First and foremost, the Galaxy A80 is big - bigger than the Galaxy S10+ and the Note9. It has one of the largest Super AMOLED screens we've experienced so far and not having a notch makes it even more brilliant.
So, the first thing anyone will notice is the almost tablet-like front, completely clean of distractions and completely flush as well. We are not that big of fans of the S9 and S10 curved edges and we are happy those didn't make it to the A80.
The screen has a wide 20:9 aspect ratio and 1080p+ resolution. While this isn't a top-notch pixel count, at 393ppi density we'd say this is more than enough for the class. The image is sharp, we couldn't notice any pixelization, and as usual, the OLED screen excels in contrast and color presentation.
There is an under-screen optical fingerprint scanner, positioned slightly above the bottom edge of the screen. We couldn't test it at the event, but we hope it performs well in time for the launch.
There are tiny bezels around the screen, as thin as the iPhone XS actually. Which makes the Galaxy A80 screen as close to the bezel-less dream as the 2019 technology can offer.
While the Galaxy A80 is large, it isn't that bulky or super heavy. The phone is 9mm thin and feels alright in a hand. It's got a dual-glass design with thin metal frame - what many consider premium today - but it's also one of the slipperiest devices you can handle. The glass back is a bit bent towards the frame, which is hurting the grip even more. But if you think a case might be the solution, the new camera may render cases pretty impossible to make.
Indeed, the Galaxy A80 won't be remembered as the first Samsung droid with a 48MP snapper, or the first phone with the Snapdragon 730 chip. Nope, it will go down in history as the maker's first ever device with both a sliding body and a swivel camera.
If you look at the back of the Galaxy A80, you'd see a pretty standard tri-camera arrangement. There is a 48MP main snapper, an 8MP wide-angle one, and a ToF sensor for depth information. The 48MP camera has a Quad-Bayer filter and will save 12MP high-quality photos after the processing is done.
The real magic happens when you open the camera and hit the selfie icon. Then the whole slider goes upwards and the camera rotates until it's facing you. When you're done shooting your selfies and you close the camera app, the module rotates back to its rear-facing position and the slider goes down.
Unlike the Mi Mix 3 - the slider wasn't meant to be opened and closed manually. You can still do it though and it won't break, but it's a really tough job and it actually feels like you are forcing it a bit too much. If you open it manually - nothing will happen - the camera app won't start automatically and rotate to selfie, you need to fire the app up manually.
The A80 isn't water-proof but given its design - it was probably impossible to seal it against water. The smartphone has all modern omissions - no audio jack, no microSD slot, and no stereo speakers. We can forgive the speakers and understand the lack of water-protection, but not putting a 3.5mm jack and microSD slot is somewhat out of character for Samsung.
The Galaxy A80 is the first smartphone to be powered by the Qualcomm's Snapdragon 730 chip, which was announced just yesterday. It has an octa-core processor with 2x Kryo 470 Gold cores working at 2.2GHz (A76-derivative) and 6x Kryo 470 Silver clocked at 1.7GHz (A55-derivative). The Adreno 618 is in charge of graphics, there is also 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The new chip should be more than enough to provide close to flagship-grade experience for the next few years.
The Galaxy A80 has a 3,700 mAh battery capable of 25W fast charging, which is the fastest charging we've seen from Samsung. Samsung says you will be able to charge about half of the battery in half an hour with the supplied charger.
The A80 boots Android Pie with the latest One UI by Samsung. The interface is very clean, the settings are organized, and overall - the phone runs smoothly the same software we saw on the Galaxy S10 flagships.
The Galaxy A80 worldwide premiere is happening on May 29. Its suggested retail price is €650, meaning it won't be giving a hard time on the already available sliders, swivels, pop-ups, and whatnot.