Samsung has been hitting the mid-range market with some pretty solid phones this year. And the latest I’ve got my hands on is the Samsung galaxy a 30. What’s special about this one and is it worth considering against all the mid-range coming out these days? Let’s find out.
Build And Design
The galaxy a 30 has to build made of shiny plastic that looks and feels a lot like glass. Samsung calls the effect glastick. We’ve seen it on Samsung’s other mid-ranges this year with its thin frame and curved back. It’s quite pretty and there’s a dazzling metallic gradient as material catches the light. There’s a little bit of a camera hum from the dual camera but it’s quite small and the phone is usable on a flat surface.
It’s probably no surprise just like its siblings, the galaxy a30 isn’t waterproof. The galaxy a 30 has a single loudspeaker at the bottom, next to the USB-c port. Unfortunately, we were far from impressed. It scored below average in our loudness tests and the sound quality is just ok for the class. There is a headphone jack and when we plug in headphones volume was above average. With stereo separation wasn’t the best.
Storage-wise you have options for 32 or 64 gigs on board and it is expandable through MicroSD. You can unlock and wake up the galaxy a 30 with the rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. It’s accurate and the placement is quite comfortable. You can also use face unlock, it’s blazing fast to recognize you but it isn’t as secure as a fingerprint.
The a30’s most attractive feature is this large 6.4-inch super AMOLED screen which has at all aspect ratio and a 1080p resolution. It’s covered with gorilla glass 3 and it is an edge to edge beside the u-shaped, cutout up at the top. The quality is great among the best in the mid-range class. You have a sharp image with a pixel density of 403 PPI and deep AMOLED blacks. Color accuracy can be quite good based on your color settings.
Brightness is good to up to 413 nits is with a manual slider and up to 550 nits in auto mode in bright conditions. And for your notifications, you can enable an always-on display so you can check your phone at a glance.
Just like Samsung’s other recent phones, the galaxy a30 runs one UI over the latest android on the pie. It packs more customizations than stock android but still runs quite smoothly. What doesn’t run quite as smoothly however is the gaming experience.
The a30 is powered by an external 7904 chipset the same chip as a galaxy a40, neither three or four gigs of ram. It isn’t a chart-topper by any means and GPU performance is an ideal. So with heavier tasks expect some stutters and hiccups once in a while.
Battery life is quite good, though the a30 has a 4000 mah battery editor and in endurance rating of 92 hours. And a proprietary tasks there’s 15-watt adaptive fast charging but it isn’t the speediest out there. The bundled charger got us from 0 to 30 percent charge in half an hour.
Moving on to the cameras the galaxy a30 has a dual-camera setup with a 16-megapixel f 1.7 main cam. And a 5-megapixel f 2.2 ultras wide. In daylight photos we snapped with the main camera turned out quite good. There’s plenty of fine detail, true to life colors and excellent contrast. The dynamic range is also above average.
The ultra-wide-angle camera has a fixed focus and produces pleasant photos. They have a super-wide field of view and colors are more saturated than on the main cam. However, there is less detail and with no lens correction available expect a barrel distortion in your shots.
In portrait mode photos come out at 8 megapixels, the second camera isn’t used for depth info here. Everything is done through software regardless we were surprised to find a very good subject separation and some smart edge detection.
Selfies come out in 16 megapixels and have an average level of detail. But excellent contrast and punchy colors if you get the focus distance right. And there’s plenty of light you can get some nice shots.
Videos can be recorded at only up to 1080p at to the fps and there’s no stabilization. Regular 1080 clips we shot with the main camera with the excellent theme with great detail, little noise, high dynamic range and true to life colors. You can enable 4k video recording with a third-party app but it will only record it up to 20 fps.
1080p footage when the ultra wide camera isn’t as detailed as on the main cam but is decent as far as ultra wide videos go.
So around 200 euros or dollars, you get an awesome AMOLED screen and eye-catching design. Good battery life and a nice camera for daylight photos. There are some things I don’t like here though the loudspeaker quality is disappointing. It was kind of a bummer an excellent nice screen plus the chipset doesn’t perform well for gaming. And nighttime photography isn’t very good.
Overall though whether or not you’d be happy with it depends on what you’re looking for in a phone. If you aren’t in the games I just want to sell a daily driver with a large screen. The a30 could be worth considering just make sure to check out some of the competitors as well.