Samsung’s full metal unibody smartphone – the Galaxy A5, is finally coming to Malaysia. The Galaxy A5 packs mid-range specs under a 5” HD Super AMOLED display, encased in a sleek and slim metal body.
The Samsung Galaxy A5 is slim with a thickness measuring a mere 6.9mm, but it doesn’t feel awkward to hold on to. Thanks to its metal body, it also feels slightly heavy but it’s something I don’t mind because it makes the device feel sturdier and definitely a lot more premium when you’re holding it.
Unfortunately, the rear camera isn’t able to live up to the slimness of the phone, thus it protrudes out the back of the device, making it prone to scratches and making the phone look, well, rather unsightly. Beside the camera lies the LED flash on one side, and a speaker on the other side.
On the front, you get the usual sensors, front camera and ear piece above the display, and right below, you get a physical home button with two capacitive buttons on either side of it.
Since it’s a metal unibody smartphone, the nano-SIM slot and microSD slot goes on the right side of the device, and can be ejected out using a pin. The power button goes on the same side as the SIM and microSD trays, while the volume rocker goes on the left side. Interestingly, Samsung has opted to place the audio jack at the bottom of the device.
The Samsung Galaxy A5 is a mid-range Android smartphone. Beneath its 5” HD display is a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 410 processor with Adreno 306 GPU. It has 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. Other specs include a 13MP rear shooter, 5MP front camera, 2,300mAh battery, and runs on Android 4.4.4 out of the box.
The Galaxy A5 runs on Android 4.4.4 with TouchWiz UX – anyone who has used a Samsung Galaxy S5 or Samsung’s newer devices should be familiar with the interface. Interestingly, it looks like Samsung has indeed added a new themes store, allowing you to easily give your boring old TouchWiz interface a new look.
Like the leaks we saw previously, themes will give your homescreen, lockscreen, app drawer and icons a new look. There are only 5 themes available at the moment including the default one, but I guess it won’t take long for Samsung and developers to add in more to the list.
Don’t expect too much out of the 13MP rear camera on the Samsung Galaxy A5. The megapixel count may be high, but the image quality is rather disappointing. Under low-light environment, pictures will turn out pretty blur and most definitely noisier than most would like.
Of course, if you hold your hands steady and shoot a subject that won’t move, pictures will come out better. However, if you’re trying to take picture of an active toddler or a pet, good luck.
In bright light though, the camera works just perfectly, capturing pretty good pictures like the one below of my son riding on his tricycle. He was riding it pretty fast hence it looks a little blur, but it’s a good image overall.
With a 1.2GHz 64-bit Snapdragon 410 processor on board and paired with 2GB of RAM, the Galaxy A5 is fast and responsive, and is great for everyday use. However, I’m not quite sure if it’s a problem with the apps or the device, the phone did hang a few times when I was browsing on both Facebook and Chrome, and I’ll need to remove the task from my multitasking menu for the apps to work properly again.
Apart from that, everything works perfectly fine but of course, this is just from about a week with the device.
2,300mAh may sound like a small number for a smartphone, but in the brief time that I’ve been using the Galaxy A5, the battery performs pretty well. It lasted almost 1 and a half days with 20% battery to spare and that is achieved with power saving mode turned off.
Of course, I didn’t do much with the phone aside from the usual calls, messaging, camera and social networking, but I guess even if I used GPS to go and come home from work, it should last me a full day.
The Samsung Galaxy A5 is actually a pretty decent phone. The brand new aluminium design is something I’m pretty sure many Samsung fans – and neutrals – would find a lot more attractive than cheap-feeling plastic. Sure, it’s not perfect (not that any phone is, really), but if priced right (we’ll find out at the launch tomorrow), it is definitely another step in the right direction for Samsung.