The Galaxy A5 (2017) measures 146.1 x 71.4 x 7.9 mm which is standard for a 5.2-inch phone - most other devices with the same diagonal are within a millimeter in each direction.
As for weight, the A5 (2017) is on the heavy side of average. Its 157g aren't really an issue, but the similarly sized Huawei P9, for example, tips the scales at just 144g. The brand new HTC U Play is even a notch lighter at 143g, though admittedly it is severely battery-deprived (2,500mAh).
If there's one area where the Galaxy A5 (2017) can stand up to flagship-grade scrutiny it's build and looks. To a non-discerning eye the A5 can easily pass for an S7 - the aluminum frame, the dual-glass sandwich, the shapes and proportions - it's all top-shelf material.
There's the home button with a fingerprint sensor embedded - a staple of Samsung smartphone design. It may very well be destined for retirement with the S8, but for now, it's here to stay. The fingerprint reader works just as on the Galaxy S7, which is another way of saying - it's good but it's not the fastest one around.
What's been missing on the A-series for a while now and hasn't made an appearance on the A5 (2017) either is a notification LED. That one seems to be a flagship-only feature as of late. The top bezel of the midranger does contain all the other usual stuff though - earpiece, proximity/ambient light sensors, and selfie camera.
More importantly, and unlike any previous non-flagship or non-rugged phone, the A-series for this year have IP68 certification for dust and water resistance.
We do tend to compare the A5 (2017) to both the existing S7 and the projected S8 and while the S7 is so last year with its 3.5mm jack, the S8 may be one of the trendsetters to lose it. So there - the A5 (2017) is on par with the current top model in this respect, and possibly better than the upcoming one.
The A5 (2017)'s wired interface is in fact more up-to-date than the current flagship S7. The Type-C USB port only made it on a Samsung phone with the Note7, but we all know how that ended. Other than a somewhat obscure C9 Pro, the A-series remain the only Samsung handsets with a Type-C port. Beat that, S7.
One odd design decision sees the loudspeaker placed on the right side of the phone, right above the power button. For ringtones that's as good as any other position and in a way it's better for video viewing when holding the display in landscape orientation than the prevalent bottom placement. There are no stereo speakers, but there aren't any on Samsung flagships either. Not yet, at least.
As with a few other previous A-series models, the A5 (2017) has a couple of card slots. The one on the side accommodates one nanoSIM, while the slot on top takes a microSD card. The latter can also fit an additional nanoSIM card on dual SIM versions of the A5 (2017) and in this case the microSD slot remains available - it's a dedicated solution and not a hybrid one and we can't stress enough just how much we prefer it this way.
On the back, the S-series have been having all sorts of sensors, but not the A's - it's the bare minimum here with just the camera module and the LED flash.
Your palms will undoubtedly appreciate the curves on the back, which make the A5 a joy to handle. Some people tend to complain that glass is slippery, but we've had more issues in this respect with satin-finished aluminum on some phones, so it's probably down to the individual's skin properties. What's not debatable is that on glass backs smudges reign.