Home Tech Reviews Samsung A12 Review – It Better Be Good!

Samsung A12 Review – It Better Be Good!

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The Samsung Galaxy A12 is the newest entry-level offering of Samsung. It is the successor of the Galaxy A11 that was released last year. Comparing it to its predecessor, there are lots of increments that the Galaxy A12 offers–bigger storage, a 48MP quad-camera set-up, a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, and a bigger battery.

As I said, it has bigger storage and we are lucky enough to have the highest ram available in our local market. I know a lot of us will be finicky about the configurations
since, at first look at the spec sheet, this phone is mainly focused on multitasking.

Pros

  • Huge 5000mAh Battery
  • Impressive Face Unlock
  • Software Reliability
  • Great HDR Processing

Cons

  • Downgraded to Dewdrop Notch
  • No Night Mode
  • Less Competitive Chipset

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Design

Unlike the other A-series that have a chromatic-like prism effect and a Glasstic finish, the Galaxy A12 is built from polycarbonate plastic. I can say that it is quite heavy due to its large battery but it feels solid and sturdy. Holding it feels sturdy but with ease thanks to its textured lines at the back that also has a matte finish which actually looks pretty decent.

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The bottom part is smooth and it just adds some aesthetics to the design. I also like the simple square-shaped camera module and there sits the quad-camera. Below the bump is the single led flash. Overall the design is pretty simple but I can’t say it has a premium vibe.

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Around the frame, the volume rocker and the power button that acts as a fingerprint scanner sit on the right side. While on the left, is the simtray with a dual nano sim slot, and in addition to that is a dedicated micro sd slot that is expandable up to 1TB. On top is the secondary microphone and at the bottom, is the speaker grille, USB Type-C port, main microphone, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

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Display

The display boasts a 6.5″ IPS panel and an HD+ resolution. 720p displays are starting to be outdated as other phones already released 1080p screens on their entry-level devices. But I guess 720p can still be acceptable since it draws less power than 1080p. I also noticed that Samsung replaced its predecessor’s design–the punch-hole cutout–with a dewdrop notch. This is a step down since almost every entry-level phone in the market is starting to adopt the punch hole design.

Talking about the quality, the color saturation of the phone is great, and the sharpness is on point. To be honest, I expected more like an AMOLED or again 1080p resolution since most of the Samsung devices at this price range already have. However, I can say that as a budget-wise person when it comes to mobile devices this is enough to keep me entertained.

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Camera

The camera of the Galaxy A12 has a quad-camera setup–48MP f/2.0 Main Cam, 5MP Ultrawide with 123˚ field of view, and 2MP for both Macro and Depth sensor.

The 48-megapixel sensor outputs crisp colors and looks true to life though its shadows are a bit deep. It also outputs sharp and detailed photos but unlike other phones, it captures almost underexposed subjects in auto mode and cooler temperature in some photos which lessen the rich quality of the colors.

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The ultrawide lens offers a 123-degree field of view and still shows the same color management but it has a bit of softness and distortion on the edge of the frame and also the image is quite noisy.

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You can not shoot night mode on the Galaxy A12 which is a bummer. But shooting at the main cam without night mode, colors are a bit decent but you’ll get washout highlights and the images are quite noisy especially in the ultrawide sensor. What’s impressive is, if you start to capture in a well-lit location, it outputs decently bright and colorful images at night, not as sharp and not as balanced as the higher phones but the quality is enough on its price point.

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The depth sensor is actually not bad it shows a great subject-to-background separation but the edge detection is not perfect. Colors and sharpness are the same with the main cam.

READ: Samsung Galaxy S21 Base Model Starts at P44,990; Get an Additional P5000 Discount

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The 2MP macro sensor outputs nice quality, color processing is great and it is not that gimmicky. I can say that the macro lens outputs better quality than other competitors does but it is not the best.

On video recording, it can only shoot [email protected] on both the rear and the front cameras. Exposure handling is quite off since we saw some drastic switch to exposure but overall videos are bright but lacking some dynamic range.

Selfie

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Selfies are taken by an 8-megapixel lens, it is not that bad. The colors are not oversaturated. Images that are taken in a well-lit environment outputs good colors and details. As usual, Samsung has a wide option for its selfie camera that shows the same results. Though taking photos with HDR turned off makes the highlights blown out and once you turn on HDR, Samsung’s AI processing will do its job to balance the overall image and does a pretty good job.

Again we are talking about the price point and the Samsung Galaxy A12 already gives impressive outputs on the rear and front cameras, and it is not the best but still does its job for the price.

READ: POCO X3 Pro Arrives with SD 860, 120Hz LCD, up to 8/256GB for as low as P10,990

Performance

Under the hood, the Samsung Galaxy A12 is powered by the MediaTek Helio P35 chipset with a 12nm process. The power is questionable but if you are not into gaming you may consider buying this phone. It’s not competitive enough since at the price point usually the chipset that the other competitors offer is more powerful than the Helio P35. Especially those entry-level gaming chipsets that have more GPU clock speed.

But I didn’t say it cannot game, in fact, we made a gaming review on the Galaxy A12 and it turns out it can play quite a lot of mainstream games here in the Philippines. Like Wildrift and Mobile Legends also it is acceptable in fps games like PUBG and Call of Duty Mobile however the responsiveness of the touch is a bit less. Then on Honkai Impact 3 and Genshin Impact, the game seems to be having difficulties. If you want to see the live performance you can watch our youtube video about it.

Software

So, what is the real purpose of the Galaxy A12? Well, the device is running on Android 10.0 with Samsung’s One UI 2.5 on top. We still don’t have news about its Android 11 update but if so, that will be the first purpose of this phone–security updates.

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Next is the chipset, again, it can play games decently but the main purpose is the user experience like the stock Samsung and Google Apps to keep you in touch with the ecosystem. To be honest, it’s not that perfect since the UI sometimes introduces noticeable stutter but not all the time. Multitasking is great and optimization has the advantage.

READ: POCO F3 with SD870 5G, 120Hz AMOLED starts at a special price of P15,990

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Another main purpose of this phone is to give security to its users. It has a fast and responsive fingerprint scanner. and an impressive face unlocking experience. even at night time, it still works fast and accurately. Samsung has a feature that if you use face recognition in a dark room the screen will automatically brighten for a short amount of time so that the sensor can track your face. This is one of the outstanding features of this phone.

Battery

All of the said features above are powered by a 5000mAh battery (15W). And if you are okay with the 720p resolution and the acceptable performance that this phone can give. The large battery will surely satisfy you. So this works best for me as my daily driver, with regular browsing and entertainment use. The IPS, however, is not as power saving as AMOLED but for productivity, it works fine.

Verdict

For a quick rundown, the Samsung Galaxy A12 gives an impressive camera and tough battery life for the price of P7,990 (4GB+128GB) and P9,990 (6GB+128GB). You may be nitpicking on some other phones in its price range but if you are not into heavy gaming or you are on a budget, or even an average user that wants the Samsung’s environment, software, AI, and optimization, Give the Galaxy A12 a try, and you might find it enjoyable.

READ: Top 5 Reasons Why Samsung Galaxy A52 and A72 Should Be Your Next Phone

Samsung Galaxy A12 specs, price, availability in the Philippines

  • Display: 6.5″ PLS IPS LCD HD+
  • Design: all-polycarbonate
  • Dimension and Weight: 164 x 75.8 x 8.9 mm, 205g
  • Chipset: Mediatek MT6765 Helio P35 (12nm)
  • CPU: Octa-core (4×2.35 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A53)
  • GPU: PowerVR GE8320
  • RAM: 4GB/6GB
  • Storage: 128GB eMMC 5.1 expandable up to 1TB via dedicated microSD slot
  • Quad Camera: 48MP, f/2.0, 5MP Ultrawide, 2MP Macro, 2MP Depth | [email protected]
  • Selfie Camera: 8 MP, f/2.2 | up to [email protected] 
  • Connectivity & Ports:  4G/LTE, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, USB-C, audio jack
  • Security: face unlock, side-mounted fingerprint scanner
  • Battery: 5000mAh (15W)
  • Audio: loudspeaker
  • OS: Android 10, One UI
  • Colors: Black, White, Blue, Red
  • Price: Php7,990 and Php9,990
  • Release Date: January 2021 (Philippines)
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