With 5G phones stirring the market, Samsung released a reasonable model with the popular feature. The Samsung Galaxy A90 5G is its first attempt at a sort-of affordable 5G phone. However, the tech giant’s approach to an affordable device arrived before 5G tech became inexpensive itself.
Samsung released the Galaxy A90 5G in September last year. It has not been introduced to Pakistani markets yet, but many expect the price to be around Rs. 109,999. It’s not a jaw-dropping phone overall though. The Samsung Galaxy A90 5G’s cameras don’t contend well against most phones of the price range, which makes you seriously question whether 5G is worth it.
- At 164.8 x 76.4 x 8.4mm it’s big
- No water resistance or headphone jack
- Gorilla Glass 6 front and back
The biggest and most obvious characteristic of the year’s lineup from the Korean giant is the immense build quality. A solid metal construction throughout makes this phone feel so much more premium than the mid-range market in which it sits. Apart from the size, you could easily mistake the phone for the more expensive S10 5G.
I look at Samsung's less expensive 5G phone, the Samsung Galaxy A90 5G It's still $1049 but cheaper than alternatives https://t.co/ocWaR4pkVu @SamsungMobile #smartphones #5G pic.twitter.com/iKFZYOOI8Z
— Chris Griffith (@chris_griffith) February 10, 2020
On the topic of size, the A90 5G is much more comfortable to use than the more expensive 5G alternatives that Samsung offers. It measures 6.7in across the diagonal, which makes it smaller than both the S10 5G and the Note 10 5G.
This choice makes sense. If you are keen on 5G, you may want it for faster video streaming, which just doesn’t fit well with a little screen. There’s an obvious downside to this too. The Samsung Galaxy A90 5G is a handful, which means that it will poke out of the top of a normal jeans pocket slightly.
Samsung has adopted the so-called ‘holepunch’ notch on its S10 and Note 10 line of phones this year. However, its A-series phones house a more conventional, centrally-positioned teardrop notch at the top of the phone’s display. It’s reminiscent of Huawei’s P30 and the OnePlus 7 and is a pretty common way of getting edge-to-edge displays selfie-ready.
- 7-inch 1080 x 2400 Super AMOLED screen
- HDR support
Samsung devices always have beautiful displays and this phone is no different. The 1,080 x 2,400 super AMOLED display is a delight to scroll, watch and play on. It’s also massively colour-accurate with a near-perfect 99% sRGB colour gamut coverage, INFINITY:1 contrast ratio and deep inky blacks measuring in at 0cd/m2.
Perfectionists might notice the lack of a 90Hz display, especially for a mid-range smartphone. Because, it is something you will find on other devices in this price range. The 90Hz display gives phones a higher refresh rate, which makes scrolling through menus seem smoother and more responsive. However, it doesn’t really have such an effect on games and movies. Such an experience really does separate the good from the exceptional.
— Vodafone UK (@VodafoneUK) November 13, 2019
The A90 5G has a 4,500 mAh battery like the more expensive and powerful S10 5G. However, the A90 5G performs much better than its bigger sibling thankfully.
This phone manages around 23hrs 38mins of continuous active use in lab tests. This puts it well beyond the battery life of any iPhone, three hours more than the S10 5G and two more than the OnePlus 7T. In fact, ITPro. calls it the best battery seen on a smartphone this year which is quite a praise.
Talking about everyday use, ITPro. says that the A90 5G was a relieving experience. “One that restored our faith in the battery lives of 5G-enabled phones. The real-world performance thankfully reflected our tests as we were just about to get two full days of use on a single charge”.
Smartphones from the mid-range variety typically show decreasing camera qualities, which steadily decrease and the Galaxy Samsung A90 follows suit. There’s definitely a trade-off for the 5G capability that you don’t see as much with the S10 5G or Note 10 5G. The triple camera array might entice you; however, this is certainly not a phone with which you want to be taking family pictures.
Galaxy A90 5G’s array is broken down into one 5MP depth camera (f2.2), one 48MP main camera (f2.0) and one 8MP ultra-wide camera (f2.2) – none of which will give you pictures that you’ll want to look at for too long. The level of detail captured leaves much to be desired and Samsung’s over-smoothing of images makes things even worse.
The 32MP (f2.0) front-facing camera is just as disappointing, but camera quality is more often than not the area that suffers most when you go for a mid-tier phone, so it shouldn’t be especially surprising.
The Samsung Galaxy A90 5G is one of the most affordable 5G phones. From a business perspective, it makes perfect sense thanks to the impeccable battery life, 5G compatibility, stellar build quality and DeX is the icing on the cake.
However, its camera is quite disappointing for the price, so it would be wise to buy the phone if you value 5G over photography.