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Samsung Galaxy A50 Dual SIM
Tests

Published:
By: Adam Łukowski

Plastic can be fantastic

Samsung Galaxy A50 is the representative of the new family of middle-shelf smartphones from the Korean company. Is it worthy of our interest?

Samsung Galaxy A50
Samsung Galaxy A50
photo: Adam Łukowski/GSMchoice.com

A few modern solutions, usually reserved rather for models of the higher class, were used here. It has a display with a narrow bezel, triple camera or a fingerprint scanner under the display. In addition, it has a decent CPU, lots of RAM and a big battery. Does Samsung Galaxy A50 have any weaker sides?


Samsung Galaxy A50 - video review
video: GSMchoice.com, via YouTube

Contents



Construction, set, quality of assembly

Samsung Galaxy A50 arrives in an aesthetical box, in which, besides the phone, we can find a 15-watt charger, USB cable and earphones. They have a nice sound, but in my opinion, they are not that comfortable. They have a rather large size, but they lack softer elements, that is why they do not lie in ears that good and during more dynamic movements they can jump out of our ears.

Still – they are nice for a start, later on it is best to replace them with something better. And I will already mention about one of the biggest advantages of this phone – it has a minijack!

Another major advantage of Samsung Galaxy A50 is its stylization. The phone – though it has a housing made out of plastic – looks really nice. The supporting frame imitates metal well, and the back panel – glass. Used materials contribute to the fact that the smartphone is lighter and nicer in touch. However, I must assess the durability of the housing a bit lower.

The back holds its ground, contrary to what you might think it is not susceptible to scratches. The shinning lacquer of the frame is durable too – but in my device, due to a fall, a small chip fell off in the vicinity of the speaker. I think that I should be happy, because the display was not damaged and the phone works without any problems until this day.

It is difficult to call them disadvantages or flaws, but I will underline that Galaxy A50 is not waterproof and it does not support a wireless charging, though with plastic backs it just begs for this. I really enjoy how comfortably the phone lies in hands.

This is mostly due to reasonable sizes of the housing, its profile and slimness, balance and the feel of lightweight of the smartphone – but this is just one these hard to assess features, which decide about our positive attitude towards the device.

Ergonomics – is impeccable, and if you would like to ask what I like in A50’s housing the least – it will be the camera’s frame that stands above. The fact, it only stands above slightly, I did not manage to scratch it yet, and the phone placed on a surface of a table does not wobble at all – but still, I would prefer for the lenses to be hidden in the housing.

And what is where? I will tell you. Buttons are on the right side, the tray for cards – on the left. At the top there is the secondary microphone, while at the bottom we can find both sockets, another microphone and the single speaker.

Display

And what at the front? A 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display with Full HD+ resolution, surrounded by a rather narrow bezel, thanks to which is takes a decent 85% of the front panel. This panel is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3, which – though not the newest one, are still used due to its high resistance to scratches.

In the display – according to the current fashion – there is a small notch – but its presence does not make problems with showing information on the upper bar. Of course it slightly limits the presence of showed notifications – but at least we can see a few last ones.

The quality of image is perfect. The display is clear and shows eye-pleasant, intensive colours. However, if you like them a bit toned down – in the software we can find options thanks to which we can adjust the colours temperature to our needs (with a separate control of RGB colours). There is the blue light filter as well – with controlling the intensity and the possibility to set its work to automatic. We can switch the interface to the night mode – with darker image.

I enjoyed it so much that I decided to switch it on for the whole time. Brightness levels are absolutely impeccable, both the maximum and the minimum level are adjusted perfectly. I have no concerns towards using the phone with glasses with polarizing filters. The smartphone is equipped with the Always on Display. It is necessary, because it does not have a notifications LED. AoD can be widely personalized – for example by changing the looks of the clock or by adding, for example, a control for the music player.

Security

I complemented a lot, it is time to complain. In Galaxy A50 we can find the effective, fashionable fingerprint scanner under the surface of the display. However, the speed and the effectiveness of its work leaves a lot to be desired.

I can forgive its speed of work, but the number of errors really irritates me. The facial recognition system works much better, though this is a simple solution based on the image captured with the front camera.

This is a decent function, but we must remember that using it in the dark can be a bit difficult, even if we will light up our face with the display. I did not manage to deceive the system with a photo (but we must assume that it is possible). We need to have at least one eye open, so the “sleeping person” method will not work. We must remember about removing sunglasses as well – but, as usual, simple corrective lenses do not disturb the work of the unit.

Interface, applications

The display is important, but what else? Android 9.0 Pie with One Ui 1.1 Interface with security update from this year (from the beginning of May). The interface is not overloaded with additions, but it has a few preinstalled apps. Besides the classic set from Google, we have apps from Microsoft (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive and LinkedIn), we will find Facebook and a bit to brazen incentive to use Spotify).

Samsung adds its own browser, e-mail client, gallery or recorder. There is files manager, health and fitness app Samsung Health and their own store with apps. There is Bixby as well, but at this time without a separate button. There is a system management app as well.

The interface has a classical tray version, but we can change the grid of icons and the tray, we can change the arrangement of system buttons and the panel of switches. Three system buttons can be replaced with gestures, just like we move to the apps’ tray with gestures as well. For traditionalists – there is the classic button that leads us to the tray. Gestures can control muting signals or extend the notifications panel without reaching the top of the display.

We can of course wake the display with a double tap or keep the display lit when we are looking at it. There is one hand usage or Game Launcher modes as well, which limits any “disturbances” and we can record the display in the HD quality. Everything is presented in a neat, readable form, with elements placed in such a way that they are always at hand. I asses the interface high – I did not found anything that I could criticize.

Efficiency

An octa-core Exynos 9610 CPU with Mali-G72 MP3 GPU and 4GB of RAM takes care about the work of Galaxy A50. It must be great – and it usually is. The phone can deal without any problems with utility apps, as well as with games – and with a nice details levels. In benchmarks it looks just like it befits a decent middle-guy – there is nothing to be ashamed of.

For most of the time Galaxy A50 works smooth and ably switches between apps. Almost ideally… Unfortunately, I am bothered by some strange, seldom lags. However, I will underline that these lags appear rather seldom and they do not disturb our work in an everyday usage. However, it would be a lie to say that we cannot notice them.

These slight lags in its work, Samsung Galaxy A50 makes up with the high amount of memory that it offers. It has built-in 128GB, out of which we receive around 100GB of free space at the beginning. But this is not the end, because we can always use a microSD card and add a modest 512GB.

Battery

Next to it we must talk about the battery. A 4000 mAh cell is one of the biggest advantages of this device. It does not make the phone too heavy, but thanks to this we can only look for a charger every other day. Without any compromises.

We just need to use the automatic brightness setting and switch Always on Display to be shown only when we will tap the display. We do not need to laboriously switch connectivity modules or look at a dimmed display. Two days of work without any tricks – this is a good result. The lifespan can be prolonged, by messing with settings – but what for?

Charging time is short, but not perfect. Fully charging takes a bit more than an hour and a half, but after first 20-and-so minutes we can achieve a 1/3 of the charge level. If it only had wireless charging…

Communication, sound

When it comes to communication I do not have any slightest concerns towards Galaxy A50. The interface set is complete – besides LTE, there is NFC, Bluetooth 5.0 and dual channel Wi-Fi, as well as GPS, GLONASS, Beidou and Galileo navigation systems and the already mentioned minijack.

It is worth to underline one of the biggest advantage of the smartphone, that is the triple socket for cards, thanks to which we can use two nanoSIM cards, as well as a microSD one at the same time. A round of applause for Samsung for not using a hybrid solution – this is much more practical.

The quality of sound during calls is perfect, though I would not have been offended if it had a bigger power – but of course without the loss in quality, which I rate high, basically on the level of a flagship. Similar case is with the external speaker. There is only a single one, but it sounds great and it could have been more powerful as well. If have mentioned about earphones at the beginning – but I will repeat myself: they have a better sound, than how they look and lie in our ears. I will add that I have no concerns towards the work of all available connectivity systems. They work properly.

It is a pity that Samsung did not preinstalled its own version of a player, suggesting the usage from Google. The app can be installed separately, and this flaw is compensated by the presence of an FM radio, which is not that obvious when it comes to Samsung. The radio is nice and we can record broadcasts.

Photography and video

Samsung accustomed us to the fact that even the cheaper middle-guys offer a good quality of photos. In Galaxy A50 it cannot be any worse, but the manufacturer decided to add one more lens, which gives wide-angle photos. Besides the 8-megapixel wide-angle, we have a 25 Mpx matrix with a nice f/1.7 aperture shutter and a supportive 5-megapixel eye for the background blurring. The only thing that it lacks is an optical image stabilization. We must rely on a digital one.

Photos taken during the day are simply good. It is difficult to complain about anything, and if I had to criticize something – it would be a minimum length from which the autofocus works. It starts working from 20-30cm, which makes it difficult to take a macro shot. It is a pity, because apart from this – AF is fast, great and precise.

In night time photos it is slightly worse, but it does not mean that A50 is worse than its competition. Here only the details level slightly drops, we can see some noises in darker and even parts of the shot, and in addition the phone strongly “warms” photos, by adding them a bit of an autumn, yellow-orange vibe. Sometimes the effect is desired, but not always…

There is of course AI, which in Samsung is called Scene Optimizer. It often happens that a photo taken after switching it on comes out better than the one without it. After over a dozen of tries I turned it on permanently – I was not disappointed.

However, I was a bit disappointed with the manual mode. It only allows modifying sensitivity, exposition and colours balance. It is a pity that we cannot change the shutter opening time – maybe night time photos would have jumped on a level close to flagships…?

The wide-angle lens has a fixed focus and a weaker aperture (f/2.2), which is why night time photos give way to those from the main camera. However, we achieve a really wide angle, thanks to which we do not back away from the object, in order to fit it in the shot. The fish-eye effect is noticeable, but in most cases it gives eye-pleasant effects. It is a pity that there is no digital image geometry connection, which can be found in S10 flagships.

The background blurring needs a good background and properly posing a model in order to work correctly. In other cases it can get slightly “lost” in hair – but even with my bald head it managed a few time to make an unnecessary blur… It could have been slightly better, especially that the system using two lenses requires a noticeable distance that we need to maintain form the object – 1.5 meters.

On the other hand, the panorama mode works nice, digital zoom gives pleasant effects as well, and the easy way to record GIFs is a cherry on top. After marking an appropriate option in the camera’s settings, we just need to hold down the trigger button. The camera function is complemented by animated avatars, hyperlapse or Bixby Vision, which I was using for scanning codes or translating texts, based on the image from the camera.

On the opposite side of the housing we have a single selfie camera. What is interesting it can blur the background as well. And even though it does not have an additional matrix for help, it does not work worse than the main one.

Basically we can be pleased with the quality of selfies, though it is worth being mindful of a too bright background. Otherwise the front camera has a tendency to overexpose. When it comes to video recording – I have no major concerns, neither to the back nor the front camera.

Samsung Galaxy A50 - sample videos
video: GSMchoice.com, via YouTube

I will commend the possibility to record videos with the wide angle lens, but I will rebuke it for the fact that we cannot switch cameras while recording. I am not astonished by the quality of videos in slow motion either. Some cam be bothered by the lack of 4K – both in the front and the back camera. On the other hand, I do not think that anybody could complain about the camera interface. It is simple and readable.

Summary. Advantages and disadvantages

Samsung showed a lot of courage, by armouring the middle-guy in modern solutions, while dropping a metal or a glass housing.

We can find a few cheaper, not necessarily worse models, and I deem Galaxy A50 a proposition worthy of consideration. The smartphone convinces us with good looks, handiness and with great display.

In addition it takes nice, wide angle photos and decent selfies, and most of all – it has a capacious battery, thanks to which it can fully work with all its capacity for two days. The triple cards slot is a big advantage, not to mention the minijack. It has a lot of memory, good sound, great interface and reasonable equipment of apps and functions.

It is not ideal, on the other side we have a poorly working (though effective and fashionable) fingerprint scanner and small, seldom, though noticeable lags. These are the biggest disadvantages, I can add the lack of waterproofness, notifications LED and wireless charging as well. If you think why I do not mention the plastic housing – go to the shop and see the smartphone for yourself. I do not mind a plastic housing, if it is made in the way as in Samsung.

Advantages and disadvantages

Advantages:

  • powerful battery
  • great display
  • DualSIM without hybrid
  • friendly interface
  • minijack and FM radio
  • Always On Display
  • decent photos
  • effective looks
  • wide angle lens
  • NFC
  • good sound

Disadvantages:

  • lack of notifications LED
  • weak fingerprint scanner
  • seldom lags
  • lack of waterproofness
  • lack of wireless charging
  • uncomfortable earphones in the set

Source: GSMchoice.com; viewed: 861 times.


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By: Adam Łukowski

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