Samsung made some announcements about their new Galaxy A80 phone, which includes a camera that not only slides up from the rear of the device but also automatically rotates so that it can function as both a selfie camera and a rear mounted camera. The question I ask whenever any new technology is announced is whether or not this is something that people actually want? Or ultimately will need and use.
That’s not to say that I think all technology has to have a certain level of usefulness. If this helps you take better selfies, and that is something that makes you happy, then by all accounts this is something that you will want and is something that you will use. Need is assessing it on another level, and not one that always makes sense to everyone. My needs in a camera are limited, but a photographer will most certainly have different needs. Which is why need can be subjective. Wants are still subjective, but not in the same way.
I digress. This will be the first phone to feature Samsung’s “New Infinity” display, which they announced last year. From a technical perspective the phone looks standard in terms of today’s smartphones:
The A80’s automated pop-up mechanism contains a triple-camera array consisting of a main 48-megapixel f/2.0 camera, flanked by an ultrawide 8-megapixel f/2.2 camera, and a third ToF (time-of-flight) sensor. The sliding camera mechanism means there’s no sight of a notch or a hole-punch in the phone’s 6.7-inch FHD+ (1080 x 2400) Super AMOLED display.
What’s interesting is that we’ve seen swivelling cameras and even slider mechanisms used in smartphones before, but nothing like this. Oppo released a smartphone in 2014 (the N1), which had a rotating 13-megapixel camera, but the quality of photos taken were underwhelming. Since then we’ve seen a number of pop-up cameras including the Vivo Nex and Oppo Find X. More recently slider phones are making a comeback on devices like the Honor Magic 2 and the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3. But do we really need to bring back the slider phone?
Outside of the camera, the Galaxy A80 includes a 3,700mAh battery that supports fast charging at 25W. It also has 8GB of RAM, 128GB of onboard storage, and it includes an in-display fingerprint scanner. The phone is available in three colors: gold, white, and black. The Galaxy A80 will launch on May 29th, joining the Galaxy A10, A20, A30, and A50, which have all been announced in recent months. Pricing for the Galaxy A80 and A70 is yet to be announced.
In addition to the Galaxy A80, Samsung also announced an April 26th date for the Galaxy A70. This was first announced last month by Samsung. The A70 has a teardrop-notched 6.7-inch display with a 20:9 aspect ratio, and it also includes an in-display fingerprint scanner. It has a triple-camera array on its rear featuring a main 32-megapixel sensor along with a 5-megapixel depth sensor and an ultrawide 8-megapixel sensor. The Galaxy A70 will be available in four colors: coral, blue, black, and white.
While I love the development and announcements of new phones, I am finding that each of these tech companies are releasing more and more. Essentially flooding the market with smartphone options. I am trying to minimize the number of decisions I have to make daily. Samsung and Apple definitely aren’t making my life any easier. In 2019, I get to select a new smartphone so I’m excited to see what is offered up at the end of the year.