Samsung’s flagship smartphone lineup comes to basically every carrier and every country on Earth, but the company is much more selective when it comes to cheaper devices. Today Samsung announced that its midrange smartphone lineup will be coming to the US this summer, starting with the $ 349.99 Samsung Galaxy A50. The A50 was originally announced in February and is just now making its way to the US.
You won’t find Samsung’s trademark “hole punch” camera cutout from the Galaxy S10 here; the company is instead going with a teardrop notch for the 25MP front camera, which makes the A50 look a lot like the OnePlus 6T. It’s certainly not as distinctive as cutting a hole in the display, but it is more space efficient, allowing the A50 front camera to fit inside the normal Android status bar. The Galaxy S10 front camera is so deep into the display that it requires a double-height status bar to surround it.
On the back is a triple-camera setup, featuring a 25MP main camera, an 8MP wide-angle lens, and a 5MP depth sensor. There’s no rear fingerprint reader because the Galaxy A50 features an in-display fingerprint reader, which is quickly becoming the norm for Android smartphones. While the S10 has an ultrasonic fingerprint reader, this device has an optical reader, just like a OnePlus phone.
The $ 350 Galaxy A50 will be up against other midrange phones like the $ 400 Google Pixel 3A. When Google made the jump to a lower price point, it swapped out the Pixel 3’s glass back for a plastic one, so is the Galaxy A50 body glass or plastic? It’s uh, “Glasstic.” according to Samsung’s original press release from February. Hands-on reports indicate that this is a corny name for clear plastic back layered over top of a colored back layer. So it’s the same construction you would get with a glass-backed flagship, but done in plastic instead.
For specs, we have a 6.4-inch, 2340×1080 OLED display; an eight-core, 2.3GHz Samsung Exynos 9610 SoC; 4GB of RAM; 64GB of storage (with expandable MicroSD storage), 1 USB-C port; 3.5mm headphone jack; and a 4000mAh battery. Internationally, not all versions of the Galaxy A50 have NFC, but the US version will be packing it, so you’ll be good for mobile payments. This is a cheaper device, so you are notably missing out on wireless charging and water resistance.
The phone comes with Android 9 Pie (with Samsung’s UI slathered on top) and does not have monthly security updates. According to Samsung’s security page, updates will arrive “quarterly” for the A50.
The A50 will be out June 13 in the US. Samsung tells us that “major carriers offering select Galaxy A Series smartphones include Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, Sprint, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular,” but it’s unclear which devices in the Galaxy A line (there are several) will be coming to which carriers.