- 5-inch TFT display
- Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
- 8-megapixel rear camera
- 1.5GB of RAM
- Good battery life
- Stable performance
- Well-optimised TouchWiz
- Good camera
- Low internal storage space
- Lacks AMOLED display
- Same old design
Samsung has been one of the very few smartphone manufacturers in India to consistently offer a variety of smartphones that fall into all the price segments. Its recent releases were the flagship devices - the Galaxy Note 5 and the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus - which were followed up by the budget J series of smartphones - the Galaxy J5 and the Galaxy J7. With the success of these budget smartphones and also keeping in mind that the Indian consumer market is largely based on the budget segment, the company introduced the On lineup of smartphones.
The budget segment in India sees some stiff competition from key players such as Xiaomi, Micromax, Moto, and Lenovo. Trying to make a mark within this segment, the On5 and the On7, which feature decent specifications, are priced affordably at Rs.8,990 and Rs.10,990 respectively.
The Galaxy On5 is available in two colour variants - gold and black. We got our hands on the black variant of the device and here’s our review.
The Samsung Galaxy On5 follows Samsung’s simple design philosophy and looks similar to most of the devices under the Galaxy lineup. The On5 comes in an all-plastic body which is enclosed in a shiny, matte finish, faux chrome frame.
The front panel is dominated by a 5-inch TFT display, above which we can find the earpiece, front camera, and light sensor. As seen on all of its previous devices, a Samsung logo sits just below the earpiece. Below the screen is a home button along with two capacitive buttons for navigation.
Coming to the alignment of ports, the bottom edge houses the microphone, Micro-USB port, and a 3.5mm audio port, while the top edge of the phone remains clean. The volume rocker key lies on the left edge, whereas the power button rests on the right edge of the device. These keys are made of plastic, and hence fail in providing good tactile feedback.
The Galaxy On5 has a removable plastic back panel that has a rubberized faux leather finish which provides good grip in hand. The corners of the device are slightly curved that make the device convenient for single-handed use. On the back panel you have the rear camera along with an LED flash and two hollow strips for the speakers. Under the rear panel, you can find the battery compartment, two Micro-SIM card slots and a microSD card slot.
Most of Samsung’s smartphones nowadays, come with an AMOLED display, which is very bright and vivid. That’s not the case with the Galaxy On5 though, which sports a 5-inch TFT display with 720p resolution and a pixel density of 294 PPI. The display, however, is bright enough for both indoor as well as outdoor use under bright sunlight. But, we struggled with the viewing angles. The colour reproduction on the screen is very good and you can expect true colours. That said, the lack of a scratch protective glass means that you have to use a screen guard.
The Samsung Galaxy On5 uses a quad-core Exynos 3475, which has four cortex A53 cores clocked at 1.3GHz each. This chipset manufactured by Samsung is pretty similar to the Snapdragon 410 in terms of performance. Samsung provides an insignificant 8GB of internal storage, out of which only 4.34GB is available for use. However, the memory space can be further expanded up to 128GB using a microSD card.
Transitions on the phone are pretty smooth, but one has to keep their expectations in check when it comes to multitasking, since the RAM is very limited and is not on par with the current mid-range standard. Out of the 1.5GB of RAM that is available, around 590MB of RAM is available for use, whereas 610MB is used by the system and 200MB of RAM is used by the default apps running in the background.
Samsung Galaxy On5 supports 4G LTE which supports all the bands for India. The Galaxy On5 also supports Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth v4.1 for quick file transfers. This handset supports USB OTG, which means that the device lets you access files from a pen drive or any other portable storage medium. For navigation purposes, it features GPS. The phone comes with an accelerometer, proximity sensor. The lack of an ambient light sensor is a bit of a letdown.
The Samsung Galaxy On5 runs the latest version of Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, with a layer of Samsung’s proprietary TouchWiz UI. The software on the device is clean and is well-optimised to work smoothly in sync with the hardware. We didn’t faced any lag during the time we spent on this device. While there used to be a ton of bloatware on TouchWiz UI earlier, Samsung drastically reduced the number of their preloaded apps to provide for a better user experience.
We loaded several apps that included games, utility apps, benchmarks, and many popular social-networking apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp. These ran without any hiccup. We were also able to move some of the installed apps to the external SD card. However, all of the apps cannot be moved to the external memory.
Overall, the software on the Galaxy On5 is clean with minimal bloatware and is well optimised.
The Samsung Galaxy On5 features an 8-megapixel rear camera with an LED flash. The primary camera on the device is a decent shooter in daylight. It was able to capture good details in our sample shots. The macro shots captured by the rear camera had good definition and clarity. The camera comes with a Pro mode, which lets the user adjust options such as metering, effects, ISO, and white balance. Images taken in low light were satisfactory for a budget phone as even in complete darkness, they had decent amount of details thanks to its LED flash. Moreover, the images were not overexposed. The HDR mode worked fine and produced good dynamic range.
The secondary 5-megapixel camera of the On5 works adequately in taking selfies and making video calls. Images taken by the secondary shooter also have decent amount of details in them. The app also has a feature known as palm gesture selfie, through which you can take a selfie by showing your palm to the camera. The beauty mode on the camera also works fine without losing a lot of details in the images.
The primary camera of the smartphone can record Full HD videos at 30fps, whereas the secondary camera can record HD videos. Samsung also provides quick access option to its camera, which can be activated by double pressing the home button.
The Samsung Galaxy On5 has Google Play Music as its default music player. The sound on this music player is clear and loud. The sound quality of the On5 is admirable as it does not crackle at high volumes. The device comes bundled with a sturdy stereo headset, from which the sound is loud and clear. Samsung On5 also has a MixRadio, which is a multimedia based app. It lets the user select their preferences in terms of genres and artists and streams media accordingly. The Samsung Galaxy On5 also comes with a built-in FM Radio. However, the FM Radio had some trouble latching onto radio stations.
In terms of video playback, the On5 scores brownie points. The device can play Full HD videos on its default video player. The videos played without even a minute’s lag. We tested this by playing Full HD videos at both 30fps and 60fps, and the device was able to handle both with ease.
The Samsung Galaxy On5 comes with Samsung’s exclusive Exynos 3475 chipset paired with 1.5GB of RAM. The TouchWiz UI is well optimised and is smooth in most cases. All animations ran smoothly and there was hardly any frame lag. Samsung Galaxy On5 comes with Dual SIM connectivity. Additionally, the smartphone supports dual standby mode which works well in managing both the SIM cards simultaneously. The network reception of the On5 is good, and the call quality is loud and audible as well. The handset also supports USB OTG.
Gaming on the device is good as long as you keep the graphics set to low or medium. We played graphic intensive games such as Asphalt 8 and Unkilled, and the games ran smoothly without any major issues.
In terms of benchmarks, the Galaxy On5 scored decent numbers. The device managed to score 25,173 in AnTuTu Benchmark which reflects its overall performance. For the graphics performance, we tested it with 3DMark where it scored a decent 2,307 points
The Samsung Galaxy On5 features a 2,600mAh battery which is decent enough for a 5-inch device with merely an HD screen. On regular usage that includes making calls, browsing the net, sending a couple of emails, some amount of casual gaming and spending some time on social networking apps, the phone lasts quite long. However, do take note that the phone takes almost three hours to charge from zero to 100 percent, which is a lot of time. The device has a screen-on time of approximately eight hours, which is very good. If you are an average user, you can easily expect the device to function for a day or even longer.
The Samsung Galaxy On5 is priced at Rs.8,990, and can be purchased from Flipkart. While the On5 excels in terms of performance and battery life, we feel that it is priced too steeply for the specifications it offers. Additionally, Samsung has missed out on several key aspects on the On5, such as the AMOLED display and light sensor, and offers the device in the same old build and design that we are used to seeing on Samsung phones. You won’t be hard pressed to find other devices with almost similar specifications, perhaps even better in some cases, and at remarkably lower price points. Only if you are looking for a Samsung handset below Rs.10,000 with a commendable battery life is the Galaxy On5 worth buying, else you should look at better options such as the Lenovo K3 Note, ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser and the Coolpad Note 3.