Samsung has been aggressively expanding its midrange lineup with the A-series. And in that wide variety of smartphones, we were particularly intrigued by the Samsung Galaxy A70. A tall phone with a big battery and plenty of features tucked in its svelte body. And that was enough to get us excited on the first glance. But has it pleased me over the course of 1 month of use? Well, we are going to answer that in this Samsung Galaxy A70 review.
Samsung Galaxy A70 Specifications:
- Display: 6.7-inch Super AMOLED Infinity-U display
- Resolution: Full-HD+ (2400×1080 pixels); 20:9 aspect ratio
- CPU: octa-core (2×2.0 GHz Kryo 460 Gold & 6×1.7 GHz Kryo 460 Silver)
- Chipset: Snapdragon 675
- RAM: 6GB
- Storage: 128GB; Expandable up to 512GB (Dedicated SD Card Slot)
- OS & UI: Android 9.0 (Pie) with Samsung’s OneUI on the top
- Rear Camera: Triple camera – (32 MP, f/1.7, PDAF) + (8 MP, f/2.2, 12mm, (ultrawide)) + (5 MP, f/2.2, depth sensor), LED flash
- Front Camera: 32MP, f/2.0
- Sensors: Fingerprint (under display), Gyro, accelerometer, proximity, compass
- Battery: 4500mAh with 25watt fast charging support; USB Type-C port
- Colors: Blue, Coral, and Black
- Price: Rs. 47,990
Let’s start the things with the design. The phone comes with a 3D Glasstic back and an aluminum frame wraps the device. And with this combination, the device looks awfully similar to the cheaper Galaxy A30 and A50 devices. At this price, we usually expect a glass back. But that’s not the case here. Nonetheless, the Glasstic back look quite pleasing with its shimmering rainbow effect.
Despite being a huge phone, the phone is relatively light when it comes to weight. But it does not feel that cheap when held in the hands. It is quite ergonomically designed that the weight is evenly distributed so as to offer convenience while holding it in the hands. All thanks to the glass-looking plastic material on the back. However, this Glasstic back is also a fingerprint magnet and gets scratched quite easily. So putting on a case is a must.
But what impressed me the most was the lack of camera bump on the back. Unlike the Vivo V15 Pro and Oppo F11 Pro, the A70 has an ignorable camera bump so it does not rock in the plain surface. Not a deal breaker for the most, but there is that.
Now let’s talk about the display. The phone comes with a tall 6.7-inch Super AMOLED display. With a big size of the display, the phone is primarily targeted at multimedia enthusiasts. The display also comes with a tiny U-shaped notch on the top, which is not as obtrusive. With the Super AMOLED panel on the board, the colors really pop on the device.
And the Full-HD+ resolution ensures sharp contents on the screen. However, the display on this device comes with a quirky 20:9 aspect ratio.
Samsung claims that the company has incorporated this weird aspect ratio to offer cinematic experience while viewing the contents. However, I couldn’t quite find the videos matching the aspect ratio. While viewing videos at univisium or 18:9 aspect ratio, I ended up with black bars on the left and right. And while viewing contents on an Ultrawide cinema or 21:9 aspect ratio, there were black bars on the top and the bottom. So I couldn’t quite experience the immersive cinematic experience Samsung promised.
But while browsing other contents, there are no issues whatsoever. With a tiny notch on the top and thin bezels, the screen looks immersive. The chin is as thin as Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S10. So the Galaxy A70 certainly deserves the praise on this respect. Also, the display here is significantly bright. So even on the broad daylight, the contents on the screen can be viewed very easily. That means the A70 has got almost everything covered in the display department.
But the major missing on this device is a notification LED. So you have to make use of the Always On Feature to keep track of the notifications on the Lock Screen mode.
In the past, Samsung was quite stingy when it comes to performance. But that’s not the case anymore. Samsung has employed Snapdragon 675 chipset on this device, which is a capable processor in the midrange category. With this processor on the board, the performance was really smooth. Normal apps and games run without any hiccups. Since the phone comes with an ample 6GB of RAM, multitasking, and switching between apps is not a problem either.
I even played some graphics-intensive games on this device. And there is nothing to complain here too. PUBG is playable at high settings and during the gameplay, I did not notice any sort of lags and stutters. Even while playing Asphalt 9, there was no any sort of frame drops either.
However, in the prolonged sessions, the smartphone tends to get slightly warm. Since the temperature doesn’t rise to the level to cause discomfort on the use, I won’t really call it a heating issue. Also, I don’t exactly know if it is the poor cooling system or the scorching sun, which caused that slight rise in temperature.
Talking about the memory, the phone comes aboard with 128GB of internal storage. Well, that’s quite a lot and I could barely fill even half of the storage during my use. So if you are planning to get this device, you may not fall short on the storage front. Even if you do, there is a dedicated SD card slot and you can make use of it to expand the storage up to 512GB.
Samsung Galaxy A70 Benchmark Scores
- AnTuTu v7: 168,559
- CPU: 78543, GPU: 33564, UX: 46985, Memory: 9467
- Sequential Read: 509.66 MB/s
- Sequential Write: 192.27 MB/s
- Geekbench 4
- Single-core: 2394, Multi-core: 6492, RenderScript Score: 6122
- PC Mark
- Work 2.0: 7672
- 3D Mark
- Slighshot Extreme OpenGL ES 3.1: 975
- Slighshot Extreme Vulkan: 1065
Software & UI
On the software side, you get the latest Android Pie out of the box. And like most of Samsung’s latest phones, this one also comes with Samsung’s custom skin One UI on the top. Although Samsung has designed the One UI for single-handed use, this phone is so big that it’s barely usable with a single hand.
However, the phone comes with tons of features on the board. And since most of them are customizable, you can easily tune the device to your liking. Among all the features inside, I am quite fond of the Night Mode. With this mode turned on, the notification shade and the setting run on a black theme. So in addition to saving some battery juice, the phone will save you from some eyestrain too. There is also a Bluelight filter option, which further prevents your eyes from the dark effect of blue light.
For the people with the kids, Samsung has also included a dedicated kid mode. Turning on this mode lets you use only a few limited apps. So even if your kids accidentally press some buttons on the phone, you won’t have to worry a bit. I don’t have kids in my home but those who do, it might come in really handy.
Continuing with the software, let’s talk about the bloatware now. Unlike most of the custom skins out there, the one on the A70 comes with just a few bloatware. And since most of them can be uninstalled quite easily, I have nothing to complain here. But I am not quite satisfied with one thing though.
I have already complained about it in a number of Samsung phones and I will complain on this one too. Yes, it’s about the Icons. The Icons on this device looks cartoonish. And with the cartoonish UI, the smartphone looks like a cheap knockoff. So I hope Samsung will release an update and fix those icons.
Let’s talk about the camera now. The phone comes with a triple camera setup at the back. Among which the primary one gets a 32MP sensor. There is also an 8MP ultra-wide-angle lens and a 5MP depth sensor, which promises a fair bit of versatility.
Images from the main camera look decent. The colors look close to natural so the images are usually pleasing to the eyes. However, the images don’t look particularly sharp when it comes to the details. Despite having a 32MP sensor, the phone captures 12MP images by default. So I thought that was the reason for the reduced sharpness. But even when I took full-res 32MP images, I did not find much of a difference in terms of images quality. The phone also quite suffers when it comes to the dynamic range. Most of the times, the device fails to preserve the shadow details.
Talking about the ultra-wide-angle camera, it does a decent job. When I reviewed the Galaxy A50, there was a color-shifting issue while capturing images from the primary camera and ultra-wide-angle camera. But that’s no longer a case here. The colors look good here and it generously stretches the field of view. So I have nothing to complain about here.
When it comes to the portrait images, it has quite got better when compared to the A50. But still, it’s not perfect. The phone still struggles to detect the edges properly. So even the artifacts of the subject are blurred most of the times. And it’s more pronounced in the hair part. While looking at the smartphone screen, you may not be able to notice it. But if you zoom in slightly, you can easily find it. I hope it will get better with the software updates.
Nonetheless, the portrait mode on the device is really playful, I really enjoyed taking some artistic portrait images. Apart from adjusting the amount of blurs into the images, you can also give a different perspective to the background. There are Spin, Zoom and Color Point effects, which makes the portrait images look quite cool.
Low light images are not particularly great either. Colors look faded in the low light and noises and grains are also quite evident. But since the phone supports Gcam, you can use the Gcam’s Night Sight feature to enhance the colors and to subdue the noises.
Selfies look good on the A70. The phone quite preserves the skin tone so the normal selfies look natural. But on switching to the portrait mode, the phone slightly smoothens the skin and whitens them. And talking about the background blurring, it is also not the perfect one. It also fails to detect the edges properly through the images look decent most of the times. However, taking portrait group selfie is kinda tricky here. The phone focuses on one face and blurs all the other faces, which could really be annoying. Although there is not an extra wide-angle lens on the front, there is a wide-angle selfie. It slightly extends the field of view. Although I didn’t find it particularly useful, it might come in handy if you are with a group of friends.
Also, there’s Slow Motion and Super Slo-Mo features. With these features, you can record abrupt moments up to 480fps at 720P resolution. But what’s not acceptable here is its normal videos doesn’t have any kind of stabilization, not even EIS. The Color reproduction and focusing are good, though.
So, to sum up, the camera, it’s not a great camera, it’s slightly better than the much cheaper Galaxy A50, but it will do for the most part.
For high res images, Click here.
Now let’s talk about the audio. Since the device is targeted at the multimedia enthusiasts, I was quite expecting a stereo speaker setup but that’s not the case here. The device comes with a single bottom-firing speaker, which is just an average performer. Loudness is on par with most of the midrange devices out there. And it often tends to get distorted while playing audio in loud volumes. Even when it comes to the audio quality, there is nothing extraordinary here. So there is nothing to be excited here.
However, there is a treat for the people, who love listening to music via headphones. The phone comes with Dolby Atmos support, which can be turned on only if the headphones are connected to the phone. With the Dolby Atmos turned on, I noticed quite a boost in the audio volume. In addition, there was also a better separation between the left and the right channels. You can also quite notice the depth in the music. So if you are an audiophile, the phone won’t disappoint when listening to music via headphones. Samsung has also included a pair of headphone on the box but they are not quite impressive. Though, it does a fine job while making some voice calls.
On the security side, the phone gets a fingerprint scanner and the Face Unlock feature as the biometric means of unlocking the device. The fingerprint scanner on this device rests underneath the display. So with the under-display fingerprint scanner on the board, the A70 looks fancy. But it’s not quite on the level of flagship S10 devices. The phone uses an optical scanner contrary to the ultrasonic one on the Galaxy S10.
Although it’s good to see such type of technology in the midrange devices like the A70, the tech is not quite polished on this one. Previously, the fingerprint scanner took more than 1 second to unlock the device. The scanner also had a bad record of recognizing the fingerprint. And it was absolutely frustrating. But recently, I received the May security update, which came with enhancements on the fingerprint scanner. The scanner is slightly faster now. But still not quite on the level of Vivo V15 Pro. The Vivo V15 Pro uses the same technology but is very quick to unlock the device. The fingerprint scanner on the V15 Pro unlocks the device in just 0.37 seconds, which is a lot faster than the A70.
I noticed that the device is quick to unlock the device when the screen is on. So if you are bothered by its slow speed, you can use that trick as well. And as I have been regularly receiving updates, I hope Samsung will software updates to enhance the unlocking speed even further.
There is also a Face Unlock feature in this phone. The Face Unlock feature uses just the front camera to register and authenticate the face. So it’s not quite accurate. The unlocking speed of this feature is not that fast as well, especially if you compare it with the smartphones like Oppo F11 Pro and Vivo V15 pro. But since it’s faster than the Fingerprint, I find myself using it more often.
Now let’s head on to the battery part. In its slim form factor, Samsung has surprisingly packed a massive 4500mAh battery. As you can expect from smartphones with a big battery, it provides prolonged endurance. On the normal use, a fully charged A70 can easily provide two days of backup. You can even extend the battery life by turning the Power Saving Mode and Ultra Power Saving Mode options.
Despite having a huge battery, charging the device is still hassle-free. The phone comes with a 25-watt charger in the box, which helps to refill the battery really fast. And it’s quite surprising that Samsung has included a 25-watt fast charger on the box of A70 whereas the flagship S10 devices still come with 15-watt chargers. Taking about the charging time, you can get your device fully refilled in around 1 and half hours using the 25-watt stock charger.
The Galaxy A70 is really a device for multimedia enthusiasts. With a big vibrant display and a big battery, it is quite an ideal phone for multimedia consumption at this price range. With the clean UI and the capable processor on the board, the device is also swift and smooth. And the camera is also on par with the competition, if not the best.
Although the under-display fingerprint scanner has improved in terms of speed and accuracy with the recent update, it’s still not as good as its competitors. So if you want a slightly better camera and faster fingerprint scanner, Vivo V15 Pro (Rs. 50,390) might please you. But note that, the UI on the V15 Pro is not everyone’s cup of tea. Other than the fingerprint scanner and camera, the A70 is on par or better than the Vivo V15 Pro in almost every aspect.
Samsung Galaxy A70 Pros and Cons
- Big and vibrant display
- Capable processor on the board and fast memory
- Big battery with fast charging support
- Clean and smooth UI
- Slow fingerprint scanner
- Cameras not up to the mark