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Samsung Galaxy A72 review: Getting Closer to Flagships
In the second half of March, Dmitry Koval tested A52 from the updated A-series from the Samsung lineup. Today it’s time to get to know the Samsung Galaxy A72. Looking ahead, I note that over the year, the smartphone has noticeably improved and is now equipped with a set of flagship chips that were previously available only in top-end devic

Samsung Galaxy A72 full specifications

  • Dimensions: 165.0×77.4×8.4 mm
  • Weight: 203 g
  • Dust and water protection: IP67
  • Display: 6.7′′, Super AMOLED, 2400×1080 resolution, 393 ppi, 90Hz refresh rate, 800 nit brightness, Corning Gorilla Glass 5
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G, 8 cores (2×2.3 GHz, 6×1.8 GHz)
  • GPU: Adreno 618
  • RAM: 6 GB/8 GB
  • Storage: 128 GB/256 GB
  • SD cards: up to 1 TB
  • Operating system: Android 11 with One UI 3.1 interface
  • Wireless connections: Wi-Fi (2.4+5 GHz), Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo
  • Main camera: master sensor – 64 MP, f/1.8, OIS, video recording in 4K, wide-angle module – 12 MP, f/2.2, 123°, depth sensor – 8 MP, f/2.4, OIS, macro – 5 MP, f/2.4
  • Front-facing camera: 32 MP, f/2.2
  • Battery: 5,000 mAh, fast charging (25 W)

Price and positioning

Samsung Galaxy A72 is positioned as the most advanced A-series model. This means the most expensive one. But, of course, it is not a flagship, but in terms of functionality it is getting closer. We’ll talk about this later, but for now let’s get back to the question of price. For the Galaxy A72 with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage Samsung asks $465, and for 8/256 GB a little more – $535.

The A72 (6/128 GB) will cost $35 more than the A52 with 8/256 GB on board. Considering that there are very few differences between these two models, a logical question arises – does it make sense to pay more?

What’s in the box

The Galaxy A72 set is usual. It consists of a smartphone, charger and cable, a SIM eject tool and accompanying papers. And, even though I did not get the whole set for the review, I got the opportunity to get acquainted with a couple of covers, which can be purchased separately.

Samsung Galaxy A72 чехлыHere I have two options and I’ll start with the classic Samsung Silicone Cover. In color, it is absolutely identical to the color of the A72 case (in our case – pastel purple), the silicone is quite dense and pleasant to the touch. The issue price is about $28. The second is the antibacterial Smart S View Wallet Cover with magnetic fixation and an Always-On information window. I already talked about it in detail in the Galaxy A32 review, so I will not repeat myself. Let me just remind you that its cost is $43. Not to say that Samsung accessories are cheap, but their quality is, of course, at the highest level. Samsung Galaxy A72 чехлы

Design, materials and build quality

The main design elements of the A-series are borrowed from the flagship Galaxy S line, which set the fashion for the updated design of the main camera. If in the last year almost all Samsung models had a platform with cameras that were located in form of the letter L, then in 2021 the module follows the 3 + 2 structure. Here, three massive sensors are lined up in a row, and the auxiliary sensor and flash (they are smaller in size) have moved slightly to the side. Unlike the A32, in which the camera module did not stand out in any way, the A52 and A72 the block has a noticeable outline and rises slightly above the body.

Samsung Galaxy A72The mid-rangers of this year received quite laconic, but at the same time interesting color schemes. Compared to last year’s models, which had rainbow colors and spectacular shimmering in the light, this year the A-series smartphones have a monochromatic color and, in the case of A52 and A72, a matte plastic case. And while the phone collects fingerprints, they are practically invisible. This is definitely a plus.

There are four colors: the traditional white and black and pastel blue and purple. While these aren’t downright stunning colors, they are still quite unique. Pale purple looks fresh (here even the ends have a slight purple tint) and it is difficult to confuse it with other smartphones.

Samsung Galaxy A72If we talk about dimensions, the A72 has not changed much in size since the last generation, but it has become a little heavier – 203 g versus 179 g. But the main asset of the A72 lies in the protection against water and dust (IP67). In fact, this is what the advanced devices of the series clearly lacked. Samsung Galaxy A72At first glance, the bezels around the display seem to be slightly larger than in the A71, but more uniform as well. When it comes to notch, Samsung decided not to change anything and left a hole in the middle of the screen with a thin silver edging. In my opinion, without edging, the smartphone would have looked even better, because this way the front-facing camera would not attract too much attention. The quality of materials and the build quality is at the expected level from Samsung. Samsung Galaxy A72 фронтальная камера

The layout

The A72 screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 5, and at the junction between the top edge and the screen, you can barely see the earpiece speaker. On the reverse side, apart from the camera block and the barely noticeable brand logo, which is closer to the bottom, there is nothing of note.

A hybrid slot for SIM cards or one SIM and a memory card is located on the top. Here, a little to the side, you can see the hole for the microphone. On the opposite side are the main connectors (3.5mm and USB Type-C for charging), as well as the main speaker and another microphone.

Samsung Galaxy A72The left side doesn’t have any elements, while the right side traditionally houses the power buttons and the volume rocker.

Samsung Galaxy A72 ergonomics

Samsung Galaxy A72Since there’s a 6.7-inch display, the Galaxy A72 is poorly suited for using it with one hand. However, in 2021, no one particularly expects this from smartphones – the phablet format seems to have won. For ordinary actions, you constantly have to change the grip, since it is not always convenient to reach for certain elements, but such are modern realities. All controls are located quite comfortably, only the fingerprint scanner is located at the inconvenient location. It should’ve been a couple centimeters higher. Samsung Galaxy A72 сканер отпечатков

Display

In terms of characteristics, the A72 display has not changed much compared to its predecessor. Here we have the 6.7-inch SuperAMOLED matrix with a resolution of 2400×1080 and a pixel density of 393 ppi. The main and, in fact, the only difference is the increased screen refresh rate (90 Hz). Thanks to this, the UI has become smoother, and it is a pleasure to scroll through endless feeds in social networks. Sure, the flagship S-series has gone further and offers 120Hz and adaptive refresh rate changes, but for the mid-range line, this is a very good upgrade.

Samsung Galaxy A72 дисплейThe screen is very pleasant to interact with. In the settings, you can traditionally change the color rendering mode (rich or natural colors with adjustable white balance), font size and style, screen scale, enable an increased or standard refresh rate, eye comfort mode or adaptive brightness, choose a dark theme and customize the Edge panel and AoD.

Performance

Galaxy A72 is powered by Snapdragon 720G, which consists of 2 Kryo 465 Gold cores with a maximum clock speed of up to 2.3 GHz and 6 Kryo 465 Silver cores with a clock speed of up to 1.8 GHz. The graphics are processed by the Adreno 618 accelerator. The same set is installed in the A52. But in terms of the amount of storage and RAM, the A72 looks more interesting than the A52.

Samsung decided not to waste time on trifles and excluded the version with 4 GB of RAM, so the minimum modification has 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of flash memory, while in the advanced version there is 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of ROM. In both cases, the storage can be expanded with a memory card up to 1 TB. And, since the slot in this case is combined, you will have to choose between an increase in storage and a second SIM card.

Samsung Galaxy A72If we talk about performance, the smartphone is quite quick, but there was no noticeable increase in power. Even in Geekbench, the difference between these smartphones varies by several tens of points. The A72 copes with regular tasks without problems, and mobile games run fine as well. In games everything is quite predictable – everything works more or less, you just have to play with the settings. And, unlike the Galaxy A32, which I also tested, the case does not heat up as quickly during games.

Wireless connections range from dual-band Wi-Fi and NFC to Bluetooth 5.0 and a stack of supported location technologies (GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo).

Firmware

Samsung Galaxy A72 софтAlso, like all Samsung smartphones in 2021, the A72 runs Android 11 with the native OneUI 3.1 shell. More details about the updated shell can be found in the review of Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra by Dmitry Koval. And from myself I will only add that the interface is quite convenient and logical, but it does not differ much from previous versions. New functions appeared and the design changed in places, but the basis remained the same. Those who used OneUI will hardly need time to adapt.

Samsung Galaxy А72 unlocking methods

Samsung Galaxy A72 разблокировка по лицуTraditionally for the A-series, the fingerprint scanner is located directly in the screen. It is  almost flawless. Yes, optical sensors are not yet as fast and error-free as the good old capacitive ones, but they work quite well overall. In any case, the percentage of errors during testing barely exceeded 10%. In my opinion, the result is quite good. The main problem with the fingerprint scanner is still in its location.

If we talk about a face scanner, then it works more accurately than it did in the A32. But it’s still far from ideal. Besides the fact that this is not the most reliable way to secure your data, face unlocking works for a long time and is not always accurate. But, recalling my experience with the A32, the A72 performed much better, although the speed remained the same. Although, as I wrote earlier, perfect face recognition does not exist even in the flagship series.

Cameras

Samsung Galaxy A72 камераThe cameras in the Galaxy A72 are at a very decent level, and finally there’s optical stabilization in two modules. Let’s start with the fact that there are 4 sensors, including: the main 64 Mp (f/1.8, OIS), 12 Mp ultra-wide (f/2.2, 123˚), a telephoto lens with a resolution of 8 Mp (f/2.4, 3-multiple optical zoom, OIS) and a modest 5 megapixel macro sensor (f/2.4).

The camera app provides many modes for different types of shooting. For video, there is standard mode, Pro mode, hyperlapse, as well as slow motion and super slow motion. By the way, the main sensor allows you to shoot UHD videos at 30 fps. For photos there’s classic mode, night mode, macro photography, manual mode, portrait, panorama, Food Insta-mode, as well as the multifunctional Multi-shot mode, in which several pics and clips are taken simultaneously in different formats. New is the Fun mode, which uses Snapchat filters. Those who like to play around with augmented reality masks may like it. The Bixby camera, AR-Zone, filters and touch-up mode are all in place.

The capabilities of the main sensor are quite interesting. Despite the fact that the resolution of the main module is the same for both A32 and A72, the difference in photo quality is striking. First of all, this applies to night photos. Of course, night shots are aren’t perfect, there is not enough contrast and detail, the photo is noticeably brightened, and the farther from the center of the picture, the more the image is blurred, but with proper skill you can squeeze something decent out of it. In the case of the A32, it was hopeless.

Sample photos on the main sensor in full resolution

The wide-angle sensor with a 123˚ viewing angle is surprisingly pretty good too. It gives a warmer and more contrasting image compared to the main 64-megapixel module, which is sometimes appropriate for night photography. I won’t say that the ultra-wide module is amazing, but in some cases I like the night shots taken with it more than the same shot taken with the main module.

Examples of photos with from the wide-angle sensor in full resolution

The macrosensor is quite standard and here I did not notice the difference with the A32. The module is still picky about lighting, but with a sufficient amount of it, you can get adequate macro photographs.

Examples of photos from the macrosensor in full resolution

32-megapixel front-facing camera is exactly the same as in the A52 and last year’s A71. You can even shoot in UHD at 30 fps. As usual, there is a single and group selfie mode, as well as all kinds of filters.

Galaxy А72 battery life

Samsung Galaxy A72Since last year, the battery capacity has grown slightly and now the A72 has a 5000 mAh battery (the A71 had a 4500 mAh battery). Probably, with a small increase in autonomy, Samsung tried to neutralize the increased charge consumption because of the refresh rate of the screen.

The smartphone supports 25W fast charging, however, a 15W charger is included in the package. From a non-branded charger, the charge is replenished from 20 to 100% in about 2 hours. In general, the smartphone survives a day of intensive work. Technically, you can stretch the charge up to two days, but in this case you will have to limit yourself in functionality. Still, this is not the M-series, which had 7000 mAh batteries.

Sound

Samsung Galaxy A72Another noticeable improvement has also been made to the sound – in the new generation we get stereo sound. It’s possible by creating a stereo pair between the main speaker and the earpiece speaker. The sound has become much better, however, as I observed in the S21, some imbalance is present. The point lies in the different power of the speakers and their different directions. The main speaker, which is located at the bottom of the device, is  of course louder, so when listening to music or watching a video, there is a slight bias towards it. But, be that as it may, it’ still much better the usual mono sound.

In the depths of the settings, you can also find standard features for improving sound. There is Dolby Atmos, both for listening to music and for games, as well as an equalizer, Adapt Sound function and UHQ upscaler to improve the sound in headphones.

Verdict

Samsung Galaxy A72The way the Galaxy A72 was improved compared to the last generation is really impressive. The smartphone has grown in price, but this is justified by a stack of updates – a 90 Hz screen, IP67 water protection, stereo sound and more interesting cameras, a couple of which have acquired optical stabilization. Progress, as they say, is evident.

The smartphone is definitely worthy of attention, but the A52 is also quite good. The difference between these two models comes down to dimensions, but the price of the A52 looks more enticing: the maximum modification of the A52 will cost a little less than the minimum A72. But if you care about the screen size, then the A72, of course, wins.

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