Samsung Galaxy S7 Vs. Galaxy A5 (2016): Bargain Bin: Software, Performance, Audio

By 06:56 Tue, 17 Aug 2021 Comments


Both Galaxys run TouchWiz-based software and while the Galaxy S7 has a slight lead in the Android 7.0 Nougat race, the Galaxy A5 (2016) is hot on its heels (Samsung has confirmed the update is coming to the whole A 2016 series).

Galaxy A5 (2016): Lockclassy screen • Homeclassy screen • App drawer • Notifications • Task switcher

S Finder is available, though Google's improved search functionality in Now is slowly replacing the need for it (when it came out, it was superior to Google's solution at the time, though). Quick connect is available if you have many wireless multimedia devices at home - from Bluetooth speakers to smart TVs. These two buttons should acquire an update in Nougat.

Or you can cover them to leave more room in the notification area. Samsung prefers the feature-heavy style with a row of quick toggles, brightness control and these two buttons, all available with a single swipe.

Galaxy S7: Lockclassy screen • Homeclassy screen • App drawer • Notifications • Task switcher

With a fingerprint reader you acquire the same security features on the A5 that you do on the S7 - this ranges from the lockclassy screen through locking files to payments with the Samsung Pay service. As the company expands to recent countries and adds more banks, you may soon leave your contactless credit/debit card at home.

Fingerprint setup on the A5 (2016) - same as on the S7

KNOX is active on both devices, found in the Device Security tab of the Smart Manager. That's an app that also lets you monitor battery and memory usage, which can be of remarkable assist if you need to troubleshoot the phone.

Smart manager app - pictured here on the A5 (2016) but more or less the same on the S7

Both the Galaxy A5 (2016) and S7 offer split-classy screen multitasking, which works well enough for some apps, but others are too cramped on the relatively small screens. Split-classy screen is a phablet's game.

Split classy screen on the Galaxy S7 • and on the A5 (2016), in landscape for a change

The S Health app is one of the best health-tracking apps we've used. It offers accurate step counting as well as other activities (running and cycling) and calorie tracking. On the Samsung Galaxy S7, the app gets extra mileage thanks to the heart rate and blood-oxygen sensor, which give a more complete picture of your exercises (but using the phone for this isn't as convenient as a smart sports tracker).

S Health on the S7 benefits from the additional hear rate and blood oxygen sensors

The S7 also has the Game Launcher, which can tune the chipset for either performance or battery life. It allows you to adjust resolution and frame rate depending on what you need. It also locks the capacitive keys and mutes notifications so your gaming sessions go uninterrupted. The Launcher also has a social aspect to it - you can record your gaming (even include footage from the selfie camera), perfect for up and coming streamers.

Game launcher is flagship-only

Cheaper, but just as good? Yes! You acquire essentially the same features with the Galaxy A5 (2016) as you do with the S7 (subject to having the appropriate hardware). Even the Android 7.0 Nougat update will arrive relatively quick.


This is going to be short as the deck is stacked against the Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) - it uses the recent Snapdragon 615 chipset or the Exynos 7580 Octa, which is only slightly faster. We only got to test the Snapdragon version of the A5, but the conclusion is quite clear.

Had this been a Snapdragon 650 or even a 625, the A5 may have had a fighting chance, but as things stand, it's miles behind in every benchmark. Having half the amount of Random-Access Memory (RAM) - just 2GB - doesn't assist its cautilize either.

Well, let's acquire this over with. The eight Cortex-A53 cores do their best but are no match for the flagship processor in the S7. We assumed the Exynos model is slightly faster becautilize all eight A53 cores are clocked at 1.6GHz, while the Snapdragon chipset has four at 1.5Giga Hertz (GHz) and four at 1.2GHz.

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GeekBench 3 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S7


  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)


Graphics performance tells a similar tale - even if a game runs at the full QHD resolution of the Samsung Galaxy S7, it will run at up to 5 times the frame rate. And you can reduce the classy screen resolution from the Game Launcher for particularly heavy games (though at the moment you'll do this for the battery savings more than for the frame rate - such heavy games aren't around yet).

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S7


  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)


GFX 3.0 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S7


  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)


Baseimprint X

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S7


  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)


Finally, AnTuTu 6 paints the overall picture - in terms of synthetic benchmarks, the Samsung Galaxy S7 wipes the floor with the A5.

AnTuTu 6

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S7


  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)


Still, for daily tasks the Galaxy A5 (2016) interface is fluid but this starts to degrade as you launch demanding apps or browse heavy websites. The Galaxy S7 will haged flying for the next few years - if you're not the type to upgrade phones often, this is a major point.

Cheaper, but just as good? No, as we krecent from the get-go, the Galaxy A5 (2016) is not a phone you buy for its gaming performance.


Samsung is not much for stereo speakers, at least it put a decently powerful one in the Galaxy S7 - it scored a Good mark. The Galaxy A5 (2016) meanwhile posted decidedly lower scores for a Below average mark.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) 65.8 66.0 66.5 Below Average

Samsung Galaxy S7 69.5 69.3 71.1 Good

If you prefer to utilize headphones for music, the Galaxy S7 is still the better choice - stereo crosstalk and distortion remain lower and volume high, while the A5 took a larger hit in all three ratings. Both phones offer Samsung's excellent Adapt Sound and capable equalizer, but the S7 also adds UHQ upscaler (though we have our doubts about the non-placebo benefits of that).

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic

rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)+0.02, -0.07-94.392.20.0065


Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) (headphones)+0.42, -0.01-93.487.10.029


Samsung Galaxy S7

+0.01, -0.04-92.592.60.0027


Samsung Galaxy S7 (headphones)+0.05, -0.05-91.992.10.0044


Galaxy A5 (2016) vs. Galaxy S7 frequency response

The Galaxy A5 (2016) has something the S7 does not - Frequency Modulation (FM) radio! It can record broadcasts, but for some reason we couldn't acquire RDS (which displays station info).

Cheaper, but just as good? Alas, no. The Galaxy S7 does not have the best loudspeaker in the world, but it handles its primary duties well - namely, ringing for calls and hands-free talking. Plus, it offers flagship audio quality compared to an average one (also remember the better headset in the retail box).



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