Samsung’s line-up of phones can be a little confusing. There’s the Galaxy S flagship phones, but more and more, we’re seeing aggressive manoeuvring from the Galaxy A family.
The Galaxy A brought a quad camera in 2018, in 2019 offers a rotating camera in the A80, and in the forthcoming Galaxy A90, we could see a much more affordable 5G handset.
The rumours for the Galaxy A90 are mixed with those for the A80 reaching back through the year, so we’re starting from scratch on what could be an important device for Samsung.
An affordable 5G handset?
Samsung’s first 5G device was the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, an enhanced version of the phone launched early in 2019. Rumour that this will be a 5G phone has been circulating for some time, but it’s now suggested that this will be a 5G handset only.
The suggestion comes from regular leaker @UniverseIce on Twitter who says that the Galaxy A90 will be 5G only – but Geekbench reports suggest that there are two versions – the other being 4G. Whether than means some regional launch differences, or that one won’t come to market we just don’t know.
However, much of the conversation around the Galaxy A90 is that it will be a more affordable 5G phone, focused on bringing that tech to a wider range of customers.
Samsung Galaxy A90 design
There’s not a lot to go on when it comes to the design of the A90. Many thought that the A80 was going to appear as the A90, but it’s now being widely suggested that the A80’s pop-up and rotate camera won’t be on this handset.
One of the key pieces of information we have on design comes from a leak from Samsung itself. That revealed a page showing a notched phone, but saying that there would be a notchless display on the A90. This was before the A80 launched – which does have a notchless display – and we suspect the name on this page was wrong. We suspect the design will be a lot more like the Galaxy A70.
Subsequently, leaks have suggested that the A90 will have an Infinity-U display, with both @OnLeaks and @UniverseIce suggesting that’s the case. Given the track record of these two sources, we’d suggest that it’s accurate. The display is said to be 6.7 inches and full HD+, which is the same as the Galaxy A80 and A70, so we still feel as though these phones are all connected.
In order to somehow make amends, I bring you the key specs of these devices
– SM-A908: SD855, 6.7-inch screen with in-display FPS, 48+8+5 rear camera, 5G support.
– SM-A905: SD855, 6.7-inch screen with in-display FPS, 48+12+5 rear camera with exclusive Tilt OIS tech!
— Steve H.McFly (@OnLeaks) June 25, 2019
Samsung Galaxy A90 to get Qualcomm hardware
What’s also interesting about the Galaxy A90 is that it could see the launch of a Samsung phone on Qualcomm hardware, rather than Exynos. While that happens in Galaxy S, it’s not something that Samsung does in the mid-range.
Snapdragon 855 is suggested: the hardware is mentioned by sources of leaks as well as in a Geekbench benchmark for a phone thought to be the Galaxy A90. Putting the Galaxy A90 on Snapdragon 855 means that this isn’t really a mid-range phone – and if it is more affordable, that’s because of sacrifices elsewhere, like a drop in display resolution.
It’s likely to be a move to bolster Samsung’s business against companies like Xiaomi, providing better value for money. We suspect Samsung will be using the Qualcomm X50 modem, as an integrated solution is not expected until 2020.
It’s also reported that there will be a 4500mAh battery, which is pretty big, and that it will support 45W charging. Again, this sounds like Samsung moving to head-off rivals who have been more aggressive in offering fast charging on devices.
There are two sets of specs for the A90 cameras, thanks to Steve Hemmerstoffer. The 5G version of the phone is said to have a 48, 8 and 5-megapixel camera trio, while the 4G version is said to have 48, 12 and 5-megapixel cameras – including something called Tilt OIS.
It’s a slightly confusing arrangement, offering two phones with slightly different specs as it immediately presents a buying problem for customers. It sounds like the non-5G model could be the more progressive.
The 48-megapixel main sensor shouldn’t come as a surprise: it’s in the Galaxy A80, along with an 8-megapixel camera, but the design could be a lot more like the Galaxy A70.
Samsung Galaxy A90 release date
The rumours suggest that the Galaxy A90 will appear in September or October 2019. Samsung’s next launch will be the Galaxy Note 10. That date is set for 7 August – confirmed by Samsung – and the announcement of the A90 will be kept clear of that.
That could see the Samsung Galaxy A90 announced at IFA 2019 – in early September. It has also been discovered that there’s a European version of the handset, as designated by the product numbering, meaning that it should be available as an alternative to the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G in Europe.
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