In my Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 hands-on article, alongside the good points about the phone, I mentioned a few niggles I had with it. One of them was how I found the fingerprint scanner less responsive than what I am used to. It was so bad that success rate at using it to unlock the phone fell to as low as 20%. Thankfully, shortly after that article, a software update notification arrived on the phone. The update version was A520FXXU1AQF3. Did it solve that problem?
I am happy to say that it did. After installing the update, the fingerprint scanner works much better now with almost 100% accuracy – and it is much faster too. The software update build A520FXXU1AQF3 simply sorted that issue out. I have no complaints about the scanner any more.
But it didn’t end there. The update also messed up something that was working perfectly fine – something that is very important to me – 4G LTE network reception.
4G Network Mode On Samsung Galaxy A5 2017
A quick explanation of network mode options in the Galaxy A5 2017 is important at this point. Like most other smartphone manufacturers, Samsung’s implementation of Android OS is such that the software does not let users peg the phone network to 4G only. There’s 2G only, there’s 3G only, there’s 3G/2G auto, and then 4G/3G/2G auto.
Before the software update, my Glo data line has stayed on 4G on the phone for more than 95% of the time. As such, I didn’t have to worry about the lack of 4G only network mode.
Since I downloaded and installed software update A520FXXU1AQF3, the Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 has not locked to a 4G LTE network till date. Not once. At first, I thought it was a location issue – perhaps a nearby 4G LTE base station was having issues. But I have been to a number of locations around Lagos since then and the A5 2017 has not switched to 4G once in any of them.
No; this is not good. I depend on 4G LTE for my work and having the phone switch between 2G and 3G everywhere I go is painful. 3G speeds are painfully slow, and 2G speeds….let’s just say that’s like going back to the stone ages.
Will Samsung fix this with another software update? I can only hope so. I like the Galaxy A5 2017. A lot. This new unreliability with 4G LTE network reception is a bad taste in the mouth though.
You should check out some of the other articles I have done on the Samsung Galaxy A5 2017, if you haven’t seen them already:
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 unboxing
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 hands-on and benchmark tests
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 specifications