Hands-On, Smartphone

Samsung Galaxy A50s & A30s Hands-On: Good Mid-Rangers in a Crowded Segment

Ever since Samsung replaced its Galaxy J series of smartphones with the Galaxy A, the Korean company’s mid-range offerings have gotten steadily better. The new Galaxy A50s and Galaxy A30s are no exceptions: they are now sleeker, more feature-packed, and still relatively affordable.

However, these improvements do come at a price. Compared to its predecessors, the Galaxy A50s and A30s cost RM100 more, which puts them in a slightly unfavourable position, especially for the Galaxy A50s. With that in mind, are these two new Galaxy A series devices any good? Let’s find out.

Let’s start with the Galaxy A30s, which I personally think this is the more exciting smartphone of the two. See, for only RM899, this phone has an in-screen fingerprint sensor along with 64GB of storage. Honestly, I can’t think of any other smartphone with an in-screen sensor at this price point.

Granted, it’s a mediocre sensor, but it is definitely serviceable. While it takes a couple of tries for the sensor to recognise my fingerprint, it is fast enough to not feel cumbersome to use. Is it as fast as a conventional capacitive sensor? Well, no, but the positioning of the in-screen fingerprint sensor right underneath the display is arguably better.

Of course, the higher-end RM1,299 Galaxy A50s also has an in-screen fingerprint sensor. As far as I can tell, it behaves similarly to the Galaxy A30s’ sensor. Meaning it’s relatively quick, but it does struggle to recognise my fingerprint on the first try.

Aesthetically, both the Galaxy A50s and A30s look pretty sleek, thanks to the new rear panel design. The pattern may look a little…unconventional, but I like it. There’s also a slight difference in design between the A50s and A30s’ back panel.

Build quality of the two phones, on the other hand, is alright. To keep costs down, the Galaxy A50s and A30s retain the plastic constructions of their predecessors, which don’t feel particularly premium. But hey, at least they look good – my personal favourite is the Prism Crush Green model.

Just like their predecessors, the Galaxy A50s and A30s feature 6.4-inch Super AMOLED displays, but the A50s has a 1080p screen, while the A30s comes with a lower resolution 720p panel; a downgrade over the original A30’s 1080p display. On top of that, the A50s also features a slightly better-looking Infinity-U notch than the A30s’ Infinity-V notch.

What about the display quality of both phones? Well, given that they are Super AMOLED screens, you’ll get vibrant colours, deep blacks, and excellent viewing angles. Naturally, the Galaxy A50s has the more impressive display, thanks to its higher resolution count.

In the performance department, the Galaxy A50s and A30s feel quick and responsive in my brief time with the two smartphones. That being said, considering the fact that the A50s has a higher clocked Exynos 9611 2.3GHz octa-core chipset (with 6GB RAM), it’s the faster device of the two. The A30s, on the other hand, is powered by an Exynos 7904 1.8GHz octa-core processor paired with 4GB of RAM.

Battery capacities of the Galaxy A50s and A30s, on the other hand, remain the same at 4,000mAh. Both phones also support 15W fast charging.

Camera performance of these two new Galaxy A smartphones have been improved accordingly too. The Galaxy A30s now comes with a triple camera system (from only a dual camera configuration), which is made up of a 25MP primary shooter, an 8MP wide angle camera, and a 5MP depth sensor. The selfie camera, on the other hand, is the same 16MP sensor as its predecessor.

As for the Galaxy A50s, the primary shooter of the triple camera setup is upgraded from a 25MP sensor to a more capable 48MP camera, which should improve the overall camera performance. Beyond that, the other two shooters are the same 8MP wide angle camera and 5MP depth sensor as the Galaxy A50.

Not surprisingly, the Galaxy A50s takes better-looking shots. The primary shooter can capture more detail with better exposure and dynamic range. The same can be seen in the wide angle shots too, despite the fact that both phones feature 8MP sensors.

Even with this disparity in image quality, it’s not that the A30s has bad camera performance; it’s just not as good as the A50s’ more sophisticated camera system. In a pinch, the A30s will definitely suffice. However, it could be a different story in less than ideal lighting. Only a full review of both phones can shed some light on their low light camera performances.

The Samsung Galaxy A50s and Galaxy A30s are really quite good mid-range smartphones, and they’re relatively affordable as well, retailing at RM1,299 and RM899 respectively. For that kind of money, you’re getting 128GB of storage with the A50s, and 64GB of space for the A30s. Both devices support expandable storage too.

But, despite their affordable price tags, they are surrounded by other similarly priced devices that can either offer faster performance, more solid build quality, or better camera systems. Just to name a few, there’s the Redmi Note 7, the Xiaomi Mi A3, and even the Xiaomi Mi 9T.

It’s no coincidence that these are all smartphones from Xiaomi: this price range has always been dominated by the Chinese company. The new Galaxy A series is directly competing with Xiaomi in this highly competitive price segment, and it will be tough for the Galaxy A50s and A30s to stand out.

That being said, until I’ve managed to put these two phones through its paces in a full review, it’s hard to say if Xiaomi devices are superior to Samsung’s new mid-rangers, and vice versa. For what it’s worth, I reckon the Galaxy A50s and A30s can offer – at the very least – better software experience.

After all, they are running on Samsung’s One UI software, which is also found on the company’s higher-end smartphones, including the Galaxy S10 and Note 10 series. On top of that, software isn’t exactly Xiaomi’s strong suit either, though it makes up for this with sheer value for money.