Samsung Galaxy A70 – ticks flagship boxes at half the price
4.9Overall Score
Name: Samsung Galaxy A70
Price (RRP): $649
Manufacturer: Samsung

Samsung makes good phones. The Samsung Galaxy A70 packs so much into a mid-market device that it is a great phone.

Samsung has a reputation as ‘king of the heap’ in the Android flagship world. Rightly so as over the past few generations, it has focused on innovation as well as reliability. It was early to include IP ratings, Qi charging, multi-cameras and huge screen-to-body ratios. You can’t go wrong. The Galaxy A70 proves this again.

But while all its attention was on its premium flagship Galaxy S-series, it lost ground in the mass-and mid-market. And it hurt as Huawei’s Nova, Motorola’s G-series, Nokia’s everything, OPPO’s R-and-A-series, and others ate Samsung’s lunch – and then some.

DJ Koh, President and CEO of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics knew it would take something special and he vowed to bring many Galaxy features to the lower-cost A-series. The result is a range of Galaxy A-series phones that are winners in every segment.

The Galaxy A-series range

Just released overseas is the Galaxy A80 with an innovative rotating triple camera – you have the same quality lenses and shots front and rear. When it gets here, we will be first in line to review it. And a Galaxy A90 may make its way here too. The Australian line-up of the Galaxy A-series includes:

Galaxy A80
Samsung A80 with rotating camera
  • A70 Website $649, 6.7-inch, Super AMOLED, 32+5+8MP rear camera
  • A50 Website $499, 6.4-inch Super AMOLED, 25+5+8MP rear camera
  • A30 Website $379, 6.4-inch Super AMOLED, 16+5MP rear camera
  • A20 Website $279, 6.4-inch Super AMOLED, 13+5MP rear camera

GadgetGuy has a detailed specification comparison here.

How we rate smartphones

We develop comprehensive paradigms – what must a phone in a certain price category do? That way it avoids odious comparisons with other brands. Our original four categories have grown to seven.

  1. Foldable $2500+
  2. Premium Flagship $1600-2499 (usually a flagship with more memory/storage, additional camera lens and now 5G)
  3. Flagship $1000-1599 (account for about 10% of sales)
  4. Premium mid-market $800-999 (10% and often last year’s flagship at run-out price)
  5. Mid-market $500-799 (about 25% of the market)
  6. Mass-market $200-499 (about 25% of the market)
  7. Value pre-paid <A$199 (about 30% of the market – good for pre-paid and children)

The Galaxy A70 sits in the mid-market about $150 below the top of the category. It directly competes with Google Pixel 3a and the slightly more expensive Nokia 8.1, Google Pixel 3a XL, Samsung S9 (runout) and LG V40 ThinQ (runout).

The A20, A30 and A50 are in the mass-market segment. These variously compete (in order of price) against LG Q6/Q7, OPPO AX5/AX7, Huawei Nova 3e/i, Nokia 4.2, Huawei 3i, OPPO AX7/R11s, Huawei P30 Lite, Nokia 7.1 and OPPO Reno Z.

Buy here – or you will regret it

We issue the standard warning that you must buy the genuine model with Australian firmware as it works on all Australian Telco carrier LTE bands, has Australian signalling (for accurate billing) and can make a 000-emergency call (not 911) without a SIM. These also work with Australian PayWave readers.

The Australian model is SM-A705YNXSA. The ‘YN’ is Australia.

International models with A705FXXX are not for Australia.

Review: Samsung Galaxy A70 Model SM-A705YNXSA

In the box

  • Handset
  • USB-C charger 5V/3A, 9V/2.77A (25W) and USB-PD 3.3-5.9V/3A and 3.3-11V/2.25A
  • USB-C to USB-C 90cm cable
  • 3.5 mm standard earbuds and mic
  • Factory fitted screen protector
  • Clear plastic bumper case
Galaxy A70 specs

The Galaxy A70 first impression

You first notice the huge (6.7-inch), vivid, full 2.5D curved edge, flat Super AMOLED screen with very narrow bezels all round and a teardrop notch.

The back has a shifting hue material called Glasstic, and yes, it is a fingerprint magnet. It has a bottom-firing speaker, a 3.5mm headphone jack and three cameras (in the upper left).

Overall, it is a full screen (86%) glass slab, elegant enough and slightly taller and narrower (20:9 screen ratio) than most phones. It raises the bar enormously over Samsung’s previous mass-market (non-Galaxy) A and J models.