Between punched screen, collapsible smartphone or water drop notch, Samsung is no longer prohibited, new proof with the Galaxy A80 which opts for a rotating camera.
The quest for a larger screen diagonal on smartphone will have had a merit: the brands innovate. After ten years of tactile monoliths, all more or less similar, manufacturers are now trying new approaches. We saw the notch, in all its forms, the punch, the slider, and soon the foldable smartphone. Until the arrival of the Galaxy Fold in the coming weeks, Samsung opts for the rotating camera with its Galaxy A80.
The product comes to oversee the A range which is spread this year on 6 terminals (in France): A10, A20e, A40, A50, A70 and finally A80, ranked by order of increasing prices. If there are so many phones, it’s because the J series that we knew until now and which represented the entry-level will disappear, in favor of the A10 and A20e still positioned on 200 euros. We were able to approach everyone this morning, but it was obviously the A80 that caught our attention most with its rotating camera.
We had already seen the motorized slider at the Oppo Find X. Samsung takes the principle, but puts his main photo module on a rotating mechanism. The rear sensors become the front sensors as needed. The advantage is twofold: first it removes the notch, and then take selfies with the same quality as a classic snapshot.
In detail, the photo part offers three sensors:
- The main from 48MP to f / 2.0
- An ultra-wide angle from 8MP to F / 2.2 (123 °)
- And finally a ToF sensor
The latter will mainly be used to calculate depth effects for portrait mode, but Samsung has added small features, including one to measure distances.
As always with mechanical parts, fragility is at the center of questions. On this point Samsung leaves us a little in doubt since the firm does not communicate on a number of cycles, it simply indicates that it has obviously been widely tested. For having the product in hand, we can attest that the piece is well assembled and that the set provides a certain feeling of solidity. The “flip” is done in 0.7 seconds, and with a small “bzzz” quite soft on the eardrums. It’s slow and fast at the same time, because we’re not going to use it that much.
A compromise case
The integration of this mechanism forced Samsung to make choices. The first victim is facial recognition. Which means that you will only have two ways to unlock your smartphone: the fingerprint with a sensor under the screen (using optical technology), or the good old code / schema. If the sensor is not perfectly reliable, it could be a bit useless everyday. On the other hand, you will not have to deploy the mechanism as often. Good for its durability.
Among other compromises, we find the weight and especially the thickness of the product. It is recurrent on smartphones to slider, Samsung is no exception with 220 grams on the scale and 9.3 mm thick. We can also mention the jack that disappears for the first time on a Samsung product. It was necessary to deport the SIM hatch at the bottom of the device, and therefore remove the analog connector. Last but not least, the 3700 mAh battery is a bit low for a 6.7-inch smartphone.
But what a screen! 6.7 inches, without any notch, it’s really big. And it’s fun to watch. Especially when it’s a super Amoled slab even if it only displays a definition Full HD, it was necessary to save the battery. It is also for the same reason that there is a Snapdragon 700 series in the terminal, which risk placing it slightly below its competitors in terms of performance.
So we have understood, the A80 makes a lot of compromises, but also beautiful promises. It also has the merit of taking risks and it’s all about Samsung. Despite some mechanical problems caused by the rotating system, we can not help being excited about this A80, frankly new (well almost) and damn cool. This gives back to the market a small side year 2000 where the craziest form factors have emerged (cuckoo N-Gage and Nokia 7600 ).
It must be admitted, however, that at 649 euros, he may have a little trouble making his hole in the market. It will be marketed at the end of May.