Samsung launched the Galaxy A80 (Review) in India recently and we spent some time reviewing the smartphone to find out whether it is worth its asking price. In our Galaxy A80 review, we concluded by suggesting the Galaxy A70 (Review) as one of the alternatives. This is because while the Galaxy A80 is the most premium phone in the Galaxy A series, the Galaxy A70 still feels like the best phone in this 2019 lineup as it offers an all-round performance at a more economical price point.
The Galaxy A80 has been launched in India priced at Rs 47,990, which makes it the most premium Galaxy A series phone in the market right now. The Galaxy A70 falls below the A80 in terms of hierarchy with a price tag of Rs 28,990. The A80 comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage, while the A70 comes in a 6GB + 128GB configuration.
Both the Galaxy A70 and Galaxy A80 are big-screen devices and offer powerful mid-range chipsets. The A80 offers some unique new features that you won’t find on any other Galaxy phone. We compare the two phones to explain why the Galaxy A70 is still worth buying over the A80.
— When we talk about design, both the Galaxy A80 and A70 are big phones with attractive looks. The A70 uses cheaper materials like plastic back, but the glass-like finish and gradient Black, Blue and White colours make it look quite premium. The A80, on the other hand, offers a Gorilla Glass 6 rear panel that comes in Phantom Black, Angel Gold and Ghost White solid colours.
— The Galaxy A80 and A70 also come with similarly large displays. The A70 offers a 6.7-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED Infinity-U display, which means it gets a tiny waterdrop notch. The A80 also gets a 6.7-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED display only with no notch or punch-hole cutout. The Galaxy A80 is the first Samsung phone to use the New Infinity display which offers an edge-to-edge screen with no distractions and minimal bezels for an immersive viewing experience. Both the displays look stunning with attractive colours, deep blacks, good brightness levels and excellent viewing angles. The waterdrop notch on the A70 is small barely noticeable, which is why it looks no different than the A80.
— The USP of the Galaxy A80 is its rotating triple camera setup. The rear camera system rises and flips to the front when using the selfie mode, allowing you to use the same high quality camera for selfies as well. This is a pretty unique solution that also allows Samsung to offer a notchless display. However, this also makes the phone more susceptible to damage. The rotating camera is also slow which is why the phone lacks face unlock. The A70 offers a traditional triple camera setup on the back and offers face unlock as well.
— Talking about the cameras, the Galaxy A80 seemingly gets a better set of sensors on paper. It offers a 48MP f/2.0 Sony IMX586 main sensor, an 8MP f/2.2 ultra wide-angle camera and ToF (Time of Flight) camera for depth mapping. These cameras can be used for selfies as well. The Galaxy A70 offers a 32MP primary camera with f/1.7 aperture, an 8MP ultra wide-angle camera and a 5MP depth camera.
— Samsung is using a very popular 48MP sensor, which indeed manages to capture some crisp and detailed photos in daylight. But the 32MP sensor on the A70 doesn’t fall far behind. In our review of the A70 we were impressed with the level of detailing, dynamic range managed by that main camera. In real-world usage, you are unlikely to find much difference between the two cameras and the same goes for the 8MP ultra wide-angle sensor as well. Unfortunately, both the phones fare poorly in low-light conditions, but the A80 performs slightly better as it gets a dedicated long-exposure mode.
— When it comes to performance, the Galaxy A80 trumps the Galaxy A70, although only marginally. The A70 is powered by a 2.0Ghz octa-core Snapdragon 675 chipset paired with 6GB of RAM, while the A80 gets a 2.2GHz Snapdragon 730G chipset, which is based on an 8nm process. Of course, the A80 is not the cheapest phone to offer an SD730 chipset as you can find it on the Rs 22,000 Redmi K20 as well. But when compared to the A70, the Galaxy A80 does look better as it offers a faster performance and better GPU as well.
— We were impressed with the smoothness with which the Galaxy A70 handled day-to-day tasks including gaming because the Snapdragon 675 SoC is a pretty good mid-range chipset. But the A80 handles games like PUBG and Asphalt 9 extremely well on high graphics. The SD730G is also more energy efficient and is likely to age better. That being said, if you’re shelling out Rs 47,999, you can get phones with flagship processors like Snapdragon 855, Kirin 980 and Exynos 9820 as well, so we wouldn’t recommend buying the A80 for its performance.
— Both the phones also ship with One UI, so you get the same software experience that includes system-wide Night mode and a redesigned UI for easier one-handed navigation. Dolby Atmos support is also present on both the devices and you also get an in-display fingerprint sensor. In our experience, we found the sensor on the A70 to work slightly faster and the phone also offers face unlock that you can fall back on, unlike the A80.
— Lastly, we have the battery where the Galaxy A70 again trumps the A80. The former gets a large 4,500mAh battery which can deliver close to a day and a half of battery life on a single charge and a full day with Always On display enabled. The A80, for its large size, gets an underwhelming 3,700mAh which is good for a full day but nothing more or less. Both the phones also support 25W fast charging over Type-C.
— In conclusion, the Galaxy A70 is still the best Galaxy A series to go for as it comes at a much more affordable price compared to the A80. It gets the same large and brilliant Super AMOLED display. It also offers face unlock, a decent mid-range processor and a bigger battery. The A80 feels overpriced and Samsung hasn’t been able to justify that too well. The A80 should be considered only if you want a unique rotating camera system, for everything else, the A70 should keep you happy.