• Sunday, February 25, 2018

Blackview A5 Review - Compact and accessible

Introduction


Is Blackview A5 a good choice for under $40? Stay with us to find out!

The company slogan is “Smartphone for Everyone”, and we can clearly see why, since the device we’re reviewing today, the Blacview A5, costs less than $40. It is a device that belongs to the lowest market segment. Since the Blackview A5 is a device from 2016, we won’t see anything brought to the market in 2017 and 2018 – double camera setup, infinity display, etc. This is an Android device with simple lines and compact dimensions.

Blackview, in general, offers very interesting devices, most of which are rugged phones and clones of the leading devices (Blackview S8 irresistibly resembles Samsung S8). The smallest Blackview device packs an entry level quad core chipset, 4.5” display, 6th generation Android OS and a DualSIM tray. Together with this little guy, inside the factory box you can find: Blackview charging adapter, microUSB cable, 3.5mm in-ear headphones and user manuals. We’re testing the Sky Blue color option, but also available are: Pearl White and Violet Black.



If the story so far got you intrigued, make yourself comfy and join us to find out what the Blackview A5 has to offer.
 

Video review


Display


Compactness of a device is directly influenced by the diagonal of its display, so in the Blackview A5 we can find the panel with the diagonal of 4.5”.
As this is the lowest segment of the market, we really cannot expect too much. Although the diagonal is not so small, the resolution of the display is merely QHD (960 x 540 pixels) that we could see in some devices as far back as in 2011 (HTC Sensation). However, things are not that bad since we’ve seen devices with bigger diagonal and the same resolution – and we survived. QHD resolution combined with a 4.5” diagonal results in 245 pixels per inch, which is the lowest point below which there is no point in going, in terms of sharpness and quality of the views. Matrix used in this display is IPS, which guarantees pretty realistic color reproduction and decent visibility on the sunlight.



The display is capable of showing up to 16 million colors, and the views are pretty good, especially if we consider the price which is below $40. Surfing the web is a pretty nice experience on this display, although anything below 4.5” would be a choking point in terms of web browsing. The device does not have an ambience light sensor which would adapt the brightness of the display in accordance to the light conditions, so all brightness parameters need to be set manually. The bright side of a smaller device is that one handed use is very easy, which is also the case with the Blackview A5. No modern technologies were implemented in order to improve the display.

 

Hardware and OS


As we have previously mentioned, the Blackview A5 is powered by the basic MediaTek chipset. It is the MT6580M chipset which is a quad core CPU clocked at 1.3 GHz. This is a 32bit chipset with Cortex-A7 cores. The rest of this chipset, next to the CPU, consists of the ARM Mali-400 MP2 GPU which is a solid choice considering the fact that the resolution of the A5’s panel is only WVGA. Speaking of the hardware, the weakest link is the memory configuration – 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. 1GB of RAM in 2018 is simply not enough, as it will not provide a decent user experience if you’re running more that one application at a time, because any form of multitasking will cause the device to slow down.



It does a good job running social networking applications, navigating through the menu, calling or texting, but there just isn’t enough power for any game or more demanding operation. Rather good user experience while using basic applications can be attributed to almost stock Android environment that can be found on this Blackview device.
As on all other devices, we ran AnTuTu benchmark test on the Blackview A5, and it scored 24310 points. Nothing spectacular, but we’d say it’s on par with the price.



This device came with Android 6.0 Marshmallow preinstalled, and it has security patches dated from July 2017. There are some good sides of the software, and those are mainly shortcuts such as Double Tap to Wake Up which will let you unlock the device by simply tapping on the screen twice. Also, if you write c, e, o, w, z or s on the screen, the following actions will take place: start phone(c), start Choose app – programable (e), start Choose app- programable (o), start File manager (w), start Clock (z) and start messaging (s).

Music reproduction speaker is located near the bottom on the rear side of the device, and navigation buttons found their place below the display, so in the middle we have the Home button, multitasking button is to the left, and Back button is to the right of the Home button.

 

Camera


The chipset is pretty weak, but sadly, we continue in the same pace. Every modern smartphone has at least two cameras, and the Blackview A5 has them. The main camera sensor has the resolution of 5MP, but through software interpolation the end result is a bit higher so the camera can take 8MP (3264 x 2448 pixels) photos. Some of the camera options are: Gesture Capture, HDR and Face Beauty Mode, and all these options are easily accessible with a single press of a button in the camera interface. To the left of the main camera sensor we can find an LED flash.



The Setting menu of the camera interface provides the following options: GPS location, exposition, effects, scenes, flickering reduction as well as colors and sharpness settings. Although there is a lot of options, none of them can improve the pretty bad sensor. Next to these options there are also: Zero Shutter Delay, Anti-Shake, Face Detection, Smile Shot, Auto Scene Detection, Self Timer, Capture Number, Picture Size, Preview Size as well as ISO settings.



Photos taken by the main camera are pretty bad, because, as we’ve already mentioned, the 8MP resolution is achieved through software means, and it is almost never a good choice. They look washed up, with few details and a huge level of noise, which is visible even in daylight photos. Auto-focus is pretty fast but not that precise – it’s only average.
You can also record videos with the A5, the maximum video resolution is only 720p HD and the videos are pretty horrible. The framerate is 30fps, but they look duplicated and unstable, while the noise levels are way too high. Next to HD resolution there is also VGA at 30fps as well as 176 x 144 pixels.


The front facing camera has a 2MP sensor, which is itself interpolated to 5MP. Photos are only decent and they will do good for social networks, but you won’t be able to have any decent photos printed out.
HDR is also supported, but we can’t see any advantages due to how bad the sensor is. The front facing camera can also record videos, and this time VGA resolution is the most you can get.
 

Connectivity


Blackview A5 uses a microUSB cable for charging and data transfer. This is a DualSIM device and it uses two physically separated microSIM card slots, next to which we can find a microSD card slot that supports expansions up to 32GB, which is an excellent addition considering the fact that the Blackview only has 8GB of internal storage.

Supported wireless connections are:
  • WiFi
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • GPS
This device does not support 4G networks, and supported 2G and 3G frequencies are:
  • 2G: 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
  • 3G: 900 / 2100 MHz
Maximum download speeds in 3G networks are 21 Mbps, while maximum upload speeds go up to 5.76 Mbps.

 

Battery


As we have said, this device is charged through a microUSB cable. It has a removable Li-Ion battery with the capacity of 2000 mAh. As this is a device that belongs to the lowest market section possible, it does not support fast charging, so a full charge takes around 2 hours.

One full charge can provide:
  • 8 hours of talking time
  • 200 stand-by hours

Final words


Blackview A5 can find its use as a backup device, especially if you consider its price. Although you won’t be able to make use of its cameras, and you won’t be able to store a lot of data on it, it is pretty snappy in social network application which makes it an ideal choice for younger users or users that might use this as a spare device next to their primary phone.

Do you like the Blackview A5? We’d love to see your opinion in the comment section below. If you have any suggestions or you would like to see a specific device being reviewed, feel free to write to us either here on our Facebook page. If you liked our review, please subscribe to our YouTube channel, like us on Facebook, and sit comfortably as we’re working hard on new material for you!

Blackview A5 Specifications

Advantages and disadvantages

Reasons for and against it

Fluid work
Compact
DualSIM slot + microSD expansion
Low resolution display
Not enough RAM or storage
Pretty weak and interpolated cameras