Samsung announced that it will be bringing two Galaxy A series phones to the UK in February, with pre-orders starting on 20 January and we've had a chance to play with the larger of the two in a private briefing.

The Samsung Galaxy A5 will be available at a mid-range price but when you check out the specs it seems like a bit of a steal. Much of the tech from the company's premium handsets, including the Galaxy S7, have bled down the range and now reside in the A5.

  • 5.2-inch Full HD Super AMOLED screen
  • 1.9GHz octa-core processor
  • 3GB RAM
  • LTE Cat 6 network connectivity
  • 16-megapixel cameras front and rear
  • 32GB storage with microSD card slot (up to an additional 256GB)
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • USB Type-C connection
  • IP68 water and dustproofing
  • Android 6.0.16 (Marshmallow)
  • Dimensions: 146.1 x 71.4 x 7.9mm
  • 3,000mAh battery with Fast Charging
Pocket-lintSamsung Galaxy A5-2

The first thing that strikes you about the phone is how nice it feels in the hand. Samsung has adopted its glass backed design aesthetic, with a metal bezel around the edge. This ensures it feels premium even though it is in the mid-range.

There's no curved screen, of course, but it definitely feels like a quality Galaxy device. There are four colour options too, with two new schemes added from last year's A series outing: light blue and pink. The others are black and gold.

This year's model also adds IP68 water and dustproofing. There's a fingerprint scanner too.

This 2017 Galaxy A5 has a couple of interesting stand-out features. It is lightning quick, thanks to the 1.9GHz octa-core processor and 3GB of RAM, both in operation and to turn on. There is also an always-on display, which shows the time and notifications on a black background by just lifting the device. This is not as battery intensive as turning the phone on completely.

Pocket-lintSamsung Galaxy A5-7

And with front and back 16-megapixel cameras, it is ideally suited for photography and especially selfies. One new software addition even makes taken selfies easier, with a floating shutter button able to be moved around the screen.

A USB Type C port is included to bring the series up to date with modern standards, and fast charging also makes its debut in the range.

First Impressions

With a while to go before Samsung will unveil the Galaxy S8, the A5 is a good shout for those looking for a very capable handset. And it won't break the bank either.

We're still awaiting full pricing details, as it will be ranged by several carriers and retailers, but we're not talking S7 levels.

In fact, the only compromise we can see at this stage is in its Full HD 5.2-inch screen when higher resolutions are fairly widespread. But the display is still sharp and vibrant, so we doubt many will notice or care.

We'll fully review the Samsung Galaxy A5 soon, and from our hands-on it shows great promise.