Samsung Galaxy A02s overview: Rock-bottom worth, limited ambitions


Every smartphone maker wants a place to begin for his or her lineup, and the Galaxy A02s has that honor for Samsung. It’s a real budget smartphone at simply $129, however how a lot do you get on your cash? Is the modest spec sheet up for on a regular basis duties? We’re right here to interrupt it down and discover the worth in our Samsung Galaxy A02s overview.

What you have to know in regards to the Samsung Galaxy A02s

The Samsung Galaxy A02s on a table showing ports

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

  • Samsung Galaxy A02s (3GB / 32GB): $129.99 / £139.99 / €149.99
  • Samsung Galaxy A02s (4GB / 64GB): $159.99

The Galaxy A02s launched in early 2021 because the entry-level mannequin of the Galaxy A sequence. Samsung provides its reasonably priced system in a whopping six configurations, beginning with as little as 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. However, solely two variations are available within the United States (each listed above). Regardless of which model you select, you possibly can choose up the Galaxy A02s in purple, black, blue, or white.

The Samsung Galaxy A02s ships with Android 10 and One UI 2.5 onboard, however it has since obtained the Android 11 replace. This introduced One UI 3.1 and the August 1, 2021 safety patch into the image during our testing. Like most of Samsung’s Galaxy A gadgets, we anticipate the telephone to choose up two years of software program model updates and 4 years of safety patches earlier than it’s retired. That means it’d get One UI 4 earlier than assist ends, although Samsung hasn’t specified precisely how lengthy it is going to be supported for.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 450 SoC retains the lights on, and it serves as the center of Samsung’s budget-friendly operation. You can pair it with as much as 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, or add a microSD card for some additional respiratory room. Samsung introduced over the identical 5,000mAh battery and 6.5-inch HD+ show from its Galaxy A12, so the Galaxy A02s ought to look good and final for hours on finish. It stored the Infinity-V notch, too, although the selfie lens solely provides 5MP quite than 8MP.

See additionally: The best Samsung phones you can buy

There’s not a lot to put in writing residence about within the packaging — Samsung features a charging block and USB-C cable in addition to a SIM ejector instrument. You’ll solely discover paperwork in any other case, although the startup information contains data for each the Galaxy A02s and Galaxy A12.

The Samsung Galaxy A02s doesn’t face an excessive amount of competitors within the sub-$150 worth vary, however the market will get extra crowded as you method $200. Nokia’s G10 is without doubt one of the few true rivals at $149, with a equally large battery and a triple digicam system. Many would take into account Motorola to be the king of price range gadgets, and it brings a rear-mounted fingerprint reader into the combination at $169. If you desire a extra succesful but nonetheless reasonably priced Samsung system, the Galaxy A12 brings a laundry checklist of enhancements to the desk at $179.

What’s good?

The Galaxy A02s back panel and cameras

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

One of Samsung’s greatest design selections for the Galaxy A02s was to skip a shiny end. Shine appears to be a well-liked choose amongst budget-friendly gadgets, however I a lot want the flippantly textured matte that Samsung selected. It’s not fully resistant to fingerprints or smudges, however you received’t drive your self up the wall attempting to maintain the telephone clear. The patterned again panel provides an additional contact of fashion to the fundamental black end, too.

Samsung’s massive, 6.5-inch HD+ show is stable, particularly for the $129 worth. It’s lots massive sufficient to stream your favourite exhibits and also you in all probability received’t actually discover the decrease decision. You can benefit from the useful headphone jack mounted alongside the underside edge or crank up the amount with the only down-firing speaker. I didn’t discover a lot distortion in any respect with the speaker, which was a welcome shock.

Samsung’s 6.5-inch show is nice for every little thing from social media to bingeing your favourite exhibits.

The rear triple digicam will not be one in all Samsung’s greatest, however the main 13MP shooter can ship in good lighting. It additionally works alongside the macro and depth sensors to supply some extensive/ultra-wide assist with out having a devoted lens. I used to be pleasantly stunned by Samsung’s Live Focus mode given the limited {hardware}, particularly on the selfie digicam. It picked up the sides of my hair appropriately for probably the most half, although Live Focus had much less success with the cow seen under.

See additionally: The best budget camera phones you can buy

One UI 3.1 helps to maintain the Galaxy A02s feeling easy and updated, regardless of the {hardware} limitations. It’s good to see an reasonably priced telephone truly obtain Samsung’s promised updates, and there are a number of options that I’ve come to understand. One is Samsung Free, which hyperlinks Samsung TV Plus, Samsung Podcasts, Taboola News, and Instant Plays right into a single app.

You’ll additionally get wonderful battery life with the Galaxy A02s — I used to be in a position to push the 5,000mAh cell by means of two days of reasonable use. It might not maintain up properly for heavy gaming, however you possibly can reply emails and peruse social media for hours on finish with out problem.

What’s not so good?

The Galaxy A02s camera app in hand

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Samsung didn’t depart itself a lot wiggle room for a stable processor within the Galaxy A02s, and it exhibits. The Snapdragon 450 lagged often, even on duties so simple as navigating the Settings. It acquired worse as I bounced between apps, particularly if I used to be attempting to stream from Spotify on the identical time. The limited 3GB of RAM within the model I examined in all probability didn’t assist issues alongside very a lot, and it’s sufficient that it is best to take into account the model with 4GB of RAM as a substitute. However, at that time, you’re within the territory of the Galaxy A12, which is a significantly better telephone general.

Despite first rate efficiency from the primary lens in good lighting, the remainder of Samsung’s cameras depart one thing to be desired. The macro digicam wants an unbelievable quantity of sunshine to have any likelihood in any respect, and even then the 2MP decision means you possibly can’t blow the photographs up. You don’t get entry to a real evening mode on the Galaxy A02s, which vastly limits what you are able to do to brighten up pictures.

At least you’ve gotten time to make amends for a number of exhibits when you’re slowly charging at an outlet.

I can’t take away from Samsung’s hefty 5,000mAh battery, however I can say that the 15W charger doesn’t pack sufficient punch. When you do run the telephone all the way down to 0%, you need to be able to get comfortable by an outlet. It took me half-hour to go from a lifeless battery to twenty%, and greater than two hours for a full cost.

We’re additionally in an age the place biometrics are an ordinary characteristic on most smartphones. Whether it’s a sub-$100 system just like the LG Premier Pro Plus or a $1,000 beast just like the OnePlus 9 Pro, you’ll in all probability discover some sort of fingerprint reader on board. Not on the Galaxy A02s. There’s no fingerprint reader of any variety, solely a software-based facial recognition characteristic that’s not probably the most safe, to not point out gradual.

Samsung Galaxy A02s digicam samples

Samsung Galaxy A02s specs

Samsung Galaxy A02s
Display 6.5 inches
1,600 x 720 (20:9)
Processor Snapdragon 450
RAM 1GB as much as 4GB
Storage 16GB as much as 64GB
Cameras Rear triple digicam:
13MP extensive (f/2.2)
2MP macro (f/2.4)
2MP depth (f/2.4)

5MP (f/2.2)

Battery 5,000mAh
15W wired charging
IP Rating None
Software Shipped with Android 10
Update to Android 11 out there
Samsung One UI 3.1
Dimensions 164.2 x 75.9 x 9.1mm
Colors Black
Security Face recognition

Samsung Galaxy A02s overview: Should I purchase it?

Google apps on the Galaxy A02s above a creek

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The Galaxy A02s is an effective smartphone in the event you solely want the fundamentals and also you’re working with a decent price range. It’s hands-down probably the most reasonably priced strategy to get your arms on Samsung’s One UI 3.1, however the processor can’t at all times sustain and the cameras received’t be your go-to for a lot of household pictures. That mentioned, if you need an inexpensive strategy to watch your favourite exhibits and use your wired headphones, the Galaxy A02s is glad to oblige.

The Galaxy A02s is an effective way to get your arms on One UI 3.1 with a decent price range.

If you’re keen to increase your price range a bit, there are many Galaxy A02s rivals to contemplate for below $200. Samsung’s personal Galaxy A12 ($179) is likely to be among the best, with a considerably higher digicam and a side-mounted fingerprint reader for not way more cash. There’s additionally the Motorola Moto G Play ($169) that ditches the third digicam however provides near-stock Android and a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. Finally, the Nokia G10 ($149) provides splash safety, a barely larger battery, and a greater base configuration.

samsung galaxy a02s upright on a table

Samsung Galaxy A02s

Samsung’s most reasonably priced smartphone covers all the fundamentals: A triple rear digicam, a headphone jack, and a hefty 6.5-inch show.

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