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Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) vs Honor 8: same difference

Since the release of the new Galaxy A5 (2017) by Samsung, many of you have been interested in this smartphone. The South Korean manufacturer has seduced us once again with this new model. However, competition is fierce, as the latest Samsung device must live up to the Honor 8, one of today’s best sellers. But, which one do we recommend? The answer is in this comparison.

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) vs Honor 8: design and build quality

Both smartphones are successful as far as appearance goes. Of course, both devices leave much to be desired compared to the top-range smartphones. Samsung’s model was greatly inspired by the Galaxy S7 design. This is a good thing, as the device is aesthetically pleasing and the handling is excellent.

The Galaxy A5 2017 offers a metal unibody casing that is covered in 3D glass. It stands out from the Galaxy S7 because of its slim edges on the top and bottom. A small original detail that will please gamers is the loud speaker which is now located on the right-hand side of the device and not the left.  

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Both devices feel excellent in-hand. / © AndroidPIT

The Honor 8 holds its own in this area with a metal and glass casing which creates a beautiful effect (a special shout out goes to the Sapphire Blue version of the smartphone). The improvements made since the Honor 7 are evident whether it be the material quality or the finishes. The smartphone fits easily into your hand thanks to the rounded corners. Like the Galaxy A5 (2017), the Honor 8 is very susceptible to fingerprint marks.  

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The Honor 8 and the Galaxy A5 (2017) have remarkable build quality. / © AndroidPIT

Finally, the only difference in design choices between the two devices is the location of the fingerprint reader. On the Galaxy A5 (2017), it can be found on the Home button on the front, while it can be found on the back of the Honor 8. Personally, I prefer the location on the Honor 8, as it is quicker and more efficient.

Lowest price: Honor 8

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Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) vs Honor 8: display

There are also many similarities in this area. Our two competitors both have screens that measure 5.2-inches diagonally. It is also interesting to note that the phones not only have the same HD definition but they also have the same pixel density (424 ppi). 

When you look closely at both screens, you’ll see that the Samsung smartphone has a slight advantage

The only difference is in the screen technology used by the brands. It’s no surprise that Samsung have opted for a Super AMOLED screen for their device while the Honor 8 has an LCD display. Both cases provide satisfying results. There is nothing wrong with the color reproduction, the sharpness or the clarity of images. However, when you look closely at both screens, you’ll see that the Samsung smartphone has a slight advantage. Samsung is master of AMOLED technology and it shows. The screen is brighter, the blacks are more profound. The Galaxy A5 (2017) offers the ‘Always On’ mode, a function that made its debut on the Galaxy S7, which displays the time, date and the battery on a switched off screen.

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The Samsung Super AMOLED is a slightly brighter display compared to the Honor 8. / © AndroidPIT

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) vs Honor 8: software

Samsung and Honor have something in common: their interfaces, TouchWiz (for Samsung) and EMUI (for Honor), can offer a similar experience to what stock Android can offer. The other similarity is the number of pre-installed applications (games, social media, various apps…) that can be found on the devices. Both manufacturers like to modify their devices interfaces. EMUI is like iOS and TouchWiz emphasizes the color blue.

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For several years, both manufacturers have been trying to improve their interfaces. Proof of this is the latest Android Nougat update which is available on the Honor 8. The notifications system has been revised and the system now offers an app drawer by default.

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This drawer is finally available on the Honor 8 with Nougat. / © AndroidPIT

One of the smartphone's biggest advantages is the availability of Nougat. As for the Galaxy A5 (2017), Samsung has confirmed the update, though you’ll have to be patient, as usual with this brand.

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) vs Honor 8: performance

The Honor 8 dominates this category. This is where we see the difference between the two brands. The Honor 8 wants to be a flagship that can compete with the best like OnePlus 3T or the Galaxy S7 while the Galaxy A5 (2017) is just a mid-range smartphone, so don’t expect technological prowess that will revolutionize benchmarks.

Under the hood, the A5 (2017) has an octa-core Exynos 7880 processor with a 14-nm process and Cortex-A53 cores which work at a frequency of 1.9 GHz, all supported by 3 GB of RAM. On the other hand, the Honor 8 has an octa-core Kirin 950 processor (4 core Cortex-A72 running at 2.3 GHz, 4 core Cortex-A53 running at 1.8 GHz) with 4 GB of RAM.




Generally speaking, usage is fluid. I have never encountered bugs, but the A5 (2017) isn’t as fast as the Honor 8. Gamers or multitaskers should opt for the Honor smartphone.

Benchmarks

  3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited Geekbench 4.0 single core Geekbench 4.0 multi core Google Octane
Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) 13,413 775 4,109 4,063
Honor 8 19,866 1,708 5,095 9,746

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) vs Honor 8: camera

The Honor 8 has a 12 MP dual camera (the same as the Huawei P9), one of the sensors works exclusively in black and white. The Galaxy A5 (2017) has a 16 MP camera with a f/1.9 aperture. As you know, the number of megapixels isn’t directly proportional to photo quality and, despite the gap, the devices don’t really differ on this point.

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Honor 8’s dual-camera proves to be less efficient than the Galaxy A5 (2017) camera. © AndroidPIT

Generally, the Galaxy A5 2017 camera is better than that of the Honor 8, especially in poor lighting conditions, noise is much more present in the latter. However, both models are good for their price range. Focusing is quick (but not as quick as on the S7) and the photo results are good.

With the front camera, the image quality is better on the Galaxy A5 (2017) as it has a 16 MP sensor. Although both lenses are 16 MP on the Samsung device, the back camera produces slightly better images.

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) vs Honor 8: battery

Like its predecessor, the Galaxy A5 (2017) is still a good sport when it comes to battery life. The smartphone’s 3,000 mAh battery (100 mAh more than the previous version) proves to be excellent by easily maintaining two days of battery life with intensive use. Like the Honor 8, a quick charge system is available which allows you to fully charge your phone an hour and 20 minutes.

The Honor 8 isn’t bad in this area, but the Samsung smartphone is better. In short, if you want a phone with endurance, the Galaxy A5 (2017) is ideal.




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Both smartphones have a Type-C USB port. / © AndroidPIT

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) vs Honor 8: technical specs

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) vs. Honor 8 technical specifications

  Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Honor 8
Dimensions: 146.1 x 71.4 x 7.9 mm 145.5 x 71 x 7.45 mm
Weight: 159 g 153 g
Battery size: 3000 mAh 3000 mAh
Screen size: 5.2 in 5.2 in
Display technology: AMOLED LCD
Screen: 1920 x 1080 pixels (424 ppi) 1920 x 1080 pixels (424 ppi)
Front camera: 16 megapixels 8 megapixels
Rear camera: 16 megapixels 12 megapixels
Flashlight: LED Dual-LED
Android version: 6.0 - Marshmallow 6.0 - Marshmallow
User interface: TouchWiz Emotion UI
RAM: 3 GB 4 GB
Internal storage: 32 GB 32 GB
Removable storage: microSD microSD
Chipset: Sorry, not yet available! HiSilicon Kirin 950
Number of cores: 8 8
Max. clock speed: 1.9 GHz 2.3 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2 HSPA, LTE, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 4.2

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) vs Honor 8: conclusion

It’s hard to separate the two smartphones. They are both good devices that satisfy all a user’s needs. Each model has its own strong points. The Samsung smartphone has the same seductive design as the Galaxy S7, great battery life and IP68 certification. On the other hand, the Honor 8 sports a beautiful style and proves to be more powerful for daily use. It is also more accessible - $399 compared to about $500 for the A5 (2017).

What do you think of these devices? Would you buy either of them?

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