Just like its bigger C7 sibling, the Galaxy C5 is not flamboyant with its packaging or presentation, but still, it comes with a nicely full set of accessories. We would gladly give up a fancy-looking box for the sake of getting more accessories, and the C5 doesn't leave you wanting in this respect.
Opening the simple two piece container reveals the device itself on top. Right underneath is another box with leaflets and a SIM ejector. Even further down is the main compartment, with a Samsung Adaptive Fast Charging A/C adapter.
You also get a simple USB type A to micro USB cable and a pretty decent pair of wired headphones with a mic and controls. All the supplied accessories are stylishly finished in white.
Samsung must have drawn inspiration for the new "C" series design from at least a few sources. The metal exterior is an instant throwback to models like the A5 (2016) and A7 (2016), but Samsung has changed some parts of the chassis quite a bit this time around. The distinctive grooves on the sides are gone, and the chamfered back edges are now a lot deeper and smoother.
This doesn't help with handling all that much, but does make for a gorgeous back panel that gently slopes in on all four sides. The impression the C5 makes is one of an uncanny resemblance to a mix of the iPhone 6s, the HTC A9 and the OnePlus 3. If nothing else, the latter has very similar looking and prominent antenna cutouts.
As already mentioned, the Galaxy C5 and C7 are virtually identical on the outside with scale being the only difference. Also, apart from the slight alterations to design, there isn't anything all that notable or different about the Samsung Galaxy C5 when compared to, let's say, the 2016 Galaxy A lineup.
What you get is a sturdy metal unibody with a nice matte finish that is quite smudge resistant, all put together with great precision in a neat phablet package.
The materials used for the Galaxy C5 and the build quality are immaculate - we'd certainly give it that.
On the front, the C5 has a typical Samsung appearance. The most recent one as well, complete with little details like the subtle color accents around the front camera and sensors and the slightly taller home button. The device looks very clean from this angle. Besides the already mentioned pair of controls, there is only a Samsung logo on top of the display and the earpiece, of course.
Below the screen, the home button integrates a snappy fingerprint reader and has a pair of capacitive buttons on either side. These are in the typical Samsung layout of menu key on the left and back on the right and are invisible when not backlit. The design is tied together nicely by the slight 2.5D effect on the top glass.
Going round the back, there aren't many things to note. It is very clean as well.
As already mentioned, this particular antenna design is a novelty on a Samsung phone, and we still can't shake the feeling it is slightly out of place - it's like we are reviewing a phone by another brand. However, this feeling likely stems from some of our preconceived notions and the new design certainly helps the C5 and C7 stand out among Samsung siblings.
The camera bump protrudes noticeably but still looks reasonable and is almost justifiable considering the phone's 6.7mm slim profile - the C5 is even a bit thinner than the 6.8mm C7. Right next to the lens, there is a Dual-tone LED flash and that about covers the back.
The sides are pretty conventional as well. On the left, we only have the volume controls, a power key, and a SIM card tray on the right. The latter has a total of two slots, one being a hybrid slot so that you can choose between a second SIM and a microSD card. A dedicated memory card slot would've been better, but hybrid slots seem to be the norm these days.
The bottom of the Galaxy C5 feels a bit busier. It houses, in order of appearance, a 3.5mm audio jack, the primary microphone, a microUSB port and a single speaker grille. As for the top, it only has a tiny pinhole for the secondary noise-canceling microphone.