Samsung Galaxy A73 Review: Should’ve Been Awesomer

108MP camera comes to Galaxy A series for the first time. But is that enough?

Samsung Galaxy A73 Review
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Here’s our review of the new Samsung Galaxy A73. If you want the absolute best Samsung smartphone experience, the Galaxy S series is where it’s at—or the Galaxy Z lineup if we’re talking foldables.

And for everyone else that either can’t or doesn’t want to spend top dollars, Samsung’s got you covered with the Galaxy A series. It hosts an array of smartphones ranging from the ones that just get the job done to the ones that get the job done handsomely.

And among all the phones Samsung has launched in this lineup so far, the A73 is the most expensive one you can get. The crème de la crème, if you will. I’ve been using the Samsung Galaxy A73 for a little over 2 weeks now and in this review, let me share what the best A series phone of 2022 gets you—or if it’s worth getting at all. Here we go!

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Samsung Galaxy A73 Specifications:

  • Body: 76.1 x 163.7 x 7.6mm, 181 gm, Plastic back/frames, IP67 dust and water-resistant
  • Display: 6.7-inches “Infinity-O” Super AMOLED Plus, 120Hz refresh rate, 240Hz touch sampling rate, Gorilla Glass 5
  • Other Properties: SGS Eye Care certified, Ambient light adaptive tone control (ATC), 800 nits peak brightness, HDR10
  • Resolution: FHD+ (2400 x 1080 pixels), 392.8 PPI, 20:9 aspect ratio
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G 5G (6nm mobile platform)
  • CPU: Octa-core:
    – 4x Kryo 670 Gold (Cortex-A78, 2.40 GHz)
    – 4x Kryo 670 Silver (Cortex-A55, 1.80 GHz)
  • GPU: Adreno 642L
  • Memory: 8GB LPDDR4X RAM, 128/256GB storage (fixed)
  • Software & UI: Android 12 with Samsung’s One UI 4.1 on top
  • Rear Camera: Quad (with LED flash);
    – 108MP, f/1.8 primary sensor, OIS
    – 12MP, f/2.2 ultrawide sensor
    – 5MP, f/2.4 portrait sensor
    – 5MP, f/2.4 macro lens
  • Front Camera: 32MP, f/2.2 sensor (hole-punch cutout)
  • Audio: Dual speaker, Dolby Atmos Audio, No 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Security: In-display fingerprint sensor (optical), Face unlock
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Geomagnetic, Gyro, Light, Proximity
  • Connectivity: Dual-SIM (Nano), WiFi 6 a/b/g/n/ac/ax (Dual-band), Bluetooth 5.0, GPS / AGPS / Glonass / Beidou / Galileo / QZSS, USB Type-C, 4G LTE (VoLTE), 5G
  • Battery: 5000mAh with 25W wired charging (no power adapter provided)
  • Color Options: Awesome Gray, Awesome Mint, Awesome White
  • What’s inside the box: Galaxy A73, SIM ejector, USB-C to USC-C cable, User manual and other documents
  • Price in Nepal: NPR 72,999 (8/256GB)

Samsung Galaxy A73 Review:

Design & Build

  • 76.1 x 163.7 x 7.6mm, 181 grams
  • Glass front, Plastic back/frames
  • IP67 dust and water resistance

So let’s start with the design side of things. And boy oh boy is this a good-looking phone! I’m not lying when I say that gazing into its pastel mint back with the camera island that just… melts into the phone has taken a significant time of my day ever since I’ve had the A73 in my pocket.

Then again, this design language can be found in the much cheaper Galaxy A33 and A53 as well—among many other things. Besides mint, the phone is also available in Gray and White color options, but this is clearly the crowd-puller.

Apart from good looks, the Galaxy A73 also impresses with its ergonomics—if you have big hands that is. For folks like me, A73’s large footprint makes single-handed use a constant struggle. And having to use both hands to hold the phone is a special struggle on these hot Summer days since it catches smudges from my sweaty palms rather easily. But hey, it’s pretty lightweight for such a big phone so all is not lost.

And like its predecessor, the A73 is IP67 certified against dust and water damage too. Still and all, I wish it had a more premium build quality since the phone is all-plastic—be it the back panel or the glossy frames. This means that the Galaxy A73 is subject to scuffs and even discoloration over time if not handled with the utmost care.

Display

  • 6.7-inches FHD+ Super AMOLED Plus
  • 120/240Hz refresh/touch sampling rate
  • Gorilla Glass 5, 800 nits peak brightness

On to the display, it’s not news that Samsung makes the best smartphone screens out there. And assuming the same for the A73 would be no mistake. Everything from colors, contrast, white balance, to brightness levels is excellent on this tall 6.7” Super AMOLED Plus display. Not to mention, it is also Widevine L1 and HDR10 certified for high-quality streaming on OTT platforms like Netflix.

Moreover, contrary to last year’s Galaxy A72, this one feels a lot smoother as well since it refreshes at 120Hz instead of 90Hz. And look at those bezels; almost as slim as you’d find on Samsung’s latest flagships. Despite all this, the A73’s display doesn’t support dynamic refresh rate.

Samsung Galaxy A73 - Display 2

I’m not talking about the LTPO panel where the screen’s refresh rate adjusts according to the content. Not at all. This display can’t even switch between 60 and 120Hz! So it’s either the slow 60Hz all the time or the battery-hungry 120Hz all the time. Talk about picking your poison, am I right?

Stays visible outdoors

Anyway, Samsung says this screen has 800 nits of peak brightness, which admittedly doesn’t seem like a lot. Having said that, I’ve had zero trouble looking at it even in during the hot Summer days in Kathmandu.

Auto brightness works perfectly fine here, it is SGS Eye Care certified for low blue light emission, and there’s even something called Ambient light adaptive Tone Control (ATC) this time. Now, I couldn’t find any resource online to find out exactly what it is but judging from the name itself, it sounds pretty similar to the “Vision Booster” feature on the Galaxy S22 series.

Samsung Galaxy A73 - UI

In case you’re unfamiliar, Vision Booster works to improve outdoor visibility by boosting the colors and contrast levels of the display under harsh lighting conditions. And as far as I can tell, what ambient tone control does is bump the saturation level under direct sunlight.

Moving on, since it’s an OLED panel, the A73 also includes an optical in-display fingerprint reader. Compared to the ones from Chinese smartphone manufacturers like Xiaomi, OnePlus, iQOO, and such, its unlock speed is noticeably slower but it gets the job done regardless.

Audio & Haptics

  • Dual stereo speaker setup
  • No 3.5mm headphone jack

In terms of audio, you’re getting a set of stereo speakers here with Dolby Atmos. And I’m quite impressed with its sound quality which is balanced and even loud enough to fill an average room.

There’s no trouble with phone calls or the proximity sensor either, whereas it supports VoLTE calls and carrier aggregation too. Still, I feel like Samsung has used an inferior z-axis vibration motor here since Galaxy A73’s haptics feel buzzy instead of fluid and precise.

Performance

  • Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G 5G SoC (6nm)
  • 8GB LPDDR4X RAM, 128/256GB storage (fixed)
  • Android 12 with Samsung’s One UI 4.1 on top

Okay, let’s now turn to the performance of this phone. And this is where you’d find one of the biggest upgrades coming from the A72. Compared to the Snapdragon 720G, the 778G powering the A73 is more powerful and more power-efficient as well.

Oh, and it’s also 5G-ready with the phone supporting 9 5G bands in total. We’ve seen this processor in multiple mid-range phones last year like the Galaxy M52, Galaxy A52s, and the Xiaomi 11 Lite NE and I can confidently say that the Snapdragon 778G is indeed quite capable and reliable chipset.

As a result, the Galaxy A73 has performed really well in my everyday usage. Be it memory management or UI optimization, everything simply works here. Not to forget, Samsung has also pledged 4 generations of OS and 5 years of security updates for this phone, which is the longest software commitment from any Android smartphone maker, by the way.

How’s the gaming experience?

When it comes to gaming, the A73 lets you enjoy PUBG and Call of Duty at a smooth 60 fps without any frame drops or stutters. But while COD lets you do that at its max graphics settings, you’ll have to lower the option to just “Smooth” graphics on PUBG for 60 fps gameplay.

Plus, high-fps optimized games like Critical Ops achieve a stable 120 fps here—although I only got like 90 – 100 fps on Mech Arena and Injustice 2 on average, with further frame drops after 10 – 15 minutes into the game.

Samsung Galaxy A73 - Gaming

Besides, the Galaxy A73 has a pretty great thermal system as well. It’s just when playing GPU-intensive games like Genshin Impact that the phone gets considerably hot. At both “Highest” and “High” graphics settings, I was able to get about 30 – 35 fps on average with the CPU and battery temperature reaching up to 50 and 39°C, respectively.

All in all, the A73’s performance is quite reliable; there’s no denying it.

But for a phone that costs NPR 73,000 here in Nepal or INR 41,999 in India, it’s simply underpowered. I mean, all the 778G-powered phones I mentioned earlier cost way less than this, and you can easily find ones with Snapdragon 888 in the South Asian market in this price bracket. So at the very least, Samsung should’ve gone with the new Dimensity 8100 or the excellent Snapdragon 870 here.

For instance, the new Xiaomi 12X with the Snapdragon 870 chip is much more powerful than the A73. Its everyday usage feels snappier in comparison, whereas the phone also delivers considerably better gaming results.

Cameras

  • Quad camera setup at the back
  • (108MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 5MP macro, 5MP depth)
  • 32MB selfie camera (hole-punch cutout)

With that out of the way, allow me to get to its cameras. Despite the performance upgrade, Samsung has unfortunately introduced a slight downgrade in this department. While the A72 featured a dedicated 3x telephoto lens, that’s been replaced with a 5MP portrait camera this time.

Yet, the Galaxy A73 is Samsung’s first non-flagship phone to equip a 108MP primary lens. And let me just say this, you know how they say “what you see is what you get”? That expression pretty much captures the essence of A73’s main camera.

Normal Images

Samsung phones are famous for their oversaturated, punchier photos but that’s not the case here.

As you can see, its colors, white balance, dynamic range, exposure levels, and shadow processing look quite natural compared to the warm, slightly popping colors that the Xiaomi 12X produces. I also found images from the 12X to be low in contrast sometimes.

Ultrawide Images

It does give out cooler colors from the ultrawide camera but I still prefer A73’s photos more because of their wider field of view and better details overall.

Portrait Images

As for portraits, Xiaomi’s image processing still struggles with maintaining a proper skin tone. The A73, on the other hand, captures portraits with better skin tone, colors, details, and dynamic range.

Selfie Images

All this continues in terms of selfies as well, where the 12X especially fails to handle dynamic range against the light in portrait selfies.

Nighttime Images

Regular lowlight shots are also relatively brighter and with more details from the A73, although it does take a bit hazy photos at times.

The Xiaomi 12X improves with regards to dynamic range and details with Night Mode turned on, but A73’s image processing still looks slightly better most of the time.

But every once in a while, it does shoot overexposed photos under night mode.

Videography

Getting to videos, the Xiaomi 12X lets you record up to 8K 24 fps footages but the A73 maxes out at 4K 30 fps. At this resolution, both phones manage a similar level of stabilization. But I did notice that the videos from the 12X are distinctly low in contrast while A73 shoots warmer videos.

Same thing on 1080p 60 fps—although Xiaomi does crop in on the frame for steadier results here. And for OIS-stabled videos, you’ll need to switch to 1080p 30 fps on both these phones. Upfront, the Galaxy A73 can shoot up to 4K 30 fps selfie videos whereas the Xiaomi 12X is limited to 1080p 60 fps.

Anyway, even though the A73 has a narrower field of view, its dynamic range and exposure control are much better. Then again, neither phone handles skin tone all that well in selfie videos.

Battery

  • 5000mAh battery with 25W charging

Okay, let’s talk about its battery life now. Despite Samsung’s promise of 2 days battery with the Galaxy A73’s 5000mAh cell, its lack of dynamic refresh rate meant I only managed about 5 and a half to 6 hours of screen-on time when blasting 120Hz at all times.

And on busy days with a lot more gaming, photoshoots, and GPS usage, I’d have to charge the phone twice a day! Talking about charging, you won’t find a power brick inside the packaging here. And using a compatible 25W charger, the phone fully juices up in roughly 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Samsung Galaxy A73 Review: Conclusion

To conclude this review, the Samsung Galaxy A73 is not a bad phone—absolutely not. In fact, its design, display, cameras, and speakers are pretty much the best in class.

But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s significantly overpriced. The South Asian market is filled with a bunch of terrific sub-flagship phones right now like the Xiaomi 12X, iQOO 9, and Realme GT 2 Pro, where this guy doesn’t quite make its mark. A more powerful processor would’ve certainly gone a long way but sadly, that’s not the case.

Samsung Galaxy A73 - IP Rating

And like how last year’s Galaxy A72 failed to differentiate itself from the A52, the Galaxy A73 suffers the same fate with the A52s instead. Just look at their spec sheet!

Galaxy A52s Galaxy A73
Display 6.5” FHD Super AMOLED 6.7” FHD Super AMOLED Plus
Refresh rate 120Hz
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Build quality Glass front, Plastic back/frames
IP rating IP67 dust and water-resistant
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G 5G
Primary camera 64MP (OIS) 108MP (OIS)
Other cameras 12MP ultrawide, 5MP macro, 5MP depth, 32MP selfie
Battery 4500mAh 5000mAh
Charging 25W (wired)
Price in Nepal NPR 51,999 (8/128GB) NPR 72,999 (8/256GB)
Price in India INR 30,990 (8/128GB) INR 44,999 (8/256GB)

Apart from a larger display, battery, and a 108MP primary camera, the A73 is practically the same as the A52s. And I really don’t think all this is enough to justify the phone’s higher prices. But I think Samsung will drop the price of the A73 eventually, making it a decent value overall—although as things stand, the A52s is a significantly better deal.

  • Watch our review video of the Samsung Galaxy A73

Samsung Galaxy A73 Review: Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Attractive design
  • Excellent Super AMOLED Plus display
  • IP67 dust and water-resistant
  • Best-in-class software update policy
  • Reliable cameras overall
  • Loud, balanced stereo speakers

Cons:

  • Not the best value for money
  • Doesn’t support dynamic refresh rate
  • Performance should’ve been better
  • Strictly average battery life
  • No charger inside the box
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design & Build
9
Display
9.5
Performance
8.5
Back Cameras
9
Front Camera
8.5
Software & UI
9.5
Battery
8
Speaker & Haptics
8.5
Value for Money
7.5
While the Galaxy A73 isn't exactly a bad phone in any way, its confusing price tag mixed with the lack of differentiation from last year's Galaxy A52s means we are hesitant on recommending it to anyone looking for a semi-flagship Samsung phone right now. Instead, you should save some money and go with the A52s which is almost the same phone as the A73.samsung-galaxy-a73-review