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Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 review

 Review: February 2017  

Last updated August 2017

Rating: 5 stars

In a nutshell: The Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 is a beautiful phone with a sharp screen, fast processor, and plenty of memory. Now that the price has fallen to around 20/month, it's super value too.


An A series phone for 2017

We initially gave the 2017 version of the Galaxy A5 a 4-star rating because of its sky-high launch price. Now that the price has fallen to £20/month we've changed our rating to 5 stars.

The A5 is the large-screen version of the Galaxy A3 2017, with a 5.2 inch screen instead of 4.7 inches. That moves it out of the compact arena and into the mainstream. Like the A3, the A5 is a superslim phone that's been beautifully designed, with a seamless unibody made of metal and glass. Everything sits flush, including the camera, and the phone is dust-and water-resistant to the IP68 standard.

The screen is one of Samsung's excellent Super AMOLED displays, measuring a generous 5.2 inches, with 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution. That's significantly less than the Galaxy S7, but comparable with mid-range phones like the Huawei P10 Lite or Sony Xperia X. Compared with these phones, the Samsung's screen is vibrant and clear.

The A5 is available in a choice of colours - Black, Gold, Peach and Blue.

Octacore processor

The 2017 version of the A5 has an uprated processor compared with the A3. It runs at 1.9 GHz, instead of 1.6GHz, giving a welcome boost to performance. The RAM has also been increased to 3GB. This is still a mid-range configuration however - by comparison the Galaxy S7 runs at 2.6GHz and has 4GB of RAM.

The onboard storage is a decent 32GB, and this can be increased by a massive 256GB by adding a microSD card.

The phone runs Android 6.0.1 (Marshmallow.)

16 megapixel camera

Both front and rear cameras have been upgraded to 16 megapixels, with autofocus, HDR mode, an LED flash, and a wide f/1.9 aperture for the main camera. This enables it to perform well both in daylight and in poorer lighting conditions. The front camera isn't such a high performer, but still captures good selfie shots.

Both cameras can record video at full HD resolution.


Like the 2017 version of the Galaxy A3, the USB has been upgraded to the new USB Type-C connection. The phone is 4G capable, with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC and ANT+ connectivity too. It also includes GPS, Glonass and Beidou location services.

Bigger battery

We complained about the battery life of the Galaxy A3, but the A5 fairs better with a much bigger battery - 3000mAh - which is nearly 30% larger. You should expect to get a full day's use between charges.

Note that because of the unibody design, the battery is not removable.

Conclusion - a beautiful phone, now sensibly-priced

The 2017 Galaxy A5 is a beautiful device, with high-end looks and very solid mid-to-higher-end performance. The price has fallen considerably since launch, and the phone now competes with phones like the Huawei P10 Lite and Sony Xperia X.

The A5 (2017 edition) compares very well with these phones. Like them, it's been beautifully crafted, and it performs well across the board, with a sharp screen, meaty processor, plenty of memory and decent battery life. The new A5 has the advantage of water-resistance and USB Type-C support.

Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 features include:

User questions

Sorry - questions and comments on this page are now closed.

Sar rating?

Asked by michelle from United Kingdom on 14th Aug 2017
Desperately looking for correct sar rating on a5 2017. samsung say 1.39 but everywhere else show less than 1! do you know? are samsung right? seems so high in comparison with their other phones and the a5 previous ratings. thanks

Reply by S21 from UK on 14th Aug 2017
Samsung's official figures show a SAR body rating of 1.390 W/Kg for the A5 2017 compared with 0.475 W/Kg for the A5 2016. However, the 2017 rating was measured at a distance of 0.5cm, while the 2016 figure was obtained at a separation distance of 1.5 cm. The two numbers are therefore not directly comparable. However in both cases the measurements comply with the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection recommendation of 2.0 W/kg.


Have you got the A3 and A5 confused?

Asked by Chris from Wales on 15th Jul 2017
You suggest people should wait for the A3 to fall to 25 and A5 20. Given the A5 is the larger model, isn't this the wrong way around?

Reply by S21 from UK on 15th Jul 2017
Hi Chris, we wanted the A3 2017 to fall to around 15/month (it's now around 18/month) and the A5 2017 to fall to 20/month (it's now about that). So it looks like now is a good time to buy either of these phones.

Reply by Chris from Wales on 12th Aug 2017
Thanks for confirming. There's a typing error in that case - 25 instead of 15 showing against the A3.

Reply by S21 from UK on 12th Aug 2017
Hi Chris, thanks for that. We'll update the review now that the price has fallen significantly.

Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 user reviews

Sorry - reviews and comments on this page are now closed.