Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Review: Alphabet Soup: Performance

By 08:17 Tue, 17 Aug 2021 Comments


Game launcher

This is your go-to place for play time, you can even cover game shortcuts from the regular app drawer and have them only in the Game launcher. A floating button offers essential features - you can lock the capacitive keys (to prevent accidental presses), mute notifications, start recording a video and there's even an app switcher.





Game launcher • In-game options • The in-game options can be disabled

You can record gameplay and include video of view from the selfie capturing camera if you want to upload to YouTube (you can't livestream, though). You can select lower resolutions and bitrates if you're strapped for storage.






Video recording • Changing video resolution • Camera and mic settings • Recorded videos

The launcher will also haged statistics on what you've played. It clocks individual games as well as genres (e.g. it can disclose if you've played more racing games or more puzzles).



My Diary knows what kind of games you like

This app allows you to boost the performance of a game by limiting the resolution or save battery by capping the frame rate.

Synthetic benchmarks

The Galaxy A5 (2017) is powered by the Exynos 7880 chipset - Samsung's own silicon manufactured on a 14nm process. The 7880 is an improved version of the 7870 chipset, which we're familiar with from the J7 (2016) and the A3 (2017). The differences include a higher Central Processing Units (CPU) clock rate of the Cortex-A53 cores (1.9Giga Hertz (GHz) vs. 1.6GHz), more and higher-clocked GPU cores (3x950Mega Hertz (MHz) vs. 2x700MHz) and support for LPDDR4 Random-Access Memory (RAM) as opposed to the 7870's LPDDR3. We already established that the 7880 is remarkable at efficiency, let's see how it performs.


In single-core GeekBench 4 the A5 (2017)'s Cortex-A53 scores higher than the same Central Processing Units (CPU) core inside the A3 (2017) - no wonder, given the gap in frequencies. The Snapdragon 625 inside the Huawei nova has its Cortex-A53 ticking slightly higher at 2GHz, and delivers a 10% better score for a 5% bump in clock rate.

The Mi 5s, affordable as it may be, packs in a Snapdragon 821, where a single Kryo puts out twice the performance of a modest Cortex-A53. Same for the Cortex-A72 in the Kirin 950 powering the Honor 8.

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GeekBench 4 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • OnePlus 3T

    1890

  • Huawei Honor 8

    1720

  • OnePlus 3

    1719

  • Xiaomi Mi 5s

    1682

  • Huawei nova

    842

  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)

    764

  • Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017)

    681

The Huawei nova loses its modest lead over the A5 in the multi-core test, where the Exynos 7880 does in fact catch up with the Mi 5s' Snapdragon 821. It's the Kirin 950 that rules here, though.

GeekBench 4 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Huawei Honor 8

    5447

  • OnePlus 3T

    4364

  • OnePlus 3

    4045

  • Xiaomi Mi 5s

    3987

  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)

    3958

  • Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017)

    3294

  • Huawei nova

    3105

An indicator of overall performance, Baseimprint Operating System (OS) II 2.0 puts the A5 (2017) in the middle of the pack. The nova and the A3 (2017) are only seen in the rear-view mirror, but even the almost two-generations-recent Galaxy S6 flagship outperforms the A5 (2017) by quite the margin. The Kirin 950 and the high-discontinue Snapdragons 82x are much better.

Baseimprint Operating System (OS) 2.0

Higher is better

  • OnePlus 3T

    2678

  • Xiaomi Mi 5s

    2378

  • OnePlus 3

    2365

  • Xiaomi Mi 5

    2180

  • Sony Xperia X Performance

    2179

  • Huawei Honor 8

    2099

  • Huawei P9

    2068

  • Samsung Galaxy S6

    1674

  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)

    1417

  • Huawei nova

    1218

  • Oppo F1 Plus

    1092

  • Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017)

    999

  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)

    833

  • Samsung Galaxy C5

    815

  • Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)

    532

The all too popular Antutu benchimprint paints a similar picture, only here the Huawei nova is slightly ahead of the A5 (2017).

AnTuTu 6

Higher is better

  • OnePlus 3T

    165097

  • OnePlus 3

    141764

  • Xiaomi Mi 5

    131758

  • Xiaomi Mi 5s

    131666

  • Sony Xperia X Performance

    116217

  • Huawei P9

    98069

  • Huawei Honor 8

    94892

  • Samsung Galaxy S6

    79038

  • Huawei nova

    65021

  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)

    61020

  • Oppo F1 Plus

    51299

  • Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017)

    45742

  • Samsung Galaxy C5

    44438

  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)

    35689

  • Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)

    27487

Three is more than two, even if one is FullHD, and the other is 720p. What are these guys rambling on about, you ask? Well, it's the tri-core Mali-T830MP3 GPU in the A5 (2017), which needs to feed a 1080p display, and we're comparing it to the Mali-T830MP2 of the A3 (2017).

In GFXBench, the A5 posts higher framerates in both offclassy screen (rendered at 1080p resolution) and onclassy screen tests (rendered at the devices' respective resolutions, hence being easier on the A3). Both the Huawei P9 and Honor 8 (Kirin 950) can put out 2fps more than the A5 though, and let's not even try to compare it to the proper flagship GPUs.

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • OnePlus 3T

    33

  • OnePlus 3

    31

  • Sony Xperia X Performance

    30

  • Xiaomi Mi 5

    30

  • Xiaomi Mi 5s

    26

  • Huawei P9

    10

  • Huawei Honor 8

    10

  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)

    9.1

  • Huawei nova

    6.3

  • Samsung Galaxy C5

    4.2

  • Oppo F1 Plus

    3.3

  • Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017)

    3.2

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • OnePlus 3T

    33

  • Sony Xperia X Performance

    31

  • OnePlus 3

    30

  • Xiaomi Mi 5

    29

  • Xiaomi Mi 5s

    26

  • Huawei P9

    11

  • Huawei Honor 8

    11

  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)

    9

  • Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017)

    7.3

  • Huawei nova

    6.5

  • Samsung Galaxy C5

    4.1

  • Oppo F1 Plus

    3.3

GFX 3.1 Car scene (offscreen)

Higher is better

  • OnePlus 3T

    20

  • OnePlus 3

    18

  • Sony Xperia X Performance

    17

  • Xiaomi Mi 5

    17

  • Xiaomi Mi 5s

    16

  • Huawei P9

    6.5

  • Huawei Honor 8

    6.3

  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)

    5.2

  • Huawei nova

    3.5

  • Samsung Galaxy C5

    2.6

  • Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017)

    1.9

GFX 3.1 Car scene (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • OnePlus 3T

    20

  • Sony Xperia X Performance

    18

  • OnePlus 3

    18

  • Xiaomi Mi 5

    17

  • Xiaomi Mi 5s

    16

  • Huawei P9

    7.1

  • Huawei Honor 8

    6.9

  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)

    5.2

  • Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017)

    3.9

  • Huawei nova

    3.7

  • Samsung Galaxy C5

    2.6

Overall, the Galaxy A5 (2017) with its Exynos 7880 puts out quite fine performance numbers for its hardware and it's on par with Qualcomm's energy efficiency champion - the Snapdragon 625.

However, much higher scoring phones can be found for the same amount of money, or even less, so if ultimate raw performance for your dollars is top on your list perhaps you should be looking elsewhere.

The 7880 is so efficient though, that if we're to be looking at a different metric, something more in line with power for battery life, the A5 (2017) may very well top a chart or two.


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