Feeling the heat from Chinese rivals like Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo, Samsung has revamped its pricing strategy and tried to make its phones more affordable. With the Samsung Galaxy-A series, the company has promised to launch a new smartphone in India every month for the first half of the year. And 70 days later, the South Korean company is already claiming to have hit $1 billion in revenue from the sales of more than five million Galaxy A phones in India.
Last month, Samsung unveiled its flagship Galaxy A80 with a pop-up rotating camera followed by Galaxy A70, which is a mid-range phone that comes with triple cameras at the back. The biggest strength of Samsung Galaxy A70 is perhaps its triple rear cameras, having 32MP+8MP+5MP sensors. Other features include a big 6.7-inch Super AMOLED display and 4,500mAh battery. The phone only comes in one storage option priced at Rs 28,990.
Still, many would argue that the phone carries a mid-level Snapdragon 675 processor seen on phones like Redmi Note 7 Pro. So, is Samsung Galaxy A70 priced right? We find out in our review:
Samsung Galaxy A70 specifications: 6.7-inch Infinity-U Super AMOLED FHD+ display | Snapdragon 675 processor | 6GB RAM | 128GB storage (expandable up to 512GB) | 32MP+8MP+5MP rear cameras | 32MP front camera | 4,500mAh battery | One UI with Android 9 Pie
Samsung Galaxy A70 price in India: Rs 28,990
Samsung Galaxy A70 review: Design and display
Samsung has opted for a polycarbonate body design and I am not complaining. However, for some, the definition of premium could be a glass back design, especially when they are paying close to Rs 30,000.
Still, the phone looks premium, all thanks to a glass-like reflective back design. It has just the right amount of reflection to not seem too shiny, which is great. The back cover is curved from both sides, which not only helps with grip, but also makes the phone look stylish. Plus, a polycarbonate back means the phone is lighter, despite a big 4,500mAh battery, which I liked.
One thing that I would like to bring to notice is that Galaxy A70 is a fingerprint magnet, so make sure you buy a case if you want to keep it clean of smudges. I also felt it was a little slippery.
The screen can be described as stunning. It uses Samsung’s Super AMOLED quality display, which is considered top quality and I would not argue otherwise. The resolution is Full HD+ and it has a small notch on top, which Samsung likes to call Infinity-V.
The screen has good viewing angles in bright outdoors as well and the icons look bright and sharp. The bigger size and Widevine L1 certification makes watching movies and playing games a pretty good experience. Frankly, I do not have a problem with the notch since it is barely noticeable — it can be turned off as well.
Saying one-handed use is comfortable on Galaxy A70 would be too much of a stretch, unless you have really long hands. One-handed usage is still manageable with software customisation features like the floating keyboard, universal finder in the settings menu, and that settings menu stretches till the right bottom.
Samsung Galaxy A70 review: Camera
Samsung Galaxy A70 has triple rear cameras, a combination of 32MP primary sensors, 8MP ultra-wide sensor and a third 5MP sensor for depth sensing. With such impressive hardware, what could go wrong with camera performance, right? Well, I hate to break it to you but good camera hardware does not always translate into actual performance.
Samsung Galaxy A70’s rear camera is above average and meets expectations as even the photos clicked in bright outdoors did not seem quite sharp. I noticed loss of details, though colour reproduction was good. The photos have a kind of water painting effect, where edges look artificially smoothened.
Let’s be frank, most smartphones struggle with low-light camera performance, including mid-range devices. But I liked the fact that Samsung Galaxy A70 tries very hard to produce good photos in low light and therefore, I got some pretty impressive results. The light balance was great and pictures had good amount of details as well.
The wide-angle is another feature that worked for me as I was able to capture a good amount of area around with less of fish-eye effect. Samsung Galaxy A70 has on offer several camera features to play with like Pro mode, live focus, and even super slow-motion. For live focus to work, you will need to keep your hands really steady. Otherwise you will end up getting blurred results. Also, I noticed that the colours looked washed out in photos clicked in live focus mode.
The selfies will not disappoint at all, especially in the bright outdoors. The photos had close to natural colour reproduction and I was satisfied with details as well. In low-light as well, I was happy with the results, though the artificial smoothing of edges was more visible in such photos.
Samsung Galaxy A70 review: Processor, battery, and memory
Samsung Galaxy A70 has the same Snapdragon 675 processor as on the Rs 14,000 Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro. Day-to-day performance is definitely not a problem as the device can handle multi-tasking well. I was quickly able to switch between multiple tabs, even with several apps open and the transition was mostly smooth. During my review period, the phone did not stutter with daily usage such as accessing multiple notifications from different apps, using the camera, watching videos at lunch hours in office, and listening to music.
The phone also manages to sail smoothly through graphics-heavy games like Asphalt-9, but you will notice heating issues, say within 12-15 minutes of gameplay. The phone starts getting warm from top even with 10 minutes into a game like Candy Crush. For a Rs 29,000 price-point, we definitely expected a higher-powered processor.
The optical fingerprint sensor is a hit and miss. Sometimes, you miss because you forget to press hard on the screen and cover most finger area in order for the sensor to work. Meanwhile, I found the facial recognition to be faster as it instantly unlocked the phone on most occasions.
The phone can easily last for a day and a half with moderate usage given the 4,5000mAh battery. I mainly used the phone for clicking pictures, watching videos, making calls, and browsing social media like Facebook, and messaging on WhatsApp, etc. Another advantage is the 25W fast charger that comes in the box. For a full charge from around 20 per cent battery, the phone takes around one and a half hours, which is decent.
Samsung Galaxy A70 review: Verdict
Samsung Galaxy A70 has a lot of positives including a vivid display, good battery, and impressive design. But the price of Rs 28,990, does phone leaves you wanting more. The cameras have become a crucial factor for potential users while considering a new phone, and Galaxy A70 does not quite satisfy on that front. Plus, we certainly expected a better processor for the price. The Galaxy A70 is a good option for those who like to stay within the safe confines of the Samsung ecosystem and don’t mind paying a premium for it.
There are, however, options in this range and above it. If you can wait a bit and spend a bit more, maybe the OnePlus 7, which has a starting price of Rs 32,999, could be an option with better specs in terms of a Snapdragon 855 processor, 3,700mAh battery and a 48MP rear camera. However, those who want to stick to this price-band can look at options like Oppo F11 Pro with its pop-up selfie camera and 48MP+5MP clicker at the back. The Vivo V15 Pro is another option with features like a 32MP pop-up selfie camera, 48MP+8MP+5MP triple rear cameras.