Review Quick Look at the Metal Samsung A5

Discussion in 'Gadgets and Consumer Electronics' started by JD666, Jan 29, 2015.

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  1. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    I'll start this quick look with a disclaimer. I am not a big fan of Samsung mobile devices and have rarely used them. I had the S3 for a couple of days and I soon got tired of it. The Note Edge is an interesting concept, but honestly, they all look like Apple rips (or at least used to)

    With the launch of the Galaxy Alpha (a review I hope to be sharing soon), I was somehow interested in the metal edged devices that Samsung had lined up.

    I had previewed them here - www.raid101.com/community/threads/samsung-goes-metal-a3-vs-a5-vs-a7.3418/

    Got a chance to play around with the A5, and it sure is impressive. First up, scanned images from the brochure (I picked one up, so thought it would be useful to upload em) -

    The following images detail the idealogy behind the 'A' series -

    Scan01.jpg

    A=Answer :D

    Scan02.jpg

    I would agree with them on the AMOLED bit. The screen was nice and crisp, and did not belittle the lower resolution display. If the Loudspeaker on the Alpha is any indication, I can expect this to be a loud device.

    Scan03.jpg

    I personally liked the black and the Gold shades. The Gold color is not too much in your face like the iPhone. The Silver and White are interesting colors, but its again down to personal preference with colors.

    Some regions have a Pink color variant available as well, but that's probably more for Korea/South East Asia.

    Scan04.jpg

    Taking on the Lumia 730 and it's front camera, the Camera on the A5 is pretty darn good. Image quality + customization options were exhaustive and detailed. Impressive.

    Scan05.jpg

    An interesting design touch. Without having to change anything on the outside, the second tray can either be used for a SIM or for memory expansion. In such a scenario, the Dual SIM model does make more sense, since you can use two numbers when traveling, and/or use the additional expansion capacity for a memory card.

    Scan06.jpg

    A brief look at the specs and the available accessories, some which are dedicated and others which are common to the family.


    Scan07.jpg

    How can the S gear be left out.

    Anyways, now that I have bored you with the brochure, time to move on to the device -

    Only Black and White models were available on display. And they do make a contrasting pair. Due to the metal finish, the white A5 is unlike the regular Samsung phones in the market. Probably the Note 4 comes the closest in the edge design/finish.

    IMG_4242.jpg

    Regular Samsung fare. Oblong Button, back lit and hidden menu and return buttons. Sensors, front camera, notification light (Tri color for different notifications - Red, Green, Blue).

    IMG_4243.jpg

    The super slim 6.7mm profile. What struck me most about the phone was, how light it was to hold and maneuver with one hand. (123 gms)

    The left side houses the volume rocker. The edge finish is best described as the iPhone 5S edge finish, with a slight bevel.

    IMG_4244.jpg

    The underside has the USB port and the 3.5mm Jack. To accomodate the 3.5mm jack, the loudspeaker has been shifted to the back of the device.

    IMG_4245.jpg

    The right side houses the power button (thin, but easy to click). They could've given it a slightly bigger protusion to be honest.

    The two arrows show the trays for the SIM and or MicroSD card. It would be interesting to see if this device bends :D

    IMG_4247.jpg

    The top is a clean affair, with no buttons or jacks.

    IMG_4251.jpg

    Standard Samsung 4.4.4 GUI. The icon size made it easier to select items across the screen. The SnapDragon 410 1.2 Ghz Quad Core does make for snappy menu operation. But the 2GB Ram makes for easy Multi-Tasking. This device had about 10+ background apps open, but no lag or delay in menu operation. I'm pretty sure this device would do well in benchmarks, since the 720p display wouldn't really stress the 410 chip.

    IMG_4248.jpg

    The back which houses the 13 MP Camera + LED flash + Loud Speaker. The finish of the back panel, though thankfully not like the band aid of the S5 or the Alpha, is a nice matt texture that makes holding the phone much nicer than the glossy S3 of yore.

    This device can capture Full HD (1920x1080) video at 30 Fps. No UHD recording here.

    IMG_2139.JPG

    Here's a comparo shot of the device next to the iPhone 6. This is slightly bigger, but the beveled edges make it easier to grasp and hold. The dimensions are 139.3 mm x 69.7 mm x 6.7 mm. The iPhone 6 comes in at 138.1 mm x 67mm x 6.9 mm. This tells you how closely it mimics the Apple device.

    IMG_4253.jpg

    The White device highlights the bezel more than the black one.

    IMG_4256.jpg

    And indeed looks slimmer than the black variant.

    IMG_4254.jpg

    The lack of light reflection (off the back of the device) details the texture/finish of the back panel.

    To sum up this Quick Look, I would like to mention the following points -

    - Samsung are trying really really hard to copy Apple at every step. This sadly is not the direction I would expect them to take, especially when they need a turn around.

    - The A3-A5-A7 Family does bring in a slightly premium offering to the Grand series, but then there are too many variants models. This is an apt time for them to downsize their lines and trim their model line ups.

    - The A5 does impress with its weight, finish and design, but only when compared to other Samsung models.

    - If the battery life of the Alpha is any indication, expect this device to last a day and that's about it

    - The camera is an improvement, and though I could not share a sample, the image quality was good and much better than HTC One Mini for instance (comparable price point) here.

    To sum it up, here is a round up of the technical specifications of this device -

    Network

    • Infra
    4G LTE FDD
    • 2G GSM
    GSM850, GSM900, DCS1800, PCS1900
    • 3G UMTS
    B1(2100), B2(1900), B5(850), B8(900)
    • 4G FDD LTE
    B1(2100), B3(1800), B5(850), B7(2600), B8(900), B20(800)

    Connectivity

    • ANT+
    Yes
    • USB Version
    USB 2.0
    • Location Technology
    GPS, Glonass
    • Earjack
    3.5mm Stereo
    • MHL
    No
    • Wi-Fi
    802.11 a/b/g/n 2.4+5GHz, HT40
    • Wi-Fi Direct
    Yes
    • DLNA Support
    No
    • Bluetooth Version
    Bluetooth v4.0

    • NFC
    Yes
    • Bluetooth Profiles
    A2DP, AVRCP, DI, HFP, HID, HOGP, HSP, MAP, OPP, PAN, PBAP, SAP


    Display
    • Technology (Main Display)
    Super AMOLED
    • Size (Main Display)
    5.0" (126.3mm)
    • Resolution (Main Display)
    1280 x 720 (HD)
    • Color Depth (Main Display)
    16M
    • S Pen Support
    No

    Processor

    • CPU Speed
    1.2GHz

    • CPU Type
    Quad-Core

    Memory

    • RAM Size (G:cool:
    2

    • ROM Size (G:cool:
    16GB

    • External Memory Support
    MicroSD (Up to 64G:cool:

    Camera

    • Video Recording Resolution
    FHD (1920 x 1080) @30fps

    • Main Camera - Resolution
    CMOS 13.0 MP

    • Front Camera - Resolution
    CMOS 5.0 MP

    • Main Camera - Flash
    Yes

    • Main Camera - Auto Focus
    Yes

    Sensors

    • Sensors
    Accelerometer, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor, RGB Sensor

    Physical specification

    • Dimension (HxWxD, mm)
    139.3 x 69.7 x 6.7

    • Weight (g)
    123

    Battery

    • Internet Usage Time(3G) (Hours)
    Up to 8
    • Internet Usage Time(LTE) (Hours)
    Up to 8
    • Internet Usage Time(Wi-Fi) (Hours)
    Up to 11
    • Video Playback Time (Hours)
    Up to 12
    • Standard Battery Capacity (mAh)
    2300
    • Removable
    No
    • Audio Playback Time (Hours)
    Up to 68
    • Talk Time (3G WCDMA) (Hours)
    Up to 15

    Audio and Video

    • Video Playing Format
    MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM
    • Video Playing Resolution
    FHD (1920 x 1080) @30fps
    • Audio Playing Format
    MP3, M4A, 3GA, AAC, OGG, OGA, WAV, WMA, AMR, AWB, FLAC, MID, MIDI, XMF, MXMF, IMY, RTTTL, RTX, OTA

    Services and Applications

    • Wearable Device Support
    Gear, Gear Fit
    • S-Voice
    Yes
    • Mobile TV
    No



    Hope you liked this quick look. Don't forget to share!
     
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  2. Rockfella

    Rockfella Nordic Staff Member

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    Nicely done! :)
     
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  3. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Thank you!
     
  4. BANHAMMER

    BANHAMMER Teh Almighty BanHammer Staff Member

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    Nice review JD.
     
  5. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Thank you kind Sire
     

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