Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) review: Standing tall

Standing tall

GSMArena team, 1 February, 2016.

User interface

The Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) launches with Android 5.1.1 Lollipop as Samsung is yet to make the jump to 6.0 Marshmallow. The TouchWiz system adds many proprietary features, but it lacks some key improvements like fine-grain app permission control.

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) review

The phone features a capable fingerprint reader, which is, of course, available for securing the lockscreen. It's quite fast (as fast as the S6), especially if you wake the phone with the Home key - all it takes to unlock the phone is to leave your finger resting on the key for an additional split second. This makes using the sensor and its security benefits seamless.

Lockscreen - Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) review Setting up the fingerprint reader - Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) review Setting up the fingerprint reader - Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) review Setting up the fingerprint reader - Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) review
Lockscreen Setting up the fingerprint reader

The homescreen is the standard TouchWiz base of operations, which includes the Briefing pane. It's basically Flipboard in disguise (and can be disabled if you don't like it).

TouchWiz homescreen with optional Flipboard. - Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) review TouchWiz homescreen with optional Flipboard. - Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) review TouchWiz homescreen with optional Flipboard. - Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) review TouchWiz homescreen with optional Flipboard. - Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) review
TouchWiz homescreen with optional Flipboard.

The Notification area features a row of quick toggles. S Finder and Quick connect buttons are enabled by default, but you can hide them to free up more space.

Standard notification area - Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) review Rearranging the quick toggles - Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) review
Standard notification area Rearranging the quick toggles

Themes are fully supported and there are even A-series exclusives. Themes change wallpaper and icons and modify the look of some stock TouchWiz apps.

Theme store with exclusive A-series themes - Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) review Theme store with exclusive A-series themes - Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) review Theme store with exclusive A-series themes - Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) review
Theme store with exclusive A-series themes

The Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) comes with an average amount of apps pre-loaded. The built-in storage (16GB) doesn't leave much room - according to official specs, the user-available memory is around 11GB, but it may be less in some regions. Good thing you can pop in a microSD card.

The new galaxy A5 also offers split-screen multitasking. While it's better-suited for phablets, this mode allows you to chat with two friends at once or reference a document while writing an email. Not all apps support this split view, but all of the key ones do. The option to put an app in a floating window is not available.

You can launch the split-screen multitasking mode from the app switcher - Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) review You can launch the split-screen multitasking mode from the app switcher - Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) review
You can launch the split-screen multitasking mode from the app switcher

Reader comments

what do you mean? dont understand what your situation

  • raghavendra

stylishesh in the A series. i am so happy to use this samsung A5 model mob

  • Paulinho

Absolutely right s6 battery is shut compared to a5