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Samsung Galaxy A80 and A70 hands-on review

Introduction

Samsung's Galaxy A event in Italy is now behind us, but the best bit is yet to come - our hands-on time with the Galaxy A80, of course! A slider, a swivel triple camera, notch-free bezel-less screen, and more - there are so many things to see in the new Galaxy A80. But if this is too much for you, then you might be interested into the more ordinary Galaxy A70.

Samsung Galaxy A80 and A70 hands-on review

Samsung was one of the few makers to stay away from the screen notch as long as possible and it still is - prioritizing punch-holes before dewdrop notch. So, if anyone had told us a while ago that the company would dive deep into the experimental designs with both slider and a swivel, we would have called it highly improbable. But a few weeks ago, the leaks began hinting what seemed improbable to be very much on the way.

And today - the Galaxy A80 was announced in Italy with a large 6.7" AMOLED screen and it's notch-free and as bezel-less as they come. It is a slider just like the Mi Mix 3, but instead of revealing a couple of selfie snappers - the rear triple-camera is on a swivel and rotates automatically to double as a high-end selfie imager. Oppo N1, anyone?

The moving camera contains a trending 48MP sensor with f/2.0 lens for regular photos, an 8MP snapper behind f/2.2 12mm ultra-wide-angle lens, and a ToF camera. This is both your main and your selfie camera, meaning you should be getting a high-end experience no matter the occasion.

Samsung Galaxy A80 specs

  • Body: 165.2 x 76.5 x 9.3 mm, glass front and back, metal frame.
  • Screen: 6.7" Super AMOLED, 1080x2400px resolution, 393 ppi.
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 730 chipset: octa-core (2x2.2 GHz Kryo 470 Gold & 6x1.7 GHz Kryo 470 Silver); Adreno 618 GPU.
  • Memory: 8GB RAM, 128GB built-in storage.
  • OS: Android 9 Pie; Samsung One UI
  • Swivel camera: Primary: 48MP, f/2.0, PDAF; Secondary: 8MP, f/2.2, 12mm ultra-wide, fixed focus; Depth camera: ToF; LED flash; 1080p@30 video recording.
  • Battery: 3,700mAh; 25W fast charging
  • Connectivity: Dual-SIM; LTE Cat.12 (600Mbps) download / Cat.6 upload (50Mbps), Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, GPS; Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE, USB-C 2.0.
  • Misc: Under-display fingerprint reader, down-firing loudspeaker.

Samsung also showed the Galaxy A70 at the event, which was unveiled officially a few days ago. It's basically the A80 but without a slider - meaning a 6.7" Super AMOLED screen with a notch containing a 32MP selfie camera and a triple non-rotating camera on the back.

The A70 is also running on the Snapdragon 665 chip instead of 730.

Samsung Galaxy A70 specs

  • Body: 164.3 x 76.7 x 7.9 mm, glass front and back, metal frame.
  • Screen: 6.7" Super AMOLED, 1080x2400px resolution, 393 ppi.
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 665 chipset: octa-core (2x2.0 GHz Kryo 260 Gold & 6x1.7 GHz Kryo 260 Silver); Adreno 610 GPU.
  • Memory: 6/8GB RAM, 128GB built-in storage; microSD slot
  • OS: Android 9 Pie; Samsung One UI
  • Main camera: Primary: 32MP, f/1.7, PDAF; Secondary: 8MP, f/2.2, 12mm ultra-wide, fixed focus; Depth camera: 5Mp f/2.2; LED flash; 1080p@30 video recording.
  • Selfie camera: 32MP f/2.0, 1080p video
  • Battery: 4,500mAh; 25W fast charging
  • Connectivity: Dual-SIM; LTE Cat.12 (600Mbps) download / Cat.6 upload (50Mbps), Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, GPS; Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE, USB-C 2.0.
  • Misc: Under-display fingerprint reader, down-firing loudspeaker, 3.5mm audio port

So, we've spent some time with the Galaxy A80 and A70 after the event and our first impressions are in. Check them out on the following pages.


Samsung Galaxy A80 hands-on

First and foremost, the Galaxy A80 is big - bigger than the Galaxy S10+ and the Note9. It has one of the largest Super AMOLED screens we've experienced so far and not having a notch makes it even more brilliant.

So, the first thing anyone will notice is the almost tablet-like front, completely clean of distractions and completely flush as well. We are not that big of fans of the S9 and S10 curved edges and we are happy those didn't make it to the A80.

The screen has a wide 20:9 aspect ratio and 1080p+ resolution. While this isn't a top-notch pixel count, at 393ppi density we'd say this is more than enough for the class. The image is sharp, we couldn't notice any pixelization, and as usual, the OLED screen excels in contrast and color presentation.

There is an under-screen optical fingerprint scanner, positioned slightly above the bottom edge of the screen. We couldn't test it at the event, but we hope it performs well in time for the launch.

There are tiny bezels around the screen, as thin as the iPhone XS actually. Which makes the Galaxy A80 screen as close to the bezel-less dream as the 2019 technology can offer.

While the Galaxy A80 is large, it isn't that bulky or super heavy. The phone is 9mm thin and feels alright in a hand. It's got a dual-glass design with thin metal frame - what many consider premium today - but it's also one of the slipperiest devices you can handle. The glass back is a bit bent towards the frame, which is hurting the grip even more. But if you think a case might be the solution, the new camera may render cases pretty impossible to make.

Indeed, the Galaxy A80 won't be remembered as the first Samsung droid with a 48MP snapper, or the first phone with the Snapdragon 730 chip. Nope, it will go down in history as the maker's first ever device with both a sliding body and a swivel camera.

If you look at the back of the Galaxy A80, you'd see a pretty standard tri-camera arrangement. There is a 48MP main snapper, an 8MP wide-angle one, and a ToF sensor for depth information. The 48MP camera has a Quad-Bayer filter and will save 12MP high-quality photos after the processing is done.

The real magic happens when you open the camera and hit the selfie icon. Then the whole slider goes upwards and the camera rotates until it's facing you. When you're done shooting your selfies and you close the camera app, the module rotates back to its rear-facing position and the slider goes down.

Unlike the Mi Mix 3 - the slider wasn't meant to be opened and closed manually. You can still do it though and it won't break, but it's a really tough job and it actually feels like you are forcing it a bit too much. If you open it manually - nothing will happen - the camera app won't start automatically and rotate to selfie, you need to fire the app up manually.

The A80 isn't water-proof but given its design - it was probably impossible to seal it against water. The smartphone has all modern omissions - no audio jack, no microSD slot, and no stereo speakers. We can forgive the speakers and understand the lack of water-protection, but not putting a 3.5mm jack and microSD slot is somewhat out of character for Samsung.

The Galaxy A80 is the first smartphone to be powered by the Qualcomm's Snapdragon 730 chip, which was announced just yesterday. It has an octa-core processor with 2x Kryo 460 Gold cores working at 2.2GHz (A75-derivative) and 6x Kryo 460 Silver clocked at 1.7GHz (A55-derivative). The Adreno 618 is in charge of graphics, there is also 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The new chip should be more than enough to provide close to flagship-grade experience for the next few years.

The Galaxy A80 has a 3,700 mAh battery capable of 25W fast charging, which is the fastest charging we've seen from Samsung. Samsung says you will be able to charge about half of the battery in half an hour with the supplied charger.

The A80 boots Android Pie with the latest One UI by Samsung. The interface is very clean, the settings are organized, and overall - the phone runs smoothly the same software we saw on the Galaxy S10 flagships.

The Galaxy A80 worldwide premiere is happening on May 29. Its suggested retail price is €650, meaning it won't be giving a hard time on the already available sliders, swivels, pop-ups, and whatnot.


Samsung Galaxy A70 hands-on

Samsung Galaxy A70 is as large as the Galaxy A80 but isn't all about uninterrupted experience. Indeed, the A70 packs the same 6.7" Super AMOLED screen of 1080p resolution but with a dewdrop-shaped notched at the top for the 32MP selfie camera.

The bezels around the screen are as thin as on the A80 and iPhone XS.

The A70 features the same under-screen fingerprint scanner as the A80, but we weren't able to test this one, as well. Here is hoping it would turn for the better.

The A70 has a triple camera on the back, but it's a bit different from the A80's swivel ones. First, and obviously, it doesn't rotate. Then its main sensor is 32MP instead of 48MP but has a brighter f/1.7 aperture. The ultra-wide-angle 8MP f/2.2 camera is here to stay, while instead of a ToF cam, the A70 uses a cheaper 5MP f/2.2 snapper to capture depth information.

While the Galaxy A80 is the first phone to feature the newly announced Snapdragon 730 chip, the new Galaxy A70 is the first phone to pack the just introduced Snapdragon 665 SoC. It has an octa-core processor with 4x Kryo 260 Gold cores working at 2.0GHz (A73-derivative) and 4x Kryo 460 Silver clocked at 1.7GHz (A53-derivative). The Adreno 610 is in charge of graphics, there is also either 6GB or 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, expandable this time.

The Galaxy A70 is a bit thinner than the A80 but has a larger 4,500 mAh battery, which is also capable of 25W fast charging. It runs on the same Android Pie with One UI combo as the A80, as well as the S10 series.

The A70 has the same dual-glass design with a metal frame as the A80 and is as slippery. It will be much easier for the case makers though as the A70 doesn't have a slider mechanism. But while it has no fancy contraptions, it is still not water-proofed.

We are still waiting for a confirmation on the A70 price, but it will launch internationally in a couple of weeks, too.

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Gandhara

nice idea

6 Months ago

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