❤ Samsung Galaxy A11

 

 

The Samsung Galaxy A11 is a budget-friendly smartphone that features a 6.4-inch HD+ “Infinity-O” display, 13MP + 5MP + 2MP triple rear cameras, and a single 8MP punch-hole selfie camera.

It runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 chipset with 3GB of RAM and Android 10 OS. There’s also a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, dual-SIM 4G LTE connectivity, and 32GB of expandable storage.

A 4,000mAh battery powers the device with support for 15W fast charging via USB Type-C.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SPECS

Chipset Snapdragon 450
Display 6.4″ 720×1560 LCD
RAM 2GB LPDDR3
Storage 32GB, with microSD expansion
Battery 4,000mAh
Rear cameras 13MP f/1.8 main
5MP f/2.2 wide-angle
2MP f/2.4 depth camera
Front camera 8MP f/2.0
Connectivity 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi (dual-band), USB Type-C, Bluetooth 4.2, 3.5mm headphone jack, Fingerprint sensor
Dimensions 163.1 x 76.3 x 8.0, 177g
Price $179.99

 

Samsung has so many budget phones that it can be hard to keep track of them all. One of the company’s more recent releases is the Galaxy A11, a low-end device with an MSRP of $179.99. However, the sub-$200 price bracket is a highly competitive one, and the Galaxy A11 is fighting the new Moto E, Nokia 2.3, and even other Samsung-made phones for your hard-earned cash.

The Galaxy A11 sits near the bottom of Samsung‘s phone lineup in the United States, alongside last year’s Galaxy A10e and the Galaxy A01. It’s a capable smartphone, but depending on what features you care about, there are better options out there.

Design, hardware, what’s in the box

Samsung‘s budget phones mostly look the same, and the Galaxy A11 is no exception. The device has a plastic exterior, coated with a glossy finish that easily attracts smudges and dirt. I get that the idea is to emulate the look and feel of glass, but I would have really preferred a simple matte coating.

 

 

The rear cover attracts fingerprints and dust very easily

 

 

The back of the phone also has a fingerprint sensor near the top, which worked just fine in my testing. There are also three rear cameras, including a main 13MP lens, a 5MP wide-angle camera, and a 2MP depth sensor. A flash is located to the right of the camera array.

The Galaxy A11 has a 3.5mm audio jack on the top, which is (thankfully) common in phones around this price, but what isn’t common is the A11’s modern USB Type-C port for charging. There are still plenty of sub-$200 phones in the United States using the older microUSB connector, so Samsung gets brownie points there.

 

 

 

 

At 6.4 inches across, the Galaxy A11‘s screen slightly larger than the display on the Galaxy S20 (6.2″), but smaller than the screen on the Galaxy S20+ (6.7″). While the A11’s panel isn’t full HD, at only 1560×720, the screen looks decent enough watching for YouTube videos and scrolling through social media. There’s no massive notch for the camera, like on the Galaxy A10e or A01 — just a hole on the top-left of the display.

Powering the phone is a Snapdragon 450 chipset, paired with 2GB RAM and 32GB of storage. That’s not a lot of memory to work with, and the Snapdragon 450 is three years old at this point. Even though the chipset is capable of operating in 64-bit mode, Android on the Galaxy A11 runs in 32-bit mode to reduce memory usage. That means no Pokémon Go.

 

 

 

 

The Galaxy A11 is also missing NFC, so you can’t use Google Pay, Samsung Pay, or any other contactless payment applications. It’s still rare for sub-$200 phones in the United States to come with NFC support, but that doesn’t make the omission any less frustrating. The Google Nexus S from 10 years ago had NFC — it should be basic functionality in every smartphone now.

Software, performance, battery

The Galaxy A11 comes with Samsung‘s custom version of Android 10, also known as One UI 2.1. That means the software experience is fairly similar to what you get on flagship Galaxy S and Note smartphones, minus the features that require specific hardware. There are all the usual Android 10 features (full-screen navigation, improved notifications, system-wide dark theme, etc.), plus the functionality Samsung adds on top.

If you’ve used a Samsung phone at any point in the past few years, you’ll feel right at home on the Galaxy A11. Samsung still makes duplicates of Google’s applications that you can’t fully remove (or even disable, in some cases), and you can’t use third-party launchers with the new gesture navigation, but overall I don’t have many complaints with One UI.

However, if you buy the Galaxy A11 from a carrier, prepare for a lot of bloatware. My review unit came from Boost Mobile, and over 15 third-party apps were automatically installed out of the box. Some of them, like Boost’s FastNEWS app, were even sending spam push notifications.

 

The Galaxy A11‘s performance is about what you would expect for a cheap phone. Apps can take a few seconds to start up, and there are slowdowns when the phone is waking from sleep, but day-to-day use isn’t outright horrible. Battery life, at least, is excellent — the large 4,000mAh battery should last most people over two days.

THE GOOD

Software Samsung’s One UI software might not be to everyone’s liking, but it does provide plenty of features over stock Android. Some carriers are adding lots of pre-installed apps on the A11, though.
USB Type-C A USB Type-C port isn’t too common on sub-$200 phones, at least in the United States.

THE NOT SO GOOD

Design The glossy plastic rear cover is gross.
No NFC The Galaxy Nexus from a decade ago had NFC, not having it in any Android smartphone more than $50 is just ridiculous at this point.
Availability The US version of the Galaxy A11 doesn’t seem to be available unlocked, so you’re stuck using carrier models.