[First Cut] Galaxy A50: Samsung (finally) floats a budget flagship
Impressive specs and design…and a good price too
Samsung’s A series has been anything but predictable. It started as a series of devices that was just below its flagship Note and S series of devices, but as time passed, it sort of embraced other segments too and became a blend of mid-segment and upper mid-segment devices. With the A50, however, the A series seems to be not just going boldly into the zones that have traditionally belonged to the budget flagships from the likes of OnePlus (before the OnePlus 5), Xiaomi and Asus, but is actually even trying to go toe to toe with them in terms of the price-performance ratio, seemingly stepping away from the slight premium it used to charge.
For, let’s face it, at Rs 19,990, the Galaxy A50 offers staggering value for money. And that’s even before you look at its spec sheet. The front of the device is all about the 6.4-inch super inch AMOLED display with a full HD+ resolution and drop notch. But we wager that what will really catch attention is its back, which although made of carbonate, reflects light in a manner that is reminiscent of the flagship S10+ – we have never seen such patterns of light and color emerge from the back of a device at this price point. It is a slightly large frame but at 7.7 mm, it is impressively thin and not too heavy either. The A50 feels like a premium phone, no matter how much you wrinkle your nose about its plastic back.
And its innards are not too far off the premium block either. The display, of course, is a dazzler, hardly surprising given Samsung’s expertise in that department, and the phone comes in RAM and storage combinations of 4 GB/ 64 GB and 6 GB/ 64 GB, with a dedicated memory card slot for those wanting more storage – you can take it all the way to 512 GB! But what really yank it into the upper echelons of the market are the fingerprint scanner that lies below the display, the Exynos 9610 processor (which is a clear level above the Exynos 7904 seen in the Galaxy M30 and the Galaxy A30 and is supposed to handle gaming and multitasking much better than those two and is closer to the flagship Exynos chipsets seen in the S and Note series), and the triple camera arrangement on the back.
The Galaxy A50 comes with a 25-megapixel main camera (with a large f/1.7 aperture), an 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera and a 5-megapixel camera for depth of field. Allied to them is a 25-megapixel front-facing camera as well. Add Android Pie to the mix, topped off with Samsung’s relatively uncluttered One UI, and top it all off with a massive 4000 mAh battery, with support for fast charging over a USB Type-C port and a 15 W charger in the box, all the connectivity options you could ask for (yes, the 3.5 mm audio jack is alive and well) and you can see why we are so impressed by the Galaxy A50.
The A series has often tended to stay a little aloof from the general budget flagship segment but with the A50, there is no doubting that Samsung is now really mixing it up with the likes of not just the Nokia 8.1, but also the Poco F1 and the Asus Zenfone 5Z as well as the latest from Oppo and Vivo. This is Samsung mixing it up with the best in the budget flagship and premium mid-segment business and trying to prove it can more than match them at their own strengths. It definitely has the looks and the specs, and rather remarkably, even the price (Rs 19,990 for 4 GB/ 64 GB and Rs 22,990), but just how well it will fare against the tough competition it faces will be revealed in our review. Stay tuned.