Samsung Galaxy A30 Review: Best in Class Display on a Budget

The Samsung Galaxy A30 is one of the handsets from the popular 2019 A series. For a long time, the company has been struggling to get a bigger share in the mid-range market where value-based smartphones from OPPO, vivo, and Huawei are enjoying ample popularity. Together with the more powerful Galaxy A50, the Galaxy A30 is poised to tackle fierce competition with its capable feature set. 

Samsung Galaxy A30 Review: Best in Class Display at PHP 13,990
The Samsung Galaxy A30 offers the best in class display in a very sweet spot price of PHP 13,990.

Samsung Galaxy A30 Review

  • [col]
    •  Pros 
      • Stunning, best in class display
      • Solid build, beautiful design
      • All-rounder handset
      • Long battery life w/ fast charging
      • Simple and easy to use software
    •  Cons 
      • Fingerprint magnet back panel
      • Low-light performance needs improvement

Key Specifications:

  • 6.4-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED Infinity U Display
  • 3D Glasstic Design
  • Exynos 7904 SoC
  • 2x 1.8GHz + 6x 1.6GHz processor
  • Mali G71 MP2 GPU
  • 4GB RAM + 64GB Storage
  • Rear cameras: 16MP (f/1.7) + 5MP (f/2.2)
  • 16MP (f/2.0) front camera
  • 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS
  • USB Type-C
  • Bixby
  • Android 9.0 Pie with One UI
  • 158.5 x 74.7 x 7.7mm, 165 g
  • 4000mAh battery w/ 15W charging
  • PHP 13,990 Official Price

The Samsung Galaxy A30 is modestly priced at PHP 13,990 which makes it a great choice for buyers settling for a sub-14K budget. But is it the best in its price range? Will it steal enough spotlight from the more popular players? Who is it for? These are the pressing questions that we’ll answer in this review of the Samsung Galaxy A30.

Samsung Galaxy A30 Review

Design: Samsung Intros the “Glasstic” design

The Samsung Galaxy A30 is a straight-up good-looking smartphone. It has a thin profile with subtle curves. Samsung coined the “Glasstic” design, which features a premium-looking plastic build with a glass finish. This gave the A30 a glossy appeal. This also means that fingerprints are rampant in the handset’s panel, especially on the back. I noticed that it’s quite a chore to wipe off the smudges especially if you’re using the black variant. 

Samsung Galaxy A30 Review Philippines

The almost seamless transition of the display and the frame is a noteworthy addition to the already stunning aesthetics. Rounding up the buttons and ports, the Galaxy A30 houses the 3.5-mm audio jack, the speaker grill, primary microphone, and the USB Type C in the bottom of the handset. It’s refreshing to see that Samsung offers a USB Type C port for a sub-14K smartphone.

Furthermore, you'll get the SIM tray with dedicated microSD slot at the left side; while the volume rocker and the power button are positioned on the right side. There’s also a secondary microphone on the top side of the handset. Lastly, there's a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor which my short fingers find a bit hard to reach.

Display

The Galaxy A30 boasts a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED FHD+ display. It’s the same screen that you’ll find with the Galaxy A50 - a panel with1080 x 2340p resolution and is highlighted by the popular Infinity U display. This pushes an almost full-screen display with the exception of the substantial chin. Speaking of the Infinity U, the water drop notch does not feel intrusive at all. If you’re a purist, you might want to toggle the software tweak that easily hides the notch.

Samsung Galaxy A30 Review | Pinoy Metro Geek

Samsung definitely did not cut corners when it comes to the display. I could tell that the Galaxy-maker used its top-of-the-line display on this handset.

Samsung Galaxy A30 Review

Colors register to be vibrant with stunning whites and deep blacks. The quality is reflective of the Samsung’s flagship line. This makes the Galaxy A30 a great companion for multimedia consumption. Streaming Netflix and playing videos offer great experiences in this handset.

On top of that, Samsung gives you the flexibility in choosing screen modes – Adaptive, AMOLED cinema, AMOLED photo, and basic. Likewise, you can adjust color tones to either warm or cool, and even go further in customizing the white balance.

Performance

Underneath the Galaxy A30, you’ll find an Exynos 7904 chipset which crams two high-performance cores running at 1.8GHz speed, and six power-efficient cores. It is backed by 4GB of RAM which makes the UI smooth enough for a moderate user. In our Antutu benchmark, the A30 scores 107,086.

Samsung Galaxy A30 Review: Antutu Benchmark

In our day-to-day test, we found that the Galaxy A30 is pretty smooth when it comes to handling our daily tasks – social media, occasional games, calls, and texts. Moreover, Samsung really did a great job integrating its flashy One UI to this hardware.

Gaming, Multimedia, Call Quality

For gamers, the Samsung Galaxy A30 is quite decent. If you’re a fan of graphic-demanding games like PUBG Mobile, you need to settle with medium graphic setting to enjoy smooth performance. Popular titles like Mobile Legends and Arena of Valor run like fluid in high settings. There were a few hiccups along the way but I’m sure it’s tolerable.

I’ll say it again, the handset excels in multimedia consumption due to exceptional display. Its loudspeaker capability is also in high bars compared to other mid-rangers in the market.

The Galaxy A30 supports dual Nano SIM slots on top of the dedicated microSD card.  Its network performance is a winner. Calls register to be clear in both loudspeaker and receiver mode. If you are making a lot of calls, then the Galaxy A30 is a great phone to have in your pocket.

Camera

The Samsung Galaxy A30 is geared with a dual camera set-up. For starters, it’s a combination of a 16MP main sensor and a 5MP wide-angle camera. Photos register to have good exposure and saturation. The latter is due to the camera module's scene optimizer which not only boost the saturation but the contrast as well.

Samsung Galaxy A30 Review

You can shoot great-quality images using the main camera especially under decent lighting. When you toggle the ultra-wide mode, the camera loses the autofocus function and drops image quality. But it’s still a handy feature when shooting landscapes and cover more scene in one frame.

In low-light, the Galaxy A30 camera struggles with noise and splotches. Details are also trimmed-down which make the output image softer. If you’re mostly shooting in low-light, there are more viable options out there.

There's a 16MP f/2.0 front camera that could take decent social media selfies. Selfies are smoothened out by default even when the beautification filter is turned off. 

Samsung Galaxy A30 Review: Sample Photos

Samsung Galaxy A30 Review: Sample Photo
Ultra-wide Shot

Samsung Galaxy A30 Review: Sample Photo

Samsung Galaxy A30 Review: Sample Photo

More Galaxy A30 sample photos here: https://bit.ly/2IMW4kS

Software: Samsung One UI

The Samsung Galaxy A30 ticks with the latest One UI software. It’s a breath of fresh air that the Korean giant uses the flashy One UI in their mid-range lineup. This skin is optimized for large screen devices in which the Galaxy A30 is not an exception.

Samsung Galaxy A30 Review: Best in Class Display on a Budget

The new One UI, based on Android 9.0 Pie, is very easy on the eyes – it’s pretty simple and very easy to get around with. Icons have no-nonsense design and the whole suite offers a bucket-full of features. Frequently-used icons in the Notification Shade are now bigger and can easily be reached using one hand. This is also true when navigating the home screen and the app drawer.

Samsung Galaxy A30 Review: Software

The fingerprint sensor is quite zippy in picking up biometric information. However, the handset’s facial recognition is a tad slower compared to other mid-range smartphones. The animations around the waterdrop notch when reading facial data is cool though.

Samsung Galaxy A30 Review: Software

There are many useful gestures that Samsung has carried over from its previous Samsung Experience UI. The double tap to wake gesture is one of them. You can still double click the power button to pull up the camera while your handset is locked.

Samsung Galaxy A30 Review: Software

The One UI allows you to enable the Easy Mode which technically gives you a clean and bigger screen layout. It also gives you bigger fonts and allows you to make contact shortcuts in the homescreen. There’s also a choice between the Navigation Buttons and Full Screen Gestures.

You can activate Night Mode which automatically shifts the device to have a dark theme. This conserves battery and keeps user’s eyes comfortable at night. The Blue Light filter that can also be activated even with the light theme.

Battery

A 4000 mAh battery powers the handset. With that being said, I could get through a whole day with moderate use. It could even extend up to the following morning if I turn off notifications and use single SIM. 

It is also fast to charge the phone using the USB Type C’s fast charging mode. It takes roughly 1 hour and 45 minutes to charge the phone from 0 to 100 percent – which is pretty standard in Samsung’s fast charging capability.

Should You Buy The Samsung Galaxy A30?

If you’re hard pressed in a sub-14K budget and need a capable smartphone that could give you the best display even at this price range, the Galaxy A30 is definitely for you. However, aside from the display and the battery, it’s hard to find another selling point for the Galaxy A30. Nevertheless, for its price, it strikes a great balance of features that a day-to-day smartphone ought to have.

Samsung Galaxy A30 Review

Its daylight camera is pretty capable also. Even though using the ultra-wide mode causes a drop in image quality, it is still a nifty feature to have. 

There are more things to love about this smartphone – the excellent One UI software, the minimalist notch, and even the compact design. If you have extra cash to spare, you can get the more capable Galaxy A50. But if the sub-14K price suits you well, then you could never go wrong with the Galaxy A30.

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