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The Samsung Galaxy A12 is an affordable smartphone that offers a lot to like, from its excellent battery to its imaginative and attractive design, but its day-to-day performance is so slow that all aspects lead to great annoyance.
Update Samsung A12 Full Features Review
£169 for a phone with the de rigueur quad camera, hefty battery and bigger screen all wrapped up in an attractive package?
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It sounds tempting enough on paper, but how does it really stack up? The Motorola Moto G8 sets the bar at this price point, and unfortunately, the Galaxy A12 is less than the sum of its parts.
Of course, it’s a matter of personal preference, but in our opinion, the Samsung Galaxy A12 is one of the best-looking plastic phones you can buy.
A matte-finish body runs down the sides of the handset, and a diagonal pattern of shallow edges covers the top of the back. The smoother part of the bottom does not detract from the appearance, creating a pleasant two-tone look.
The four rear cameras are housed in a square module that looks less obvious than similar setups on some other phones, but the hardware sticks out enough to keep the phone from laying completely flat on a table.
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The headphone jack and microSD card slot are nice, and there’s also a mono speaker on the bottom edge.
The volume keys and power button, which doubles as a fingerprint scanner, are embedded on the right side of the phone and are all easily accessible without having to adjust the grip.
That’s impressive considering the Galaxy A12 has a large 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.
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Viewing angles are also strong, with the only real stumbling block being brightness. On a sunny day, maximum production is lacking.
The Galaxy A12’s quad-camera configuration certainly looks the part. A 48-megapixel main lens supported by a 5-megapixel ultra-wide lens, a 2-megapixel macro lens and a 2-megapixel depth sensor gives the impression of a smartphone that takes photography seriously.
However, let’s remember that this is a sub-£200 device. Anyone hoping for results that would give the Google Pixel 6 a run for their money will be left wanting, but lower your expectations and you’ll be satisfied, at least in the best possible lighting conditions. Take a look at the photo selection below:
It’s not as sharp in medium or low light, where images come out almost flawlessly, with visible noise and blur. Night mode won’t save you, and effective HDR can only do so much.
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It’s a surprising omission given the otherwise rich selection of shooting options that include portrait, food, macro and pro modes.
Portrait mode is almost ubiquitous these days and allows you to adjust the depth of field to whatever extent you choose; Food mode is like portrait mode for plates instead of faces; There’s a macro mode for close-ups, though the results leave a lot to be desired (see snail above); and Pro Mode lets you dive deep into camera settings and tinker to your heart’s content.
The Galaxy A12 also offers the ability to quickly switch between the standard camera and the ultra-wide camera, which can capture dramatic photos from seemingly completely different angles, but while they may look impressive on the phone’s screen, they don’t look completely different. so hot on a bigger screen or after cropping or zooming.
On the front of the phone, there is an 8-megapixel selfie camera that also supports portrait, pro, macro and food modes. I understand the first two, the last one not so much.
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So far so good. Unfortunately, Samsung has made the biggest compromises in the performance department.
The Galaxy A12 is without a doubt the slowest smartphone I’ve ever used. Every interaction takes almost a second to register, which makes everything from opening an app to taking a photo to typing a message a frustrating experience and very frustrating at times. Has he had an accident? No, he’s just taking his 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 when you’re sure you probably didn’t touch the screen the first time. But more often than not, you did. I’ve never experienced this kind of lag on a phone before.
Strangely, it can run intense games like Asphalt 8 without any major issues and there is no lag while streaming.
Samsung Galaxy A12 Review
The Galaxy A12 runs Android 11, but Samsung’s OneUI skin means it’s far from clean. Among the preloaded apps that I don’t need are Samsung’s own browser, Galaxy Shop, Samsung Global Goals, and Facebook.
Urging me to use the pre-installed suite of productivity apps like OneDrive, Office and Outlook was laughable given how slow the A12 runs.
Battery life is undoubtedly the Galaxy A12’s most impressive feature; the phone can comfortably get through the day without flirting with danger, even if you interrupt streaming or gaming. Use it judiciously and you may only need to lift it every two days.
In real-world use, an hour of Netflix streaming drained 7% of its battery; half an hour of intense gaming (Asphalt 8) ate 6%; and half an hour of light gaming (Three) took another 2%. That’s two hours of entertainment with only 15% battery life. Music barely made a dent, with an hour of online streaming using up to 2% of the A12’s battery, while an hour of playing downloaded music drained the Galaxy A12’s battery by just 1%.
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However, standby charging on the Galaxy A12 is still not that enjoyable. Using the charger included in the box, it took 1 hour 35 minutes to charge the phone from 0% to 50% and 3 hours 25 minutes to fully charge.
A good-looking budget phone with a long-lasting battery: Samsung makes nice phones at this end of the market, too, and it helps that durability is great.
It’s hard to criticize a £169 smartphone that looks this good and lasts this long between charges, but the Galaxy A12’s lackluster performance poisons the well. It’s so sluggish it’s hard to recommend it to anyone.
The good news is that you can get a solid wholesaler for this price without compromising on user experience. The Motorola Moto G8 costs £179 and does everything the Galaxy A12 does well, but without the lag.
Samsung Galaxy A12 Review, Advantages, Disadvantages & Features
We thoroughly test every mobile phone we review. We use industry standard tests to accurately compare features and use the phone as our primary device during the review period. We always tell you what we find, and we never, ever get paid to review a product.
No, this phone doesn’t have a specific IP rating, so we’re not sure how it would handle dust or water ingress
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As part of this mission, when we review a product, we send the company a series of questions that help us measure and make transparent the environmental impact of the device.
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At this time, we have not received answers to questions about this product, but we will update this page as soon as we do. You can see a detailed breakdown of the questions and reasons we ask on our sustainability information page.
5G Offers faster download and upload speeds compared to 4G. Great for game streaming and HDR video playback. It’s not yet supported everywhere and speeds vary widely.
IP rating Short for Ingress Protection Code, which indicates how resistant to water or dust a device can be.
MAh 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 Review: Slow And Steady Does Not Win This Race
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