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(Pocket-lint) - Samsung has refreshed its Galaxy A series and top of the range is the Galaxy A80 with an automatic rotating camera and sliding mechanism.

It's got some impressive specifications for a sub-flagship device, along with a design that's sure to turn heads, but will it turn yours? Here are our first impressions of the Galaxy A80. 

Different design

  • 165.2 x 76.5 x 9.3mm
  • Sliding design
  • Phantom Black, Angel Gold, Ghost White

The Samsung Galaxy A80 steps away from the current smartphone norm where notched displays and the occasional punch hole front camera dominate, offering a rotating camera that is activated when the selfie button is pressed in the camera app.

Pocket-lintSamsung Galaxy A80 initial review product images image 2

The camera slides up and spins around, allowing you to take a selfie with the same triple camera found on the rear. Unlike the Honor Magic 2, the Galaxy A80's sliding mechanism is automatic, and you can hear a small wurring noise as the camera slides up.

In the hand, the Galaxy A80 is a solid, premium looking and well-built device. There's a fingerprint-hungry glass rear and the sliding mechanism and rotating camera allow for a full display with no interruptions. The eagle-eyed among you might have noticed there is no physical fingerprint scanner anywhere on the device either, with the Galaxy A80 opting for an under-display scanner instead, allowing for a clean, uninterrupted design on the rear and edges too, as well as the front.

Pocket-lintSamsung Galaxy A80 initial review product images image 20

As you would expect, USB Type-C is at the bottom and the dedicated Bixby button is present on the left, while the volume rocker and power buttons are on the right. When the sliding mechanism isn't activated, the horizontally-aligned triple camera has a metal surround, making it stand out from the glass, and when extended, a glass panel fills any gaps, offering a nearly smooth finish.

Full, uninterrupted display

  • 6.7-inch, Full HD+ 
  • Super AMOLED
  • New Infinity Display

One of the best things about the Samsung Galaxy A80's plunge at a different design is the full display. No notch, no punch hole camera, just pure, uninterrupted OLED, which Samsung is calling New Infinity Display.

Pocket-lintSamsung Galaxy A80 initial review product images image 12

The display measures 6.7-inches diagonally, which is the same as the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and the Super AMOLED panel appears to deliver bright, punchy colours full of vibrancy.

Unlike the flagship S10 range, the Galaxy A80 has a flat display so you don't get those lovely curved edges that you'll find on the Galaxy S10 and S10+ and the resolution also drops to Full HD+ over Quad HD+. That might not matter too much to most people though and even the flagships are Full HD+ by default.

Pocket-lintSamsung Galaxy A80 initial review product images image 13

We couldn't test the A80's display properly in the time we had with it but viewing angles appeared to be good and the colours definitely popped. We love that there is no notch or front camera to break up the viewing experience too.

Triple rotating camera

  • 48MP main camera, f/2.0
  • 8MP ultra wide camera, f/2.2
  • 3D depth camera 

The Samsung Galaxy A80's triple camera is made up of a 48-megapixel main camera with an aperture of f/2.0, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera with an aperture of f/2.2 and a 3D depth camera.

Pocket-lintSamsung Galaxy A80 initial review product images image 4

As we mentioned above, the camera rotates so rather than having a separate selfie camera as smartphones traditionally have done for years, the A80 has the same camera specifications for the front and rear because it's the same camera. 

Open the camera app up, tap the selfie button and the A80 will slide up, the camera will rotate and you'll see your lovely face on the screen. Tap the button to flip the camera back to rear and the camera will rotate back and slide back down.

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Pocket-lintSamsung Galaxy A80 initial review product images image 15

We didn't get a chance to test how well that 48-megapixel main sensor performs in tandem with the ultra wide angle lens and the 3D sensor, the latter of which was first introduced by Samsung on the Galaxy S10 5G model, but we'll certainly be doing that during our review. 

In terms of camera features, the Galaxy A80 has Super Steady video mode to reduce hand shake when recording and it also brings in the Scene Optimzer and Flaw Detection modes, both of which are found on the flagship Galaxy S10 and Note models.

Intelligent hardware and software

  • Octa-core processor
  • 8GB RAM, 128GB storage
  • 3700mAh battery
  • Android Pie 

Samsung has yet to specify which processor is running the Galaxy A80 show, but we know it features 8GB of RAM, coupled with 128GB of storage. In a strange omission for Samsung, the A80 doesn't support microSD for storage expansion so 128GB is all you'll get in terms of storage capacity.

Pocket-lintSamsung Galaxy A80 initial review product images image 7

There's a 3700mAh battery on board, which is a little smaller than the flagship Galaxy S10+, but the Galaxy A80 comes with 25W fast charging and it has a software feature called Intelligent Performance Enhancer on board. 

This software feature uses AI to learn your daily routine and app usage over time, optimising your phone's power consumption by adjusting the CPU, RAM and battery.

Pocket-lintSamsung Galaxy A80 initial review product images image 19

In terms of other software features, the Galaxy A80 runs on Android 9 with Samsung's One UI over the top, offering a similar experience to the flagship Galaxy S10 range. You'll find all the usuals, including Bixby Vision, Bixby Home, Bixby Routines, Samsung Pay and Samsung Knox all on board. 

We'll dive into more detail on software when we review the Galaxy A80 in full, along with how well those intelligent battery features work and how the device performs overall.

First Impressions

The Samsung Galaxy A80 has an interesting design that delivers a refreshing change to the norm and we like that about it. It's premium in its build quality and it's fun in its features.

We aren't convinced the automatic slider mechanism won't have its issues down the line, but we certainly like the idea of the rotating camera and the huge 6.7-inch uninterrupted display is lovely. 

It might not be Samsung's flagship smartphone, but the Galaxy A80 is certainly a device we're looking forward to trying out properly. It will be available to buy on 29 May.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle. Originally published on 10 April 2019.