The Samsung Galaxy A5 comes in a little blue box offering the standard set of accessories all phone should have. Inside is a wall charger rated at 1.55A, a microUSB cable, SIM ejector tool and Samsung headphones with volume control and microphone.
The Samsung Galaxy A5 is a nice looking smartphone with a very thin profile of only 6.7mm, a height of 139.3mm and a width of 69.7mm. Quite expectedly, with those measurements the Galaxy A5 is impressively thin and compact considering it houses a 5" display and physical home button. The space above and under the display are just about the right size but we do wish the side bezels were a bit thinner.
Design-wise Samsung has gone very clean and minimalist with the Galaxy A5. The white-painted metal frame is precision cut and has no protruding corners along its length, unlike the Galaxy Alpha and Galaxy Note 4.
The metal frame is chamfered at the edges allowing for a sharp, edgy feel in the hand and the corners at each end are ever so slightly rounded although not taking away from the square feel and look of the handset.
Our unit has a Pearl White finish although you can get the Samsung Galaxy A5 in Light Blue, Champagne Gold, Midnight Black, Platinum Silver or Soft Pink. In the case of the Pearl White version that we got, the body glistens in different nuances depending on how the light falls on it. It certainly looks catchy, but it looks like it's going to appeal more to the female part of the Western audience.
Compared to the Samsung Galaxy A3 the Galaxy A5 is noticeably taller although not much wider. The design here is flatter, though.
The metal frame of the Samsung Galaxy A5 is the main design element here. It's where all other things come together, clasped firm under the frame's metal grip.
Samsung has applied a coat of paint to the frame so that no matter which color option you choose the frame matches the rest of the body.
Handling the Galaxy A5 is a joy. The phone sits nice and flat in the hand and its matte surface and cool sides are nothing short of impressive. Some might prefer a more curved shape as the flat sharp surface doesn't sit as naturally in the hand. But the sharp edged actually contribute to the feeling of holding a super slim device in your hand.
The Galaxy A5 controls layout in typical fashion with the usual controls in all the usual places. The front is mainly occupied by the 5" Super AMOLED panel of HD resolution.
Above it Samsung has fitted an earpiece, the proximity and ambient light sensors, and a 5MP front-facing camera.
Under the display sits the usual combo of physical home button and two capacitive buttons for recent apps and back. The home button isn't fingerprint sensing, though, unlike the one of the Galaxy Alpha.
The volume rocker is located on the left side while the power button is side-mounted on the right. Under it are two card slots - the top one is reserved for the microSD card slot but it also doubles as the second nanoSIM compartment on the Galaxy A5 Duos, giving you dual SIM abilities on expense of the memory expansion option. The second slot holds the main nanoSIM card.
The top acts only as the placeholder for the secondary noise reducing microphone while on the top lies the main microphone, the audio jack and the microUSB port.
The main 13MP camera sits on the back between the single LED flash and the single loudspeaker grille. We would've preferred the speaker to be front-facing as now the audio is directed backwards, which isn't ideal, but that's certainly not uncommon.
The back panel has a pleasant matte finish which feels great when gliding a finger over it.