Review: Samsung Galaxy A80 is one of the most exciting products from the Korean electronics giant in a long time, but hard to recommend.
How much screen can be pressed into the cell phone frame? It's something all major smartphone manufacturers work hard at and they all have different ideas. First we saw the notch that was read by Samsung's "hole punch", which turned into a screen without interruptions from the front camera and sensors. OnePlus was among the first to display a screen without interruption, but Samsung was the first with it in a mid-range mobile.
The Galaxy A80 is the latest and most expensive mobile phone in Samsung's mid-range series and brings with it the incredibly exciting technology that we can expect to see in upcoming high-end smartphones from the manufacturer. The Galaxy A80 is a mobile phone with an impressive display on the front, without interruptions. There is no front camera, but that doesn't mean you can't take selfies, on the contrary. With the help of a small built-in motor, the rear camera can take 180 degrees and capture selfies. A feature that impresses most.
We have had the Samsung Galaxy A80 for testing for quite some time and there are many things that impress us, but also things that keep us from recommending it. Read on to find out why.
Pros and Cons of Samsung Galaxy A80
- Incredibly well built and nicely designed
- Big nice screen with no interruptions
- One UI is nice
- Fast charging
- A good camera
- High price
- Slow fingerprints
- Big and heavy
- No stereo speakers
- No protection against water and dust
- Average call quality
- No wire charging
- No space for MicroSD
- Disappointing quality from ultra wide-angle lens
Designed on the Galaxy A80
There is not much middle class on the build quality and design of the Samsung Galaxy A80, for the bottle at least as delicious and implemented as the manufacturer's most expensive mobile, the Galaxy S10 +. When first viewed in the hand, one is impressed by the solid feel of the device and the weight that gives an impression of quality.
The Samsung Galaxy A80 is equipped with a 6.7 inch screen, with very small black edges around. It measures 165.2 x 76.5 x 9.3 mm and weighs a hefty 220 grams, so that's a real case. 220 grams may not sound like much, but when I sit with the A80 in my hand for a long time, I quickly experience a fatigue that I haven't tried before. But it's also a lot bigger than Samsung's latest Galaxy Note10 +, which features a 6.8-inch screen.
The size seems to have something to do with the device's eye-catching rotating camera, which requires room for the engine and a wide range of moving parts. It seems pretty futuristic when the camera shoots up and turns. It does not work very fast, but it works every time, many times, during the test period. You can clearly hear the engine and you can't help but think about its durability. The camera is smart to look at, but not always smart to use. For example, if I have the mobile phone in my pocket and receive a video call, it begins to push the camera up in the pocket until it detects it is not possible, therefore rejecting the call.
When the Galaxy A80 camera is pushed up, the phone's interior is pointed.
Photo: Mobile site
When the camera is pushed up, you can almost look directly into the phone's interior. It causes concerns about dust, moisture and things that can block / slide on the small engine. This also means that the Galaxy A80 is not IP certified.
The camera should, according to the manufacturer, be protected against loss. If the front camera is activated and the unit is lost, the camera should automatically contract. We have tested this several times, but with no luck. The camera begins to contract, but falls halfway and is then pushed out again. Not so lucky.
There is no jack in the Galaxy A80, no stereo speakers, and no wireless charging. If these are a must for you, check out the Galaxy S10 series instead.
While the Galaxy A80 is big and heavy, the ergonomics are otherwise top notch. The back side, which is in Gorilla Glass 3, arches the sides towards the frame, and at the same time the screen is flat to avoid accidental touches on the side. It is a really good combination that we hope to see in future models.
The Samsung Galaxy A80 is a nice mobile that seems incredibly well built and solid. The buttons sit well (and there is no Bixby button!) And gives a good click feel. The good vibrator motor in the A80 also deserves to be highlighted. It is nice to find that several manufacturers are focusing on it.
I haven't experienced any problems with the rotary camera yet, but I'm still worried about the durability.
Photo: Mobile site
Specifications on Samsung Galaxy A80
|Ml and vgt||165.2 x 76.5 x 9.3 mm
|Skrm||6.7 "FHD + Super AMOLED
1080×2400, 393 ppi
25W fast charge
48MP (F2.0) + 8MP
8MP, F2.2 (123)
ToF sensor 3D Depth
|software||Android 9 Pie
|Other things||Fingerprints under the screen
|Indicative price||5,199 kroner|
The Samsung Galaxy A80 comes in black, gold and slv.
Photo: Mobile site
It's about the A80 screen
Why spend time and energy on a motorized camera that is automatically pushed up and rotated? Because there's more room for screens and more importantly: a screen with no interruptions. The Galaxy A80's screen is a full 6.7 inch full HD, 1080 x 2400, in an alternative 20: 9 format. For a mid-range mobile, it's an impressive display that could just as well sit in a much more expensive flagship. There is no doubt that Samsung has prioritized the screen of the Galaxy A80. Directly compared to the award-winning screen of the Galaxy S10 +, it is incredibly difficult to see the difference.
In addition to the great big screen, the Galaxy A80 is equipped with a new Qualcomm Snapdragon 730, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, with no possibility of expanding with MicroSD. The Snapdragon 730 is incredibly fast for everything you throw at it. Everything goes smoothly and no long waiting times are experienced, except when the phone has to be unlocked. This is probably due to a too slow fingerprint reading rather than a lack of horsepower – more on that later in the test.
In terms of price, the Galaxy A80 mixes with competitors such as OnePlus 7, OnePlus 7 Pro and ASUS Zenfone 6, all equipped with the chipst-top model Snapdragon 855. Benchmarks show that the Snapdragon 730 and 855 performance are far apart and the same is experienced in real life use. . The 855 is experienced faster for everything and it is noticeable right away. The Galaxy A80 is certainly fast enough, but not the fastest for the price.
The screen of the Galaxy A80 is large and beautiful.
Photo: Mobile site
The Samsung Galaxy A80 is equipped with a fingerprint reader directly in the screen. It's not a fancy ultrasound device like the Galaxy S10 flagship, but a simpler optical version. It is nice with the fingerprint reader directly on the screen, but it is in the Galaxy A80 sleep, too sleepy. Sometimes it may take more than 2 seconds before the screen is unlocked and the device is ready for use. It may not sound like much, but in reality feels like an eternity and is, when you are busy, rather annoying. In comparison, the fingerprint reader in OnePlus 7 is much faster. Whether one is more secure than the other is difficult to answer, but the resolution of a mobile phone, especially at this price, must be fast and smooth.
The Samsung Galaxy A80, fortunately, comes with Samsung's splendid One UI, in the same 1.1 version as the Galaxy S10. It is beautiful and one of the most user-friendly user interfaces on the market. Especially in a large phone like the Galaxy A80, the One UI shines, where the focus is on easier device operation. With Galaxy A80 you can expect two major Android updates and security updates every quarter.
The Galaxy A80 turns on the S10 + on the charger
The Samsung Galaxy A80 has other news than an etrotating camera to offer. It comes with Samsung's fastest charging, which even turns on the Galaxy S10 + and can be compared to the latest Galaxy Note10. The 25W charge can't match OnePlus and Huawei yet, but still provides about 50 percent battery in half an hour.
The battery in the A80 is at respectable 3700 mAh, the same size as the OnePlus 7 and much smaller than the 5000 mAh in the ASUS Zenfone 6. It keeps the Galaxy A80 running for about a day with 4-5 hours of screen time, which is not crazy, but however approved.
No sound has been heard
A big screen, we think, requires good sound. The Galaxy A80 unfortunately has no room for stereo speakers, but is met with a single speaker at the bottom. A little strange when there is so much focus now on the big nice screen, but it is probably due to the rotating camera and thus lack of space.
The sound from each speaker is excellent, but far from the OnePlus 7 Pro and also the much cheaper Motorola One Vision. If you throw in a pair of headphones, you get a completely different experience, where the A80 is among the better in the class. It is also equipped with Dolby Atmos.
Unfortunately for conversations, the Galaxy A80 does not impress either. It, like the Huawei P30 Pro, uses a vibrating screen to produce sound and therefore does not have a speaker at the top of the phone. There is plenty of volume and one can easily hear what is being said, but the voices are far from as natural as the sound of a "normal" speaker.
The triple rotary camera
The most interesting thing about the Galaxy A80 is the rotating camera. This is the first time we see Samsung throwing itself in such a daring design where a small engine and countless small parts push the camera up and turn it.
The advantage? You get really good selfies. The downside? There are several of them, but the biggest one is the question of durability. Not just for the camera part itself, but the phone in general. The moving part of the phone means that there is no protection against water and dust.
The Samsung Galaxy A80 camera consists of the following:
- Primary: 48 megapixels f / 2.0 with PDAF
- Ultra wide angle: 8 megapixels f / 2.2
- Time of Flight 3D depth sensor
The Galaxy A80 is Samsung's first mobile with a ToF sensor that helps measure depth and can, for example, be used to measure things with the phone. It should provide, among other things, a more realistic bokeh feature, or Live focus, as Samsung calls it.
The Galaxy A80 takes really nice pictures, especially in daylight. Here is good contrast and nice colors, where the greens sometimes take over. There are nice details in pictures, but there can be some sting here and there, especially when the good light disappears. The Galaxy A80 is especially good for bringing details into dark areas.
It does well in evening pictures, but more competitors are better, such as Huawei P30. If you remember to use the night function in the camera, the result is much better – just remember to keep the phone quiet for several seconds.
The A80 follows the trend and is equipped with an ultra wide angle. Personally, I love this trend. Unfortunately, the quality is far from the phone's primary camera and fairly mediocre, but still nice to have. The images taken with the ultra wide-angle lens lack sharpness and dynamic range.
Portrait and selfie pictures do the Galaxy A80 really well. The new ToF sensor clearly does a good job and the good selfies give themselves. When one can use the mobile's primary camera for selfies, the quality simply gets better.
Photos taken with the Galaxy A80
Samsung Galaxy A80: Taken in daylight
Photo: Mobile site
Click to open the photo gallery:
The Galaxy A80 is good, but hard to recommend
The Samsung Galaxy A80 is an interesting mobile phone. The new motorized rotary camera is a bit of a masterpiece that attracts a lot of attention. It's cool to see Samsung develop and test new technology. The big good screen, the great design and the One UI interface speak positively for the A80. The camera is also one of the better ones, though the ultra-wide-angle lens disappoints.
But it's hard not to worry about sustainability. The small built-in engine, lots of moving parts, direct dirt access to the phone's interior and no IP certification worries me.
The Galaxy A80 is an incredibly large and heavy mobile. So large that it is sometimes difficult to handle and so heavy that man-quick-handed. The big screen makes it obvious to enjoy video, but unfortunately there are no stereo speakers.
The A80 is not a bad cell phone at all, it is actually quite excellent. But where it becomes really hard to recommend it is when you look at the price tag. The suggested retail price is DKK 5,200, giving it competitors like OnePlus 7, OnePlus 7 Pro, ASUS Zenfone 6 and even a Samsung Galaxy S10. However, the A80 is down to around 4,400 kroner, but for a hundred kroner less you can buy the flagship Huawei Mate 20 Pro.
Why buy a Galaxy A80, rather than the good competitors? I've thought about it a lot and have had a hard time answering it. Do you really want a kmpestor screen without interruptions, a fancy rotating camera and really good selfies, then you need a Galaxy A80. If not, there are better phones out there.
The Samsung Galaxy A80 ends in 4 out of 6 stars.