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Samsung Galaxy A5 Real Life Usage Review

Samsung announced the upgraded models of its mid range segment smartphone at the Samsung Forum 2016. The company launched two new smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy A5 2016 and Samsung Galaxy A7 2016 in India last month. The A5 is the smaller variant which comes with a smaller screen size, lesser RAM and the pricing is also lesser among the two. I have been using this device for around two weeks as my primary phone and here is my verdict on the elegant looking Galaxy A5 2016.

Samsung Galaxy A5 2016 (14)

Samsung Galaxy A5 2016 Full Specs

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Samsung Galaxy A5 2016 Unboxing, Review, Pros, Cons [Video]

What are Usage Reviews, Tests and Opinions?

This review is based on our quick tests and usage done with the phone, we try to push the device to its limits and find out the results which will matter if you plan to buy this phone. We hope this review helps you to get your queries answered about the device.

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The Samsung Galaxy A5 2016 is powered by an octa-core Exynos 7580 processor, coupled with 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage. The device performs just decent for the price or I would say it falls behind many of its competitors in the same price range. Anyhow, there were no annoying lags or delays in the interface while doing normal tasks.

App Launch Speed

The app launch speed on the Galaxy A5 2016 was fast, but still we expected a breakthrough performance at this price point, which this device fails to deliver. It sometimes takes a few extra seconds to switch between apps and loading apps.

Multitasking and RAM Management

The Samsung Galaxy A5 2016 is packed with 2 GB of RAM, which is obviously not up to the standards these days. You get around 700 MB free RAM on the first boot, which is not the best to be expected. Although the minor lags between switching apps were rare but we do not expect this after shedding 30K on a smartphone these days.

Scrolling Speed

To test the scrolling speed of the browser, I used Facebook, went through blogs on chrome and other browsers. The rendering of the media and text on the page was really quick.


In day to day usage, I did not notice any heating issue but it was surely getting a little warm after gaming for long. Still the phone’s temperature was well under control and it did not become uncomfortable to hold in the hand.

Benchmark Scores

Galaxy A5 2016 Benchmarks

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It comes with a 13 MP rear autofocus camera having aperture f/1.9, focal length 28mm, and Optical Image Stabilization. The front camera is 5 MP with f/1.9 aperture 24mm wide angle lens and capability to record 1080p video.

Samsung Galaxy A5 2016 (17)

The rear camera on the Galaxy A5 2016 is very impressive. It performs great in day light, as you’d expect a good camera to perform. OIS avoids visible shakes and blurs from the pictures.  In dark conditions, it is tough to click good looking photos from the rear and front camera but in bright light, you will pictures will great details and colours.

Camera UI

The camera user interface on the phone is just as you would find on any Samsung Galaxy device. It features quick settings on the top, with options to change the flash, timer, enable effects and such things. At the bottom, you can control which camera to use to take the picture, along with a shutter button, a button to record a video and modes for the camera.


Day Light Photo Quality

Samsung Galaxy A5 A7 2016 HDR

Low Light Photo Quality

Samsung Galaxy A7 2016 Camera (11)

Selfie Photo Quality

Samsung Galaxy A5 2016 Camera Samples

Video Quality

The video quality on the Samsung Galaxy A5 2016 was really impressive. The OIS feature does a great job while recording videos, and eliminates most of the shakes to record a stable video.t

Battery Performance

The battery performance of the device is something that I liked. Despite of the Super AMOLED display and heavy UI skin, it manages to last for a day with some juice left in it. I used it for long calls, gaming and also instant messaging throughout the day with the Wi-Fi connected to it. The charging and screen on times that I got on the phone were also pretty good.

Charging Time

The Samsung Galaxy A5 2016 comes with Fast Charging and using the phone with the bundled charger charges the phone pretty quickly. This phone gets charged from 0-100% in less than 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Screen on Time

While using the smartphone, I would usually get around 5-6 hours of screen on time with moderate usage.

Battery Drop Rate Table

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Looks and Design

The most impressive element of the Samsung Galaxy A5 2016 in my opinion is the look and feel of the phone. It follows the same design language we have seen earlier on the Samsung’s A series lineup. The phone features a 5.2 inch Full HD screen on the front with ultra thin bezels and also has the authentic Samsung home button and the two traditional backlit buttons on the bottom. Samsung has used plenty of glass on the phone with 2.5D glass on the front and back. It makes it look elite and the phone feels very exotic to hold in hand.

Samsung Galaxy A5 2016 (13)

Samsung Galaxy A5 2016 Photo Gallery

Quality of Material

The front and back both come with a curved 2.5D Gorilla Glass coating with metal on the sides. The build material defines the real meaning of a premium body, and also feels solid in terms of durability.


Coming to the ergonomics of the device, the device is well designed. It is light to hold in the hand and is also easy to use with one hand, thanks to 7.3mm thickness. The curves on the size make it rest easily on the palm but the only risk is of the slipperiness. The phone is extremely slippery due to high use of glass on the body.

Display Clarity, Colors and Viewing Angles

The Galaxy A5 (2016) comes with a 5.2-inch Super AMOLED display, which offers a Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) resolution and rich colours and deep blacks. Has also has an amazing contrast range. I am not a fan of Samsung’s software but display is something that steals the show and the richness of this display makes playing games and reading text a treat for the users.

Samsung Galaxy A5 2016 (15)

Outdoor Visibility (Full Brightness)

With full brightness enabled, the phone is easily visible in direct sunlight. Since the phone packs a Samsung Super AMOLED display, the brightness on the screen is just beyond expectations.

Custom User Interface

The Samsung Galaxy A5 2016 runs on the Samsung’s popular custom user interface called the Samsung TouchWiz, but the good thing is that the device runs on the newer version of TouchWiz, that is buttery smooth and just flies through all the tasks that I wanted to do on the phone. Although there were minor lags and glitches visible in the user interface, which was really not expected from a phone at this price point. The good thing is that, Samsung has included fewer pre-installed apps than its previous devices.

In the notification drop down, there are toggles for all the quick settings that you would want to have, and also a control for the brightness of the phone. The UI on any phone is a matter of taste any day.

Sound Quality

The sound output from the speakers on the phone is good. The only complaint about the speakers is the positioning. It is very easy to cover it up when holding with two hands in landscape mode. Otherwise it offers powerful and loud sound.

Samsung Galaxy A5 2016 (17)

Call Quality

The call quality on this device is good, just like any good phone from Samsung.

Gaming Performance

The Samsung Galaxy A5 2016 is powered by the Exynos Octa 7580, which is an octa-core processor clocked at 1.6 GHz and is accompanied by 2 GB of RAM. For testing the gaming performance of the device, I played Asphalt 8 and Modern Combat 5 on the phone with full brightness and full volume on the speakers. Here are the battery drop and the temperature increase for both these games.

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As far as performance is concerned, we did not notice any unusual issue or lag in the game play. Although my game crashed several times while playing Flight Pilot, which is a flight simulation game.

Game Lag & Heating

While playing Modern Combat 5, I did not notice any major heating issues, but when playing Asphalt 8, the phone did get warm but only the edges of the phone felt really hot and it was something which may cause some discomfort to some of us.


Overall, the Samsung Galaxy A5 2016 is a phone that can steal anyone’s attention by its design and looks. The display is one of the best in its range, which looks great from every angle and distance. Considering the price tag of around 29K, this phone falls slightly short of the expected performance but offers a lot of perks to cover up the cash you are putting in. It is a great choice if you are a Samsung fan and need a premium phone with decent performance and fair camera.


Abhishek Bhatnagar

Abhishek Bhatnagar, a known technology blogger & YouTuber from India. A Software Engineer by qualification, now he works as the editor-In-Chief, Webmaster, & Managing Director at Gadgets To Use. He runs a number of other technology websites as well.