with his 2019 a series Samsung aims to tackle the mid-range market with some well-balanced phones, this is the Samsung Galaxy A40, with this compact form factor in secondary ultra wide cam does it bring enough to stand out from the pack, we are nasphones.com and let’s find out in our full review .
like its siblings the Samsung Galaxy A40 comes with an all plastic body, that does its best to imitate glass, Samsung even calls the material classic .
ours is in blue but it’s actually sort of hard to tell at first glance, it reflects light and sort of a rainbow light gradient and the color seems to change depending on the angle .
the Samsung Galaxy A40 is quite compact, out of this year’s galaxy a mid Ranger’s this one is the smallest of the bunch, I like the size, it’s super easy to handle with one hand plus with its curved back and rounded edges it’s just quite comfortably in the hand as well .
all in all I’ve got no complaints about the build quality, except that there’s no water resistance here, for a small phone the Samsung Galaxy A40 has a pretty large screen .
it’s a 5.9 inch Super AMOLED, with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio and a 1080p resolution, as typical for Galaxy a series phones the panel is flat not curved like you see on Samsung’s flagship .
the selfie cam is housed within a u-shaped notch cut out at the top, the notch isn’t really obtrusive but you can mask it in settings, at around 437 PPI the Samsung Galaxy A40’s panel is great in terms of picture quality, especially for this price range .
it gives those deep AMOLED blacks and color accuracy is impressive too, maximum brightness is pretty good 410 nits in manual mode and 548 nits in max auto and bright conditions .
some mileage ability is excellent, unfortunately even though this panel is an AMOLED there’s no option for an always-on display and there isn’t a notification LED either .
you’ll have to wake up the phone to check out what’s going on, waking it up is quite easy though, unlike the Samsung Galaxy S10 or the Samsung Galaxy A50 the Samsung Galaxy A40 has a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner .
is quite accurate, but I wouldn’t call it fast, thanks to the slow wake-up animation, the face unlock feature works pretty well, but since it only uses the selfie cam it’s not the most secure option .
the phone has a single speaker at the bottom next to the USBC port, unfortunately our tests show that sits behind the competition as far as volume goes .
with headphones plugged in audio reproduction quality is not stellar, volume scored just above average and there is some distortion, stereo separation could be better too .
for storage you have 64 gigs onboard and if you need more it is expandable to microSD, the Samsung Galaxy A40 is powered by Samsung’s own Exynos 7885 (14 nm) chipset, along with 4 gigs of RAM .
in CPU tests the chip is right up there with Snapdragon 660 in the Snapdragon 636 and the phone runs quite smoothly, however GPU performance isn’t stellar and it scores lower than most of the competition in this price range .
if you’re into heavy gaming this might not be the phone for you, power efficiency is also just average, with a Non-removable Li-Po 3100 mAh battery the Samsung Galaxy A40’s battery life isn’t bad but it isn’t great either .
escorting an endurance rating of 73 hours in our proprietary tests, like the s10 flagships the Samsung Galaxy A40 supports 15 watt fast charging, unfortunately we didn’t get any accessories with our review units so we’re not sure how fast it will officially charge .
like the rest of Samsung’s recent releases, the Samsung Galaxy A40 comes with Samsung’s new one UI / Android 9 PI, compared to the old UI now things are more optimized for one-handed use .
for example you can lower the notification shade just by swiping down, no need to reach up to the top, the quick toggles are also closer to the bottom so they’re easier to reach .
there are plenty of samsung apps pre-installed which provide many of the functions of the phone, unlike what we saw on the a 50 here you don’t have a bixby app .
although there are Bixby home panels that provide you information, you also don’t get the function of holding down the power key to summon Bixby .
but of course for navigation you can choose between standard keys or samsung style of gestures, the Samsung Galaxy A40 has a dual camera setup on the back, there’s a 16 megapixel main shooter and a secondary 5 megapixel ultra wide-angle cam .
during the day shots with the main camera are pretty good, with ok detail punchy colors and nice contrast, dynamic range is decent but you can sometimes then double the overblown highlights .
auto HDR seemed to activate less often than we would have liked, there’s a scene optimizer option as well, but it didn’t seem to make much of a difference in the photos .
we did notice an issue with our photos though, the left part of each image looks a bit fuzzy while the right side stays sharp, we guess it’s the case of a defective lens on our units .
switching to the ultra wide cam cam give you decent results but these are lacking in detail and you can still get those clip highlights and remember while you shoot that this camera has fixed focus so close-ups may not be possible .
in portrait mode strangely the secondary camera isn’t used for depth information, the bokeh effect is all done through software, the results aren’t mind-blowing but it works pretty well .
as long as the scene isn’t too complex you can adjust the strength of the bouquet in real time or later on in the gallery too, at night photos from the main camp turn out nice with little noise in the shadows .
turning on the scene optimizer here does bring out a bit more contrast and makes colors look a bit juicier, using the ultra wide cam at night isn’t recommended though, these look quite grainy and smudgy .
on the front there’s a 25 megapixel camera with an F 2.0 aperture and fixed focus, these come out in 12 megapixels by default but you can switch to 25 by tapping the icon that says 3:4 H .
we were impressed by the selfies they are quite sharp with plenty of detail, good color reproduction and wide dynamic range, for video the Samsung Galaxy A40 can only recording up to 1080p resolution @30fps .
but if you download a third-party camera app such as open camera, you can’t enable 4k recording, it seems like Samsung chose to disable the feature on purpose .
the default 1080p videos from the main camera are sharp though, with punchy colors and little to no noise, but we can’t recommend shooting with a wide-angle lens, as there’s much less detail .
so that’s the Samsung Galaxy A40, you get an eye-catching compact build, a great AMOLED screen and decent camera performance, especially from the Selfie cam all for around 200 euros .
however there are also a few disappointments in the package, if gaming is your thing the chipset is probably not what you’re looking for power wise .
plus battery life is just average and the audio quality is a bit lackluster, so it’s definitely the AMOLED screen which will be the biggest selling point of this device .
otherwise it’s all pretty average, this phone is still worth considering as a compact mid-range but if you’re after something that packs more punch there are spicier options out there .
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