Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) – Camera
Mid-range phones tend to fall down as a result of their disappointing cameras, usually because of mediocre software and slow image processing. Thankfully, in the main, the Galaxy A5 steers clear of these pitfalls.
The rear-facing 16-megapixel camera is reliable, capturing detailed shots with good colour accuracy and without the need to faff around with confusing modes. Focusing is fast and accurate, and the clean app makes the shooting process pain-free.
The lack of OIS is a shame – especially since it graced the 2016 model – and there’s no phase detection autofocus either, but start shooting in sunny conditions and you’ll be happy with the results. There’s good depth to shots and enabling the HDR mode makes this even more obvious.
Detail is pleasant in lit shots
There’s a nice depth to photos
The wide f/1.9 aperture gives a nice foreground focus
Low-light shots are better than most in this price-range
There a good balance of colour even when the light isn’t perfect
The f/1.9 aperture is suitably wide, not only helping to capture some decent bokeh effects, but helping low-light performance too. As with any phone – bar the iPhone 7, Google Pixel and Galaxy S7 – your shots will suffer when lighting conditions are poor, but the Galaxy A5 does manage to capture a decent nightclub shot thanks to its fairly fast shutter speed and focusing.
The front-facing camera matches the rear for basic specs, with a 16-megapixel sensor and f/1.9 aperture. There’s no autofocus, and general focusing is surprisingly slow, but selfies are super-sharp.
Video tops out at 1080p 30fps – so no 4K recording – and the results are a mixed bag. Jerkiness is common due to the lack of OIS, and the sound seems particularly terrible – but it’s fine for basic needs.
How we test phones
We test every mobile phone we review thoroughly. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly and we use the phone as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.