The smartphone industry often latches on to a notion of success in smartphone design. Fueled by the Internet hype culture, the prospect of their names etched in history books and the all-important bragging rights, the idea of fullscreen smartphone design has been treated the same way. In the pursuit of a truly bezel-less display, smartphone makers, and in turn, the industry has gone on quite the journey.
What began with uninterrupted panels on smartphones like the Sharp Aquos and Mi Mix was taken a ‘notch’ further by the Essential PH-One and the trendsetting iPhone X. Over the next year, the cutouts were reduced to a teardrop-style notch à la OnePlus 6T, but since the front camera was indispensable, there wasn’t much room for improvement. Or so we thought.
In came Chinese innovation with the likes of the Vivo Nex and Oppo Find X hiding their cameras and sensors in motorized pop-up units. These phones finally achieved that “fullscreen” aesthetic by tucking the necessary peripherals behind the display. Devices like the Mi Mix 3 were quick to follow with mechanical, manual alternatives.
With this also came advancements in biometrics, and phones had finally become what pop culture and hype had imagined them to be. But innovation doesn’t stop.
On Wednesday, Samsung launched a new addition atop their Galaxy A Series of midrangers, the Galaxy A80.
Galaxy A80, Go 180°
Samsung’s Galaxy A80 is a bezel-less slider phone with a new interpretation of the camera setup. To take a detour from Notch City, the phone uses an upward slider with a triple camera unit that swivels mechanically.
Samsung has introduced this phone as the first handset equipped with the “New Infinity” display, which unlike the rest of Samsung’s new roster has no notches or cutouts.
The Spec Sheet
The phone comes equipped with Samsung’s new ‘Smart Battery’ with a super-fast 25W, 3700mAh adaptive powerpack.
The A80 has an FHD+ Display with a 2:1 extra tall aspect ratio. On the inside, the phone is expected to pack a Snapdragon 730G series SoC running two cores at 2.2 GHz and 6 cores at 1.7 GHz, coupled with up to 8GB of RAM. For biometrics, there is facial scanning and an in-display fingerprint scanner. The phone will be available in Angel Gold, Ghost White and Phantom Black colours based on your region.
The automated pop camera consists of three sensors. The main 48-megapixel f/2.0 camera is flanked by a Time of Flight (ToF) sensor and an 8-megapixel f/2.2 ultrawide sensor.
When the front camera is summoned, the whole module rises with the pop-up slider and flips around to the front. This eliminates the need for a selfie camera and also readies the traditionally better rear camera for clicking self-portraits with the main and group selfies with the wide angle.
The selling point of the A80 has been set at EUR 649 which roughly translates to INR 51,000, positioning the phone in the ‘budget flagship’ category.
Critics have reiterated that usage of mechanical parts in smartphones is a step backward as it compromises durability and resistance to the elements. While the half-life of a slider may take some time to fully evaluate, one thing’s for sure: in the coming months, it’s gonna be time to say goodbye to the notch. See you on the flip side!
Galaxy A80 joins A10, A20, A30, A40, A50 and A70. More on them here. Follow @my_mobile_reviewer for the best mobile reviews.