Samsung’s Galaxy A5 vs the S7 and the S8

Samsung Galaxy A5

The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ have finally been unveiled, but is the upgrade to the South Korean manufacturer’s latest smartphone really necessary for everyone?

We’re not even a quarter-way through the year and Samsung has already shown us three phone options: the surprisingly impressive Galaxy A5 and now the Galaxy S8 and S8+.

The Samsung Galaxy S series are high-end smartphones with equally high price tags, hitting the plus $1,000 CAD range when not purchased on a contract in Canada. The mid-range Samsung Galaxy A5, released back in January 2017, is almost half that cost at $525.

Many consumers hear “Galaxy S” and immediately jump for Samsung’s latest flagship offering. Samsung’s S series is synonymous with high-quality Android devices and is often compared directly with Apple’s iPhone. However, just like the iPhone, each year the price of Samsung’s S Series Galaxy devices increases. The same $500 spent years ago on a Galaxy S4 will not even get you half way to purchasing an S8.

If you can’t shake yourself away from the grip of the Galaxy S series, or Samsung in general — MobileSyrup still contends that the $599 OnePlus 3T is one of the top and most affordable high-end android devices out there — Samsung’s roughly a year old, but still very current, the S7 is also a viable option.

So lets take a look at the S8, S8+ A5, S7, and examine each device’s strengths and weaknesses.

Galaxy S8 vs the S7

After looking at the above technical specifications comparison chart (you can find it above), it might appear to some that the A5’s 16-megapixel camera is better than shooter feature in both the S7 and S8. However, the 12-megapixel sensor featured in the S8 has a wider aperture, coming in at f/1.7, allowing the phone to take better pictures in low-light than the A5’s f/1.9 aperture lens.

It’s also likely that Samsung saves some of the magic that powers the company’s highly-regarded image processor for its key flagship devices. The S8’s 8-megapixel front-facing camera is also the first ‘selfie’ camera with auto focus, allowing for better front-facing camera quality than the A5’s 16-megapixel camera.

The S7 has the same dual-pixel 12-megapixel rear-facing shooter as the S8. However, like the A5, the S8’s front-facing selfie camera beats out the S7 if we’re focusing purely on megapixels. The 8-megapixel front facing camera is superior to the 5-megapixel front-facing camera on the S7. For the simple reason of it having the same f/1.7 aperture, additional megapixels and auto focus functionality.

Samsung Galaxy S7

The A5 and the S7 also may have an edge when it comes to battery life when compared to the S8. The S8, A5 and S7 all feature 3,000mAh batteries, though with the smaller display featured in the S7 and A5, these devices will most likely last longer than the S8 (you could also say the same thing about the S7 Edge to a lesser extent). Don’t be alarmed though, the S8 does have a new 10nm chipset designed to improve improve the smartphone’s battery performance.

According to various publications, the S7’s battery beats out the A5’s by at least six hours of usage, with a more power efficient processor and slightly smaller screen being the likely reasons.

The S8’s display measures in at 5.8-inches, while the S8+ measures 6.2-inches. Samsung isn’t giving their consumers very many options with their S series phones this year. 5.8-inches might be too large for the small hands of many consumers and the 5.2-inch A5 or 5.1-inch S7 could be a better fit for many people who prefer smaller phones.

Samsung Galaxy A5

The A5 is an impressive device and despite its mid-range categorization, it has no problems multi-tasking and performs burdensome functions without any sort of crashing or overheating.

No one will disagree Samsung’s S8 and S8+ are better phones than both the S7 and A5 based purely on specs, however, you may not need everything the S8 offers. In that case, value-minded buyers could do a lot worse than look to the Samsung S7 for $100 on a two-year contract or less (with most carriers). For those consumers that don’t want to be tied down, the A5’s $525 price tag looks more favourable than the $780 cost of the S7.

If you’re not looking to spend too much money and don’t want or need a phone with Bixby or an iris scanner, than the S7 or the A5 could possibly be the Galaxy smartphone for you.

Comments

  • canucks4life

    Really a shame the A5 didn’t have Nougat at launch played around with a demo and was quite impressed.

    • Kitty Burgers

      Does it really matter anymore? Isn’t Marshmallow enough? Do you really think it would perform better? I’m rather skeptical of all these Android versions and can’t for the life of me understand why not all devices get the next update of the OS. Shouldn’t a modern phone OS be able to adapt to all the different processor types out there? And one would think that it would be the goal of any operating system to require less resources to run on comparable devices.

    • Roger

      In an ideal world, yes. However, less people will want to upgrade their devices if their 5-6 year old phone still gets timely updates and chucks along after all that time. I am using GS5 with Marshmallow now, and it’s working well enough for me to not ‘need’ a new phone. I still want a new phone, but it’ll have to wait as there are other priorities.

    • Jason Hills

      Upgraded to Nougat on first day bought, Sept. 28

  • Vito R.

    I don’t understand. Are you saying the battery life of the S8 isn’t as good as the S7 because it has a bigger screen and same size battery – or are you saying it’s ok because of the more efficient processor (not to mention screen).

    The battery life champ *should* be the A5 – but you can’t know there longevity of a phone with a new processor and screen without testing it.

  • Dimitri

    Dean you made a mistake on your article. The S7 and S7 edge has Exynos 8890 here in Canada. US got Snapdragon. The S8 however has the Snapdragon as u said. Even Mobilesyrup posted this last year on their reviews, and articles. So u made a error on ur post. Please edit :). Look below for the information 🙂

    ” Samsung confirms Canadian carriers will sell Exynos 8890-equipped Galaxy S7

    By Igor Bonifacic
    FEB 23, 2016 1:06 PM EDT
    59 COMMENTS”

    • Ipse

      Plus the S7 aperture is not “smaller” at 1.7 vs A5 at 1.9 – the contrary.
      The S7 LTE bands are also incorrect as it covers 8-17 as well plus some others unusable in Canada. But no B66 indeed.

    • Dimitri

      Seems like Dean did not get all his information correct. Should have done proof reading before posting incorrect specs on a device that has been out for a year and Mobilesyrup has has posted before.

      Dean with all due respect, please edit ur post with accurate information on the S7. Seems like no proof reading was done on ur part.

    • Hey Dimitri, thanks for pointing out the error regarding the incorrect processor listing.

      There was a mix-up in our new back-end spec device system, so this is definitely not on Dean. I would, however, like to point out that it doesn’t fundamentally change the inherent concept of the story in any way.

    • Dimitri

      Hey Patrick!

      Thanks for the response! Didn’t know u guys use new spec device system. I thought it could have been edited or viewed before a article is published!. 🙂

    • Device specs post across multiple stories, so we assumed they’d be accurate in this particular piece. Like I mentioned before, however, It seems something got flipped. We’ll do our best to be more careful in the future.

    • Faiz Imam

      Another nitpick with the article:

      quote: “5.8-inches might be too large for the small hands of many consumers and the 5.2-inch A5 or 5.1-inch S7 could be a better fit for many people who prefer smaller phones.”

      But the S8 and S8+ is narrower than the older models. The screen aspect ratio and bezel is different, so using screen size to measure how in holds in the hand is not useful.

      Use the actual width in mm, it makes way more sense.

    • Zach Gilbert

      Width isn’t the only issue. Many times it’s the length of the device that causes issues. One handed operation is no more.

  • rF

    Seems like in the Internet age, articles posted are rushed and not a lot pass through editors.

    • Dimitri

      Seems so. I’m pretty sure the article could have been viewed by Igor or even Patrick for final view before posting or atleast get the specs right. Dean is new but should know to do proof read before posting. Rush is rush.

    • rF

      I pointed a similar issue with Ian back in 2015. I am not sure if the “pervasive in” or “prevalent to” are the right descriptors.
      ——————–
      From: Ian Hardy
      Date: 5 September 2015 at 09:11
      Subject: Re: Contact submission – Two things (not tips)
      To: —

      Thanks –,

      Appreciate the email.

      1. Agreed. Do you have links to some of the articles that have spelling and grammatical errors in them. We will continue to work on making them better.

      2. ….

      Best,

      Ian

      On Sat, Sep 5, 2015 at 11:05 AM, — wrote:

      Subject: Two things (not tips)

      Message Body:
      Hi,

      1. I have a feeling that some articles have been rushed out to press and a number of them have typo and grammatical errors. I think future articles can be edited a bit more carefully.

      2. …

    • Dimitri

      From what Patrick is saying is that it’s not Deans fault but blames the new back end system that does the spec sheets. So who knows but I have spoken to Ian as well before about this. I know they do alot of work and it’s not easy but they should always proof read and make sure all is in order and correct before releasing a article. Now Imagine if CNN, CP24 or other media and tech sites did this as well. They do but it’s rare and not as often as Mobilesyrup. In my opinion it would be best to have a senior editor to look at the articles and proof read them before they go live.

    • Having worked in the past for a few mainstream news organizations, I can tell you that mistakes and errors happened at some of those networks much more frequently than they do at MobileSyrup.

      All of our stories are edited before they go live, but mistakes are bound to happen. It’s an inevitable thing at any news organization, including CNN and CP24.

  • Jason van de Laar

    Well, since i am still using the S4 I am definitely upgrading to the S8 🙂

  • Garrett Cooper

    I saw the S8 in person over the weekend at a Rogers store that had a live demo. It was a fine looking phone. Only concern is how it would be to use it one handed with the near entire front being screen, hard to tell when it was attached to one of the security dock things. I loved how narrow it was though.

  • Brad Fortin

    “However, just like the iPhone, each year the price of Samsung’s S Series Galaxy devices increases.”

    What are you talking about? The iPhone hasn’t increased in price in nearly a decade:

    iPhone 4: $649 USD.

    iPhone 4S: $649 USD.

    iPhone 5: $649 USD.

    iPhone 5S: $649 USD.

    iPhone 6: $649 USD.

    iPhone 6S: $649 USD.

    iPhone 7: $649 USD.

    In addition to not spell-checking, does this site also not fact-check?

  • Whome

    I’m looking at all the phones coming out lately and I’m thinking more and more that the A5 is all around a better deal. I’d be happier if it had 4gb and 64gb ram but at less than half the price than one of the new flagship phones and with expandable memory and a decent processor I’m thinking this just all around a better deal.