Apple’s data auction privacy ad is only scary because it’s true

Ellie is like all of us; just a person perusing the latest offerings in a classic vinyl music store, who then discovers a door and a hidden auction where a multitude of what could best be described as dandies are anxiously bidding on her private data.

Yup, seems normal. Apple is using this slightly comic, but mostly disturbingly accurate, ad depiction of data brokers at an auction house called “DUBIOUS” to illustrate a point: this is what’s happening to your data.

In the commercial, which is titled “Your Data is Being Sold!” and is released online and broadcast on Wednesday, Ellie is clearly shocked and appalled as everything from her late-night texts to her grandmother (“Sweet Nana,”) is auctioned away to data brokers. Because this is an ad for Apple, though, Ellie launches a secret weapon.

She takes out her iPhone 13 and clicks “Ask not to track” for an app and the anthropomorphized data and data brokers start to disappear. Ellie also adjusts the Safari Privacy settings and soon the dubious auction house is empty.

It’s an effective, if a little on-the-nose, ad. But it’s not inaccurate. 

Any given website has dozens of trackers (usually hidden under transparent pixels) that allow data you dropped on one site to be carried over to another (it’s why once you search for red shoes on one site, you see “red shoes” on every site).

Similarly, app developers have (and often still do) sell your tracking data to third-party data brokers. Apple’s app privacy program now forces app developers to ask you for permission to track your data. So many people have opted out using these new settings, that it’s often cited in less-than-stellar earnings reports for companies like Facebook.

Apple said that the goal of the hyperbolic ad is to highlight potential uses of data, ones you’re probably not aware of.

The company’s commitment to privacy is not only evident in this ad and Apple’s various privacy-related and anti-tracking features, but in what its leadership says about the topic.

Speaking before the International Association of Privacy Professionals earlier this year, Apple CEO Tim Cook said, “A world without privacy is less imaginative, less empathetic, less innovative, less human” and noted that Apple has “a commitment to protecting people from a data-industrial complex built on a foundation of surveillance.”

In the case of this ad, though, that “data industrial complex” is a cliched auction house with real people bidding on physical objects that represent Ellie’s data. Still, we get the point.

Apple, which has never made its revenues from ads or customer data, is in the enviable position of approaching the data privacy issue from higher ground. It can point out Google or Facebook’s data practices (though rarely, if ever, by name) because it has no need for that data.

Even Apple’s fast-growing services business relies on direct subscription payments, which means, it doesn’t need your data for revenue or growth.

Anyway, enjoy this slightly comical ad.

Also, if you’re interested in how to manage these settings, you can read our app transparency guide and iPhone location services control guide.

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Samsung Galaxy A53 5G review

Samsung’s mid-range phone game is, historically, pretty weak. So is Apple’s, to be fair, leaving it to Google and the Chinese smartphone giants to fill in the gaps.

When I first saw the Galaxy A53 I had my hopes that Samsung had turned a corner, offering a balance of specs, features, and stylish design that not only bests Apple’s latest iPhone SE, but could be a genuine rival to the best of Xiaomi, Oppo, and Honor.

I don’t mind holding my hands up and admitting I was wrong. Well, in part. I think the Galaxy A53 is a better phone than Apple’s SE, and there’s an awful lot about it that I like: a great design, excellent software support, waterproofing, and capable cameras.

But it’s let down by desperately disappointing performance that’s in fact worse than its immediate predecessor, the Galaxy A52s – so you should probably buy that instead.

Design and build

  • Simple but attractive design
  • Range of colours
  • IP67 dust and water-resistance

One of the best things about the Galaxy A53 is its design. Most mid-range phones look either plain or downright ugly, but Samsung has made an effort to make this look the part.

Samsung Galaxy A53

Available in black, white, peach, or blue, this is built from plastic, but doesn’t try to hide it. Instead Samsung embraces the material with a smooth matt finish that curves up to meet the rear camera module – a design flair previously seen in the substantially more expensive Oppo Find X5 Pro.

On the front, the admittedly large 6.5in screen is surrounded by a black bezel that’s slim – though not the slimmest. It’s interrupted only by a small central punch-hole selfie camera.

One of the most unique elements of the A53 – given its price – is an IP67 dust and water-resistance rating. This is a level of protection that not even every flagship phone guarantees, and it’s a real rarity at this price. If you want that peace of mind when you’re on your phone in the bath, this is one of very few Android phones that offer it.

Samsung Galaxy A53

And while the phone’s rear is plastic, the display is protected by Gorilla Glass 5, which should add a level of security from drops and scratches too.

Overall, the design here feels simple, but never plain. It’s understated and attractive, with care taken to make this look and feel like a fairly premium device, albeit on its own terms.

Display and audio

  • 6.5in AMOLED screen
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • Stereo speakers

As we turn to the phone’s screen, it’s still all good news. This 6.5in Full HD+ panel may be a little large for some tastes, though really it’s about typical in size for Android these days.

What’s not typical is the use of a 120Hz AMOLED panel. Like the IP rating, this isn’t unheard of for the price, but it’s definitely unusual, and places the A53’s screen in the upper echelon of mid-rangers.

Samsung Galaxy A53

This is a bright, attractive screen capable of excellent colour range and smooth scrolling. Thanks to the AMOLED tech used, it also packs in an under-display fingerprint scanner – which works pretty well, if a touch slowly.

Audio is also impressive, with stereo sound delivered by the included speakers. This is another oddity at the price, and together with the screen this will make the A53 a tempting option for anyone who sits on their phone watching movies or playing games.

Of course, there’s no headphone jack, but both USB-C and wireless headphones are supported.

Specs and performance

  • Samsung’s own Exynos 1280 chip
  • Slow, laggy, and frequently freezes
  • 5G support

This is the crux of the matter: there’s not much good I can say about the performance of the Galaxy A53.

While last year’s A52 and A52s both used mid-range Snapdragon 7-series chips from Qualcomm, for the A53 Samsung has opted to use its own new Exynos 1280 chipset.

This was not a good idea.

Benchmarks are unimpressive: while the A53 slightly edges the A52, especially in gaming benchmarks, it lags well behind the A52s, itself released just six months ago. Looking outside Samsung, performance is a close match for the Poco X4 Pro and OnePlus Nord CE 2 – both substantially cheaper phones – but comfortably behind the OnePlus Nord 2 from last year, which is a better match for it on price. It wouldn’t even be fair to compare to the iPhone SE, which uses the same chip as Apple’s current flagship iPhone 13 range.

Artificial benchmark scores don’t tell the whole story though. I reviewed the Nord CE 2 myself, and while its benchmarks are on a par with the A53’s, the OnePlus didn’t feature half the stuttering, lag, or slowdown that I’ve suffered through on the A53.

This phone is slow, whether you’re using one app or trying to multitask. RAM seems to be the main issue: despite my review sample boasting 6GB of memory the phone struggles to keep multiple apps running at once, and at times it’s frozen even when I’m just using Chrome.

It makes the phone frustrating to use, with the kind of experience I’d be annoyed by on a phone half this price.

Samsung Galaxy A53

Performance may vary depending on the market. While in the US and UK the phone ships with 6GB of RAM as standard, elsewhere you can buy it with 4GB (don’t) or 8GB. Similarly, storage is 128GB on my model but 256GB may be an option where you live. In either case, storage can be expanded by up to 1TB via microSD card.

It’s not all bad. 5G is supported, as is NFC for card payments and Bluetooth 5.1. The Wi-Fi 6 support in its predecessor has been dropped for the previous gen version, though it’s unlikely that you have a Wi-Fi 6 router to take advantage anyway.

Camera

  • Impressive 64Mp main camera
  • Alright ultrawide and macro
  • Great 32Mp selfie camera

Samsung has essentially left the camera setup unchanged from the A52 and A52s, though with so much of modern smartphone photography handled computationally, the change in chipset could still have an impact on photo quality.

Samsung Galaxy A53

There’s no real cause for concern though. The main 64Mp camera is capable of really bright, punchy shots in good light, and thanks to a wide f/1.8 aperture and optical image stabilisation it holds its own in dimmer conditions too, preserving detail and contrast nicely.

Quality certainly drops when it gets really dark, and this is still where flagship phones pull apart from the pack. But I’d be surprised to see many phones at this price do much better than the A53 has.

That 64Mp main sensor is flanked by three more: an 8Mp ultrawide, 5Mp macro, and 5Mp depth sensor. The latter simply helps with portrait shots, while the first two are inevitably situational, but don’t do badly. The ultrawide in particular takes more vibrant, colourful shots than I’d expect from rivals, though there’s a definite drop in detail compared to the main camera.

Samsung Galaxy A53 camera test

On the front, the 32Mp selfie camera is a surprise highlight. Selfies pack in loads of detail and great colour range, even in challenging lighting. I’ve taken worse selfies on phones twice this price, and this camera is a real strength for the phone.

As for video, you can shoot at up to [email protected] from either the front or rear camera, and the OIS on the rear lens keeps things nice and stable when recording off the main camera.

Battery and charging

  • Over one day’s battery
  • Slow 25W wired charging
  • No charger included

The A53 impresses on pure battery life, with a generous 5000mAh cell. I’ve found the phone comfortably lasts a full day, and light users will probably find it can stretch to two.

In my case, I’ve found the phone is often still above 50% battery by the time I get to bed, and is happy to deliver several hours of screen-on time during the day.

Samsung Galaxy A53

Charging is less exciting, but that’s as true for Samsung’s most expensive phones as it is for this one really.

Wired charging is limited to 25W speeds – resolutely sluggish by modern Android standards, even among cheap phones. Samsung also doesn’t include a charger with the phone, so you’ll have to buy your own. Using a third-party 65W charger (so comfortably faster than the phone’s max) I only reached 26% charge after thirty minutes plugged in, meaning this will need topping up overnight most of the time.

There’s no support at all for wireless charging. That’s typical for the price, but worth mentioning given that this one area where the iPhone SE excels.

Software and updates

  • Android 12 with One UI 4.1
  • Four years of Android updates promised

Let’s end on a high note – and the main real reason to opt for this phone over the previous A52s.

The Galaxy A53 ships with Android 12, the latest version of the Google OS, running Samsung’s One UI 4.1 skin on top.

You’ll get Google’s updated privacy controls – including icons and alerts when the microphone and camera turn on – along with Samsung’s implementation of the Material You tool which draws UI colour palettes from your wallpaper.

Samsung Galaxy A53

Of course, I have my concerns that the software is really what’s at fault for the phone’s middling performance. Samsung’s heavy interface can sometimes be sluggish even on high-end devices, and the sluggishness moving around the phone and opening apps can almost certainly be explained in part by the One UI software layer.

At least that means things might get better. Samsung has promised that the A53 will receive four Android version updates – from Android 13 (with One UI 5) through 16 – along with a fifth year of security patches. This is the same update promise it offers for its most expensive phones, and is unheard of at this price for Android. In fact, this is a better software support guarantee than offered by anyone except Apple.

That makes the A53 an excellent choice if you’re looking for an affordable phone that will be supported in the long term. The only risk is that some of those updates end up worsening the already iffy performance – though this is a gamble, as Samsung could equally use patches to optimise the phone and improve how it runs.

Price and availability

At £399/$449/€449, the Galaxy A53 is firmly mid-range. You can pick it up from Samsung’s online store, Amazon, or most tech retailers – or major networks including T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T in the US; or Vodafone, O2, EE, or Three in the UK. If you’re tempted, we’ve rounded up the best Galaxy A53 deals we can find to help you buy it at the best price.

Samsung Galaxy A53

Its clear rivals in Europe and Asia are the excellent OnePlus Nord 2, the cheaper Poco X4 Pro, and the slightly pricier Realme GT 2. The Pixel 6a will also be a compelling alternative once it launches in July, and Apple’s iPhone SE sits at a comparable price worldwide.

With flagship-style features like an IP67 rating and OIS on the main camera, the Galaxy A53 offers plenty that its closest Android rivals don’t – and the modern design and excellent display give it a clear edge over the clunky, old-fashioned iPhone SE. Unfortunately all those phones will deliver smoother performance than Samsung’s.

Verdict

The Galaxy A53 really only has one flaw, but it’s such a big one that it makes the phone difficult to wholeheartedly recommend.

Performance is sluggish, with stuttering and freezing common even during light use. At this price, a phone should run better.

That’s a shame, because Samsung has nailed it elsewhere. The A53 looks great, it’s well-built, the camera and display are among the best at this price, and the software support is bested only by Apple.

With a more powerful processor and smoother software the A53 would be a no-brainer. But as it is, this will only be an option for the patient.

Specs

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G: Specs

  • Android 12 with One UI 4.1
  • 6.5in AMOLED, 2400 x 1080, 120Hz, 20:9 ratio
  • Exynos 1280 chipset
  • 4/6/8GB RAM
  • 128/256GB of storage (expandable via microSD)
  • 64Mp f/1.8 OIS main camera
  • 12Mp f/2.2 ultrawide
  • 5Mp f/2.4 macro
  • 5Mp f/2.4 depth sensor
  • 32Mp f/2.2 selfie camera
  • Dual-SIM/microSD
  • Stereo speakers
  • NFC
  • GPS
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • Wi-Fi 5
  • Under-display fingerprint sensor
  • 5000mAh battery
  • 25W wired charging
  • USB-C charging port
  • 159.6 x 74.8 x 8.1mm
  • 189g

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Microsoft is rolling out its future of Outlook

Microsoft Outlook is easily among the best email clients around, especially if your office already uses Office and the Microsoft 365 suite. 

But after its next-generation “One Outlook” client leaked recently, Microsoft has decided to take the wraps off the new email experience for anyone on the Office Insiders Beta Channel. 

The update Outlook for Windows client is aimed at business and education customers who subscribe to Microsoft 365 or Office 365 and this preview is available only to paying members so far. 

Outlook update

As ZDNet highlights, Microsoft has added a number of updates and changes, including a new look and feel, message reminders, a single view for calendar, email, and to-do items, and the ability to more easily attach cloud files. 

Of course, this isn’t the final version – which is why it’s only available on the Insiders Beta Channel – and a few features are therefore missing, such as multi-account and offline support. 

Based on what we’ve seen from the leak, the new Outlook has some really clean lines and a more minimal design language.

Here is how One Outlook settings, peoples, new mail and calendar page#WIndows11 #FluentDesign #OneOutlook pic.twitter.com/mCO9MModgJMay 6, 2022

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One client to rule them all 

The basic idea behind One Outlook is to unify all of the disparate services into one place, with the web app serving as the foundation for everything. 

The client has been codenamed Monarch by Microsoft during its development and the ultimate goal is one client across all major platforms, from Windows to macOS to the web. 

But people don’t seem totally sold yet. 

Change, of course, is always difficult, especially for something as crucial as an email client, but the reception to the leak was mixed, to say the least. 

Many on social media questioned whether a web app, which are likely to consume a lot of memory, was the best approach. As Microsoft rolls out the update more widely, we’ll get hands on to see for certain. 

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AWS and Temenos team up for speedier banking

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has joined with cloud banking software provider Temenos for an extended partnership, which will reportedly allow banks to process 100,000 transactions a second.

The multi-year agreement will see the full suite of Temenos’s banking solutions offered as part of AWS on an as-a-service basis.

Founded in 1993, the Swiss headquartered company’s solutions are used by both retail and commercial banks.

What does this offer users?

Temenos says the partnership makes use of regional AWS Availability Zones (AZ) to provide high availability within a single region, avoiding data sovereignty issues or the need to purchase additional infrastructure.

In addition, Temenos says its digital banking platform can scale to meet growing customer demands and enables banks to lower their total cost of ownership by reducing infrastructure management and enabling automated deployment using Infrastructure as Code (IaC) tools.

Temenos also claimed its solutions help banks reduce their carbon footprint and support them in achieving their ESG goals compared to on-premises deployments.

Cloud computing is seeing widespread adoption within the banking industry.

According to a Google Cloud study, 83 percent of the financial services companies surveyed report they are deploying cloud technology as part of their primary computing infrastructures, with US banks leading in terms of cloud adoption.

“Temenos delivers cloud-native digital banking solutions to thousands of the world’s leading financial services organizations, and we are excited to expand our relationship with them,” said John Kain, Head of Financial Services Market Development, Amazon Web Services.

“Combining the reliability, high performance, and security of AWS with Temenos digital banking solutions, we can offer banks the business agility they need to transition to the cloud with confidence and innovate faster than ever before.”

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Microsoft unveils the future of Outlook, and you can try it right now

The future of Outlook is here, albeit with some caveats.

Microsoft officially released the new Outlook for Windows on Tuesday afternoon, with features that integrate Microsoft’s futuristic Loop interface as well as more practical innovations such as quick document attachments, a “My Day” summary, and reminders to respond to important email. For now, though, the new features are only available to members of the Office Insiders program, specifically the Beta Channel.

We’ve seen the “future of Outlook” many times over the years, from 2015’s simple, effective Outlook apps for iOS and Android, to 2017’s more cohesive approach toward unifying Outlook across various platforms. We’re also seeing the first fruits of “Project Cortex,” in how Microsoft (and its rival, Google,) are blurring the lines between various applications. But Microsoft has also been working to clean up the various versions (the Web, Office 365, Web apps and so on) and provide a unified version of Outlook for the PC. That leaked out earlier this month, and it’s here now.

Microsoft designed Outlook to look familiar, and it does—especially if you’re used to the Outlook web app. Unfortunately, it’s not available to many users. To be a member of the Office Insider program, you must either be subscribed to Microsoft 365’s consumer edition or ask your corporate administrator to enable it. Consumers can easily switch to the Insider program (from any Office app on Windows, click File > Account > Office Insider > Join Office Insider, then agree to the checkbox next to “Sign me up for early access to new releases of Office”). But you’ll need to also use a paid commercial or education account as your primary email to try the new Outlook, which can complicate the process.

Here are the new Outlook features that Microsoft says you’ll want:

“Namechecking” documents: Within Outlook, you can quickly type an “at” symbol (“@”) and then the name of a person, and it will be called out in their email. You can quickly “call out” files by using the same “@” symbol in front of files and documents. They need to be stored in the cloud, however. Unfortunately, that probably means that you’ll need to search the full name of “SalesPresentationMarch2022final3really” to attach it in this way.

new Microsoft Outlook
Note the list of files that pops up when you begin typing an “@” in Outlook.

Microsoft

Respond to requests: We’ve seen Microsoft’s AI in Cortana and the like “sniff” your inbox for what it considers an important message, such as a request to respond to a customer. If Outlook thinks it has found such an email, it will be pinned to the top of your inbox until dismissed. You can also manually pin an email message to the top of your inbox by clicking the “pin” icon.

new Microsoft Outlook
Important messages will be pinned to your Outlook inbox by default.

Microsoft

“My Day” and “To Do”: You should start seeing a more visible “To Do” column to the right of your inbox. Also referred to as “My Day,” you’ll be able to use this space as a location to drag emails into, which will become tasks that you can check off.

new Microsoft Outlook
Expect more prominent placement of the “To Do” section of Outlook.

Microsoft

An updated Calendar: It appears that while the Calendar will remain largely unchanged, a new “Board” view will essentially turn your Calendar into a bulletin board, where your work calendar can be added as a card, alongside tasks, important documents and tips. You’ll also be able to reserve space on your calendar and let people know you’ll attend their meeting either in person or virtually.

new Microsoft Outlook
Microsoft will use tiles and cards as the new way of organizing your Calendar in Outlook’s “board” view.

Microsoft

Sweep up the clutter: Microsoft is also encouraging you to use tools we’ve described before, such as Rules, to automatically manage and control email as they flow into your inbox. Microsoft calls this “Sweep.”

Loop and the future: Microsoft thinks the most important addition to the new Outlook client is Loop, which Microsoft described as making documents a sort of widget. It blurs the line between a document and a shared workspace — which for some users will be anathema, and for others a natural extension of a close-knit team. We’ll have to see how Loop evolves over the coming years and months.

For now, the new Outlook is in the hands of just a few, as it fixes bugs and adds features. Unfortunately, some of the basic capabilities you’d expect aren’t there: offline support, multiple accounts, and so on. Expect Microsoft to widen its audience as it improves its new Outlook client.

Email Clients, Microsoft Outlook, Windows

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Samsung Galaxy A73 5G review

The Galaxy A73 5G is the successor to last year’s Galaxy A72 which lacked 5G support and is the latest device in Samsung’s A-series of mid-range devices. The A72 was an attractive proposition last year despite lacking in some departments.

Samsung is sticking to the same tested formula with the A73 5G and this review aims to find out if the A73 is a significant improvement over the previous generation. At the time of this review, the device is available only in India from ₹47,490 and is expected to launch in select markets worldwide.

Design & Build

  • 7.6mm
  • 181g
  • IP67

The phone weighs 181g and is only about 7.6 mm thick which means that the device is very comfortable to hold and handle despite it being a large screen device. The build quality is good but feels plasticky.

The back doesn’t attract fingerprints easily, but the camera bump is noticeable. The phone is IP67 rated which means it can stay under 1 meter of freshwater for up to 30 minutes. The unit reviewed came in the Awesome Mint colour but you can also get it in Awsome Grey and Awesome White if you prefer.

Galaxy A73 5G design

The device uses an in-display fingerprint scanner which works as expected but considering the device design, one would expect the fingerprint sensor to be located on the power button on the side.

The SIM tray is at the top and lets you use up to 2 nano-SIM cards in Dual-SIM configuration or 1 SIM and a microSD card up to 1TB. The omission of a 3.5mm headphone jack was expected considering the thin profile of the device but a USB-C adapter in the box would have been nice but is missing.

Overall, the design is subtle and simple which most users would appreciate.

Screen & Speakers

  • 6.7in Super AMOLED+
  • Full HD+
  • 120Hz refresh rate

The A73 packs a 6.7in Full HD+ Super AMOLED+ Infinity-O display. The refresh rate which Samsung calls Motion smoothness can be manually configured to 60- or 120Hz and there is no auto-switch option although power-saving modes downgrade the refresh rate.

The viewing experience is excellent and there are extensive options in the settings to configure the display to your needs. The display features Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection while devices like the Realme GT 2 Pro and OnePlus 9RT offer the newer Corning Gorilla Glass Victus protection. Dark Mode is available system-wide and really shines on this panel.

Galaxy A73 5G screen

Always-on display can be enabled for those who like to check their notifications and key information without having to turn on the screen. There are minimal bezels around the display and underneath the display is a 32Mp punch-hole selfie camera which does take up slightly more space than usual.

The audio from the speakers is underwhelming and the phone doesn’t offer much volume. Dolby Atmos does help in a minor way but don’t buy this one if you want to have a party without connecting a Bluetooth speaker.

Specs & Performance

  • Snapdragon 778G
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128/256GB storage

The phone is powered by an Octa-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G processor and is paired with 8GB of RAM. Then there’s a choice of 128- or 256GB and although there’s only ₹2,500 between them, the latter only comes in the Awesome Mint colour.

The variant tested in this review comes with 8/128GB and there was no noticeable lag during regular usage.

Galaxy A73 5G specs

The 778G is not a bad processor, it is a great chip for mid-tier 5G phones and is based on the TSMC 6nm node. It is a slight downgrade from the Snapdragon 780G which is based on 5nm.

However, the real deal-breaker is that phones that cost almost half the price of the A73 5G are using the same chip. Phones which are priced similarly pack the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or Snapdragon 888 SoCs which offer a big jump in performance and justify the pricing.

The A73 does not feel slow by any means, and it performs well, One UI has been optimized. But when you are getting last year’s internals for a premium mid-ranger, the A73 offers poor value in the performance department, even if you do get 5G.

Also, the phone did get moderately warm to the touch during video capture, gaming, or GPS usage. There is support for Wi-Fi 6 and the notification tray icons reflect it when connected to faster WiFi networks.

Cameras

  • 108Mp main camera
  • 12Mp ultrawide
  • 5Mp depth
  • 5Mp macro
  • 32Mp selfie

The main camera is a 108Mp sensor with f/1.8 aperture and images are shot at 12Mp by default thanks to pixel binning. Photos taken in daylight or under good lighting conditions come out well and not much to complain about here. You can toggle between 0.5x zoom which uses the ultra-wide sensor and 1x zoom on the main sensor.

Samsung has done away with a zoom lens on the A73 in favour of that 108Mp main sensor. There is the ability to use digital zoom up to 10x, but the results are not too impressive. The tips within the camera UI are useful for mode recommendations and shot suggestions.

Galaxy A73 5G cameras

There are three other cameras on the back in the form of a 12Mp ultrawide and 5Mp depth and macro lenses. 

The 12Mp ultrawide lets you capture a lot of area in a single frame but some details are lost towards the sides. The macro mode does get some good closeup shots but requires you to get very close to the subject and the camera does not automatically switch to macro, though the camera app does prompt you.

The portrait feature which is available on both the front and rear cameras lets you capture some neat portraits. The ability to tweak the bokeh, and lighting after the photo has been captured is nice to have.

Samsung Galaxy A73 5G camera test

Low-light shots are not up to the mark and require the phone to be held firmly to prevent blurry shots.

The front-facing 32Mp camera does take decent selfies and portraits when the lighting conditions are good, and you can wave your hand to take a selfie.

Battery Life & Charging

  • 5000mAh
  • 25W charging
  • No adapter included

In terms of battery life, the 5000mAh built-in battery can last an entire day with heavy usage with 120Hz refresh rate enabled and can go longer if with 60Hz and heavy usage. Samsung does offer some software tweaks under the hood to help with battery management.

The Power saving feature lets you turn off Always On Display, downclock the CPU to 70%, disable 5G, and background app activity with a single setting.

Galaxy A73 5G charging

In the PCMark Work 3.0 battery test, it lasted 12 hours and 42 mins which is impressive. Samsung chose to not include a 25W charger in the box which would charge the phone at maximum speed.

I tested several chargers and only a few which are PD compatible charge the phone at the rated speed. With this, the phone managed to get to 34% in 30-minutes which is slow for modern standards.

Wireless Charging is not available and would have been nice to have considering the audience the device is catered to.

Software & Apps

  • Android 12
  • One UI 4.1
  • Four years of OS updates
  • Five years of security updates

The phone runs Samsung’s One UI 4.1 which is based on Android 12 and the overall interface is smooth and lag-free. You can customize the UI according to the usage very seamlessly and this is where One UI shines. You can even remap the Bixby side key to the power button if you should desire to use Bixby.

The interface is snappy and fast, but it comes pre-loaded with several apps such as Amazon Shopping, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Byjus, Josh, PhonePe, Snapchat, Dailyhunt, Truecaller, Samsung Free, Glance, Moj, ShareChat, MX TakaTak, Samsung Max, Microsoft Apps and more.

Glance on the lock screen can be annoying to most users and disabling it requires diving into the settings. While most pre-loaded apps can be uninstalled some apps such as Samsung Max cannot be uninstalled.

Galaxy A73 5G apps

While most preloaded apps can be removed by resetting the phone, some apps like Moj and MK Taka Tak are reinstalled automatically which is infuriating. There are multiple prompts during setup for the installation of additional apps and users need to be careful to opt out.

Samsung promises 4 Android updates and 5 years of security updates which is very strong, even outpacing Google’s Pixel phones.

Price & Availability

The Samsung Galaxy A73 5G was introduced in India in April and it is available in two models. Oddly, the 256GB capacity is only available in the Awesome Mint colour.

  • 8/128GB – ₹47,490 (approx £495/$610)
  • 8/256GB – ₹49,990 (approx £520/$645)

You can buy it directly from Samsung but Amazon, at the time of writing, only has one model. Flipkart has a much better range, though.

In terms of the competition, the A73 competes with the OnePlus 9RT, Xiaomi 11T Pro, Pixel 6 and Realme GT 2 Pro

Check out more options in our best mid-range phones chartbest phones chart and best Samsung Galaxy phones.

Galaxy A73 5G price

Verdict

The Galaxy A73 5G is packing an old processor and feels overpriced compared to rivals. Fast charging is limited to 25W and Samsung doesn’t even include a matching charger.

This is surprising when the competition offers up to 120W fast charging and includes it in the box. The A73 does rely heavily on the Samsung brand value and promise of 4 years of updates.

Despite the bloatware, One UI is a treat to use, and Samsung Pay is good to have. The phone also has an excellent screen and the cameras are decent in reasonable conditions.

If you are a Samsung user looking for a mid-range 5G device, the A73 is a reasonably good option but it is worth pointing out that there are better devices out there in the market that offer better value overall.

Specs

Samsung Galaxy A73 5G: Specs

  • Android 12 with One UI 4.1
  • 6.7in Full HD+ (2400×1080) 20:9 Super AMOLED Plus, 120Hz
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G 2.4GHz octa-core processor
  • Adreno 642L GPU
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128/256 UFS 3.1 internal storage
  • 108Mp f/1.8 rear camera
  • 12Mp f/2/2 ultrawide
  • 5Mp f2.4 macro
  • 5Mp f2.4 depth
  • 32Mp selfie camera
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • GPS
  • 5G
  • USB-C
  • 5000mAh non-removable battery
  • 25W charging (adapter sold separately)
  • 76.1×163.7×7.6mm
  • 181g
  • IP67 dust and water resistance
  • Awesome Mint, Awesome Gray, Awesome White

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