Samsung Galaxy A12: I didn’t see it as an upgrade to the A11, I thought it was an entirely different device especially since it had a quite different design and was not conventional to what we’re already used to with previous A-series devices. But that has actually not been the case so far.
Samsung Galaxy A12
It is a worthy upgrade from the Samsung Galaxy A11 and I can only really find one part I’ll consider a downgrade, and that is the infinity-v display. There is no how I’m going to say this feels so 2019 I mean it’s 2021 at this price point we really shouldn’t be seeing an infinity-v display design except at the very low-budget end like the Samsung Galaxy A02s. You probably will be able to ignore it after using it for a while though as it barely affects the overall user experience.
I still have my reservations about the continuous use of a TFT display but I guess we’ll have to live with that. One thing I’d say Samsung got right with the A12 is the design. It deviates from what we are used to with the A-series but I must say it’s pretty practical. The textured finish on the rear makes for easy grip and it is really easy to hold.
The bottom part of the rear where we have the Samsung logo has a matte finish that looks and feels like metal but the bottom part of the device is entirely built of plastic on the rear. The rear cameras are nicely arranged in a square bump to the top left with the flash just below the bump. The repositioning of the fingerprint scanner to the power button on the side is also quite nice.
It is not as hyper-sensitive as some other devices I’ve tested with a side-mounted fingerprint scanner so you don’t trigger it accidentally, but it works well to unlock the device fast enough as you’d expect from a physical fingerprint scanner. I’d also say it’s pretty easy to reach.
The software is pretty much what you’d expect, One UI 2.5 on Android 10. Android 11 based One UI 3 is definitely in the works but there is no certainty how soon. Of all the Android skins I’ve used, One UI still remains among the best, one I don’t really have to use with a custom launcher. Minimal bloatware, feature-packed, and also lightweight.
The software experience is pretty much stable. Another upgrade we have on the Samsung Galaxy A12 from the A11 has to be the improved RAM and memory. The A11 came with a base of 2GB of RAM but this comes with a base of 3GB of RAM and up to 128GB in storage. In my region, we have the 4GB model as the base available,
retailing for around $160.
I’d say it’s fairly priced. More RAM and more memory mean it can handle more. You’re able to use the expandable storage if you need more space. I mentioned there were two things I believe Samsung could’ve done better with the A12, one which is the infinity-v display design which I already talked about, and the second being the choice of a processor. The Mediatek Helio P35. Now don’t get me wrong, the Helio p35 is a good processor and it works just fine with the Samsung Galaxy A12. But if you are someone that expects to do some gaming, this is probably not the device for you.
It really struggles even with Asphalt 9. The Helio P35 is accompanied by a PowerVR GE83320 GPU and I have to say at this price point I would’ve preferred the Snapdragon processor, say the 460 for example, seeing that its predecessor had a Snapdragon 450 or a higher Mediatek processor at the very least. There are other devices around this price point offering better performing processors like the Nokia 3.4 with the Snapdragon 460 or the Infinix note 8i with the Mediatek Helio G80.
That is not to say any of these devices far outperform the Samsung Galaxy A12 though, they have their own weaknesses as well and you can check the comparison Post I did not long ago. With that said though the graphics demanding games are only playable at the very lowest settings, I’ll still keep my expectations at the barest minimum. Now that I’ve mentioned the two things.
I believe could’ve been better with the Samsung Galaxy A12, it is fitting to continue with other improvements that have made this a worthy device. The battery is another area that has been improved with the Samsung Galaxy A12, packing an impressive 5,000 milliamps per hour battery. This gives you impressive battery life. On a full charge, you get just enough juice to last you the entire day through regular or average use, and you will really not need to charge.
It has 15 watts of fast charging via USB-C you get to power it up from 0 to 100 in just about 2 hours. Now there is one area where the Samsung Galaxy A12 really shines and does a lot better than other devices I’ve tested within this price category and that is its cameras.
I believe the Samsung Galaxy A12 was more targeted at camera lovers. It has a 48-megapixel quad rear camera setup accompanied by a 5-megapixel ultra-wide camera, depth sensor, and a macro camera. It takes really good photos with decent HDR, sharp also with good detail. When taking shots of close subjects you can get the blur effect on the background, this is not live focus or portrait mode.
The 48-megapixel mode really does well to capture a lot of detail in high resolution such that you can crop the zoomed image and still have a sharp image. Its ultra-wide cameras also do really well and have a 123 degrees field of view. The selfie camera does quite a really good job, I initially did not consider it impressive until I did a few comparisons with other devices and it had a much better quality. There are not many expectations from the macro camera though it is just 2 megapixels. You can shoot videos up to 1080p at 30 frames per second from both the selfie and the rear cameras.
In my earlier review, I had more camera samples and you can check them out. The Samsung Galaxy A12 is a device I can highly recommend though not if you are someone interested in proper gaming on a budget. I will look at other devices or increase my budget. Its cameras are quite impressive for its price point, battery life is also awesome, the design is on-point and most importantly I think this is a fairly priced device with the specifications it offers.