There’s now one more 5G phone in Australia, as Samsung’s A-series jumps up one more model and downloads things a little faster.
Remember when Samsung decided to change what constitutes mid-range and we all became a little more confused? It wasn’t just a Samsung thing, but at the time in 2017, a little question mark emerged in the typically $500-700 part of the Australian phone market because smartphone makers were asking for a little more.
Now that flagship and premium smartphones invariably sit on the others side of a grand, hitting $1500 and $2000 (and sometimes the $3K mark), mid-range can actually be classed as a thousand bucks, though you can obviously hope for a lot for those options.
We don’t see many thousand dollar mid-range phones, but they do exist, and Samsung is slotting in another, as it expands its 5G offerings in Australia past the Galaxy S10 5G and the Galaxy Note10+ 5G, its only two 5G phones to date. Both of those phones were considered premium phones given how they sat as extensions of Samsung’s flagship entries this year, so this new model is not.
Rather, Samsung’s Galaxy A90 5G is more like a 5G take on the mid-range, even though it’s a more expensive mid-range than what you might be used to.
Announced earlier in the year, the phone is a little different from Samsung’s other Australian releases, adopting a similarly big 6.7 inch Super AMOLED screen, but using the tear drop camera design on the front, similar to what we’ve seen from Oppo and Huawei previously. However there’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip under the hood, the Snapdragon 855, unusual in Samsung phones in these parts as we typically get the Samsung-made Exynos chip instead.
There’s also 128GB storage, a 4500mAh battery, Samsung’s DeX mode for a small desktop experience if you plug it into your computer, and three rear cameras, with a main 48 megapixel camera that will likely do that Samsung Tetracell stuff we similarly saw Motorola One Vision and produce a 12 megapixel image, an ultra wide 8 megapixel, and a 5 megapixel depth camera for portrait shots, not to mention a 32 megapixel front-facing camera.
These specs by no means put the Galaxy A90 5G ahead of either the S10 5G or the Note10+ 5G, but offer folks keen to spend a little less a way of jumping onto the 5G networks offered by Telstra and Optus of late.
And it does this at a price, because while the flagship Samsung 5G phones in Australia hit well and truly out of the thousand dollar mark, the Samsung A90 5G is $1049, and should be available on plans, as well.
As to whether it’s proper value, that much we can’t be sure of, and there’s a good reason why: we’re approaching the end of the year, which means prices will likely drop. A fall in smartphone prices closer to Boxing Day sales and leading into next year — when phones change in February with news from Mobile World Congress — can mean the other premium 5G phones will also similarly see a drop, and lead you to those phones instead.
There are, of course, other 5G phones out in the world as well, including the Oppo Reno 5G and the LG V50 ThinQ 5G, so there are options available if you crave those 5G speeds that are rolling out now. It means you have options, and Samsung’s high-priced mid-range A90 5G isn’t entirely it.
However if you still like the idea of an outright thousand dollar 5G phone, you’ll find it in Telstra, Optus, selected retailers, and Samsung channels shortly.