Samsung should be quicker with unique devices like the Galaxy A80
Pop-up cameras are slowly but surely becoming the most common solution for truly bezel-less displays on smartphones. There are a handful of devices with pop-up cameras on the market at the moment, and devices like the Oppo Find X went a slightly different route by opting for a sliding mechanism that reveals the front-facing camera when you want to take a selfie and goes back in when you’re done.
A sliding mechanism is what Samsung chose as well, but the Korean firm went a step further and also opted for a rotating camera assembly on the Galaxy A80, its first smartphone with an Infinity display without notches or cutouts. A rotating camera mechanism was employed by Oppo years ago (with the Oppo N1), and it’s a pretty neat idea at the end of the day, as it allows you to use the high-quality rear camera setup for selfies.
However, I feel Samsung needs to move a lot faster than it is moving right now with these experimental devices. The Galaxy A80 was supposed to go on sale in late May, but as it turned out, Samsung revealed that the phone would go on sale in early July. The A80 is listed on Samsung’s website in plenty of countries, but the phone doesn’t seem to be actually available for purchase anywhere, and I have a feeling by the time it makes it to retail shelves, it will have been too late.
The competition is not waiting around for Samsung
Why do I think the Galaxy A80 should have gone on sale sooner? Well, it was the launch of the Zenfone 6, Taiwanese manufacturer Asus’ latest smartphone. Asus has discovered a new technique to give people an uninterrupted viewing experience: a rear camera assembly that flips 180 degrees to allow users to take a selfie. Where the Galaxy A80 first slides the entire top part up and then rotates the cameras, the Zenfone 6 does it in a simpler way, one that involves fewer moving parts.
It’s not the complexity that I’m complaining about, though. I just want to make a point that Samsung should be a bit worried, as other manufacturers aren’t sitting idle or running out of ideas. Chinese manufacturers have already proven they can put together a new device in a jiffy, and while we’re still waiting on the first no-notch Galaxy to hit the shelves, another player (Asus) has joined the party. The Zenfone 6 is already on sale, which means the A80 will have some serious competition to contend with from day one.
Now, Samsung may have taken the extra time to better test the Galaxy A80 before putting it on retail shelves. As we discovered when we went hands-on with it in Thailand, when the A80’s camera assembly slides up, it creates a sizable gap on both sides of the device, allowing dirt to get in. Seeing how the Galaxy Fold had to be delayed because of dirt lodging itself under the screen, is it possible Samsung needs more time to test how the Galaxy A80 is affected in the real world because of those gaps?
Even if that is the case, Samsung should have been quicker with bringing the Galaxy A80 into the hands of consumers. By the time it does go on sale, it may be too little too late. With the company feeling the heat in all segments, it simply cannot afford to dawdle any longer, even if one of its biggest competitors has run into some major roadblocks. Samsung needs to stop playing catch-up and take the lead or it may fall behind to a point where a comeback may not be possible.
What do you think? Have you been looking forward to the Galaxy A80 ever since it was officially announced?