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Samsung Galaxy A50s Review

Samsung just had a strong midrange line-up, after being on a slump for a couple of years. So to keep the momentum going, the company quickly announced the Samsung Galaxy A50s.

The Samsung Galaxy A50s was announced just a couple of months after the Galaxy A50 came out. Spoiler alert: there are little improvements done to this latest model. So if you already own its predecessor, I suggest you skip this review.

But if this is the first time you’re upgrading in years, then this one is for you. Here in our Samsung Galaxy A50s review, we’ll see what does this device is in store for you. And in some parts, we’ll discuss how it really differs from its predecessor.

Samsung Galaxy A50s Specs

  • Android 9 Pie, Samsung One UI
  • Dual SIM
  • 6.4-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED display, 2340 x 1080 pixel resolution, ~403ppi
  • 2.3GHz Exynos 9611 octa-core processor
  • 4GB/6GB RAM
  • Mali-G72 MP3 GPU
  • 64GB/128GB internal storage, expandable via microSD up to 512GB
  • 32-megapixel front camera, f/1.7
  • 48-megapixel + 5-megapixel + 8-megapixel triple rear cameras, PDAF, f/1.7, LED flash
  • In-display fingerprint scanner, Face unlock
  • 960fps video recording, Night Mode
  • HSPA+, 4G LTE
  • WiFi 803.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • FM Radio
  • GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo
  • USB Type-C
  • Dimensions: 158.5 x 74.5 x 7.7mm
  • Weight: 169g
  • Colors: Prism Crush White, Prism Crush Black, Prism Crush Violet, Prism Crush Green
  • 4,000mAh non-removable battery, 15W charger

Design and Build Quality

To set it apart from the Galaxy A50, the Samsung Galaxy A50s offers a refreshed design. It now comes with geometric design (Prism Crush) on the back, from the plain finish that its predecessor had.

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In fact, the company has implemented this same design on the ‘S’ models of other Galaxy A devices, like the Galaxy A30s.

Besides its new design, I personally love how sleek and lightweight it is. The Galaxy A50s is only 7.7mm thin and only weighs 169g. That’s despite the fact that it has a large 6.4-inch Super AMOLED screen and a 4,000mAh battery.

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Overall, the design is pretty straightforward. We have a small notch on top of the screen for the 32-megapixel selfie camera. Since it has a roomy screen real-estate, the small dot in the middle of the screen is not that distracting.

The back panel is also relatively clean, considering that the fingerprint scanner is not here, as it’s right beneath the screen. The only thing you’ll see are the triple camera setup on the top left. All are cradled in a flush glass with unnoticeable camera bump.

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The left side is fairly clean, with a highly inconspicuous SIM tray on the top that can house two nano SIM cards and a microSD card (up to 1TB). While on the other side we have the lock/power switch below the volume controls. The buttons are tactile enough and provide a satisfying clicky sound.

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A single noise-isolating microphone is seen on the top. While on the bottom there’s the USB Type-C port, headphone jack, and the primary microphone. We also have the loudspeakers down here that provides loud volume, although the sound is a bit distorted and ear-tingling.

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The unit that we have here is the clean Prism Crush Black model. You can also get it in White, Violet, and Green. All of which has the ‘Prism Crush’ branding before the name.

Display

Samsung used their own 6.4-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED display panel on the Samsung Galaxy A50s. It has a 2340 x 1080 pixel resolution with ~403ppi.

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The display offers vibrant colors and deep contrast, although it would sometimes exaggerate the saturate a bit. But for the average consumer, the more colors, the better, so we’ll let it be.

Having an AMOLED screen also has other perks. For one, there’s the Always-on mode that displays time, date, and battery charge even when the device is on stand by. It also helps you conserve battery when Dark Mode is enabled, since fewer pixels are being lit up.

Performance and Hardware

The Samsung Galaxy A50s is powered by a slightly better 2.3GHz Exynos 9611 octa-core processor, versus the Exynos 9610 chipset on the Galaxy A50. The one we’re testing is the 6GB/128GB model, while a 64GB variant is also available.

Samsung Galaxy A50s benchmark scores

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We were getting acceptable and satisfactory performance from the Galaxy A50s. Albeit definitely not the best. You can feel minor stutters here and there, but they’re very occasional. Overall, the interface and basic apps were smooth on this device.

Its gaming performance was expected. Mobile Legends, Call of Duty Mobile, and Asphalt 9 were playable at decent frame rates and graphics quality. But then again, we’ve seen other competing devices delivered smoother performance.

See also: Huawei Nova 5T (Kirin 980) vs Samsung Galaxy A50s (Exynos 9611): Speed Test and Benchmark Comparison

Software and User Interface

Just like its brothers, the Samsung Galaxy A50s runs on Android 9 Pie with a clean Samsung One UI 1.5 interface. It shall receive the latest Android 10 software with One UI 2.0 in the future, so that’s something to look forward to.

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The company’s One UI is easily one of the cleanest, lightest, and snappy manufacturer-made interface that we’ve seen. This probably the closest to stock-Android UI that we can get.

The lock screen is complete with date and time information, with a peek of app icons that have unseen notifications. Swipe up/down from the home screen to access the app drawer. While on the far left of the home screen is the Bixby Home, which not a lot of people might use, but it’s up to you if you want to spend time getting to know it.

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On the top, there’s the notification tab, which you can swipe further down to gain a full view of the control center. Tapping the icon’s name gives you quick access to the available WiFi networks, Bluetooth devices, and more. You can also virtually press the power button from here.

You can also quickly enable the Night Mode (Dark Mode) on the control center. The dark theme makes the UI ultra-sleek and easy in the eyes. As a bonus, it is also battery friendly thanks to its Super AMOLED panel.

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The Samsung Galaxy A50s has UI features exclusive to Samsung devices. The Edge panel gives you quick access to apps, people, or whatever you choose, by swiping out a tiny strip on the side of the screen. Edge Lighting for notifications are also present.

And if you indeed use Bixby, you can enable Bixby routines.

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The Samsung Galaxy A50s uses the company’s own keyboard. The keys are narrower than the standard Google Keyboard, albeit still easy to get used to. The camera app is intuitive to use.

If you’re worried about bloatware, well, there are quite a few of them. There are also some from Microsoft, which is the result of its recent partnership with Samsung. On the upside, you can uninstall most of them, so no worries.

Security

Just like the Galaxy S10 and its other brothers, the Samsung Galaxy A50s uses an ultra-sonic fingerprint scanner. It’s like the standard in-display one, but with a different technology used.

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We won’t bore you with the details. What you need to know is it works slower and less accurately. For some reason, it fails to recognize my print correctly in most times. You’re better off using the face unlock, which worked surprisingly better.

The Samsung Galaxy A50s also has Samsung Knox, which offers multi-layer security at the hardware and software level. We also have features like Samsung Pass, Find My Mobile, Secure Folder, Encrypt SD card, and more.

Camera

To further set it apart from its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy A50s have upgraded cameras. It now comes with a 48-megapixel primary camera, versus the 25-megapixel of the former. Meanwhile, the 8-megapixel ultra-wide and 5-megapixel depth sensors were retained.

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The device already got multiple updates that improved its camera performance since its release.

The 48-megapixel primary camera has a Sony IMX582 sensor with a wide f/1.7 aperture. It produces great images at good lighting. The device doesn’t oversaturate photos to please the users, and instead captures images with realistic colors. The contrast and dynamic range are also good.

But just like most smartphones, it struggles a little in low-light. Albeit still Instagram-worthy.

The quality from its 8-megapixel ultra-wide shooter is less detailed and has muddy colors and contrast. On the upside, the wide field of view is handy when snapping larger subjects or if you’re in tight spaces. Although it does suffer from aggressive distortion that some ultra-wides go through.

Taking portrait pictures was also great on the Samsung Galaxy A50s, thanks to its 5-megapixel depth sensor. It has a great edge detection for a believable shallow depth-of-field effect.

Lastly, we have the 32-megapixel selfie camera. It takes really sharp and detailed selfie. You can then enable the Face Beauty feature to make your skin look fairer, although the image will look softer.

Clearly, the cameras on the Samsung Galaxy A50s is one of its best features. Let’s just wait until Samsung fixes a couple of things via a software update.

Connectivity

Midrange smartphones from Samsung have always had flagship features, despite their underwhelming processors. One of the subtle signs that the device is fancy is if it has NFC — and the Samsung Galaxy A50s have it.

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Everything else worked well in our testing. The 4G LTE provided fast connection through mobile network. The dual-band WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 5.0 poised to connectivity issues in our testing. It’s also nice to see the dated USB Type-C port here.

The call quality is also fine. The earpiece outputs clear and loud audio, while the dual microphone array picked up my voice with no problem.

Battery

The Samsung Galaxy A50s has a 3,700mAh battery with 25W fast charging support. We ran PCMark’s battery test and it got a score of 10 hours and 14 minutes. That’s after a loop of synthetic workload, with the WiFi off and the volume and screen brightness set to 50%.

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That score is relatively low when compared to other devices in this category, which got an average score of around 13 hours. Still, you can get an entire day of light to moderate usage on the Galaxy A50s. Maybe half if you’re playing games a lot.

Verdict

Just like the Galaxy A50 during its time, the Samsung Galaxy A50s is the best mid-range smartphone that the company currently makes.

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Unlike their releases from a couple of years back, the new Galaxy A devices now offer better value for the money. With the Galaxy A50s, you’re getting a device with a large and vibrant display, capable performance, clean interface, and great cameras — all of which are crammed in a thin, light, and stylish body.

While it is Samsung’s crowning glory in this category, it’s still not the best smartphone you can get for the price — despite its recent price drop.

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It may have delivered satisfactory performance, although there are already similarly-priced devices out there that provide flagship-level performance.

But if you really want to flag that Samsung brand, but don’t want to spend a fortune on getting the Galaxy Note 10, then the Samsung Galaxy A50s is the closest you can get on having a seamless Samsung experience.

Samsung Galaxy A50s pricing and availability in the Philippines

The Samsung Galaxy A50s initially became available for Php18,990. But now, it’s Php2,000 cheaper with its new SRP of Php16,990. It was discounted alongside two other midrange devices.

Since it’s a Samsung device, you can get it in tons of Samsung stores, kiosks, multi-brand shops, and different online stores across the Philippines.

Pros

  • Sleek, lightweight design
  • Vibrant display
  • Clean interface
  • Capable performance
  • Good cameras

Cons

  • Underwhelming processor choice for the price
  • Ultra-wide shots could be better
  • Slow fingerprint scanner

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