Samsung Galaxy A02s/M02s review

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Introduction

Our exploration of the complex world of Samsung’s entry-level smartphone lineup continues – we now have the Galaxy A02s for you. Pushing the boundaries of what can fit a tight budget and still be worthy of the badge are the compromises of the A02s, what we are here to assess.

We mentioned that it is a confusing list that Samsung has and the A02s are also available as M02s in some regions. While they have separate model numbers, are hardware is identical, so it can be said that our results here will apply just as well to the M02s, even though there are A02s on our review unit’s packaging.

Samsung Galaxy A02s
Samsung Galaxy M02s

Samsung Galaxy A02s • Samsung Galaxy M02s

‘S’ in these names has a lot of meaning, remember. Galaxy A02 and M02 non-s models are also available, identical between them as well, but with further downgraded internals compared to A02s and M02s. Keep your eyes open for what is on the box.

So the Galaxy A02s pack a 6.5-inch LCD – AMOLEDs are too expensive for this segment. The chipset also does not win any awards – the Snapdragon 450 is more than three years old, even though it is made on a 14 nm process (compare with 28 nm Mediatek in the non-s models).

Samsung Galaxy A02 review

The triple camera on the back is mildly misleading – the 13MP main module is paired with the usual (and doubtfully useful) duo of 2MP ‘macro’ and depth cameras. There is no ultra-wide camera – you will have to look at the A12 for one of these. 5MP selfie cam is another small downgrade.

However, Samsung did not mess with the battery, and the A02s come with a 5,000 mAh powerpack – the same as on the A12 and A02. We do not call the hardware demanding, so we expect to see good endurance numbers.

Overview of Samsung Galaxy A02s:

  • Body: 164.2×75.9×9.1mm, 196g; Glass front, plastic back.
  • Screen: 6.50 “PLC IPS, 720x1600px resolution, 20: 9 aspect ratio, 270ppi.
  • Chipset: Qualcomm SDM450 Snapdragon 450 (14 nm): Octa-core 1.8 GHz Cortex-A53; Adreno 506.
  • Memory: 32 GB 3 GB RAM, 64 GB 4 GB RAM; eMMC 5.1; microSDXC (dedicated slot).
  • OS / software: Android 10; A user interface 2.5.
  • Rear camera: Wide (head): 13 MP, f / 2.2, AF; Macro: 2 MP, f / 2.4; Depth: 2 MP, f / 2.4.
  • Front camera: 5 MP, f / 2.2.
  • Video recording: Rear camera: 1080p @ 30 fps.
  • Battery: 5000mAh; Fast charging 15W.
  • Various: Accelerometer, proximity; 3.5 mm jack plug.

Samsung Galaxy A02s unboxing

There’s nothing surprising about the presentation – the A02s are shipped in the same packaging as the A12 we had before, and most other affordable galaxies. Pull the cardboard tray out of the sleeve and you get the same package – the phone itself, a 15W adapter and a USB-A-to-C cable. A simple case would have been good, but every penny is important in this class, so we are not bothered by its absence.

Samsung Galaxy A02 review

Like the A12, the Galaxy A02s has a special back structure – more on that on the next page, where we look at its design and build quality.

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