The Samsung Galaxy A5 is one of three midrange A Series phones produced by Samsung, the other two being the smaller A3 and the larger A7.
The metal honed one piece casing is virtually identical to the 4.5 inch A3, the 5 inch HD screen is just half an inch bigger, while being half an inch smaller than the 5.5 inch A7.
Bigger and better
Almost everything is bigger and better than the A3 with the exception of the 6.7mm depth of this metal bodied slimline Android smartphone. It's fractionally thinner than the 6.9mm of the A3, not including the slightly protruding camera lens, for all the difference a barely imaginable 0.2mm makes. In real terms you certainly won't notice the difference.
The screen has increased in size from the 4.5 inches of the A3 to 5 inches, making it just right for many people who want a big, but not too big, handset. This size compares to several premium models, including Samsung's own Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, the HTC One M9 and the Nokia Lumia 930 Windows phone. The good news is you don't have to pay the big price tag of those premium models to get a 5 inch screen, although it can't catch the outstanding Lumia 930 which compares similarly on price.
5 inch Full HD screen
The screen resolution has increased too over the A3. You now get a 294 pixel per inch full HD AMOLED screen which offers finer detail and an even brighter screen overall than the smaller A3. While the screen on the smaller phone was better than we expected, the A5 shows Samsung at their best with a truly excellent display to be found here.
Quality 13 megapixel camera
Perhaps the most significant change is the camera. We weren't blown away with the adequate but no better 8 megapixel variant, but the A5 features a vastly superior 13 megapixel camera, albeit with a similar set of features.
You will produce much better shots with this camera, and it appears to perform a lot better in a wider range of lighting conditions, especially as the sun begins to sink.
The same 5 megapixel 'selfie' camera appears up front, and you can record with both cameras simultaneously as well as take group photos with the Wide Selfie mode.
Excellent performance and specification
It's pretty much as you were with the rest of the specs, with the only slight surprise here being the same 1.2 GHz processor seen in the A3, albeit with RAM memory increased from 1.5 to 2GB.
We might have expected a faster processor, but the reality is it has no impact on performance at all, suggesting that the ever increasing size of processors in mobile phones is an effort to win over those chasing ever higher specs rather than being of any practical value. The real world result is that performance is excellent no matter how you use the phone.
As on all A Series phones there is no battery cover which means the battery is not removable, but there is a memory card slot, continuing Samsung's tradition of offering one or the other, but not both.
It's a question of size when it comes to choosing a Samsung A series handset. The main difference here is the much better 13 megapixel camera and 5 inch HD screen, but beyond that only an extra £100 on the price tag seperates this from the A3.
The Samsung Galaxy A5 then will appeal to those wanting a metal cased Samsung handset with a screen size that many of us have come to accept as the perfect size. It still doesn't quite have that premium feel despite the metal, and for that reason we still think it's a little expensive.
Beyond that though there is little to fault here, and even if the design is beginning to feel a little dated, it's still one of the best looking midrange Android smartphones around.