April 11, 2019
Samsung has launched a lot of phones this year already and we are yet to make it to mid-2019. The company has launched phones in the Galaxy M-series, Galaxy A-series and Galaxy S-series, and all the have something in common – they’re pretty big. Samsung loves to bring phones with large and immersive displays for consumers, but the company also knows there are those who still prefer compact phones that are wieldy. This is why we have the Galaxy S10e. But if the S10e is a bit to steep for you, Samsung also has the Galaxy A40.
The Galaxy A40 is an affordable mid-range smartphone that went official in Netherlands last month. The phone slots in between the Galaxy A30 and Galaxy A50 with a price of EUR 249 (approx Rs 19,500). The phone is the smallest in the Galaxy A lineup this year with a 5.9-inch display. Apart from the size, the Galaxy A40 is similar to other affordable Galaxy A devices with its glasstic design, Infinity-U display and dual camera setup.
The Galaxy A40 was displayed at Samsung’s “A Galaxy Event” in Bangkok and I managed to get some hands-on time with it. Here are my thoughts.
The design of the Galaxy A40 is the most striking part about the Galaxy A40. It’s a petite phone that fits comfortably in the hand. The size felt very similar to the Galaxy S10e, which I reviewed recently. The compact shape makes using the device extremely easy. I had no problem reaching the top of the display to pull down the quick actions menu, something that can be a difficulty in large-screen phones.
The Galaxy A40 also offers a 3D glasstic much like every other Galaxy A device we have seen this year. It comes in Black, Blue, Coral and White colours that show off a prism effect ever so subtly. The A40 offers a great grip and is terrifically lightweight as well, which isn’t surprising. There is a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor as well as facial recognition.
Since the Galaxy A40 is a compact phone, you also get a compact 5.9-inch screen. Samsung is using an Infinity-U Super AMOLED panel here that delivers a FHD+ (2340×1080) resolution. The display looks fantastic and sharp with vibrant and punchy colours. The colours looks quite saturated, but you have the option to tone it down in Settings. Brightness levels seemed adequate indoors, but it may not be bright enough outdoors. Samsung might have controlled the brightness here to limit battery drain considering you get a small battery.
The Galaxy A40 offers an attractive display, but it may not appeal to consumers looking for a large screen display for watching videos or playing games. Samsung has plenty of big-screen options, but I personally appreciate the fact that there is a compact phone on offer.
Samsung’s petite Galaxy A40 is powered by an octa-core Exynos 7885 chipset capped at 1.8GHz. This is clubbed with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, which is expandable up to 512GB via a microSD card. In my brief hands-on time, the Galaxy A40 showed no lag or stutters while browsing through the UI. Apps open smoothly, but it’s clear that this isn’t a snappy performer.
The Galaxy A40 runs on Android Pie with One UI on top. The UI is designed for easier one-handed use by placing the interactive controls on the bottom half of the display, but reachability is not an issue with the Galaxy A40 anyway. With One UI, the Galaxy A40 also gets Night Mode and new colour palettes for app icons, which gives it a pleasing visual appearance.
The dual camera setup on the Galaxy A40 is familiar as well. You get a 16MP f/1.7 primary camera and 5MP f/2.2 ultra wide-angle camera, which is now a commonplace on Samsung phones. Having an wide-angle camera is always appreciated as it lets you fit in a larger area in a frame for a better perspective. Up front, the Galaxy A40 gets a 25MP selfie camera like the Galaxy A50, so you can expect some high-quality selfies.
The Galaxy A40 houses a 3,100mAh battery, which is a natural compromise given the size of the phone. The battery is noticeably smaller compared to every other Galaxy A phone launched this year, so don’t expect a long-lasting battery. The Galaxy A40 may warrant a couple of charges during the day, but it’s hard to say without spending more time with the device. The handset supports 15W fast charging over a Type-C port.
It is uncertain when and if the Galaxy A40 will land in India, but the phone does offer a fresh breath of air among the latest lot of Galaxy A phones. The biggest USP is its size, which I feel is as compact and convenient as the Galaxy S10e. Given the pricing of the Galaxy A30 and A50, the Galaxy A40 could cost somewhere around Rs 18,000 in India.