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Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 vs Galaxy A5 2016: What’s the difference?

Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 vs Galaxy A5 2016: We compare the new version of Samsung’s Galaxy A5 mobile phone to last year’s model, to see what specs have been updated and if the 2017 version is worth upgrading to.

Samsung’s Galaxy A Series handsets are mid-range mobiles which boast strong specs and features for a more affordable price than premium blowers like the Galaxy S7. The first set of Galaxy A phones were released in 2015 and updated last year, and now Samsung has just launched a fresh trio of Series A handsets for 2017.

The Galaxy A5 is the piggy in the middle, in terms of size, specs and price. Last year’s Galaxy A5 2016 was a 5.2-inch blower which impressed us with its solid cameras and brilliant battery life, and now it’s been updated in the form of the Galaxy A5 2017. But what’s the difference and is the Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 worth upgrading to if you already own last year’s model?

Here’s our full Galaxy A5 2016 vs Galaxy A5 2017 comparison review. And check out our Galaxy A3 2017 vs Galaxy A3 2016 comparison, to see how the smallest of Samsung’s A Series phones has been updated.

Read next: Galaxy A5 2017 vs OnePlus 3T vs Honor 8 vs Moto Z Play

Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 vs Galaxy A5 2016: Specs at a glance

Phone Galaxy A5 2016 Galaxy A5 2017
Screen size 5.2-inches 5.2-inches
Screen resolution 1920×1080 1920×1080
Water resistant? No Yes
Fingerprint scanner? Yes Yes
OS Android 6.0 Android 6.0
Processor Snapdragon 615 Exynos 7880
Memory 2GB 3GB
Storage 16GB 32GB
MicroSD? Yes (up to 256GB) Yes (up to 256GB)
Battery 2900mAh 3000mAh
USB Micro USB Type C
Rear camera 13MP (f/1.9) 16MP (f/1.9)
Front camera 5MP (f/1.9) 16MP (f/1.9)

Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 vs Galaxy A5 2016: What’s the difference?

When it comes to design, the new Galaxy A5 isn’t really any different from last year’s version. You once again have a 5.2-inch handset crafted from glass and metal, which looks neat and feels good in the hand thanks to those curvy edges.

However, the Galaxy A5 2017 is fully water resistant, so can survive a dunking in the bath or a heart-stopping plunge into a toilet. The Galaxy A5 2016 was vulnerable to water damage, so you had to steer well clear of baths, sinks and the rest.

That 5.2-inch Super AMOLED screen hasn’t been boosted in any way; it’s the same sharp and gorgeous Full HD panel as before. However, you do get an extra 16GB of storage built in, which can once again be expanded with a microSD memory card.

You get a fresh new Exynos 7880 chipset in the Galaxy A5 2017, which is said to be a serious step up from the Snapdragon 615 processor found in the 2016 model. With an extra gig of RAM packed inside to help out, you can expect smooth everyday performance from Android Marshmallow. Here’s hoping you’ll get an update to full Android Nougat soon after the A5 2017’s release.

Battery life should be similarly strong too, with a slightly bigger 3000mAh battery packed inside. You now get Type C USB connectivity as well, for more convenient charging and faster data transfer.

One area which has been majorly updated is the Galaxy A5’s camera tech. The Galaxy A5 2016 sported a 13-megapixel rear camera and 5-megapixel selfie snapper, but the 2017 model upgrades this tech to dual 16-megapixel lenses (one around the front and the other at the back). You can therefore expect a lot more detail packed into every photo, especially those self portraits.

We’ll be testing the Galaxy A5 2017’s cameras, performance, battery life and more in our full review.

Read next: Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 UK price and release date

Check out our full Galaxy A5 2017 unboxing and hands-on review in the video below.