After its Galaxy S10 flagships, Samsung has unveiled its new mid-range phones, the Galaxy A50 and A30. For the occasion, the South Korean manufacturer decided to modify its A range by introducing new nomenclature and premium features. We were able to go hands-on with the phones in Barcelona at the MWC. One thing is for sure: Samsung is taking no chances with these.
Samsung Galaxy A50 design and build quality
The redesign of Samsung's mid-range smartphones was to be expected, and Samsung has finally delivered. The new Galaxy A50 and A30 bring a breath of fresh air to the mid-range line-up of the South Korean manufacturer, starting with their names that change from previous generations.
Samsung also promised its mid-range smartphones would benefit from the most innovative technologies on the market to make it easier for millennials to bring new devices and features closer together. It has kept its word on that.
Getting to grips with the Galaxy A50: a very promising package
The Galaxy A50 is a pretty 6.4-inch smartphone with a display design that Samsung calls its Infinity U. This is Samsung's new name for the small, dewdrop-shaped notch on the AMOLED display. It's a notch similar to the one found on the OnePlus 6T, for example. It is very discreet and is quickly forgotten during navigation. Samsung has adapted its One UI software interface accordingly. This keeps notifications perfectly visible.
A top-of-the-range look
Aesthetically, despite its glossy plastic shell, the smartphone has a rather premium look. The way it shimmers with the light reflections is quite nice and the smartphone attracts fewer fingerprints than some competitors. Sometimes plastic is good!
This good impression is reinforced once the phone is in use. The quality of the finish is in line with Samsung's top-of-the-range production. The phone gives an impression of solidity and a top-of-the-range look, thanks in particular to the excellent Super AMOLED display (with a Full-HD+ definition) and its 19.5:9 ratio. The colors are bright, the contrast ideal and the brightness is excellent, at least indoors.
An optical fingerprint reader
As mentioned before, the Galaxy A50 offers top-of-the-range features. The smartphone thus has a fingerprint reader under the screen. Be careful, it is not the Galaxy S10's, i.e. it is not ultrasonic but optical. However, when I tried it out, I found it very convincing and similar to the one on the Mate 20 Pro. It seems quite efficient and rather fast, but will always be behind traditional fingerprint readers and, in my opinion, less convenient to use. It is also necessary to be very patient during the configuration.
On the software side, Samsung One UI version 1.1 (and Android Pie) is the driving force behind the smartphone. If the interface has gained in animation quality and modernity, I must admit that I don't like the childish side of some icons and the parameters a little too simplified.
Navigation is at least smooth, applications launch quickly and the Galaxy A50 perfectly meets all the demands you can have. The Exynos 9610 processor, combined with 4 or 6 GB of RAM depending on the model chosen, is indeed sufficient. It should also be fine for games, even the most demanding ones. As far as internal storage goes, the smartphone will be available in two configurations, 64 and 128 GB.
Triple camera and a 4,000 mAh battery
In terms of photography, Samsung has also not done things by halves and the presence of three photo sensors on the back is proof of that. The Galaxy A50 carries the famous magic trio of wide-angle lens (25 MP, f/1.7), telephoto lens (5 MP, f/2.2) and ultra wide-angle lens (8 MP, f2.4). Of course, it is difficult to assess the quality of the images in a first hands-on experience, but the result should be better, in my opinion, than last year, with more balanced images. As always at Samsung, the development is proving to be very fast.
Finally, we come to the smartphone battery. Samsung has placed a 4,000 mAh battery that should be enough to get you through a good day of use. Given the history of the Galaxy A series, we can only be confident!
Getting started with the Galaxy A30
The most affordable and modest of the two new phones, the Galaxy A30, offers the same modern design and the same 6.4-inch AMOLED display in a Full-HD+ resolution. The appearance is very similar to its older brother, the Galaxy A50. The plastic is still there but the quality is also still there and the smartphone really makes a very good impression.
In addition to the differences under the hood (Exynos 7904 and 3 or 4 GB of RAM), the Galaxy A30 does not offer a fingerprint reader under the screen and has opted for a traditional reader. The triple photo sensor is also not available on this one. Instead, the A30 has two 16 MP sensors (f/1.7, PDAF) and 5 MP (f/2.2). There is still One UI and a 4,000 mAh battery.
The smartphone appears at first sight to be a really good product. Its battery life should be one of its strengths.
Price and release date of the Galaxy A30 and A50
For the moment, Samsung has not wished to communicate the prices of the two devices. It is easy to imagine prices ranging from 300 to 450 dollars, with marketing starting in South Korea and India and then reaching Europe.
Samsung Galaxy A50 technical specifications
|Dimensions:||158.5 x 74.7 x 7.7 mm|
|Battery size:||4000 mAh|
|Screen size:||6.4 in|
|Screen:||2340 x 1080 pixels (517 ppi)|
|Front camera:||25 megapixels|
|Rear camera:||25 megapixels|
|Android version:||9 - Pie|
|Internal storage:||64 GB
|Number of cores:||8|
|Max. clock speed:||2.3 GHz|
|Connectivity:||HSPA, LTE, NFC, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 5.0|
With this new generation of Galaxy A, Samsung seems to have done a nice job. The Galaxy A50 and A30 offer everything you would expect from a good mid-range smartphone with the battery life expected in this range. The South Korean manufacturer has even added a few extras on the more premium version such as a triple camera and a fingerprint reader under the display. It remains to be seen what the prices of the two devices will be in order to get a true idea of the price-quality ratio, however.