The Samsung Galaxy A5 runs on the latest available Android 4.4.4 KitKat enhanced with the TouchWiz UI. It's almost the same version that powers the Galaxy Alpha but with the fresh twist of offering graphical UI themes for the first time in the Galaxy lineup.
Here's a video we've prepared to give you a taste of what it's like.
Starting with the lockscreen, it's the regular Samsung affair. You can glimpse the date and time as well as quickly access the camera via the shortcut on the bottom right.
The homescreen is also typical TouchWiz, with a 4-icon dock on the bottom. You can have up to 5 homescreens, panes can reordered and one is set as default. Flipboard is also the leftmost homescreen aggregating your social news - Samsung calls this Flipboard Briefing.
Themes have made their way to TouchWiz but currently only four are available aside from the standard one. They change every aspect of the UI aside from transition animations.
The notification area is again, like what you may have seen on any other Galaxy smartphone in the past, but it has seen some of its functionality missing - the Quick Connect and S Finder shortcuts are gone. You can expand the default one roll of toggles to the complete list from the upper right shortcut of by dragging the notification shade down with two fingers.
The settings menu is a vertical list of apps divided into categories. You can also search the settings menu with the dedicated search field up top. Alternatively, you can also browse the settings menu in a tabbed view.
In the app drawer, the icons are presented as a customizable or alphabetized grid. You can also view only the ones you've downloaded yourself or just hide the ones you don't need. You can also disable some of the pre-installed apps so they won't take any RAM.
The task switcher interface is the same as on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and the Galaxy S5 after the Lollipop update - a vertical list of app thumbs laid out in a beautiful carousel. You can close all apps directly.
The Samsung Galaxy A5 features One handed operation unlike its smaller counterpart the Galaxy A3. It shrinks the whole user interface down so that it's easier to use with a single hand. You can choose how big the usable portion is and also move it around. The rest of the UI remains black so that it doesn't light up the unused pixels or drain the battery.
Another useful feature the Galaxy A3 lacks but Galaxy A5 makes up is Samsung's Multi window. It allows you to use two supported apps at once in split screen mode. You can also use two instances of the same app - for example two Internet browsers.
Samsung's TouchWiz is pretty powerful but can also be a little taxing on the chipset. There are a lot of effects and animations but after you've gotten all the clutter out of the system it works like a beefier version of Android KitKat with a pinch of Lollipop here and there.