Samsung Galaxy A5 hands-on

The Galaxy A5, a new mid-range device by Samsung, is on display at CES 2015, and we’re getting our first acquaintance with the handset on the showroom floor. It’s a 5” device with a 720p resolution, a quad-core Snadpragon 410 system chip, a 13-megapixel camera, and a 2300mAh battery.

The big highlight, however, is clearly the new design that Samsung is using on this and other new devices: a sleek profile with the main frame made out of aluminum, a stylish look similar to that of the Galaxy Alpha.


The new Samsung style shown in the Galaxy A5 is alluring and makes the device stand out in the sea of plastic Android devices. The metal frame is definitely a welcome surprise in such an affordable handset, and so is the slim profile.

The Galaxy A5 measures 5.48 x 2.74 x 0.26 inches (X x Y x Z), and the thinness is particularly impressive. Apart from that, we have the typical large home key up front, lock key on the right and volume keys on the left side.


The 5-inch display of the Galaxy A5 sports a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels which we find to be fine in terms of sharpness: you could spot pixelization if you look at the screen from up close, but the pixel density of 294ppi definitely provides a picture that is sharp enough to please most people. It’s a Super AMOLED panel that we’re looking at, with the traditional deep black, excellent contrast and great viewing angles.


The Galaxy A5 runs on Android 4.4 KitKat with Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface. All has been said about the TouchWiz skin - it’s a rich, sometimes overwhelmingly rich, custom skin with some likable options, but a bit of an excess of cartoony color and some sluggish parts. The more interesting question is when this phone will get updated to the newer Android 5.0 Lollipop, and while we do not have the answer to that, we hope that the answer is ‘soon’.

Processor and Memory

The quad-core Snapdragon 410 system chip aboard the Galaxy A5 places it straight into the mid-range, affordable category. With differences in sharpness being pretty minimal in their practical appearance, it is the system chip that has become the one element that sets devices apart the most.

Our impressions are that the phone runs fine for daily tasks and games. It might not be future proof, but having a 720p resolution (and not 1080p) plays to its benefit as games play with ease and nice framerates.


We’re looking at a 13-megapixel main camera and a 5-megapixel front shooter on the Galaxy A5. The resolution can’t tell the whole story, but 13-megapixel is enough to ensure more than sufficient level of detail. The Galaxy A5 also supports 1080p Full HD video recording. It lacks 4K video recording, though, and that is another shortcoming that sets it apart from higher-end phones. We ought to say that we appreciate Samsung adding a more capable, 5-megapixel front cam in here, as it’s clear that selfies have taken over the world by a smartphone, and there’s basically no going back.


Overall, the Galaxy A5 is an important step forward in terms of design. With the performance of most devices being very similar for daily tasks, Samsung has found it hard to differentiate and convince users that its premium priced devices are worth the money. This new design is a convincing argument, one that we expect to relate to consumers better than a pure increase in specs would.

Related phones

Galaxy A5
  • Display 5.0" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 410, Quad-core, 1200 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2300 mAh(15h 3G talk time)



1. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Samsung really has come a long way since Galaxy S5's design. The only design improvement that requires fixing is the speaker on the back. They need to do something like Sony and not HTC i.e. front facing stereo speakers without the ugly bezels.

11. M4th3u54ndr4d3

Posts: 67; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

It's a beautiful device, but I see the same boring design. I want a REALLY NEW design on the S6. No S3/S4/S5/Alpha/A3/A5/Note 2/Note 3/Note 4 design. Not just a "redesign" Something new, really new

27. Carlo999

Posts: 6; Member since: Jan 10, 2015

they could start by making a f**king phone with a keyboard and decent stats, this conventions so stupid; oh hi everyone we all made the same f**king phones just giving or taking some of the same s**t to cover different price ranges, no variety

18. laughmi

Posts: 283; Member since: Oct 28, 2014

They should have implemented the Alpha's speaker which is placed down. The only concern for me about A5 and A3 are whether they would get updated to Lollipop in all the regions or Samsung would leave them mid-way as they always do.

2. The_Godfather

Posts: 196; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

Looks great and the build quality is much better as compare to iPhone 5 and 6. This device will do great.

3. EC112987

Posts: 1215; Member since: Nov 10, 2014

Troll llol why don't you state that it looks better than the Gs5. People aren't complaining about Samsungs design because of apple but because their last devices fell short of great. You're right the device looks great. The iphone 5 was apples best design to date.

6. The_Godfather

Posts: 196; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

I am not trolling here and just given my opinion. Definitely this device looks better than S5 no doubt about that. If you read my comment, I was actually comparing the build quality between this and iPhone 5 - 6.

13. Tracy1988

Posts: 208; Member since: Dec 18, 2014

Speaker on the back = FAIL Protruding camera = FAIL High price + Low specs = FAIL

24. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Are you talking about an iPhone?

25. Tracy1988

Posts: 208; Member since: Dec 18, 2014

The iPhone has the stupid protruding camera too but at least it doesn't have the speaker on the back. I'm not an iFan and I think Apple products are overpriced too but Apple is in its own class, hardware/system wise. It's much easier to compare this overpriced garbage to other android phones. BTW can you stop asking such stupid question? This article is about the Samsung A5.

28. Carlo999

Posts: 6; Member since: Jan 10, 2015

iphones are f**king terrible in every conceivable way, design included

30. Tracy1988

Posts: 208; Member since: Dec 18, 2014

And you wish you could own one. Lol dumb ass troll.

32. Carlo999

Posts: 6; Member since: Jan 10, 2015

that was pretty retarded why would i wanna own an iphone? maybe if I got it for free so I could sell it to some idiot that'd want to buy it lol

15. Tracy1988

Posts: 208; Member since: Dec 18, 2014

What's so great about this design? I wouldn't buy this phone even it's half priced.

4. Sharky

Posts: 259; Member since: Jun 24, 2008

I quite liked the look and feel of the Galaxy Alpha. Its just too bad that its been discontinued and the A3 and A5 don't seem to be coming to the US.

14. Tracy1988

Posts: 208; Member since: Dec 18, 2014

Galaxy Alpha is a joke. No SD card slot. Tiny battery. A3 and A5 are low specs and overpriced. Good riddance.

33. Carlo999

Posts: 6; Member since: Jan 10, 2015

yeah those specs are utter garbage

21. HarryWild

Posts: 60; Member since: Oct 18, 2012

You can buy it through Expansys! It the U.S. model too!

5. Feanor

Posts: 1365; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

Sorry but you don't fix design issues by just replacing materials. Design involves other subtleties and works in more subliminal ways. The A5 still screams generic Samsung and I think that there is a lot that needs fixing, like the non descript curvature of the back and the camera framing. Funny also that Samsung found a nice unique frame treatment for the Galaxy Alpha and the Note 4 and they gave it up again here.

7. Donone41

Posts: 246; Member since: Dec 17, 2014

It's a budget device for crying out loud. What were you expecting?

16. Tracy1988

Posts: 208; Member since: Dec 18, 2014

$400+ device is a budget device? Are you out of your mind? Have you heard of Zenfone 2 yet?

12. M4th3u54ndr4d3

Posts: 67; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

Yes, I agree with you. It is the same old design essence (since the S3). But is very beautiful.

8. apple4never

Posts: 1064; Member since: May 08, 2013

TL;DR what was the price?

9. Sharky

Posts: 259; Member since: Jun 24, 2008

No official availability in the US, but on Expansys US it is $329 for the A3 and $409 for the A5. Overpriced given the specs.

17. Tracy1988

Posts: 208; Member since: Dec 18, 2014

Way overpriced. They must think we're really stupid.

29. Carlo999

Posts: 6; Member since: Jan 10, 2015

people are stupid all the st upid s**t they've bought has led the market into this stupid era of all the same f**king phones they need to make a keyboard phone with good specs already

31. Tracy1988

Posts: 208; Member since: Dec 18, 2014

Go buy a blackberry, troll. Lol

10. NotAGeek

Posts: 279; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

The phone's price are way overpriced according to today's standard especially when compared to the Zenfone 2

19. XaErO

Posts: 353; Member since: Sep 25, 2012

@John : your videos are good and explanatory .. But your video capturing camera always disappoints me. Even with slightest movement of subjects (Phones); it keeps refocusing and .. many a times i noticed the Phones are hold slightly away from the camera focus .. Additionally, as a user I always want to see, how a Samsung Touchwiz interface performs (even for low-mid range phones) .. Please show us some more details how the animations are and how fast it can opens an commonly used/popular apps. You are doing a very good job otherwise. @Victor : Thanks for the nice explanatory article.

20. HarryWild

Posts: 60; Member since: Oct 18, 2012

A 4.7" model would be ideal for me! I find a 5" a little big still! Hopefully, Samsung will make a 4.7" model with better specs then the A5 has. I don't like the low resolution screen and the dated 802.11 n Wi-Fi. Should have "ac" standard in all new smartphones.

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