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Samsung Galaxy A73 review: Mid-tier maverick
Samsung's latest mid-tier handset swings above its weight.
The Samsung Galaxy A73 doesn't redefine what budget phones offer, but it's still a standout effort with few compromises. If you're willing to live without the wireless charging and 'nightography' found in Samsung's more premium handsets, this an affordable alternative with a gorgeous design and exceptional battery life.
While the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G is a smidge more affordable, the Galaxy A73 comes with a much more compelling claim to fame. It’s the mid-range Samsung smartphone that might actually be better than the bottom end of the brand’s premium lineup.
How much does the Samsung Galaxy A73 5G cost in Australia?
The Samsung Galaxy A73 5G is priced at $799 outright in Australia. It’s available through most of Samsung’s regular retail and telco partners with one big exception in the form of Optus.
At the recommended retail price of $799, the Samsung Galaxy A73 5G is the most expensive entry in the current Galaxy A-series lineup and just $200 below the Galaxy S21 FE, which currently sits at the bottom of Samsung's Galaxy S roster.
Take a look at the table below for a full breakdown of how the pricing of the Samsung Galaxy A73 5G compares to the rest of the A-series and the Galaxy S21 FE and Galaxy S22 when it comes to pricing.
|Samsung Galaxy A13 4G||$329|
|Samsung Galaxy A23 4G||$399|
|Samsung Galaxy A33 4G||$599|
|Samsung Galaxy A53 4G||$699|
|Samsung Galaxy A73 4G||$799|
|Samsung Galaxy S21 FE||$999|
|Samsung Galaxy S22||$1,249|
Samsung Galaxy A73 5G - Design and features
For the most part, the capital-D 'Design' of the Samsung Galaxy A73 5G doesn’t veer far from that of the rest of the A-series. If you’re looking for overlap, there’s plenty to be found in Samsung's latest glass-sandwich, from the 120Hz FHD+ display and centred holepunch camera to the IP67 water resistance and 5G connectivity.
The Galaxy A73 5G even comes equipped with the same amount of RAM (6GB) and storage (128GB) as the cheaper A53. Despite these similarities, there are a few big differences to take note of between the two budget-friendly handsets.
The first, and most immediately noticeable, of these is the sheer size of the Galaxy A73 5G. At 6.7-inches, it’s bigger than both the Galaxy A53 and the Galaxy S21 FE. Thankfully, the thin bezels here offset some of the practical drawbacks of this more slate-like form-factor. Larger handsets sometimes come across as overwhelming, but it feels like you just have more screen to work with here when it comes to everyday usage.
Part of this is down to the pedigree of the screen involved. Display tech remains one of Samsung’s strongest qualities and the Galaxy A73 5G’s Super AMOLED screen feels a cut above most of what you’ll find in the mid-tier. So long as this isn’t the kind of large-screen that becomes a burden for those with smaller hands, you can see more and do more with the hardware here.
From the Samsung Galaxy S10 onwards, Samsung has described the displays on its flagship smartphones as Dynamic AMOLED. However, the technical differences between this technology and the Super AMOLED found screens in older and cheaper Samsung devices is largely opaque.
While both Samsung Super AMOLED displays (like the one found on the Samsung Galaxy A73 5G) and Dynamic AMOLED displays (like the one on the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE) are regarded as high quality when it comes to their brightness, resolution and refresh rate, only the latter support HDR10+ content.
For most consumers, this is going to be the main difference between the two technologies. Flagships like the Galaxy S22 support HDR. Mid-tier mavericks like the Galaxy A73 don't.
The other big difference is the camera loadout. While the center-oriented notch on the Galaxy A73 5G boasts the same 32-megapixel camera sensor found in the Galaxy A53 and Galaxy S21 FE, the back of the device boasts a lens setup that’s closer to what the Galaxy S22 Ultra offers.
That said, the rear camera bump here is a bit more inconspicuous than what you'll find with Samsung's pricier products. Akin to something like OPPO's Find X5 Series, the camera module on the Galaxy A73 5G is smoothly integrated into the chassis of the device.
In any case, the back of the Samsung Galaxy A73 5G incorporates a 108-megapixel primary camera sensor rounded out by a 12-megapixel ultra wide lens, a 5-megapixel macro lens and a depth sensor of the same fidelity. While you don’t get the flexibility or Space Zoom functionality afforded by the telephoto lens found in Samsung’s top-of-the-line flagships, you do get a pretty decent bump to image quality for the $100 or so extra that the Galaxy A73 5G costs relative to the Galaxy A53.
In practice, I found that pictures taken with the Galaxy A73 5G were surprisingly detailed when it came to well-lit subjects.If you're looking to snap a social-ready pic in a pinch or squeeze in a little bit of food photography, the Galaxy A73 5G should be up to the task.
Unfortunately, when it came to night photography, the device fell short in a way that's unfortunately unsurprising given the brand the price-point involved.
While the Galaxy A73 5G has a dedicated night mode setting, it is both slower and less reliable than what you'll get out of a flagship handset like the Apple iPhone 13. Images were certainly more visible in this mode enabled than they were with it disabled, but even then the Galaxy A73 5G's camera often struggled to keep darker subjects in focus.
Samsung Galaxy A73 5G - Performance and battery
Alongside the larger sensor on the device’s main camera, the Galaxy A73 5G has another invisible advantage over the rest of the Galaxy A series. It features a Snapdragon 778G 5G processor rather than Samsung’s own Exynos silicon.
While the Exynos chipsets of the past have provided pretty good performance, the fact that Samsung still pays the premium for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips rather than rely on their own in-house stock when it comes to higher-end devices like this one really tells you everything you need to know about which offers superior performance.
Genshin Impact ran well for the most part, but frame rate drops were far from a rare occurrence. I could imagine clearing out my dailies on this thing, but longer sessions remain the domain of either my PC or my iPad. High fidelity shooters like Apex Legends Mobile and Fortnite were similarly hit and miss.
In contrast, games with more modest graphical requirements like League of Legends: Wild Rift and Call of Duty: Mobile ran much better.
If you’re someone who plays a lot of card games like Hearthstone or Legends of Runeterra, I imagine that the Galaxy A73 5G will be more than capable of allowing you to play on the go without compromising in any real respects. However, if your gaming needs are a little more demanding, then the more powerful silicon found in Samsung Galaxy S series or Apple’s latest iPhones might be a better choice.
As someone who plays a fair amount of mobile games, I still found myself preferring to do so via a tablet, but jumping in for a quick session on the Galaxy A73 5G didn't feel like it compromised the experience in the areas that matter the most.
How good is the battery life on the Samsung Galaxy A73?
At 5000mAh, the Galaxy A73 5G has a battery that’s identical to the one found in the Galaxy A53 and a solid 500mAh larger than the one in the Galaxy S21 FE.
As for what that spec means for the real-world experience of relying on the device, I found that the Galaxy A73 5G delivered exceptional battery life. I'd regularly get between six and seven hours of screentime on a single charge and could usually go a full two days of regular usage before having to charge the device back up again.
Burned down with streaming video, the Samsung Galaxy A73 5G took 18 hours and 27 minutes to go from 100% to 0%.
Is the Samsung Galaxy A73 5G worth buying?
For those willing to go a little bigger when it comes to screen size, the Samsung Galaxy A73 5G offers significant improvements, advantages and value over both the more affordable side of the A-series and the low-end of Samsung’s S-series. While it lacks flagship perks like wireless charging and a telephoto lens, it gets most things right at a significant discount.
How does the Samsung Galaxy A73 5G compare?
For those unable to afford Samsung's pricey premium smartphones, there are a few other options worth considering alongside the Galaxy A73 5G. Check out the table below for a sense of how this device's specs compare to that of the Galaxy A53 5G and the Galaxy S21 FE.
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
Samsung Galaxy A73 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G
|Display||6.5-inch Super AMOLED||6.7-inch Super AMOLED||6.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2x|
|Resolution||1080p+ with 120Hz||1080p+ with 120Hz||1080p+ with 120Hz|
|Rear Cameras||64MP + 12MP + 5MP + 5MP||108MP + 12MP + 5MP + 5MP||12MP + 8MP + 12MP|
|Processor||Exynos 1280||Qualcomm Snapdragon 778 5G||Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G|