- Gorgeous Display
- Better Specification
- Good Battery Life
- No Haptic Feedback
- Camera Could be Better
Design and Build Quality
Across the board of its new mid-range lineup, Samsung has used a similar design for each of its phone. A glossy plastic back, and also a notch on the front are some of the looks that stand out the most. While it is primarily made out of plastic, the phone still looks pretty good, and isn’t a fingerprint magnet like the Galaxy S series. On the front, there’s a Super AMOLED display and also the infinity-U notch up top. The display comprises of an Under Glass Fingerprint sensor.
Moving to the rear, a triple-camera setup with a single flash is seen. Etched into the back is a Samsung logo, and that’s about it for the rear panel, giving a very clean look. The power button and volume rockers are placed on the right-hand side, while the dual-SIM tray is on the left. As for the bottom, the USB Type-C port, 3.5mm headphone jack, and speaker are placed. All-in-all the Galaxy A50 has a simple but sleek design which doesn’t over complicate things.
Build quality is average, especially with the use of plastic in its build. However, it still feels solid in the hand, not too heavy, not too light, just the right balance. However, in the long term I can see this phone having the paint of its edges start to peel.
The display, one of the best parts of this phone. It shares the same dimension as the A30 which we reviewed a while back. Being a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display, it is large and also of superior quality. It totally trumps other displays on phones at this price point. The blacks are deep, and also the contrast ratio is near perfect. Using it under direct sunlight was not an issue, as the maximum brightness is pretty high. Minimum screen brightness is also pretty low, and using the phone under low-light shouldn’t be an issue.
Also, the display may be 6.4-inches which is rather large, but it doesn’t seem so thanks to the 19.5:9 aspect ratio. Content viewing is also a pleasure with such a great display.
When it comes to specs, the Galaxy A50 sports decent internals including an Exynos 9610 processor. Memory wise, it comes in two options: 4GB RAM + 64GB storage, and 6GB RAM + 128GB storage. The A50 offers decent performance. Opening and closing of apps is generally smooth, except for a few occasional stutters. There were no forced closes, which is quite typical in mid-range phones. However, a couple of apps were rather slow on this phone, such as Snapchat and PUBG: Mobile. Snapchat would take some time to start up, and the shutter button takes a couple of seconds to register a touch. Meanwhile, PUBG: Mobile loads fine and better than the A30.
Battery Life & Charging
The Galaxy A50 also packs a rather large battery, coming in at 4,000 mAh. I’m pleased to report that the battery performed well, and I managed to get more than a full day’s worth of usage from it. I constantly managed to get 4.5 hours to 5 hours of screen-on-time, with my usage consisting of web browsing, social media apps, and also a bit of gaming.
The device charges via a USB Type-C port and it takes about 1 hour and 50 minutes to fully charge from 0%. The included charger is a fast charger. It does feel like the battery life is much more similar to the A30 counterpart in some way.
On the back of the Galaxy A50 is a triple-camera setup placed vertically comprising of a 25 MP – low light camera, f/1.7 primary shooter,an 8 MP, f/2.2 ultrawide camera and a 5 MP Live Focus Camera. Image quality from the primary shooter is decent, with nice colours and lots of detail. However, the camera does tend to oversaturate pictures, with pictures of food affected the most. Also, outdoor shots get overexposed most times, with or without HDR on. When it comes to low-light shots, the Galaxy A50 suffers quite significantly, with lots of noise in the pictures. This results in grainy images, with lots left to be desired.
Also, there’s a wide-angle shooter which is a nice touch, and I’m glad it’s starting to become a trend among mid-range handsets. While quality is not very great, it does fine under bright conditions, and does its job of capturing a scene too large to fit the primary sensor.
The front-facing camera takes decent pictures as well, but being a fixed focus camera, it is only able to capture images from a certain distance. It isn’t very good at preserving details, but the images captured are good enough for social media.
Speaker & Security
The speaker on the Galaxy A50 is actually rather bad. It gets very tinny, and if you slightly cover it, the sound is totally blocked. At high volumes (which isn’t very loud), the sound is distorted. This is one of the worsts speakers on a smartphone which I’ve come across.
Security wise, the Galaxy A50 comes with the usual unlock methods, such as face recognition, fingerprint scanning, password, and PIN. The A50 gets the under-glass Fingerprint treatment and it is by far an underwhelming fingerprint sensor we have come across. Setting up the fingerprint sensor and getting it to work literally takes few seconds to a minute. Unlocking the device with the fingerprint sensor on the other hand, takes a while to unlock. Samsung should have gone for the traditional Physical Sensor rather than opting in for an underglass sensor.
UI & OS
Out of the box, the Galaxy A50 runs on One UI 1.1 on top of Android 9.0 Pie. It runs on the same software as Samsung’s current lineup of flagships, with very similar features. Some may like One UI, while others may not due to the slight cartoon-ish design. However, I feel that what Samsung has done with its software is great, making it simple and intuitive to use.
Unlike many other brands, there isn’t much bloatware about, though there are a few pre-loaded apps such as Microsoft’s office apps. The app drawer is still available, and the software itself is not buggy in any way. The notification drop down is also great for one-handed usage, thanks to the redesigned layout.
The Samsung Galaxy A50 is an interesting option given the specification. When we add the pricing into the equation, that’s where the phone hits a snag. Coming in at RM 1,199, there are many alternative in the market that offers more for less – for instance, the Realme 3 Pro which is powered by Qualcomm Snapdraon 710 and happens to have a far more superior camera optics over the Galaxy A50. So, the choice is yours – Performance or Camera.
It’s a good attempt coming from Samsung but I’d say wait for the next generation of A Series.