Samsung will be announcing the new Galaxy S8 at the end of the month, with the phone expected to launch a couple of weeks after that. In the meantime, here’s how the Korean manufacturer intends to tide you over: by transplanting most of the Galaxy S7’s best features into the biggest of their mid-range handsets, the A5.
This is, essentially, a hand-me-down situation for the Samsung family. So for £369 you’re getting a phone that boasts many of the features and specs of a £569 handset that just happens to be weeks away from retirement. In some areas, the A5 even supercedes the S7. The front-facing camera has a 16mp sensor, the highest of any Samsung handset currently available. It’s also charged using USB Type-C, the neater new standard rapidly being adopted across the board. It’s even waterproof, just like its more expensive sibling.
The S7 mooching continues with the A5’s build quality and aesthetic, which takes on the glass and aluminium design of a far more expensive phone. It feels good to hold.
But of course, this is no flagship device. Concessions have been made to bring the price down this far. Wireless charging has been taken out, for example, and the hardware has been compromised in some areas, although a typical user will struggle to notice a difference.
Historically it’s been tough to care much about Samsung’s functional mid-range phones – it’s hard to care about mid-range anything, really – but as the S7 bows out and the S8 limbers up on the sidelines, the little Galaxy A5 shines as an affordable and highly-specced alternative.