Slow and steady don’t win this race


Samsung first introduced the Galaxy A12 and Galaxy A02 in November of last year, and over the following months it has been gradually released in India and other regions. The phone has been available in the US for quite some time now, and since we reviewed most of Samsung’s other budget phones in the US, we felt it was time to give the A12 a try.

Like the Galaxy A11 that came before it, the Galaxy A12 is a low-end budget phone. It doesn’t look too bad on paper, with a 6.5-inch display and 5,000mAh battery, but it’s a frustrating day-to-day experience. Our full review is below, but spoiler alert – you should probably buy something else.

Samsung Galaxy A12: Specifications

specification Samsung galaxy a12
To build
  • Plastic back / frame
  • No water resistance
Dimensions and weight
  • 6.5 inch HD + 1600 x 720 (HD +)
  • “Infinity-V” notch
  • MediaTek MT6765V / CA (Helio P35)
    • 4 cores 2.3 GHz
    • 4 cores 1.8 GHz
RAM and storage
  • 3 GB of RAM (4 to 6 GB in some non-US variants)
  • 32 GB of storage (64-128 GB in some non-US variants)
  • microSD up to 1 TB
Battery charging
  • 5000 mAh battery
  • 15W wired charging (wall adapter included)
security Side mounted fingerprint sensor
Rear cameras
  • Primary: 48MP primary
  • Secondary: 5MP wide angle
  • Tertiary: 2MP macro
  • Quaternary: Depth 2MP
Front camera 8MP
  • USB Type-C port
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
audio Loudspeaker facing down
  • 4G LTE
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Type C port
  • Wi-Fi 802.11.b / g / n / ac (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz)
Software Android 10 (a 2.5 main user interface)

About this review: I received the Galaxy A52 5G from Samsung USA and have been using the device for about a week. Samsung was not involved in any part of this review.

Design and build

The Galaxy A12 is a large plastic slab, measuring 164mm high and 75.8mm wide. It’s definitely a big phone, but not too far from the average modern Android phone. The front side has a 6.5 inch IPS display with 1600 x 720 resolution. The lower resolution certainly doesn’t look stretched well at 6.5 inches, but there aren’t many 1080p phones. in this price range (in the US, anyway). Above the screen is a notch for the front camera (Samsung calls this design “Infinity-V”), and below the screen is a small bezel.

Galaxy A12 sitting

The sides and back of the phone are covered with the same plastic material, but the upper part of the back of the Galaxy A12 has additional texture. I definitely prefer the matte plastic over the glossy plastic coating that you find on many other budget phones (like Samsung’s own Galaxy A42), so I have no complaints here. It’s still plastic, but it’s plastic that won’t easily get covered in fingerprints and smudges.

On the left side of the phone is the microSD and SIM card slot. The Galaxy A12 supports SD cards up to 1TB, but keep in mind that Samsung disables Android’s adoptable storage feature on all of its phones, so you can only use SD cards to store files. , not apps. As you move to the right, you get volume controls and a fingerprint sensor that doubles as a power button. The sensor has no problem quickly detecting my finger, but it’s hard to reach if you hold the Galaxy A12 in your left hand.

Finally, the bottom of the phone has a USB Type-C connector, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a single speaker. The speakerphone sounds awful, as you would expect on a budget phone. You can charge the Galaxy A12 via USB Type-C up to 15W, and Samsung includes a 15W wall adapter in the box.


If you have used Samsung phones recently, the software on the Galaxy A12 will not surprise you. It’s almost identical to the One UI experience you get on other Samsung devices, although the Galaxy A12 is one of many devices with the slightly simplified “One UI Core” experience.

One UI Core does not support Good Lock, Bixby (including Bixby routines), Samsung Pay, and Secure Folder. The app mirroring feature in Microsoft’s Your Phone app is also not available, but you can still check notifications on a Windows 10 PC. You also cannot use the desktop environment. Samsung DeX, but this also goes for many devices running a standard user interface – it needs more processing power than the Galaxy A12 has to give.

However, most of the features that people are looking for on Samsung phones are still there. You can switch between light and dark themes (including an automatic mode), open apps in small floating windows, and more. However, even though Android 12 is only a few months away, the Galaxy A12 is still running Android 10. Samsung has started rolling out Android 11 for the Galaxy A12 in some countries, but the update has not yet reached the end of the line. ‘America.

It’s also important to note that Samsung’s promise of three generations of Android upgrades does not currently include the A1x series, so there is no guarantee as to how many OS updates the Galaxy A12 will get. Samsung just started rolling out Android 11 to last year’s A11, and the A10 before that only received one update to Android 10, so it seems likely that Android 11 will be the only one. major update of Galaxy A12.

Performance and battery life

Oh man. I know this is a $ 180 phone (which often goes on sale for around $ 100) so I have to keep my expectations in check, but the Galaxy A12 is do not fun to use. Most apps open in seconds, but there’s so much latency with animations and scrolling that the phone is frustrating to use most of the time. Even the default keyboard was missing some of my keys due to lag – switching to Gboard is an improvement. Bottom-barrel performance isn’t unusual in this price bracket, but that doesn’t make the experience any less tiring.

Galaxy A12 Screen

I’ve spent the last few months moving down the Samsung budget phone ladder, starting with the Galaxy A52 5G, then moving up to the Galaxy A42 5G and Galaxy A32 5G. The Galaxy A12 is cheaper than all of these phones, so expect slower performance, but the Galaxy A32 (which costs $ 280, but is currently on sale for $ 205) is a much better experience than the Galaxy. AT 12. The phone’s MediaTek Helio P35 chipset and 3GB of RAM just can’t keep up.

The battery life, at least, is perfectly acceptable. The large 5,000mAh battery should last around two days of normal use for most people. So if you charge your phone every night, you will probably never fall below 40-30%.


The Galaxy A12 has four rear cameras, but only three of them can be used to capture photos: the main 48 MP lens (which combines pixels up to 16 MP), an ultra-wide 5 MP and a 2 MP macro. The latest camera is a 2MP depth sensor, which is supposed to help other lenses. Finally, there’s an 8MP camera on the front for selfies.

The story here is basically the same as with other budget phones – if you have a lot of natural light, you can take some decent photos with the main camera. The above photos of the bushes and the building look good for a smartphone around $ 170, although the phone struggles with interior photos more, even when there was a lot of natural light streaming through the windows.

The ultra-wide camera’s limited 5MP resolution produces photos that look like significantly worse than the main lens, and the same goes for the 2MP macro lens. They’re passable for the occasional Snapchat or Instagram story, but that’s about it.


The Galaxy A12 is one of the cheapest smartphones currently sold by Samsung, so it’s probably no surprise that the phone isn’t very fast. However, the phone is incredibly frustrating to use, even compared to other budget smartphones. When the keyboard lags behind during the initial setup process, you know you’re in trouble.

This phone has a suggested retail price of $ 179.99 in the US, which is Absolutely too much money for a phone struggling with basic tasks. Samsung and most carriers are currently selling it for $ 104.99 which is better, but still doesn’t fix the Galaxy A12’s performance issues. You will also still be stuck with Android 11 as the final update… whenever that happens.

I would like strongly recommends buying a Galaxy A32 5G instead if you can afford it, which normally costs $ 279.99 but often goes on sale for $ 205. Buying a used iPhone 8 or iPhone X is another solid option in this price range – battery life probably won’t be as good, but you can replace the battery later. , and even those older iPhones are significantly faster than the Galaxy A12. They should also have a few iOS updates left, as iOS 15 still supports devices as old as the iPhone 6S.

    Samsung galaxy a12
    This budget phone may have a big screen and long battery life, but performance is a constant issue.

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