Lab – Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017): another very good AMOLED screen

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Joel Fulleda
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Released on February 3, Samsung's new Galaxy A5 2017 will have the difficult task of succeeding an excellent 2016 vintage, equipped in particular with an almost perfect Super Amoled screen. This year, the display is progressing on certain points, retreating by a mini step on others, but maintaining a similar balance.



Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)


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It's nothing to write that this year's Galaxy A5 is expected. Descendant of what we have come to call the "Galaxy A5 2016 anomaly" here – think, a mid-range from some Samsung series that suddenly buries a good bunch of smartphones of our comparison and opens the door to a year 2016 focused on a change of course in autonomy... —, the Galaxy A5 2017 must provide at least identical services. With its design derived from the Galaxy S7, it evolves in raw performance (from 4 to 8 cores for the mobile chip), RAM (from 2 to 3 GB), storage (from 16 to 32 GB), and adds waterproofing and a USB-C port to list its features.




 

For the display, we stay on familiar ground, with a 5,2-inch Super Amoled Full HD panel, or 1 x 920 px on a diagonal of 1 cm. The Galaxy A080 13,2 climbed to 5th place in our ranking of mobile displays last year and hasn't budged since*. The 2016 version fails to dislodge it and stalls... in 4th place. A tiny nothing separates them, therefore, and here is why.

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Infinite contrast and solid maximum brightness

Like any OLED-based screen, the new Galaxy A5's has infinite contrast, with a totally black black and an overall display that is inherently more expressive than what the best LCDs can offer today (Apple's iPhone 7 or the LG G5 for example). The maximum brightness of the panel is not left out, since it tops out at just over 400 cd / m² in manual adjustment – ​​which is already a very good score for AMOLED in the context of a contrast infinity — and 545 cd/m2 in automatic setting.


Brightness Temperature Reflectance 12%

Outdoors, the Galaxy A5 2017 is readable in all circumstances, even if a lower light reflection rate of its panel, here at 12%, could have ensured a more than perfect performance on this point. Minimum brightness is excellent, with a reading of 1,6 cd/m2. Enough to ensure a comfortable reading of the screen in the middle of the night. Last year's model is right in line with its successor, still with infinite contrast, maximum brightness down by only 16 cd / m2 (negligible on this aspect), but a reflectance of 10%. The best smartphone screen on this point, the Galaxy S7, drops to 7% (for 640 cd/m² of maximum brightness).



 

A year to lose some colorimetric fidelity

On the color rendering side, our relentless spirit of faithful colors finds itself somewhat disappointed, since the 2017 version of the A5 is regressing. No fall with neon colors, far from it, just a perfection that moves away slightly. First of all, if you know Samsung mobile terminals, you probably already know that the brand offers several display modes: Adaptive, Photo, Cinema, Basic. As so often, it is the latter that provides the best rendering. It should be noted in passing that the color temperature is almost immutable and perfect for the Photo, Basic and Cinema modes, with 6 K: it is homogeneous over the entire spectrum and no colorimetric drift is to be noted, as a result.

Colorimetry 3.3

The Basic mode delivers the most balanced color rendering with, as can be seen above, an average delta E set at 3,3 (the result must be as close as possible to 0 to be faithful). The Galaxy A5 2016 offered an average dE of 1,9 (details on the graph below). Rest assured, with the naked eye and for ordinary mortals, it is impossible to find the difference between the two devices.


Colorimetry 1.9

Gamma rays nevertheless, there is a small dropout (average at 2, ideal result at 2,2) in the light tones, with, in this area in video, a risk of slight loss of contrasting details.


 

Loss of speed on the touch delay, but a screen still canon

Reading comfort on the A5 2017 is identical to that of last year. With a good display finesse (424 pixels per inch), the A5 2017 allows you to enjoy all the content in the world in good conditions. VR fans can make do with it... or look to the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge for extra definition and/or screen size. Finally, note the small decline of the A5 2017 on the responsiveness of the slab. If the persistence time, AMOLED obliges, is close to 0 (for an average around 15 ms in LCD panel smartphones), the touch delay displays a time of 78 ms, i.e. 11 ms more than the Galaxy A5 2016 and a result that is close to the sector average. The best smartphones, like the Galaxy S6 for example, stall at 35 ms.

Overall, the Galaxy A5 2017 ranks, as seen in the preamble, in 5th place (ahead of the Google Pixel, Meizu Pro 6, iPhone 7, etc.) in our ranking of the best smartphone screens, in a Top 15 that holds actually in the tiny handkerchief of a small pocket. All this bodes well for the rest of the test of this new terminal, which is generating a lot of expectation...

See you next week for the publication of our full review of the Galaxy A5 2017.

**The Galaxy Note 7, if it hadn't perished along the way not long ago, would still be in the top spot and kick everyone up a notch.*

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