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Samsung Galaxy A72 Camera review: Enticing option in its segment

Reading Time: 5 min read
105
camera

Announced in March 2021, the Snapdragon 720G-powered Samsung Galaxy A72 looks like an enticing option in the High-end ($400-599) segment, offering a comprehensive camera setup with a Quad-Bayer sensor in the primary module as well as a 3x tele, a 12 MP ultra-wide, and a dedicated macro camera. Let’s see how it fares in the DXOMARK Camera test protocol.

Key camera specifications:

  • Primary: 64 MP sensor with 0.8µm pixels, f/1.8-aperture lens, OIS
  • Ultra-wide: 12 MP sensor with 1.12µm pixels, f/2.2-aperture lens
  • Tele: 8 MP  sensor with 1.0µm pixels, f/2.4-aperture lens with 3x magnification, OIS
  • Macro: 5 MP sensor with 1.12µm pixels, f/2.4-aperture lens
  • Video: 2160p/30 fps

About DXOMARK Camera tests: For scoring and analysis in our smartphone camera reviews, DXOMARK engineers capture and evaluate over 3000 test images and more than 2.5 hours of video both in controlled lab environments and in natural indoor and outdoor scenes, using the camera’s default settings. This article is designed to highlight the most important results of our testing. For more information about the DXOMARK Camera test protocol, click here. More details on how we score smartphone cameras are available here.

Test summary


Samsung Galaxy A72
105
camera
112
photo
51
zoom
92
video

Pros

  • Good target exposure on evenly lit photo and video scenes
  • Good dynamic range in bright light
  • Consistent exposure, color, and texture across multiple images
  • Low noise and neutral white balance in daylight conditions
  • Effective video stabilization in static scenes

Cons

  • Inaccurate skin tone rendering and frequent pink casts
  • Strong noise in low light
  • Ringing, ghosting, and color quantization artifacts
  • Noise and lack of detail in tele shots
  • Underexposed faces and strong color casts in low-light videos
  • Focus instabilities in indoor video clips

With a DXOMARK overall score of 105, the Samsung Galaxy A72 cannot compete with the very best in our ranking — which is to be expected for a device in its price segment — but does rather well among its similarly priced peers. It occupies a joint 5th position in our High-end segment ranking, tying the score of the Oppo Reno4 5G and coming in 13 points behind the segment leader Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro 5G (118). This is a noticeable improvement over its predecessor Galaxy A71 5G (88).

In good light the A72 is capable of capturing decent images, but color casts, slightly unnatural skin tones, and ghosting artifacts on moving subjects can be visible (as in the image above).

Looking closer at still image performance, the Samsung’s Photo score of 112 puts it in 5th position in the High-end segment, only one point shy of the Xiaomi Redmi K40 Pro+ (113) but  several points behind the category leader, the TCL 20 Pro 5G (124).

Samsung Galaxy A72, indoor scene
Samsung Galaxy A72, crop: slight loss of detail
Google Pixel 4a, indoor scene
Google Pixel 4a, crop: visible loss of detail
Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, indoor scene
Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, crop: visisble loss of detail

In photo mode the A72 delivers nice image quality in good light, with good sharpness and a wide dynamic range. Things go slightly downhill as light levels decrease, and in low light the camera has a tendency to underexpose and produce strong image noise.

Autofocus comparison at 1000 lux with 4 EV variation: the two Samsung devices achieve similar sharpness and stability as the Pixel 4a but are slower to capture.

 

Texture: both Samsungs capture good texture in bright light but drop off in dimmer conditions compared to the Pixel 4a.

 

Noise: the A72 shows lower levels of visual noise than the A52 5G but much higher noise chromaticity.

Despite offering both ultra-wide and tele lenses, something that is not yet very common in this segment, the Samsung A72 achieves only a mid-table position for Zoom, trailing one point behind the OnePlus 8T and a full 10 points behind the best device for Zoom in the High-end segment, the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro 5G.

The ultra-wide camera is a good option for those situations where you have to squeeze as much scene into the frame as possible, but blue or pink color casts as well as fairly strong noise are often visible. The tele camera helps if your subject is further away from the lens, but compared to the primary module, a strong loss of detail is noticeable, meaning that tele-camera images are really only suitable for small-format display.

Samsung Galaxy A72, ultra-wide
Samsung Galaxy A72, crop: strong noise
Samsung Galaxy A72, medium-range tele
Samsung Galaxy A72, crop: strong loss of detail

Results are similar for Video, where the Samsung is again middle-of-the-pack with a score of 92. This puts it 19 points behind the best High-end phone for movie recording — again, the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro 5G.

Samsung Galaxy A72, good face tracking and exposure but some exposure instability in the background

Compared to its stablemate A52 5G, the A72 is the better option for recording movies, thanks to more reliable autofocus. Where the A52 showed strong AF instabilities, especially in low light, the A72 does noticeably better and mostly delivers steady focus. On the downside, exposure and color performance is a little worse for the A72 in low light.

Video texture: A72 video texture is slightly lower than for the A52 5G.

Video noise: A72 noise levels are slightly lower than for the A52 5G.

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