Reviews Tech

Experience it: Samsung Galaxy A02s

Nowadays, modern budget entry smartphone means it has to do all the basics. It has to make calls, reply messages, emails, and some light entertainment. Here, we have the Samsung Galaxy A02s, the latest budget entry smartphone from Samsung. But does the Galaxy A02s really meet your needs? Let’s find out.

Let’s go the design of Galaxy A02s. You get 6.5 inch Infinity-V display on front, while a diamond shaped graphics on the back plastic cover with a triple camera setup. The front display has a really thick bezels and you can even see it more apparently at the bottom. The diamond shaped graphics as some line groves to help when gripping on the phone and the back cover feels sturdy even though it is plastic. The left side features a sim tray/MicroSD card slot while the right is the volume control and power button. On the bottom, there’s a 3.5mm jack, USB Type-C port and a bottom mono firing speaker. The overall design might not impressed anyone but it feels solid to hold and use it daily.

The Galaxy A02s performance is somewhat just ok if you just need a phone to do basic task. The Snapdragon 450 with 3GB RAM in this review unit is just enough for daily task. But I wouldn’t recommend device for heavy mobile gaming and multitasking. Most games can be play on low settings but intensive graphics game is not downloadable on the device like Genshin Impact and Asphalt 9. Even while scrolling at home, you can feel the device really wants more RAM to be more responsive. However, if you’re getting the device for light mobile gaming and binging videos from YouTube and Netflix, this device works quite well.

Display on the Galaxy A02s uses a IPS display that output 720p. The display brightness is sufficient for indoor use but not for outdoor. I was struggling to see the when there is light reflecting on the display. The IPS display is quite good for watching videos and games as the colours are surprisingly good. Meanwhile, the biggest let down of the device is the speaker. The bottom mono firing speaker is still not loud enough when set to max volume. Even at max volume, the audio output is lacking of bass and the low end sound is not good. I would recommend to use a wired or wireless headphone/earbuds to enjoy the audio experience.

The battery on Galaxy A02s is the champ here. The 5,000mAh battery supports 15w fast charging and practically can last for more than a day if you’re a light user. This is partially thanks to Snapdragon 450 chipset which consume lesser energy so users can benefit longer hours of usage.

Last but not least, the camera department. Galaxy A02s has triple camera setup (13MP main camera, 2MP depth sensor, 2MP macro camera) and 5MP front camera. Starting with the rear camera, you will only want to use the main camera. The 13MP main camera is produced a quite wide photo and the quality is surprisingly good enough for social media, messages or email. But I wouldn’t recommend to use any zoom because it will lose its quality even at 2x zoom level. During low light situation, the main camera still can capture somewhat good photos but I recommend to use the flash as there is no night mode. The 2MP macro camera produces below average quality so I would recommend you to use the main cam to capture upclose and crop it afterwards. The 5MP selfie takes average photos quality on bright daylight while during low light situation, photos are noisy and soft.

Video department on the cameras is max out at 1080p 30fps for the selfie camera and main camera. The video quality during daylight for both selfie camera and main camera is just average. In low light situation, the main camera will produce noise and soft artifacts while the selfie camera video is totally too noisy and soft.

As the Galaxy A02s priced at RM 529 (4GB RAM), there is many competition offers similar performance for a slightly lower price. Not only that, if a buyer could raise their budget a bit, they can even get better performance and features smartphone than the Galaxy A02s. Although, don’t get me wrong here as this device is really sufficient enough for daily usage but it is only lacking that value for money factor which what most Malaysians buyer are looking for. I would only recommend this device for young users that is still new to smartphone and for business usage.

Given in mind that this is a budget entry smartphone, I would only rate it at 4.7 out of 10 for the 3GB RAM variant. Samsung really need to improve on the budget entry smartphone lineup as the competition in this area is a tight fight. For now, let’s wait and see what Samsung will bring for their budget entry smartphone lineup during later of 2021.

*As always, special thanks to Samsung Malaysia for loaning the Galaxy A02s (3GB RAM) for review and content purposes. However, this is not a paid review content and doesn’t require any final approval nor creative input from Samsung. All the comments from the writer on the article and video is based on 2 weeks of experiencing the device.

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