As a mid-range Samsung smartphone with a premium design, the A5 is a great choice for the discerning Android user. The A5 isn’t known for having many major issues, but there are still a few problems that have been reported since its release in December 2014.
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If you’re having trouble with your Galaxy A5, here are 14 common problems with troubleshooting methods and advice for each one.
1. Signal/Service Loss Issues
Signal loss is one of the worst problems that can affect a phone, and the A5 is susceptible due to the metal casing, which can sometimes interfere with cellular reception. If you experience issues with reception, there are some ways you can get it working again.
Step 1: Restart Your Phone
It could be as simple as the tried and tested method of restarting the phone, which can be done by holding down the power button and selecting restart.
Step 2: Toggle Airplane/Flight Mode
Toggling Airplane mode is often a useful way to fix signal loss issues. Hold the power button and tap Airplane mode to turn it on and off.
Step 3: Move to an Open Location
Moving to an outdoor location or away from any external interference could also help to solve signal issues.
2. LED Light for Messages/Notifications
Almost all modern phones have some sort of notification light to keep users updated, but older A5 models lack this feature. There is no way to make the notifications light appear, however, there are a few other tricks you can use to keep up to date with your news.
This is more of a design flaw than a software problem, and there is no app you can use to make the LED work as it isn’t supported by the hardware itself.
Step 1: Increase the Volume of Notifications
If you increase the volume of notifications, they might be more likely to grab your attention. You can do this by going to Settings, tap Sound, scroll and tap Volume, and there will be a slider specifically for Notifications.Moving it to the right will increase the volume of notifications.
Step 2: NoLED
NoLED is an app used to display custom notifications and icons on your screen, available on the Play Store. Developed originally for the Samsung Galaxy S, which also lacked a physical LED, so it should also be useful for the A5.Visiting the Google Play Store will also give you your choice of several similar apps.
3. Poor Battery Life
The supposedly decent battery life of the A5 is a strong selling point, so battery drain is an annoying problem for users expecting many consecutive hours of use from the device. Samsung says that the phone is capable of eleven continuous hours of Wi-Fi surfing at “maximum” performance. However, there have been complaints regarding poor battery life for some owners.
Step 1: Identify the Source of the Battery Drain
It’s possible that there could be a resource-heavy application draining your battery, so it’s worth checking to see what is happening in the background. You can access this by;
Enabling Developer Options by going to Settings, and then About Phone. If you tap your Build Number several times, you will be notified that you can now access Developer Options.
Find the Developer Options in the main Settings menu. Find and tap Process Stats and you can check which apps are running in the background, how often they are in use and how much RAM they use.
Step 2: Turn on Power Saving Options
Power saving options can be useful if you can’t make it to a charger. To activate these modes, go to settings and tap on Power Saving. There are numerous options available (including the Galaxy exclusive ‘Ultra-Power Saving Mode’ and ‘Private Mode’ amongst others) which should help to extend battery life.
Step 3: Turning Down the Brightness
Turning down the phone’s brightness, Wi-Fi, mobile internet and Bluetooth individually could also be helpful depending on what you need to use at the time. You can toggle these and many more in the A5 quick menu, accessible via swiping down the top of the screen.
4. Poor Voice Quality
Due to the poor quality of the rear-based speaker, some users have reported problems with the sound, as well as struggling to be heard at times during phone calls with no background interference. There isn’t much you can do about this, but headphones with a decent microphone should help you to be heard more clearly.
Step 1: For Repeated Issues, Use Headphones
A good pair of headphones with a microphone are probably the easiest fix if you have repeated issues with voice quality.Avoiding background noise where possible should also help you to be heard if you can’t use headphones.
5. Water Damage
Many modern phones are now water resistant, but the sadly A5 lacks this feature. If the phone is accidently submerged in water, there’s still a good chance it can be saved if you act quickly.
Step 1: Switch the Phone Off
If the phone is powered on and still working, switch it off to prevent any further damage and dry it as soon as possible.
Step 2: Use Rice to Dry the Phone
Packed rice can be used to dry a Galaxy A5 if it gets too wet. Placing the phone in a container full of rice to drain the moisture could help to deter any/further damage. However, this method doesn’t work every time, but it is definitely worth a try.
Step 3: Boiler Room/Airing Cupboard
If you don’t have any rice, placing the phone in a warm room near a heater or boiler can help to dry out the phone but it can’t beat the previous method for results.
6. Rear Speaker has Low Volume
The rear speaker has notable issues, with low volume and a muffled sound when playing media. This also ties into the problems with the voice quality while making phone calls. Again, the best option would be to invest in a quality pair of headphones, as there is no other way to improve the overall speaker quality.
Most phones overheat, and the A5 is no exception. Some users are even complaining about the temperature during phone calls. For the most part, you can avoid overheating by following some of these precautions.
Step 1: Keep It out of the Sun/Other Heat Sources
An obvious answer, but keeping the phone away from direct sunlight and other heat sources should help to prevent the phone from overheating during day-to-day use.
Step 2: Keep Resource Intensive Apps to a Minimum
Emulators and the latest games are fun, but they also use a lot of power, causing the A5 to heat up during more taxing tasks. If your phone starts overheating it could be time to take a break, or you can check if there are resource heavy apps running in the background.
You can find out how to check the RAM use of apps on the Galaxy A5 by following the methods found in step 3 of this guide.
Step 3: Turn It off If It Immediately If It Becomes Too Hot
If the phone becomes extremely hot to the touch whilst charging or during general use, it’s recommended to turn the phone off as soon as possible. This is also a sure-fire way to get it to cool down quickly. You can turn it off by holding down the power button and tapping Power Off.
8. Downgrading Firmware = Hard Brick
Forums are overrun with people asking, how can I unbrick my Galaxy A5? Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer. Because the battery is built-in, there’s no way to perform a traditional soft reset.
Although, it is possible to downgrade without bricking the device, downgrading the phone from Lollipop 5.0 to KitKat 4.4.4 seems to be a common cause of turning the A5 into a paperweight and isn’t recommended.If you think you may have bricked your phone, the first test to see if the phone charges. If not the phone may be bricked, and there isn’t much you can do.
Step 1: If it’s Under Warranty
The Samsung Galaxy A5 comes with one year of warranty. If the phone is still covered, it may be best to take it in-store to see if they can fix or replace
9. Freezing and Hanging
With a battery that can’t be removed, it can be difficult to restart the device when it freezes. If the phone freezes, you can turn it off with the following methods:
Step 1: Basic Restart
If the A5 is freezing or repeatedly hangs up, hold-down both the Power and Volume button together for more than seven seconds to restart the phone.
Step 2: Perform a Factory Data Reset
If restarting your device doesn’t solve the problem, a factory data reset may help and is recommended. The phone should have at least 50% battery in case it freezes during the process as it could corrupt the phone if it turns off during the reset process.Be sure to back up any important data beforehand.
Warning: The following method will erase all data on the device.
To perform the reset, go to Settings, tap Backup and Reset, then tap Factory data reset, tap Reset device, and finally tap Erase everything.
This should solve most issues, but if problems persist after resetting data Samsung advise to contact a Samsung Service Center. However, the phone also has persistent problems with general lag, which is impossible to fix during heavier tasks.
10. Apps Crashing
If a specific app is causing problems and you are able to identify the offender;
Step 1: Stop the App
If the app is still running, make sure to bring it to a halt. You can do this by tapping the Recent apps button from the home screen, located on the bottom right. Tap the Active apps icon, and tap End and OK if you’re prompted.
Step 2: Delete the App if Necessary
If the app continues to give you problems, or it affects the overall performance of your phone, you may be better off removing it from your device entirely. You can always reinstall most apps again later if you need them again.
To uninstall an app:
Tap Settings, scroll, and tap Application Manager. Scroll until you find the app and tap Uninstall.
11. Slow Upload Speed
This is a rare issue for the A5, and it’s more likely due to Internet Service Provider problems on the user’s side than a problem with the phone itself.
12. Scratches on the Edge of the Phone
The phone isn’t scratch proof, so a case will help to protect the chamfered metal sides, corners, and the edges of the phone as well as the screen itself from general damage.
13. Official Radio App Bug
The official FM radio app is reportedly buggy, with a few issues that include muting at random and refusing to turn off. There are some replacement radio services (including FM) that can be downloaded from the Play Store that work perfectly with the Galaxy A5.
14. Galaxy A5 Boot Loop Problems
Warning: The following method will erase all data on the device.
If you encounter the dreaded boot loop, a forced reset may help. Hold the power button down for more than ten seconds. If/when, it restarts, press and hold the Power, Home and Volume up buttons to go into the recovery menu, where you can reset the handset to factory settings.
This should get the phone past the boot loop and working again, but if the problem persists, it may need to be taken in for service.
Hardware issues aside, the Galaxy A5 doesn’t have many problems and it’s a reasonably dependable phone. If we managed to solve your issue you can share the article, and you can follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
If you’ve found another issue that we haven’t covered or you have any other questions about the handset please let’s talk about it in the comments section below.