HomeBlogREVIEWSamsung Galaxy A12 evaluation: A killer battery for a good higher value

Samsung Galaxy A12 evaluation: A killer battery for a good higher value

When you get all of your telephone information from TV adverts – and fortunately, as you’re studying this, it seems you don’t – you’d be forgiven for believing that Samsung’s smartphone vary begins with the Galaxy Notice 20 and ends with the Galaxy S21.

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It doesn’t, in fact, and there are many cheaper choices, together with Samsung’s newest funds entry, the Galaxy A12. With a giant 6.5in edge-to-edge display screen and a digital camera bump containing no fewer than 4 lenses on the again, it actually seems to be like a premium providing – so how is Samsung in a position to promote this for lower than £200 apiece?

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Samsung Galaxy A12 evaluation: What you should know

The Galaxy A12 is one thing of a departure from earlier Samsung handsets we’ve reviewed, because of its use of the MediaTek Helios MT6765 SoC. Prior to now, the corporate’s handsets, from the most costly to the most cost effective, have both used a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, or considered one of Samsung’s personal Exynos chips. 
Nonetheless, on paper, it sounds respectable sufficient. That is an octa-core chipset with 4 cores clocked at 2.3GHz and 4 extra at 1.6GHz. That’s backed up by 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage in our mannequin, although there are worldwide variants with 3- or 6GB of RAM, and 32- or 128GB of storage. Whereas we’d usually argue you need a minimum of 4GB of RAM in 2021, the cupboard space is a little bit of a non-issue, because the Galaxy A12 helps microSD playing cards of as much as 1TB in measurement.

Notably, it additionally comes with no fewer than 4 cameras on the again, organized in a neat, sq. hump. The principle digital camera is a 48MP, f/2.0 quantity, and it’s supported by a 5MPl, f/2.2 ultra-wide lens and two 2MP, f/2.4 snappers – one for depth-sensing and the opposite for super-close-up macro pictures. 

Samsung Galaxy A12 evaluation: Value and competitors

You may get all of that for a not unreasonable £169, which isn’t unhealthy in any respect – however earlier than you get too excited, you need to know that the sub-£200 value level has received very crowded with some splendidly stable handsets in recent times.
Most lately, there’s the Moto G9 Energy – a really succesful telephone which, because the title hints at with out straight saying, has a ginormous 6,000mAh battery, which delivered slightly below 27 hours of stamina on a single cost in our video rundown take a look at. It sells for £180.


Then there’s the Nokia 5.3, which additionally packs a quad digital camera, with surprisingly snappy efficiency that defies its £150 price of entry.     

There are additionally a handful of well-priced Chinese language handsets to select from. For starters, the brand-new and feature-packed Xiaomi Redmi Notice 9T sells for £229 and the Realme 7 could be purchased for £169. Higher nonetheless, there’s the excellent Xiaomi Poco X3, which has a nasty behavior of exhibiting up all different funds choices because of its unmatched efficiency and 120Hz display screen for lower than £200.

Samsung Galaxy A12 evaluation: Design

Whereas there are a number of apparent indicators that the Galaxy A12 isn’t a Samsung flagship, at a look, it actually has a premium look. The 6.5in display screen dominates the entrance of the telephone with bezels simply a few millimeters thick all the best way round, doubling in measurement across the chin. The front-facing digital camera is embedded in a shallow notchlette on the high, which is barely offputting, however no extra so than another answer till the promised in-screen digital camera tech comes by.

Flip it over, and it’s evidently plastic all the best way, though it’s essentially the most convincing faux-metal trying plastic I’ve ever seen. There’s a two-tone strategy on the again, the place the underside fifth is a flat matte end, however the high four-fifths have a diagonal lined sample giving it a lovely, flippantly corrugated feel and appear. 
The quad-camera bump within the high left-hand nook seems to be neat sufficient, although it does jut out a tiny bit from the handset, which means the telephone gained’t lie utterly flat on its again. A fingerprint scanner is embedded into the facility button on the right-hand facet, which is my favorite place for it.


It’s additionally price noting that the Galaxy A12 even has a variety of consumer-friendly options that aren’t at all times present in premium telephones. It helps microSD enlargement as much as 1TB in contrast to any iPhone and the current Galaxy S21, and has a 3.5mm headphone jack. In fact, there’s no room for wi-fi charging or IP-certified waterproofing, however you may’t have all the pieces at this value.

Samsung Galaxy A12 evaluation: Show

The Galaxy A12 comes with a 6.5in PLS show (mainly Samsung’s IPS-like panel) with a decision of 720 x 1,600, supplying you with roughly 264 pixels per inch. And whereas this can be a way wanting Full HD experiences that you could get for the value, even with the big panel it seems to be completely sharp in day-to-day use.
Testing with the colorimeter confirms that it’s a stable, if unremarkable panel. With an sRGB color gamut protection of 88% from a gamut quantity of 95.7%, its color accuracy is just a little off, and the height brightness of 439cd/m2 isn’t precisely searing. Nonetheless, with a distinction ratio of 1,740:1, all the pieces is actually sharp sufficient.

It’s removed from being a foul panel, and is roughly in step with each the Moto G9 Energy and Nokia 5.3. It’s simply a way wanting the excessive requirements set by the Poco X3 NFC, nevertheless.

Samsung Galaxy A12 evaluation: Efficiency

If the point out of a MediaTek processor within the intro left you with a sinking feeling in your abdomen, then you definitely had been appropriate to be cautious. Whereas MediaTek chips have actually improved in recent times (each the G95 processor within the Realme 7 and Dimensity 800U chips within the Redmi Notice 9T are surprisingly robust), the Helio P35 in use right here isn’t precisely a winner.

Proper out of the field, the telephone feels sluggish with stuttery animations and apps that take a few seconds to open. Granted, it does meet up with itself after a interval of use, but it surely’s actually not perfect for multitasking, regardless of the comparatively beneficiant 4GB of RAM it’s endowed with. 

These intestine impressions are confirmed by the benchmarks. As you may see within the graph under, Geekbench 5 has it performing fairly a bit worse than all of the rivals I highlighted at first, but it surely’s an particularly poor performer in comparison with the three Chinese language branded handsets – two of which use a superior MediaTek chip.

This fundamental efficiency is mirrored within the graphical exams with GFXBench, the place the Samsung Galaxy A12 managed a paltry 19fps within the native 720p decision, and simply 12fps when output to 1080p. Given the Realme 7 and Poco X3 NFC handle round 4 instances the frames at that decision, I believe we are able to say that’s merely not adequate for the value. The Redmi Notice 9T is unfortunately lacking right here as GFXBench refused to run, however it could be stunning if it ran worse, given its Geekbench 5 rating.

It’s not all unhealthy within the efficiency charts, although: the one space the place the {hardware} actually shines is in effectivity, with the 5,000mAh battery managing a whopping 25hrs 58mins in our looped video battery take a look at.

Credit score the place credit score’s due: that’s distinctive. It’s below an hour lower than the Moto G9 Energy – a telephone which not solely has 1,000mAh extra to play with, however truly names itself after how robust its battery life is. In brief, you’re unlikely to be caught with out cost utilizing the Samsung Galaxy A12.

The Galaxy A12 comes with Android 10 out of the field, albeit a model of Android that’s skinned in Samsung’s personal One UI. I’m completely happy sufficient with One UI now, personally, although this explicit imaginative and prescient does elevate hackles a bit by attempting to get you to put in a bunch of ‘advisable apps’ together with Sweet Crush Saga once you’re setting it up for the primary time. 

Samsung Galaxy A12 evaluation: Digicam

 I’ve been reviewing telephones lengthy sufficient to recollect when Huawei placing three lenses on the P20 Professional was thought of a bit a lot. These days, even the funds handsets are in on the act. The Samsung Galaxy A12 has 4 cameras on the again, bringing it in step with all the telephones I’ve in contrast it to, apart from the Moto G9 Energy, which has ‘simply’ the three.
Frankly, I don’t suppose I’m alone in preferring telephones with only one actually good digital camera just like the Pixel 4a, fairly than needing to maintain up with the Joneses with barely used peripheral lenses. However regardless, the Samsung Galaxy A12 has 4: a 48MP (f/2.0) foremost digital camera, supported by a 5MP (f/2.2) ultra-wide lens and two 2MP (f/2.4) snappers for depth-sensing and macro images.

As you may guess from the slim aperture and the low value of entry, images on the Galaxy A12 is a combined bag. In vivid circumstances, pictures are fairly good, with a good composition and sufficient element to be worthwhile. Sure, you may actually do higher by spending extra money, however the photos are clear sufficient for sharing, and you may get good ends in the precise circumstances.

Even zoomed in, you may clearly make out particular person bricks on the roof of the church, though issues do get a contact extra blurry.

That mentioned, the Galaxy A12 does undergo from the identical downside loads of funds handsets do, which I assume is exacerbated by the poor efficiency of its MediaTek processor. It’s what I euphemistically name ‘the cat downside’:

Mainly, the delay between urgent the shutter button and an image being taken implies that something that’s susceptible to any sort of sudden actions – suppose birds, infants, cats or canine – will virtually inevitably be a blurry mess by the point the telephone finishes capturing the picture. It’s right here in spades.

You additionally shouldn’t count on miracles of composition as quickly as the sunshine ranges drop. As these photos of my backyard at sundown present, as quickly as the sunshine goes, so does the picture high quality, with loads of noise and blur changing the crisp element of the daylight pictures. It is a downside that every one telephone cameras face, to be clear, and the Samsung Galaxy A12 isn’t the worst offender by an extended shot.

The opposite digital camera modes are high quality so far as they go, however aren’t the sort of factor you’ll flip to typically. Nonetheless, must you ever need to take a close-up shot of a 5p piece as I did under, you’ll get respectable outcomes.

The 8MP (f/2.2) front-facing digital camera is nice sufficient for selfies and video calls. By default, it has ‘beautification’ choices enabled (centre) that are extra delicate than some, however could be turned off utterly (left) or maxed out (proper). As ever, max out at your individual danger, as a result of to me the outcomes look something however pure.

The Samsung Galaxy A12 captures video at 30fps in 1080p or 720p – there’s no 60fps possibility for both and, clearly from the footage I captured, no try at stabilisation both. Video of me strolling by a park was simply too bumpy to be usable, and swift pans additionally briefly turned the footage right into a blur fest. In brief, this isn’t one for wannabe filmmakers.  

Samsung Galaxy A12 evaluation: Verdict

Finally, it’s laborious not to think about the Galaxy A12 as one thing of a misfire by Samsung. Sure, it has phenomenal battery life, and I sincerely hope that the corporate adopts the two-tone look onto different handsets, however even at £169 it nonetheless misses the mark.

A lot of that’s right down to the excellent issues different producers are doing on a funds, however Samsung’s entry-level handsets have been in a position to maintain their very own prior to now. It’s laborious to not pin the frustration solely on the MediaTek Helios MT6765. Exynos and Qualcomm handsets by no means felt this sluggish.

What must you purchase as a substitute? Whereas all the choices highlighted within the ‘value and competitors’ part could be preferable, my suggestion is the Poco X3 NFC in the event you can stretch to £199. When you can’t, then you need to pay the identical £169 for a Realme 7 or save £19 and purchase a Nokia 5.3.

Samsung Galaxy A12 specs
ProcessorOcta-core Mediatek MT6765 Helio P35 (4 x 2.35GHz, 4 x 1.8GHz)
Display screen measurement6.5in
Display screen decision720×1600
Pixel density264ppi
Display screen kindPLS TFT LCD
Display screen refresh price60Hz
Entrance digital camera8MP, f/2.2
Rear digital camera48MP, f/2.0; 5MP, f/2.2 (ultrawide); 2MP, f/2.4 (macro); 2MP, f/2.4 (depth)
Mud and water resistanceN/A
3.5mm headphone jackSure
Wi-fi chargingNo
USB connection kindUSB-C
Storage choices64GB
Reminiscence card slot (equipped)MicroSD as much as 1TB
Wi-Fi802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz
Mobile information2G, 3G, 4G
Twin SIMSure
Dimensions (WDH)164 x 75.8 x 8.9 mm
Working systemAndroid 10
Battery measurement5,000mAh


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