Not every smartphone is designed to break sales records. It is also possible to outshine competitors in a different way – by demonstrating a convincing technological superiority, unconventional engineering thinking, and designer bravery. In this review of the Samsung Galaxy A80, we’ll find out if all of the above is enough to create an attractive consumer gadget.
The letter and number in the model name clearly indicate: Galaxy A80 is the most advanced non-flaming Samsung A-series smartphone that you can buy this summer. The screen here is even larger than that of the flagship S10 +, the processor is the most powerful in the 700 series of Qualcomm Snapdragon and performs at the level of last year’s flagships, RAM and internal memory – from the heart, and the camera complements the picture of a very unconventional design.
Samsung Galaxy A80 Specifications
Screen: Super AMOLED 6.7 inches, FullHD + (1080 x 2400 pixels), 85.8% of the frontal surface, protection – Gorilla Glass 3
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 730. 8-nm process technology, 2 cores @ 2.2 GHz and 6 cores @ 1.8 GHz
Graphics: Adreno 618
Memory: 8 GB RAM and 128 GB internal
Battery: Lithium-polymer, 3700 mAh, 25-watt high-speed memory included
Camera: motorized swivel module. 48 MP, f / 2.0 + 8 MP, f / 2.2 + ToF 3D sensor
Interfaces and communications: Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC
Software: Android 9.0 with One UI 1.1
Dimensions: 165.2 x 76.5 x 9.3 mm
Weight: 220 grams
No: 3.5mm audio jack, waterproof, wireless charging
Samsung Galaxy A80 Design
The numbers of dimensions and weights seem to hint that the Galaxy A80 is not the most convenient phone to use with one hand. It’s not so much in breadth as in weight: even the iPhone XS Max, one of the most weighty flagships on the market, is 20 grams behind. And the mass distribution is not perfect: the pivoting and sliding mechanism of the camera makes the top edge heavier, which is why the body tends to fall out of the palm more strongly. You have to be especially careful when the camera is pushed to the position for shooting self-portraits.
In terms of materials, the Galaxy A80 is more premium than other A-series devices: the backdrop is made of Gorilla Glass 6 glass on a metal frame, only the cover of the movable module is made of plastic. In any case, I would not neglect the cover (including because of the “slippery” of the case).
What else it turns out at a cursory examination: the 3.5-mm jack finally remains the lot of more affordable models, here it is not. There are no stereo speakers, the sound (quite loud and clear, but, again, not the “flagship”) comes from the one and only grating on the bottom. On the other side of the connector, USB-C (USB 2.0 protocol) is a sliding tray for two SIM-cards. And there is no agony of choice “second SIM or microSD”: support for memory cards is simply not provided. And, of course, given the complicated mechanics of the camera, you should not expect any moisture protection from the Galaxy A80.
Samsung Galaxy A80 screen
The screen of the Galaxy A80 is continuous, no “humans”, “moles” or “droplets” – for the sake of this, including the whole attraction with a tilt-and-slide camera. The frames are much narrower than, for example, Apple’s flagships, but not as narrow as they come to smartphones with displays bent around the edges. Perfectionist note: the bottom frame is wider than the other three.
The quality of the matrix (1080 resolution to 2400 pixels, 20: 9 aspect ratio) is difficult to find fault: the maximum brightness at the flagship level, in the bright mode, reaches 600 nt in bright sun, the colors are bright and saturated (or, if you turn on the Natural color mode in settings, more accurate). I chose to leave the default “Saturated” mode, but to shift the color rendition to the warm side. Clarity is not a record, 393 PPI, but it’s unlikely in our nearsighted age many will be able to distinguish this display from the Galaxy S10 + 3K screen without a magnifying glass with confidence.
Another important element of any smartphone, which in the case of the A80 also applies to the screen – a fingerprint sensor. It is optical here, hides under glass, and personally does not cause any warm feelings in me. At first, he refused to unlock the phone in half the cases the first time, but after a couple of weeks of “training” and after updating the firmware on a smartphone in the penultimate week of July of the firmware update, the percentage of failures was fixed at about 15%. The speed of operation also does not go to any comparison with the best options for conventional fingerprint scanners: the unlock time often reaches two seconds. Considering that face recognition due to a “special” camera is not provided here, the lack of quick and convenient biometrics will have to be written down into flaws.
The screen in the Galaxy A80 performs another function uncharacteristic of it in other smartphones: the function of conversational dynamics. It is implemented qualitatively, there is no noticeable difference with a normal speaker when talking.
Samsung Galaxy A80 cameras
To understand why, in principle, the Galaxy A80 is released, you need to launch the Camera application and press a button in it to switch to selfie mode. With a barely noticeable buzz, the movable unit at the top of the smartphone rises, and the module with camera lenses will unfold towards the user. The transformation takes about 1.3 seconds.
Thus, a smartphone costs three image sensors, while a conventional device would require six to implement the same shooting scenarios. Galaxy A80 is equipped with a 48-megapixel main camera (the default shooting result is 12-megapixel — data from four neighboring pixels are combined to improve sensitivity and color reproduction), an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle and receiving data about the frame depth for natural background blurring with a ToF sensor.
It enhances the mobile photographer. Usually, front cameras use small sensors and, no matter how many megapixels in them, they are noticeably inferior in definition and sensitivity to rear cameras. In addition, they usually have no autofocus. The Galaxy A80 has autofocus in the selfie mode (appeared after the software update), the matrix captures enough light for high-quality selfies at night, and the ToF module allows you to blur the background in real-time as if taking pictures with special portrait optics. Well, the coolest: Galaxy A80 can switch from front to rear camera and back right while shooting video, without stopping. “Without stopping” – does not mean “seamlessly”: in the video about a half-second disappears, which goes into transformation. In addition, the selfie switch is unavailable,
Interestingly, the flash function when shooting a selfie performs the screen, although it would be possible to use the LED flash of the main camera. Perhaps this is done for the sake of a more natural face lighting. Also, in scene mode, scene recognition does not work (what other manufacturers proudly call the camera’s “artificial intelligence”) – obviously, it was considered unnecessary for self-portraits, although it might be useful, for example, to better adapt color reproduction depending on lighting conditions.
The quality of photos and videos from the main module of the Galaxy A80 ( examples can be seen by reference ) is not inferior to the manufacturer’s flagship smartphones only if taken on a sunny day, and even then you can find fault with the insufficient dynamic range and overexposure of brightly lit areas. When there is little light, photos are saved to a certain extent by a special “night mode” of shooting, but the video suffers noticeably: the clarity falls, the color rendering deteriorates, the dynamic range is narrowed. There is video stabilization, including in selfie mode, but only digital and works only when shooting in FullHD; unstabilized video in 4K looks professional only if you fix the smartphone on a tripod or an electronic stabilizer.
The 8-megapixel wide-angle is inferior to the main module in all respects: from dynamic range to clarity. So his destiny – landscapes and group selfie in a good light. In the dark, “shirik” shoots, as they shot smartphones five years ago. The work of the ToF-camera is worth praising – portraits and self-portraits with a blurred background look convincing. In the video, the background blur effect is less realistic, and there are no additional effects using the ToF module (for example, selective use of a black and white filter, as in the recent flagships of Huawei).
Samsung Galaxy A80 performance
People whose self-esteem is not tied tightly to the points in AnTuTu, Galaxy A80 performance with its Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 processor should please. The device receives a little more than 200,000 of these points, which puts it somewhere between last year’s flagship Samsung and Huawei, S9 and P20 Pro. Thumbs up. And although in tests of graphics, the lag behind the flagships of 2019 is multiple, in practice, in Tanks, that in PUBG Mobile, you can play at high settings without problems.
The generous amount of RAM – 8 GB – allows you to forget about the need to unload applications from memory, ensuring the fast and smooth operation of the interface and programs. About 108 gigabytes of unallocated storage is available on the built-in storage device. So, if you approach without fanaticism, that’s enough for bulky games, music, and TV shows. But the inability to expand the memory with microSD cards can not but grieve.
As for autonomy: of course, in a smartphone for 46,000 rubles, especially with a huge screen and designed for Internet broadcasts, I would like to have a larger battery. If you don’t load the device with games (half an hour in PUBG – minus 12%), by the evening, even with active use, 20 percent of the battery will remain insufficient. But the reinforced concrete feeling of confidence that you will stay in touch until nightfall, having forgotten the power bank at home, the new Samsung, alas, does not provide.
But on battery charging time will take less. The Galaxy A80 comes with a powerful (25 watt) charger that fills the battery by 50% in half an hour and fully in 80 minutes. Externally, the power adapter resembles a Power Delivery standard: instead of the usual USB-A, the USB-C connector is used in the memory.
Samsung Galaxy A80 conclusions
Finding suitable Galaxy A80 rivals will not be easy. But not because it has some outstanding consumer properties or a unique combination of price/features, but simply because of an unusual camera. If the rotary module with ToF does not seem so necessary, the Xiaomi Mi 9T can easily act as an A80 “killer”. The screen here is also continuous – thanks to the sliding front-end, the processor is the same (Snapdragon 730), and the rear camera is triple, with a telephoto (no A80 has a coordinate) and an extra wide-angle. The battery in the Chinese is 4000 mAh, there is an audio jack, but the screen is worse (slightly less – 6.4 inches and simple AMOLED, not Super), the RAM is 2 GB less, and the built-in memory is less than half (64 GB). At the same time, there is a new Xiaomi (in official retail) for 20 000 rubles less.
The A80 also has non-Chinese competitors, including Samsung itself. Adding a couple of thousand rubles, you can purchase the Samsung Galaxy S10e with a flagship processor and cameras, a fast side fingerprint sensor and a much more convenient size. Approximately at the same price will rise and bought from unofficial sellers iPhone XR with 64 GB of internal memory. Samsung says that the Galaxy A80 is a unique device for the “era of Live”, designed for those who constantly broadcast their lives online as a story on Instagram or live on YouTube. Indeed, such users will certainly be interested in the capabilities of the Galaxy A80 PTZ camera, especially the trick with switching the shooting direction “on the fly.” Moreover, as such, the quality of shooting in “story” or “live”
Pros and Cons of Samsung Galaxy A80
- No one else has such a camera.
- Continuous (and very large) screen
- High-speed charging with a standard adapter
- Inconvenient due to large size and weight
- The design limits the appropriate options covers
- Slow and capricious fingerprint sensor
- “One-day” battery
- Much more expensive than comparable competitors