Samsung Galaxy A12 review

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It’s the year 2021, and we already had the S21 trio of Samsung high-end phones for review. At the opposite end of the Galaxy spectrum is the Galaxy A12 (12, not 21) – an entry-level handset designed to offer the Samsung experience on a budget.

Announced at the end of last year and available since January, the Galaxy A12 is not by far the most affordable phone that Samsung sells – the Galaxy M02 gets that title. Samsung’s naming is a bit unclear in the lower level, and it can be confusing what’s between the A and M series, but the A12 sits just below the M12 and above the M02s. Not all of these models are available globally, so you may or may not be able to grab the most affordable Samsung in just your forest neck.

The Galaxy A12 we have here is equipped with a 6.5-inch screen, and the consequences of the budget constraints are easy to spot. It is one of the few LCD monitors in the OLED-dominated Galaxy lineup, and the 720p resolution is also on the low side of the average for the diagonal. It’s a pretty standard combination of size, technology and resolution for the segment, so the A12 is actually not poorly equipped.

The Mediatek Helio P35 does math inside the A12, and it’s not very exciting hardware alone either. Again, however, it is perfectly appropriate for the price point – you get an octa-core CPU, and the chip is built on a manufacturing process of 12 nm, so it must be decently powerful and sparse at the same time.

The quad camera setup on the back actually makes a strong case for the Galaxy A12 in its market context. While the usefulness of the two 2MP modules can be discussed (one for in-depth data, the other for ‘macro’), the 48MP main camera and a 5MP ultra-wide provide a good tandem that is hard to find. An 8MP selfie camera completes the picture in the photo department.

Samsung Galaxy A12 review

Overview of Samsung Galaxy A12:

  • Body: 164.0×75.8×8.9mm, 205g; Glass front, plastic back.
  • Screen: 6.50 “PLC IPS, 720x1600px resolution, 20: 9 aspect ratio, 270ppi.
  • Chipset: Mediatek MT6765 Helio P35 (12 nm): Octa-core (4×2.35 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A53); PowerVR GE8320.
  • Memory: 32 GB 3 GB RAM, 64 GB 4 GB RAM, 128 GB 4 GB RAM, 128 GB 6 GB RAM; eMMC 5.1; microSDXC (dedicated slot).
  • OS / software: Android 10, OneUI 2.5.
  • Rear camera: Wide (head): 48 MP, f / 2.0, 26mm, AF; Ultra wide angle: 5 MP, f / 2.2, 123 °; Macro: 2 MP, f / 2.4; Depth: 2 MP, f / 2.4.
  • Front camera: 8 MP, f / 2.2.
  • Video recording: Rear camera: 1080p @ 30 fps; Front camera: 1080p @ 30 fps.
  • Battery: 5000mAh; Fast charging 15W.
  • Various: Fingerprint reader (side mounted); FM radio; 3.5 mm jack plug.

One last important bit – the Galaxy A12 is powered by a 5,000 mAh battery, and it’s very battery powered for a 12 nm input level chipset and a 720p screen, 6.5 inches as it may be. We expect solid figures for battery life.

Samsung Galaxy A12 unboxing

The Galaxy A12 arrives in a simple package that has the regular cardboard box inside a sleeve, a parable of the phone printed on top. You get a few important things – a 15W adapter and a USB-C cable, and that’s it.

Samsung Galaxy A12 review

Picking up the phone reveals a nicely structured back – more on that on the next page.

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