Samsung seems to have finally done it –– they managed to take away the ugly notches and holes from their displays, hide the front camera and most of its sensors and the earpiece behind that 6.7-inch Super AMOLED FHD+ display.
Well, not that the technology they have adopted here is new, but is definitely slightly unique from what others are doing. A simply flip up or down on the display in camera mode lifts up the rear slab on the top which hosts the primary camera. This slab flips and rotates the camera module to now have it facing forwards for all your selfie cravings. And while the sensors are neatly tucked bettered the display and the frame, the ear piece is now replaced by a vibrating display known as piezoelectric speakers, which makes the entire display a speaker for you.
Samsung Galaxy A80 display and design
Well, the Galaxy A80 does not look like an everyday phone. Sporting a large near bezel-less display that pans across the device at 6.7in and comprises of a FullHD+ Super AMOLED panel. The AMOLED canvas is bright and vibrant with great contrast levels –– something that only Samaung can deliver. The display has rounded corners which is pleasing to look at, but the notification icons that reside near the top are far too close to the border that tends to look a tad ugly. The bottom does have a chin, but fairly smaller than what you see on most devices today.
The display has no notch — Samsung finally put away the hole too. The display neatly hides behind it the essential sensors that are required for basic tasks, even eliminating the need for a gap that hosts the earpiece for calls. The display now uses the piezoelectric speaker that vibrates the entire display to produce sound for all phone calls. The display also sports a built-in optical fingerprint sensor that’s pretty fast.
As for the design, Samsung has taken a different route from the rivals who do a pop up style or the shark fin gimmick. The A80 uses a mechanised elevating camera module that comprises of almost 1⁄4th of the top panel. Camera module is made of three camera sensors and rises to do a backflip, rotating on an axis when pulled up for selfie mode to face the front. Sadly, there is no fall detection that helps prevent it from accidental damage when it falls to the ground. The rest of the rear panel is made from Gorilla Glass 5 that will withstand scratches while looking very elegant, but if you use the case, the show is simply taken away. Nevertheless, the case is required to keep fine scratches and fingerprint smudges at bay. The body is not IP certified either so ensure you keep it away from dust and water. Built with an aluminum frame sandwiched between two glasses, the Galaxy A80 is built rock solid but weighs a hefty 220g. However, the device feels solid to hold with a good grip when in use.
And yes –– no headphone jack or even a dongle supplied here, but the Korean tech giant does give you a Type-C headset AKG earbuds or you could choose your own wireless cans.
Samsung Galaxy A80 camera: Flick up, face me
This all-glass-metal camera guy will definitely attract eyeballs around you for sure with that rotating flipping camera. These eyes get a pair of sensors –– a SonyIMX586 48MP primary and an 8MP secondary for wide-angle shots. The third sensor is a ToF camera that helps with depth-sensing in portraits. These cameras, along with an LED flash, sit on a rotating and flipping module that rests on a sliding mechanism sandwiched between the frame. The mechanism is handled by some physical stepper motors and Samsung assures that they are strong enough and will last you for a few years for sure.
The camera, on the whole, performs well, but takes a hit in low-light areas. In daylight, you can see a good balance of contrasts and colours that are vibrant and justify the AMOLED display. The AI scene optimizer can be kicked into action if you need help in taking some fancy shots, while pro users can stick to their rules of the game. While the camera uses a quad-pixel tech, it shoots or combines the shots into 12MP pictures to create best results. For those who are inquisitive, you can also use click on 48MP modes, but you won’t see any good results there as the picture tends to get a bit noisy if you go pixel-peeping. We suggest you stick to the auto mode with scene recognition if casual photos are what you seek. When the sun goes down, the camera shows its struggle, but not as much as it sounds here. The photos are decent when you look at it as a whole, but when you dive in you will see plenty of noise. But that’s when you can switch over to Night mode, which definitely helps a lot; but you still stand a chance to get some blurred shots if you have shaky hands.
The ultra-wide camera (8MP) seems to perform well, but you can clearly see distortions on the sides. However, for wide shots from afar, this one will get the job done with no complaints. The Live Focus with the ToF sensor does a really good job of separating the foreground from the rear. Subjects can be objects or people, the camera will not put you down.
As for the selfie camera mode, the lack of autofocus restricts you to a certain distance for your framing. Selfies in daylight are sharp with good details and skin tones that are almost true to life. The selfie mode also has options for ultra-wide pics where you could include your friend or a group of people. We noticed that (probably) Samsung forgot that there is an LED flash they added to the camera module. When in selfie mode, instead of using the LED flash, the display flash is used. Selfies in low lit environments takes a hit for sure, and the display flash is not as assuring. So ensure that you are in a well-lit area for your selfie fantasies.
Samsung Galaxy A80 software:
Samsung’s One UI does a good job of keeping the user happily swiping around. Based on Android Pie 9, you get to see Android’s gesture-based user interface being well at home. Navigation around the system is easy, smooth and fluid and you also have the option to choose between gestures and a navigation bar. There are a few bloatware pre-installed, such as Spotify, Microsoft apps, Facebook and a few of their own, but you can easily disable them at will. Bixby, Samsung Pay, are part of the system as usual.
Samsung Galaxy A80 performance:
Breathing deep below is a steady upper mainstream chipset that comes from the Qualcomm stables –– a Snapdragon 730 that buzzes with eight processors and supported by 8GB of RAM with 128GB non-expandable storage. Performance-wise, the Galaxy A80 definitely impresses, but don’t expect a high-end performance that the 8xx series processors can give you. Based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 chip, which sits just below the flagship 8 series chips, the processor with the Adreno 618 GPU can easily beat the others in the mainstream segment. So even high-end gaming with medium settings should be good enough for your play time.
Powering the entire hardware is a 3700mAh battery that supports Super Fast charging with a bundled 25W charger. With the power-efficient SoC on its side, the A80 will definitely keep you entertained and productive for an entire working day, unless you are too fidgety and play around with the selfie camera’s joyful slider. Well, we definitely managed to get around 8 - 10 hours of casual use with calls, messaging, browsing and a few videos here and there, not forgetting some gaming in between.
Samsung Galaxy A80 Verdict
All in all, the Samsung Galaxy A80 is a decent smartphone for those looking for a completely unique and stylish design that works as a daily driver. With a price tag of ₹47,990, the A80 does seem a tad expensive, but the style quotient will definitely steal the show. If design and performance is what you seek, the Samsung Galaxy A80 does impress.