The Galaxy A5 (2017) like all self-respecting Galaxies packs a Super AMOLED display. The A5 in particular is smack in the middle between the 4.7-inch A3 (2017) and the 5.7-inch A7 (2017) in terms of diagonal, and its 5.2-inch panel has FullHD resolution. That amounts to a 424ppi density but the Diamond Pixel arrangement makes that less sharp than a competing LCD with equal number of subpixels for each color. It's still plenty sharp though.
The display can give you that AMOLED punch that's become synonymous with the tech, at the expense of color accuracy. In Adaptive mode average DeltaE is 5.3 with Red waaay off at 11.2, but also quite inaccurate whites. Switch to basic mode, however, and you're treated to an excellently calibrated display with an average DeltaE of just 2.0 and a maximum of 3.2. Cinema and Photo modes are somewhere in between - whatever floats your boat.
Maximum brightness is excellent, particularly if you engage the Auto mode, in which case the display gets a healthy boost in bright conditions. That said, last year's model could pump out more nits in Auto mode. Even so, the A5 (2017)'s numbers are right up there with the S7 flagship - excellent. Contrast is infinite, it's Super AMOLED's treat for you. With a minimum brightness of just 1.8 nits night-time scrolling sessions won't strain your eyes either.
|Display test||100% brightness|
|Black, cd/m2||White, cd/m2|
As for sunlight legibility, the AMOLED A5 for 2017 is on par with last year's model, and slightly better than the A3 (2017), but none of them is a match for this or last year's flagships. In fact, the A5 (2017) sunlight contrast ratio is virtually identical to the budget J7 (2016) - sounds great from that phone's perspective, not as flattering from the A5's. That said, only top-of-the-line LCD-equipped phones can post such results (the likes of the iPhone 7 and Xperia XZ), and it's not them that the A5 is facing, pricey as it may be.
The Galaxy A5 (2017) is well-stocked on connectivity options. Samsung specifies Cat.6 LTE (300Mbps downlink, 50Mbps uplink), with a disclaimer that it may vary by region and carrier, and since the Exynos 7880 itself supports Cat.7 you may want to check locally if the 100Mbps DL speed is of such crucial importance to you (you know who you are).
There are single SIM and dual SIM versions, each of them with two card slots. In each case there's a dedicated microSD slot as well - on single SIM models (such as the one we had) there's no cutout for the second SIM in the top slot (presumably, no contacts and hardware, maybe?).
There is also dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth v4.2 (but no detail on aptX for high-quality audio), NFC and MST (for Samsung Pay, where available), and an FM radio receiver. There is no IR transmitter, though.
A Type-C port is in charge of charging, but only adheres to USB 2.0 spec, so you're limited to a 'measly' 480Mbps theoretical maximum transfer speeds. USB OTG is supported for attaching peripherals, but there's no MHL support for wired video output. Thankfully, there's a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The Galaxy A5 (2017) is powered by a 3,000mAh battery - oh, look, it's the same capacity as the Galaxy S7. And this one has fewer pixels to render, plus a chipset that should be more frugal than the thirsty flagship number-crunchers.
Well, indeed it is. The Galaxy A5 (2017) only fell short of the S7's time in the voice call test, and just by an hour and a quarter. At close to 22h its result is still perfectly acceptable.
It gets better in the screen-on disciplines. It takes 14 and a half hours of our Wi-Fi web browsing test to deplete the A5's battery - a remarkable feat, even if the smaller A3 (2017) does outlast it by an hour. The S7, on the other hand, can't even make it to 10h.
In video playback the A5 crosses the 16-hour mark before calling it quits - another superb performance. The flagship is closer here, but still falls short by an hour and a half.
As for standby, we've tested the phone both with the Always On Display feature engaged and then turned off. While it does take a massive toll on standby time (and consequently on the overall endurance rating), you should bear in mind that our testing can't account for the phone turning off the display completely when it's in a pocket, for example. So, presumably, actual real-world standby with the AOD on should be much better.
The overall endurance rating of 95h is an excellent result and is a testament to the inherent benefits of having a 14nm chipset on board - be it an Exynos or a Snapdragon.
The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you're interested in the nitty-gritties. You can also check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we've tested will compare under your own typical use.