In recent years, Samsung smartphones have completely lost in the budget price category against the background of numerous Chinese devices. First of all, from Xiaomi. These manufacturers release one model after another, with each new generation expanding functionality and increasing characteristics in all price categories. Finally, Samsung is ripe for a retaliatory strike in the Galaxy M line of devices and the redesigned Galaxy A smartphones. Over the past month, Samsung has released six new budget models designed for different price categories.
Seen on the Galaxy M10 and Galaxy M20 smartphones for the most part, I liked it. Like the first two models of the new wave, they set the pace with their interesting functionality. They have quite large screens with a small cutout at the top, a significant amount of RAM and storage, a lot of cameras and large batteries.
The lower models of the new Galaxy A line intersect with Galaxy M devices. Previously, Galaxy A smartphones were located slightly below the flagship Galaxy S, but now they are at a much lower price. The recently announced Galaxy A10, Galaxy A30 and Galaxy A50 bear a clear resemblance to the Galaxy M10, Galaxy M20 and Galaxy M30, but they bring with them something new and a number of premium features for which you can pay more.
This review reviews the older version of the Galaxy A50. That’s how it will be until the Galaxy A70 comes out later. Galaxy A50 has a number of interesting features, including a fingerprint scanner inside the screen and a triple rear camera. Naturally, it costs more than Galaxy M Series smartphones.
Design Samsung Galaxy A50
The primary eye-catching element of the Galaxy A50 is the 6.4-inch Super AMOLED screen. This is the same type of panel and the same diagonal as on the Galaxy A30 and the recently released Galaxy M30. All three screens belong to the Infinity-U category with a small cutout at the top. The developers have worked hard to reduce the frame around the screen. The device has rounded corners, occupying 91.6% of the body. Below the frame is more noticeable compared to others, but in general the device looks elegant for a smartphone in this price category. Against its background, even the Galaxy A9, released at the end of last year, seems outdated.
A distinctive feature of the Galaxy A50 is the fingerprint scanner inside the screen. Unfortunately, this is not the same ultrasound scanner as in the two older Galaxy S10 models. However, one could not count on this with such a difference in price. You can brag to your friends about such a fingerprint scanner, and for sure many will take the device precisely because of it. The scanner operation will be discussed in more detail below.
Samsung does not say what material the back surface is made of. It feels like plastic or polycarbonate. The back side bends slightly at the edges to smoothly transition into a metal frame. There are no sharp edges anywhere. There are three color options, namely black, white and blue. Smartphones available in India are considered, and among them there is no coral pink, which was shown at MWC 2019. Perhaps it will be available.
In this review, there was a black version of the smartphone, more like a transparent gray. Light is displayed from this surface like a rainbow. This is especially striking at the edges of the smartphone, where the bends refract the incident light even more. Unfortunately, the surface is glossy and quickly gets stained when touched. After very careful handling of the smartphone with the cover included in the package, a few scratches nevertheless appeared.
The three rear cameras are located vertically in the upper left corner and protrude slightly beyond the body. This design element has migrated here from previous models, primarily from the Galaxy A7 2018. An LED flash is located under the cameras. If you look closely, you can notice the Samsung logo and some text.
Power button and volume control on the right side of the case. At the bottom there is a USB-C port and a headphone jack, next to the speaker grill. At the top left you will see a slot for installing two SIM-cards and a separate slot for a memory card. Unfortunately, there was no room for a notification LED in the front. However, since this is a Super AMOLED screen, it supports the Always On Display function. Through it, you can check notifications and alerts. By default, you need to click on the screen to display the information, but you can make it always active.
Working with the device is quite comfortable. It does not feel too heavy or thick. The case lies well in one hand and does not slip. Have to stretch a little to the upper edges of the screen, it all depends on the size of the palms of the fingers. For the most part, there are no problems and users will be satisfied with the appearance and feeling of work.
The Galaxy M10 and M20 were criticized by some for their meager package bundles, but Samsung has recovered. True, this is a more expensive smartphone, so there is more interesting in the box. There are headphones and a plastic case, a SIM card eject tool, a 15 W charging adapter and a USB-C cable.
Samsung Galaxy A50 Specifications and Functionality
It’s quite difficult to distinguish between different versions of the Galaxy M and Galaxy A. The Galaxy A50 has a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED screen with a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels. Some other models have similar screens, but here they use a more modern 8-core Samsung Exynos 9610 processor against the Exynos 7904.
The composition of this processor includes four core ARM Cortex-A73 and Cortex A-53 with frequencies of 2.3 and 1.6 GHz, respectively. This helps to find a balance between computing power and power consumption. Mali-G72 MP3 is responsible for the graphics. Samsung talks about an image processor and support for deep learning algorithms. This can come in handy when operating the depth sensor during photography and facial recognition.
There are two versions of the Galaxy A50 with different amounts of RAM. You can choose between 4 and 6 GB, the storage in both cases is 64 GB. The cheaper Galaxy M30 has 128 GB.
During the announcement in Barcelona, it was said that the Galaxy A50 will also receive 128 GB of storage. Perhaps this option will be in other countries. A 4000 mAh battery is also smaller compared to 5000 mAh in the Galaxy M30. There is Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, FM radio, LTE, VoLTE, support for two SIM cards, a set of familiar sensors.
Galaxy M smartphones came out on Android 8.1 with the outdated Samsung Experience shell. The Galaxy A50 runs on Android 9 with the new One UI. This is good news, as users don’t have to wait an unknown amount of time to receive the update. During the writing of the review, the Android security update for February came.
The One UI interface has been improved in terms of design and looks quite modern. Samsung has focused on the convenience of working with large-screen smartphones. Because of this, I had to reduce the density of information display and make the text and icons large, leaving a lot of space between them.
Sections like quick settings have become so huge that the icons are closer to the bottom of the screen, where they are easier to reach. It will take time to get used to this. At times it seems that the place is wasted, but there are useful elements like the Back button in the Settings application, which slides down when scrolling, and is not tied to the upper left corner.
You could increase the density of the icons on the home screens and in the application list, reducing the default font size. You can disable the list of applications and choose whether to open it with a gesture or by pressing a button. A gesture down the screen may open the notification bar.
There is a dark version of the interface, there is also a familiar blue light filter. You can enable it on an ongoing basis, on a schedule or activate at sunset and turn it off at dawn. You can change the order of the Android navigation buttons or hide them and work with gestures. FaceWidgets lock screen modules allow you to control audio, view calendar, weather. If desired, they can be constantly displayed on the Always On Display screen.
Some Samsung wallpapers are made to cover the cutout at the top. The Samsung Themes app is one of those that ask for permission before sending numerous notifications. Here you can download many free and paid themes.
There are several convenient gestures, including for creating a screenshot inward from any edge of the screen with the edge of the palm of your hand. You can show notifications about messages in bubbles. Tapping the bubble opens the corresponding application in a floating window, where you can see the whole conversation while typing.
Digital Wellness is also supported. You can see detailed statistics on working with applications. The system displays notifications when it’s time to go to bed. You can impose restrictions on working with individual applications so as not to stare at the smartphone too much. Bixby Assistant can be called up by long pressing the power button. Supported payment system Samsung Pay Mini.
With the Galaxy M line of smartphones, there were big problems with spam notifications and ads on the lock screen. In the Galaxy A50, this problem remains, although the initial setup process allows you to disable the lock screen histories. Samsung apps by default also get bored with spam. There are a number of pre-installed applications from Google, Microsoft, Amazon.
Soon after the start of work, I had to click on the notification, which asked me to complete the setup process. This is a background application called IronSource, which has delivered six spammer applications without demand, namely Calculator, myTuner Radio, Flashlight, HotSpotShield VPN, ShareChat and Candy Crush Saga. Even the simplest flashlight displays a lot of advertising, including full-screen. This is not a good practice on the part of Samsung.
Performance, autonomy and cameras Galaxy A50
Samsung promotes Super AMOLED screens and on this device it is very clear, bright and juicy. The black color is deep, the other colors are saturated, but not too much. Everything looks great, from the interface to games ands. The Always On Display feature can be enabled on a schedule if you do not want it to stop you from sleeping at night.
In terms of sound quality, a single speaker can be very loud, but not very clear. Music and voices at high volume are creaking, and a full-fledged movie is not very pleasant to watch. Headphones included are not the most comfortable. The sound is not bad, but the treble is too piercing, and there is almost no bass. The open design does not protect against noise around, others will be able to hear what you hear.
A fingerprint scanner may attract the attention of curious buyers, but it has flaws. Recognition is slow, it takes about a couple of seconds to fully unlock. Over time, this can become annoying. By trial and error, you have to find out exactly where you need to put your finger. If you do not hold your finger on the scanner long enough, the fingerprint may not be recognized.
Facial recognition is supported, which is fast enough. You can activate the front camera when you lift the smartphone. No visual confirmation is required that the unlock has worked.
The daily work with this smartphone is excellent, without brakes and slowing down. The review considers a version with a memory capacity of 4 GB, there is still a 6 GB option. Games like PUBG Mobile and Asphalt 9: Legends at high graphics settings went without problems.
The Exynos 9610 processor should be grateful for this. It will not set records for computing power, but it does a good job in its price category. In tests, the result is not worse than that of other smartphones at a similar price. In AnTuTu, the result was 145408 points; in Geekbench, single-core and multi-core testing yielded 1719 and 5586 points, respectively. 1269 points were obtained in 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme, in the tests GFXBench T-rex and Manhattan 37 and 22 frames / s.
Under normal load, the device is able to work without an outlet for about a day and a half. If you take a lot of photos ands, watch movies, play games and use the browser to browse sites, by the evening about 30% of the charge remains. In tests with cyclic scrolling of HD, the result was 14 hours 59 minutes. The adapter included in the package from 0 to 11% charged the smartphone in 10 minutes, up to 30% in 30 minutes.
Galaxy A50 can offer a lot of photographic opportunities. He has a rear camera triple, the main 25 megapixels with an aperture of f / 1.7. The second camera has a wide-angle lens, a resolution of 8 megapixels, a field of view of 120 degrees, aperture f / 2.2. There is also a 5MP depth sensor. The only 25MP front camera with f / 2.0 aperture.
Like the flagship models, there is a feature “Live Focus” for portraiture. It supports slow-motion shooting with a resolution of 720p at a speed of 480 frames / s, Hyper-Lapse, AR emoji, and an intelligent scene optimizer. Professional shooting mode offers not too many settings. You can switch between standard and wide-angle cameras before shooting a, but not in the process.
wide angle camera
You can change the type of background blur in portrait shots from standard to various effects. Edge recognition is good enough.
The application is easy to use, almost the same as on previous Samsung devices, including the Galaxy A9. It is well thought out with useful controls in the finger access area. You can force the program to run in the mode that was used when shooting for the last time. You can also enable the floating point of the shutter. The supported photo and formats are HEIF and HEVC, respectively, but they are not enabled by default. recording front and rear occurs at a resolution of a maximum of 2336 x 1080. The width has been increased from the standard Full HD to the width of the screen of the smartphone.
Photos from the Galaxy A50 are usually not satisfactory. In the afternoon, in bright light, they may be overexposed, but in most cases the detail is normal. The wide-angle camera provides sufficient flexibility and fits more people or objects in the frame. True, her quality is lower and there are distortions, and not only at the edges of the frame.
The quality at night is decent, but not great. Photos look good on the smartphone itself and when published on the Internet, but in full-sized form it is better not to check them. Motion blur may occur as the shutter stays open for too long. If the lighting is adequate, close-up shots are good at night.
The looks great if you shoot it still. There is no wandering of focus or vibration, as happens on the cameras of cheap smartphones. In the afternoon, the movement is clear and the detail is good. The wide-angle camera gives the effect of a fish eye and the here is a little darker, but still smooth. Stabilization is not mentioned in the specifications, and yet the picture does not really shake. At night, shaking is greater and detailing is worse. The secondary camera produces dark in spots.
The front camera also supports Live Focus, but with no effects. You can change the degree of blur after shooting, but edge recognition is not very good. By default, the decoration mode is turned on, which gives the image an unnatural appearance. To disconnect, more than one click is required.
Unfortunately for Samsung, the price in India is the same as the Pocophone F1 on the Snapdragon 845. This does not bode well for sales, especially among gamers. True, those who want to take a lot of pictures can prefer a Samsung smartphone for a triple camera.
Also among the competitors can be called the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro model. It uses the processes of Snapdragon 675, the main camera 48 megapixels, glass Gorilla Glass 5 and other impressive components. At the same time, the device is cheaper than the Galaxy A50.
Another competitor is Samsung Galaxy M30’s own smartphone. It has the same screen and a large battery, but a weaker processor, a standard fingerprint scanner and a not-so-shining rear panel. If you don’t care about the quality of the cameras, this smartphone is also cheaper.
Even with these competitors, the Galaxy A50 may be in demand. It has modern functionality and no obvious shortcomings. There is something to strive for in terms of cameras and software, but overall for Samsung’s budget smartphones this is progress.