Samsung Galaxy A12 Review: Poor Performance, Decent Cameras, Good Battery Life

Karamchand Rameshwar - Feb 18, 2021


Samsung Galaxy A12 Review: Poor Performance, Decent Cameras, Good Battery Life

For a starting price of Rs. 12,999, can the Samsung Galaxy A12 outweigh its Xiaomi and Realme rivals? Check out our Galaxy A12 review for more details.

The Samsung Galaxy A12 is a bit different from its siblings in the Galaxy-A series. Instead of using a Qualcomm or Exynos chipset, Samsung goes for the MediaTek Helio MT6765 chipset. It is by no mean a decent octa-core chipset with four cores clocked at 1.6GHz and four others clocked at 2.3GHz. Samsung offers lots of variants for the global market, ranging from 3 to 6GB of RAM and 32GB to 128GB of internal storage. Sadly, when the phone arrives in the Indian market, only the 4GB RAM versions are available. 

Samsung Galaxy A12 review: Price in India

The Galaxy A12 price in India starts at Rs. 12,999 for the 4GB RAM + 64GB storage option. You can get twice the store for just Rs. 1,000 more. It will be available in White, Blue, and Black color variants via Samsung.com, major online stores, and retail stores from February 17. 

Samsung Galaxy A12 review: Display

The device is equipped with a 6.5-inch PLS panel, which basically is Samsung’s IPS-like panel. It supports HD+ (1,600 x 720p) resolution and a regular 60Hz refresh rate. The display looks pretty sharp in daily use, but the lack of Full-HD+ resolution is definitely a significant drawback. 

Samsung Galaxy A12 Review Display
For a similar price, the Redmi Note 9 offers a Full-HD+ display.

Samsung Galaxy A12 review: Performance

As mentioned, the device is powered by a MediaTek Helio P35 chipset. Even though we have seen a massive improvement from MediaTek chips, notably the Helio G95 and Dimensity 800U, the Helio P35 isn’t really a good pick from Samsung.

Samsung Galaxy A12 Review
It seems like the Galaxy A12 is very weak in the CPU and GPU departments in comparison to its competitors.

The device feels slow and it takes several seconds to open an app. It does get a bit bitter after a while, but it doesn’t get to the point that I feel comfortable multitasking, despite having 4GB of RAM. My judgement is also backed up by the phone’s benchmarks. On Geekbench, the phone achieved respective scores of 171 and 993 points on the single-core and multi-core tests. In comparison, the Moto G9 Power, which is currently priced at Rs. 11,999 in India, scored 313 and 1420 points with the Snapdragon 662 on the single-core and multi-core tests, respectively.

The same happens in the graphics tests with GFXBench. At 720p resolution, the Galaxy A12 got only 19 fps in comparison to 34 fps of its rival Moto G9 Power. At 1080 resolution, the gap is a bit closer when the A12 achieved 12 fps while the G9 Power managed 20 fps. With this poor performance in both CPU and GPU departments, the Galaxy A12 seems to be very weak against its rivals with a Qualcomm chipset.

Samsung Galaxy A12 review: Camera

Even budget smartphones nowadays are packed with three or even four cameras at the back. The Galaxy A12 features a quad-camera lens setup on the rear while its rival Moto G9 Power only has three. To be specific, the setup on the A12 includes a 48MP (f/2.0)primary sensor, a 5MP (f/2.2) ultra-wide-angle lens, a 2MP (f/2.4) macro camera, and a 2MP (f/2.4) for portrait shots. 

Samsung Galaxy A12 Back
Samsung Galaxy A12's quad-camera setup is led by a 48MP primary sensor.

However, having more cameras doesn’t guarantee a better result. For example, Google only equips its Pixel phones with one or two lenses, but all of the models in the product line have been considered to be at the top when it comes to image quality.  

As expected on a budget smartphone, the Galaxy A12’s camera quality isn’t that good. It performs decently in day-light conditions with enough detail and decent composition. Just like other phones in the segment, the quality drops significantly when the light levels drop as there is lots of noise and blur on the photos.

Samsung Galaxy A12 Camera Sample 1

Samsung Galaxy A12 Camera Sample 2

Samsung Galaxy A12 Camera Sample 3

Samsung Galaxy A12 Camera Sample 4

Samsung Galaxy A12 Camera Sample 5

Samsung Galaxy A12 Camera Sample 6

Samsung Galaxy A12: Battery life

I finally can say a good thing about the Galaxy A12. With a large 5,000 mAh battery, it lasted nearly 26 hours in our video loop test, which is excellent. Well, it is still not as good as the Moto G9 Power, but the Motorola counterpart has 1,000 mAh capacity, so the difference can be justified. With such impressive battery life, you won’t have to worry about having to charge the phone in the middle of the day. It is, of course, a different story if you try to play some games on this phone. 

Samsung Galaxy A12 review: Verdict

It appears that Samsung doesn’t do lots of research for the budget segment before releasing the Galaxy A12 as the phone is pretty much inferior to its rivals on the price point. Yes, it does have a good battery life, but that can’t set it apart from other competitors. 

So what are the better options out there? You can take a look at the Redmi Note 9 (Rs. 11,999) or the Moto G9 Power that we have used in this review to compare to the Galaxy A12. The Nokia 5.3 is also a decent pick for just Rs. 10,990.

>>> Samsung Galaxy A12 Goes Official In India, Starting At Rs. 12,999

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