Not a fan of the Galaxy S10's Infinity-O display and hole punch treatment for the front-facing camera? Tired of notches and other obstructions impeding your screen real estate? Then does Samsung have a phone for you.
It's called the Galaxy A80, and rather than utilizing a pop-out selfie camera or one module of lenses that flips around to capture forward- and backward-facing images, the A80 combines both mechanisms for what is undoubtedly the most wild imaging setup — in terms of mechanics, anyway — that we've ever seen.
First, the cameras slide out from the top, in a style similar to Oppo's Find X. But then, within that panel, the phone's trio of lenses — one of which captures 48 MP, and another being a depth-aware time-of-flight sensor — actually flips around, so it can take photos in either direction.
Personally, while I appreciate Samsung's willingness to take design risks, I think the A80's mechanism is a silly, over-engineered and failure-prone solution to a perceived problem that most people either don't care about, or can live with. That said, even I can recognize that there are certainly functional purposes for this approach.
The advantages here, beyond the lack of a notch of hole-punch front-facing camera, is that the A80 gets to leverage the very same cameras it uses for the back as it does for selfies. And that's a huge benefit, because practically all phone makers downgrade the front sensor in relation to the ones on the back in an effort to keep costs down and save space.
If you're not familiar with Samsung's Galaxy A-series products, these are the firm's midrange handsets that are sold selectively in certain parts of the world. In fact, out of last year's big batch of A-series phones, Samsung only brought the relatively uninspiring Galaxy A6 to the U.S., while customers elsewhere received much more exciting options, like the quad lens-toting Galaxy A9.
In recent years, Samsung has elected to use the top of the A-series range as its testbed for innovations. The Infinity-O display actually premiered in the Galaxy A8, even though many more customers likely encountered it first in the recently-released Galaxy S10 line. And although the A80's cameras almost assuredly won't be able to capture the same quality of images as the S10 family, it does give Samsung an opportunity to experiment in terms of design and packaging.
Cameras aside, the Galaxy A80 boasts a gigantic 6.7-inch, full-HD+ AMOLED display with a 20:9 aspect ratio. That panel is backed by a generous 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, along with a respectably-sized 3,700-mAh battery.
The A80 is scheduled to launch May 29, alongside the Galaxy A10, A20, A30, A50 and A70 (told you the A-series was a big family). At this moment, it's still unclear how much the device will cost or where it will be sold.