In 2019, finding a modern compact smartphone is a complicated task. If you add to that a requirement to be relatively expensive and not weak on performance, the options reduce dramatically. The Galaxy A40 meets exactly these conditions.
Before reading the full review, you can familiarize yourself with the detailed Samsung Galaxy A40 specs or watch the video below the article.
This year, smartphones with a screen diagonal of 5.9 inches are perceived as compact. Three years ago, this metric was perceived as gigantic. As an example, we can give you the iPhone 7 Plus with a 5.5-inch screen. Because of the move to elongated screens - 19.5:19 inches, perceptions have changed.
- Release date: 2019, March
- Colors: Black, White, Blue, Coral
- Dimensions: 144.4 x 69.2 x 7.9 mm.
- Weight: 140 g.
- Screen: 5.9" inc, 1080 x 2340, Super AMOLED
- Camera : Dual, 16MP
- Chipset: Exynos 7904 Octa (14 nm)
- CPU: Octa-core (2x1.77 GHz Cortex-A73 & 6x1.59 GHz Cortex-A53)
- Memory: 64 GB, 4 GB RAM
- Battery: 3100, Non-removable Li-Po
- Network: GSM / HSPA / LTE
- Operating system: Android 9.0 (Pie)
- Sensors: Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
In appearance, the smartphone hardly differs from the Galaxy A50 and Galaxy A30 models: a small notch for the front camera, a thin bottom bezel, a gradient coloring and a fingerprint scanner on the rear panel.
This phone has one significant difference from its predecessors. Where the Galaxy A30 and Galaxy A50 offer 6.4-inch screens, this one has a 5.9-inch one. Thanks to its modest size, the Galaxy A40 fits perfectly in the hand. Handling it and much more pleasant than with a large smartphone.
It can be said that the Galaxy A40 is the most compact device in the South Korean company's range. It is available in four colour options - black, white, sky blue and orange.
The device has received the familiar Infinity-U SuperAMOLED display from other models. Its diagonal is 5.9 inches, resolution - 1080:2340 pixels (pixel density 437 ppi), aspect ratio - 19.5:9, brightness is about 500 nits. There are also wide viewing angles and excellent black color. Thanks to the use of a small notch and thin bezels, the screen occupies 85.5% of the front panel area. That's a great metric that's even higher than the flagship iPhone XS and Samsung Galaxy Note 9 - 82.9% and 83.4% respectively.
The fingerprint scanner is positioned at a comfortable height and the user doesn't need to adjust to it. The finger falls right on it. The scanner works lightning fast. In addition, Samsung has provided a facial recognition scanner. However, the latter is not as safe and fast as some users would like.
Other ways to identify include: pin code, password and drawing.
On the hardware side, the situation is not so rosy. The company's Exynos 7904 Octa platform features 8 cores clocked at up to 1.8 GHz and a Mali-G71 MP2 graphics accelerator. It's not the fastest modern solution. The power of the processor combined with 4 GB of RAM is enough for the usual tasks, including web browsing, watching Full HD videos and more. However, the performance margin is minimal. Therefore, for heavier gaming, this Samsung model is not recommended.
The dual camera seems to have taken directly from the Galaxy A30. We are talking about a main module with a 16-megapixel sensor, f/1.7 aperture and phase autofocus, as well as a 5-megapixel auxiliary module with an ultra-wide-angle lens with an equivalent focal length of 12 mm, 123-degree viewing angle and f/2.2 aperture.
Both cameras perform excellently during daylight hours. The images are characterized by high detail and good color rendition. At night, the two modules fare worse, there's quite a bit of noise, but that's the trouble with all the cheaper smartphone models on the market. Do not expect a full-fledged night mode. The developers of the Galaxy A40 have made it so that artificial intelligence is automatically turned on. The smartphone then takes a series of photos with different exposures. The result is photos with a minimal amount of noise, but with a narrow dynamic range.
The front-facing camera has been given a 25 MP sensor and an f/2.0 aperture lens, and video is recorded at 1080p resolution at 30 frames per second.
The main sacrifice that Samsung's engineers had to make was to reduce the battery dimensions. Its capacity is exactly 3100 mAh. The Galaxy A30, if you recall, provided 4000 mAh.
Active use of the battery will provide you with autonomous work until the end of the day.
If you limit yourself to social networking, browsing and listening to music, the charge will last you for a day and a half. When tackling complex tasks with atypically high power consumption, rely on lower autonomous operation. If you're watching a video, the charge will drop by 10% in an hour.
Samsung has provided fast charging technology. With its help, you have 100% battery in an hour and a half.
The Galaxy A40 runs Android 9 at the factory with One UI 1.1. The latter is implemented in a minimalistic design. The app icons are in a unified style - bright background, simple and clear logo. The interface of the installed applications is designed so that the user does not trigger the top of the screen. With one swipe, all tabs are accessible.
A handy feature is the screen rotation indicator. Change the position of the smartphone from vertical to horizontal and you will see a rotation icon in the upper right corner. Press it and the orientation will change. Reverse the device. The image will not change until you press the pictogram again.
Another nifty option is hiding apps. You can retract the icons of factory-installed apps you don't use. That way they won't get in your way.
The most obvious competitors in the market are:
- Redmi Note 7, which offers a faster Snapdragon 660 processor and 4000 mAh battery capacity for less money;
- Meizu X8, which runs a more powerful Snapdragon 710 platform;
- Honor 8X, if you want a bigger display;
- ASUS Zenfone Max Pro (M2) with 5000 mAh battery capacity and better performance.
- HUAWEI P20 Lite and Nokia 6.1 Plus if you're looking for similarly sized devices.
The South Korean company Samsung has created a decent smartphone belonging to the mid-range models. It has its cons and pros. Galaxy A40 will delight you with its quality cameras and screen, but may disappoint you with its weaker performance.
Its strongest trump card is its dimensions. The very fact that it's compact is a reason to acquire it.
The Galaxy A40 is ideal for people looking for a cheap and compact model, but are willing to put up with weaker gaming performance. Apart from the low price, the presence of NFC should be counted as a plus. Overall, this model is one of the decent smartphones on the market.
- Quality display;
- Good sound because of the support of Dolby Atmos technology;
- Smooth operation.
- There's a lot to be desired from the performance and autonomous operation.
Samsung Galaxy A40 video review
Disclaimer: The information presented in this article is based on our team's personal experience with the Samsung Galaxy A40 and third-party sources. While every effort has been made to provide accurate and reliable information, readers should keep in mind that this is a subjective assessment. The writing of this article was not paid for or sponsored by Samsung.