In November last year we checked out one of Samsung’s most interesting launches of 2020. This wasn’t a flagship device but the Galaxy S20 FE (Fan Edition), a smartphone that claimed to deliver on the key stuff that mattered at an affordable price tag vis-à-vis top-end devices. I believe the success of this device has become a template for the brand’s upcoming launches this year and beyond. The Samsung Galaxy A series has assumed significance as Samsung aims to find sweet spots in the Rs 20,000 to 40,000 price band with devices that users proudly flaunt at a meeting or in a virtual meeting. The all-new Samsung Galaxy A72 is one such device.
Over the past few weeks we’ve been checking out a flurry of A series devices including the A32 and the A52. What’s impressed us the most about these new devices is the design language. Samsung has successfully broken the clutter with its minimalist design approach. Some of the trademark design touches in this new approach that Samsung calls soft edge design include the minimal camera design and a polycarbonate back that exudes a premium vibe. An IP67 rating (water proof up to 1 metre for 30 minutes) is one of the key flagship features that Samsung adds to the Galaxy A72. We checked out the Awesome Violet colour option and it just edges the Awesome Blue option as our favourite in this line up of four colours.
The A72 will now have to face off with the OnePlus 9R that is in the same (Rs 35,000 – 40,000) price band. Speed is one area where the 9R (that we are yet to test) might have an edge. The A72 is kitted with a Qualcomm 720G processor that’s certainly not the zippiest in this class. It clocked a decent score of 1665 in our Geekbench test and should be enough firepower for most average users. There’s a choice of 8GB/128GB and 8GB/256GB versions. Samsung’s top of the line flagships like the new S21 series don’t offer an internal storage option anymore. If you’re one of those long time Samsung fans, this a feature you will appreciate in the A72 aside from the 3.5mm headphone jack and the charging brick. There’s a 5000 mAh battery under the hood that lasted comfortably over a day in our tests that involved significant video and camera usage.
There’s one area where the A72 can hold its own against its rivals. The 6.7-inch Super AMOLED display (1080 x 2400 pixels / 393 PPI) peaks at 800 nits and offers a 90Hz refresh rate. Gaming and catching videos are fun; the stereo speakers add to its immersive appeal. The rear cam was one of the key differentiators in last year’s Samsung Galaxy S20 FE. It’s the same story with the A72 that has an edge over the OnePlus 9R in this department. This rear cam is driven by a 64MP primary lens with OIS that sharpens lowlight images and videos. The other key win is the 8MP telephoto lens that offers up to 3X optical zoom. The results on this zoom lens are impressive for a smartphone cam at this sticker price. A 12MP ultra-wide and 5MP macro lens complete the quad cam set up. The 32MP selfie cam offers the option of 4K videos and is quite solid too.
The Samsung Galaxy A72 is pitted against some formidable rivals at this price point and yet it brings enough to the table to be a serious player. The camera is quite versatile, the display is immersive display while the design aesthetic complemented with Samsung’s new custom UI (One UI 3.1) truly helps it standout in a cluttered marketplace.
The Samsung Galaxy A72 comes in two variants – 8GB/128GB – Rs 34,999 or 8GB/256GB – Rs 37,999 and a choice of four colours (Awesome Blue, Awesome Violet, Awesome Black and Awesome White)