What if you want a phone that does everything well, but doesn’t cost the $999 to $1449 that the current crop of Galaxy S6 handsets go for?
For this, you can either turn to one of the older handsets, such as the Galaxy S5, which is no doubt dropping in price with its brand new brother and sister out (Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge), or you can look for something made for this purpose, and for that, Samsung has the Galaxy A5, one of the more interesting phones we’ve seen from the handset, primarily because it does a lot of good for a price range that well and truly is mid-range.
Take a look at the phone and you’ll see what we mean.
On the one hand, it’s clean, with a white plastic back that isn’t textured to be the fake leather like we’ve seen in the past, but just feels slick enough to be good, and not like the overly glossy plastic of some other handsets.
Offsetting this is a metal edge, and it’s real metal, not that fake metal trim Samsung used on the S5.
In fact, that metal trim has been borrowed from the style of the Galaxy Note 4, and that’s when it dawns on you that the Galaxy A5 is a bit of a balancing act, providing some of the better bits of past established Samsung flagship phones in a design that works well for a mid-range price.
For instance, there’s the back of the Galaxy S3 with its left to right flash-camera-speaker design, the edge of the Galaxy Note 4 made from metal painted white, and the camera from the Galaxy S4, because they’re both 13 megapixels and it makes more sense to assume Samsung grabbed the same sensor from the two year old phone instead of developing something new for the mid-range.
Yes, this appears to be Samsung looking back on past products and saying “this will work” by plucking various elements for an all-rounder that works across the board.
And that’s what this does, working across the board to provide something decent for a middle range price.
In the hands, it’s definitely comfortable enough, and Samsung’s staple button configuration is here, unchanged from the past year, with a power button on the right edge, volume rocker on the left, and the regular home button flanked on other side by the multi-task and back buttons which are soft (no physical button underneath) but light up and vibrate when you press them.
Hooray for simulated presses.
Switch it on and a lovely little 5 inch screen comes to life, bright and cheery, and reliant on Samsung’s Super AMOLED technology offering excellent viewing angles, though offering the 720p HD screen resolution instead of the Full HD 1080p res used on the S4 and S5, and the new Quad HD 1440p on the Galaxy S6.