Samsung Galaxy A72 Quick Review: Unique Enough to Stand Out
March 29, 2021 Andrew Cheng

The mid-range smartphone market is a hotly contested segment with many, many devices that stand out by offering fast performance or a high refresh rate screen at an affordable price point. In the case of the Samsung Galaxy A72, however, this isn’t the case. Retailing at RM1,899, it’s not the most affordable device in the segment, and it doesn’t offer class-leading performance either.

But the Galaxy A72 does have other unique features that let it stand out in this crowded segment, including a sophisticated camera system, a vibrant Super AMOLED screen, and of course, an IP67 rating. I’ve been using the phone for a couple of weeks now, and while the A72 doesn’t offer particularly good value for money, it definitely has its own charms to justify the higher than usual price tag.

What It Is

Display6.7-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED (2400 x 1080), 90Hz
ChipsetQualcomm Snapdragon 720G 2.3GHz octa-core
GPUAdreno 618
Storage256GB, expandable
Camera (rear)64MP f/1.8, PDAF, OIS
12MP f/2.2 (ultra-wide angle)
8MP f/2.4 (telephoto), PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom
5MP f/2.4 (macro)
Camera (front)32MP f/2.2
Dimensions165.0 x 77.4 x 8.4 mm
OSOne UI 3.1 based on Android 11
Bluetooth 5.0
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
USB Type-C

Only one variant of the Galaxy A72 is offered in Malaysia, which offers 256GB of expandable storage and 8GB of RAM for RM1,899. It’s quite a generous amount of storage, which justifies the price tag of the phone to an extent. Of course, as mentioned, you’re also getting a water-resistant phone for that kind of money – a feature you don’t typically find on devices at this price point.

The Good Stuff

Since we’re on the topic already, let’s talk about the IP67 rating of the Galaxy A72. While it’s not the most exciting feature, it’s definitely a unique selling point for this mid-range smartphone. After all, even most flagship-class phones are not water-resistant. The fact that the A72 can be submerged up to 1m underwater for 30 minutes can be a huge selling point to certain folks.

Aside from that, there’s also the 6.7-inch 1080p Super AMOLED screen of the Galaxy A72. Thanks to the 90Hz refresh rate, every animation on the screen looks smooth, even though it’s not quite as fast as a 120Hz panel. Really, the 90Hz refresh rate is more than good enough to provide a smooth, responsive user experience.

But more importantly, the screen quality of the Galaxy A72 is markedly better than its competition at this price point. Its display is much more vibrant, brighter, and it has better viewing angles too. Samsung makes some of the best panels in the business, and the A72’s screen quality is a testament of this.

Battery life of the Galaxy A72 is quite respectable as well. On average, I can get between six to seven hours of screen on time out of the 5,000mAh battery. Bear in mind that I’m quite a heavy smartphone user – with a few rounds of Genshin Impact here and there – so if you’re a lighter user, I imagine you can get up to two days of use on a single charge.

And then there’s the camera performance of the Galaxy A72’s quad camera system. It is made up of a 64MP f/1.8 primary sensor, a 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide angle shooter, an 8MP f/2.4 telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom, and a 5MP f/2.4 macro camera. Overall, this camera configuration performs relatively well.

While the camera interface does feel more sluggish in low light conditions, the Galaxy A72 can still snap good-looking shots in less than ideal lighting. It has decent detail preservation, dynamic range, and sharpness. The different focal lengths of the camera system also make it a versatile shooter, which is (again) not offered by many other phones in this price range.

Of course, the Galaxy A72 doesn’t have the best camera performance in the segment, but it is good enough for all intents and purposes. Plus, its versatility really is one of the main highlights here; all four sensors of the quad camera setup are actually functional. Unlike other phones with multiple camera lenses, these sensors are no mere gimmicks.

The Bad Stuff

With the Galaxy A72 being a mid-range device, it’s not held to the same high standards of Samsung’s more premium flagship smartphones. This is evident from the lacklustre build quality of the phone. While I quite like the matte finish on the plastic back of the A72, its plastic frame doesn’t feel particularly nice to the touch. Some parts of the frame even creak with applied pressure; this doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.

The performance level of the Galaxy A72 is another shortcoming as well. While the Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G chipset can deliver adequate performance, it still pales in comparison to, say, the Snapdragon 870 processor that’s found in the Poco F3. This is an important comparison, given that the F3 sits at a lower price point – it retails from only RM1,399 – than the A72.

Last but certainly not least is the price tag of the Galaxy A72. Retailing at RM1,899, its value proposition isn’t quite as good as the aforementioned Poco F3; even the 256GB + 8GB configuration of Poco’s offering costs only RM1,699. For RM200 less, you’re getting much better performance, not to mention a faster 120Hz AMOLED screen.

Granted, the Galaxy A72 still has a more versatile camera performance and an IP67 rating. The Poco F3, despite its faster chipset, screen, and more affordable price tag, doesn’t compare to the A72 in these two regards.

Is it Worth It?

If you want a mid-range smartphone with water resistance, a reasonably good, versatile camera performance, long battery life, as well as a vibrant, relatively fast 90Hz Super AMOLED display, the Samsung Galaxy A72 is a great option. There aren’t many smartphones that combine this feature set with a water-resistant chassis, which is what makes the A72 a unique mid-ranger.

Yes, there are other smartphones that offer better performance for the money, but processing power is just one aspect of what makes a smartphone…well, good. Even though it’s not the fastest phone, the Galaxy A72 aces it in other regards. In my opinion, it’s certainly a mid-ranger worth considering, especially for its water-resistant chassis and vibrant Super AMOLED display.