Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S smartphones may get the most ad dollars, as anyone who’s watched an NBA playoff game can probably attest — watching Lil’ Wayne pour champagne over a Galaxy S7 Edge never gets old — but the Korean electronics behemoth makes a lot of midrange handsets, too. They’re usually bound for developing markets, and its latest, the Galaxy C5, is no exception — it’s heading to China in the coming months.
The Galaxy C5 is an all-metal Android smartphone with a design that conspicuously, perhaps even intentionally, evokes popular smartphones from Samsung’s sworn rivals: Apple’s iPhone 6 and HTC’s 10. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but Samsung’s taken it too much to heart: the antenna placements around the C5’s sloped edges and backplate, the front-facing camera’s position relative to the headpiece speaker, and even the orientation of the home button call to mind the unibody competition’s distinctive curves and shapes. That’s not to say the Galaxy C5 is unappealing, but originality’s a hot commodity these days, and the market’s not exactly bereft of ideas — take LG’s innovative G5, for example, or Motorola’s Moto X series. A bit more of it would’ve been appreciated here.
What the Galaxy C5 lacks in artistic integrity, though, it makes up for in raw hardware. Samsung’s spared no expense on the midrange phone’s silicon, stuffing the 6.7mm-thick Galaxy C5 with a 5.2-inch, 1080p AMOLED screen, a capable 617 Snapdragon processor, 4GB of RAM, dual-SIM LTE compatibility, and up to 64GB of storage expandable via an SD card reader. And the cameras are impressive in their own right: the rear is a 16MP f/1.9 shooter with LED flash, while the front-facing sensor is capable of capturing 8MP. The Galaxy C5 has a fingerprint reader embedded in its home button, too, and under the hood packs a 2600 mAh battery — a capacity about average for the midrange market.
The C5 is available in a couple of colors, including gold, pink, gray, and black, and is set to hit shelves in China later this year. It’ll cost $355 (for 32GB) or $365 (for 64GB) when it goes on sale, depending on your choice of storage, and will go live for pre-order starting June 17. Mum’s the word right now in terms of broader availability, unfortunately.
Compelling though the C5’s package and price may be, it may be worth holding off for Samsung’s Galaxy C7, slight step up in the company’s midrange series. The sports a powerful 2GHz octa-core Snapdragon 625 processor, a 5.7-inch 1080p screen, and a 3,300mAh battery in a similar, albeit larger, metal enclosure. It’ll retail in China for around $400.