Samsung Galaxy A70 is the latest addition to the company's most-selling series of phones
Over a few months, Samsung has totally inundated the market with smartphones that find a place in every price segment. Not only do they fit in aptly, they give some popular rival smartphones a run for their money. It was the same approach behind the new Galaxy A series that caused Samsung to take up the challenge and fend off Oppo, Vivo, and even OnePlus. Samsung is using gorgeous displays that were once reserved for flagships as the upfront ammunition.
Well, Galaxy A70 is not so different from the rest of the clan. It has a Super AMOLED Infinity-U Display, One UI based on Android Pie, and three cameras on the back. Yes, it is exactly similar to the Galaxy A50 but there are a few things that work in favour of Galaxy A70 – a tall display, fast charging, and many more. Available at Rs 28,990, Samsung Galaxy A70 is here to offer some competition to other upper mid-range phones in the market. Does it have what it takes to outshine them? Here’s my review.
Samsung Galaxy A70 Design, Display, & Hardware
Samsung has lately been paying much attention to the design of its recent phones and Galaxy A70 is one of the many examples. Right off the bat, the phone looks premium with the shiny rear surface that gives off a rainbow-like pattern. But it’s a polycarbonate body, or the companies like to call it glass-tick. At this price range, it would have been a good deal to see a glass surface. There is a Samsung branding at the back along with the camera island that has three shooters sitting atop the LED flash.
The footprint of the Galaxy A70 is really tall for my hands. Samsung says it’s the tallest display they have ever crammed into a Galaxy phone and it shows. Even if there are really thin bezels on all sides, the phone’s real estate is gigantic, to exaggerate. The corners are rounded off, which is partly comfortable when I held the phone but not too long. Especially in summers, greasy palms make the phone slid off. Covering the phone with a silicone case, which is bundled with the handset, lessens the problem though.
Galaxy A70 packs a 6.7-inch Super AMOLED display with a U-shaped notch to store the camera sensor. The display is quite tall that a few people may like but it is unwieldy for me. The colours are vivid on the display but large displays are usually meant for a richer media experience, which is duly served by the Galaxy A70. Watching movies and shows on Netflix is enjoyable. The device supports full-HD Netflix and Amazon Prime Video content. Legibility under bright sunlight is on par on the display.
There is a fingerprint sensor embedded under the Galaxy A70’s display. It’s not the same as the one on Galaxy S10 phones. This one uses an optical sensor instead of the ultrasonic sensor, which means the associated area has to light up for the sensor to be able to recognise the fingerprint. I didn’t really have a good time with the fingerprint sensor. Most of the times, it would refuse to register the fingerprint, let alone those repeated attempts when I hard to press the display more than expected.
Galaxy A70 is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 processor, which is run-of-the-mill for most mid-range and upper mid-range phones. It has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of inbuilt memory, which is more than enough. But if it’s not for you, you can expand the storage using microSD card of up to 512GB on a dedicated slot. It has a volume rocker on the right along with the power button. There is a 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom, accompanied by a USB-C port, primary microphone, and a speaker grille. There is no Bixby button on this one, but you can trigger Bixby from its app.
Samsung Galaxy A70 Camera
There are three cameras at the back of the Galaxy A70 – a 32-megapixel main camera with an aperture of f/1.7, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera, and a third 5-megapixel depth sensor. The daylight photographs turn out to be properly detailed and have an acceptable dynamic range. But I think it could have been better. There is HDR for when you are unsure of the scene you are clicking. I did not have issues with photography in daylight but capturing photos in low-light is tricky.
While the Scene Optimiser is available to figure things out on its own, the results are far from desired sometimes. Manually, I could tweak the settings to produce a more likely photo than the one shot in auto mode. It manages to click well-lit places at night with some manual intervention but if you are going to rely on Scene Optimiser, you may not like the outcome. The macro shots from the sensor are quite impressive.
The ultra-wide sensor clicks average photos that can fit in a lot of elements into one frame. The quality of the photo is not as good as that of the primary lens but it’s doable. Some areas in the photos end up getting overexposed sometimes. The third sensor is for producing bokeh effect in photos and it does its job well. Although, I believe the edge detection could have been better for portrait photos.
The selfie camera on the Galaxy A70 is a 32-megapixel shooter. It takes photos that are good enough for social media posts. The beauty mode is turned on by default, but even when disabled the selfies show smoothed skin tones. There is portrait mode available for selfies as well.
The main cameras can record up to 4K videos at 30fps while the front camera can shoot 1080p videos. There is no OIS on the cameras, which I missed a lot especially when making videos on the go. The ultra-wide sensor can also shoot videos, in case you want to make featurette of some location you went for a vacation.
Here are the camera samples:
Samsung Galaxy A70 Performance
Much like most Snapdragon 675-powered phones, the Galaxy A70 handles day-to-day tasks quite well. I did not find it stuttering even with multiple apps open in the background, thanks to sufficient RAM storage. Gaming on this phone is impressive, more than half the credit for which goes to its display. I found no frame drops or lag when playing graphics-heavy games such as PUBG Mobile or Call of Duty Mobile but in standard settings.
It’s nice to see Samsung pushing One UI to more and more devices that are positioned across price ranges. Galaxy A70 is one of them and gives the feel of using a high-end Galaxy device. One UI is intuitive and visually appealing but its major contribution to Galaxy A70 is its favourability for tall displays. But that’s only true for native apps and settings – for third-party apps, I had to slide my phone downwards to tap on buttons at the top. There is Digital Wellbeing available on the Galaxy A70, which impressed me.
Sound quality of Galaxy A70 is average. I mostly found myself using a Bluetooth speaker when I had to listen to songs using the phone. There is Samsung Pay available on the Galaxy A70 – the first phone outside the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note series to have full-scale capabilities of Samsung Pay. Samsung Pay is available at many stores and plus, it earns you reward points that can be redeemed for value coupons.
Samsung Galaxy A70 Battery
Galaxy A70 has an impressive 4500mAh battery that lasted a day for me under regular usage. I clicked some photos for about half an hour, played games for about an hour, listened to music for a little more than 1 hour, and watched two episodes of Our Planet on Netflix – at the end of the day, the battery still had 13 per cent juice. It supports 25W fast charging, which, I found, did throttle up battery capacity from 0 to 100 per cent in about one and a half hour.
For Rs 28,990, Galaxy A70 is a good package. It’s got a plentiful display area, which is good for watching movies. It can handle most things quite well without failing except for a few daunting ones. The Snapdragon 675 is a dependable processor, which will last for the next few years. One UI will ensure a couple of updates for software. The cameras are everything a customer is looking for these days.
But, having said everything, Galaxy A70 price is not quite reasonable. Its smaller sibling Galaxy A50 turned out to become the most sold smartphone in the series because of its price tag that justifies the specifications. There are a handful of other choices in the sub-Rs 30,000 segment, if you are a stickler for performance and a better design. But you will come to buy Galaxy A70 for its beautiful display and trust in Samsung.