While Samsung started off 2019 by churning out premium flagship models with a hefty price tag, the company has long been selling budget and mid-range smartphones. Samsung realigned its focus towards the budget and mid-range segment as it launched Samsung Galaxy A50 earlier this year, with better design and better performance as compared to its other mid-range phones. Samsung’s latest offering is the Samsung Galaxy A50s, an upgrade to Samsung Galaxy A50 with newer design and premium camera features. Let’s find out if the phone manages to hold its own well in the highly competitive midrange smartphone market.
Samsung Galaxy A50s Design And Display
Samsung A50s reflects off the same iridescent rainbow-like effects at the back as the Samsung Galaxy A50 when caught against light, only this one comes with a prism-like pattern that Samsung likes to call a “3D prism design”. The phone is available in three different colors, namely, the Prism Crush Black, Prism Crush White, and Prism Crush Violet.
I received the Prism Crush violet unit where the rear panel features a glossy violet finish. Needless to say, the design on Samsung Galaxy A50s is nothing but an absolute head-turner. Now, although the Samsung Galaxy A50s bears a polycarbonate body, it doesn’t look cheap and sports a quite premium “glassy” look overall. But, the phone is a smudge-magnet and attracts a lot of unsightly fingerprints all over it. Also, it’s easier to get scratches on this device, so it’s better to keep a phone case on to avoid ruining it. Apart from being prone to smudges, the phone is easy to slip off the table and is hard to grip overall.
Flip A50s to the front, and you’ll notice that Samsung has followed the same slim-bezels, U-shaped notch design as Samsung Galaxy A50. The U-shaped notch houses a front camera and there’s a slight chin at the bottom. The volume rocker and power button are placed on the right edge.The bottom edge hosts a 3.5mm headphone jack, loud speaker, and a USB Type-C charging port. There’s also a SIM Tray that’s placed on the left edge of the phone.
Coming to the display, Samsung has managed to fit in a 6.4 inch Full HD+ Infinity-U Super AMOLED display with 1080×2340 pixels resolution in Samsung Galaxy A50s. It also comes with an aspect ratio of 19.5:9, a 91.6% screen-to-body ratio, and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for extra protection.
Samsung Galaxy A50s’s screen looks quite sharp and bright. The display offers a solid viewing experience paired with AMOLED’S deep black and vivid colors. You can also change the vibrancy of the screen with the help of options in the setting menu to better suit your taste. Sunlight legibility is also pretty good. There’s a fingerprint sensor that sits beneath the display that’s just a tad bit slow. Overall, Samsung Galaxy A50s offers a great visual performance with nothing much to complain about.
Samsung Galaxy A50s Performance And Software
Samsung Galaxy A50s comes powered with its own 1.7GHz octa-core Samsung Exynos 9611 (10nm) processor that features 4 cores clocked at 2.3GHz and 4 cores clocked at 1.7GHz, along with Mali-G72 integrated GPU. It comes with an option of 4GB RAM + 128 GB storage and 6GB RAM + 128GB storage. There’s also a MicroSD card slot to increase the storage by up to 512GB. Samsung has also added a Game Booster tool to the A50s to offer a smooth and lag-free gaming experience.
Now although Samsung Galaxy A50s doesn’t come powered by a Snapdragon processor, it offers a good-enough performance for everyday use. Opening apps and switching through them is quick, however, there were a few hold ups every now and then. I also observed a lack of fluidity on Samsung Galaxy A50s, but not so much to hurt the overall user experience. Despite its not-so-smooth performance, the phone’s performance is above-par when it comes to playing heavy-duty games like PUBG Mobile. Although the game took a while to load and start, it runs by default on a high-graphics settings and the overall gaming performance is quite smooth. I didn’t observe any lag or frame drops while playing the game. And the phone also doesn’t heat up quickly despite extended playing.
Samsung Galaxy A50s comes packed with a 4,000mAh battery and ships with a proprietary 15W fast charger. The phone manages to give a full day’s worth of juice when used moderately and for heavy use involving watching videos, heavy gaming, listening to music, social media use, battery lasts for just about a day. Now although the “15 W” charger is supposed to be a fast charger, it’s not fast at all, especially for a battery this big. It took over three hours for A50s to go from 0% to 100%, which was quite unpleasant, especially given its standing as a midranger.
Now, coming to the software, Samsung Galaxy A50s runs on Samsung’s One UI built atop Android 9 Pie. During the initial setup, A50s allows you to install a wide array of Samsung apps as per your choice, which is better than straightaway loading the phone with tons of apps. However, despite the choice, A50s does come with enough bloatware to a point where it’s irksome. Also, the icons are larger in size than regular icons which I’m personally not a big fan of, but the size of the screen helps balance it out. There is also an app drawer so that helps make things a lot more organized.
Overall, the software is quite user-friendly and offers tons of customization options. There’s also an option to switch between button and gesture-based navigation, where the gesture works quite well. Then there’s an option to wake up Bixby using the power button. Other features include panic mode, digital wellbeing, reduce animations, et al.
Talking about the audio and speaker quality in A50s, it’s not as loud as I expected it to be. This makes it difficult to hear audio outdoors in a noisy environment. This also takes away from an immersive gaming experience, since the volume isn’t as loud even when cranked up to max. The facial recognition security option to unlock your phone works as it’s intended to except in low-light situations.
Samsung Galaxy A50s Camera Performance
Samsung Galaxy A50s packs a 48MP primary camera with an f/2.0 aperture; a second 5MP depth camera with f/2.2 aperture, and a third 8MP ultra-wide lens. The rear camera setup also comes with autofocus. For selfies, A50s features a 32-megapixel camera on the front with an f/2.0 aperture. There are also other advanced camera features on the camera app including a dedicated night mode, best shot, scene optimiser with 30 presets and Super Steady Video mode.
Coming to the performance of the camera, the camera app is slow to launch and there is an evident shutter lag when capturing photos. The quality of the pictures is quite good during daylight and outdoors but adds a golden-yellow hue to the scene indoors. Overall, A50s handles high-contrast scenes well and adds the right amount of detail and vibrance. However, performance of A50s camera can be better in low-light situations since the captured images look softer and less detailed. Night mode saves the day for low-light situations though and doesn’t add unnatural exposure to the scene, which is quite impressive.
The wide-angle camera’s photos look kind of distorted and forced where it adds a bit more saturation to the overall scenario. If the lighting conditions are not good, A50s is not able to keep the details intact and the pictures end up looking very soft. There’s a portrait mode that Samsung calls “live focus” where you can adjust the amount of “blur” in the background depending on your choice on a scale of 0 to 7. Since A50s asks you to manually adjust the blur, the overall bokeh added to an image looks kind of unnatural, especially for situations where the lighting is not good. Overall, the live focus mode works well when capturing outdoor daylight scenes. There are also other modes including slow motion, super slow-mo, hyperlapse, pro, panorama, night, and food.
You can choose the aspect ratio when shooting videos or clicking pictures. You can also shoot 4K ultra HD rear and front videos at different sizes. There’s another super steady feature for the rear cameras which allows you to shoot decent “action” videos for your social media stories and posts. The overall quality of the videos is fine, but there’s evident noise that can be spotted in the filmed videos, especially in the case of super steady videos. Other options include AR doodle, filters, and beauty.
The selfie camera on Samsung Galaxy A50s does overexpose the selfies ever-so slightly but doesn’t look unnatural. For daylight outdoor lighting, selfies clicked turn out quite clear, a little oversaturated but good. For low-light scenarios, the performance of selfie camera is very poor where it adds a lot of blur and softness to the scene. Overall, the selfie camera is quite decent and can produce good shots given the right lighting.
Samsung Galaxy A50s nearly offers everything you need from a mid-range smartphone: good looks, good performance, and a decent-enough camera. Although A50s comes with its own set of hits and misses, it might just be one of the better midranger Samsung has made till date. Among the tough competition in the highly saturated midrange segment, Samsung Galaxy A50s does manage to stand out with its combination of powerful-enough technology and swoon-worthy design.