March 24, 2016

Tracfone Samsung Galaxy E5 Review

Review of the Samsung Galaxy E5 - Tracfone Android Smartphone

Below is TracfoneReviewers full review of the Samsung Galaxy E5 which is available to use with Tracfone prepaid service. We have many more Cell Phone Reviews which you can browse through, or simple explore the rest of our blog, which is all about Tracfone related information. 

review galaxy e5 tracfone
Samsung Galaxy E5 Tracfone Review
The Samsung Galaxy E5 is an Android powered smartphone that was recently released to use on Tracfone's prepaid network. It features a 5.0" touchscreen and 16 GB internal memory plus much more.

Let's make one thing clear before we get started, the Galaxy E5 has some significant differences to the Samsung Galaxy S5, which Tracfone also released at the same time. (and you can read our review by following the link)

In this review we will share the full features and specs for the Galaxy E5, and then compare it to the S5 and some of other smartphones also available from Tracfone. We will also include where you can buy the E5, and if you really should or not. But first, let's cover the brief pro's and con's for this phone.

Samsung Galaxy E5 Quick Points

The Good:
-Lots of Internal Storeage - 16 GB
-4G LTE on CDMA (Verison) network
-Large 5" touchscreen

The Not-So-Good:
-Expensive - $350

The E5 has some really great features, but it also a lot of features that are similar to many of Tracfone's other devices, which mostly retail for closer $100. So is the extra cost of the Galaxy E5 worth it? We will answer that, but first take a look at the full list of features and specifications for the Galaxy E5 to get a better idea of all it has to offer.

Samsung Galaxy E5 Features and Specs

Below are the features for the E5, followed by the technical Specifications
  • Android 5.0.2
  • 4G LTE through Verizon CDMA network
  • 8 MP Rear Camera, 5 MP Front Camera
  • WiFi and Bluetooth Capable
  • NFC
  • GPS
  • 3 Home Screens
  • Access to over 1 Million Apps on Google Play
  • Triple Talk, Text and Data
  • Caller ID, Voicemail, Voice dialing
  • Hearing Aid Compatible
  • Alarm Clock
  • MP3 Player
  • Handsfree Speaker
Samsung Galaxy E5 Technical Specs
  • Size: 5.6" x 2.8" x 0.3"
  • 5.0" Touchscreen (720x1280 pixels)
  • 1.2 Ghz Quad Core Processor
  • 1.5 GB RAM
  • 16 GB Internal Memory
  • Battery: 2400 mAh (non-removable) - 25hrs talk time, 15 days standby
As you can see, the Galaxy E5 maintains some features from the S5, but trims a lot of others. The phone's technical specifications are mostly reduced compared to what the S5 comes with, but they both have 16 GB storage and 4G LTE service capability. The E5 does have Android 5.0.2, and is a step up from phones like the Samsung Galaxy Core Prime or LG Sunset (which also have Android 5.0, but not as much internal memory, RAM or as large a screen).

Before we get too far into comparison the Galaxy E5, let's look at some of the features that we really like about the E5, and some areas where it falls short of our expectations.

Samsung Galaxy E5 Review

What we Like:
There are a number of different features on the E5 that make it a very capable smartphone. We like the processor and RAM, the amount of storage on this device, and the screen and camera are also very good compared to other Tracfone devices.

samsung galaxy e5 tracfone
Samsung Galaxy E5 (click to view larger)
1.2 Ghz Quad core processor combined with 1.5 GB RAM is a good combination and should be plenty of power to handle your everyday activities. Most of Tracfone's other phones, like the LG Sunset and LG Ultimate 2, use only 1 GB RAM, which means less multitasking capability and less ability to handle resource heavy apps.

But, its no 2.5 Ghz quad core with 2 GB RAM which is what the S5 comes with. Do you need this kind of performance? Maybe not, but its still something to consider if you're comparing the two.

The Galaxy E5 comes with a 5" Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen at a resolution of 720x1280 (about 295ppi pixel density) which is very good. The LG Sunset only has a 4.5" Touchscreen with 480x854 resolution at 218ppi density. Samsung has a pretty good history of bright and beautiful screens (at least for their mid to high end devices) and the E5 is no exception.

An 8MP rear camera with flash and a 5 MP front camera are great features and more than adequate for recording life around you. You can even record videos in full 1080 HD at 30 fps from either camera.

Finally, one of the best (or maybe most desirable) feature on the E5 is the 16 GB internal storage (and up to 128 GB external with micro SD card). Tracfone smartphones have been plagued with small amounts of onboard storage for years, but we hope this trend is changing with the Galaxy E5 and S5 each coming with 16 GB.

What we Don't Like about the Galaxy E5
There are a couple of points we want to mention about the E5 that are drawbacks for those who might be considering this device. None of them are serious flaws, but issues non-the-less that should be covered.

First off, the E5 uses Android 5.0.2. We initially thought it would come with only 4.4, since that is what the S5 has, but we are very happy to confirm it comes standard with 5.0. This is good news, especially those who are concerned about some of the possible security risks that Android 4.4 is susceptible to. With devices on Tracfone like the E5, you can't update them (as far as we have found). So you will have to stick with 5.0.2, This is a drawback for those who like to keep up with the latest Android updates, which bring not only new features to the phone, but also patch potential security risks.

The best way to avoid security risks is to only visit webpages and apps you trust. Take a look at our list of Best Android Apps for some of our top picks.

The Galaxy S5 uses the older, Android 4.4 OS, but if you buy the S5 unlocked (and bring it to the BYOP program), you can update it to Android 5.0.

The second drawback for the E5 is the price. It is retailing on for $350 bundled with minutes and other accessories. The airtime is worth about $100, making the phone cost about $250. Many of Tracfone's other smartphone devices, like the LG Sunset or Galaxy Core Prime, retail for under $100, and can be found bundled with minutes for around $100 (making the phone almost free).

Roaming, as many are aware, is not currently available for Tracfone smartphones. What this means is, if you go outside of your service area (which, in the case of the E5 is Verizon cell towers) you won't have service. The good news is that Verizon has pretty good coverage in most places, but be aware that if you live in an area, or travel to areas, that don't have Verizon coverage, you won't have reception in those areas with this Tracfone device.

That sums up the main points in our review of the Samsung Galaxy E5 from Tracfone and the pro's and con's for this device.

Overview and Where to Buy the Samsung Galaxy E5

Here's a our final thoughts on the E5, and where you can find it available for sale.

While it has a less powerful processor, lower resolution camera, smaller and lower resolution screen, and less RAM compared to the Galaxy S5, the E5 does still have 16 GB internal storage and uses the newer Android version 5.0.2, compared to the S5.

Truly, the E5 is the somewhat less capable little brother to the S5, but still quite capable, especially compared to any other smartphone available from Tracfone.

The real issue is the price - at $350, you can easily get an unlocked Samsung Galaxy S5 and bring it to Tracfone with the BYOP program. You could also get many other great smartphones for closer to $200 and bring them to the BYOP program.

So we find it hard to recommend this phone unless you are willing to spend the money for the convenience of avoiding the possible hassle of activating a BYOP device. If the cost isn't such a worry to you, then this phone is a great choice. But wouldn't you rather spend a little more and get an even better phone like the S5? Not everyone would need the extra performance, but it is always nice to have.

You can find the E5 on HSN for $350

We have not found the E5 available anywhere else, but will update if this changes.

Visit Samsung's official product detail page for the E5 if you want to see additional photos and read the user manual. Also you can view an Interactive Tutorial for the E5 if you're so inclined.

We have a lot of resources about Tracfone smartphones to help our readers learn more and get the most from their device. Here are some of the most popular:
How to Check your Airtime on Tracfone Android Phones
How Minutes Work on Tracfone Smartphones
How to Buy Only Texts for your Smartphone
Are Data Cards a Good Deal from Tracfone?
Analysis of the New Smartphone Only Airtime Cards from Tracfone

If you have any further thoughts or questions, leave a comment below. We do review each comment before posting.

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And if you're new to Tracfone, start with our Beginners Guide to Tracfone which explains some of how using Tracfone service works.

Thanks for visiting!


Thomas Weaver said...

Part of the reason I switched to Tracfone was exactly for the cost, so laying down $350 for a phone would be a really tough sale for me. All the same, I know there are customers who like to have the most capable devices that run native on the network. I'm curious to see how sales of these high-end devices are doing for Tracfone in relation to the more modestly priced options. Also, I'd like to know exactly WHO these customers are? Are they ones who jumped ship for one of the bigger networks who like to have their toys? First-time (conspicuous) buyers? I'm sure this information is privileged among top Tracfone sales execs, but one can still wonder.

Darmar said...

Hi Peter, Just a quick update for you... I purchased the E5 from HSN this past week, and it came with the new Lollipop OS already installed, which is nice, I guess, although I much preferred the KitKat. Thanks for the great review of the device, you did a really good job. I always enjoy your articles, as they're very informative and unbiased. I've used Tracfone for about 7 years now, and have never had a problem with reception. Even on an Amtrak trip cross country last summer, I only lost connection when in the mountains or down in the canyons. Otherwise, was able to text and make calls all the way from Chicago to San Francisco, and my phone was a CDMA, which, I believe is Verizon. So, needless to say, I'm very happy with my Tracfone experience and plan on staying with them.

Peter Vanosdall said...

Yes, good questions! For $350 there are a number of great unlocked phones that could be used with the BYOP program. But some may just not want to deal with figuring out which devices are compatible.

Peter Vanosdall said...

Hello, thanks for the update! Was just noticing that too! I've always had good reception on the devices I've used, except for one non-smartphone I had a few years ago that had a low signal whenever I was in my house.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you have started to focus on the security deficiencies that affect all Phones Tracfone sells. However, I am now of the firm belief that customers should not purchase ANY of these phones from Tracfone. Most Tracfone customers are probably unaware that Google releases MONTHLY security patches to the Android OS. Across every phone ever sold by Tracfone, how many of these regular security updates have Tracfone's devices received? ZERO. NONE. They never will get the updates EVER. Tracfone support has stated they do not support the OS. So its clear they do not have any concern whatsoever for their customers once the phone is sold. They wipe their hands and are preying on the fact that most customers do not understand the risks of not having a patched OS.

People on here may say that $350 is a lot of money for a phone. But, with how much personal and sensitive data is kept on a mobile phone I think Tracfone customers are misled into trusting these devices.

For that $350 you can buy a Google Nexus 5x and bring it to Tracfone using the BYOP program and your phone will receive EVERY security update from Google EVERY month. I just recently did this and the first time I turned on my new Nexus 5x I got a major Android Marshmallow 6 patch plus a January, a February, AND a March security patch installed automatically.

I think its time people start thinking about security more and how cheap can they buy their next Android from Tracfone.

Its sad that there are millions of down level phones around the world that do not receive security patches, and I think its time the customers that want to use Android instead of iPhone wake up. I think this blog should focus more on this to eliminate this ignorance that is benefiting only two groups. Tracfone, and Hackers.

Anonymous said...

I agree. In fact, your post is surprisingly similar to one of my own rants here back when these phones first poped up. I'm glad it's not just me. Peter has been highlighting the security risk of running age-old versions of Android since, but you're right about the monthly security updates too.

All said, I think I'll join you on the BYOD plan and Nexus combo. Even big carriers don't put out monthly security updates like Google do. When you've got a life's worth of data riding around in your pocket, this stuff gets important.

danielc said...

I really enjoy your reviews and hope Tracfone reads it.They could learn a lot.

parothd said...

Hello. I have a friend with the same phone as mine. It is an LG306G. We both bought a 1500 minute card online and installed them. The minutes tripled and we both had 4500 available minutes. Over the past several months things seem perfectly normal on my phone with the amount of calls matching the minutes remaining. But on his phone he has used approx. 1400 minutes according to the readout on the phone but his minutes are nearly gone. He only sends texts occasionally and does not use his phone to get on the internet. Any idea as to what could have drained 3000 minutes from his phone?

Anonymous said...

FWIW Tracfone website has a refurbished model of this phone for $120. Not sure what kind of warranty comes with it, but a good discount from retail anyway.

steve cataldi said...

I am now getting accustomed to my new LG Rebel Tracfone. However, not much help(at all) from customer service. No experience or concern for their customers. The phone has more customer service, Really unhappy on their training methods.