❤ Samsung Galaxy A02s also known as Samsung Galaxy M02s
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Our exploration into the complicated world of the Samsung entry-level smartphone lineup continues – we now have the Galaxy A02s for you. Pushing the limits of what can fit a tight budget and still be worthy of the badge, the A02s’ compromises are what we’re here to assess.
We mentioned that it’s a confusing roster that Samsung has, and the A02s is also available as M02s in some regions. While they do have separate model numbers, the hardware is identical, so it could be said that our findings here will apply equally well to the M02s, even though it says A02s on our review unit’s packaging.
Samsung Galaxy A02s • Samsung Galaxy M02s
The ‘s’ in those names carries a lot of significance, mind you. Galaxy A02 and M02 non-s models exist too, identical between them just as well, but with further downgraded internals when compared to the A02s and M02s. Keep your eyes open to what it says on the box.
So, the Galaxy A02s packs a 6.5-inch LCD – AMOLEDs are too expensive for this segment. The chipset won’t win any awards either – the Snapdragon 450 is more than three years old, though it is made on a 14nm process (compare to the 28nm Mediatek in the non-s models).
The triple camera on the back is mildly deceptive – the 13MP main module is joined by the usual (and questionably useful) duo of 2MP ‘macro’ and depth cameras. Which is to say, there’s no ultra-wide camera – you’ll need to look at the A12 for one of these. The 5MP selfie cam is another small downgrade.
Samsung didn’t mess around with the battery, though, and the A02s comes with a 5,000mAh powerpack – same as on the A12 and A02. We wouldn’t call the hardware demanding, so we expect to see great endurance numbers.
Samsung Galaxy A02s specs at a glance:
Versions: SM-A025F/DS (Global), SM-A025G/DS (India), SM-A025M/DS (LATAM)
|NETWORK||Technology||GSM / HSPA / LTE|
|2G bands||GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 – SIM 1 & SIM 2 (dual-SIM model only)|
|3G bands||HSDPA 850 / 900 / 2100|
|4G bands||1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28, 38, 40, 41|
|Speed||HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE Cat4 150/50 Mbps|
|LAUNCH||Announced||2020, November 24|
|Status||Available. Released 2021, January 04|
|BODY||Dimensions||164.2 x 75.9 x 9.1 mm (6.46 x 2.99 x 0.36 in)|
|Weight||196 g (6.91 oz)|
|Build||Glass front, plastic back, plastic frame|
|SIM||Single SIM (Nano-SIM) or Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)|
|Size||6.5 inches, 102.0 cm2 (~81.8% screen-to-body ratio)|
|Resolution||720 x 1600 pixels, 20:9 ratio (~270 ppi density)|
|PLATFORM||OS||Android 10, upgradable to Android 12, One UI 4.1|
|Chipset||Qualcomm SDM450 Snapdragon 450 (14 nm)|
|CPU||Octa-core 1.8 GHz Cortex-A53|
|MEMORY||Card slot||microSDXC (dedicated slot)|
|Internal||16GB 1GB RAM, 32GB 2GB RAM, 32GB 3GB RAM, 32GB 4GB RAM, 64GB 3GB RAM, 64GB 4GB RAM|
|MAIN CAMERA||Triple||13 MP, f/2.2, (wide), AF
2 MP, f/2.4, (macro)
2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)
|SELFIE CAMERA||Single||5 MP, f/2.2|
|COMMS||WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct|
|Positioning||GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS|
|USB||USB Type-C 2.0|
|BATTERY||Type||Li-Po 5000 mAh, non-removable|
|MISC||Colors||Black, White, Red, Blue|
|Models||SM-A025F, SM-A025F/DS, SM-A025G, SM-A025G/DS, SM-A025M, SM-A025M/DS, SM-A025U, SM-A025V, SM-A025A, SM-A025U1, SM-A025AZ, SM-S124DL|
|SAR EU||0.40 W/kg (head) 1.37 W/kg (body)|
|Price||$ 75.00 / € 179.00 / £ 129.99 / C$ 485.00 / Rp 1,599,000|
|TESTS||Performance||AnTuTu: 90811 (v8)
GeekBench: 495 (v5.1)
GFXBench: 6.1fps (ES 3.1 onscreen)
|Display||Contrast ratio: 1765:1 (nominal)|
|Camera||Photo / Video|
|Loudspeaker||-29.8 LUFS (Average)|
Disclaimer. We can not guarantee that the information on this page is 100% correct.
Samsung Galaxy A02s unboxing
There’s nothing surprising about the presentation – the A02s ships in the same packaging as the A12 we had before and most other affordable Galaxies. Pull out the cardboard tray out of the sleeve, and you’ll get the same bundle – the phone itself, a 15W adapter and a USB-A-to-C cable. A simple case would have been nice, but every penny is important in this class, so we’re not bothered by its absence.
Much like the A12, the Galaxy A02s has a special back texture – more on that on the next page where we take a look at its design and build quality.
The Galaxy A02s hovers around the €150 mark for the base 3GB/32GB version in continental Europe, or some £140 in the UK, while its M02s alter ego can be had for as little as INR9,000 in India. That’s clearly at the lower end of the price spectrum, but what else is there for the money?
For one, the Galaxy A12. In most of Europe, that retails for some €10 above A02s money in 4GB/64GB trim, and, for all its flaws, it’s the better phone. You’d be getting an ultra-wide cam, better low-light performance from the main cam, and a marginally quicker chipset. It’s not quite so in the UK or India, for example, where the A12 is appreciably more expensive than its lesser stablemate (£170/INR13,000), and the A02s/M02s does make a case for itself by offering savings.
The Redmi 9 is among the go-to options in the segment, and it’s either selling for A02s money or it’s cheaper (or, you know, not officially available). You get more, too – an ultra-wide camera, a better close-up shooter, much more powerful chipset, and a 1080p display. Sounds like a better deal altogether, but a Redmi is no Galaxy.
Neither is a Realme, but the company does have a few compelling offers in the price range. The Narzo 20A is one of the most affordable Realmes in India, at A02s’ price, and it beats the Galaxy with a beefier chipset and 4K video recording capability. Meanwhile, in Europe, you can get your hands on a Realme 7i for a small premium over a Galaxy A02s. That is also a thoroughly more capable package with a superior camera system and chipset.
A Moto G9 Play is a viable alternative to the Galaxy A02s too. The Moto’s chipset is, once again, more powerful than the Galaxy’s, and the camera experience is better on the G9 Play. Mind you, the Moto G9 Play goes by Moto G9 in India, and it’s tangibly more expensive than the competing Galaxy M02s there.
Samsung Galaxy A12 • Xiaomi Redmi 9 • Realme Narzo 20A • Realme 7i (Global) • Motorola Moto G9 Play
The Galaxy A02s is one of the least expensive Samsung phones you can buy, and as such, it offers good value to those looking for a budget entry into the brand. It’s not a bad choice for a less demanding user either, and those will appreciate the long battery life, decent picture quality and overall look and feel.
A more discerning buyer will likely be put off mostly by the dated, low-performance chipset and lack of a fingerprint reader. The relatively low brightness display and missing camera features don’t help either.
Ultimately, if you’re on a tight budget and looking to get the most out of it, perhaps brand loyalty shouldn’t be on top of your priorities list, and you should look at competing offers from classic value-oriented makers. If you insist on a Galaxy, certain concessions are inevitable.
- Very good screen contrast ratio due to deep blacks.
- Nice build, appealing looks.
- Excellent battery life.
- No fingerprint sensor.
- Underpowered chipset.
- No night mode, no video stabilization.
- Charging is not fast.