The world of smartphones is constantly moving forward, with a never-ending and almost scary parade of improvements and upgrades which have continued to fascinate us. Two of which have particularly caught our attention recently are the Samsung Galaxy A30 and A50.
If there’s one thing clear about Samsung’s strategy in 2019, it is that the company is going aggressive to reclaim market share. The Galaxy M series showcased that Samsung knew how to make a great budget phone if it set its mind to the task, and it definitely went on the offensive once again with the 2019 Galaxy A series.
Samsung Galaxy A30 design, optics and display
The Samsung Galaxy A30 is a rather solid phone. It is very light to hold and really sleek, at only 7.7mm thickness. The look of the A30 fits 2019 standards, with a bezel reduced display, it looks more than convincing. The Galaxy A30 runs on Samsung’s new One UI, which is based on Android 9 Pie.
The Super AMOLED display is a definite highlight. Being a Super AMOLED panel, the contrast ratio is obviously top-notch. The display looks fantastic even at extreme angles and I would rank it as among the best in the category. Brightness levels go sufficiently high and the phone is easily visible outdoors.
The large screen is separated by a small notch cutout at the top, popularly called a ‘teardrop notch’, and it’s used to house the selfie-cam. At the bottom of the device is a 3.5mm headphone jack and comes with a USB-C connection.
The power and volume buttons on the side of the device felt a little too high up to use comfortably, as did the rear fingerprint sensor, which is an issue that comes with the size of the device but depending on how you hold your device this may not be a problem.
By default, the icons on the home screen are comically large but this can be fixed easily by choosing a denser grid for the home screen and app drawer. You can even enable a one-finger swipe-down gesture on the home screen to pull down the notifications shade.
This is immensely helpful as it’s nearly impossible to reach the very top of the screen comfortably with one hand. You also have the option to use face recognition instead of — or in addition to — using the fingerprint scanner.
Samsung Galaxy A30 camera
The Samsung Galaxy A30 is quite an impressive budget phone for photography. It has a rear dual-lens camera consisting of a 16MP main sensor with an f/1.7 aperture and 5MP ultra-wide lens with a f/2.2 aperture. The ultra-wide lens has the same encompassing 123-degree field of view as the Galaxy S10 series.
The front of the phone has a 16MP selfie cam. Landscapes had fairly good detail, and with the wide-angle sensor, you can get a lot more of any scene in the frame. As will all Samsung phones, the camera’s user interface was very easy to use, with all effects and options easy to find and a very quick shutter speed capturing moments quickly.
Like the Galaxy S10, the A30 has a scene optimizer to bump up saturation and contrast a bit to make the image more striking and visually appealing. It might not be to everyone’s taste, but if you like to mess around with filters before sharing your shots, you’ll probably like it.
Samsung Galaxy A30 battery
The 4000mAh battery is one of the Galaxy A30’s strong suits. With a sizable battery capacity of 4,000mAh, the Samsung Galaxy A30 will easily last you a day and it’s almost as big as the 4,100mAh battery in the more expensive Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus. The bundled fast charger is able to take the battery to about 70 per cent in an hour, which is not bad at all.
The Samsung Galaxy A30’s Android 9 operating system is smooth to use, opening apps and navigating menus with ease. It also supports microSD cards, in case you need more storage.
- Size: 158.5 x 74.7 x 7.7mm
- Screen: 6.4-inch FHD+ (2340×1080) Super AMOLED
- Rear camera 1: 16-megapixel AF f/1.7
- Rear camera 2: 5-megapixel FF f/2.2
- Front camera: 16-megapixel FF f/2.0
- Memory: 3GB + 32GB / 4GB + 64GB – microSD up to 512GB
- Battery capacity: 4000mAh
- Processor: Octa-core processor (2 x 1.8GHz, 6 x 1.6GHz)
What’s in the box?
- 5V/2A charger with adaptive fast charging
- USB-C charging cable
- SIM ejector tool
- Transparent TPU case
Samsung Galaxy A30 Review Verdict: Should You Buy One?
In 2019, Samsung has radically changed its mid-range gameplay. The company is working hard to please young consumers and the Galaxy A30 is mostly a step in the right direction. It makes a compelling case for itself with its gorgeous screen, appealing design, Android Pie based clean software and a massive battery.
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy A30 is a well-built phone, which looks decent even with its plastic body. It’s available in multiple colours.
Samsung Galaxy A50 – A feature-rich budget phone!
The first thing you notice when you pick up the A50 is its sleek and lean physique. Second is its rear panel, which has a reflective coating that scatters light through the plastic panel and makes for some beautiful hues. All said and done, the build quality of the A50 looks solid, feels light in hand and pocket.
Design, optics and display
The Galaxy A50 is the embodiment of a great budget phone: it has an evocative design with a gradient pattern at the back, the hardware is rock-solid, it comes with the latest version of Android, an in-display fingerprint sensor, and there are three cameras at the back.
In short, Samsung has managed to completely overhaul its budget strategy, and the result is a device that the Galaxy A50 easily holds its own against the best that this segment has to offer.
If there’s one area where Samsung improved the most with its 2019 budget lineup, it’s the design. With the Galaxy M and now the Galaxy A series, it is easy to see that Samsung put a lot of thought into the overall design aesthetic.
The Galaxy A50, in particular, looks stunning thanks to a gradient finish that creates a rainbow effect as light bounces off its surface. Another highlight of this new Prism design language is smooth flowing curves — the back curves seamlessly to meet the metal mid-frame, and all four corners are rounded.
The material at the back isn’t glass, however, with Samsung relying on a plastic chassis for the A50. The gradient pattern is just a reflective coating on a plastic back, and this allows the A50 to save considerable weight.
That said, the phone is just as prone to fingerprint smudges as glass-backed devices. And although the A50 doesn’t have premium materials, the fit and finish is excellent and the phone feels just as durable as the best that Samsung has to offer.
There’s also some very handy and quick face recognition – you can choose to activate the front camera as soon as you raise the phone – it’s fluid and you don’t have to wait for visual confirmation that it has worked. There are of course tons of customization options like text size, icon size, gesture shortcuts, gesture navigation, lock-screen widgets, message bubbles, etc.
Google’s Digital Wellbeing feature for Android 9 is also supported so you can see detailed app usage statistics, have the Galaxy A50 prompt you when it’s time to wind down for the night, and impose time constraints on individual apps to help yourself focus.
One of the key features of the Galaxy A50 is the camera arrangement. There are three cameras at the back, with a 25MP primary lens joined by an 8MP wide-angle shooter and a 5MP depth sensor. The back has gradient colouring, and our black review unit gets rainbow-like patterns that make it look absolutely stunning. The back also holds a triple rear camera setup with the three sensors stacked vertically.
There are also lots of add-ons like Live Focus mode for portraits, a 480fps 720p slow-motion video mode, Hyper-Lapse mode for timelapse videos, AR emojis, and intelligent scene optimization. Overall image quality is good, especially in daylight – photos come out looking nice with quite a lot of detail.
The wide-angle camera gives you a lot of flexibility and it’s actually quite surprising how much more you can fit into a frame when standing in exactly the same spot. You can change the type of background blur in portrait shots and there’s a fake dolly-zoom effect that you can make GIFs out of – edge detection is quite good too.
On the software front, the Galaxy A50 is running One UI based on Android 9.0 Pie. The software is near-identical to what you get on the Galaxy S10, with the same interface elements.
Battery life is excellent thanks to a generous 4000mAh battery that ensures you easily get over a day’s worth of use. With light to moderate usage, you can easily make it into the next afternoon before you need to charge the phone. The phone has fast charging support and comes with a fast charger bundled in the box.
What’s in the package?
Inside the box, Samsung has bundled almost everything that is essential for a new buyer. The Galaxy A50 box contents are as follows:
- Samsung A50 mobile phone unit
- Travel Adapter
- USB Type-C Data cable
- Ejection Pin
- TPU Soft Case Cover
- User Manual and documentation
Verdict: Should You Buy One?
With the re-imaged A-series, Samsung is really showing that it knows how to bring the fight back, and seen on its own, the Galaxy A50 is a solid mid-range device. The Galaxy A50 seems to be a well thought out mid-range offering.
The phone seems to be ticking a lot of right boxes. The design is cool, the AMOLED display is good quality. Overall, the Galaxy A50 practical experience is much better than what its spec-sheet implies.
Should you buy one? Absolutely