Samsung Galaxy C5 review: Safe Ride

Safe Ride

GSMArena team, 30 September 2016.

Display

Samsung generally doesn't disappoint when it comes to panels across pretty much its entire lineup. Going for a mid-ranger, like the new Galaxy C5 or the C7, guarantees you will get one of the Korean giant's own excellent Super AMOLED units. High contrast and punchy colors are a given with these.

5.2 inches definitely come very close to the proverbial "sweet spot" for most current smartphone users. It is a far cry from the Galaxy C7 and its phablet-territory 5.7-inch diagonal, but that is kind of the point. The 1080p FullHD resolution ensures a quite good for a midranger pixel density of 424ppi. You can rest assured everything looks exceptionally sharp and punchy.

Samsung Galaxy C5 review

As far as performance goes, the panel on the Galaxy C5 appears to be almost identical to the one in its bigger sibling and does quite alright. It has deep blacks and the benefit of infinite contrast.

At 100% brightness level, it maxes out at 424 nits, which is pretty close to what Samsung's current flagship devices, like the Galaxy S7 and Note7 are capable of.

When presented with a bright external light source, the C5 can burn up to 625nits in Max Auto mode, so using it outdoors is trouble-free, even on the brightest of days.

Display test 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Samsung Galaxy C5 0.00 424
Samsung Galaxy C5 (Max auto) 0.00 625
Samsung Galaxy C7 0.00 422
Samsung Galaxy C7 (Max auto) 0.00 625
Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) 0.00 421
Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) max auto 0.00 601
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) 0.00 338
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) outdoor mode 0.00 476
Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MediaTek) 0.42 403 953
Xiaomi Mi 5 0.51 628 1227
Meizu m3 note 0.52 425 816
Meizu PRO 6 0.01 360 40000
Huawei Honor 7 Lite / Honor 5c 0.58 416 717
Huawei Honor 8 0.34 374 1101
Huawei Honor 8 (Max auto) 0.34 395 1161
Huawei Mate 8 0.346 471 1361
Sony Xperia XA 0.38 523 1376
Sony Xperia X 0.44 539 1219
Huawei P9 Lite 0.42 497 1192
OnePlus X 0.00 340
Lenovo Vibe K4 Note 0.47 442 940
LG Nexus 5X 0.30 455 1542

Interestingly enough, the C5 does show a measurable, albeit hardly noticeable with bare eyes increase in maximum brightness, compared to the older Galaxy A5 (2016). Since both are equipped with panels identical in size, it is a pretty fair comparison and serves as a good indication that Samsung is still actively upgrading its displays, materials and finishes.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
    4.615
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    4.439
  • OnePlus 3
    4.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
    4.376
  • HTC One A9
    4.274
  • Samsung Galaxy Note7
    4.247
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    4.241
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy Note5
    4.09
  • Huawei Nexus 6P
    4.019
  • OnePlus X
    3.983
  • Vivo Xplay5 Elite
    3.983
  • Oppo R7s
    3.964
  • Huawei P9 Plus
    3.956
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016)
    3.918
  • Samsung Galaxy C5
    3.911
  • Samsung Galaxy C7
    3.896
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.895
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 outdoor
    3.879
  • Samsung Galaxy J2 outdoor
    3.873
  • Samsung Galaxy A8
    3.859
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016)
    3.817
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    3.816
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.802
  • LG V20 Max auto
    3.798
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    3.789
  • Apple iPhone 6s
    3.783
  • Meizu Pro 5
    3.781
  • Microsoft Lumia 650
    3.772
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    3.756
  • Oppo F1 Plus
    3.709
  • Vivo X5Pro
    3.706
  • Sony Xperia X Compact
    3.694
  • Apple iPhone SE
    3.681
  • Samsung Galaxy A7
    3.679
  • Meizu PRO 6
    3.659
  • BlackBerry Priv
    3.645
  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus
    3.53
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016)
    3.523
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.523
  • Acer Jade Primo
    3.521
  • Microsoft Lumia 950
    3.512
  • Oppo R7 Plus
    3.499
  • Samsung Galaxy J7
    3.422
  • Meizu MX5
    3.416
  • LG V20
    3.402
  • Oppo R7
    3.32
  • Xiaomi Mi 5
    3.24
  • Samsung Galaxy J2
    3.235
  • Sony Xperia X Performance
    3.234
  • Motorola Moto X Play
    3.222
  • Huawei P9
    3.195
  • Lenovo Vibe Shot
    3.113
  • Motorola Moto X Force
    3.105
  • LG Nexus 5X
    3.092
  • Huawei Mate S
    3.073
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
    3.065
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    3.023
  • Sony Xperia X
    2.989
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Huawei Mate 8
    2.949
  • Sony Xperia XA Ultra
    2.906
  • LG G5
    2.905
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Sony Xperia Z5
    2.876
  • Microsoft Lumia 550
    2.851
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro
    2.803
  • Sony Xperia Z5 compact
    2.784
  • LG V10
    2.744
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    2.735
  • Sony Xperia M5
    2.69
  • Huawei P9 Lite
    2.679
  • Vivo V3Max
    2.659
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    2.641
  • Sony Xperia XA
    2.609
  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    2.574
  • LeEco Le Max 2
    2.567
  • Microsoft Lumia 640
    2.563
  • Lenovo Moto G4
    2.544
  • Oppo F1
    2.528
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
    2.525
  • Huawei Honor 7 Lite / Honor 5c
    2.506
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    2.503
  • Oppo F1s
    2.481
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus
    2.473
  • Huawei G8
    2.471
  • Huawei nova
    2.467
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Lenovo Vibe K5
    2.459
  • Huawei Honor 7
    2.406
  • Sony Xperia E5
    2.386
  • ZUK Z1 by Lenovo
    2.382
  • HTC 10
    2.378
  • Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)
    2.378
  • Huawei nova plus
    2.329
  • HTC One E9+
    2.305
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • Lenovo Vibe K4 Note
    2.254
  • Sony Xperia C5 Ultra
    2.253
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MediaTek)
    2.249
  • Sony Xperia C4 Dual
    2.235
  • Xiaomi Mi Note
    2.234
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    2.233
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Huawei P8
    2.196
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 2
    2.166
  • OnePlus Two
    2.165
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • LG Aka
    2.145
  • Archos 50 Diamond
    2.134
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Acer Liquid X2
    2.084
  • Huawei P8lite
    2.078
  • Moto G 3rd gen max manual
    2.026
  • Xiaomi Mi Max
    1.996
  • Sony Xperia E4g
    1.972
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Meizu m3 note
    1.923
  • BlackBerry Leap
    1.892
  • Meizu m2 note
    1.892
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • ZTE Nubia Z9 mini
    1.759
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Asus Zenfone Selfie
    1.68
  • Motorola Moto E (2nd Gen)
    1.675
  • ZTE Nubia Z9
    1.659
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215

Color accuracy is impressive as well, even a bit better than that of the Galaxy C7. This could either be considered an indication that the C5 uses a slightly different panel, or perhaps Samsung did a better job with the factory color calibration. In either case, you still have to enable Basic mode to enjoy the most accurate color reproduction. In it the average delta E is only 1.7 and the max deviation reading is the impressively low DeltaE 3.3. But if you would rather enjoy the punchy colors the AMOLED technology has to offer, you can just leave the C5 in Adaptive mode, where reds tend to deviate as far off as DeltaE of 11.8.

Overall, the Galaxy C5 display is excellent, save for the slight color shift when looking at it from an angle, which is quite often visible with AMOLED screens.

Connectivity

The Samsung Galaxy C5 is equipped with a total of two nano SIM slots. It's a hybrid slot so one of the card positions is to be used with either a SIM card or a Micro SD card, so you do have to choose. It is pretty much the same deal with the C7 as well.

Another unfortunate parallel between the two has to do with network speed. Again, it is capped to only Cat.4 or 150 Mbps, despite the fact that the X8 modem inside the Snapdragon 617 is rated for up to Cat.7. Again, this is bound to be a market decision, but does put the C5 at a weird disadvantage compared to the Galaxy A5 (2016) in this one single respect.

Samsung Galaxy C5 review

Other Internet connectivity options include Wi-Fi a/b/g/n. Sadly, no 802.11ac support is present. Local connectivity includes Bluetooth 4.2 complete with ANT+ support, so Samsung has made sure to keep the hardware up to date in this department. NFC is also on board, and it is compatible with Samsung Pay.

The microUSB 2.0 port handles charging and data, but it also supports USB OTG so you can hook up external hardware to the phone.

You do get FM radio as well - as a more old-school source of music and entertainment. It is full-featured as well and includes RDS and recording.

Galaxy C5 battery life test

Battery endurance was the area where the Samsung Galaxy C7 definitely shined the brightest when we reviewed it thanks to awesome combination of a power-efficient AMOLED panel and a mid-range SoC, made on a 14nm process. That got it a whopping 100 hours in our endurance test.

Sadly, the Galaxy C5 doesn't really get to participate in this new power-efficient movement due to the downgrade in chipset - it has to make do with the Snapdragon 617, which is made using a 28nm process, which is not as power efficient.

Samsung Galaxy C5 review

Still, an endurance rating of 75 hours in single SIM config and a 73-hour rating in dual mode is not a bad score at all. The call test seems to be its Achilles' heel. Other than that, software-dependent tasks like web browsing and video playback seem to be well optimized.

Still, we have to wonder whether Samsung would have been better off relying on its own 14nm Exynos 7870 Octa chip. The latter is an option on the lower-end Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016), which we already reviewed as well.

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 to each other under your own choice of usage pattern.

Reader comments

  • Muhammad Sajid

How can I connect my mobile phone to computer through data cable

  • Jay, India

Can I change battery of my C5 phone from 2000 mAh to 5000 mAh, coz its draining frequently......

  • Sofizadeh

i need my network to put 3G only, i have C5 galaxy in Afghanistan. our network is a little sow. wo we need to use 3g only at most of our network.