The Samsung Galaxy A80 preview uses an extendable and rotating camera that shoots both selfies and normal photos. This method should not only provide better photos but also results in a front-filling display. What does this striking smartphone offer?
Samsung Galaxy A80 preview
The Galaxy A series has been around for years, but this year is taking a new course. Samsung promises innovative features, new designs, and a better price/quality. The strategy is also changing: the cheap Galaxy J series is disappearing and is being filled by new, affordable A models such as the Galaxy A10 and A20e. The Galaxy A40, A50 and A70 are also new: midrange devices with large screens and large batteries.
The top model in the A-line is the Galaxy A80, which will be released in mid-May and will cost 649 euros. Samsung speaks of a midrange smartphone, but the A80 is tens to hundreds of euros more expensive than flagships such as the Xiaomi Mi 9 and OnePlus 6T. In our Samsung Galaxy A80 preview, we find out if the device knows enough to distinguish itself from the competition.
Borderless screen without notch
If you look at the Galaxy A80 then something immediately falls on it. The smartphone has a large (6.7 inch) display with minimal edges. According to Samsung, the front consists of 93.8 percent screen, which is slightly more than the Galaxy S10 series. They have a small camera hole in the screen, while there is no front camera on the A80. Striking, and the borderless display gives the smartphone a futuristic appearance. At first glance, a fingerprint scanner seems to be missing but is on the screen. This is an optical scanner, which Samsung also uses on the A50 and A70.
The screen of the A80 is an OLED panel that shows beautiful colors at first glance. The full HD resolution provides a sharp image, although there are devices with a sharper qHD display. When I first picked up the A80, I noticed that it is on the thick side (9.3 millimeters) and weighs more than the average smartphone. Samsung could not immediately tell me how heavy the device is. The glass case feels solid, but is very smooth and attracts fingerprints.
The camera slides out and turns
There is a triple camera module on the back of the device. It is also used as a selfie camera. In short, this is how it works: if you open the camera app, you can immediately take a photo with the cameras on the back. If you click on the selfie button, the camera module moves up a few centimeters and the cameras rotate 180 degrees, so from back to front.
If you switch to ‘normal mode’ in the camera app, the cameras turn around again and the bar slides down. This also happens when you close the camera app. The sliding in and out and turning is done automatically via small, buzzing motors. This is generally smooth and smooth, but not as fast as on a smartphone with a traditional front camera. If you want to take a selfie, you have to wait noticeably longer.
Another point is the reliability of the moving module. During my hands-on session, the camera crashed three times – physically – while switching between the front and back. Samsung warned in advance that it is a pre-production model, so hopefully, the commercial devices will not be bothered by this. This must prove later. Then it becomes clear how robust the excellent camera is and whether it is resistant to grains of sand and other dirt. It is not clear how many times the sliding and turning mechanisms will last.
The primary camera of the Galaxy A80 has a resolution of 48 megapixels and delivers 12-megapixel photos via quad-Bayer technology. The second camera is an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens with a viewing angle of 123 degrees, which captures a wider area of the environment.
Finally, a Time Of Flight sensor (TOF) is present to determine depth very accurately. This is useful, for example, when taking portrait photos and measuring objects. Because the camera module rotates forward, you can, for example, make wide-angle selfies. Features like this are missing on most selfie cameras. At first sight, the A80 cameras take beautiful photos with excellent colors and enough detail. In our review, we will look more closely at the photo and video qualities.
According to Samsung, the Galaxy A80 is a midrange smartphone, but the specifications are more reminiscent of a high-end model. For example, the device has 8GB of memory and 128GB of memory, which is more than the (more expensive) Galaxy S10e. The A80 is the first smartphone to run on a Snapdragon 7150, a middle-class processor. During my first impression, the device turned – as you might expect – very smoothly. It is striking that the 3700 mAh battery charges very fast, with 25 watts to be precise. That is much faster than the Galaxy S10 (Plus), which charges with 15 watts. According to Samsung, the battery of the A80 is more than half full within half an hour and a full charge takes 95 minutes.
The smartphone runs on Android 9.0 (Pie) with the OneUI shell from Samsung. This software looks and works great and contains only two extra apps (Facebook and Netflix).
These features are missing on the Galaxy A80
Who thinks that the Galaxy A80 is a better smartphone than the more expensive Galaxy S10, will be disappointed. The A80 lacks a number of features that you will find on the top models. Logical, because the price difference of at least one hundred euros must come from somewhere. Some features that are missing on the midrange are an IP certification (for water and dust resistance), wireless charging and an HDD display. A micro-sd slot and headphone connection are also absent, which, according to Samsung, is due to the extendable camera. Finally, the A80 uses less good cameras than, for example, the Galaxy S10.
Conclusion Samsung Galaxy A80 preview
The Samsung Galaxy A80 is a special smartphone, that is clear. The front-filling display looks attractive and the extendable and rotating cameras are an interesting innovation. We are very curious if they really make good selfies, as Samsung claims.
In addition, we wonder how robust and fast the camera module is because at the moment we still have some doubts. The big question is also: is the ‘midrange’ Galaxy A80 (649 euros) a better buy than a top model like the Xiaomi Mi 9 (449 euros) or OnePlus 6T (559 euros)? In our extensive Samsung Galaxy A80 review, we will soon answer these questions.