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Last Updated : May 13, 2019 08:22 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Galaxy A70 hands-on review: Samsung's best mid-range smartphone ever?

Thinking of buying the Samsung Galaxy A70? Read this hands-on review from our desk before spending your money

Pranav Hegde

In the past, Samsung’s Galaxy A series phones were known as go-to-devices in the mid-budget smartphone category. Soon after the entry of Chinese manufacturers who offered a lot more features for far less money than the South-Korean giant charged, it started losing its hold in the Indian market. But what if we tell you that Samsung is back in the game with the Galaxy A70? 

The Samsung Galaxy A70 was launched in the Indian market targeting an audience that wanted a premium experience for less than half of its price. It comes with a massive screen, a huge battery, a mid-range processor, and a good camera unit for Rs 28,990. How does all this fare together as a package? Let's find out:

Design and Display

The Galaxy A70’s massive 6.7-inch Full HD+ is wrapped around a body made up of metal, plastic, and glass. The rear panel has a ‘glasstic design’ which makes the Galaxy A70 look like a premium smartphone with a glass back but is made of plastic. Samsung has tried to make the rear panel look interesting by giving it a prism effect which shows different shades of colours when light reflects on it from different angles. The glass-like finish does make it a fingerprint magnet though.

A70 Back panel

On the front is a Super AMOLED screen and we have to say that Samsung is only competing with itself in the display department. The Galaxy A70’s display is undoubtedly the best amongst its competition that provides vibrant colours, excellent contrast ratio, and crisp details. The front is almost bezel-less. At the top of the display is a water-drop notch which Samsung calls as Infinity-U display. 

A70 display

Needless to say, with such a large display that has an aspect ratio of 20:9, it offers an immersive viewing experience while streaming content or watching videos, and can also be an added advantage while playing games like PUBG as the controls are evenly spread through the screen estate.

The display has two modes called Natural and Vivid. We preferred Vivid as it provided less saturated and dull colours. The Galaxy A70’s Adaptive Brightness feature worked almost accurately in most cases, and we did not face any problems while using the phone in bright daylight. It also has a blue light filter to reduce strain on the eyes. To complement that feature, Samsung has included ‘Night Mode’ which is essentially dark mode for the System Interface.

Performance

The Galaxy A70 so far is the best smartphone in the lineup when it comes to performance. Under the hood is a Snapdragon 675 Octa-core SoC with dual cores clocking at 2GHz whereas the other six clock at a lower peak rate of 1.7GHz. In India, the processor comes paired with 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage, which is further expandable via microSD up to 512GB.

Simple browsing and multi-tasking on the phone can be done without any hiccups. We did not experience any lag while surfing through the internet or switching between apps. Even while playing power-intensive games like PUBG at advanced graphic settings, the phone behaved quite well, and we did not face any lag or delay in response. 

Although things go well here, Samsung could have opted for a Snapdragon 710 processor to add more performance and value for money as now even budget smartphones like Redmi Note 7 Pro are offering Snapdragon 675. 

A70 PORT

To complement the performance, Samsung has packed the Galaxy A70 with a 4,500 mAh battery with support for 25W fast charging. After streaming an IPL match inning with some scrolling on Twitter and Instagram, playing three classic PUBG matches in full brightness, and texting on WhatsApp, the smartphone survived the day with 18 percent juice left. The Galaxy A70 with its fast charger took nearly two hours to charge completely from 0 to 100 percent.

Security 

The smartphone comes with a face unlock and an in-display fingerprint scanner. Face unlock worked pretty well though it was not the fastest.

A70 Notch

The in-display fingerprint scanner though needs some work as it refused to recognise the finger quite a few times. The scanner could only unlock the smartphone after we moved the finger slightly twice or thrice.

Camera

Samsung seems to be making it a standard to offer triple cameras on its mid-range smartphones. The Galaxy A70 comes with a 32MP f/1.7 primary sensor, accompanied by an 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide sensor, and a 5MP depth sensor.

A70 Camera

Photos taken from the rear camera offered sharp details. Shots clicked during the daytime showed colours were saturated enough with crisp output. The dynamic range was good, and Scene detection got quickly activated as well. While the daytime shots were pretty good, low-light and night shots might just disappoint you.

photo_2019-05-10 20

We did come across noise in the images, and the software did soften the photos a bit too much to compensate on the poor low-light quality. Even in bright sunlight, the camera struggled to capture accurate colours which led to plain tones in some situations.

photo_2019-05-10 21

The 123-degree ultra-wide angle lens comes in handy when you want to capture a larger frame within a short distance. It captures decent colours but offers fewer details when zoomed in. The ultra-wide sensor is ideal for capturing landscapes, and we would certainly not recommend using this one during not-so-well-lit conditions. Some of the wide-angle shots even got a fish-eye effect which is a problem many mid-range smartphones face. However, there was minimum colour bleeding at the edges.

photo_2019-05-10 21

The rear camera also offers Live Focus which lets you click portrait shots. Samsung needs to work in this department as edge detection on the Galaxy A70 is poor. The shots we clicked blurred out the ears, hair in some. Even the 32MP front camera that offers portrait shots had similar results.

Beauty mode was very aggressive in softening the skin, but that can be adjusted in the settings. We kept the front camera beauty setting to a minimum, the output image offered natural colours and captured sharp details. The front camera also doubles as a wide-angle lens which can come in handy for taking group selfies. 

The Galaxy A70 offers 4K, HD videos at 60fps and 30fps and it also comes with Super Slow motion mode. We wish it had OIS for stabilising shaky footage, but the EIS does a decent job.

Software

The Galaxy A70 comes with Android 9 based One UI. Compared to the M series that came with Android 8.1 based Experience UI 9.5, One UI is far smoother and feels up to date. It comes with all the features of Android 9 with some additional touch of gestures given by Samsung.

Users are given an option to choose between navigation buttons and gestures. The phone comes pre-installed with several third-party apps like Netflix, Daily Hunt, and social media apps like Facebook, Twitter among others. Swipe right on the home screen to open a clean Bixby interface that may not answer all your questions correctly. With One UI, the Galaxy A70 also offers Night Mode.

A70 OneUiT

he Galaxy A70 is also the first Samsung A series smartphone to get Samsung Pay. Users can take advantage of NFC and Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) to carry out contactless transactions.

Verdict

A70

The ‘A’ in Galaxy A70 just falls short of amazing. It has the best display when compared to its competition. The 6.7-inch display offers an immersive experience while watching videos and streaming content. Not just that, thanks to the smooth software and mid-range processor, gaming on the smartphone is lag-free.

Even the battery life on the smartphone is pretty good. Add to it 25W fast charging support, the device charges very quickly. The only place where the Galaxy A70 just falls short is the camera unit. Don’t get us wrong here. The camera offers good results but struggles in bright light and low-light conditions. If one ignores the fish-eye effect in the wide-angle shots then it can be said that it has a good camera. The in-display fingerprint scanner needs some attention too.

Overall, the Galaxy A70 ticks most of the boxes, and for the Rs 28,990 price tag, the smartphone would not disappoint you.
First Published on May 13, 2019 11:28 am
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