Hands on: Samsung Galaxy A50 Review

The Samsung Galaxy A50 represents the high-end of Samsung’s mid-range for 2019, offering some of the Galaxy S10’s key features in a lower-specced and less expensive device.

First Impressions

The Samsung Galaxy A50 dazzles and glimmers and promises the semblance of a top-end smartphone experience for less money. It looks fantastic and the main camera rattles off stills quickly. But without knowing how much the Galaxy A50 will cost, it’s hard to call an early verdict at this stage.

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: TBC
  • Size: 158.5 x 74.7 x 7.7mm
  • Screen: 6.4-inch FHD+ (2340x1080) Super AMOLED
  • Rear camera 1: 25-megapixel AF f/1.7
  • Rear camera 2: 8-megapixel FF f/2.2
  • Rear camera 3: 5-megapixel FF f/2.2
  • Front cameras: 25-megapixel FF f/2.0
  • Memory: 4GB + 64GB / 6GB + 128GB - microSD up to 512GB
  • Battery capacity: 4000mAh
  • Processor: Octa-core processor (4 x 2.3GHz, 4 x 1.7GHz)

Samsung announced a pair of new mid-range phones at MWC 2019, the Samsung Galaxy A50 and Galaxy A30.

This, the Samsung Galaxy A50 is the bigger and more powerful of the pair, boasting a main camera with three lenses, and in-display fingerprint scanner, 15W fast charging and a big 6.4-inch Super AMOLED screen. It looks gorgeous too, and promises to offer a modicum of high-end smartphone experience for a smaller price tag.

Samsung Galaxy A50 release date and price

Samsung didn’t mention when the Galaxy A50 would be going on sale, nor how much one might cost unlocked and SIM-free, and staff at Samsung’s stand at Mobile World Congress couldn’t tell me anything.

We’ll update this section once we hear of UK prices, network availability and release dates.

Samsung Galaxy A50

The Samsung Galaxy A50 has a triple-lens camera and a shiny 70’s disco manner

Samsung Galaxy A50 specifications and features

The Samsung Galaxy A50 cops a lot of the headline-grabbing features from the flagship Galaxy S10 phone. Three cameras? Check. In-display fingerprint sensor? Check. Infinity display (translation: really skinny bezels)? Also check. No 5G though (but did you really expect it to be a 5G phone?).

As with the Galaxy S10, and other phones featuring a triple-lens set-up, the three cameras – a 25-megapixel main sensor, an 8-megapixel sensor for wide angle data, and a 5-megapixel sensor for extra depth – work together to give you detailed digital zoom with minimal loss of detail, compared to digital zoom on single lens (and some double lens cameras) where software simply enlarges what’s in the frame.

When I played around with the phone, I was able to push all the way up to 4x magnification and take some sharp stills of the booth surrounding me, but I wasn’t able to successfully move any files away via Bluetooth for posterity. The Galaxy A50 model may not have been running the final software that it’ll ship with, but it was certainly quick to focus and to take pictures.

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Samsung Galaxy A50

The Galaxy A50’s main camera focuses and rattles off stills quickly

I didn’t really have much of a chance to try out the in-display scanner at the booth, as I had limited time which I couldn’t spend scanning in my fingerprints.

As for the display, it’s pretty fantastic. It looks pin sharp – I couldn’t spot any pixels – and the Galaxy A50’s brightness was strong enough to punch through the oppressive overhead glare of the booth’s spotlights.

Samsung Galaxy A50

The Galaxy A50’s display held up well in the over-bright Samsung booth.

This suggests that outdoor visibility will be good. The shiny coating however means that it’s going to suffer from glare.

The Samsung Galaxy A50 will be available in four colour options; black, white, coral, and blue. All the models I saw on the stand had blue edges and the same iridescent metallic finish on the back.

Samsung Galaxy A50

Despite its glossy back, Samsung Galaxy A50 doesn’t seem to exhibit fingerprint marks as obviously as similarly finished phones

The back coating is actually pretty striking. While there are plenty of shiny metal phones out there with polished finishes, the Samsung Galaxy A50 gleams with a prism-like effect, giving the Galaxy A50 a retro 70s disco vibe. This is possibly unintentional. Either way, the colourful rainbow reflections are a nice touch.

Other features you get with the Samsung Galaxy A50 are things like Samsung Pay, as well as Bixby Voice – Samsung’s Siri and Alexa wannabe voice assistant – and Bixby Vision, which lets you do things like translate menus with the camera.

The Samsung Galaxy A50 both looks and feels very premium. Without knowing how much either the 4GB + 64GB or 6GB + 128GB versions are going to cost – or even when/if they’ll come to the UK – it’s currently hard to call an early verdict on this. If the price is right, this could sell bucketloads, if it’s too much, it’ll be another forgotten mid-range phone.

A ’hands on review’ is our first impression of a product only - it is not a full test and verdict. Our writer must have spent some time with the product to describe an early sense of what it’s like to use. We call these ‘hands on reviews’ to make them visible in search. However these are always unscored and don’t give recommendations. Read more about our reviews policy.