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Samsung Galaxy A70 review: A competent mid-range phone with great battery and display
The device features the best camera setup among the A series of smartphones.
Samsung has launched its Galaxy series smartphones in the last few months in a flurry. The company claims to have sold five million units fo the Galaxy A phones within 70 days, which shows the new line of smartphones is getting a good response from the consumers. Well, to keep the momentum going, the company launched its Galaxy A70 priced at Rs 28,990.
The new device is aimed for the upper mid-range segment and has the potential to stack up against the already dominant brands in the bracket. The device is powered by a Qualcomm's Snapdragon 675 chipset backed by 6GB / 8GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage. Other key features include a 6.7-inch display, triple camera setup, and an in-screen fingerprint sensor. But is it enough to be the best-in-class product? Let's find out:
- 6.7-inch Super AMOLED display
- Octa-core Snapdragon 675
- 6GB/8GB RAM
- Adreno 612 GPU
- 128GB storage (512GB expandable)
- Android Pie
- One UI 1.1
- 32MP + 8MP + 5MP rear cameras
- 32MP front camera
- In-display fingerprint sensor
- 4500mAh battery
- 25W fast charging
Despite using a plastic back, the Galaxy A70 looks and feels like a premium device. It is identical to the Galaxy A50 which is a cheaper phone in the series. You'll have a tough time telling the difference between the two until you see them closely.
The power key and volume rockers are placed on the right, while the Type-C USB port, speaker grille, and 3.5mm audio jack are placed at the bottom. And, Samsung has done a great job at cutting the bezels, making this huge phone easy to use with one hand. The fingerprint sensor is also placed underneath the display, making room for more real estate.
Although the design of the smartphone is decent, the back panel comes with what the company likes to call a "3D Glasstic" design offering rainbow-like patterns. It appears to be glass but is plastic in reality. And, due to the glossy nature of the back panel, it attracts fingerprints and smudges very easily. So be ready to carry a cleaning cloth with you all the time.
For the Galaxy A70, the company has used its signature Super AMOLED panel that covers 6.7-inch up front. Thanks to the AMOLED screen, you wouldn't be missing the dark blacks while watching your favorite videos.
Samsung has placed its Infinity-U display that has a u-shaped notch on top, drawing less prominence. The bezels running along the edges are also pretty narrow making this display ideal for multimedia consumption. The device also has Widewine L1 certification, which means you can stream HD playback from all the video services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, among others.
For its protection, there's a Corning Gorilla Glass placed above the screen. It also has the Always-On functionality letting you check time and notification without waking up the phone. Besides, Samsung has also added an optical in-display fingerprint sensor along with a face unlock feature for biometric authentication.
Playing movies and games on the display is a treat, but if you're a querulous user, you might notice that the company has saved a few bucks by sticking to Full HD+ resolution instead of Quad HD+, despite the size of the display. Overall, the display is eye-soothing and is bright enough for outdoor usage.
The Samsung Galaxy A70 runs Android Pie wrapped under the One UI skin. The same software has been used for the company's flagship Galaxy S10. The UI supports both the newer gesture-based navigation as well as the older navigation keys.
The One UI brings subtle layout along with a convenient one hand usage mode, Knox integration, night mode, Samsung Health, and more. Also, you get to choose what apps to be installed during the initial setup. However, there are a few pre-installed apps like Daily Hunt, Netflix, and Amazon Prime, but most of the users will eventually download these apps.
Navigating through the app menu is also swift and we didn't face any issues there. You also get to try the Bixby Routines, which sets routines like automatically turning on the DND mode during the nights, or change lock screen shortcuts according to the apps that are most used. You can set them up manually or wait for the smart assistant to give you suggestions.
Samsung Pay with MST support
The Galaxy A70 is the first A-series device to get the full version of the Samsung Pay. This feature makes it easy for users to make cashless payments and the service works at almost every place where you can swipe your card.
So this is an added advantage if you own a Samsung Galaxy device. Besides, with each transaction made using Samsung Pay earns users Samsung Reward Points which can be used to redeem their choice of vouchers from the redemption catalog.
The price segment in which the Galaxy A70 belongs has seen quite a few devices with impressive cameras. And, the new Samsung smartphone might face a tough time competing with its contemporaries. However, it's still the best camera setup on any A-series device launched to date.
The smartphone features a triple rear camera setup comprising of a 32MP main sensor with an f/1.7 lens, an 8MP ultra-wide sensor with f/2.2 lens, and a 5MP depth sensor with an f/2.2 lens. Up front, the company has placed a 32MP sensor with an f/2.0 aperture.
The images taken in well-lit conditions came out decent and showed an ample amount of details. However, the camera tends to overexpose the shots which makes it hard for taking pictures outdoors. Indoors, the camera fails to capture images with details and softness can be noticed. The camera tries to reduce noise but that results in a lack of facial and skin details.
As for videography, the camera can capture up to 4K resolution at 30fps, but you don't get the digital stabilization here. You might lose a lot of details while shooting in dark conditions, as the device lacks a good dynamic range.
Under the hood, the Galaxy A70 is powered by a Snapdragon 675 octa-core processor. We managed to push the device to its limits in terms of performance, and the device didn't disappoint us. The chipset and software come together to make a good balance between the performance and battery of the device making the overall experience better.
The device can take all the day-to-day tasks with ease and there's no lag or stutter while running heavy apps or switching between them. Animations and transitions look as smooth as any other device in the premium segment. However, we did notice that the Adreno 612 GPU failed to keep u with the pace of the graphics-intensive games at times.
The device managed to score 7482 points during the work performance test in PCMark benchmarks. This is a respectable score for its price range and is up there with the most sought after phones in this segment.
For biometric authentication, Samsung used an optical in-display fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy A70. Since the company already has the ultrasonic fingerprint technology, using a dated tech seems like a letdown. We've seen companies like OnePlus use an ultrasonic sensor for its latest flagship product, and it's just a few bucks pricier.
As for the battery life, the Galaxy A70 comes with a massive 4500mAh battery, which is big enough to keep the device running for a whole day. During our time, we used the device for browsing the internet, social media surfing, taking pictures, and playing a few games. The device will last for a whole day and we still had 30% juice to spare.
The device also comes with support for Super-fast charging at 25W. This is also the first time Samsung has used this powerful charging on any of its phones. This also shows how the company is poised to garner a strong user base in the mid-range segment by bringing such features and not limiting them to the flagships.
So, if you are a moderate user, this device will last for more than a day. However, if your usage is hardcore, you might want to plug in the device by the end of the day.
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy A70 qualifies as a good package. It packs a great display, smooth performance, and brilliant battery life. Despite its minor flaws, the device still has so much to offer. It could be a great alternative for consumers who don't wish to spend their money on flagship products but wish to have the experience.
The company has offered yet another well-rounded smartphone that makes a good value for money. To against the likes of dominating Chinese brands, Samsung Galaxy A70 is probably one of the best choices. Plus you get to use Samsung's best UI to date.
It might not be the best smartphone in this price bracket, but is definitely capable of going against the best. The smartphone will be facing competition from phones like the Nokia 8.1, Vivo V15 Pro, and OnePlus 6T. But the big display on the device will make it standout among the avid multimedia consumers and people addicted to social media platforms.