First look: Quality wefies from Galaxy A80

Samsung Galaxy A80.
Samsung Galaxy A80.

How many times have you complained about the quality of the selfie camera on your smartphone and wished that it could be as good as the rear camera?

My friends and I have had this issue several times, especially when attempting to take selfies in low-light situations.

The new Samsung Galaxy A80 solves this problem by using its rear camera as the front selfie camera.

This is down to a bit of engineering wizardry from the South Korean tech giant, which pops the camera up on the top of the phone whenever its camera app is in selfie mode and then flipping the camera 180 degrees to face the front.

I got to test the phone out for about an hour when it was launched in Bangkok last week and I was most excited about this function.

While I did not have enough time to test the quality of pictures taken in a variety of situations - I did not see how the camera would fare in a darkened room, for example - the camera's specifications showed promise for high-quality selfies.

The A80 comes with a triple camera set-up - a 48-megapixel main camera along with a 3D depth one and an ultra-wide-angle one that has the same viewing angle as the human eye.

I snapped a few wefies using the phone's ultra-wide-angle mode and they were great, easily fitting in at least five people standing side-by-side in the shots, when normally it may have just allowed for three. Perhaps I can chuck my selfie stick now.

Another feature of the phone is what it calls flawdetection technology, which notifies you if it detects any problems from back lighting and closed eyes.

While using the phone, it notified me of a smudge on the lens and told me to wipe it clean for best image results.

As the camera slides up and out of the main device for selfies, it also allows the phone to do away with the notch and hole-punch camera.

That means that I could watch video clips on the large 6.7-inch Super Amoled display screen from edge to edge without anything getting in the way.

I watched a few music videos through YouTube on what Samsung calls the "new infinity display" and they looked fantastic.

My main concern with the phone is that the rotating camera mechanism may jam up if it slides out and swivels too many times.

This unique camera set-up is also susceptible to dust and small particles getting into the tiny space where it rotates, which would be nearly impossible for users to clean on their own.

I would need more time with the phone to see if the contraption truly lasts.

The Galaxy A80 is available in three colours - angel gold, phantom black and ghost white - and comes with 128GB of internal storage (there is no microSD card option). The angel-gold colour is closer to an iridescent pale pink, which I like.

The phone will be available in Singapore in the second quarter with pricing to be announced.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 17, 2019, with the headline 'Quality wefies from Galaxy A80 '. Print Edition | Subscribe