Review Verdict: As the brand’s hero device in the mid-range segment, the Samsung Galaxy A72 gets a number of upgrades compared to its predecessor in the Philippines. And while is slightly more expensive than the Galaxy A71’s SRP last year, you get niceties like stereo speakers, IP67 rating, 90hz display, a more useful telephoto camera, and a bigger battery.
As great as the Galaxy A72 is, it slightly falls short of its peers by not having a 5G option. Still, it’s one of Samsung’s best mid-rangers so far this year.
Samsung Galaxy A72 Review Specs:
- Snapdragon 720G processor
- 8GB RAM
- 256GB storage, expandable via MicroSD
- 6.7-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED Infinity-O Display, 90hz refresh rate
- 64-megapixel f/1.8 main camera with PDAF and OIS, 12-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle camera, 5-megapixel f/2.4 macro camera, 8-megapixel f/2.4 telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom and OIS
- 32-megapixel f/2.2 selfie camera
- 4G, LTE
- WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, in-display fingerprint scanner
- Stereo speakers, IP67 rating
- 5000mAh battery
- 25w charging
- Android 11, OneUI 3.1
- Stellar overall camera performance
- Small but significant additional features like IP67 rating, 90hz display, and stereo speakers
- Attractive frosted back panel finish
- No 5G variant
- Expensive for a Snapdragon 720G-powered phone
Samsung’s hero mid-range phone is finally here, and the Korean brand manages to put in a number of improvements on the Galaxy A72 to make it more competitive against similarly-priced rivals. Is the Galaxy A72 another great premium mid-range offering from Samsung?
Unboxing, packaging, and contents
Unlike its predecessors, Samsung kept the packaging simpler on the Galaxy A72 (and the same applies to the Galaxy A52). You get a white box with a photo of the phone in front, along with Galaxy A72 branding on the top and on the box’s sides.
The inner packaging feels less premium compared to the one used on its predecessors–which is most likely part of Samsung’s efforts to minimize the cost of the packaging for all of its phones starting with the Galaxy S21 series. For the contents, you have the phone itself, documentation and SIM ejector tool, jelly case, USB-C to USB-C cable, and a 25w charger. There are no earphones included this time, but we’re glad that you still get the proper wall charger since the flagship S21 series does not ship with one.
While the back panel is still made from polycarbonate, you are getting a significantly larger camera module that looks similar to the Galaxy Note 20 series, along with a new finish. Instead of the usual glossy finish with geometric patterns, Samsung opted to go for a more minimalist route by utilizing a simple matte finish with the Samsung logo below following a tonal color.
Unlike with the Galaxy A71, the camera bump on the Galaxy A72 is seamlessly integrated into the back panel just like the OPPO Find X3 Pro. The new design language may not be as flashy as its predecessors, but I honestly like this sleek, minimalist approach with the 2021 Galaxy A-series phones.
The glossy finish is still present on the frame, and the button and port layout are practically the same as the Galaxy A71. The major change on the Galaxy A72 is that it now has an IP67 rating—a feature that was last seen on the Galaxy A8 (2018) series and is a standout feature among premium mid-range phones.
Display and speakers
While the display is the same as the Galaxy A71 from a visual standpoint—centrally-placed punch-hole included, the Galaxy A72’s Super AMOLED panel gets a smoother 90hz refresh rate, which is one of the better displays you can expect on a mid-range phone.
Samsung AMOLED panels are pretty great, and they’re a reason why they’re highly sought after since they deliver great colors and broad contrast ratios. The Galaxy A72 is no exception. That large 6.7-inch panel is great for watching Netflix videos in Full HD (especially since it has Widevine L1) and for playing your favorite games. Like its predecessor, you get a customizable Always-On Display, along with a fast and accurate in-display fingerprint scanner.
To make it an even better device for entertainment, the Galaxy A72’s earpiece also doubles as a loudspeaker, giving it a stereo speaker setup. Audio quality is significantly better than the Galaxy A71’s mono speaker, and overall audio fidelity is better compared to similarly-priced mid-range phones.
The Galaxy A72 gets a few upgrades while maintaining a similar camera setup used on the Galaxy A71. The 64-megapixel main camera now has OIS, which is a great addition for keeping video footage stable even while shooting at 4K and for better low-light performance.
While the 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera has less distortion and has better-processed photos, the 8-megapixel telephoto camera is the biggest and most useful upgrade on the Galaxy A72.
Armed with OIS and 3x optical zoom, this gives added versatility to the Galaxy A72’s shooting capabilities. Photos shot using the telephoto camera are very good for a mid-range phone, and you can even shoot stabilized 4K video with it—a feature you rarely see on a sub-Php 25k phone.
For selfies, you get the same 32-megapixel snapper that produces natural-looking selfies that do not overdo post-processing.
Performance and battery life
Powering the Galaxy A72 is a Snapdragon 720G processor that is paired with 8GB LPDDR4X RAM and 256GB UFS 2.1 storage. While we appreciate the bump in internal storage, we have mixed thoughts with the Galaxy A72’s processor.
Before you get dismayed at the processor considering that the Galaxy A71 used a Snapdragon 730G processor, several benchmarking tools show that the Snapdragon 720G performs slightly better than the Snapdragon 730G thanks to higher-clocked performance cores.
Unlike the Galaxy A52, there’s no 5G variant with the Galaxy A72, which is a bummer considering that you can buy a 5G-capable smartphone for the Galaxy A72’s asking price. Samsung might have reasons for not introducing a 5G variant for the Galaxy A72, so the Galaxy A52 5G is your best bet if you want the latest Galaxy A-series phone with 5G, you have to opt for its smaller sibling and sacrifice the telephoto camera.
5G aside, the Snapdragon 720G is a tried-and-tested processor that can handle heavy multitasking and run some of the most demanding mobile games out there. Based on results obtained from GameBench, the Galaxy A71 manages to max out the highest possible FPS rate on Asphalt 9, PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty Mobile, and Mobile Legends: Wild Rift with very good overall FPS stability.
The latter two games can do 60FPS seamlessly, and the Galaxy A72 can run Genshin Impact close to 30FPS at the default low settings. While it is possible to run the popular open-world RPG in 60FPS or at a higher resolution, I noticed a few frame drops here and there as I accomplish a few commission quests and domain challenges.
For the battery, the Galaxy A72 packs a bigger 5000mAh battery and the same 25w wired charging used on the Galaxy A71. Our PCMark battery test yielded a battery life of 16 and a half hours, which is decent considering its size. The battery result we got translates to a day and a half of battery life of use on moderate use.
With the included 25w charger, it takes around 1.5 hours to top up the battery from flat to 100%.
Wrap up and conclusions
Our review of the Galaxy A72 for the Philippines shows that the phablet is the most value-packed Samsung mid-range phone to date. Additions like a bigger battery, telephoto camera, high refresh rate, and an IP rating made the Galaxy A72 a compelling offering—and arguably one of Samsung’s best mid-range phones in recent memory.
However, the Galaxy A72 is not perfect since it does not have a 5G variant, and its sub-Php 24k SRP makes it quite expensive for a 4G-only device.