Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 vs OnePlus 3T vs Moto Z Play vs Honor 8 comparison review: We compare Samsung’s latest Galaxy A5 phone, refreshed for 2017, with some of the best mid-range mobiles costing £300 to £400. Which is best for you? Here’s all you need to know.
Samsung’s Galaxy A Series phones are some of the best value mid-range mobiles around. The Galaxy A3 and Galaxy A5 from 2016 offer premium features, dependable camera tech and solid performance for almost half the price of Samsung’s flagship S7 and S7 Edge handsets. And now Samsung is set to release the third generation of Galaxy A3 and Galaxy A5 here in the UK, with updated specs and all-new features.
The Galaxy A5 2017 is a 5.2-inch smartphone boasting a Full HD screen, water resistant design and 16-megapixel cameras back and front. Some pretty solid specs for £399 here in the UK. Question is, how does the Galaxy A5 compare with the best £300 to £400 phones out there right now, including the supremely powerful OnePlus 3T, the expandable Moto Z Play and the great-value Honor 8?
Here’s our full Galaxy A5 vs OnePlus 3T vs Moto Z Play vs Honor 8 comparison to help you choose your new mid-range mobile.
Galaxy A5 2017 vs OnePlus 3T vs Moto Z Play vs Honor 8: Specs at a glance
|Phone||Honor 8||OnePlus 3T||Moto Z Play||Samsung Galaxy A5 2017|
|Processor||Kirin 950||Snapdragon 821||Snapdragon 625||
|OS||Android 7.0||Android 7.0||Android 6.0||Android 6.0|
|Storage||32GB||64 or 128GB||32GB||32GB|
|microSD?||Up to 256GB||No||Up to 2TB||Up to 256GB|
|Rear camera||Dual 12MP||16MP||16MP||16MP|
Galaxy A5 2017 vs OnePlus 3T vs Moto Z Play vs Honor 8: Design
When it comes to design, this is a pretty diverse bunch of phones – although they’re all either 5.2 or 5.5-inch handsets, so not particularly compact.
Samsung’s Galaxy A5 2017 and the Honor 8 both sport a shiny glass frame that looks sleek, even if they pick up fingerprints and scuff marks all too easily. In sharp contrast, the OnePlus 3T goes for a smart but straight-forward metallic finish that’s reassuringly rugged. And the Moto Z Play has a textured soft-touch back that can be pulled off, when it’s time to attach some Moto Mods (check the next section for more on this).
If you’re a bit of a butter-fingers, the Galaxy A5 2017 may hold the most appeal for you. This is the only water-resistant phone in the group, so can survive a tumble into a bath or sink (or, God forbid, a toilet).
Galaxy A5 2017 vs OnePlus 3T vs Moto Z Play vs Honor 8: Media and features
All four phones here run Android OS, although in various forms. The Honor 8 and OnePlus 3T are the only phones to boast the latest version (‘Nougat”), which gives you better battery efficiency, native multi-tasking and other bonus features. However, the Z Play and Galaxy A5 2017 should receive the update to Nougat sooner rather than later.
All four handsets boast a spacious Full HD display, which is great news if you want to enjoy video on the go. You can also expand the on-board storage of all but the OnePlus 3T, for carrying around a big media collection.
Those Moto Mods are undoubtedly the Z Play’s stand-out feature, which really set it apart from the others. By pulling off the back and attaching one of Moto’s separately-sold Mods, you can boost the functionality in all kinds of cool ways. For instance, you can stick on a secondary battery or even attach a mini projector. Check out our Moto Mods review for more info.
You also have fingerprint security on the Galaxy A5 2017 as well as the other three phones.
Galaxy A5 2017 vs OnePlus 3T vs Moto Z Play vs Honor 8: Performance and battery life
The OnePlus 3T is the run-away winner when it comes to performance in this comparison review. Packing a mighty Snapdragon 821 processor backed by a whopping 6GB of RAM, you’ll struggle to find a more powerful handset in 2017.
That said, the other phones here give a smooth everyday performance and can play the latest games with a dependable frame rate. We’re yet to fully test the Galaxy A5 2017, but check back soon for our full review to see how it holds up.
As for battery life, the Z Play is the beast of the bunch. We consistently get two days of life per charge, while the ability to easily add a secondary battery (via Moto Mods) means you can happily double that effort. The others here should dependably give you a full day of use per charge however.
Galaxy A5 2017 vs OnePlus 3T vs Moto Z Play vs Honor 8: Cameras
These four phones are highly competitive when it comes to the camera tech.
The Honor 8 is the stand-out phone in this group thanks to its dual-lens setup, which allows you to shoot impressive depth-of-field photos. However, the other handsets all boast solid cameras for everyday snaps too. The Moto Z Play is particularly impressive, with its phase detection and laser autofocus for quickly snapping onto your subject and keeping them sharp.
The OnePlus 3T and the Moto Z Play are the only camera phones here that can shoot up to 4K resolution video. Samsung’s Galaxy A5 2017 and the Honor 8 top out at 1080p video.
When it comes to selfies, the Moto Z Play again impresses with its front-facing flash, ideal for nightclub shots. However, the other phones here can snap sharper images in daylight.
Stay tuned for our full Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 review, and here’s our video comparison of the Galaxy A5 2017 vs OnePlus 3T and Galaxy S5 2017 vs Honor 8: