Samsung Galaxy A50 review: Doesn’t beat Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro, Poco F1
Product: Galaxy A50
Key specifications: 6.4-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED Infinity-U display, 25MP (F1.7) 8MP (F2.2) 5MP (F2.2) rear cameras, 25-megapixel selfie camera, 4,000mAh battery, USB Type-C support, 4GB and 6GB RAM, 64GB built-in storage, Android Pie.
Price: ₹19,990 (base model)
Samsung has big hopes from its new Galaxy A series. The 2019 lineup comes with improved and modern design, more competitive specifications, and prices on par with Xiaomi's. So far, Samsung has launched Galaxy A10, Galaxy A20, Galaxy A30, and Galaxy A50 - all targeted at different price points.
As the nomenclature system implies, Galaxy A50 is the most premium in the lot. Available at a starting price of ₹19,990, Samsung Galaxy A50 offers an edge-to-edge display with Infinity-U display. It is also one of the first Samsung smartphones to offer in-screen fingerprint sensor, just like OnePlus 6T.
For Samsung, Galaxy A50 may be the best offering for its mid-range consumers. It, however, also faces a strong competition from the likes of Xiaomi Poco F1 and Redmi Note 7 Pro, which is priced much lower than A50.
Good thing about Galaxy A50 is that it doesn't look like a budget Samsung smartphone. If you have followed Samsung's offerings including Galaxy M-series this year, the company has made a big departure from the design language it had been following for years. And it's great news for Samsung fans. With Honor and Realme betting big on design, Samsung Galaxy A50 comes as a pleasant change.
Galaxy A50 features a glossy back finish. It's not exactly gradient design that we have started to come to love but it's pretty cool to see rainbow-like reflection on the panel whenever light falls upon it. The catch with the glossy finish back panel is that it's vulnerable to fingerprint smudges. During our usage, the back panel not only attracted smudges but also minor scratches. This is pretty much same with other glass-like finishes on other smartphones in this category.
The front is dominated by display with Infinity U cutout on the top. Volume rockers and power button are located on the right edge whereas left edge houses the SIM and microSD slot. The base has 3.5mm headphone jack, USB Type-C port, and speaker grilles. The top edge has mic just on top of the notch. The back panel houses the vertically aligned triple-rear camera setup with flash. There's no physical fingerprint sensor on the back.
Overall, Samsung Galaxy A50 is well designed smartphone for an under ₹20,000 smartphone. It's light and slim enough to easily carry around.
Samsung is bringing flagship-level superior camera capabilities to its mid-range phones. Galaxy A50 offers a triple-rear camera setup including 25-megapixel (F1.7), 8-megapixel (F2.2), and 5-megapixel (F2.2) sensors. The first sensor handles low-light, the second one ultra-wide angle, and the third one live focus for DSLR-like bokeh effect.
Samsung Galaxy A50 delivers near-excellent results in daylight. Photos retain their details including colour and contrast levels. There's a dedicated wide-angle mode for capturing more real estate. Unlike previous wide-angle lenses we've seen on Samsung phones, this one actually takes good shoots without distorting subject orientation.
If you activate the scene optimizer, you can get far better results. Bixby lens brings AI-driven camera experience. For instance, it can recognise if you're taking a photo of a cable or even scan QR codes for you.
Galaxy A50 does struggle in lowlight with images losing their sharpness. The quality continues to deteriorate as the lighting conditions become more challenging. Selfie camera is pretty much okay.
Samsung Galaxy A50 is powered by Exynos 9610 processor with 4GB/6GB of RAM. This combination should have been good enough to keep the phone running smoothly. During our usage, we faced multiple issues with the performance of the phone. There were a few random app crashes and slow app launches. The phone lagged a bit when playing games like PUBG and Real Racing. We suspect this could be a software-related problem.
The phone runs on One UI, based on Android Pie. Samsung's OneUI is a heavily customised UI on top of Android. If you're an Android purist, OneUI may seem little odd to you. Don't forget, One UI is among the better custom ROMs out there. It's not as slow and laggy as beta ROMs of Xiaomi.
Galaxy A50's in-screen fingerprint scanner is quite bad. We understand the technology itself is at nascent stages. On A50, it's slow and unresponsive. I switched to manual PIN typing as the sensor will refuse to recognise my fingerprint. In Galaxy A50's defence, even OnePlus 6T's in-screen fingerprint sensor is bad.
Galaxy A50 didn't meet our expectations in terms of battery life as well. If you're a power user, you will need to keep the charger around. Even on medium usage with all radios on, the phone struggles to last a day, provided you resort to software-level optimisations.
Samsung Galaxy A50 offers good design and camera experience. The performance of the phone is quite disappointing. The in-screen fingerprint sensor is another let down. With Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro and Poco F1 offering much better specifications and comprehensive experience, it's difficult to recommend Galaxy A50.