Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Review: A STUNNING Android Phone

REVIEWS Paul Briden 17:02, 22 May 2017

We take the Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 edition out for a spin to see if affordable can indeed be beautiful

Typical Price:
High-end metal and glass build materials and design, capable processor, well-optimised hardware and software, waterproof, decent camera, great display, superb battery life, affordable
A little lacking in top-end performance grunt
 A really fantastic phone for the price, with excellent design and build, and has some of the best battery life on the market

Samsung’s Galaxy S flagship series and Galaxy Note series may get most of the headline attention and BIG sales figures (when they’re not bursting into flame in the case of the latter, that is), but for a long time now Samsung has had the Galaxy A series ticking away successfully in the background.

These devices, which include the Galaxy A3, Galaxy A5, and Galaxy A7, encompass the budget, mid-tier, and premium-mid-tier smartphone brackets, which covers a very large bunch of consumers who simply can’t spend big money on the flagship phones.

The thing about the Galaxy A series, however, is that Samsung brings a somewhat premium edge to the whole range, with sharp design and a metal and glass build which is derived in no small part from the flagship drawing boards.

It’s a pretty simple concept really, people might want to buy something at a lower price, but they don’t want something that looks and feels like cheap plastic tat, and they want a good set of optimised hardware and software for their money too.

In this review we’ll be taking a look at the middle-child of the latest generation of the Galaxy A series, the Galaxy A5 (2017). This is a mid-ranger with a price tag of around £340-£370.

Latest Samsung Galaxy A5 deals:

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Review: Design & Display

The Samsung Galaxy A5 design has quite a lot in common with the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S7 – the regular editions with the flat displays, that is, not the curved EDGE ones.

The front fascia is a familiar sight with the Samsung style rounded corners, lozenge Home key, and a flush-fitting glass panel covering the whole frontage.

The metal frame around the outer edge is pretty much a direct clone of what we’ve seen aboard Samsung’s flagships, right down to the buttons, ports, and punched speaker grilles.

Likewise the rear panel is a slab of shaped and curved glass, although the curvature of the  edges isn’t as pronounced as you’d find on the flagship models; the camera sensor also fits flush for a really smooth look.

The Galaxy A5 also features the same IP68 water and dust resistance you’ll find on the Galaxy S models; a brilliant and practical feature meaning your handset won’t be ruined by a drop in the bathtub.

The long and the short of it is this phone is super stylish, or at least, if you like Samsung’s premium aesthetic; and a lot of people seem to! It also feels great in the hand with that reassuringly solid metal bodywork.

Samsung offers the Galaxy A5 in a range of colours which are quite interesting, even the standard black model (Black Sky) has that all-over glossy black Stealth Bomber vibe we’ve seen on recent iPhones.

Other options include your now required metallic gold (Gold Sand), as well as a couple of pastel metallic shades; light blue (Blue Mist) and pink (Peach Cloud).

The display panel is a 5.2in Super AMOLED screen with a 1080p Full HD resolution at 424ppi – decently sharp, though apparently a little lacking when it comes to the close proximity of VR; therefore, Samsung hasn’t made the phone compatible with its Gear VR headset.

Still, for normal viewing this is nice and clear, and as we’ve come to expect from Samsung display tech the colour gamut is fantastic, contrast is excellent, and the brightness levels are quite capable, though not the brightest on the market by any means.

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Review: Processor & Performance

The Galaxy A5 runs a new Samsung Exynos 7880 octa-core CPU, with a Mali-T830MP3 GPU, 3GB of RAM and a clock speed of 1.9GHz. It’s based on ARM Cortex-A53 cores using the 14nm FinFET semiconductor architecture; that’s the same architecture inside the current-gen Galaxy S7 series.

Although this is about to be superseded by new 10nm hardware inside the Galaxy S8, it’s still damn fast and plenty capable of running all your contemporary apps and games, but it’s questionable how it’ll fare as things change in the next few years.

General operation in Android is pretty smooth as things have become better optimised on Google’s end, and OEMs such as Samsung have figured out better how to implement it.

That on top of the latest CPU tech, homebrewed by Samsung at that, means you get a pretty slick experience on the whole. It’ll also make a good go of multitasking and gaming to a reasonable degree. It’s slightly slower than the latest OnePlus 3T flagship, particularly in benchmarks, but it’s also slightly cheaper, so it kind of works out.

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Review: Specs, Hardware & Other Features

This latest Galaxy A5 uses the new reversible Type-C USB port for charging (including fast charging) and data, and is packed with the usual slew of wireless connectivity including Wi-Fi, WiFi Direct, Wi-Fi Hotspot, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, and GPS.

There’s an ample 32GB of onboard storage, which should suit most users other than power users who, frankly, are unlikely to go for a mid-range model anyway. On top of this you can expand via microSD up to 256GB, which is always welcome.

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Review: Battery

The battery is a non-removable 3,000mAh cell, a decent size and one which seems to offer quite a lot of juice for this display and hardware setup. The Galaxy A5 can last an impressive 22 hours of continuous video playback which is even better than the Galaxy S7.

There’s not really much to add to that, other than you’ll be hard pressed to find better battery performance other than a few select ultra-sized phablets, such as the Huawei Mate 9, and at considerably higher cost.

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Review: Camera

Both front and rear cameras are 16MP sensors with wide f/1.9 apertures. The primary features autofocus, touch focus, and an LED flash, as well as face detection, panoramic capture, and HDR – both front and rear have 1080p video capture too.

In terms of image quality, this is fairly typical Samsung fare, and that’s a good thing, with very easy point-and-shoot operation delivering decent snaps with plenty of detail, robust contrast, and good dynamic range. Colour is also Samsung’s typically rich capture being both bright and vibrant.

Latest Samsung Galaxy A5 deals:

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Review: Verdict

This is an extremely compelling little smartphone, it seems perfectly priced and specced for its niche; to slot in the market where there are people prepared to throw down a few hundred pounds for quality, but who don’t want to bother with more phone than they need at the considerably higher prices flagships command.

It is a cohesive and well-thought-out package, and again, a big part of the appeal is getting premium aesthetics and build on the outside as much as the inside; this shouldn’t be the exclusive territory of flagships, and Samsung clearly understands that with the Galaxy A5.

It’s also well worth considering if you’re simply one of many consumers desperately looking for a smartphone with tons of battery life.

Carphone Warehouse has A TON of exclusive offers on the Samsung Galaxy A5, which you will definitely want to have a look at. With next day, free delivery and a range of colour options as well as tons of offers, acquiring this phone has never been easier!

First look at Tesla Model 3’s charge port while Supercharging

There’s been some speculation around the Tesla Model 3’s charging technology – especially since it will be first of Tesla’s vehicles to be equipped with the company’s new 2170 battery cells.

After the first picture of the charge port in-use emerged today, it looks like the vehicle features the same charge connector as the Model S and Model X, but a significantly bigger port. It was clear from previous sightings of Model 3 release candidates that the charge port of the vehicle was different from Tesla’s previous vehicles.

It looked significantly bigger and while it doesn’t mean that the connector is also different, it certainly fueled that possibility.

While test vehicles were spotted at Superchargers before, Tesla covered them so that people couldn’t see inside or the charge port.

But it wasn’t the case last night when Jason Summers found a silver Model 3 release candidate connected to a Supercharger. He posted the picture to Twitter:

It clearly shows that while the charge port itself is much bigger than on Tesla’s other vehicles, it has the same connector and it doesn’t seem to be using any adapter. The bigger part could possibly more easily support different connectors for different markets. For example, European and Chinese markets require different connectors.

The charge port also swings up instead of horizontally like on the Model S and X. You can see the hinge on the left of the connector.

Again, it doesn’t mean that it is the final design. The Model 3 release candidates are at difference stages of readiness and therefore, it’s not necessarily representative of the production version.

Nonetheless, as we recently reported, the Model 3 charging architecture could be really important in the EV industry since if Tesla is successful, the vehicle is on its way to becoming the first electric vehicle mass-produced by the hundred of thousands per year.  It would quickly make the Model 3 the most common all-electric vehicle and therefore, the most influential on the EV charging infrastructure.

Tesla recently announced an important expansion of Supercharger network in order to support the arrival of the Model 3 and its growing fleet of Model S and Model X vehicles.

Nike debuts four new Apple Watch bands to coincide with shoe launch

Nike on Monday introduced four new Nike Sport Band colors for the Apple Watch, designed to match the company’s Air VaporMax Flyknit “Day to Night” running shoe collection.

All four of the new bands will be available through Nike’s online and retail stores on June 1, and through Apple and its resellers in “early June,” the company said. As with other Sport Bands, they’ll be priced at $49 each.

While marketed for the Apple Watch Nike+, the bands should work with any Watch model.

Nike has become more aggressive about selling to Apple customers since helping to launch the Nike+ Watch in late 2016. Yet another co-branded Watch, the NikeLab, arrived on April 27, and earlier in May the company began selling iPhone 7 cases based on its Rosche and Air Force 1 sneakers.

The change is presumably linked to Apple CEO Tim Cook, who first joined Nike’s board in 2005 while he was still COO. Last June, however, he became the apparel giant’s lead independent director, likely making it easy to arrange partnerships that benefit his own company.

iPhone 8 design molds leak, revealing similar size to iPhone 7

When it comes to the much-rumored “iPhone 8,” we’ve long been hearing that Apple will debut the premium, flagship smartphone alongside the slightly updated iPhone 7s and 7s Plus. The belief is that the iPhone 8 will feature newer advanced features over the 7s models, namely an edge-to-edge 5.8-inch OLED display. Previous leaks have indicated that despite having a larger screen, the device will be smaller than the current 7 Plus thanks to significantly reduced bezels.

The latest evidence to back this up comes in the form of an image from China’s Weibo claiming to show a trio of molds of the three new iPhone models. The mold in the center is the one for the so-called iPhone 8, and it reveals a device size that’s much, much closer to the iPhone 7s on the right, with the left being the iPhone 7s Plus.

The mold for the iPhone 8 features a cutout for the vertically aligned dual camera lenses, another feature we’ve been hearing a lot about lately. Since the other iPhone models coming this year are expected to follow the pattern of Apple’s typical “S”-updates, the 7s and 7s Plus should have the same physical dimensions as the existing 7 and 7 Plus, as well as their 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays, respectively.

It’s important to note that molds like these aren’t used in manufacturing the phones themselves, rather they’re used for producing iPhone cases or other possible accessories.

Keeping that in mind, the image shows that the iPhone 8 could very well be just a little taller than the standard iPhone 7 we already have, and only a tiny bit wider, all with a display that’s over an inch larger. That would make for an impressive change in the device-to-screen size ratio, all thanks to cutting down the bezels.

SOURCE Slashleaks

Apple should be afraid of Google. Very afraid

Commentary: Google is crushing Siri and dominating the smart home, but Apple has a chance to strike back in June.


Google revealed a cascade of exciting innovations to its Google universe this week at the annual I/O developer conference. Apple should be quaking in its boots.

The search and software giant is making tremendous strides in AI through Assistant; image search and detection through Google Lens; web search through Instant Apps; and search through Jobs on Google.

In other words, Google’s ecosystem is positioned to run circles around Apple’s, whose tightly integrated software and hardware have failed to innovate at Google’s pace when it comes to Siri, VR, the smart home and car dashboards. (More on these below.)

OK, Apple, ecosystem’s in your court.


While Google’s approach, which draws on deep databases of information, wants to own the platforms that other companies build upon, Apple prefers to control a complete, reliable package — and that historically means it takes longer to get everything “right”.

In a few weeks at Apple’s developer conference on June 5, it’ll have the chance to swing back at Google (and a rejuvenated Microsoft) with its own advancements in iOS for the iPhone, Macbook, Siri AI, watch and maybe even the smart home.

But Google has thrown down the gauntlet for Apple in a big way this week. Here’s why Apple should be worried — and why the company needs to bring its A game to WWDC in June.

As of today, Google beats Apple in…

Virtual assistant: Google’s voice search tool has long outpaced Apple’s Siri. It’s more accurate and gives better responses more often than not. The next-gen Google Assistant will soon let you type queries and identify objects with Google Lens (below). You might soon order lunch after having a conversation with Assistant. It’s coming to the iPhone, too.

Home: Google Home just got a raft of exciting features that leapfrogs it ahead of even Amazon’s Echo family. To wit: it’ll now personalize responses based on who’s talking to it, and has introduced hands-free calling. Apple has its HomeKit integration, but we’re still waiting for a living room hub like Google Home to tie it all together. (Rumors are, it will come.)

Images: There are a few debatably cool updates to Google Photos, but the most exciting change by far revolves around Google Lens, which basically identifies objects and places seen through the camera. Google Lens will integrate first with Google Photos and Google Assistant.

VR and AR: Apple is rumored to put alternate reality into the next iPhone camera, but Google already has a dedicated VR headset, VR-ready phones and two AR phones.

Chrome: ThBe browser syncs with mobile and is available on more devices (you can’t get Apple’s Safari browser on Android). Google announced that it’s also bringing its Chrome browser to VR.

Cars: Android is working on ways to make your car’s infotainment system (the stuff behind your dash screen) run on Android from the get-go. This is different from Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, both of which change the contents of that screen when you bring your phone into the car. Google is trying to go even deeper.

Search and database: Google’s main strength is its search tools and enormous database of places and facts. At I/O, it announced that it’ll simplify job listings, making them look like search results.

Apple’s chance to strike back

Google might have a leg up in some areas, but Apple has room to rebound. For example, its messaging apps, from iMessage to Face Time, are stronger than Google’s which remain a confusing melange of overlapping and redundant platforms. Apple is better at integrating its software ecosystem across tightly controlled devices, too.

Also, those Apple devices update to the latest software version without missing a beat — something that Google, which mostly lets a bunch of partners make devices — just cannot do. (The newly-announced Project Treble will alleviate some of this, but phone makers that use their own software layers still won’t be completely in sync.)

To be sure, Apple has a chance to whip up excitement for its next OS, (likely called iOS 11) in a way that Google’s new Android O — while still a useful step forward — has not.

Apple will probably never be able to catch Google in search, but it does have the resources to catch up in some other ways that matter, like VR, AR and the smart home.