The Samsung Galaxy A12 is a budget friendly smartphone which gives you a rare 48MP wide angle lens (in this price range) and a lot of memory.
I obtained this unit by purchasing one for my daughter, so this review is very late if compared to the day the smartphone was released.
The phone made its debut via Samsung Malaysia about a year ago.
Screen and body
Personally I have no problems with the 6.5-inch PLS IPS screen of this phone, although it does feel less sharp in comparison to flagship smartphones.
I do find the bezels rather big, but again, this is expected from a entry level smartphone like the Galaxy A12. On the screen is a waterdrop notch which contains the front camera.
Behind, the matte case doesn’t feel cheap, but to me it is obvious this is a smartphone that doesn’t cost much.
Regardless, I like the feel and the looks of the phone which feels rather light in my hands.
I also liked the fingerprint scanner doubling as the power/unlock button as I’ve always felt this is the most practical place to put a fingerprint scanner.
Processor & storage
The unit I bought was the variant with 6GB RAM and 128GB ROM. Considering the retail pricing of this smartphone, the storage is slightly above average, particularly the 6GB RAM.
There’s other lower variants available, but the one I has the most RAM and storage.
If the storage space isn’t enough, expanding it would be easy as the SIM tray contains a dedicated slot for a microSDXC memory card.
Powering the smartphone is a MediaTek Helio P35 chipset which to me feels sluggish when in use and when gaming.
Perhaps the processor is the most disappointing of this smartphone as it’s not as powerful as its rivals.
Samsung Galaxy A12 camera review
The 48MP wide angle rear camera is something you don’t often see in budget smartphones, so that’s a huge plus.
Images during the day appear good, but at night they fail to impress and have a lot of grain. This is typical for entry level smartphones but it is worth noting that the Galaxy A12 does provide better photos if compared to their rivals.
There’s lack of image stabilisation and photo taking while moving is a pain.
The shutter speed is also slow, so if your hands aren’t steady enough, the image may not turn out that great as well.
Up-front, the 8MP selfie camera does it job well during well lit days but suffers similar average quality when lighting is poor.
The speakers for the Galaxy A12 are a bit on the soft side with the speakers attached to the lower end of the smartphone. I don’t usually blast audio through the speakers, so this is a non-issue for me.
However, if you like playing audio using the external speakers, you might want to take this into consideration.
The Galaxy A12 ships with One UI 2.5 which is based on Android 10, upgradable to Android 11.
I’ve never been a fan of Samsung’s One UI but this ‘toned down’ OS (which doesn’t have Bixby) does get my thumbs up slightly although there’s less bloatware pre-installed.
I like my OS clean and basic so when Samsung includes another app for something that’s already available by Google, it annoys me, and that is happening here.
The software allows facial recognition to unlock the smartphone as well.
On a more serious problem, there are times the software does freeze for no reason when in use. While such issue takes a couple of seconds to resolve itself, it’s still an imperfection.
There’s a 5,000mAh battery included in this Galaxy A12 smartphone and considering the processor (which doesn’t drain battery as much), this is huge.
The battery support 15W fast charge and a full charge can last more than 15 hours on a single full charge.
Best deals for the Samsung Galaxy A12
The A12 is offered by numerous Malaysian telcos on a contract from RM125.
However, if you get it directly from retailers, the smartphone is priced from RM500.
As an entry level smartphone, you can’t really expect much from the Galaxy A12 especially if you are using a flagship device.
Nonetheless, if you want a phone just does the job like calling, texting, surfing and perhaps some video watching, without the worry of draining power fast, then this will be the smartphone for you.