Flashback: The Galaxy A80’s reflex camera remains unique in Samsung’s lineup

What do you think of the new Galaxy A series phones that were revealed earlier this week? The mid-range Samsung series has its advantages (such as key-level software support), but it is quite conservative in its design. It’s strange to think that the series is descended from the ambitious Galaxy Alpha.

The series has come out on the wild side at times – in 2019, for example, with the launch of the Samsung Galaxy A80. Every now and then we hear rumors that there will be a sequel, but none of them have been eliminated. So, let’s take a closer look at this unique phone in Samsung’s lineup.

Flashback: The Galaxy A80's reflex camera is still unique among Samsung phones

After a while, back phones with pop-up cameras became very popular, with pop-up cameras being a rare alternative. Those who suddenly disappeared as they appeared, the world finally decided that the wormhole hole design is not who – which Bad and will continue until under-screen cameras become the norm.

Galaxy A80 announced with “Infinity Display”. Samsung uses the Infinity-O brand for punch-hole camera phones and Infinity-V and Infinity-U for notched designs. But the A80’s screen was a pure Infinity display, no holes or cutouts of any kind (well, unless you count the rounded corners).

Flashback: The Galaxy A80's reflex camera is still unique among Samsung phones

This left the 6.7-inch Super AMOLED display flawless while keeping bezels thin throughout. For context, the cameras under the screen were in the prototype stages in 2019. The way the A80 flipped its cameras was also interesting — part of the back was pushed up, then the camera module was rotated around its axis. Here it is on the video:

The pop-up camera design has another advantage, one that it holds on pop-up camera phones as well – the high-quality rear cameras can be used to take selfies. There have been some great selfie cameras over the years, but rarely are they good.

The Samsung Galaxy A80 used the same cameras for selfies as for regular photos and videos
The Samsung Galaxy A80 used the same cameras for selfies as for regular photos and videos

The Samsung Galaxy A80 used the same cameras for selfies as for regular photos and videos

The Galaxy A80 features a 48MP main camera with 1/2.0″ sensor. Not the biggest, but it’s a decently sized 0.8µm pixel (1.6µm with binning). It supports full AF with phase-detection AF to boot.

Flashback: The Galaxy A80's reflex camera is still unique among Samsung phones

Even better, there was an 8MP ultra-wide camera for group selfies, along with a 3D TOF sensor, which was leveraged for some fun effects. Trying to put it all in front would have resulted in a wide slit or a bean-shaped hole.

Here are some selfies for you to enjoy:

Selfie samples, main camera, 12 MP, auto HDR - f/2.0, ISO 100, 1/100 sec - Samsung Galaxy A80 review
Selfie samples, main camera, 12 MP, auto HDR - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/247 sec - Samsung Galaxy A80 review
Selfie samples, main camera, 12 MP, auto HDR - f/2.0, ISO 80, 1/50 sec - Samsung Galaxy A80 review
Selfie samples, main camera, 12 MP, auto HDR - f/2.0, ISO 100, 1/33 sec - Samsung Galaxy A80 review

Selfie samples, main camera, 12 MP, auto HDR

Next, portrait-style selfies (using the depth sensor):

Photo Samples - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/266s - Samsung Galaxy A80 review
Image samples - f/2.0, ISO 64, 1/33 sec - Samsung Galaxy A80 review
Image samples - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/25 sec - Samsung Galaxy A80 review
Image Samples - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/308s - Samsung Galaxy A80 review

Portrait samples

Also, some selfies for the ultra-wide camera:

Selfie samples, Ultra Wide Camera, HDR Auto - f/2.2, ISO 50, 1/50 sec - Samsung Galaxy A80 review
Selfie samples, Ultra Wide Camera, HDR Auto - f/2.2, ISO 40, 1/205s - Samsung Galaxy A80 review
Selfie samples, Ultra Wide Camera, HDR Auto - f/2.2, ISO 80, 1/50 sec - Samsung Galaxy A80 review
Selfie samples, Ultra Wide Camera, HDR Auto - f/2.2, ISO 125, 1/33 sec - Samsung Galaxy A80 review

Selfie samples, Ultra Wide Camera, HDR Auto

How about a Live Focus video while walking? As you can probably tell, the main camera doesn’t have OIS (most selfie cameras don’t either).

Finally, some regular camera samples:

Daylight samples, main camera, 12 MP, auto HDR - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/1843s - Samsung Galaxy A80 review
Daylight samples, main camera, 12 MP, auto HDR - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/1899s - Samsung Galaxy A80 review
Daylight samples, main camera, 12 MP, auto HDR - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/3003 sec - Samsung Galaxy A80 review

Daylight samples, main camera, 12 MP, auto HDR - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/3748s - Samsung Galaxy A80 review
Daylight samples, main camera, 12 MP, auto HDR - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/3186s - Samsung Galaxy A80 review
Daylight samples, main camera, 12 MP, auto HDR - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/3233s - Samsung Galaxy A80 review

Daylight samples, main camera, 12 MP, auto HDR - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/2442s - Samsung Galaxy A80 review
Daylight samples, main camera, 12 MP, auto HDR - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/473 sec - Samsung Galaxy A80 review
Daylight samples, main camera, 12 MP, auto HDR - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/136 seconds - Samsung Galaxy A80 review

Daylight sampling, main camera, 12 MP, auto HDR

Daylight samples, Ultra Wide Camera, HDR Auto - f/2.2, ISO 40, 1/1654 sec - Samsung Galaxy A80 review
Daylight samples, Ultra Wide Camera, HDR Auto - f/2.2, ISO 40, 1/2064s - Samsung Galaxy A80 review
Daylight samples, Ultra Wide Camera, HDR Auto - f/2.2, ISO 40, 1/2126s - Samsung Galaxy A80 review

Daylight samples, Ultra Wide Camera, HDR Auto - f/2.2, ISO 40, 1/3170s - Samsung Galaxy A80 review
Daylight samples, Ultra Wide Camera, HDR Auto - f/2.2, ISO 40, 1/3313s - Samsung Galaxy A80 review
Daylight samples, Ultra Wide Camera, HDR Auto - f/2.2, ISO 40, 1/2655s - Samsung Galaxy A80 review

Daylight sampling, Ultra Wide Camera, HDR Auto

The Galaxy A80 was one of the first Samsung devices to use a fingerprint reader located below the screen, which is an optical reader rather than an ultrasound as on the Galaxy S10 5G and later S-series models. It wasn’t the fastest, but it always worked the least, so you didn’t have to hit the power button before unlocking the phone.

Samsung could have used a rear or side fingerprint reader, but the A80 was designed to impress, even when that wasn’t practical. Or cheap (but more on the price in a minute).

Flashback: The Galaxy A80's reflex camera is still unique among Samsung phones

In case you were wondering, no, there was no face unlock. The camera flip mechanism wasn’t particularly quick so waiting for it every time you wanted to unlock the phone would be a pain.

The Galaxy A80 is powered by the Snapdragon 730, which is a fairly powerful chipset for its day. It had two Kryo 470 Gold cores (2.2 GHz, based on Cortex-A76) and six 470 Silver cores (1.8 GHz, A55), as well as an Adreno 618 GPU and a 4G modem (X15, 800/150 Mbps).

She could not compete with the flagship, but was faster than the usual average ranger. However, for all the high-end features like the screen, camera and FP reader, this was one expensive phone – its launch price was €650 / $730, more than some flagship phones at the time.

The phone had its limits. Support for 25W fast charging was a rarity on Samsung at the time, but the 3,700mAh battery was small. The Galaxy A70, a modern 6.7-inch phone, has a 4,500mAh battery.

Flashback: The Galaxy A80's reflex camera is still unique among Samsung phones

Also, there was only one memory configuration – 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage – but no microSD slot for its expansion (the A70 has one). No 3.5mm headphone jack (again, the A70 had one).

We don’t know how many Galaxy A80s Samsung has been able to sell. But we know the profits weren’t enough to justify designing a supplement. However, we’re missing out on mobiles like the A80, and most designs these days seem to boil down to an “X-shaped camera bump”.