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The Samsung Galaxy A12 is a budget smartphone with a lot to like, from its amazing battery life to its creative and attractive design, but its day-to-day performance is so sluggish that all these good aspects come with a big downside.
Update A12 4.64 Samsung Price Review
£169 for a handset with a de rigueur quad camera, hefty battery and generous screen, all wrapped up in an attractive package?
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On paper, it sounds quite tempting, but how does it fare in reality? The Motorola Moto G8 sets the bar in this price range, and unfortunately the Galaxy A12 is less than the sum of its parts.
Of course, this is a matter of personal preference, but in our opinion, the Samsung Galaxy A12 is one of the best-looking plastic phones you can buy.
The matte-finish housing runs up the sides of the device, and a diagonal pattern of shallow grooves covers the upper back. The smooth bottom section does not detract from the appearance and creates a nice two-tone look.
The four rear cameras are arranged in a square module that feels less visible than similar setups on some other phones, but the hardware sticks out just enough that the phone doesn’t lie completely flat on a table.
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The inclusion of a headphone jack and microSD card slot is nice, and there’s also a downward-facing mono speaker on the bottom edge.
The volume keys and the power button, which doubles as a fingerprint scanner, are built into the right side of the phone and are easy to reach without having to adjust your grip.
That’s impressive considering the Galaxy A12 has a hefty 6.5-inch PLS display, surrounded by a fairly thick bezel that houses the selfie camera in a teardrop-shaped notch.
With a resolution of 1600 x 720 and a pixel density of 270ppi, the screen is sharp enough for most people’s needs.
Samsung Galaxy A13
Viewing angles are also strong, with the only real hindrance being glare. On a sunny day, the maximum output may be considered insufficient.
The Galaxy A12’s quad-camera setup certainly looks fitting. A 48-megapixel main lens, backed by a 5-megapixel ultra-wide lens, a 2-megapixel macro lens and a 2-megapixel depth sensor give the impression of a smartphone that takes photography seriously.
Keep in mind, though, that this is a sub-£200 device. Anyone hoping for results that will give the Google Pixel 6 a run for their money will be left behind, but temper your expectations and you’ll at least be satisfied. under the ideals of light. See the selection of images below:
It’s not as sharp in medium or low light, where images often appear noisy and blurry. There’s no night mode to save you, and effective HDR can’t do much.
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It’s a surprising omission given the generous range of shooting options available, which include portrait, food, macro and pro modes.
These days, Portrait Mode is almost ubiquitous and lets you adjust the depth of field to whatever degree you choose; Food mode is like Portrait mode for plates instead of faces; Macro Mode is for close-ups, although the results leave a lot to be desired (see the slug above); and Pro Mode lets you dive deep into camera settings and tinker to your heart’s content.
The Galaxy A12 also gives you the ability to quickly switch between the regular camera and an ultra-wide camera, which can take dramatic photos from a seemingly completely different perspective, but while they may look enticing on your phone’s screen, they don’t look right looked hot on a larger screen or after cropping or zooming.
On the front of the phone is an 8-megapixel selfie camera, which also supports Portrait, Pro, Macro and Food modes. The first two we can understand, the last not so much.
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So far so good. Unfortunately, it’s in the performance department where Samsung has made the biggest compromises.
The Galaxy A12 is without a doubt the slowest smartphone I’ve ever used. Every single interaction takes almost a second to register, making everything from opening an app, taking a photo, writing a message a frustrating and sometimes intensely frustrating experience. Locked it? No, it just takes time.
The Galaxy A12 is so slow that no matter how many times the delay stops everything, you can’t help but tap the screen again, convinced that you probably didn’t tap the screen correctly the first time. But you did most of the time. I have never experienced this level of lag on a phone before.
Interestingly, though, it’s capable of running intensive games like Asphalt 8 without too much trouble, and there’s no sign of lag when streaming.
Samsung Galaxy A12 Smartphone, 4gb Ram, 6.5
The Galaxy A12 runs Android 11, but Samsung’s OneUI skin means it’s far from clean. Among the preloaded and, in my case, unwanted apps are Samsung’s own browser, Galaxy Shop, Samsung Global Goals and Facebook.
A prompt urging me to use the suite of pre-installed productivity-focused apps like OneDrive, Office and Outlook was laughable given how slow the A12 runs.
Battery life is arguably the Galaxy A12’s most impressive feature; the phone can easily get through the day without flirting with danger, even if you throw some streaming or gaming into the mix. Use it wisely and you may only need to charge it every other day.
In the real world, an hour of Netflix streaming drained your battery by 7%; half an hour of intensive play (Asphalt 8) consumed 6%; and half an hour of easy play (Threes) took another 2%. That’s two hours of entertainment with only 15% battery life. Music had almost no effect, an hour of online streaming using up to 2% of the A12’s battery, while an hour of playing downloaded music reduced the Galaxy A12’s battery level by just 1%.
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However, charging the Galaxy A12 again is not that comfortable. Using the charging kit in the box, it took 1 hour and 35 minutes to bring the phone from 0% to 50% and an incredible 3 hours and 25 minutes to complete a full charge.
A nice, cheap phone with long battery life: Samsung makes good phones, even in this market segment, and it helps that endurance is fantastic.
It’s hard to criticize a £169 smartphone that looks this good and lasts this long between charges, but the Galaxy A12’s dismal performance poisons the well. It’s so slow that it’s hard to recommend it to anyone.
The good news is that it is possible to buy a solid all-rounder for the price without compromising on the user experience. The Motorola Moto G8 costs £179 and does everything the Galaxy A12 does well, but without the lag.
Samsung Galaxy A12 Smartphone 64 Gb 16.5 Cm (6.5 Inch) Black Android™ 10 Dual Sim
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No, this phone doesn’t have a declared IP rating, so we’re not sure how it would handle any ingress of dust or water.
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Galaxy A12 Blue 64 Gb
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5G Offers faster download and upload speeds compared to 4G. Great for game streaming and HDR video playback. It’s not supported everywhere yet, and speeds vary wildly.
IP Rating An abbreviation for “Ingress Protection Code”, which tells you how waterproof or dustproof a device can be.
MAh An abbreviation for milliampere hour and a way of expressing the capacity of batteries, especially the smaller ones in phones. In most cases, the higher the mAh, the longer the battery will last, but this is not always the case.
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Samsung Galaxy A12 Smartphone, Black 64gb A125f, Dual Sim Android 10.0
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