Samsung Galaxy On5 Review


Samsung knows fully well that it will be losing its low-end smartphone customers very soon if it doesn’t provide a good VFM handset under 10k. We now have 3 companies that have made this segment fiercely competitive : Xiaomi, Lenovo and Huawei. (I am not counting Micromax because its quality control is pathetic).

Cutting the chase – why I bought this phone while ignoring the above Chinese brands:

1. Trust on Samsung. I have previously owned a Samsung feature-phone and it lasted 6 years (and it still functions!).
2. Change in Samsung’s design philosophy.
3. Was buying it for an elder and he is certainly not going to play high-end games on it.
4. Camera was important – One thing which I have noticed is that bigger brands tend to have better cameras even if their MP counts are low (Nokia Fans will vouch for this).
5. The screen size was not too big – just hitting the sweet spot of 5 inches.
6. Last and most important of all – After Sales Support and Resale Value (Samsung sits quite high on both these aspects).
Now when I opened the box, the first impressions of this phone were good. The GOLD version (quite shiny) looks truly fantastic for the price.

What I LIKE about this phone-
1. Screen Quality is above average. The brightness levels are high and its outdoor sunlight legibility seemed good. Colours are vivid and true to their sources.
2. The CPU+GPU+RAM combo coupled with Lollipop (5.1.1) makes operating this phone a very smooth experience. Playing low-end games on this phone like Temple Run 2 and Subway Surfers is truly enjoyable. I already own a Redmi 2 (Snapdragon 410) and Samsung is the clear winner here. Also, there is no heating while charging or playing games.
3. Samsung launcher has improved – a lot! All animations are smooth and Ram usage is also low (lesser pre-installed apps). And the app icons don’t look ugly anymore.
4. The Rear Camera is of ‘above’ average quality overall but its indoor performance is ‘great’: It definitely beat my Xiaomi’s 8 MPx camera (I compared both).(Note: The default settings in the Camera App is 6mp – 16:9). Outdoor and low-light photos are also good (way better than most Chinese brands, except maybe Huawei Honor 4c, Meizu MX2, etc). The only problem I found was that dithering occurred when photos were zoomed in and I hoped that the photos could be a lot more sharper but I guess that would be too much asking for this price bracket.
5. The Front Camera is great – no need for comparisons here.
6. Samsung’s onscreen keyboard is great.
7. The phone’s battery life is above average (2600mAh). The battery has an ‘exceptional’ ‘stand-by’ time (the discharge rate is like 1% per hour if unused.) On wifi internet browsing the phone showed a drop of 25% battery for ~2.5 hours usage on low-medium brightness settings which is really commendable. Can’t comment on its battery performance on 3G/4G. All I can say is that, this time, Samsung has really optimised its OS to maximize its battery life.
8. And last but not the least, network reception is good and call quality high grade.

Potential Buyers: What NOT to expect from this phone –
1. iPhone grade Camera – while the rear 8MP camera is better than most phones I have seen in this price bracket (I had a Redmi 2, Sony Xperia Z1, and the newest iPod for comparison), there are certain shortcomings – like the dynamic range (refer GSMArena) is average and colour accuracy is not always 100% true (some images look more vibrant than reality, while some look washed-out – depends on the lighting conditions) but overall the photos have a ‘workable’ picture clarity (at least on the phone’s screen). Autofocus works well most of the time.
2. Truly premium materials – No metal anywhere.
3. Screen quality of HTC One or Galaxy s6/s5/s4 – The screen though pretty good is just a normal TFT version and not an IPS one – and forget SuperAmoled’s vibrancy here.
4. Quality accessories – The in-box accessories are really pathetic (earphones – bad, charger – cable is too short, plastic is low-grade).
5. Lastly, the sound quality on both speakers and headphones is ‘just average’ while the volumes are slightly ‘above average’. The speaker grill is on the back-side of this phone but the sound output doen’t get muffled up when kept on a flat table (because of the camera’s bump). The sound-quality (on ’flat’ settings) when listening even on high-end earphones seems just average (Compared to iPod).

Updates –
>To improve sound output via earphones goto Settings >> search: Adapt Sound and follow the instructions. Sound quality improves a lot!
>Screen pinning option is available.
>The Shortcut : Double-press home button – camera : Works great.

Potential buyers please be aware that :
>Screen-guards and casings are still not available online (yet).
>The device houses just an acceleration and a proximity sensor.
>This device doesn’t have an LED notification light.

Overall verdict – All in all, a satisfactory purchase


(Next News) »

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *