Samsung Galaxy A80 Review: Analyzing Design, Performance, Software and Security

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Samsung has just launched a new smartphone in its A-series lineup. They call it the Galaxy A80 and it comes with one of the most unique design features in the smartphone industry. It has a triple camera layout at the back that can flip to act as front cameras via the help of a motorized chassis. To better understand the mechanism, watch this TV commercial of the Galaxy A80:

Samsung is an innovative brand that is well known for coming up with unique features for its devices. While its flagship Galaxy Note and S-series are the first to get the latest and greatest design and performance features, sometimes Samsung likes to experiment with its mid-range products.

The Galaxy A-series is a step below the high-end flagships. It’s aimed towards those people who want a good phone but don’t want to spend their entire savings on it. Think of it as the perfect blend between budget and performance. Now since the A-series phones aren’t exactly supposed to be revolutionary, Samsung rarely gives them special new features.

The Galaxy A80, as you can tell, is an anomaly and is here to drop jaws and spark controversy. How does it stack up overall? Let’s find out.

Design & Display

Samsung Galaxy A80 front
Image: Pocket-lint

The front of the device houses the 6.75″ FullHD+ sAMOLED display. It’s called the New Infinity Display and it’s unique in its own way. The bezels are almost non-existent, there is no notch, no punch-hole or any camera/sensor in sight. Since it’s an AMOLED panel, it will have the advantage of vibrant colors and deeper blacks. It will also be useful for battery saving with dark modes of various apps.

Samsung did compromise on the resolution of the display by keeping it at 1080p instead of 1440p like its flagships. But then again, it is supposed to be a more budget-friendly device so that was expected. Overall it is an amazing display, probably one of the best in its class.

Samsung galaxy A80 back
Image: Pocket-lint

The back is made of glass as well. The design is uninterrupted until it reaches just below the triple-camera module. There, the glass breaks off in between to accommodate the sliding mechanism. When the front camera is activated from the camera app, the top part of the back slides upwards automatically and the camera module rotates such that it now faces forwards. The whole process is motorized, so it’s better not to try to force it.

Cameras

Samsung Galaxy A80 cameras
Image: Samsung

As mentioned earlier, the Galaxy A80 comes with a triple camera layout that acts as a back camera in its normal state. When you activate the front camera, the back slides up and the module rotates to act as a selfie camera. The three shooters are as follows:

The first one is an 8MP Ultra Wide Angle for wide-angle landscape shots. The second one is a whopping 48MP Main Shooter for normal pictures. The last one is a 3D Depth Sensor unit to help with the Live Focus (Samsung’s Portrait Mode).

Now on paper, these cameras may just be the best in their class and even might give some flagships a run for their money though I highly doubt that’ll happen.

Performance

Samsung Galaxy A80 charging
Image: Samsung

While the processor of the Galaxy A80 still hasn’t been announced, we can safely say that it won’t be the latest 7nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 that’s powering the Galaxy S10. It just wouldn’t make sense. Chances are that it will use Samsung’s own Exynos chipset as used by all other non-flagship Samsung phones.

What we do know, however, is that it will have an 8 GB RAM with 128 GB (non-expandable) storage. These figures are enough to rival most flagships, even Samsung’s own Galaxy Note 9 with its base configuration. It also comes with an impressive 3700 mAh battery that supports fast charging of up to 25 W.

Software & Security

Samsung galaxy A80 UI
Image: Pocket-lint

The Galaxy A80 comes out of the box with Android 9.0 (Pie) running on Samsung’s new OneUI. Compared to it’s previous TouchWiz, OneUI is a lot cleaner and, dare I say it, closer to stock Android. Still, it comes loaded with features exclusive to Samsung phones. Software updates, however, may be a concern after a year of launch as this isn’t a flagship.

As far as security goes, the A80 does come with an in-display fingerprint scanner. Samsung did not mention what type it is. I highly doubt it will be the Ultrasonic Sensor used in the Galaxy S10 because that is flagship worthy tech. But then again, this phone does have some flagship worthy features. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Verdict

Since the official price isn’t out yet, we can only estimate at this point. One thing that we’re absolutely certain about is that this will be the most expensive Galaxy A-series phone to date. Let’s just hope it doesn’t get too close to the price of the Galaxy S10e, otherwise, it would be a useless option.

Personally, I’m a fan of new, revolutionary designs and this phone has certainly just delivered that. However, in terms of reliability, motorized sliding mechanisms aren’t the best idea. They are bound to fail earlier than their simple manual counterparts and let’s not forget that they drain the battery too. If I had to choose between this and the Galaxy S10e, I’d go with the S10e even if it turns out to be more expensive.

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