Samsung Galaxy A32 5G review: 5G on a budget
If you are looking for a 5G Android phone and want to spend as little as possible, you can stop here. At $ 279, the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G is your best option right now, especially if you are in the US, where those options are in short supply. It offers good 5G support (including the all-important C-band!), A massive battery, and four years of security updates. That’s an attractive package for less than $ 300.
That doesn’t mean it’s perfect. The A32 5G’s display isn’t great, the performance is a bit slow, and while it’s capable, its camera is limited. If you can spend a little more, you can get a phone that works better in at least one of these areas. And if you can put off your phone purchase for even a few more months, we should see a lot more very affordable 5G phones on the market to choose from, like the OnePlus N200. But if you don’t have time to wait and can’t spend the extra money, I can’t find a good reason to discourage you from the A32 5G.
SAMSUNG GALAXY A32 5G DISPLAY, PERFORMANCE AND DESIGN
The A32 5G features a large 6.5-inch 720p LCD panel that is best described as nothing special. The colours look a bit flat and washed out, and while it does get bright enough to see in direct sunlight, the screen’s protective reflective plastic panel makes it challenging. It’s also a low resolution to spread out on such a large screen, so you’ll see a bit of pixelization if you look closely.
The phone uses a MediaTek Dimensity 720 5G processor that compares well to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 690 5G chipset for 5G budget phones, used by the OnePlus Nord N10 5G. The Galaxy A32 5G combines the MediaTek processor with 4GB of RAM (decent), and 64GB of storage (meagre but enough to survive, and you can add a microSD card to expand it) performs well enough for its class.
There’s a noticeable issue with media-dense pages, short pauses when diving into a demanding task like launching Google Maps navigation, and noticeable camera shutter lag. For the most part, though, I didn’t notice slowdowns while jumping between apps, scrolling through Instagram, and usually using the phone. That’s all you would ask for from a phone under $ 300.
The A32 5G has a couple of features that make it worth your time, even considering that good 5G is still a year or two away in the US. Fundamentally, the A32 5G has been cleared by the Federal Communications Commission. to use C-band frequencies that Verizon and AT&T, in particular, will use for 5G in the coming years. Not all 5G phones can use C-band, so that’s a big checkmark favouring the A32 5G. There is no mmWave support here, the fastest and meanest flavour of 5G, but that’s not a huge loss.
The second factor here is that you can reasonably expect to keep using this phone for enough years to see that 5G is significantly better than LTE because Samsung will continue to offer security updates for four years. Many inexpensive devices only receive about two years of security update support, but the long life of the A32 5G should reach the actual age of 5G in a few years.
Battery life is one of the A32 5G’s strengths. Its 5,000 mAh capacity battery is massive, and I had no trouble getting two full days of moderate use out of it. My usage was more battery-friendly than someone else’s, with battery optimization turned on and most of my time spent on Wi-Fi, but even the most power-hungry user could get a full day, if not. More, of the A32 5G.
With a 6.5-inch screen, the A32 5G is undoubtedly a great phone. It is a bit too bulky and uncomfortable in my hand. What I dislike even more is that it feels slippery to me – the back panel plastic feels challenging to grip decently. On one occasion, I laid the phone on a softcover book, and it somehow moved through the cover and a side table when I wasn’t looking. (There’s a happy ending, though – it only fell about a foot into a box full of secondhand baby clothes waiting to be put away, so there’s a good case for keeping your house cluttered.) for this, if you buy this phone and know that if your hands are small, it will not be very comfortable to use.
SAMSUNG GALAXY A32 5G CAMERA
There are necessary cameras on the rear panel of the A32 5G: a standard-width 48-megapixel camera and an ultrawide 8-megapixel camera. There is a 5-megapixel macro camera that is not very good and a 2-megapixel depth sensor that may or may not help with portrait mode photos. There’s also a 13-megapixel selfie camera on the front.
Considering the price of the phone, the primary camera on the A32 5G works quite well. Like most other phones, it takes very nice pictures in good lighting. That’s no surprise, even for a budget phone. But it reaches its limits quickly with less good lighting, such as indoors. That’s where optical stabilization or more sophisticated image processing would come in handy, neither of which the A32 5G offers. Instead, some of your photos indoors may be a bit blurry, and you’ll have a great challenge getting a sharp image of a moving subject in anything less than bright daylight.
If you look closely, the ultra-wide camera shows its shortcomings: there are some distracting flare in direct sunlight and some noise visible in the shadows of high-contrast scenes. There’s no telephoto lens here, with shortcuts in the camera app to jump to 2x (ok), 4x (huh), and 10x digital zoom (don’t use it).
It’s hard to say how the Galaxy A32 5G compares to the competition because it doesn’t have much of it yet. It is one of the least expensive 5G phones that you will find anywhere. Its closest competition at the moment is the OnePlus Nord N10 5G, which is a bit more costly at $ 299 but offers some worthwhile hardware upgrades such as a more excellent screen, slightly better camera performance, and a load. Faster. It’s a better phone in many ways, but it’s only scheduled for two years of security updates.
Of course, if you only plan to keep your phone for a couple of years, then the N10 5G is worth seriously considering. If that’s the case, then 5G also becomes a less important feature. If there’s room in your budget, consider the $ 349 Google Pixel 4A, which will give you a much better camera, cleaner software, and timely updates for years to come, albeit with no 5G support at all. However, it is a much smaller device. So if a big screen is part of the A32 5G’s appeal, you might want to look at something like the $ 279 Motorola Moto G Stylus.