The Galaxy A90 5G is Samsung’s more price-friendly alternative to the likes of their Galaxy S and Note line-up, whilst still offering a high-quality build and 5G connectivity. Despite this, the A90 5G still feels like a flagship in my hand and it even has the specs to seem like one, with a Snapdragon 855 processor and 6GB RAM – so it’s definitely an interesting smartphone, to say the least.
The A90 5G has an extremely nice design, the device has both Gorilla Glass 6 on both the front and back which both sit around the aluminium frame, giving it a premium look and feel in the hand.
The A90 5G is a big phone, without a doubt. This is dictated by the 6.7-inch display on the front of the device, meaning that the device does need both hands to comfortably use or you’ll be shuffling the phone around in your hands a lot, stretching your thumb to reach into the top corners of the display.
The display features a teardrop cut-out for the front-facing camera which I found to be unobtrusive with a small earpiece cut-out just above it. The bezel thickness is the same around the whole display, with only a little extra at the bottom chin of the device which gives the front of the device a pleasant uniform look.
The fingerprint reader is also on the front, housed underneath the display, although it is not the Ultrasonic Fingerprint scanner that was introduced with the Galaxy S10 series in March 2019, it is an optical fingerprint sensor, I would presume this is one of the ways that Samsung has been able to maintain a premium feeling device but to also keep the price down.
Flipping over the device, the glass has an interesting design with a reflective holographic effect. I quite like the design as it is something different and I think the white glass looks great, but this is more to do with personal taste.
The edges of the rear glass curve inwards, but unlike previous Samsung devices I have looked at, the front glass is flat which can help reduce accidental screen taps along the edge of the device. The back of the device is also home to the triple-camera array which is housed within a modest camera bump alongside the camera flash.
As far as physical connectivity goes, there is a USB Type-C port on the bottom for charging and using Samsung DeX and a microSDXC card slot on the 6GB RAM model which is built into the SIM card tray at the top. If you’re a fan of wired earbuds, Samsung does include some USB Type-C earbuds in the box, but there is no headphone jack to be found.
A couple of other things I wanted to mention, the power and volume buttons are on the right-hand side and feel nice and clicky. Unfortunately, the device does not have an IP water resistance rating, so you’ll want to keep this phone away from liquids.
Overall, I really like the design of the phone – it looks fantastic and feels great to use.
The A90 5G has a 6.7-inch rounded display with a 1080p resolution, giving it a pixel density of 393ppi. The display looks crisp, resulting in sharp text and imagery on the screen and is tall, giving an aspect ratio of 9:20, this does allow you to watch 16:9 video without worrying about the camera protruding into the viewport.
The display uses a Super AMOLED panel, which results in fantastic contrast with pure black and bright white colours. The colours are also well saturated, and this can be further adjusted in the device settings if you would like a more vivid appearance, the display also has great viewing angles when looking at the phone from an angle.
The A90 5G ships with Android 9.0 with Samsung’s One UI interface running over the top but the device can be upgraded to Android 10 to include the latest Android features and One UI 2.0. One UI is a pleasant interface to use as it is intuitive and easy to navigate.
The device does include many pre-installed apps, which can be a downside as it means the device may include a bunch of software that you could have no intention of using. There are preinstalled apps from not only Samsung but also Microsoft and Google – some of which overlap in functionality.
Being a Samsung device Samsung DeX is also included, which allows you to use your phone with a desktop interface when you plug it into a monitor – this could be quite handy if you’re getting the phone for work.
I did find myself needing to do 3 separate updates before the A90 5G was fully up to date, which I thought was a little peculiar but not a huge problem once completed. Overall, the software experience on the device is very pleasant and fluid to use.
The A90 5G has plenty of horsepower to provide a pleasant and smooth user experience to offer good performance using the device with a Snapdragon 855 processor and 6GB or 8GB RAM which will provide not only snappy performance but also plenty of RAM for fluid multitasking.
Apps load quickly and general performance is snappy and fluid. I’m not too much of a mobile gamer but I found 3D titles such as Real Racing to perform well with reasonable graphics quality and responsive performance.
If you’re a fan of benchmarks, the A90 5G performs favourably. Running the Geekbench 5 CPU benchmark, the device scores a single core score of 714 and a multi-core score of 2604 which puts in in line with the pricier Galaxy S20 flagship.
As far as wireless connectivity goes, the device supports NFC so you can make contactless payments with Samsung Pay, AC Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0 and of course cellular 5G connectivity which I have unfortunately not been able to test out as I am not within a 5G coverage area.
The device supports a couple of different biometric unlocking methods. Face recognition is supported, but it unfortunately only uses the front-facing camera – making it less secure than an infra-red face recognition system so I have been using the optical under-the-display fingerprint reader. The fingerprint reader is responsive, although it can be temperamental at times, and can be used when the device is sleeping – so the device doesn’t need to be woken using the power button.
If you’re not using headphones, you’re likely going to be using the A90 5G’s built-in speaker. The speaker sounds okay for watching YouTube videos or TV shows, but when listening to music the listening experience is a little tinny. The speaker does work alongside the earpiece to provide a sound which I think is more immersive, but it is a bit lacking on the low end.
The cameras on the A90 5G performs well, providing well-exposed images that are sharp with good amounts of detail. The device features a 48-megapixel sensor on the back for capturing large resolution images, but to save space this is set to capture a 12-megapixel image out of the box.
For landscape photography, the device does a good job at exposing for both the bright sky and darker land – ensuring that you’ll be able to see detail in both parts of the photo. This is thanks to the HDR functionality that is built into the camera app and will determine whether an HDR photograph needs to be taken without you having to worry about it.
The saturation of colours and colour quality within photos looks good, vibrant but not oversaturated. I did not notice the camera struggling to figure out the correct while balance – which is a good sign.
The A90 5G also has two additional camera sensors on the back, an 8-megapixel ultrawide camera and a 5-megapixel depth sensor for using the “Live Focus” mode in the camera app. I’m a big fan of the ultrawide lens and it manages to add a considerable amount of field of view when used, so it can be useful for getting that shot of a big subject or for experimenting with.
The depth sensor does a good job at ensuring the live focus mode is effective, considering it is only 5 megapixels. I found it was able to appropriately isolate a subject from the background. It was most effective with portraits, but it can also be used for any object – I tried it out on some flowers, and it worked quite well and can be used with different background effects. Sometimes the edges would look a little soft between the foreground and the background but overall, it does a good job.
The front-facing camera performs just as well as the rear-facing camera. Similarly, to the rear-facing camera, the sensor has a 32-megapixel sensor that, by default, takes 12-megapixel photos to save on space. Interestingly, this camera also has an ultrawide mode that simply reduces the crop that the camera app introduces, I’m not sure why this is a feature as it seems a little unnecessary.
Live focus is also supported with the front-facing camera, although it does not perform quite as well due to the lack of a depth sensor, resulting in softer edges and a halo around your subject – the rear camera with depth sensor is definitely the way to go if you want a nice background blur.
The device can also shoot up to 4K 30fps video. I have stuck with shooting 1080p 30fps as it allows for image stabilisation to take place to help capture smoother video that is a little less shaky.
The camera app itself includes a couple of additional modes such as night, slow motion and pro – to name a few. Unfortunately, the pro mode has a deceiving name as it does give more control of the camera settings, but not full control – so if you want to manually set your shutter speed, you’ll need a third-party app.
The A90 5G sports a substantially large 4500mAh battery which has been able to provide plenty of power for using the device throughout the day. I’ve mainly been using social media apps such as Twitter, Instagram and Messenger as well as email and Spotify with some occasional video watching on YouTube and the device has been able to keep going without any issues.
Depending on your usage and the apps you use on a day to day basis, you should be able to easily make it through a day’s usage with the device, maybe even two, before you need to charge it up again.
Although the device doesn’t support wireless charging, which is a shame, fast charging is supported. You can use a 25W fast charger to quickly charge up the device.
Samsung’s Galaxy A90 5G is a compelling offering that manages to undercut flagship prices whilst still offering many of the amenities you would expect but in a more affordable package. If you’re keen to use 5G connectivity and you’re in an area that supports, it but don’t want to spend the money on a high-end flagship, the mid-range A90 5G is a great option.
Samsung Galaxy A90 5G ReviewSamsung Galaxy A90 5G Review
- Smooth and fluid performance
- Premium design
- Well exposed photographs
- No water resistance
- Speaker sounds tinny
- Lots of bundled software