Samsung Galaxy A70 first impressions: Has the makings of a perfect mid-range smartphone
Samsung recently launched its new mid-budget segment smartphone in India, the Galaxy A70. By the looks of it, the device seems to have the right mix for a great mid-range smartphone — it has a gorgeous display, beautiful design, a triple-camera setup, the new Snapdragon 675 SoC and 6 GB of RAM. However, while pretty much perfect on paper, the Galaxy A70 will also have some tough competition from the Nokia 8.1, and interestingly the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro as well, which is equipped with the same chipset and is also available in a 6 GB RAM variant (at Rs 16,999). Will the Galaxy A70 will be able to outdo its competition? Here’s what my first impressions suggest:
I have been using the Samsung Galaxy A70 for a day, with all my usual apps on board, I used it for surfing through all the social media apps I am addicted to, played a little PUBG on it, and clicked a lot of pictures as well. And if I have to put my first impressions in a few words, I would say, that I like what I see!
Gorgeous display and design you’d expect from a Samsung phone
The Galaxy A70 has a stunning 6.7-inch Super AMOLED display, that Samsung calls the Infinity U, because of the tiny waterdrop notch at the top.
Thanks to that tiny notch, the screen-to-body ratio of the display increases dramatically. If you look at the Galaxy A70, it looks pretty much bezel-less, and the screen size and colours are just perfect for viewing TV shows and movies on the device and playing video games.
The colours on the screen are bright and accurate. The touch-sensitivity is also quite responsive.
However, what I did not like about the display is the responsiveness of the fingerprint sensor that sits beneath it. While the touch response of the display itself is amazing, I really felt like my patience was being tested every time I unlocked the phone.
Unlike the Vivo V15 Pro’s (review) in-display fingerprint sensor, Galaxy A70’s isn’t a touch-and-go. It wants you to place your finger straight on the scanner mark, and then press and hold. That pressure and time to put on the sensor to let it scan your fingerprint take some time to master.
A day later, I have failed to figure it out. Let’s see if I am able to get a hang of it till I put out my review.
That design has two moods — Basic and snazzy!
Of course, a large-screened smartphone means it will be huge to hold in one hand. And that’s the case with this one too.
You definitely can not expect to use the phone with one-hand comfortably (unless you have Yeti hands), but I would like to point out that despite the large size, even with my tiny hands, I was easily able to grip it. I still use both hands to type, but without the fear of the phone slipping out of my hands. It’s a snug fit!
The back of the Galaxy A70 is made of a glossy glass material, but it’s plastic, so in the words of one my colleagues, let’s call it glasstic.
The unit I have is deep grey in colour, so when lying flat on some surface, you will see a solid single colour, however, when you pick it up and let some light fall on it, you will see rainbows or more like a prism-like reflection, and that’s where the snazzy bit steps in.
BUT, this entire snazz and basic mood is brutally killed by the excessive fingerprint smudges the back of the device attracts. At no point of you using the device without a case (a transparent one comes bundled with the device) will you find the device smudge-free.
The performance felt on fleek (most times)
After unboxing the A70, I loaded it with all my apps and started off with my usual day of social media-addiction on it. Constantly switching apps, Twitter to Instagram to Pinterest to Slack to WhatsApp and repeat. I faced no issues with app switching or app launching. Third-party and native apps did not hang up or crash either. However, there was an instance where Instagram became totally unresponsive. There was a grey layer on the app’s UI, and I couldn’t do anything in the app. Other than that, in the past one day, I found the device to be very responsive, apps load really quickly, and switching between them takes no time either.
Besides that, the battery performance of the phone seems satisfactory. I charged the phone up to 100 percent (in less than an hour, but the device was at 11 percent at that time) when I unboxed it, and I used it straight up for the next 24 hours and it was still at 45 percent, the next morning.
I would also quickly like to squeeze in the software on the Galaxy A70 here. The smartphone uses Samsung’s new OneUI, which is based on Android 9 Pie.
The UI is neat, has big icons, and is easy to surf through. It has a lot of themes and customisation, which I am still playing around with, more updates on that when the review is out.
It’s so difficult to switch that camera app off
I am really going to put it like it is, if you are testing the device, the Galaxy A70’s camera app has so much scope, you wouldn’t want to switch it off. It uses a triple camera set up at the back, with a 32 MP (primary sensor), an 8 MP ultrawide and a 5 MP depth sensor.
I have clicked a few pictures in the past 24 hours, and tried to contrast the regular and ultra wide shots (you can see that in the Flickr album below). The dynamic range of the images produced is great, and the colours are quite true to life. Images at 8x zoom though get hazy. Low light images are decent, they do get a little noisy though.
On the front, for selfies, the Galaxy A70 sports a 32 MP sensor, that again has gorgeous results, with great colours. However, selfie portraits aren’t such a great idea on this. When on selfie mode, there is an option on the camera app called Live Focus, which lets you adjust the blur in the background while you are clicking a picture. The edge detection in that is a bit disappointing.
I am yet to further test the night camera of the phone, but here are a few shots I got, and while the pictures look bright enough for a night shot, you can tell some details are missing. More on this when the review is out.
So what would it be…
The past 24 hours with the Galaxy A70 have been a lot of fun. But we have still got to know a lot about each other. From what I can tell, Nokia 8.1, which has been one of the nicest picks in this category till now, has some great competition. At Rs 28,990, the Galaxy A70 shows potential to be a great all-rounder, and I can’t wait to find out how it will fare in my review.
Tech2 is now on WhatsApp. For all the buzz on the latest tech and science, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Tech2.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.