The Samsung Galaxy A73 5G is yet another reminder that Samsung has a phone for practically every price point. At its S$698 SRP, the A73 5G is S$100 more than the A53 5G. Then, it costs another S$100 or so to upgrade to the Galaxy S Series, the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE (around S$800). Unsurprisingly, the A73 5G shares a similar design as the A53 5G, while having slightly better hardware. The A73 5G also offers a polished user experience with four years of Android OS support, which may be more valuable to some users than better specs or a lower price.
- 6.7-inch Super AMOLED display (2,400 x 1,080 pixels, 120Hz)
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 778 5G chip with 8GB RAM and 128GB/256GB storage
- 108MP main camera, 12MP ultra-wide, 5MP macro and 5MP depth
- 5,000mAh battery (with 25W fast charging)
As a step-up from the A53 5G, the A73 5G has a slightly larger 6.7-inch display, up from 6.5 inches. However, the screen resolution is unchanged (1080p), and it still has a maximum 800 nits brightness and a 120Hz refresh rate. In short, you're getting a smooth and responsive display that's mostly usable outdoors in the day. But unlike the A53, the A73 5G supports HDR10 in Netflix. Powering this phone is the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 778 5G chip in last year's A52s 5G. While I do like this chip for its power efficiency — the A73 5G lasted a good 16hr 25min in our video-loop battery test — I'm disappointed that it is about as fast as the S$600 A52s 5G.
The A73 5G's matte plastic chassis is resistant to fingerprints. It's light, narrow, and easy to hold. It also has IP67 water and dust resistance, which is unusual for a mid-range phone. Like the A53 5G, there's no headphone jack, just stereo speakers. The in-display fingerprint sensor is not the fastest, but it worked flawlessly for me. Where it differs from the lower-end A Series phones is in the camera department. It has a 108MP main camera with OIS, along with an 12MP ultra-wide and the obligatory (but middling) depth and macro cameras (both 5MP). Photos were sharp enough, but also a touch more saturated than the actual scene. However, low-light performance using night mode was middling. While the camera did a decent job brightening up the scene, photos taken in low light showed a fair amount of noise.
Like recent Samsung phones, the A73 5G comes with just a USB-C charging cable, but no charger. But my biggest gripe is the charging speed. The A73 5G charges at a snail's pace. It takes around an hour to charge fully its 5,000mAh battery from 50% with the 25W “fast charging”. Even budget phones have faster charging speeds. However, Samsung has upped its game in terms of OS support. The A73 5G, like the rest of the 2022 A Series phones, will get four years of Android OS upgrades, which is one year more than last year's A Series models. Samsung's Android One UI 4.1 is also arguably more polished than competing Android skins.
The Samsung Galaxy A73 5G is decent. It just appears worse in many ways compared to the older and cheaper A52s 5G. Perhaps Samsung now regrets producing such a fine, value-for-money phone last year. But in general, this year's A Series phones hasn't quite lived up to its predecessors. It feels as if Samsung is shuffling features and specs to keep things fresh, while failing to make any real improvements. At best, the A73 5G is a minor upgrade for current Galaxy A Series owners. There are better options if you're looking for value or specs at this price. But those who care about OS support, and features like Always-on-Display and IP67 rating will find the A73 5G a good fit.
Note: Review unit provided by Samsung.
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