Samsung’s very first Galaxy A smartphones debuted in early 2015. Back then, the company seriously needed a mid-segment device to divert attention to something new after the Galaxy S5 failed miserably.It did that with the A5, which had a new design that looked way nicer than the S5 and offered similar hardware and software features for much less.

 

But surprisingly just couple of months later, the Galaxy S6 launched and it turned out well. Its design was changed drastically, which also made it to subsequent Galaxy A series devices next year. The Galaxy A5 2017 is third device in the series, and Samsung has simply done the same thing. But it has worked, obviously because the Galaxy S7 is such a stunning device.

Design and display

Samsung has made no mistakes making the Galaxy A5, or shall we say while recreating the S7’s design at a lower price.

 

Though both the A5 and A7 have premium glass and metal design, the A5 also has the same display size that makes it the real S7 doppelganger. The front has damage-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass 4 which is slightly curved at the periphery, while the rear glass is curved at the edges for better hold, but is not from Corning.

The also comes in Black colour variant and manages to look the best in whole of the mid-segment.In fact the reason why you will consider it over the OnePlus 3 or as an alternative to the Galaxy S7 is the IP68 water resistant. The phone is certified to stay under water (about 5ft deep) for 30 minutes.

 

Improving over the Galaxy S7’s design, the Galaxy A5 has its speakers placed around the right edge so you don’t cover it shut while gaming or watching movies; uses Type C USB for fast charging; has dual SIM slots and a separate micro SD card slot and has no camera bump. There are dual microphones for noise cancellation that deliver great voice quality and a headphone jack at the bottom.

 

A5’s 5.2 inch display is a super AMOLED panel with Full HD resolution. Like most mid-range smartphones we have seen, it’s smooth and vivid. But Samsung’s Super AMOLED panels are amazingly bright which makes the phone a delight to use even in bright shiny outdoors.

 

Software and Performance

The major difference between the S7 and the A5 boils is the chipset. While the A5 uses mid-segment ExynosOcta 7880 -the best processor in the 7 series, the S7 uses ExynosOcta 8890 which is a notch above it.

 

But it is interesting to note that the difference is limited to the paper for most to the usage. In real world experience, the new Galaxy A5 doesn’t lag or shy away from intensive multi-tasking. Gaming is smooth, though you will witness slower load times than the Galaxy S7, or the OnePlus 3 which comes at a similar price. But you will be able to run almost every game.

 

In fact for the slight hitches that remain in Samsung’s own interface built over the Android Marshmallow, you can expect the phone to run just fine. The interface supports features like multi-window and pop-out video player, has a smarter gallery and security app that allows you to lock and hide apps and browse safely on an open or public Wi-Fi.

All this accounts for the flagship experience talked about earlier. Also, add to that Samsung Pay which allows you to add a card and pay directly from your smartphone.

 

Camera

The Galaxy A5 2017 has 16MP front and rear shooters. Off course you would want to compare it with the Galaxy S7. And off course they aren’t the same. But not all is lost.

Galaxy A5’s camera isn’t a dual pixel sensor but just a simple 16MP sensor used on majority of smartphones in this range. The fact that Samsung uses the same dual pixel camera on the Galaxy S8 as well shows that it’s the most top end camera it ever made.Its fast Auto-focus is faster than even the iPhone 7’s camera. Galaxy A5 misses out on that. But the details and sharpness are nowhere lacking. The colour reproduction of the sensor is nice as you would see in the sample photos.

 

And this camera goes to the front as well, which you can’t really complain about. The lens could have been wider, surely, but it captures stunning details, better than what the S7 did. Here's a camera sample:

 

Verdict

The only question you would be asking is ‘should I buy this over the Galaxy S7’. If yes what what’s there to lose? Almost nothing. Yes there is a lower end chipset in there and the rear camera doesn’t focus as fast. But that’s that. Every functionality and feel of the device is same and the only big reason you would spend more is to get that name.