The Affordable Flagship- Top Of The A-Series

So in my previous post I wrote about the following Samsung Galaxy A series phones, the A51, A70, and A71 as well as the 5G models of the A51 and A71. I forgot to mention that there’s an amazing, truly beautiful Samsung A series phone called the A80. This is like no other Samsung phone, and very unique. We will also be taking a look at another A-series giant, the Samsung A90 5G.

SAMSUNG GALAXY A80

In a nutshell, here are it’s specs and features:

  • Body: 165.2×76.5×9.3mm, 220g; Gorilla Glass 6 back, aluminum frame;
  • Screen: 6.7″ Super AMOLED, 1080x2400px resolution, 393 ppi, Gorilla Glass 3.
  • OS, Chipset: Android 9 Pie; Samsung One UI, powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 chipset: octa-core (2×2.2 GHz Kryo 470 Gold & 6×1.8 GHz Kryo 470 Silver); and an Adreno 618 GPU.
  • Memory: 8GB RAM, 128GB built-in storage; with no microSD slot.
  • Camera: Motorized pop-up camera assembly. Main module: 48MP, 1/2.0″ SONY IMX586 Quad Bayer sensor, f/2.0 aperture, 80-degree FOV (26mm equiv. focal length), laser/PDAF. Ultra wide module: 8MP, f/2.2 aperture, 123-degree FOV (11mm equiv. focal length), fixed focus. Time-of-flight 3D Depth camera. LED flash.
  • Battery: 3,700mAh; with 25W fast charging.
  • Connectivity: Dual-SIM; LTE Cat.11 (600Mbps/75Mbps), Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, GPS; Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE, USB-C 2.0.
  • Misc: Under-display fingerprint reader, down-firing loudspeaker, no3.5mm audio jack. Available in Angel Gold, Ghost White, and Phantom Black color schemes.

The Samsung Galaxy A80 is a massive phone and very bulky in terms of it’s size and weight. The dimensions of the device measure 165.2 x 76.5 x 9.3mm and it weighs 220g, that’s pretty heavy for a phone. It’s probably not the best phone to go for if you like small phones or have smaller hands, it will be very uncomfortable to hold. The Galaxy A80 has a premium design and certainly looks like a flagship device. It has a Gorilla Glass (Gorilla Glass 3) display and back (Gorilla Glass 6), and metal frame.

When it comes to the display we all know that Samsung does indeed deliver when it comes to the display and the display of the A80 is gorgeous. The device has a large 6.7 inch Super AMOLED display, which has a resolution of 1080x2400px and approximately 85.8% screen-to-body ratio. It’s safe to say that the Galaxy A80 promises a great viewing experience. There’s an amazing side to this too and that is the lack of a notch makes this Samsung’s best display to date, as there are no complications or obstructions getting in the way of your viewing experience, and no notch or bezel taking up your valuable screen space. A high-five to Samsung on that one.

The device runs on Android 9.0 (pie) straight from the box and is upgradeable to Android 10.0 (One UI 2.0). The phone is powered by the efficient Snapdragon 730, and an Adreno 618 to power the graphics. It’s worth mentioning that this device only comes in one storage option and that’s 128GB of internal storage with 8GB RAM. As much as this phone has some great features about it, there are compromises to it as well. For instance the device doesn’t have the provision of expandable storage and there is no headphone jack. The phone doesn’t have an IP rating, taking into consideration that it has a motorized camera this was expected.

The Galaxy A80’s rotatory platform houses two cameras plus the ToF camera. The main module is the Sony IMX586 48MP Quad Bayer sensor (there is another version with Samsung’s own S5KGM1), and the secondary cam is an 8MP ultra wide angle. The main camera module is mated to an f/2.0 non-stabilized lens and has 80 degrees field of view (FOV). The secondary camera lens covers a 123-degree field of view or it’s got an equivalent focal length of about 12mm, while the aperture is f/2.2 and has fixed focus. The time-of-flight (ToF) camera, or the 3D Depth Camera in Samsung terms, projects a set of laser beams and measures the time it takes for them to return, thus recreating a depth map of the scene. This should be able to provide a more accurate subject/background recognition for the artificial bokeh modes and Samsung’s using it for Live Focus videos, not just stills. Setting as the A80’s main camera is also its selfie camera means you will get Live Focus selfie videos too.

Unfortunately the battery of the A80 is rather small, a 3700 mAh battery compared to the standard 4000mAh that most phones in it’s category have. It somewhat makes up for it (or maybe not) with 25W fast charging. The battery could have been bigger because heavy battery drain is going to be expected, as the motorized pop-up camera and big, bright AMOLED screen will likely both draw quite a bit of power. And because of its motorized pop-up camera effect, it is sure to attract a lot of attention from the younger audience so it would have been fit to have the battery bigger.

Buy it at Amazon US and Amazon UK.

SAMSUNG GALAXY A90 5G

Samsung is bringing 5G to it’s A series line, and it all starts with the A90. I personally call this one the flagship of the A series. Soon you will understand why I term it so.

Taking a look at it’s specs and features:

  • Body: Gorilla Glass 6 front and back panel, aluminum side frame
  • Screen: 6.7″ Super AMOLED, 1080x2400px resolution, 393 ppi.
  • Camera: Primary: 48 MP, f/2.0, 26mm (wide), 1/2″, 0.8µm, PDAF; Secondary: 8MP, f/2.2, 12mm ultra-wide, fixed focus; Depth camera: 5MP f/2.2; LED flash; 2160p@30fps video recording. And an 8MP (1/4″ sensor) selfie camera, f/2.0 fixed-focus.
  • OS, Chipset: Android 9.0 Pie, Samsung One UI.  Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset, octa-core processor (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 485 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 485 & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 485), Adreno 640 GPU.
  • Memory: 6GB/8GB RAM, 128GB built-in storage; microSD slot.
  • Battery: 4,500mAh, 25W USB Power Delivery 2.0 charging support.
  • Connectivity: Dual SIM; USB-C (USB 2.0), Wi-Fi, Buetooth 5.0, GPS, NFC.; 5G support
  • Misc: Under-display fingerprint reader. No head phone jack

Measuring at 164.8 x 76.4 x 8.4 mm (6.49 x 3.01 x 0.33 in) the Samsung A90 5G is a large phone. There’s virtually no difference between the Samsung Galaxy A70 and the A90 in terms of design. This device will not be a comfortable one to hold for users with small hands. It has a glass built design, Gorilla Glass 6 front and back panel whereas the back panel features geometric patterns giving it a more defined look. The phone is available in colors Black and White.

The phone features a large 6.7 inch Super AMOLED display with a teardrop notch. A resolution of 1080x2400px with an aspect ratio of 20:9 making the device ideal for web browsing, watching videos and multi tasking. The internals are flagship standard, powered by the Snapdragon 855 paired with 6GB/8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. As for expandable storage, it’s only available for the 6GB variant.

Camera-wise the A90 houses a 48MP main one with f/2.0 aperture and PDAF, 8MP ultra wide-angle lens with f2.2 and a 5MP depth sensor. The selfie camera in the notch is a 32MP lense and like the main lense, it supports native quad-native technology and outputs 8MP images. The phone is fueled by a huge 4500mAh battery with 25W fast charging.

The Samsung Galaxy A90 is the cheapest 5G smartphone currently on the market. Though buying it will solely depend on how badly you want to be an early adopter of 5G. But if you love big beautiful screens and great camera performance then this is for you.

You can find the Samaung Galaxy A90 5G at Amazon US and Amazon UK.

Both the Samsung Galaxy A80 and the Samsung A90 5G are great phones but both come with their own compromises as mentioned earlier, it all depends on which compromises are you willing to take. What are your views on these devices? and in case i left anything out, please feel free to leave a comment.

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