Review, Smartphone

Samsung Galaxy A73 Review: Of Upgrades & (Some) Downgrades

While Samsung’s range of Galaxy A devices don’t offer the best value for money, they are feature-packed upper mid-range devices; the Samsung Galaxy A73 is one such phone. Priced at RM2,099, it’s not a particularly affordable device in its segment, but it does have a few notable upgrades over its predecessor.

However, the Galaxy A73 also gets a less versatile camera system than last year’s Galaxy A72, not to mention the fact that it now costs RM200 more. Granted, the A73 does get a slew of other upgrades, and if you don’t need a telephoto camera, it’s definitely a mid-ranger worth considering.

What It Is

Display6.7-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED Plus (2400 x 1080), 120Hz
ChipsetQualcomm Snapdragon 778G 2.4GHz octa-core
GPUAdreno 642L
RAM8GB
Storage256GB, expandable
Camera (rear)108MP f/1.8, PDAF, OIS
12MP f/2.2 (ultra-wide angle)
5MP f/2.4 (macro)
5MP f/2.4 (depth)
Camera (front)32MP f/2.2
Battery
5,000mAh with 25W fast charging
Dimensions163.7 x 76.1 x 7.6 mm
Weight
181g
OSOne UI 4.1 based on Android 12
Connectivity5G
LTE
NFC
Bluetooth 5.0
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
USB Type-C
PriceRM2,099

On paper, the Galaxy A73 is quite a well-equipped mid-range phone. Not only does it have a bright and vibrant Super AMOLED Plus display with a fast 120Hz refresh rate, it also gets a reasonably capable Snapdragon 778G chipset and IP67 water and dust resistance.

However, compared to its predecessor, the Galaxy A73 loses out on a dedicated telephoto sensor; in its place is a 5MP depth camera instead. As the camera system now lacks an extra focal length, it’s not as versatile anymore; more on this further down the review.

The Good Stuff

Let’s start with the Super AMOLED Plus display of the Galaxy A73. Now featuring a 120Hz refresh rate – an upgrade from 90Hz – the phone feels extra fluid and responsive. The 6.7-inch 1080p panel itself is also very pleasant to look at with punchy colours, high brightness, and deep blacks; inherent characteristics of an AMOLED screen.

Performance wise, the Galaxy A73 is quite good too. The Snapdragon 778G is more than fast enough to provide a smooth user experience in day-to-day use, and though it does struggle at running Genshin Impact at 60fps consistently, the graphically demanding game is still very playable.

As for build quality, despite sporting a plastic frame and rear panel, the Galaxy A73 still feels solid in my hands; the phone doesn’t feel cheap by any means. I also like the fact that it has a “flatter” frame than its predecessor, which makes it easier to get a good grip on the phone.

When it comes to battery life, the Galaxy A73 is quite long-lasting. Throughout the review period, I managed to consistently get over six hours of screen on time out of the generous 5,000mAh battery. While this is not the best battery life I’ve seen on a mid-ranger, it’s certainly not the worst either.

And then we have the camera performance of the Galaxy A73. Sporting a quad camera system made up of a 108MP primary shooter, a 12MP ultra-wide angle lens, a 5MP bokeh camera, and a 5MP depth sensor, it can take decent-looking shots, even in low light conditions.

Judge for yourself with these sample shots:

Last but certainly not least is the IP67 rating of the Galaxy A73. Yes, it’s not the most exciting feature, but it’s a unique selling point for this mid-range smartphone. After all, even most flagship-class phones are not water-resistant in 2022. The fact that the A73 can be submerged up to 1m underwater for 30 minutes can be a huge selling point to certain folks.

The Bad Stuff

Even though the Galaxy A73’s quad camera system is quite adequate, I’m not thrilled by the omission of the telephoto lens. Granted, a telephoto camera may not be a priority to some users, but it’s odd that Samsung decided to remove this sensor on the A73 when its predecessor already had one.

Okay, there is an option to do 2x zoom in the camera interface, but this is only digital zoom from the 108MP primary camera. The results are…well, decent, but detail preservation does suffer quite a bit, as you can see in the sample images above.

There’s also the fact that the Galaxy A73 is a RM2,099 mid-range smartphone. For that kind of money, you can get other devices with a much faster chipset, such as the RM2,299 Poco F4 GT with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip. You can even get it for only RM1,999 when it’s on sale.

Is It Worth It?

The Samsung Galaxy A73 does not offer the best value for money. But what it does offer is water resistance, a bright and vibrant Super AMOLED Plus screen with a fast 120Hz refresh rate, and a more than adequate camera performance despite the absence of a telephoto shooter.

You will definitely find other phones with better value proposition, but you’d be hard-pressed to look for another mid-ranger with a similar feature set as the Galaxy A73. As a plus point, this phone also shares the same software experience as Samsung’s flagship phones, which is to say it offers a responsive, polished operating system.

That is not something that can be said of many, many other Android phones across all segments.

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