Samsung Galaxy A80: The selfie-camera phone!

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The top of the Samsung intermediate range arrives after a few months of waiting. Let’s talk about the Samsung Galaxy A80 with its already famous flip-up camera. Let’s find out what’s interesting, or not, in this smartphone.

Package

Samsung supplies with its Galaxy A80 a 25W power supply, a pair of in-ear headphones with USB-C connector and the USB-C / USB-C cable. Excellent that the company has finally completely converted to this standard, but pity the absence of an adapter for the headphones and the rubber pads for the various ear pads.

Construction and Ergonomics

Samsung Galaxy A80 has a pretty interesting design because it is clearly different from almost every smartphone on the market. It is immediately recognizable, but does not suggest to a first glance the presence of a (double) motor to make the camera tip over.

Even before we talk about the mechanical system we have to face the fact that Galaxy A80 is a big smartphone, often and above all very heavy. The 220 grams of weight are felt and returning to using a smartphone under 200 grams quickly becomes a relief. It is not an insurmountable defect and obviously you can get used to this too, but you must be willing to use a heavy smartphone.

The mechanical system seems well built. It pushes the upper back towards the top and then immediately rotates the entire camera block by 180°. Touching it with your hands you can feel a minimum of play, but nothing that really conveys a feeling of fragility. In addition to the weight and the dimensions, however, you will have to come up against another retaliation: the smartphone is not waterproof. Acceptable for a mid-range smartphone.

Samsung Galaxy A80

Hardware

This smartphone has quality hardware to be a mid-range smartphone. We have a 2.2 GHz Snapdragon 730 octa core processor, as well as 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal memory. Unfortunately, memory is not expandable: the pull-out trolley has space only for two nanoSIMs. The GPU is an Adreno 618. Good connectivity: LTE up to 800 Mbps, WiFi ac dual band, Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC. The FM radio is not missing either. The notification led is missing and above all the 3.5 mm audio jack is missing. The Bixby button has disappeared (thankfully) and the ear capsule has also disappeared, replaced by a display that vibrates to transmit sound. The quality is sufficient, but not much more. For unlocking we have a fingerprint reader below the display: on average precise and fairly slow. Good sound from the lower mono speaker.

Camera

The camera chapter of the Galaxy A80 should be simpler, given the presence of only one block of cameras, and instead, as you will see, it is slightly more complex. Let’s start with the card: we have a 48 megapixel 2.0 / 2.0 camera, an 8 megapixel angolare / 2.2 wide-angle and a ToF 3D camera for calculating depth of field. The main camera takes a basic 12 megapixel camera, but it can also shoot at 48, but it loses the automatisms of the HDR. These are beautiful photos, in line with what we have seen with the latest mid-range Galaxy and something more. In the dark, not all photos are exciting, but the latest version of night mode Samsung has surprised us, and actually the shots come out better, having the patience to wait a few seconds to click. The wide-angle camera is very “pushed”, but also a lot of fun. The ToF camera works together with the main camera, making excellent photos in blur mode. Not only for people, but also for objects, even complex ones such as a fence. You may also like to visit custom papers.

Press the button to rotate the camera and all this “package” will also be available for selfies. Unfortunately with some limitations. First of all, the autofocus is deactivated. Inexplicably. Fixed focus is perfect for selfies, but we don’t understand the sense of choice. Basically then the shot is a crop of less than 8 megapixels (as on the Galaxy S10), but you can restore the correct amplitude by choosing the intermediate zoom, or point to the group selfie with the wide-angle camera. Unfortunately then the flash does not work (too powerful?), But the game flashes through the display, however quite powerful and with a more rosy tone. The quality is the one already mentioned: excellent, definitely one of the best ever for selfie lovers.

The video chapter is also interesting. There is no optical stabilization but there is a first electronic stabilization at 1080p / 30fps, but not too incisive, even compared to videos in 4K / 30fps. Still in Full HD, losing a bit of definition, however, you can activate a further electronic stabilization decidedly more “powerful”. Plus you can also use a new video feature with live blur effect, which also works in selfie mode. It’s definitely well done, although it can’t really fool you into believing it’s a natural blur. During video recording you can then switch from classic mode to frontal mode without interrupting the video, but returning to the main mode the focus tends to go a little in the ball. Unfortunately it is not possible to go from classical to wide-angle instead without interrupting the video.

Display

Samsung Galaxy A80 has a 6.7-inch SuperAMOLED screen and FullHD + resolution (1080 x 2400 pixels). The elongated shape in 20:9 is curious. Upon arrival you will find an excellent protective film, but we have chosen to remove it to conduct our test. We have 2 ways to use the display: Vivace is certainly more interesting for most users. There is also a comfortable always-on that can now also be achieved only by touching the screen and also horizontally.

Software

Android 9.0 is the basis of this smartphone with One UI 1.1 customization. At the time of the review we have the May 2019 patches. Among the most interesting features we mention the themes, the dark theme (called night mode), an easy mode, the gestures to get to the notifications and also the “classic” navigation gesture, which I personally think of the worst in circulation. Fortunately, there is a one-handed mode, almost indispensable for such a smartphone. The whole system is fluid and simple to use, as per Samsung’s perfect tradition on the recent mid-range Galaxy A.

Autonomy

Despite its size and weight, the battery is “only” 3700 mAh. This is probably due to the space occupied by the camera mechanism. Unfortunately, with intense use the battery will not be enough for a long day at work. Fortunately we find the 25W fast charge of Galaxy S10. With average use, you will be able to make the full day.

Price

Samsung Galaxy A80 is sold for $660, a suitable price for a good mid-range, but that still puts the smartphone in a very difficult range, made of top of the range and ex top of the range. Fortunately, the price has already fallen and will continue to fall.

Final judgement

Samsung Galaxy A80 is an atypical product that aims at a typology of users: those who use the front camera a lot for selfies and video-selfies. The screen is up to the task and in good part the software too. However, compromises for battery and weight are not for everyone.

PROS

  • Excellent selfie camera
  • Scenic (and solid) camera engine
  • Lots of RAM and internal memory
  • Nice display

CONS

  • Heavy
  • Autonomy undertone
  • No audio jack
  • No expandable memory

AH Sagar

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