• Full Review
  • Specifications

Full Review

Want flagship features at less than half the price of a Samsung Galaxy S10? Then you might want the Samsung Galaxy A70.

This phone has an in-screen fingerprint scanner, a huge battery, a triple-lens camera and other impressive features, yet costs just £369 SIM-free.

So what’s the catch? Well, there are some areas in which the handset is less impressive, so it might not be for everyone, but we’ll tell you now that it’s a very good phone. For a full review – including what is and isn’t good – read on.

Screen

The Samsung Galaxy A70 has a huge 6.7-inch screen. But not only is it big, it’s sharp too, at 1080 x 2400 and around 393 pixels per inch. Like most Samsung phones it also uses Super AMOLED – a technology that offers better contrast than LCD.

It also has a super-wide 20:9 aspect ratio, and thanks to there being hardly any bezel and just a small notch at the top it also has a high screen-to-body ratio of around 86%.

It’s an impressive setup. The overall quality of the screen will be troubling phones like the Huawei P30 Pro or iPhone XS, but it’s a great option for anyone who wants a phablet on a budget.

Design

This is one of the weakest aspects of the Samsung Galaxy A70, as it has a plastic shell (or rather, a ‘glasstic’ one, but as far as we can tell that’s just plastic masquerading as glass). As such it looks a bit like glass, but the illusion is likely to be shattered when you hold the handset

Galaxy A70 Design

This is a shame as the Galaxy A70 costs enough that we’d expect a real glass or metal back, but corners evidently had to be cut somewhere and on balance we’d rather they were cut here than with some other aspects of the phone.

It’s not an awful design either. As noted above, there’s a high screen-to-body ratio, ensuring the phone looks quite good and is easier to manage than you might expect – though at 164.3 x 76.7 x 7.9 you’ll still probably want to operate it with both hands.

It’s worth noting also that there’s no water resistance rating on this phone – that’s not surprising at the price though.

Galaxy A70 Rear

Power

The Samsung Galaxy A70 uses an octa-core Snapdragon 675 chipset. This is a mid-range but dependable offering, with two cores running at 2Ghz and six running at 1.7GHz.

That’s backed up by 6GB of RAM, which combined offer strong performance, especially for what this phone costs. It should be able to cope with even high-end games – though may struggle more than true flagships would.

Camera

Not content with one or even two lenses, the Samsung Galaxy A70 has a triple-lens camera, a feature which has quickly become common on high-end handsets, but is still fairly rare in the mid-range.

Galaxy A70 Rear Camera

The phone has a 32MP f/1.7 main lens, an 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide one and a 5MP f/2.2 depth sensor. Performance from the snappers is generally solid, particularly considering the price, though we’d have rather had a telephoto lens for the third one than a depth sensor.

Still, at 123 degrees the wide-angle lens can fit a lot into the frame, while the depth sensor lets you adjust the depth of field in shots, which is particularly handy for portrait photography. As with most budget cameras this can struggle a bit with challenging lighting, but in well-lit scenes you can get some great photos, especially as there’s also a Scene Optimiser, which can detect what you’re shooting and optimise the settings accordingly.

The front camera meanwhile is just a single-lens one, but it’s an impressively high 32MP. That means selfies can be packed full of detail, though overall results aren’t generally quite a match for what you can get from the rear cameras.

Features

The main feature of the Samsung Galaxy A70 is its in-screen fingerprint scanner. This is a feature that very few non-flagship phones currently offer. It means you can simply place your finger on the Galaxy A70’s screen to unlock it and it’s great to see on a relatively affordable handset.

Galaxy A70 Fingerprint Sensor

The implementation isn’t perfect – even at their best, in-screen scanners tend to be slightly slower than traditional ones and that’s certainly the case here, but you’ll still be able to unlock your phone within a second or two.

Battery life, memory and connectivity

The Samsung Galaxy A70 doesn’t disappoint on the battery front, as it has a big 4,500mAh one. Of course, with a big screen it needs a big battery, but still, this thing has a lot of life, enough in fact that light users might just about get two days out of it. It also supports super-fast 25W charging, so you can juice it up faster than most phones. In fact, it’s faster to charge than even the Galaxy S10.

Memory meanwhile comes in at 128GB, which is a hefty amount, further aided by a microSD card slot with support for cards of up to 512GB. And as for connectivity – you get Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC, so you can make contactless payments with this phone.

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy A70 is a power and feature-packed handset, with highlights including a huge screen, a big battery, a decent amount of power, a triple-lens camera and an in-screen fingerprint scanner.

That’s a lot of tech for a mid-range phone and it’s only really let down by its plastic build. Few of the aspects – other than battery - are as good as you’ll get in a high-end handset, even though some might sound similar on paper, but you can’t argue with the price.

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Specifications

Specifications

  • Dimensions (mm): 164.3 x 76.7 x 7.9
  • Weight (g): 183
  • Battery capacity (mAh): 4500
  • Colours: Black, White, Blue, Coral
  • Screen size (inches): 6.7
  • Resolution: 1080 x 2400
  • Pixels per inch (PPI): 393
  • Processor: Octa-core
  • Processor make: Snapdragon 675
  • RAM: 6GB/8GB
  • Internal storage: 128GB
  • Expandable storage up to: 512GB
  • Camera: 32MP, 8MP and 5MP (32MP front-facing)
  • Operating System: Android 9

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