Samsung Galaxy A80 Preview – Damn ingenious, but at what cost?

Samsung has buried the Galaxy J series and continues to expand the A series. Six A-devices have been announced, which vary in suggested retail price from 150 to 649 euros. The most expensive of the bunch is the Galaxy A80 and by a significant margin, because the first below is the A70, with a suggested retail price of 399 euros.

Rightly so, because the preview samples of the Galaxy A80 that were intended for the event were still at customs. As a result, all journalists present had to make do with one early pre-production copy, so we had little time. Nevertheless, we have tried to discover as much as possible about this new smartphone, because it is a special one. The device has a rotating camera system. You can read what, how and why in this preview.

The rotating camera of the Galaxy A80 resembles the slide-out camera of the Oppo Find X in some ways. Part of the phone also comes up with the A80; the part that contains the camera. With the A80, however, the camera system itself also runs. It concerns the metal-framed part containing the LED flash. The axis is horizontal in this rectangular part with the rounded sides.

The camera setup, which is normally located at the back, then points forward. This has the advantage that no separate front camera is required. Since the front camera is usually the weak brother among smartphone cameras, that can be nice for selfie enthusiasts. If we wanted to take a selfie ourselves, we often used the camera on the back, especially in times when front cameras were still very bad.

Still, not the camera quality, but the screen is the main reason to use this system. Because no front camera is needed, a hole or notch in the screen is also superfluous and that is the wet dream of today’s smartphone manufacturers. The screen on the Galaxy A80 is therefore beautiful to see. The lack of a hole or bite in the screen is part of that, but the OLED technology also helps. It’s also huge at 6.7 inches, so if you’re a big screen enthusiast, this is the Samsung handset you might have been waiting for. Compared to the S10 devices, the A80 has to do without HDR10 support and the screen can be less bright. The screen is not curved, just like the Galaxy S10e.

The Galaxy A80 is certainly not a small one, which makes sense with such a large screen. It’s even longer than the Note 9 and the S10+, and it’s not slim at 9.3mm either. It is as thick as the Motorola Moto G7 Power and that device is thicker to allow for a larger battery capacity. The A80 is perhaps mainly thicker to house the mechanism, because the 3700mAh battery is not absurdly large for this screen size. Still, the Galaxy A80 doesn’t feel overly thick or heavy, although that’s probably a different story when it’s in your pocket. If you try to bend the device, it doesn’t give much, but we haven’t done that extensively with the sliding mechanism, due to a lack of spare ones.

Leaving aside the thickness, the rest of the dimensions are simply the result of a 6.7″ screen. Buying a smartphone with such a huge screen is a choice and Samsung could not have made the housing much smaller. The bezels are narrow They are about the same as those of the Galaxy S10e, but of course somewhat smaller in relation to the screen size than with that device.

Relative screen size Bezels high Bezels wide Screen ratio Pixel density
85.76% 10mm 6.7mm 20:9 393ppi

The cons

A bite out of your screen is of course not ideal, but the question is at what price it can be omitted. We can largely only answer that question in the review. For example, we do not yet have a good idea of ​​​​the camera quality and it could well be lower than we hope, because there is less space for the camera hardware. After all, that also seemed to be the case with the Oppo Find X.

There is also the question of how vulnerable the rotating system is. We have been tinkering with the system and are not convinced of its sturdiness. If you put the A80 on the table and activate the front camera, causing the system to extend and rotate, the camera will hang halfway. That worked out well during our session, after folding it in and out again, but it would be a shame if it suddenly didn’t reset properly. In addition, compared to the Find X, there seems to be an extra motor to run the camera system. It is not a mechanism with a spring and you seem to hear an extra motor when you activate the front camera. What we are most concerned about is sand getting into the mechanism. You will need to keep this system very clean to ensure proper operation.

Unlike the larger S10 brothers, the Galaxy A80 does not have an IP rating. What it also lacks compared to those more expensive devices is wireless charging, but you can charge the 3700mAh battery of the A80 faster than that of the S10 devices, namely with 25 watts. In addition, a micro SD card does not fit in the device if 128GB storage memory is not enough for you.

We also heard from Samsung that the sensor is smaller than with the S10 series and that it takes less good photos. The camera system also has no optical stabilization, which often does not help the camera quality, especially when less light is available. The camera setup is similar in functionality to that of the S10e, as it has a wide-angle camera in addition to the primary camera, but no telephoto camera. The third camera has a time-of-flight sensor. The primary sensor has a whopping 48 megapixels, although it just shoots photos at 4032×3024 pixels by default. The wide-angle camera has a viewing angle of 123 degrees, which is considerable. Unfortunately, you can’t use it when the cameras are facing forward.

We took a photo with both usable lenses and you can see the results above. Of course we can’t say much about the camera quality after taking a few photos, but we do have the impression that the Galaxy S10 can generate more detail in this situation, which is not surprising.

The Galaxy A80 can see depth thanks to the tof camera and can generate artificial background blur not only in photos, but also in videos. That’s a feature we’ve seen on Huawei devices before and the A80 is the first Samsung device to have it. The so-called Super Steady feature has also been built into the Galaxy A80 after the S10 series. It means that videos are better stabilized by digitally cropping to compensate for unwanted movements. The image recognition that becomes possible with the Snapdragon 730 would also play a role in this.

Differences from the S10 series

The Galaxy A80 runs on a Qualcomm SM7150 soc. That is basically the Snapdragon 730-soc, which has a clock speed of 2.2 GHz for two powerful and 1.7 GHz for six less powerful cores. It should be a capable soc, which belongs to the high middle class, but the speed of the device was a bit disappointing. For example, the optical fingerprint scanner behind the screen was less fast than we had hoped, the camera sometimes slowed down a bit and switching between apps was significantly slower than on a Galaxy S10. However, the device we’ve been holding is an early pre-production model according to Samsung, and the software is certainly not final yet. The speed we experienced can certainly be improved by software optimization, so we refrain from passing judgment on this.

What was also striking is that there is no speaker above the screen. When you talk on the phone with the A80, the vibrations from the screen form the sound that enters your ear. The Galaxy A80 therefore has mono sound when playing media. Also surprising is that there is no 3.5mm port on the device, especially since the S10 series does have it.


The Galaxy A80 is a special bird of paradise, but we are afraid that it is also somewhat vulnerable in practice. Of course, after a short hands-on, we cannot say how fragile the system is, but the fact is that systems with such moving parts and motors can break. The old adage ‘if it ain’t done, it can’t be broken’, therefore applies here. In addition, the system makes the device extra sensitive to dirt and water.

The device is also close to the Galaxy S10e in terms of price, although the A80 naturally derives its right to exist from the huge screen. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. In that sense, it does not really get in the way of the S series, but there are of course other devices with large OLED screens in this price region, such as those from OnePlus.

It is interesting and also nice to see that Samsung is innovating considerably, first with the Galaxy Fold and now with the Galaxy A80. We will therefore review the device with love to find out whether it is especially nice for Samsung’s image or whether it is actually practical to use.