• Full Review
  • Specifications

Full Review

While the Samsung Galaxy S10 range is rightly getting a lot of attention, Samsung has also crafted new phones for those who can’t afford or can’t justify the cost of its flagships. Many of these phones are in the ‘A’ range, and at just £219 SIM-free the Samsung Galaxy A40 is one of the cheapest.

But what can you really get for that money – a price that makes it only just over a quarter as much as the Galaxy S10? Well, quite a lot as it turns out. The Samsung Galaxy A40 has a big, sharp screen, a dual-lens rear camera, a decent design and a reasonable amount of power.

But inevitably you do have to make some compromises with a phone of this price, so are they too great or does the Galaxy A40 strike the right balance? Read on to find out.

Screen

The Samsung Galaxy A40 has a 5.9-inch 1080 x 2340 Super AMOLED screen with a pixel density of around 437 pixels per inch and an aspect ratio of 19.5:9.

Galaxy A40 Display

So not only is it quite big, but it’s fairly high resolution, especially for the price, it’s also a decent quality and bright display, with the use of Super AMOLED ensuring contrast is better than you’d find on most LCD panels.

And with that aspect ratio it has a modern, wide-screen look. Samsung has also kept bezels to a minimum, delivering a roughly 85.5% screen-to-body ratio – a ratio which not so long ago would have been rare even on flagships.

Spend more and you can get a sharper screen of course, and while this is good quality for the money it’s not a match for the display on, say, the iPhone XS, but it’s as good as we could have hoped for at the price.

Design

Galaxy A40 Back

The design of the Samsung Galaxy A40 isn’t quite as impressive, but it’s still very reasonable for the price.

As noted above, there’s a high screen-to-body ratio. This is achieved by just having a slim bezel below the display and a tiny notch at the top, and it ensures the phone is more manageable in the hand than you might expect a handset with a 5.9-inch screen to be, though those with smaller hands will still have to employ both to use it comfortably.

The lack of bezel means the Galaxy A40 looks good front-on, and it looks reasonable from the back too, with a shiny finish, while the dimensions of 144.4 x 69.2 x 7.9 are as noted quite manageable, but notably also make for a very slim handset.

Galaxy A40 Colours

What’s less impressive is the actual construction of the phone, as the back uses a ‘Glasstic’ finish which feels more like plastic than glass. The frame also appears to be plastic, and there’s no water resistance rating here.

So all in all the Samsung Galaxy A40 looks better than it feels, but it doesn’t feel awful, especially given that manageable size, and it looks great, particularly if you choose the blue or coral colour, rather than the more ordinary black and white shades.

Power

You don’t get flagship power in the Galaxy A40, but performance is still very solid, thanks to 4GB of RAM and an octa-core Exynos 7885 chipset. That’s a mid-range one with two cores clocked at 1.77GHz and six running at 1.59GHz.

In practice, this puts it at the lower end of the mid-range, but that’s in line with its price and the phone still has the power to comfortably run most games or have multiple apps open at once.

Camera

There’s a dual-lens camera on the back of the Samsung Galaxy A40, giving you both a 16MP f/1.7 standard lens and a 5MP f/2.2 wide-angle one with a 123-degree field of view. The combination ensures there’s a suitable lens for most types of shot – the main thing it’s missing is a telephoto lens, but we wouldn’t expect that at this price.

Performance from the main lens is generally strong. Being just 5MP the wide-angle one is a bit less impressive, but it’s nice to have the option to fit more into a shot when needed. The Samsung Galaxy A40 also has a number of scene settings, so whatever you’re snapping it can adjust the settings accordingly.

And there’s a 25MP f/2.0 camera on the front. That’s a high megapixel count and it ensures selfies are sharp. Of course, megapixels aren’t everything, but this puts in a decent showing overall. There are also a number of modes and tools for this snapper, such as a beauty mode and AR emoji.

Features

Being a fairly affordable phone the Samsung Galaxy A40 isn’t exactly packed full of extra features, but there are a few things worth highlighting.

For one thing, you get a fingerprint scanner on the back. This isn’t our favourite position for it, but it works well. There’s also a 3.5mm headphone port – that might not sound notable, but with ever more phones lacking said port it’s worth mentioning.

And the Samsung Galaxy A40 runs Android 9 Pie, so its software is up to date, though being a somewhat budget phone we wouldn’t count on this getting a fast update to Android Q when that lands later in 2019.

Battery life, memory and connectivity

The Samsung Galaxy A40 has a 3,100mAh battery. That’s not massive for a phone with a 5.9-inch screen and indeed this is one of the weaker aspects of the handset, as while it should see you through a day you’ll definitely need to charge this every night. There are lots of phones that we could say the same about, so it’s not a disaster, but it is a disappointment.

Galaxy A4 Charging Port

Still, on the plus side it supports 15W fast charging, so you can get it powered up again quite quickly.

Memory comes in at 64GB, and with a microSD card slot as well there should be more than enough room for most users. Connectivity options meanwhile include Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC.

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy A40 is one of a growing number of budget phones that give you a lot for your money, but it’s notable because it comes from Samsung, a company that’s more known for expensive handsets.

If this fits your budget and you’re happy with average battery life and a plasticky build then you won’t go wrong, but you might also want to consider the likes of the Honor 10 Lite – a phone with arguably slightly worse specs but a bigger battery and an even lower price.

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Specifications

Specifications

  • Dimensions (mm): 144.4 x 69.2 x 7.9
  • Weight (g): 140
  • Battery capacity (mAh): 3100
  • Colours: Black, White, Blue, Coral
  • Screen size (inches): 5.9
  • Resolution: 1080 x 2340
  • Pixels per inch (PPI): 437
  • Processor: Octa-core
  • Processor make: Exynos 7885
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Internal storage: 64GB
  • Expandable storage up to: 512GB
  • Camera: 16MP and 5MP (25MP front-facing)
  • Operating System: Android 9

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