Samsung Galaxy A50 review: Still one of the best budget phones

In April, Samsung announced updates to its Galaxy A series, its family of budget phones ready to compete with that of Apple most recent iPhone SE for 2020. While some models have new features like 5G, they all cost under $ 400 and have headphone jacks. One of the new phones, the Galaxy A51, is a sequel to the 2019 Galaxy A50.

The 2019 Galaxy A50 may not be as stylish as the last Galaxy S20 phones or as beautiful as the Z Flip. But at $ 350 at launch and now discounted by Samsung even more at $ 300, the A50 is one of the two best Android phones under $ 400 and it came out last year. (For more phones under $ 500, check out our roundup.)

That other choice is the file Motorola Moto G7, which originally launched at $ 300 (£ 189, AU $ 349), but you can now get it for a lower price (in the US, Motorola currently sells it for $ 230). Over the past few years, Motorola’s G series has consistently been ranked as our favorite budget phone, and the G7 continues this legacy as a great phone for its price.

All in all, we still love the Moto G7. It’s a fantastic and affordable phone and won our editors pick for its cheap price, good camera, and reliable performance. But I think the Galaxy A50 is better, even if it’s a little more expensive. For this, he too has earned a choice of editors. If you have an extra $ 70 to spare, go for the Galaxy A50 over the Moto G7. While it doesn’t shoot 4K videos and I’m not a huge fan of Samsung’s One UI, the A50’s superior camera, sleeker design, and longer battery life make it the best phone.

Galaxy A50 looks better, but it has no water protection

While both phones are similar in size and design, there are some details that elevate the Galaxy A50 above the Moto G7. For example, the Moto G7 has a larger camera bump on the back. Having a bump isn’t a headache, and many phones have included the iPhone. The Galaxy A50 camera is much redder, it looks flatter and sleeker. The on-screen camera notch for the front camera is also smaller, so it’s less obtrusive when looking at the display. Finally, as the Galaxy A50 has an in-screen fingerprint scanner, the device looks smoother overall. The Moto G7, on the other hand, has a visible reader on the back that’s decorated with the Motorola logo (and there’s also a Motorola logo on the front, on the bottom bezel), which isn’t that attractive.

Additionally, the Galaxy A50 has an AMOLED display compared to the Moto G7’s LCD screen. Although both phones have roughly the same resolution and pixel density, the Galaxy A50’s screen is brighter and the colors are much more vibrant. Blacks are also much darker and lighter. When viewing both phones from different angles, the color shift is more severe on the Moto G7 as well. This means that colors fade dramatically and the screen appears to get darker at certain angles.

An advantage of the Moto G7 is that it is slightly water repellent. You can’t submerge it completely underwater, but it has a nanometer coating that protects it from light splashes and splashes of water. Samsung hasn’t added water protection to the A50.

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The camera bump on the A50 is less prominent.

Angela Lang / CNET

Not interested in 4K video? The Galaxy A50’s camera is superior

Both the Galaxy A50 and the Moto G7 take clear, bright photos when conditions are ideal, such as in environments with lots of uniform lighting. And while the Galaxy A50 can only record 1080p video (compared to the Moto G7’s maximum 4K), the Galaxy A50’s camera is still ahead of the Moto G7 in many ways.

The images are sharper, so you can see the finer details in things like leaves and bricks. In low light, the A50 brightens and enlivens colors, while photos taken with the G7 are more blurry with much more blurry and washed-out colors. The A50 also has a wider dynamic range, which means that scenes with different lighting situations are exposed more evenly than the Moto G7. I noticed there were times when the A50’s HDR effect seemed a little too unrealistic, but I still preferred it to the Moto G7. The Galaxy A50 also has a second wide-angle camera, which means you can capture more content within each frame. This is useful when you want to capture vast landscapes and scenery as well.

The Galaxy A50 (left) lit up this scene and has a wider dynamic range than the Moto G7 (right).

Lynn La / CNET

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