Stay updated with the latest in Tech, Science, Culture, Entertainment, and more by following our Telegram channel here.
The 2021 editions of Samsung’s Galaxy A line-up of smartphones is very much a continuation of the trend set by its predecessors – phones that can do everything at a fairly competent level.
The three tenets listed by Galaxy A marketing campaigns over the past couple of years has been “Awesome screen, awesome camera, long-lasting battery life”, and on paper, the phones do seem likely to fulfil that promise.
This time around, I managed to get my hands on the Galaxy A72, which represents the model in the line-up with the best toolkit in terms of hardware specs (at least until the upcoming A82 is announced).
In fact, features such as a 90Hz display, Snapdragon 720G chipset, and rear-facing quad-camera setup all make it seem like a device set to strongly compete within the midrange category where the majority of sales can be found.
Having used the device over the past three weeks or so, I’ve come to identify quite a bit what I liked about the phone, and also a few details that might seem questionable.
How it feels.
Without a doubt, the thing you’ll notice first when handling the A72 is its plastic back. Whether you love it or hate it is another matter altogether, but the choice to omit a glass back with the phone represents Samsung’s willingness over the past year to do away with features should cost-cutting measures come into play.
This does not, however, necessarily mean a lack of quality. Recalling Samsung’s smartphone releases of last year, it’ll be hard to forget the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition. That particular model sold for considerably cheaper compared to the primary S20 variants, had a plastic back, yet was still considered one of the best devices released in 2020.
But I digress.
When considered as a complete package, the overall build of the A72 feels very much acceptable for a phone of its price range.
That’s a nice screen.
One thing to really appreciate about the A72 is its display. It’s a 6.7-inch AMOLED panel that boasts a 90Hz refresh rate, and it gets plenty bright when you need it to.
Suffice it to say, it’s a real delight when consuming media and playing games, and while it isn’t a 120Hz monster, the refresh rate is high enough to make things feel fast and buttery smooth when navigating menus or cycling through apps.
As an accompaniment, there is a also a pair of stereo speakers – one at the bottom, sitting beside the USB-C charging port, and the other one a forward-facing speaker firing out from the earpiece at the top.
While it’s obvious that the bottom-firing speaker is quite a bit more sonorous than the one at the top, you probably won’t have many complaints with the overall sound quality – volume gets sufficiently loud, and there’s enough body to the sound to suit most real-world use-cases.
Also worth mentioning is the inclusion of a headphone jack. While it’s nothing to shout about, it’s pretty strange that we now live in a time where the ability to plug in audio peripherals into a 3.5mm jack is a highlight for a smartphone.
The engine is middling.
As any proper smartphone should do, the A72 comes with a good amount of storage and RAM. Out of the box, the lowest-priced unit will give you 128GB of expandable storage and 6GB of RAM, and there are also options for up to 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM.
But one area where the A72 reminds you of its status as a mid-range device is in its speed. First of all, the A72 is by no means a slow phone, it’s actually pretty snappy in most situations.
But the Snapdragon 720G that’s on board will show some of its limitations in situations where you place a bit more of a load on it. I’m talking about playing demanding games and quickly multitasking between apps.
While the performance during these instances was satisfactory, you shouldn’t expect flagship-level performance whatsoever. Compared to phones with the fastest processors, you may notice things like apps taking a little longer to load, or some occurrences of lag when playing a game for too long.
In the end, the A72 is a mid-range performer, and you’ll often be reminded of the fact as you go about using it.
When it comes to the camera, the A72 again proves that Samsung does know a bit about offering value.
If you’re an average consumer like me, all four cameras on the device will offer you a solid photography experience, and the camera software comes with more options than I could care enough to use on a regular basis.
The colors coming from the cameras are vivid and natural, and there’s enough detail to be found when shooting in well-lit conditions.
If you want a wider shot, you’ll be quite pleased with the inclusion of a 12MP ultra-wide lens that manages to keep the quality of shots within the same confines as those coming from its 64MP main shooter.
If you need to shoot from afar, the A72’s telephoto lens offers you an electronic zoom up to 30x. Although you can opt to shoot that far, you’d really be better served keeping your zooms below 10x, where image quality doesn’t suffer from too much processing. The photos below are taken in 1X, 4X, and 20X respectively.
The macro lens that’s included, however, doesn’t put a scratch on the one found on the Galaxy S21 Ultra, which, to be fair, is probably one of the best phones money can buy right now.
If you were hoping to take gorgeously detailed up-close shots of your subjects, you may have to temper your expectations a bit. By no means are the photos from the macro camera bad, just don’t expect to have your mind blown.
In night mode, the A72 does respectably considering its class. Environments do get enough exposure with accurate-enough colors, and there’s enough noise reduction for photos to turn out looking good. However, in some circumstances, you begin noticing a decrease in details, which is to be expected of any camera that isn’t absolutely top-shelf.
One small gripe I had with the overall camera experience was a very small delay between tapping the shutter and the device actually snapping a photo. This meant that I couldn’t spam quickfire snapshots in rapid succession, but I doubt that will be any sort of dealbreaker.
I do suspect that it has more to do with software, and can probably be amended as Samsung rolls out future firmware updates.
It has enough stamina for most.
But what’s all of this without a good battery to power the entire experience. You’ll be reminded that Samsung loves to harp on about the A72’s “awesome battery”, but does it measure up to the hype?
For the most part, yes.
The A72 comes packed with a beefy 5,000 mAh power pack that Samsung claims will last you all of 48 hours. On paper, that sounds fantastic, but in real life, I actually found myself being able to drain the battery within a single day with heavy use.
Of course, I must confess that I made a concerted effort to actively deplete the power reserves by playing demanding games like PUBG Mobile and Dota Underlords, and I spent quite a bit of time consuming HD video content on YouTube and Netflix.
If you’re planning to use this phone like a normal, sane person would, however, you’ll probably find that your mileage will come closer to the advertized 48 hours.
Also, Samsung does include a 25W charger that will allow you to fast-charge the phone from zero to full in about 1.5 hours. While this isn’t the fastest by any stretch, the ample size of the battery pack should prove enough compensation for most users.
Overall, the A72 is really a device that just wants to be a phone that can do just about everything for a reasonable price – it retails for approximately US$460 depending on where you’re from.
Despite some limitations in the performance area, prospective buyers should note that it offers plenty of value in other important categories such as camera capabilities and a pretty great display.
Ultimately, it all boils down to what you want in a phone. If it’s speed that you absolutely care about, you might be better served looking at other devices – you might even want to consider the Galaxy A52 5G that somehow comes with a speedier Snapdragon 750G chipset.
But if you want something that’s good on multiple fronts and that won’t cost you a small fortune, the A72 might very well be that device.
Read more tech stories:
ที่มา : Mashable