We review Samsung’s budget A-series
Samsung’s looking to regain lost ground in the mid-range and budget market with their revitalized A series of phones. The Galaxy A20 is the first A-series device from Samsung that’s aimed at budget users since the Korean company killed off their J-series earlier this year.
With a gorgeous display and attractive design, Samsung hopes that its new breed of budget phones will be able to make a dent in the hyper-competitive budget smartphone market.
Gorgeous design, but clad in plastic
Samsung’s Galaxy A20 follows the same design mantra that’s present on the company’s more expensive smartphones – namely curved edges and sides. While our review device came in black, the phone is available in two other colors, namely Red and Blue.
While the phone looks great with its curved sides and edges, Samsung used a glossy plastic material on the exterior of the phone dubbed “glasstic” in lieu of actual glass.
Faux glass using plastic is fast becoming the standard for most phones in the A20’s price range, and we absolutely hate it. For one thing, plastic is very easily scratched, which is a big concern considering Samsung doesn’t include a silicone case with the A20.
The button layout is typical for the Galaxy A20 – the power and volume buttons are located on the right, with SIM tray and microSD slot on the left. The USB Type-C port is located on the bottom, while the 3.5mm jack and speaker grille flank it on both sides.
The phone uses a physical fingerprint scanner which is located on the rear. It’s rather quick and easy to use, which isn’t always the case for fingerprint scanners on budget phones.
Super AMOLED love
If there’s one thing that Samsung has over its rivals that can potentially convince someone to buy their phones, it’s their displays. Samsung’s Super AMOLED panels are in a league of their own, even on their budget devices.
That’s the case with the Galaxy A20’s, large 6.4-inch display, and while the resolution only tops out to HD+, the panel is still gorgeous to look at.
Colors are vibrant and punchy, and blacks are deep and inky. The display is pretty bright too and is perfectly readable even under direct sunlight.
The phone uses a water-drop notch at the top – par for the course for phones nowadays.
Dated chipset shows its age
The Galaxy A20 uses Samsung’s Exynos 7884 chipset, an underclocked version of the Exynos 7885 that popped up in Samsung’s Galaxy A8 and A8+ last year.
There’s 3GB of RAM on tap, along with 32GB of storage as well.
First, the good news: the processor is able to keep things nice and fluid while doing basic navigation, and is able to quickly load apps when we needed it to.
The bad news is that the chipset feels rather dated, as it sometimes struggles and lags when we use apps like Facebook or Google Chrome.
It’s weird because the phone can run games like PUBG with good frames – it feels like the phone’s SOC is unoptimized for Android Pie.
Speaking of Pie, the Galaxy A20 runs Android Pie with Samsung’s OneUI layered on top.
OneUI is a great step up from Samsung’s previous UI attempts, namely TouchWiz. Everything is laid out nicely, the UI doesn’t have weird, cutesy icons and while there’s bloatware, it’s not enough to completely gobble up the phone’s already limited storage capacity.
Great cameras for what you’re paying for
The Galaxy A20 uses a dual camera setup on the rear, with a 13-megapixel f/1.9 aperture shooter for regular duties and a 5-megapixel f/2.2 aperture wide-angle camera for shooting landscapes and such.
Image quality for the rear camera is pretty good, better than we expected considering the price point. Color reproduction is good, and images had plenty of detail even when shooting in less than ideal lighting.
The wide-angle camera also took good shots, though the resolution is a bit low and the focus is fixed. Low-light performance for the wide-angle shooter is abysmal though, thanks to its f/2.2 aperture.
As far as the selfie camera goes, it’s alright. Some shots look too artificial for our liking though.
Large battery is negated by a dated processor
As far as batteries go, the one on the A20 is pretty big. The 4000mAh cell should theoretically give you a more than a day’s worth of juice.
That’s not the case though. Because of the dated processor, battery life is just 10 hours and 14 minutes, which is just around a day’s worth with regular use.
The good news is that the Galaxy A20 has 15W fast charging via USB Type-C, and Samsung includes a fast charger with the package.
Verdict: a good effort, though there are other phones that are better for the price
Samsung’s looking to turn things around with their new batch of budget phones. The Galaxy A20 has a good mix of features for not much money: the display looks great, the cameras perform well and the overall design of the phone make it look more expensive than it really is.
The Galaxy A20 does have a few glaring flaws, including a less than ideal chipset that strangely slows down during inopportune times, as well as lower RAM and storage compared to other phones in the same price range.
Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 7 has more RAM and storage, as well as a lower price for the 32GB and 64GB variants, while the Huawei Nova 3i’s recent price drop makes it more affordable than ever before.
The Samsung Galaxy A20 is priced at Php 9,990.
Samsung Galaxy A20 specs
- Exynos 7884 octa-core processor
- 3GB RAM
- 6.4-inch HD+ Infinity-V Super AMOLED display
- 32GB of expandable storage (up to 512GB)
- Dual rear cameras: 13-megapixel f/1.9 main camera, 5-megapixel f/2.2 depth camera,
- 8-megapixel f/2.0 front camera
- Dual SIM
- 3G, LTE
- Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS
- Fingerprint scanner, USB-C
- 4000mAh battery with 15w fast charging
- Android Pie