The Galaxy ‘S’ series has always been Samsung’s main crop seller in the recent years and even though it has the resources and the goodwill, it never really bothered much with its budget or mid-range smartphones, especially in the recent years.
And since 70% of India’s population can’t afford to splurge on its flagship smartphones, brands like Xiaomi, Realme, Nokia and others made its space and took over that budget segment. But Samsung got jealous of others and didn't like missing out on all the action...
Hence, to get back in the game Samsung re-worked on its formula, gave its team a spanking and built a Galaxy strong enough to capture the flag from its enemy bases. Out of the other two siblings, (A10 and A30), we got the Galaxy A50 for testing and spoiler alert, it’s quite a charmer.
Read on to know what it's like and whether you should splash your cash on this summer!
Design: Lean and mean
The Galaxy A50 packs everything you’d expect from a midrange smartphone. It’s got a lean physique, a U-like notch with narrow bezels for more screen estate, a USB Type-C port, a headphone jack and three shiny gradient options - Blue, Black and White.
The gradient rainbow design looks minimalist and great and all, but it’s a fingerprint magnet which ruins the whole look with a ton of smudges.
We wished Samsung slapped on a few of its premium flagship materials onto the A50 mix for that heft and premium feel, maybe like the Nokia 8.1 for example. If you blindfold us and place the phone in our palm without us knowing, we might pass it off as a Vivo to be honest.
Display and sound: pretty enough
Finally! An AMOLED display on a budget Samsung!
The Galaxy A50 rocks a 6.4in Full HD AMOLED display which is perfect for a Netflix binge or a PUBG all-nighter. And who better than Samsung to do it, since it’s known for the best smartphone displays in the game.
Before you start binging on Netflix, make sure you’ve set the right screen mode. We preferred using Basic or AMOLED Cinema mode since colours remained more on the natural side rather than blowing up with saturation on the Adaptive display mode.
Turn on Our Planet on Netflix and you’ll not only enjoy its HD crispness thanks to the Widevine support, but you will also appreciate the natural colours and crispy picture clarity.
The AMOLED display also lets you switch on Always On display with a wide range of custom faces to choose from.
The display also flaunts an optical fingerprint on the screen, which isn’t faster (or secure) than a physical scanner, but it’s pretty responsive and also a first for a Samsung budget phone.
There’s one stereo speaker at the bottom which gets quite loud and slightly teary at full volume, bump it down a bit and it may seem a little too low to listen to. It does lack depth and bass when blasting music among friends, but works fine for YouTube videos.
Performance and Battery: Right on
The Galaxy A50 brags a Exynos 9610 processor which is comes close to the Snapdragon 675 processor running on the Galaxy A70 and Xiaomi Note 7 Pro. 4GB of RAM may seem low for some of you, but there’s not much to complain if you’re using the phone for everyday things like calls, messages, basic games and camera shooting.
If multitasking is key, you might crave a little extra horsepower and have to deal with slight stutter at times when you switch from app to app. But apart from that, low graphic demanding games like Clash Royale, Candy Crush or Brawl Stars played excellent and high graphic games like Shadow Fighter 3 or PUBG played really well too. It may not have the best performance if you compare it from the rest in the sub-₹25k, but it sure lands in the top five spot.
All these games and no battery drain? No way. The 4000mAh battery sitting inside the Galaxy A50 is plenty for a full day’s use with proper usage. Seek a little more battery? Switch to Night mode and Power savings mode for longer usage. There’s also a Type C charging port with fast charge abilities for instant juice.
Camera: Not bad, not bad
With the amount you’re spending, you deserve a better camera than others below the ₹20k bracket. Mind you, those troopers are pretty good too. The A50 brags a triple camera setup and each of them offer unique powers for a photographer to play around with.
The main 25MP sensor cooks up a great photo after slight processing and might not do well with motion shots. But it does a decent job with stills in natural light and pictures are good enough for a quick upload to the ‘gram. Pictures turn out quite vivid and detailed and you wouldn’t mind comparing it to others like the Poco F1 or Vivo V15 Pro.
Feeling left out on the whole portrait game? Samsung’s specially put a 5MP depth sensor right next to the main sensor. Again, we would have preferred a Telephoto lens, but we’re not being choosy. From the camera app, switch to Live Focus mode and add bokeh to the background on any kind of being.
The 8MP wide-angle mode is our favourite lens to play around with because it fits in much more in a single frame using its 123 ̊ field-of-view. You can fit in an entire room full of people or an entire stadium if angled properly. You know what they say, ‘once you wide, there’s no going back’.
The selfie camera sports a mega 25MP shooter to click your pretty face. Quality wise we’ve seen better selfies from the Oppo and Vivo, but the A50 is pretty good too, but isn’t as detailed or clear as others. However, we like the way the camera handles colour and exposure after the shot is taken using its ‘smartness’. Thumbs up to that!
OS: Oh, this feels good
The Galaxy A50 happily runs on Samsung’s newest OneUI with a mix of new potions and a tinge of freshly baked Pie. The UI feels spacey, easy to use and gets rid of unnecessary bloatware and clutter. It doesn’t even feel too heavy to use like before and that’s just the best thing Samsung did. Phhhhewww.
With Digital Wellbeing you can keep track of how much you’ve glued your eyes on the screen and set app timers so you don’t keep playing PUBG till dawn. There’s also a Wind Down feature which can be scheduled at your bedtime. It turns the display to greyscale to save battery and mutes notifications so you sleep in peace.
There’s also a Night Mode a.k.a dark mode which darkens the whole system UI. The AMOLED screen helps save battery in the long run and also looks quite cool since its blacks are quite deep.
Also, if you’re accustomed to paying virtually or by using plastic cards, you may try out Samsung’s Pay Mini for a different feel of making payments through the tap-and-touch process.
Samsun Galaxy A50 verdict
Could the Galaxy A50 behave like Galaxy S10 without the extra smartness and expensive tech? Maybe.
We didn’t have the right Samsung phone to recommend for those with the budget of ₹20-25k, and now since the Galaxy A50’s proved itself, it’s made its way into our recommendation list.
The Galaxy A50 is not just a really good Samsung mid-ranger, in fact it’s a really good smartphone for its price. For starters, it may not have the premium body quality, the best camera or silky performance, but what it does have, is an excellent user interface, a crispy display, a long lasting battery and a few other perks too!
For what its worth, this isn’t the best ‘mid-ranger’ to choose from, but it definitely is a great start to take on other rangers like Xiaomi, Realme, Vivo and others. Nevertheless, if you’re a Samsung boy, this might be just for you!