Samsung Galaxy On5 Review


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Samsung launched the new ‘Galaxy On’ series of smartphones, Galaxy On5 and Galaxy On7 with 4G support in India last month. The Galaxy On5 is the affordable model of these two, which is priced at Rs. 8,990. We reviewed the Galaxy On7 recently. Is the Galaxy On5 worth the price? Let us find out in the complete review.

Unboxing

We unboxed the Galaxy On5, along with the Galaxy On7 recently, check out the unboxing video.

Box Contents

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  • Samsung Galaxy On5 smartphone in Gold color
  • 2-pin Charger (5V-1A)
  • Micro USB cable
  • Earphones with microphone
  • 2600mAh battery
  • Quick Start Guide

Video Review

Display, Hardware and Design

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The Galaxy On5 has a 5-inch TFT display with a pixel resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels and a pixel density of around 294 PPI. Even though the display is smaller than the On7, the pixel density better. The display is bright, has decent viewing angles and offers vibrant color output. The sunlight legibility is good too, but it is not as good as the Super AMOLED display on the Galaxy J2 that is also priced similar. This doesn’t have a scratch resistant glass hence it is prone to scratches. The smartphone is 72.1mm wide and 142.3mm tall, and weights 149 grams, almost similar to most of the 5-inch smartphones.

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On the top there is a 5-megapixel camera with f/2.2 aperture with wide-selfie that captures 120-degree wide panorama to accommodate more people. Images from the front camera have a lot noise if the lightning is poor and doesn’t have much details. It has a proximity sensor next to the earpiece, but the smartphone lacks an ambient light sensor, even though there is a cutout for it. It also lacks notification LED that is present on most of the smartphones in this price range.

Since it doesn’t have an ambient light sensor you have to adjust the brightness manually using the slider depending on the conditions. There is an outdoor mode option that increases the brightness for 15 minutes or until the screen is turned off.

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There is Samsung’s signature home button below the display that has a metal finish around it. The capacitive touch buttons for menu and back are present on both the sides. These are not backlit, neither offer haptic feedback when pressed.

The power button is present on the right side, you can also see a small ridge on the side to open the back cover. The phone has a chrome finish on the side and the smartphone is 8.5mm thick, slightly thicker than the Galaxy On7.  The volume rockers are present on the left side, micro USB slot, primary microphone and the 3.5mm audio jack are present on the bottom.

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The Galaxy On5 has a 8-megapixel auto focus camera on the back with f/2.2 aperture and single LED flash. The speaker grill is present next to it. The back cover has smooth, leather-like finish and the phone has sturdy build quality offering a nice grip. We have the golden-colored variant and the smartphone also comes in black color.

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It has two dedicated micro SIM slots and a microSD card slot (expandable up to 128 GB) under the back cover. Both these slots support 4G.

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It also has a 2600mAh removable battery so that you can replace it easily. Even though the smartphone doesn’t look premium, the build quality is good.

Camera

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Coming to the camera, the 8-megapixel auto focus rear camera with f/2.2 aperture is decent. The camera UI is similar to other Samsung smartphones running Android Lollipop. It has several modes (Auto, Pro (lets you adjust white balance, ISO and exposure manually), Panorama, Continuous shot and Beauty face), Effects ( Grey-scale, Sepia, Negative), and timer ( 2, 5 or 10 seconds). You can also press the home button twice to launch the camera, even when the screen is off and use the volume rockers as camera shutter. Sadly it doesn’t have HDR mode, similar  to the On7.

Coming to the image quality, daylight shots are good with vibrant colors and details. Macro shots are good too, thanks to f/2.1 aperture and it focuses quickly, unlike the On7. Low-light shots have a lot of noise as usual and images with flash are average and could have been better.

Check out the camera samples below (Click the image to view full resolution sample)

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It can record videos at 1080p full HD resolution at 30fps. Video quality is good offering vibrant colors for a 8MP camera, but the audio is not crisp since it doesn’t have a secondary microphone. Check out the video sample below.

Software

Samsung Galaxy On5 Home, Notification and Lockscreen

Coming to the software, it runs on Android 5.1.1 (Lollipop) with Samsung’s own UI on top, similar to most of the latest Samsung smartphones. The lockscreen shows weather info and lets you launch the dialer and camera easily. The drop-down notification bar has several toggles and lets you customize the row accordingly. It also has brightness slider with a toggle for outdoor mode and an option to switch either SIMs as primary.

It has a Smart Manager app lets you manage your device’s battery life, storage, RAM usage, and security all in one place. The Ultra data saving mode powered by Opera Max compresses cellular data across all contents such as videos, photos, media, almost all apps and websites. It compresses and reroutes data to the data-savings cloud using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). You can also add app exceptions if you don’t want data from an app to be compressed. It offers timeline of app usage and how much data is saved in a day or month. You can also check out data savings by individual app as well.

Samsung Galaxy On5 RAM, Storage and Move to SD

Out of 1.5GB of RAM, you get 1.39GB of usable RAM, out of which about 619MB of RAM is free when the default apps running in the background. Out of 8GB of internal storage, just 4.34GB of storage is usable. You can also move compatible apps to the SD card when you insert one. Even though the phone has option to move apps to the SD card, 4.34GB of storage is less since all the apps don’t have option to move to the SD card. This is definitely a downside.

Apps

Samsung Galaxy On5 Apps

Apart from the usual set of utility apps and Google Apps, the smartphone comes with MixRadio, which is available for all the Samsung phones through exclusive partnership with MixRadio and Opera Max, which powers the Ultra data saving mode. It doesn’t have any other bloatware or additional games, which is good since the storage is already less.

Music Player and FM Radio

Samsung Galaxy On5 Music Player and FM Radio

It doesn’t have a dedicated music player, so you have to rely on Google Play Music. It also doesn’t have equalizer, but it has SoundAlive+ and Tube Amp sound effects that can be enabled from the settings. This improves the audio when listening through earphones. That said, audio through earphones and the loudspeaker output are good. It has FM Radio with auto scanning and recording, which lets you store the recorded files in phone memory or SD card.

Dual SIM and Connectivity

Samsung Galaxy Dual SIM and Connectivity

It has the usual set of connectivity features such as WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS. It has 4G connectivity with support for TD-LTE 2300MHz (Band 40) and FDD-LTE 1800MHz (Band 3) for India. Both the SIMs support 4G, but you can enable 4G only in one SIM at a time, while the other goes to 2G. As usual it has Smart Dual SIM feature, similar to other latest Samsung Dual SIM smartphones. This automatically forwards calls from the phone number on SIM 2, even if a user is on the phone with SIM 1’s number. It also has USB on-the-go (OTG) support.

Performance and Benchmarks

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Coming to the performance, the 1.3GHz quad-core Exynos 3475 28nm processor offers average performance, but it doesn’t have any heating issues. 1.5GB of RAM can handle multitasking fine, but the Exynos processor with ARM’s Cortex A7 CPU is not powerful compared to Snapdragon 410 with Cortex A53 64-bit CPU found in most of the 4G smartphones in the market, including the Galaxy On7. Check out some synthetic benchmark scores below.

Quadrant Benchmark

Samsung Galaxy On5 Quadrant Benchmark

It managed to score 9652 points in the Quadrant Benchmark and grabs the last spot.

AnTuTu Benchmark 5

Samsung Galaxy On5 AnTuTu 5

It managed to score 20677 points in the AnTuTu Benchmark 5.

3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited

Samsung Galaxy On5 3D Mark Ice Storm Unlimited

It managed to score 3631 points in the 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited OnScreen benchmark.Check out the complete set of Galaxy On5 Benchmarks here.

It has 600 MHz Mali T-720 GPU. We tried several games. Most games were smooth and the graphics was decent too. It supports both USB or PS3 controllers via USB. It scored 3.5/5 stars in our gaming review. Check out the gaming review to know more about the gaming performance of the smartphone in detail.

Battery life

Samsung Galaxy On5 Battery life

Coming to battery life, the 2600mAh battery lasts for the whole day from average to heavy use such as 4G LTE with both the SIM cards With minimal use, it lasts for two days. Based on my average use it lasted for almost 2 days with screen on time of about 3 and half hours. The power saving mode and ultra power saving mode lets you extend the battery life. The smartphone also has a removable battery, so you can swap it easily when required.

Samsung Galaxy On5 FA One Charge Rating Pie Chart

In our battery test the smartphone achieved a One Charge Rating of 12 hours and 47 minutes, which is pretty good compared to other smartphones in the range.

Conclusion

At a price tag of Rs. 8,990, the Galaxy On5 is just an average budget 4G smartphone from Samsung. It has a good display, but it is not as good as the Super AMOLED display on the Galaxy J2. It has 4G support on both the SIM slots and offers brilliant battery life, but Samsung has missed out the ambient light sensor for auto brightness adjustment, yet again. Camera is decent, and few additions such as Ultra data saving mode are good, but the performance is not up to the mark and the 8GB of storage is not enough since only 4.3GB is usable.

Those things aside, Samsung has priced the Galaxy On5 at Rs. 8,990, which is decent compared to its earlier smartphones in the price range. Since there is heavy competition in the similar price range, Samsung still needs to get aggressive when it comes pricing. It is exclusive to Flipkart, but it is not sold through flash sales, so you can get it easily.  To summarize, here are the pros and cons of the smartphone

Pros

  • Good display
  • Brilliant battery life
  • Decent camera
  • Dedicated SIM slots with 4G support on both

Cons

  • Average performance
  • No ambient light sensor
  • Only 4.3GB of usable storage

Author: Srivatsan Sridhar

Srivatsan Sridhar is a Mobile Technology Enthusiast who is passionate about Mobile phones and Mobile apps. He uses the phones he reviews as his main phone. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram