After the initial wave of iPhone X copycats, Android smartphone makers realized there are other ways to make all-screen phones without replicating the notch. Chinese companies came up with smartphone designs that featured a slide-out selfie camera or a sliding rear panel that allowed them to remove the camera from the top bezels. Others added an extra display that served the same purpose, with the second screen to be used in selfie mode.
Samsung stayed out of the notch race and avoided slider phones, instead unveiling the Infinity-O screen with its hole-punch camera design that can be found on the Galaxy S10 series, and more affordable Galaxy A phones. Fast-forward to April, and Samsung now has its own slider design, and it’s even crazier than we expected.
Samsung’s new Galaxy A80, which was officially revealed on Wednesday morning, doesn’t only feature a slide-out all-screen design, but it also packs a rotating camera, which means the same triple-lens shooter doubles both as the main camera and the selfie cam, depending on how you use it.
Previous slider designs from Chinese handset vendors featured standalone rear and front cameras. To bring up the selfie camera, you’d either have to slide up the rear panel or activate the slide-out selfie camera by switching over to selfies in the camera app. With the A80, the rear camera will rotate towards the front for selfie cam duty whenever you need it. You can see just how seamless the transition is in this GIF:
Samsung says the Galaxy A80 is a phone created for the people engaged in “the Era of Live.” When users select the selfie camera, the three cameras will pop up and rotate automatically, Samsung explained in a press release.
The camera module features a 48-megapixel primary lens, as well as a 3D Depth sensor and an 8-megapixel ultra wide-angle lens. That 3D depth sensor will not deliver 3D face recognition support, however. Other features include a massive 6.7-inch Full HD display with on-screen fingerprint sensor, octa-core processor, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, 3,700 mAh battery with 25W super fast charging support, and Android 9.0 Pie.
Make no mistake, the phone may feature a screen as big as the Galaxy S10 5G, but this isn’t a flagship. That said, it won’t be cheap for a mid-range phone either, as it’ll cost €649 in Europe when it launches later this year.
Because of the mechanism that slides the camera upwards, Samsung apparently had to ditch a few features you might expect from Android devices. For example, there’s no microSD slot on this phone, and there’s no headphone jack. The Galaxy A80 will launch on May 29th in several regions, including Europe, Asia, and Australia, and will be available in three colors: Angel Gold, Ghost White and Phantom Black.