 mm / 0.2874 inch 162 g0.3571 lbs146.1 mm / 5.75 inch 71.4 mm / 2.81 inch 7.9 mm / 0.311 inch 159 g0.3505 lbs145.5 mm / 5.73 inch 71 mm / 2.8 inch 7.45 mm / 0.2933 inch 153 g0.3373 lbs144.8 mm / 5.7 inch 71 mm / 2.8 inch 7.3 mm / 0.2874 inch 155 g0.3417 lbs

Connectivity

It is possible to expand the storage of Samsung's Galaxy A5 (2017) via a micro-SD card, but the additional capacity can only be used to store media data. Applications cannot be moved to or directly installed on it. It is not possible to format it as internal storage, either.

Samsung has made cutbacks in details. A radio receiver is not installed. Although the USB port supports the latest Type-C design, it still only offers the 2.0 transmission standard and no longer supports OTG.

The A5 also offers Wi-Fi Direct, Ant+, NFC, and Bluetooth 4.2.

Upper edge: Micro-SD, microphone
Upper edge: Micro-SD, microphone
Left: SIM, volume controls
Left: SIM, volume controls
Lower edge: audio jack, microphone, USB
Lower edge: audio jack, microphone, USB
Right: speaker, power
Right: speaker, power

Software

Google's Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow operating system is preloaded on Samsung's Galaxy A5 (2017). The manufacturer covers it with its own Grace UI. The still relatively new user interface (UI) was first used in the Galaxy Note 7. Samsung users will soon accommodate, but users who are used to stock Android will sometimes certainly be relieved about the search function. An update to Android 7.1 Nougat is confirmed but a fixed date has not yet been announced.

At test time, security updates from December 2016 were installed.

Communication and GPS

Samsung has installed a better modem for mobile network reception into the Galaxy A5 (2017). It now supports LTE Cat. 7. Although the maximum downstream of 300 MBit/s is identical with Cat. 6, the theoretical upstream speed has doubled to 100 MBit/s. The frequency configuration is also really good and should ensure good reception in all European countries. US travelers will, however, miss Band 12 (700 MHz) among other ones. The reception during our test in a big city using the O2 and Vodafone mobile networks was inconspicuous.

The smartphone connects to Wi-Fi networks in the IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac standards, but it does not support any MIMO technologies. The Galaxy A5 presented a low attenuation of -30 to -40 dBm in the Wi-Fi access point's vicinity - which are good rates. Generally, the handset's reception qualities are decent but rapidly start decreasing at a distance of approximately 10 meters. Video streaming is then accompanied by interruptions and the attenuation is very high with -80 to -100 dBm. Our measurements with our Linksys EA8500 reference router confirm the A5's good transmission speeds. Only OnePlus' 3T defeats it in the comparison field.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
OnePlus 3T
Adreno 530, 821 MSM8996 Pro, 64 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
257 MBit/s ∼100% +20%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017
Mali-T830 MP3, 7880, 32 GB eMMC Flash
214 MBit/s ∼83%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
Adreno 506, 625, 32 GB eMMC Flash
121 MBit/s ∼47% -43%
Huawei Nova Plus
Adreno 506, 625, 32 GB eMMC Flash
53.4 MBit/s ∼21% -75%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
OnePlus 3T
Adreno 530, 821 MSM8996 Pro, 64 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
313 MBit/s ∼100% +87%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017
Mali-T830 MP3, 7880, 32 GB eMMC Flash
167 MBit/s ∼53%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
Adreno 506, 625, 32 GB eMMC Flash
112 MBit/s ∼36% -33%
Huawei Nova Plus
Adreno 506, 625, 32 GB eMMC Flash
51.5 MBit/s ∼16% -69%
GPS Test: indoors
GPS Test: indoors
GPS Test: outdoors
GPS Test: outdoors

Samsung's Galaxy A5 (2017) uses the GPS, GLONASS, and BeiDou satellite networks for localization. We were tracked within a few seconds outdoors, but a bit more patience was needed indoors near a window. The accuracy of at most seven meters is not particularly exact. We took the smartphone on a bike ride to examine this more closely.

The A5 has to compete against Garmin's Edge 500 bike computer. The smartphone does not refresh the points as frequently and consequently also deviates more from the driven route. It shortens the route by approximately 2.3% compared with Garmin's device. This is still a decent performance in total and should be absolutely sufficient for amateur athletes.

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)
Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)
Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)
Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)
Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)
Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500

Call Quality

Samsung's Galaxy A5 (2017) has a decent call quality. We could always understand our contact well and we were also almost always relatively intelligible. The microphone only sometimes reduced the volume. The smartphone's microphones exhibit a similar performance as the included in-ear headset. The speaker is also well-suitable for quiet environments.

Cameras

Front camera photo
Front camera photo

Samsung's Galaxy A5 (2017) offers a 16-MP camera on both the front and rear. This promises high resolution, in particular for selfies. Furthermore, both lenses have a nominal aperture of f/1.9 and should therefore be very light sensitive. In case of the front-facing camera, it is also noticed that the lens captures a lot of light with the purpose of making the photos as bright as possible. A Beauty Mode that narrows the face and enlarges the eyes via a soft focus is also present for selfies. The photos are quite good, but we primarily missed an autofocus. In return, the release speed is very fast.

The rear-facing camera has an autofocus alongside an LED flash. Daylight photos are very balanced and exhibit a relatively large scope of dynamics that is also owed to the well-functioning HDR Mode. The definition is good but decreases quite soon especially toward the edges. Particularly bright objects tend to overexpose and details are lost. Photos taken in low-light conditions are also still good and the noise is kept within limits compared with the competition.

Videos are recorded at a maximum of Full HD (1920x1080 pixels, 30 FPS). The quality is good, but support for higher frame rates and Ultra HD should be given in this price range.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
ColorChecker: The target color is displayed in the lower half of every patch
ColorChecker: The target color is displayed in the lower half of every patch

We additionally take photos of our test chart and the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport under defined light conditions. They are not edited afterward. The ColorChecker presents a very good white balance. However, the other grayscales are a bit too bright. The darker color tones are saturated more strongly, which leads to a brilliant contrast. Bright colors are a bit too pale, though.

The test chart shows that the sharpness could be somewhat better despite the comparatively high resolution. Fine details are lost even in the center in maximum zoom. In return, the color graduations are relatively clear and slight reproduction errors are only produced in dark lettering on a dark background. Again, it is visible that the image sharpness deteriorates quite soon toward the edges.

Accessories and Warranty

Samsung ships its Galaxy A5 (2017) with a modular power supply that has a nominal output of up to 16.83 watts (9.0 V, 1.87 A; 5.0 V, 2.0 A), a USB cable, SIM-card tool, an in-ear headset, a quick-start guide, and some leaflets concerning safety, warranty, and Internet usage. The manufacturer optionally offers a matching cover (starts at 15 Euros, ~$15) and screen protector (15 Euros, ~$15) in its shop.

Samsung includes a two-year warranty on its product; the accessories are covered for six months and the battery for one year. Please see our Guarantees, Return Policies and Warranties FAQ for country-specific information.

Input Devices and Handling

The capacitive touchscreen in Samsung's Galaxy A5 (2017) detects up to five touch points at the same time. The surface of the Corning Gorilla Glass 5 has superb gliding qualities. Inputs are implemented quickly and accurately. The keyboard layout that Samsung uses is very clearly arranged, but it only offers small keys that often lead to typos. When preferred, downloading an alternative keyboard from the Play Store is uncomplicated.

The physical buttons have a high-quality feel and crisp pressure point alongside a short drop. The home button also makes a good impression, and it functions very reliably just like both neighboring sensor buttons. A fingerprint scanner is integrated into the home button. However, it is not quite as reliable and its identification rate is not as good as the modules in the devices by Huawei or OnePlus. We often had to place the finger on the surface several times, and sometimes we had to wait half a minute before we could try again. The scanner also had problems with moist fingers and denied access.

Display

Subpixel screenshot
Subpixel screenshot

The panel in Samsung's Galaxy A5 (2017) seems unchanged compared with its predecessor. It is still 5.2-inches and uses Samsung's Super AMOLED technology. The Full HD resolution (1920x1080 pixels) ensures a high pixel density of 424 PPI. Since the screen can shine even more brightly when the ambient light sensor is enabled, we measured it using maximum brightness on a white image. The brightness differences to the 2016 model only seem vast because last year's model was measured without the light sensor. When the sensor in the A5 (2017) is disabled, the OLED panel only achieves a maximum of 340 cd/m² in the center. The review sample achieves up to 660 cd/m² in the screen center in the APL measurement, i.e. evenly distributed bright and dark areas. The illumination of 93% is also very homogeneous.

Since it is an OLED panel, every pixel can be illuminated individually. Thus, black areas are really black. This results in a theoretically infinite contrast ratio.

The Galaxy A5 offers a blue light filter for the night, and the Display-Always-On known from the Galaxy S7 Edge is also onboard.

567
cd/m²
542
cd/m²
530
cd/m²
549
cd/m²
539
cd/m²
525
cd/m²
548
cd/m²
552
cd/m²
527
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 567 cd/m² Average: 542.1 cd/m² Minimum: 1.77 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 93 %
Center on Battery: 660 cd/m²
Contrast: ∞:1 (Black: 0 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 1.6 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.1
ΔE Greyscale 1.5 | 0.64-98 Ø6.4
Gamma: 2.28
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017
Super AMOLED, 1920x1080, 5.2
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
Super AMOLED, 1920x1080, 5.2
Huawei Nova Plus
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.5
ZTE Axon 7
AMOLED, 2560x1440, 5.5
OnePlus 3T
Optic-AMOLED, 1920x1080, 5.5
Lenovo Moto Z Play
AMOLED, 1920x1080, 5.5
Honor 8
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.2
Screen
-21%
-102%
-137%
-206%
-34%
-150%
Brightness middle
539
378
-30%
485
-10%
328
-39%
421
-22%
509
-6%
451
-16%
Brightness
542
380
-30%
481
-11%
334
-38%
430
-21%
511
-6%
443
-18%
Brightness Distribution
93
91
-2%
90
-3%
88
-5%
84
-10%
93
0%
93
0%
Black Level *
0.5
0.4
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
1.6
1.95
-22%
4.2
-163%
4.6
-188%
7.1
-344%
2.2
-38%
5.4
-238%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
2.6
3.09
-19%
7.9
-204%
14.7
-465%
15.3
-488%
5.8
-123%
9.9
-281%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
1.5
1.86
-24%
4.8
-220%
2.8
-87%
6.8
-353%
2
-33%
6.7
-347%
Gamma
2.28 96%
2.13 103%
2.36 93%
2.29 96%
2.23 99%
2.25 98%
2.33 94%
CCT
6422 101%
6376 102%
7568 86%
6612 98%
7866 83%
6768 96%
8262 79%
Contrast
970
1128

* ... smaller is better

A peculiarity of OLED panels is their use of pulse-width modulation (PWM) for brightness control. Sensitive users could perceive flickering, and eye problems or headaches could result in low frequencies. PWM is also used in Samsung's Galaxy A5 (2017). The amplitude curve already displays visible peaks at a brightness of approximately 93% (manual settings), and the frequency of 250 Hz is relatively low. The frequency even drops to around 60 Hz beyond that, but the amplitude curve is very linear, making problems unlikely. The frequency fluctuates between 119 and 231 Hz in minimum brightness, which is a very low 1.77 cd/m².

Maximum brightness (with sensor)
Maximum brightness (with sensor)
Maximum brightness (without sensor)
Maximum brightness (without sensor)
93% brightness (without sensor)
93% brightness (without sensor)
50% brightness (without sensor)
50% brightness (without sensor)
25% brightness (without sensor)
25% brightness (without sensor)
Minimum brightness (without sensor)
Minimum brightness (without sensor)

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 250 Hz

The display backlight flickers at 250 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) .

The frequency of 250 Hz is relatively low, so sensitive users will likely notice flickering and experience eyestrain at the stated brightness setting and below.

In comparison: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9689 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

As usual, Samsung offers a color profile manager in its higher-priced models that are set to Adaptive Display by default. We examined the three manual settings Basic, Movie and Photo with a photospectrometer and CalMAN analysis software. The first thing that is noticed is that the profile Basic delivers the most accurate rates, but it also only uses the sRGB color space. On the other hand, Movie and Photo are calibrated according to the larger AdobeRGB color space. It is striking that the bluish tint is hardly present any longer in the Movie profile; this was a bit more prominent in the Galaxy S7/Edge.

The screen's color accuracy is outstanding. An average DeltaE of 1.5 is recorded in the grayscale levels, without significant peaks. Even the worst rate of dE 2.4 remains below 3, and thus the shift from the target will be as good as invisible to the human eye. The positive impression continues in the mixed colors as the colors all remain below dE3. Hardly any other manufacturer provides such an accurate color reproduction even among the high-end competition.

Grayscale (Profile: Basic, target color space: Adobe RGB)
Grayscale (Profile: Basic, target color space: Adobe RGB)
Saturation Sweeps (Profile: Basic, target color space: Adobe RGB)
Saturation Sweeps (Profile: Basic, target color space: Adobe RGB)
ColorChecker (Profile: Basic, target color space: sRGB)
ColorChecker (Profile: Basic, target color space: sRGB)
Grayscale (Profile: Movie, target color space: Adobe RGB)
Grayscale (Profile: Movie, target color space: Adobe RGB)
Saturation Sweeps (Profile: Movie, target color space: Adobe RGB)
Saturation Sweeps (Profile: Movie, target color space: Adobe RGB)
ColorChecker (Profile: Movie, target color space: Adobe RGB)
ColorChecker (Profile: Movie, target color space: Adobe RGB)
Grayscale (Profile: Photo, target color space: Adobe RGB)
Grayscale (Profile: Photo, target color space: Adobe RGB)
Saturation Sweeps (Profile: Photo, target color space: Adobe RGB)
Saturation Sweeps (Profile: Photo, target color space: Adobe RGB)
ColorChecker (Profile: Photo, target color space: Adobe RGB)
ColorChecker (Profile: Photo, target color space: Adobe RGB)
Colorspace (Profile: Photo, target color space: sRGB)
Colorspace (Profile: Photo, target color space: sRGB)
Colorspace (Profile: Photo, target color space: Adobe RGB)
Colorspace (Profile: Photo, target color space: Adobe RGB)
Colorspace (Profile: Photo, target color space: P3)
Colorspace (Profile: Photo, target color space: P3)

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
3.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 2 ms rise
↘ 1.6 ms fall
The screen shows very fast response rates in our tests and should be very well suited for fast-paced gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 1 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (25.4 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
3.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 2 ms rise
↘ 1.6 ms fall
The screen shows very fast response rates in our tests and should be very well suited for fast-paced gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 0 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (40.6 ms).

Samsung's Galaxy A5 (2017) does not show any weaknesses outdoors. The bright screen with its extremely high contrast never finds its limits under cloudy conditions. The content should still be well-legible despite the reflective screen even in sunlight. Unfortunately, we could not test this since heavy clouds concealed the sun. However, the fingerprints on the screen are noticed immediately in bright ambient light.

The viewing-angle stability of Samsung's Galaxy A5 (2017) is good. A slight greenish haze covers the panel only at very flat viewing angles. The smartphone does not suffer from ghosting effects or clouding.

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017): Viewing-angle stability
Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017): Viewing-angle stability

Performance

We criticized the somewhat weak performance of the SoC installed in Samsung's Galaxy A5 (2016). The manufacturer has also made improvements here and now relies on the proprietary Exynos 7880. It is an octa-core processor that exclusively uses Cortex A53 cores that clock up to 1.9 GHz. An ARM Mali-T830 MP3 graphics unit and 3 GB of LPDDR3 working memory are also installed.

Thus, the Galaxy A5 (2017) is built on solid performance that is situated in the mid-range. The CPU's pure performance is slightly above that of a Snapdragon 625 that is used in the Nova Plus and Moto Z Play. The performance of the graphics unit is even higher than that of an Adreno 506. While both systems are still on par in the OpenGL ES 2.0 test, the ARM GPU is 45 to 86% faster in the more demanding OpenGL ES 3.x test. However, it cannot compete with the strong Adreno 530 in the Axon 7 or OnePlus 3T.

Unfortunately, the review sample did not manage to use this speed advantage in the system performance. While it could still keep up well in AnTuTu, the A5 only manages to outperform the Axon 7 in PCMark. The Grace UI lets the user feel this with minor stutters in routine use. It got really jerky when opening the Upday news website on the home screen.

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017
60603 Points ∼22%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
41676 Points ∼15% -31%
Huawei Nova Plus
64601 Points ∼24% +7%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
61345 Points ∼22% +1%
Honor 8
94671 Points ∼35% +56%
ZTE Axon 7
122524 Points ∼45% +102%
OnePlus 3T
159866 Points ∼58% +164%
Geekbench 4.0
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017
4098 Points ∼15%
Huawei Nova Plus
3156 Points ∼11% -23%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
2525 Points ∼9% -38%
Honor 8
5481 Points ∼20% +34%
ZTE Axon 7
3867 Points ∼14% -6%
OnePlus 3T
4236 Points ∼15% +3%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017
775 Points ∼13%
Huawei Nova Plus
845 Points ∼15% +9%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
795 Points ∼14% +3%
Honor 8
1726 Points ∼30% +123%
ZTE Axon 7
1280 Points ∼22% +65%
OnePlus 3T
1881 Points ∼33% +143%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017
1713 Points ∼41%
Huawei Nova Plus
1773 Points ∼42% +4%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
1636 Points ∼39% -4%
Honor 8
2482 Points ∼59% +45%
ZTE Axon 7
1783 Points ∼42% +4%
OnePlus 3T
1728 Points ∼41% +1%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017
710 Points ∼11%
Huawei Nova Plus
384 Points ∼6% -46%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
382 Points ∼6% -46%
Honor 8
818 Points ∼13% +15%
ZTE Axon 7
2528 Points ∼40% +256%
OnePlus 3T
2418 Points ∼38% +241%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017
816 Points ∼15%
Huawei Nova Plus
465 Points ∼8% -43%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
461 Points ∼8% -44%
Honor 8
961 Points ∼17% +18%
ZTE Axon 7
2500 Points ∼45% +206%
OnePlus 3T
2221 Points ∼40% +172%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017
1752 Points ∼42%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
1479 Points ∼35% -16%
Huawei Nova Plus
1795 Points ∼43% +2%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
1631 Points ∼39% -7%
Honor 8
2587 Points ∼61% +48%
ZTE Axon 7
1099 Points ∼26% -37%
OnePlus 3T
1452 Points ∼34% -17%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017
1053 Points ∼10%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
275 Points ∼3% -74%
Huawei Nova Plus
733 Points ∼7% -30%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
725 Points ∼7% -31%
Honor 8
1112 Points ∼10% +6%
ZTE Axon 7
4619 Points ∼43% +339%
OnePlus 3T
3310 Points ∼31% +214%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017
1155 Points ∼16%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
336 Points ∼5% -71%
Huawei Nova Plus
844 Points ∼12% -27%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
827 Points ∼12% -28%
Honor 8
1273 Points ∼18% +10%
ZTE Axon 7
2698 Points ∼38% +134%
OnePlus 3T
2577 Points ∼36% +123%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017
13057 Points ∼15%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
9495 Points ∼11% -27%
Huawei Nova Plus
15823 Points ∼18% +21%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
15923 Points ∼18% +22%
Honor 8
15531 Points ∼18% +19%
ZTE Axon 7
20408 Points ∼24% +56%
OnePlus 3T
22426 Points ∼26% +72%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017
13314 Points ∼3%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
7542 Points ∼1% -43%
Huawei Nova Plus
13412 Points ∼3% +1%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
13437 Points ∼3% +1%
Honor 8
22157 Points ∼4% +66%
ZTE Axon 7
24310 Points ∼5% +83%
OnePlus 3T
34494 Points ∼6% +159%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017
13256 Points ∼6%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
7903 Points ∼3% -40%
Huawei Nova Plus
13882 Points ∼6% +5%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
13920 Points ∼6% +5%
Honor 8
20235 Points ∼9% +53%
ZTE Axon 7
23319 Points ∼10% +76%
OnePlus 3T
30810 Points ∼13% +132%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017
34 fps ∼0%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
14 fps ∼0% -59%
Huawei Nova Plus
23 fps ∼0% -32%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
23 fps ∼0% -32%
Honor 8
41 fps ∼0% +21%
ZTE Axon 7
88 fps ∼1% +159%
OnePlus 3T
91 fps ∼1% +168%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017
33 fps ∼1%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
14 fps ∼0% -58%
Huawei Nova Plus
23 fps ∼1% -30%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
23 fps ∼1% -30%
Honor 8
43 fps ∼1% +30%
ZTE Axon 7
53 fps ∼2% +61%
OnePlus 3T
59 fps ∼2% +79%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017
15 fps ∼3%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
3.8 fps ∼1% -75%
Huawei Nova Plus
9.9 fps ∼2% -34%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
10 fps ∼2% -33%
Honor 8
19 fps ∼3% +27%
ZTE Axon 7
39 fps ∼7% +160%
OnePlus 3T
46 fps ∼8% +207%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017
15 fps ∼4%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
3.8 fps ∼1% -75%
Huawei Nova Plus
10 fps ∼3% -33%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
10 fps ∼3% -33%
Honor 8
19 fps ∼5% +27%
ZTE Axon 7
28 fps ∼8% +87%
OnePlus 3T
45 fps ∼12% +200%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017
9.1 fps ∼0%
Huawei Nova Plus
6.2 fps ∼0% -32%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
6.2 fps ∼0% -32%
Honor 8
10 fps ∼0% +10%
ZTE Axon 7
31 fps ∼1% +241%
OnePlus 3T
32 fps ∼1% +252%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017
9 fps ∼0%
Huawei Nova Plus
6.6 fps ∼0% -27%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
6.7 fps ∼0% -26%
Honor 8
11 fps ∼0% +22%
ZTE Axon 7
16 fps ∼0% +78%
OnePlus 3T
32 fps ∼1% +256%
PCMark for Android - Work performance score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017
5035 Points ∼26%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
4008 Points ∼20% -20%
Huawei Nova Plus
5724 Points ∼29% +14%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
6767 Points ∼35% +34%
Honor 8
6735 Points ∼34% +34%
ZTE Axon 7
4970 Points ∼25% -1%
OnePlus 3T
5664 Points ∼29% +12%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017
659 Points ∼32%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
741 Points ∼36% +12%
Huawei Nova Plus
754 Points ∼37% +14%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
649 Points ∼32% -2%
Honor 8
994 Points ∼49% +51%
ZTE Axon 7
963 Points ∼47% +46%
OnePlus 3T
891 Points ∼44% +35%
Graphics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017
1528 Points ∼5%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
488 Points ∼2% -68%
Huawei Nova Plus
1015 Points ∼4% -34%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
1013 Points ∼4% -34%
Honor 8
1703 Points ∼6% +11%
ZTE Axon 7
4631 Points ∼16% +203%
OnePlus 3T
4444 Points ∼15% +191%
Memory (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017
1508 Points ∼24%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
554 Points ∼9% -63%
Huawei Nova Plus
1553 Points ∼25% +3%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
795 Points ∼13% -47%
Honor 8
2556 Points ∼41% +69%
ZTE Axon 7
1489 Points ∼24% -1%
OnePlus 3T
1954 Points ∼31% +30%
System (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017
2593 Points ∼16%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
2153 Points ∼13% -17%
Huawei Nova Plus
2132 Points ∼13% -18%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
2069 Points ∼13% -20%
Honor 8
3952 Points ∼24% +52%
ZTE Axon 7
3307 Points ∼20% +28%
OnePlus 3T
3130 Points ∼19% +21%
Overall (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017
1408 Points ∼17%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
810 Points ∼10% -42%
Huawei Nova Plus
1262 Points ∼15% -10%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
1019 Points ∼12% -28%
Honor 8
2034 Points ∼24% +44%
ZTE Axon 7
2165 Points ∼26% +54%
OnePlus 3T
2218 Points ∼26% +58%

Legend

 
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 Samsung Exynos 7880, ARM Mali-T830 MP3, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016 Samsung Exynos 7580 Octa, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Huawei Nova Plus Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, Qualcomm Adreno 506, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Lenovo Moto Z Play Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, Qualcomm Adreno 506, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Honor 8 HiSilicon Kirin 950, ARM Mali-T880 MP4, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
ZTE Axon 7 Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 MSM8996, Qualcomm Adreno 530, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
OnePlus 3T Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 MSM8996 Pro, Qualcomm Adreno 530, 64 GB UFS 2.0 Flash

We used the preloaded Samsung browser that is based on Chrome 44 for Internet browsing. Subjectively, it functioned really well and the benchmarks also confirms the good performance of Samsung's Galaxy A5 (2017). Only the competitors based on a stronger SoC are even faster.

WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017
89 Points ∼11%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
64 Points ∼8% -28%
Huawei Nova Plus
83 Points ∼10% -7%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
83 Points ∼10% -7%
Honor 8
138 Points ∼17% +55%
ZTE Axon 7
111 Points ∼14% +25%
OnePlus 3T
135 Points ∼17% +52%
JetStream 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017
32.222 Points ∼10%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
22 Points ∼7% -32%
Huawei Nova Plus
31.3 Points ∼9% -3%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
31.8 Points ∼10% -1%
Honor 8
64.046 Points ∼19% +99%
ZTE Axon 7
44.754 Points ∼13% +39%
OnePlus 3T
54.526 Points ∼16% +69%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017
5256 Points ∼11%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
3611 Points ∼7% -31%
Huawei Nova Plus
4730 Points ∼9% -10%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
4979 Points ∼10% -5%
Honor 8
10692 Points ∼21% +103%
ZTE Axon 7
8062 Points ∼16% +53%
OnePlus 3T
9798 Points ∼20% +86%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017
6442.4 ms * ∼11%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
11887 ms * ∼20% -85%
Huawei Nova Plus
8027.7 ms * ∼13% -25%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
8168.9 ms * ∼14% -27%
Honor 8
2979 ms * ∼5% +54%
ZTE Axon 7
3096.5 ms * ∼5% +52%
OnePlus 3T
2719.3 ms * ∼5% +58%

* ... smaller is better

Samsung's Galaxy A5 (2017) offers 32 GB of eMMC flash memory. Approximately 23 GB is available after initial use, and when all updates have been downloaded this even shrinks to just 20.2 GB. Uninstalling the little bloatware retrieves an additional 300 MB of storage. The flash memory's speed is the slowest in the comparison field and can also only be called slow otherwise.

We tested the micro-SD slot with our Toshiba Exceria Pro M401 reference card. The smartphone does not show any weaknesses here and delivers relatively good rates although the memory card's potential is not exhausted.

Samsung Galaxy A5 2017Samsung Galaxy A5 2016Huawei Nova PlusLenovo Moto Z PlayHonor 8ZTE Axon 7OnePlus 3T
AndroBench 3-5
-3%
27%
63%
36%
115%
305%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
55.98
33.32
-40%
50.57
-10%
23.59
-58%
51.34
-8%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
73.71
41.64
-44%
74.58
1%
53.68
-27%
78.39
6%
Random Write 4KB
12.13
11.2
-8%
30.12
148%
45.58
276%
31.5
160%
16.22
34%
74.39
513%
Random Read 4KB
22.41
22.9
2%
35.64
59%
38.78
73%
34.16
52%
121.07
440%
123.57
451%
Sequential Write 256KB
77.1
60.4
-22%
82.13
7%
73.14
-5%
119.25
55%
150.92
96%
165.3
114%
Sequential Read 256KB
182.03
209.4
15%
241.57
33%
254.78
40%
247.46
36%
406.49
123%
436.43
140%

Games

The ARM Mali-T830 MP3 graphics unit provides a decent mid-range performance and supports the latest OpenGL ES 3.2 standard, but not the Vulkan API. Thus, all games from Google's Play Store are playable, and even more demanding games like Asphalt 8 run in high details. However, minor stutters might occasionally be noticed then. This is also true for Dead Trigger 2 that also seems to have a frame rate limitation. Simple games, such as Bubble Witch 3 Saga, run smoothly.

The hardware in the Galaxy A5 does not give reason for complaint. The touchscreen and sensors do an impeccable job. The speaker's good positioning has to be especially highlighted here. Furthermore, the Game Launcher known from the S series is also onboard.

Asphalt 8: Airborne
 SettingsValue
 high29 fps
 very low30 fps
Dead Trigger 2
 SettingsValue
 high30 fps

Emissions

Temperature

The surface temperatures of Samsung's Galaxy A5 (2017) stay relatively low even during permanent load and do not surpass 34 °C. We examined whether the smartphone also stays cool under its hood with the GFXBench battery test. In the easier T-Rex test (OpenGL ES 2.0), the review sample's performance drops by about 20% after 12 runs. The performance loss is on a similar level in the more demanding Manhattan test. Thus, throttling can be determined.

GFXBench battery test (OpenGL ES 2.0)
GFXBench battery test (OpenGL ES 2.0)
GFXBench battery test (OpenGL ES 2.0)
GFXBench battery test (OpenGL ES 2.0)
GFXBench battery test (OpenGL ES 3.1)
GFXBench battery test (OpenGL ES 3.1)
GFXBench battery test (OpenGL ES 3.1)
GFXBench battery test (OpenGL ES 3.1)
Max. Load
 32.5 °C
91 F
32.2 °C
90 F
31.2 °C
88 F
 
 33.3 °C
92 F
33 °C
91 F
32.9 °C
91 F
 
 33.4 °C
92 F
33.3 °C
92 F
32.7 °C
91 F
 
Maximum: 33.4 °C = 92 F
Average: 32.7 °C = 91 F
30.3 °C
87 F
31.2 °C
88 F
31.5 °C
89 F
30.7 °C
87 F
33 °C
91 F
32.5 °C
91 F
29.3 °C
85 F
33.5 °C
92 F
34 °C
93 F
Maximum: 34 °C = 93 F
Average: 31.8 °C = 89 F
Power Supply (max.)  30 °C = 86 F | Room Temperature 21.5 °C = 71 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 32.7 °C / 91 F, compared to the average of 33 °C / 91 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 33.4 °C / 92 F, compared to the average of 35.5 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 34 °C / 93 F, compared to the average of 34.1 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 31.1 °C / 88 F, compared to the device average of 33 °C / 91 F.

Speaker

Pink Noise diagram
Pink Noise diagram

The at first seemingly strange positioning of the mono speaker in Samsung's Galaxy A5 (2017) turns out to be well considered. The device can be placed on a table, held in portrait or landscape mode without covering it. The speaker's quality is sufficient for occasionally watching a short video or sampling music pieces. The emphasis of the higher mids at around 1 kHz creates a relatively dominant sound impression that is not particularly balanced.

The audio jack offers a low-noise sound reproduction when using the right headphone. The included in-ear headset does not do a particularly good job here. It produces audible noise and the low tones are too prominent. Although this simulates a powerful sound, it does not convince in terms of balance and accuracy. Furthermore, each earbud has to be pushed deeply into the ear canals for achieving the best possible result.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2031.641.12525.4403125.336.74032.9365033.635.66331.630.68028.432.91002733.812520.841.71602244.420021.348.425020.850.531521.256.640019.462.550019.566.263017.766.180017.974.2100017.877.3125017.374.3160017.473.8200016.771.8250017.269.3315018.269.5400017.966.5500017.661.4630017.755.8800017.854.51000017.959.91250018.152.21600018.249.5SPL3083N1.350.1median 17.9median 61.4Delta1.39.531.64225.437.625.331.432.936.333.651.731.634.328.431.72736.920.8262229.921.341.820.853.921.259.419.463.619.567.417.766.117.970.117.869.817.373.417.474.616.776.717.277.218.278.917.979.617.67617.772.917.873.217.971.118.164.518.257.23087.41.368.4median 17.9median 69.81.310.231.635.725.434.625.329.332.928.433.637.131.634.728.429.52729.720.8332243.221.349.620.85621.257.419.459.319.566.517.768.517.974.417.875.117.377.317.478.316.778.417.278.218.278.217.976.117.67517.773.517.873.717.97418.175.218.2693088.11.372.7median 17.9median 73.71.39.2hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseSamsung Galaxy A5 2017Huawei Nova PlusLenovo Moto Z Play
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (82.96 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 15.5% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 9.4% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (7.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (22.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 31% of all tested devices in this class were better, 11% similar, 58% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 56% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 36% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Huawei Nova Plus audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (87.39 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 28.5% lower than median
(-) | bass is not linear (15.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.5% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5.7% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (3.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (21.5% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 23% of all tested devices in this class were better, 12% similar, 66% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 51% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 41% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Lenovo Moto Z Play audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (88.13 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 28.9% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (8.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 5.2% lower than median
(+) | mids are linear (4.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 1.9% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (1.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (18.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 6% of all tested devices in this class were better, 4% similar, 89% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 32% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 62% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency diagram in comparison (checkboxes above can be turned on/off!)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The power consumption measurements of Samsung's Galaxy A5 (2017) are convincing and have been improved greatly compared with the predecessor. The smartphone drains 1.36 watts from the outlet with the screen brightness set to maximum manually. This rate increases to 1.88 watts when the ambient light sensor is enabled. The A5 consumes 4.81 watts during full load with enabled sensor.

The review sample is also pleasingly efficient in standby mode. The consumption climbs to 0.25 watts when the Display-Always-On is used, which is also a good rate. The power supply's internal consumption is also pleasingly low. It settles to 0.006 watts when the handset is not connected.

Since the Galaxy A5 (2017) supports Quick Charge, it does not need long to recharge. The battery reaches a capacity of 23% after 15 minutes, and it is charged to 43% after half an hour. 80% is reached after 56 minutes, and it is completely recharged in 90 minutes.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0 / 0.14 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.64 / 1.36 / 1.4 Watt
Load midlight 2.53 / 3.63 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017
3000 mAh
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
2900 mAh
Huawei Nova Plus
3340 mAh
Lenovo Moto Z Play
3510 mAh
Honor 8
3000 mAh
ZTE Axon 7
3250 mAh
OnePlus 3T
3400 mAh
Power Consumption
-30%
-16%
23%
-53%
-50%
-84%
Idle Minimum *
0.64
0.96
-50%
0.49
23%
0.51
20%
0.78
-22%
0.64
-0%
0.61
5%
Idle Average *
1.36
1.64
-21%
1.63
-20%
0.87
36%
1.89
-39%
0.84
38%
1.77
-30%
Idle Maximum *
1.4
1.71
-22%
1.76
-26%
0.9
36%
2.02
-44%
0.87
38%
1.81
-29%
Load Average *
2.53
2.98
-18%
2.98
-18%
1.69
33%
5.28
-109%
6.02
-138%
6.67
-164%
Load Maximum *
3.63
5.08
-40%
4.99
-37%
4
-10%
5.44
-50%
10.45
-188%
10.98
-202%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

We already expected good runtimes just in view of the low power consumption. However, the Galaxy A5 (2017) even surpasses this and presents a superb battery life. This is likely mainly due to the medium energy-saving mode that was enabled in the test using an adapted screen brightness (150 cd/m²). Only the Moto Z Play achieves better runtimes in the comparison field, but it also has a much bigger battery.

We also performed the PCMark Work 2.0 Battery Life Test (150 cd/m²) that simulates everyday use based on the benchmark. The Galaxy A5 (2017) achieved an even better runtime than Huawei's Mate 9 (4000 mAh) here.

PCMark for Android - Work 2.0 battery life
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017
681 min ∼100%
Huawei Mate 9
677 min ∼99% -1%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
473 min ∼69% -31%
Samsung Galaxy S7
371 min ∼54% -46%
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
40h 18min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
14h 03min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
16h 24min
Load (maximum brightness)
7h 47min
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017
3000 mAh
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
2900 mAh
Huawei Nova Plus
3340 mAh
Lenovo Moto Z Play
3510 mAh
Honor 8
3000 mAh
ZTE Axon 7
3250 mAh
OnePlus 3T
3400 mAh
Battery Runtime
-15%
-17%
16%
-43%
-39%
-35%
Reader / Idle
2418
2323
-4%
2048
-15%
2540
5%
1487
-39%
1735
-28%
1423
-41%
H.264
984
672
-32%
732
-26%
1190
21%
526
-47%
704
-28%
810
-18%
WiFi v1.3
843
626
-26%
820
-3%
824
-2%
499
-41%
411
-51%
494
-41%
Load
467
483
3%
366
-22%
652
40%
255
-45%
245
-48%
282
-40%

Pros

+ great screen
+ superb design
+ super battery life
+ water and dust-resistant (IP68)
+ expandable storage
+ broad wireless mobile network frequency coverage
+ USB Type-C
+ fast SoC

Cons

- no OTG
- USB 2.0 only
- body SAR could be lower
- no dual-SIM
- PWM
- weak system performance
- slow eMMC storage

Verdict

In review: Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 (SM-A520F).  Test model courtesy of Notebooksbilliger.de
In review: Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 (SM-A520F). Test model courtesy of Notebooksbilliger.de

The new 2017 version of Samsung's Galaxy A5 (SM-A520F) is in no way inferior to its competition - the Korean manufacturer delivers a really good smartphone. Its successful design and, above all, its outstanding battery life are convincing. Although the performance does not set standards, it is very appropriate for the price range. Only the Grace UI does not run quite smoothly everywhere, but it is an improvement over its TouchWiz predecessor. The cameras shoot good photos although we would have wished for a better configuration for the video function. The dust and water resistance, which is also found in Samsung's premium models, is unique in this price range. The screen is simply superb. However, users who react sensitively to PWM-flickering, as is the case here, should consider this when choosing a smartphone.

Samsung has improved the most important points in its new Galaxy A5 and primarily convinces with its outstanding battery life.

The Galaxy A5 (2017) does not exhibit any major shortcomings, but small details, such as the slow storage, the lack of OTG and dual-SIM, might certainly be the decisive features for some buyers.

Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 - 02/07/2017 v6
Daniel Schmidt

Chassis
92%
Keyboard
67 / 75 → 89%
Pointing Device
91%
Connectivity
47 / 60 → 79%
Weight
92%
Battery
97%
Display
92%
Games Performance
41 / 63 → 65%
Application Performance
50 / 70 → 71%
Temperature
92%
Noise
100%
Audio
58 / 91 → 64%
Camera
71%
Average
76%
87%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Smartphone Review
Daniel Schmidt, 2017-02-14 (Update: 2019-04-13)