Recently phone makers have been asking the question of why do you need cameras on both the front and the back of a phone. If you can just have a flip camera do it all. The latest to try and make this work it’s a Samsung galaxy a80. Let’s see what this phone can do.
Build and Design
The galaxy a80 is built of glass with a metal frame and the curved back is shiny and mirror-like. It isn’t a small phone and I wouldn’t call it a lightweight one either. It’s pretty hefty it is a bit slippery and there’s no real edge on the rounded frame to grab onto.
The main attraction of the a80 is the motorized selfie slider instead of hiding a selfie cam within the body of the phone. This one raises the main camera setup and then rotates it to face you. The effect is cool almost transformers like. With the multiple moving parts, it does bring some concerns about structural integrity though. Especially since if it breaks down you could be left without a useable camera. At all, though it is possible to force the slide are open by hand it isn’t recommended. And the phone will yank the slider back in if you give it a chance.
It is some really impressive engineering but needless to say with these moving pieces the galaxy a80 isn’t waterproof.
The result of using this slider is that you get a large screen with no forehead. And no cut out it’s quite a clean and satisfying look. The displays a 6.7-inch super AMOLED with a 1080p resolution and a 20 by 9 aspect ratio at 393 PPI. Content looks great and you get the deep blacks only an AMOLED can produce. Colors aren’t the most accurate in the default vivid color mode. Though you can tweak them with sliders but switching to neutral mode gives you great accuracy in srgb. Overall brightness is standard for a nice OLED display 405 nits maximum in manual mode and up to 607. It’s in auto mode in bright conditions. And as an AMOLED, you get an always-on display to keep track of time and notifications.
The screen is used for biometrics too. There is an under-display optical fingerprint scanner it isn’t very fast but it gets the job done. Unfortunately, there’s no face on lock so this is your only option.
On audio, the galaxy a80 has a single loudspeaker at the bottom of it. A very good rating in our loudness test and the quality is good too. With a decent amount of bass and no distortion at high volume. There is no audio jack for headphones on this model, you’ll have to plug into the USB c port. We didn’t get a dongle with a review unit though. So we couldn’t test headphone quality.
You have 128 gigs of onboard storage on the galaxy a80. It should be plenty of space for most users but it’s still too bad that you can’t expand it to MicroSD.
The phone is running Samsung’s latest One UI over android 9 pie. The same software that we saw on the company’s flagships. The interface is very clean and organized and everything flows quite smoothly as you’d expect. This smooth performance is thanks in part to a new snapdragon 730 chipset and 8 gigs of ram. In benchmarks, it blows away the other mid-range competition in CPU and GPU tests. If you’re looking for the most bang for your buck through a flagship would give you even better performance for as much as the a80 costs.
The phone is powered by a 3700 mah battery not bad but a bit on the small side for a phone with such a large screen. When we ran our proprietary battery life tests we got an endurance rating of 80 hours a bit below average. Charging speed should be quite fast though with support for a USB power delivery at 25 watts. Unfortunately, our review unit didn’t come with a box so we weren’t able to clog charging speed. But Samsung says it will be able to get from 0 to 50 percent in half an hour.
Let’s take the closer look at the galaxy a80’s flipping triple camera setup. There’s a 48-megapixel main snapper with a quad bear filter, an 8-megapixel wide-angle cam and a top sensor for depth information. Photos from the main cam come out in 12 megapixels and in good light, they look quite pleasant with good contrast and vibrant colors. The detail is adequate but not mind-blowing and there is some visible noise. You have the option to put 48-megapixel photos but there isn’t much of a point to it. These are a bit noisier with not much-increased detail. 8-megapixel shots with the ultra wide cam but nothing special beyond the benefit of the water perspective. They aren’t sharp and dynamic range is limited.
In low-light photos from the main cam are okay. Images are slightly soft and come out a bit on the darker side. If you switch on the new night mode results are noticeably better with preservation of detail and highlights and shadows and more saturated colors. There’s a bit of extra detail to the ultra wide camera is quite poor in hardly surprising low-light. It captures soft and noisy underexposed photos there’s no night mode available for this camera.
- Dimensions: 165.2 x 76.5 x 9.3 mm (6.50 x 3.01 x 0.37 in)
- Weight: 220 g (7.76 oz)
- Display Type: Super AMOLED
- Display Size: 6.7 inches
- Resolution: 1080 x 2400 pixels
- OS: Android 9.0 (Pie); One UI
- Chipset: Qualcomm SDM730 Snapdragon 730 (8 nm)
- CPU: Octa-core (2×2.2 GHz Kryo 470 Gold & 6×1.8 GHz Kryo 470 Silver)
- Internal: 128 GB, 8 GB RAM
- Rear Camera: 48 MP, f/2.0, 26mm (wide), 1/2″, 0.8µm, PDAF
8 MP, f/2.2, 12mm (ultrawide), 1.12µm
TOF 3D camera, f/1.2, 30mm
- Front Camera: Motorized pop-up rotating main camera module
- USB: 2.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector
- Battery: Non-removable Li-Po 3700 mAh battery
So that’s the Samsung galaxy a80 overall. You get a nice bezel-less AMOLED with no notch, a good chipset, a decent camera, and that unique pop-up mechanism that can dazzle your friends. However, as a mid-ranger, there’s a lot more to be desired here. Battery life is unimpressive you don’t get expandable storage and then there’s a worry about the sturdiness of the slider. Plus not allowing the camera to use the autofocus in selfie mode that’s pretty disappointing at around 650 euros. The galaxy a80 doesn’t offer the same amount of value that you get from other mid-rangers or even some flagships.
So unless the price goes down here it is tough to recommend this one.