Samsung Galaxy A50 review

Samsung’s Galaxy A series is back and we’re starting with the A50 is bringing a few changes.

General Information

The galaxy A50 brings a new design from samsung. Its frame and back panel are made of plastic while the screen is from Gorilla Glass 3. Samsung calls a shiny back material glass tech in its hyper reflective surface is unlike any we’ve seen from them so far. It refracts light in sort of a holographic way such that it’s hard for the eye to decide what color you’re looking at.

Even on black model, is sort of difficult to catch on camera but the color changing effect is really quite loud and even mesmerizing. Even though the A50 is made of plastic, it doesn’t feel cheap. This tapered sides and slim edge is quite comfortable in hand. There is no IP rated dust or water protection which we did see on some of last year’s Galaxy A phones.

Display

Samsung hasn’t cut corners with a screen though is a 6.4 inch Super AMOLED for the tall 19.5 by nine aspect ratio and a 1080p resolution. It isn’t curved like on the s10. Traditionally the a-series phones have a flat display at least this cuts down on accidental activations when using it.

Samsung has turned over a new leaf as far as screen cutouts go. We don’t have a whole bunch here but a u-shaped notch up at the top for the selfie cam. You can mask it as well with a black bar. The screen itself looks great as you’d expect there’s plenty of pixel density at 403 PPI. As an AMOLED blacks are about as deep as you can get it’s pretty bright too with 420 nits of max brightness.

Everything looks good when using outdoors, depending on which color mode you choose you can be quite color accurate in multiple color spaces and as an AMOLED the A50 has an always-on display for your time and notifications. There isn’t a notification LED though. Just like the galaxy s 10 the A50 comes with an under display fingerprint reader in place of a traditional one but unfortunately it’s one of the slower readers of this kind that we’ve seen. Face unlock is more responsive but this method isn’t as secure as a fingerprint.

Sound

The galaxy A50 plays audio with its single speaker on the bottom next to the USB-C port. It scored very good in our loudness test but the sound is lacking in high frequency’s and has some distortion a max volume. You do have a traditional headphone jack here and sound through headphones is loud but it doesn’t have the best clarity.  There is support for FM radio also.

Storage

Though and there’s plenty of storage available 64 or 128 gigs on board and it’s expandable through microSD.

Software

The new one UI based on Android 9pi. It brings some heavy customizations but is pretty clean and easy to use. Compared to the old Samsung experience one UI has some colorful new icons and a newly designed notification shade which is easier to reach. There are plenty of custom samsung apps pre-installed on the phone. For example, there’s a gallery app, the file manager, samsung health and of course the digital assistant Bixby is here, though without a dedicated button like you would find on Samsung’s flagships. You can bring it up by holding down the power button.

Navigation you can opt to use gestures, by default swiping from the bottom left brings out the recent apps menu and swiping from the bottom right picks you back. A single swipe from the bottom center takes you home. It’s all quite similar to just pressing navigation keys.

Hardware

Inside the galaxy A50 is Samsung’s 10 nanometer Exynos 9610 chipset and either 4 or 6 gigs of ram. In benchmarks it sits somewhere between the snapdragon 660 and the snapdragon 710. Performance is great for his class. It’s dependable for everyday tasks and games run smoothly with no heating or throttling.

Battery

Battery life is excellent on the galaxy A50. This 4,000 milliamp hour battery is scored a 98 hour endurance rating in our proprietary tests. The phone supports 15 watt charging.

Camera

The galaxy A50 has a triple camera setup. Here’s a 25 megapixel main camera with face detection autofocus. An 8 megapixel fixed-focus ultra wide cam and a 5 megapixel depth sensor for portrait mode.

Images have good colors and contrast but the resolved detail is not stellar. The processing tries to compensate for this with some overly aggressive. Dynamic range is just average, if HDR is involved the photos often look a bit better with even exposure and some of the blonde highlights get rescued. Colors do come out a bit warmer though. You can also opt to shoot in 25 megapixels but you don’t have access to HDR.

In low-light 12 megapixel photos come out solid with nice color saturation and exposure even sharpness and a decent level of detail. When you switch to 25 megapixels and lowlights the results are much worse, lacking in detail noisy soft and even a bit blurry. Ultra wide shots at night are pretty disappointing as well.

The Galaxy A50 is selfie camera is 25 megapixels. Though the default output is 12 and it has fixed focus. If you hold it the right distance from your face and if there’s plenty of lights can get some detailed shots. Colors are spot-on. You can also opt to take selfies in 25 megapixels and like the main cam this mode doesn’t work with HDR but the images are very detailed and have excellent colors.

The galaxy A50 can record video up to only 1080p at 30fps though it’s worth noting that you can record in 4k. If you use a third-party camera app like open camera. Regardless electronic stabilization is all in 1080p and it does a stellar job. Quality wise 1080p footage from the main cam is great, highly detailed and with little noise. Dynamic range is good too and colors are spot on. The footage from the ultra wide camera doesn’t have great detail but as decent as far as ultra wide videos go.

Should you buy or not?

The galaxy A50, it brings a stunning looking design even though it is made of plastic. There’s the excellent AMOLED screen the great battery life a solid chipset and a pretty versatile camera. All for less than 300 euros. There are a few things Samsung could’ve done better here but the fingerprint reader which is quite inconsistent. You don’t get water assistance here and a lot of speaker quality.

At this competitive price is pretty easy to look past these shortcomings. So if you’re looking for a solid mid-range phone on a budget the galaxy A50 is worth checking out.

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