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Samsung Galaxy A72 Review
May 26, 2021
Samsung’s Galaxy A-series is a great success for the South Korean smartphone maker. The series for a fact now resembles a majority portion of the company’s sale. Pulling off such a feat is no mere coincidence. The only way to achieve such great success is by providing competitive features at a very reasonable price. That’s a task which Samsung has tackled like a champ over the last few Galaxy A generations.
The A-series with each generation has been growing. The series is brimming with devices, with new models launching nearly every few weeks. There is a bunch of variety from budget phones to flagship-level phones that could form a separate sub-brand of its own. It’s not like we are suggesting that it should.
165.0x77.4x8.4mm, 203g; Glass front, plastic back; IP67 dust/water resistant (up to 1m for 30 minutes).
The Box of the Samsung Galaxy A72 is not at all flashy. It’s plain, no plastic, just thick and rigid paper which gets the job done. There are not many accessories accompanying the phone – a wall charger and documentation, and that wraps it up.
The Galaxy A72 comes with a 25W PD charger along with a white USB Type-C to Type-C cable. That’s good news, since you won’t have to go on the hunt looking for a compatible charger for your phone to make use of the higher charging speed.
The design of the Galaxy A72 is kind of ‘trendy’ which clearly indicates that it is targeted towards the young Gen-Z crowd, mainly with a creative and social aspect. The rear panel is where the new design focuses the most. The finishing of the back is soft and silky and you could almost mistake it for vinyl skin. When you touch the back, it sort of feels smooth and rubbery with a slightly silky finish. The phone is available in Awesome Black, Awesome White, Awesome Blue and Awesome Violet color options.
The word “Awesome” is kind of a marketing term that Samsung uses for the A32, A53 and A72 which have “awesome battery, camera and display”. Furthermore, there is the “Awesome is for everyone” slogan used for the promotion.
The plastic back slopes down abruptly connecting the phone's middle frame giving it the sharp yet elegant looking body outline. The camera island is also different as it smoothly blends in with the back panel. The inspiration of this design seems to be derived from the Galaxy A51, with some of the inspiration also coming from the Galaxy Note 20 series.
The materials used are nothing extraordinary, since the back and middle frame are made of plastic. Compared to the A71 the A72 seems to have grown in every dimension. The A72 weighs 203 grams and measures 165 x 77.4 x 8.4mm. The extra size is actually put to a good use by fitting a 5,000mAh battery instead of a 4,500mAh.
Samsung has gone an extra mile by providing IP67 dust and water protection ratings. It is for the first time that a Galaxy A-series smartphone has dust and water protection rating and it’s very much appreciated.
The bottom of the Galaxy A72 is home to the 3.5mm headphone jack next to it is the USB-C charging port with USB 2.0 controller behind it, with OTG functionality. Then there is a single bottom-firing stereo speaker. The second channel is handled by the earpiece.
Moving on to the top, there is the Dual-nano SIM card tray card and secondary noise-cancelling mic. The SIM card tray is hybrid, meaning that you can either use the second slot for SIM card or the microSD card.
The left side of the phone has nothing, it's just a plain frame running from top to bottom. The mid frame unlike the back has a glossy finish with a distinct shade from the rear panel. The mid frame and the back panel complement each other perfectly.
The right side of the frame houses the volume rockers and the power button. Both are positioned well within the reach of your thumb and have a “clicky” response to them.
The 6.7-inch display is surrounded by bezel which are not what you call things but aren’t too thick either. The earpiece is amplified and needs some extra space so it’s understandable. The punch-hole is positioned close to the top bezel with very little blank space, giving a more modern look overall.
The fingerprint reader is placed underneath the display. The A72 is equipped with an optical sensor instead of Samsung’s complex ultrasonic modules. The fingerprint sensor does its job with consistency but is slow compared to the latest technology, all things considered it pretty reliable, though. The Galaxy A72 doesn’t have a LED notification light, which might be something you might prefer to have. However, it’s not something which can make you overlook the pros over an omission.
Samsung has brought its A-game to the table in the display department for its Galaxy A-series this year. The A32, A52 and A72 all come with a great display compared to its predecessors. All the above models have a high refresh rate. The new A72 comes with a 6.7-inch display with 90Hz refresh rate which is slightly better than the 6.5-inch display on the A52.
The new display is not only fast but also bright. The Galaxy A72 is advertised to have 800nits of peak brightness. The phone didn't even break a sweat achieving it in bright light conditions, with max auto reaching 825nits making it perfectly usable outdoors, even in sunlight.
The Galaxy A72 has two color profiles available – Vivid (default) and Natural. The vivid color profile has a color tone slider and custom white point adjustment. It’s unfortunate though that the new generation A-series phones lack the HDR video support or at least official HDR certification.
Samsung has provided blue light protection called Eye comfort shield. It comes with an adaptive setting which constantly adjusts color throughout the day along with a simpler schedule option. You can also schedule Dark mode.
Battery Life & Charging Speed:
The Galaxy A72 comes with a 5,000mAh battery, 500mAh more than the one A52 features. It’s quite a remarkable feat considering both phones are 8.4mm thick with A72 weighing 4 grams more at 203 grams.
The phone supports both 60Hz and 90Hz refresh rate but there is hardly any difference in the battery consumption. The phone can endure 40 hours of calls, over 15 hours of web browsing at 90Hz and 16:30 hours of video playback at 60Hz refresh rate.
The Galaxy A72 ships with a proper charger in the box alongside Type-C to Type-C cable that supports the 25W fast charging capability of the device. This makes life a bit easier since you won’t have to go on a hunt for a compatible charger.
The 25W PD isn’t the fastest charging standard in the market. It takes a decent time to charge the phone besides maintaining the temperature so as not to put strain on the battery. This should in turn assist in maintaining the battery health and increasing the battery life in the long run.
The speaker is one of the departments where you could see the generation gap, as it comes with a stereo setup, although it’s not a “proper” stereo setup. The phone apparently has only one bottom-firing speaker while the other channel is taken care of by the amplified earpiece, making it a hybrid stereo setup.
The speaker on the handset is neither the cleanest nor the loudest one in the market. The phone managed to outmatch many of the mid-range competitors with loudness which you could very well call loud. This is when the Dolby Atmos is off and Equalizer is set to normal. However, if the Dolby Atmos is turned on the maximum volume drops by a bit.
To conclude, the Galaxy A72 has an advanced equalizer alongside the Samsung’s Adapt sound system which allows you to tune the audio as per your specific personal needs and preferences.
The Samsung Galaxy A72 is powered by the Snapdragon 720G paired with 6/8 GB RAM and 128/256GB storage. The Snapdragon 720G comes with an octa-core CPU with 2x2.3 GHz Kryo 465 Gold & 6x1.8 GHz Kryo 465 Silver setup paired with Adreno 618 GPU.
For a handset in this price range the chipset is considered to be the “sensible” and “good” choice, while readily admitting that you could find an even better chip in this price segment. On a positive note, the Snapdragon 720G is holding its own against the competitors.
The comparison between the Snapdragon 720G and MediaTek’s Dimensity 800U used by the Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G aren’t worth pondering over. Especially in a benchmark like AnTuTu, which considers not only chipset but also takes into account RAM, storage size and speed. The Galaxy A72 in the AnTuTu 8 test managed to score 279,342 points, which isn’t the highest in the segment compared to most of its competitors.
However, the chipset does have a decent performance since it can run One UI 3.1 at 90Hz and that too incredibly smoothly. The chipset also supports some amusing features on the Galaxy A72 like the previously mentioned 90Hz refresh rate, 4K video capture on the main and ultrawide cameras, excellent video stabilization and 25W charging support.
Camera and Photo Quality:
Camera is one of the departments where you can see the upgrade compared to its predecessor. The Galaxy A72 comes with 64MP Quad-Bayer main camera with decently wide f/1.8 aperture. The notable thing about the main camera is that it has OIS.
Next in line is the 8MP telephoto camera with f/2.4 aperture, which is a great addition. The sensor is advertised with 3x optical zoom and OIS. The 12MP ultrawide camera is common among recent Samsung devices, which makes the combination of cameras versatile. Last but not the least, there is the 5MP dedicated macro shooter with f/2.4 aperture.
Daylight image quality:
The main camera on the Galaxy A72 is very reliable although it might seem unimpressive. To be honest, that’s the case with all the modern Quad-Bayer shooters out in the market. The 64MP main camera has the benefit of the OIS. The camera is able to capture images with 16MP resolution by default. For a mid-range phone, the dynamic range is quite wide and lively color, without being over exaggerated.
The Auto HDR brightens up the scene pretty well with shadows in particular and can even salvage some clipped highlights. The only drawback of the Auto HDR is its inconsistency in triggering.
The main camera is easily capable of capturing images with 16MP resolution, but you can still shoot 64MP stills. The extra detail on the 64MP pictures is quite impressive, but do note that the Galaxy A72 is a bit sluggish when it comes to capturing pictures with 64MP resolution. A single 64MP image is nearly 18MB in size.
The output from the 8MP, f/2.4 telephoto camera is great in proper light conditions. The detail and sharpness of the pictures is pretty amazing, but the same can’t be said for dynamic range since it’s not as wide as the main cam. The Auto HDR does try to perform its best on the front.
The color rendering of the telephoto is a bit different compared to the main cam. The telephoto seems to have a bit of colder touch, which is not essentially bad. We can apparently accuse the main camera to be overly warmer as a counter statement.
The telephoto has 3x optical zoom but the 4x, 10x, 20x and 30x zoom is all digital zoom done through the shooter.
In our opinion the 10x pictures are undoubtedly usable as you can see the over-sharpening effect clearly and as the zoom level goes up this gets even worse.
The 12MP ultrawide camera is apparently a common sight on recent Samsung smartphones. The photos captured are apparently amazing with good color and dynamic range.
The color rendition, just like the telephoto shooter, is different from the main cam. Both telephoto and ultrawide have a colder palette and look quite similar. Thus, it can be said that the warmer color of the main camera needs some fine tuning and not the other way around.
Low-light image quality:
The quality of photos shot with the main camera in low-light is above average overall for a mid-range smartphone. The color output is good overall and dynamic range is wide. The highlight rendition is impressive. The reason for that is when in dark scenes the scene optimizer automatically triggers an Auto Night mode.
Apart from the regular Auto mode there is also a dedicated Night mode – just for the main camera. The results are apparently disappointing, though. Compared to the Auto mode the night mode brightens up shadows slightly and causes the highlights to clip.
The phone takes a lot of time to capture the image and it crops 16MP pictures down to 12MP, which results in a tighter field of view. Hence, we recommend you to use Auto mode when in low-light situations.
We’d say that the 3x, 8MP telephoto camera performs pretty well in low-light. The shots are amazing with a good level of detail and sharpness.
However, you’ll notice a drop in the overall quality as you move past the 3x zoom level. The shots are still usable, though, up until 10x zoom. Any zoom level past that in low-light looks more like a painting than a photo.
The pictures captured with 12MP ultrawide are pretty decent. If the lighting conditions are even, the ultrawide can capture photos with decent detail, saturated colors and pretty wide dynamic range – once again the credit goes to Auto Night mode.
Portrait mode, also referred to as Live focus by Samsung, on the Galaxy A72 is pretty good, but not what we call perfect. Both subject separation and background blur effect very good. The algorithm will mess up a bit when the background is busy or there is occasional stray hair, but the occurrence is not as frequent as it happened on the Galaxy A52. Although the A52 has a dedicated depth sensor and A72 doesn’t.
The issue with this mode is that the focus on a person’s face is not sharp in focus compared to the non-human subjects, which seem to have perfect focus.
Although the A72 might have omitted the depth sensor it still has a 5MP, f/2.4 macro camera. The images it captures are really impressive in relative terms. Since it is a fixed-focus camera, the plane of focus is quite wide. There is no need to get too close to the subject in order to get a clear shot. The images captured have plenty of detail and are really good. Apparently, a lot better compared to the stills clicked with the 2MP macro unit which you can find on many phones in the mid-range segment.
The Galaxy A72 is equipped with a 32MP selfie camera. The shots in general are of amazing quality, with abundant detail and low noise. You can sometimes see inconsistency in the skin tone. The Auto HDR and Scene optimizer more than make up for the inconsistency. Although there is no autofocus, the focus plane is wide enough just like the macro shooter.
The selfie camera is a Quad-Bayer, meaning it can shoot photos with 3264 x 2448-pixel resolution, or right around 8MP, by default. The selfie camera has a narrow and wide mode. We would have appreciated it if the camera app would have the ability to remember the last used setting.
The wide mode is capable of capturing pictures with 4000 x 3000 pixels or exactly 12MP. As far as quality and detail go, the output from both cameras is similar.
All the cameras on the Galaxy A72 except the macro unit are capable of capturing videos up to [email protected] The 4K footage captures with main, ultrawide and telephoto cameras are all able to manage to maintain an appreciable bitrate of around 48Mb/s – AVC + 48kHz stereo audio, inside an h.264 MP4 container. Naturally by forgoing some compatibility you can choose to do HEVC and save some space.
The 4K videos shot with the main camera would be better described as a result of balanced and mature processing. The footage has plenty of detail and wide dynamic range which is sufficient to not miss too much in the shadows even when lighting conditions are challenging. There is no noise visible and everything looks nice and sharp with natural colors which don’t seem to be dull.
The ultrawide camera is able to shoot 4K videos which seem to have a bit more noise and a slightly narrower dynamic range compared to the main camera, as a result of which there is occasional clipped highlight and crushed shadows. There is a remarkable difference in color between the ultrawide and main cameras, with ultrawide have a bit colder touch to it. This by no means is bad, it’s just not perfectly consistent across cameras.
The 4K videos captured on the 3x telephoto snapper have a great level of detail. It’s an impressive feat pulled off by a mid-range telephoto unit. The limit of optical zoom is 3x but the phone allows a zoom level of up to 12x in 4K resolution. There are preset features for the 4x, 10x and 12x in the viewfinder. It’s obvious that the noise will goes up and the zoom level increases.
The Galaxy A72 is a phone that you’d find hard to ignore. The A72 packs a combination of hardware that brings it very close to the flagship range. Even the trendy design catches your attention. The material might not be of premium quality but still feel good in hand. The build is really solid and also comes with an IP67 rating for water and dust protection.
As for the deficiencies, it would have been great to see a display with faster refresh rate and HDR video capabilities. It is kind of challenging for the Snapdragon 720G chipset to support high fps for gaming. A higher-grade chipset would have been better since they are available in the midrange segment which would have brought Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 on board, which are apparently missing.
Bottom of the line is, just like the A52, the A72 is also a unique package, even in the current midrange standards. The value of the phone resides in its combination of features. If it lights a spark in your mind then there is nowhere else to look.
A stylish design that’s exceptional, IP67 rating and Gorilla Glass protection.
An AMOLED display with 90Hz refresh rate and good brightness.
Amazing battery life.
The hybrid stereo setup is quite amusing.
Latest Android 11 based One UI 3.1, with 3 major OS updates and 4 years of security patches.
A quad-camera setup on the back, with OIS on the 64MP main sensor.
All cameras have 4K video recording capability at every zoom level.
The 3x 8MP telephoto performs surprisingly well.
Fingerprint reader is consistent but a bit slow compared to modern standards.
Display is missing out on HDR capabilities.
Could have a better chipset than the Snapdragon 720G in this price range.
The three main cameras are lacking color consistency in color rendition.
4K video lacks video stabilization.
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