After J7 Max, it is a good set from Samsung thinking their rule of hefty pricing. It records 4K/UHD video, has an on-screen ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, the screen is beautiful, it has Dolby Atmos. Samsung Galaxy A50s is not powered by a Snapdragon processor. What it offers is a good-enough performance with modern sensor and display for everyday use. Smartphones for regular may get lost or broken. The first question will arise in mind – what is the “s” in the name of Samsung A50s. Samsung A50 is an existing model. “s” possibly stands for “super”. Samsung upgraded the imaging system of A50, storage space, using the Samsung Exynos 9611 processor instead of Samsung Exynos 9610 and changed the outside casing to a prism-like pattern which they promote as 3D prism design. The phone is available in three colours – Black, White, and Violet. My set is white.
Inside the box package of Samsung A50s
The total things come inside the usual 3.5″ x 6.6″ box package. Opening the space-saving box will reveal the set, the charger, a basic earphone, a pin, a back cover and the paper printed documents. Samsung offers extended warranty for their devices. The set is slim and handy for a hand of my size. I carefully examined the sides :
- Rear: three cameras (and the ugly IMEI label)
- Front: one camera, speaker and a notched display. The edges of the glass are slightly curved to meet the metal frame.
- Top-side: I can see a small hole. That is a warning not to keep in shirt’s pocket during rain, snow.
- Bottom-side: One hole for 3.5mm audio jack, USB Type-C charging port at the middle, another small hole is present beside it, next opening is for the speaker.
- Left-side: Volume button set and power button
- Right-side: SIM and micro SD card slot with a small hole to push the ejection pin.
I believe that the small holes are for microphones. None of the bigger holes has any rubber seal. The back and front of the bare phone look great. The bottom-edge sucks but we are getting a usual 3.5mm headphone jack. One sided volume button set and power button helps to place on a tripod like thing for video chat.
The 6.4-inch screen is superb. It is Full HD+ Infinity-U Super AMOLED display with 403 PPI pixel density. The LCD screen of J7 Max had 396 PPI pixel density. You should seek the PPI value of any display to guess how much vibrant it will appear. Sony Xperia XZ Premium has an 807 PPI display. There are websites which lists the PPI values of various models. Infinity-U display means the curved edges of Samsung’s top-end models which will easily catch your eyes. The curve of A50s will not fully meet half of the side like top-end models but it will look enough great. Samsung’s One UI gives you “Apps Edge” i.e. flick on the left edge will reveal a panel of shortcut icons even from the locked screen. The Edge screen and Edge lighting functionality were reserved for Samsung’s top-end flagship phones. Although they have not included all the Edge screen panels or Smart select panel, yet these features just a year back were unimaginable from Samsung at this price range. The speaker is not exactly loud.
A50s Optimization Tips
The screen is made up of Corning Gorilla Glass 3. Do you need a screen protector/guard? Dust particles have a hardness rating greater than 6 Moh’s scale. When we tap with dirty hands that gives the finer scratches on the screen. But the set has ultrasonic fingerprint sensor with a slightly curved edge – Infinity-U display. I hate flat screen protector/guard for the curved phones. Do extensive research to get the things to protect the manufacturing gaps I pointed. There are things like 2.5D covers. The supplied back cover and a flat-screen protector/guard will kill the premium look.
The fingerprint sensor that sits beneath the display, is slightly slow. Otherwise, it looks & animates exactly like the top-end sets. Keep the finger for a longer duration for a sure-shot scan. There is always on display (AOD). Samsung ships with a lot of bloatware. Uninstall them. Install these apps :
- Samsung Sound Assistant
- Samsung Music
- Samsung S Secure
- Samsung Level U (if you have Level U headphone)
- Samsung Smart View (if you have Samsung Smart TV)
It is odd that Samsung deliberately skipped installing good apps of own software development and installed third-party applications. S Secure application helps you to lock any app with a password. It is quite useful application.
The default size of the icons is too big. Make the “screen grid” 5×5 to look better. Coming to music quality. If you listen with a usual Samsung Level U, then you will get distortion making the rock, pop uncomfortable. The actual fix is using an external portable amplifier. The dirty fix is setting the equalizer to custom (with Dolby Atmos ON) closer to these settings :
- 63: 10db
- 125: 8db
- 250: 5db
- 500: 3db
- 1K : -5db
- 2K : -5db
- 4K : -2db
- 8K: 3db
- 16K: 8db
The above settings will deliver rock or pop like feel without creating the discomfort. 1K to 4K get a distortion which needed a sound engineer to tweak the DAC. Another thing you need to optimize. Go to settings and change the “Screen Mode” to Vivid. I have checked the mirroring on 4K/UHD Smart TV. You can make the mobile full screen, attach mouse & keyboard combo and work. Samsung packed it with tons of features including QR code scanner, super slow-motion recording, AR Emoji, NFC to push it closer to Galaxy Note 10. We discovered that this set has problem with 4G/LTE speed (both on set and as modem). Do not use the provided back-cover, screen-guard and use one SIM card – probably the PCB tracing is not at par (!). Buy one micro-USB to USB Type-C converter and USB to USB Type-C OTG adapter to use all kind of chargers in house and use keyboard, mouse, pen-drive etc.
Samsung saved money of R&D by porting the parts and software from their other models. It is designed to sell in the countries where sell outside the carrier is common, the concept of exchanging with old phone exists. Beating the poor donkeys (read processor, GPU) to run like horses added some problems – the UI is sluggish. Overall, the set is great for day to day use. J7 Max had unibody design. It could absorb the shock of fall. Try to keep it switched off when there is no chance of use, do not force it run too many apps.
Peoples started to compare cheaper M30s with A50s. Both are near identical except A50s has in-display fingerprint scanner. Fingerprint sensor of M30s behave like J7 Max. Fingerprint sensor of A50s is more sensitive. If you go for identical storage of M30s then cost will be $50 lesser from A50s. OPPO K1 is the cheapest phone with in-display fingerprint scanner with 402 PPI display. Goodix is the China company who builds the in-display fingerprint scanners. Samsung uses the ultrasonic type of in-display fingerprint scanner. That costs higher.