The Galaxy A80 touts new and unique features like Samsung’s most premium offering in this year’s Galaxy A series, a new Infinity display and rotating camera like the Trial Camera setup.
- The Samsung Galaxy A80 in India is priced at Rs 47,990.
- It offers a stunning Naukless Super AMOLED display and a fast Snapdragon 730G chipset.
- The rotating camera design looks unique but is mostly invalid.
Samsung has launched about a dozen phones in India this year which comes only from the Galaxy M and Galaxy A series. The Galaxy A lineup has been the busiest with phones from the entry-level Galaxy A10 to the premium mid-range Galaxy A70 as the company looks to target Millennials and Gen Z, who want trendy and unique features without paying a premium price. The Samsung Galaxy A80 (2020) is the culmination of Samsung’s efforts to bring brand new technologies to its mid-range lineup.
The Galaxy A80 is now available in India at a superb tear-jerking price of Rs 47,990. This is Samsung’s most premium phone of the Galaxy A series at the moment, and it’s a bit far from the company’s flagship Galaxy S10. The high-end price tag is due to two new technologies – the Naukless New Infinity Display and a unique rotating triple camera setup.
Not all of these features make sense or justify the exaggerated price of the Galaxy A80. In fact, the Galaxy A80 only shines when Samsung works best to my Galaxy A80 reviews so I’ll discuss that.
Samsung Galaxy A80 Design:
Samsung has a design for making handsome premium phones. When it comes to the mid-range Galaxy A series, the company is using a very familiar formula for most phones in this lineup this year – the Infiniti-V or the Infiniti-U display and the gradient elastic rear panel. The Galaxy A80, however, looks different. It’s very common from each other’s Galaxy phones that it uses a brand new display.
Galaxy A80 is the first Samsung phone to offer a new infinity display. It’s the kind of display that doesn’t offer a notch or punch-hole cutout. It is almost completely bezel-less with a spectacular thin bezel on the top and sides and just a thin chin. This means that the front of the Galaxy A80 has been shown to be almost perfect.
Aside from the display, what shapes you the most while holding the Galaxy A80 is its size. This is a huge phone that is not only tall and wide but also huge. It measures 165.2 x 76.5 x 9.3mm and has a significant weight of 220 grams, which feels quite heavy to hold in 2019 after using lightweight devices below 170 grams. It’s clear that the Galaxy A80 isn’t for everyone. This is for those who do not mind using a larger device if they have a tall and immersive display for it.
After using the Galaxy A80 for about two weeks, I have a very mixed feeling about the glass back panel. On the one hand, about 90 percent of the rear panel only looks clean with Samsung branding, which makes it look quite flexible and premium. But then you will see the top two centimeters which are separated from the rest of the panel. This is the part that puts the triple camera setup in a wide, band-assisted-shaped module. It doesn’t look quite as appealing as the rest of the back.
Remarkably, Samsung has used a rigid Gorilla Glass 6 on the back while the display is protected by Gorilla Glass 3. This would theoretically mean that a drop would hurt the display but leave the back panel and probably not harm the camera process.
While the Galaxy A80 gives a unique look, it also eliminates some of the key features. First, there is no 3.5mm headphone jack, which means you have to use the Type-C port to connect the earphones. The back part is the earpiece. No one Samsung is using an acoustic sound system that will emit sound through the display. Practically, there is nothing different than talking through the earpiece. Fair and loud enough to understand the clarity of voice. Lastly, the A80 lacks storage expansion, so you’ll only get support for two nano-SIM cards.
Let’s talk about that rotating camera:
To offer this full-screen display, Samsung has used very unique technology to offer a front-facing camera. The triple camera system on the back comes up with a motorized system and flips to the front so you can use the same camera setup for selfies. If you are thinking about it, this is a great solution because you can use the same high-quality Galaxy A80 image sensor for the back and the selfies.
As unique and awe-inspiring as it may seem, the rotating camera system is probably the most illegal solution still raising the whole concern, as does stability and speed. The process goes up when you enable Selfie Mode in the Camera app and the cameras will rotate in the front simultaneously. It takes more than 1 second to finish up and rotate, which is slower than your typical pop-up cameras today. The slow rotating camera system is probably why Samsung decided against providing face unlock.
What concerns me is that there are a lot of moving parts involved. Increasing panels and rotating camera modules make the whole system twice susceptible to damage, dust, and particle penetration With so many moving pieces, it doesn’t mean the Galaxy A80 is water-resistant.
Samsung Galaxy A80 Display:
The Galaxy A80 is Samsung’s first phone to come with a new Infinity display. This is Samsung’s proprietary display that removes the punch or hole-punch cutout, giving it a more full-screen, immersive experience. The 6.7-inch FHD + (2400×1080) super AMOLED display offers virtually no noticeable bezel and very thin chin at the top and sides, allowing for a higher screen-to-body ratio.
An authentic, edge-to-edge Samsung display is a dream implementation and the Galaxy A80 doesn’t disappoint here. The display looks vibrant and bouncy colors, deep black and great with a larger, distraction-free screen that brings true joy to watching videos and playing games. It also comes with Widevine L1 support, which means you’ll be able to stream content in true HD resolution on platforms like Netflix and Prime Video.
As expected from the Samsung AMOLED display, the display offers good brightness levels and great viewing angles, so you won’t have any trouble reading the screen in top sunlight. The Galaxy A80 display is set to Vivid mode by default so the colors look saturated and deep, but you can always switch it to a neutral mode for more natural and balanced color reproduction.
Galaxy A80 Performance and Software:
The Galaxy A80 has launched a few months ago worldwide as Qualcomm’s first mid-range processor with the Snapdragon 730G. We have already got the Redmi K20 when the A80 comes to India, which offers a relatively affordable price of Snapdragon 730 chipset at Rs 21,999. The former is similar to the SD 730G except for a slight jump in the performance of the GPU, which means it should give the paper a better gaming experience.
The Galaxy A80 is a fast and smooth performer, but a Snapdragon 730G chipset inside a phone that costs close to Rs 50,000 doesn’t matter the way you make it. As a standalone device, the Galaxy A80 opens apps and loads faster and multitasking. It’s a breeze of 8 GB RAM which is enough. During my time with the device, I rarely or never found out when messaging my day on WhatsApp, browsing through social media apps, and playing games.
Speaking of games, the Galaxy A80 runs very well in high-end graphics-intensive games like PUBG and Asphalt 9. Featuring a larger, bezel-less display, the Galaxy A80 makes for a great gaming smartphone, saying that during the 30-minute session of PUBG, the phone gets a bit heated up, which we didn’t encounter in the Redmi K20 or the Realme X.
While the Galaxy A80 offers good mid-range performance, it’s not a phone we recommend at this price point because you will find phones like the OnePlus 7, Honor 20 and Oppo Reno 10X Zoom offer better performance with more affordable flagship processors. And if you spend just $ 3,000 more, you can buy the Galaxy S10E, which offers the flagship Exynos 9820 chipset, though it gets a much smaller Infinity-O display.
The Galaxy A80 runs on Android UI based on Android Pie. Deep view of the blacks on the AMOLED display is the system-wide night mode you should enable the moment you set up the device. A UI also offers a redesigned UI that brings interactive elements to the lower half of the display for easier accessibility, making it easier to use a device as large as the Galaxy A80.
OneUI also comes with features like digital wellbeing which give you an overview of how much time the A80 has spent and set an app timer to control your usage. It also has a wind-down door that will turn the display into grayscale before bedtime. Additionally, you’ll get new gestures on and on display all the time. There is also a Bixby Home that can be found by swiping directly to the Home screen. App icons look bigger by default to make the big screen easier to read and fill, but you can reduce the size in Settings.
A UI looks clean with very few pre-loaded apps. You get some default Samsung apps like Samsung Health, Galaxy Weebles, Samsung Pay as well as Microsoft apps like Office Mobile and LinkedIn. Netflix and Facebook also come predetermined which are always effective Galaxy A80 ads do not skip, but occasionally I notice that banner is promoting A80 and upcoming Galaxy Note 10 in the drop-down notification menu.
The Galaxy A80 doesn’t offer Face Unlock, which is disappointing for phones priced at Rs 48,000. But more than disappointing is the optical fingerprint sensor, which is laughably slow and wrong, and companies like Oppo and OnePlus provide faster in-display sensors, compared to which the A80’s sensors are frustratingly comfortable.
Below is a single speaker grille that offers decent height and clarity. The Galaxy A80 also features a Dolby Atom that offers a sweet surround sound experience when listening through headphones.
Samsung Galaxy A80 Camera:
The truly unique aspect of the Samsung Galaxy A80 is its rotation camera which allows you to use the same triple rear camera system for selfies. The phone has a 48MP MP / 2.0 Sony IMX 586 main sensor for crisp and detailed high-resolution photos, an 8MP f / 2.2 ultra-wide-angle camera and a TF (during flight) camera depth mapping. When switching to selfie mode, the camera system comes to the front with the upper panel at the top. The camera supports Super Steady video mode, scene optimizer, and error detection, among other things.
By default, Galaxy A80 the main camera shoots at 12MP resolution, but you can switch to the raw 48MP mode by changing the aspect ratio to 3: 4H. Using default mode, the sensor uses pixel knitting to stitch four shots at once to create a bright and attractive photo. It works well in daylight and is recommended in low light too. 48MP mode is most commonly used during daylight scenes to capture landscapes and scenes. While zooming in on some 48MP shots, I found that I didn’t like the details, especially when compared to the Realm X, which uses the same 48MP Sony sensor.
Daylight photos look great with great dynamic range, contrast, and exposure, using 12MP mode. You get the same results for selfies. The 8MP Ultra-Wide Angle mode will provide decent landscape shots and will also be effective for group selfies. The Galaxy TOF camera comes into play for portrait shots, which look decent, but nothing exceptional. The iPhone XR tends to provide more natural-looking bokeh with better natural segregation than the Galaxy A80, but you’ll probably see the A80 portrait picture shared on social media as it looks brighter and more vivid.
Unfortunately, the Galaxy A80 fights in low light which is a real jolt, especially given the competition and device prices today. The Camera app comes with dedicated night mode, taking a very average view of low-light photos. The photos look a bit brighter, but AI does a slippery job of over-expressing the photo, with a weak job of reducing the noise. Night mode only works with the original camera and cannot be used when using wide-angle mode.
I also found it surprising that the LED flash does not work in selfie mode, which means that you have to rely on the display flash when lifting a selfie in low light. Selfies captured during the daylight look extremely sharp and detailed through the main camera, which is what we expect.
Samsung Galaxy A80 Battery:
Expect to see a bigger battery inside a phone with a bigger screen, but sadly it’s not here.
The Galaxy A80 has 3,700 mAh battery, which is smaller than most Galaxy A devices launched this year. So it should come as no surprise that the Galaxy A80 doesn’t provide exceptional battery life. Fair enough to send you an entire day. As long as you don’t use the A80 outside of messaging and social media browsing, you can also get a day and a half battery for a single charge.
The Galaxy A80 comes with a smart battery that can learn your daily routine and use the app to optimize the phone’s power consumption, which is why I noticed a minimal standby battery drain. Additionally, the device supports 25W fast charging, which uses the 25W charger that comes with the box. It takes about 80 minutes for the device to charge from zero to 100 percent.
Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy A80?
The Galaxy A80 offers many new technologies that you will not find on any other Galaxy phone at the moment. Unfortunately, not all of them deserve praise. The rotating camera is unique but feels slow and raises many questions about its durability. The Asus 6Z provides a better solution in my opinion by allowing you to control the motorized camera. That being said, the New Infinity Display is a surprise because it offers edge-to-edge, bottomless screens that are fun for media use.
The Galaxy A80, priced at Rs 47,990, definitely feels overpriced. Although the Snapdragon 730 chipset is a smart and smooth performer, it is still a mid-range processor that can’t compete with prices like the Snapdragon 855, Kirin 980 and Exynos 9820 chips, or better-than-available phones like the compete for A80. The cameras themselves felt the shortest.
Given the competition today, it’s hard to recommend the Galaxy A80. As much as Samsung wants the Galaxy A series as its flagship phone, we feel that the company has brought the Galaxy A70, if you are looking for a big-screen device, we would recommend it right away. If the performance and good cameras are after you, you can look for OnePlus 7 Pro, Honor 20 Pro or Galaxy S10 instead.