The A-Team is back and we start with the Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016). It pairs a premium build with premium features, a true S6 lookalike.
The Galaxy A models for 2016 are Samsung's answer to the trend started by Chinese OEMs of making premium feeling midrange devices.
This makes the Galaxy A5 as much a OnePlus X/Xiaomi Mi 4c competitor as it is a Galaxy S6 alternative. Speaking of it, the S6 price hovers barely above that of the A5, so the young 'un has to prove it's just as good as the phone that started Samsung's mobile rebirth.
Who would believe that an A-series phone will have features that are missing from an S-series flagship? And yet the microSD card slot is one of the major complaints about the S6. The boost in battery capacity is welcome, even though the battery itself is not removable.
The one major stumbling block may be the camera. Sure, the wide f/1.9 aperture and OIS sound great, but no 4K video feels like a big drawback. We're less worried about the drop in screen resolution, even if it seems major.
The original 2014 incarnation of the Galaxy A5 was ambitiously priced for the relatively limited feature set it offered. The 2016 model is a whole different story - it brings a much-needed boost to the screen and chipset, along with great camera specs and Samsung Pay.
This makes the Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) a clear upgrade path for those still holding on to an S5 or even S4 and it puts feature pressure onto the premium mid-range market.