Samsung sent me last month a Galaxy A50 for my tests. After the launch of my first experience, the time has come to get down to business and start testing the terminal.
Some of you may know this, but Samsung has decided to bring its ranges up to date. The company has thus drawn a line on the Galaxy J and the range has been merged with that of the Galaxy A.
In parallel with this announcement, the manufacturer also unveiled several devices on the mid-range market.
The Galaxy A50 is one of them and it offers a lot of new things.
As usual, this test will go quite far. After reviewing the design of the camera, we will talk about its screen, its processor, its autonomy or its photo module.
Design & Ergonomics
Without going as far as the Galaxy S10, the Galaxy A50 still offers some nice design features.
The device has a plastic housing reinforced with a metal frame. The finishes are solid and Samsung had the good idea to opt for a slightly curved back plate. It will therefore fit perfectly into the palm of the hand, which will of course have a positive impact on grip. On the other hand, the company opted for a glossy finish to reproduce a mirror effect. Which also means that the phone is very dirty.
It’s pretty cool, but it’s not over yet. On the other side, there is indeed a very nice AMOLED screen with contained borders, an Infinity screen.
This screen was presented last year, with other tiles. Its main feature is that it has very thin edges and a very small notch in the shape of a water drop. It should also be noted that all Galaxy A recently presented are equipped with such a screen, while punch screens remain the preserve of Galaxy S and Galaxy Note.
This screen covers a large part of the phone and there is simply a small notch at the top and a rather thin chin at the bottom. The whole is well balanced, and rather pretty to look at.
But this is not the only feature of the Galaxy A50. The latter also has the very good idea of offering a fingerprint reader directly under the slab. Once again, this is a feature that is usually found on the brand’s high-end products, so it is interesting to see such a reader on the A50.
On the other hand, it lacks reactivity compared to the reader of a P30 Pro or even a OnePlus 7.
No big changes for the rest. The usual three buttons are always placed on the right edge and the connector is located at the bottom edge, next to the headphone jack.
More generally, the handling is really nice and you can immediately feel the care taken at the terminal. Samsung has really put a lot of effort into this and of course we appreciate the move up the range. Even more so since the price of the terminal is around €329.
Personally, I really like the look and feel of the back plate and the fact that Samsung thought about dyeing the metal borders with the same colour as the back plate.
The only criticism we can make of the Galaxy A50, at least in terms of design, is that it is a real fingerprint magnet. So I would have preferred a matt finish.
Display, Processor & Autonomy
To be honest, given the selling price of the Galaxy A50, I was a little afraid of being faced with a screen with pallet colors. Against all odds, however, Samsung set off on a Super AMOLED slab with very strong contrasts. And let’s face it, it works pretty well.
If the Galaxy A50 does not go as far as a Galaxy S10 in the field of definition, it is still able to display Full HD. This will be more than enough in most cases.
As if that wasn’t enough, Samsung also offers several screen modes and it will be possible to choose an adaptive mode that will vary the colorimetry according to the use, the Cinematic AMOLED mode, the Photo AMOLED mode or the basic mode. In some cases, you can even change the tone of the screen or take control of the colors.
From the very first minutes spent in the company of the Galaxy A50, we are like caught up in this very beautiful screen, and this is all the more true when we start watching a few videos. Whether on YouTube or Netflix, you immediately realize that the phone has been designed for multimedia use.
The result is indeed very qualitative and I didn’t think I would find such a beautiful slab on a phone offered at this price.
On the processor side, Samsung started with an Exynos 9610 with eight cores. The chip is backed by 4 GB of RAM. So we are on a mid-range SoC, certainly, but still on the upper end.
And it works pretty well. During the first week, I noticed some slowdowns, but Samsung deployed an update on May 17 and it obviously fixed a lot of problems. The phone is therefore rather fluid for everyday use.
He has no difficulty in making the most gourmet titles run either. It will even be possible to play PUBG Mobile with the details to the maximum, which is quite amazing. Without matching the chips on the Galaxy S10, the Exynos 9610 is not lacking in response.
Concerning the autonomy, Samsung started with a 4000 mAh battery. And frankly, the Galaxy A50 gets off with all the honours. Of course, it will not do as well as the Redmi Note 7 (tested here) and its 14 hours of autonomy in mixed use, but it will be quite possible to last a day and a half with a single charge without too many difficulties.
We’ve cleared a lot of ground, but we still have to talk about the phone modem. And as usual, I chose to rely on nPerf to evaluate its data rates, using my Sosh SIM from the Paris region.
I obviously ran it several times at different times to get an average story to be as representative as possible.
The Galaxy A50 reached 20 Mbps in reception and 1.53 Mbps in sending, with a latency of 13 ms. In terms of scores, 78% are in navigation and 93% in video, with a total score of 75,000 points.
Photo, Video & Sound
Because more and more of us use our smartphone as a camera, it is impossible not to mention this point when testing a phone. And it’s time to mention the Galaxy A50’s photo module.
On paper, the offer is rather solid. The Galaxy A50 has a module with three different sensors. The 25 million pixel sensor is the main sensor and is placed at a wide angle opening at f/1.7. To accompany it, there is an 8 million pixel sensor with an ultra wide angle opening at f/2.2 and a 5 million pixel sensor dedicated to calculating the depth of field.
In the middle of the day, the Galaxy A50 is doing pretty well. He can take very sharp shots with a fairly accurate colorimetry. On the other hand, the dynamics are a little off, especially in the highlights, so complicated situations such as backlighting should be avoided carefully.
That is, unless you like to find yourself with burning highlights and blocked shadows.
I was very afraid that the phone’s performance would collapse in low light, but surprisingly not so. The beautiful opening of the main sensor will indeed compensate for the lack of light in most cases.
On the other hand, if you want to get the best possible results, it is best to switch to pro mode and manually reduce the sensitivity of the camera to minimize the appearance of artifacts.
The Galaxy A50’s photo module features a wide angle and an ultra wide angle. It is possible to switch easily from one to the other through the application. Be careful, however, because there will be a delay of one or two seconds between the two modes. Which can of course be quite painful when you have to shoot fast.
In addition, and perhaps most importantly, the ultra wide angle tends to distort the images at the edges, with a fisheye effect. It will always be possible to reduce the post-production effect with a solution like Lightroom, but this will be problematic for novices.
The selfies have disappointed me enough. The front camera is not bad, but the focus is clearly perfectible and the photos generated through it are badly lacking in sharpness. I really expected something better on that side. Samsung preferred to put the emphasis on definition by integrating a 25 million pixel sensor, but I don’t think that’s a good choice.
More generally, the application is still as easy to access as ever. A simple scan is all it takes to switch from mode to mode and it is quite easy to find what you are looking for.
You probably know this, but normally, part of my testing is on the software part.
However, this time it will not be the case. One UI was indeed quite well mentioned in my test of the Galaxy S10 and I don’t think it’s necessary to go back on it.
Very concretely, the Galaxy A50 is a surprising phone in many ways. I expected to find myself facing a classic mid-range, but that’s not the case.
This is not the case, because Samsung has made a very big effort. Between the OLED panel, the fast processor and the excellent battery life of the phone, this small Galaxy A50 has solid arguments to put forward. The only field where he didn’t totally convince me, in the end, is in the photo. The ultra wide angle left me hungry and the front camera would have benefited from a more reactive focus.
For everything else, it’s really not bad, especially since we’re talking about a phone that’s available at a fairly affordable rate.