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    Samsung Galaxy A25 5G review

    Samsung’s top Galaxy S24 series may receive the most attention, but the company continues to discreetly release inexpensive handsets. One of their new models for 2024 is the Galaxy A25 5G.

    This device is available for £249/$299 and has a huge and brilliant 120Hz AMOLED screen, a 50Mp primary camera, boasts of two days of battery life, and, of course, 5G connection.

    Previous Galaxy A series phones have provided excellent value for money, and with the Galaxy A25 5G catching up with 2023’s Galaxy A34 in many areas at a cheaper price, it appears that the trend will continue here.

    Design & Build

    • Plastic and glass combo
    • Three colorways
    • No waterproofing

    There isn’t much to say about the Galaxy A25 5G’s design, which is relatively similar to prior phones in the series.

    That is, it has the same style as Samsung’s top Galaxy S24 line, with a few minor differences.

    One of the most significant differences is the material selection, which includes a plastic back and frame. The front is glass, but Samsung does not indicate what type, which is maybe unsurprising considering that it picked up multiple minor scratches in just two weeks. It should be noted that they are only visible when the screen is turned off and the light is reflected.

    Overall, it’s got the distinctive look of a Samsung handset, particularly the trio of rear cameras in what I like to call a port-hole style and arrangement.

    Samsung Galaxy A25 5G
    For better or worse, the Galaxy A25 stands out because to the design on its back. The shining grid of tiny squares does not appeal to me; it resembles a close-up view of a television’s LEDs and is reminiscent of the opaque privacy windows found in schools.

    I’m testing the ‘Blue’ version here, which appears to highlight the pattern more than the other colorways, ‘Blue Black’ and ‘Yellow’.

    The shiny grid made up of tiny squares is not to my taste, looking like a close-up view of a television’s LEDs

    Although the gadget seems solid and has withstood a tumble from the arm of my sofa to a laminate floor without incident, you may want to consider using a case. Of course, if you don’t like the rear pattern, this will hide it.

    I would recommend this not only to hide off the design on the back, but also to increase grip because the Galaxy A25 is slippery.

    Samsung Galaxy A25 5G

    A minor design feature I appreciate is that the frame is slightly elevated where the volume and power controls are located. The latter houses the fingerprint scanner, which works fine, however the power button produces a very loud and unpleasant click when pressed.

    The Galaxy A25 is roughly comparable in size and weight as the iPhone 15 Plus (which I was reviewing at the same time), so it’s a large and heavy phone, but nothing out of the ordinary. Keep this in mind if you want something tiny and easy to use.

    I’m delighted to see a 3.5mm headphone port, but the Galaxy A25 5G lacks certified dust and water resistance.

    We don’t normally mention it in a non-flagship phone review but the vibration motor for haptic feedback is particularly weak here, providing a buzzy and cheap feel.

    Screen & Speakers

    • 6.5-inch AMOLED
    • 120Hz refresh rate
    • Stereo speakers

    Aside from the slightly reduced diagonal dimensions, the Galaxy A25 5G’s display is identical to last year’s Galaxy A34.

    The hand-me-down effect results in a 6.5-inch AMOLED display with Full HD+ (2340 x 1080) resolution and a refresh rate of 120Hz. It’s vibrant, colorful, detailed, and brilliant, making it one of the greatest affordable phone displays available.

    I measured it at 405 nits with automatic brightness turned off and set to ‘full’, however Samsung claims it can reach 1000 nits. It is certainly easier to see outside in bright light than many competitors.

    You may also enable the Eye Comfort Shield mode, which is designed to decrease blue light. I cannot speak for its scientific efficacy, but it is available if you wish to utilize it.

    Samsung Galaxy A25 5G

    The 120Hz refresh rate (twice the usual rate) provides a smooth overall experience, and you may lower it to 60Hz if you like, which will prolong battery life slightly. It’s a shame there isn’t a dynamic mode in which the phone switches between the two based on what you’re doing.

    It’s one of the best screens you’ll find on a phone in the budget market

    The Galaxy A25, like other smartphones (even inexpensive models), offers stereo speakers. They sound decent, and there’s plenty of volume available.

    Dolby Atmos is supported on the phone, but you must go into the settings menu to enable it. Personally, I don’t feel it contributes much when listening through the built-in speakers, and it may frequently make the sound worse. However, depending on the quality of your headphones (there is a 3.5mm port here), it may be useful.

    Specs & Performance

    • Exynos 1280 chipset
    • 6GB RAM
    • 128GB storage
    • Micro-SD card slot

    There’s a reasonable but not impressive 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, though unlike a lot of rivals there’s a Micro-SD card slot for adding more space (up to 1TB) if needed.

    Samsung’s website mentions an 8/256GB model, but I can’t see this on sale anywhere at the time of writing.

    Samsung Galaxy A25 5G benchmarks

    In terms of other specs, there’s nothing out of the ordinary. As the name suggests, this is a 5G capable phone, but this is fairly common in 2024 especially at the top end of the budget market.

    Otherwise, you get the usual array of Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.3, GPS and NFC.

    Cameras

    • 50Mp main camera
    • 8Mp ultrawide
    • 2Mp macro
    • 13Mp selfie

    The Galaxy A25 features a normal camera setup for a cheap smartphone in 2024.

    It’s a common story: the primary camera has a high quality 50Mp sensor but pixel-bins down to a lower megapixel count (12.5Mp in this example). Then there’s a low-resolution ultrawide camera and a totally useless macro lens.

    The selfie camera is located at the front, in a teardrop notch, and has a 13MP sensor.

    Performance is comparable, so you may expect some fair and decent outcomes in favorable lighting settings, primarily outside. Just don’t expect the A25 to provide decent photographs regardless of where you are or the time of day.

    You’ll snap the majority of your shots using the primary camera, which is OK but nothing exceptional. I found it OK to use in point-and-shoot settings, but I was startled by how many images were underexposed. It’s also not the type of phone that makes it easy to keep up with my always-moving daughter.

    As long as you have enough light, it’s one of the best budget phones for shooting video

    A option in the camera named ‘Fun’ piqued my interest, but it’s basically a collection of Snapchat filters that requires an online connection to function.

    The ultrawide camera fits more in, of course, but at the expense of clarity, and you can’t avoid fish-eye distortion at the margins.

     

    A 2Mp macro lens is there to increase the number of cameras and make the phone sound more amazing. We’ve seen it many times from nearly every manufacturer, and this one is no exception.

    It’s fun to experiment with on occasion, but the fixed focus makes it tough to get the subject crisp, and the resolution is so poor that the effort isn’t really worth it.

    The selfie camera is great, and the portrait mode works well when the lighting is favorable. It may appear to have an ultrawide camera alongside it, but this is an illusion; it was just cropped in to begin with.

    At a possible 4K/30fps, video recording is more impressive than you might expect and there’s even OIS (optical image stabilisation) on board to keep things as steady as possible.

    I would personally stick to Full HD/60fps but quality is good. As long as you have enough light, it’s one of the best budget phones for shooting video.

    Battery Life & Charging

    • 5000mAh capacity
    • 25W charging
    • No charging in box

    The Galaxy A25 5G has a 5000mAh battery, which is about normal for a modern smartphone, but Samsung claims it can last two days.

    I’ve found this to be true, and you will as well, as long as you don’t use the device for a lot of gaming or other demanding chores. Of course, excessive usage with features like personal hotspot and high brightness will take its toll, but this is a phone that can be used all day.

    In our usual PCMark for Android battery test, the Galaxy A25 lasted a reasonable but not special 10 hours and 34 minutes.

    This is an all-day phone at the very least

    Wired charging at 25W (there is no wireless charging, of course) may not seem amazing, but it equals the top Galaxy S24. That may appear remarkable on the surface, particularly given Samsung’s boast of “Super Fast Charging,” but it is not.

    Samsung does not provide an adaptor in the packaging either. That is wonderful for the environment, but you may need to consider purchasing one. Using one that I had at home, it only hit 32% in 30 minutes.

    Software & Apps

    • Android 14
    • One UI 6
    • Long software support

    It’s refreshing to see a budget phone come with the latest version of Android at the time of writing. That’s Android 14, albeit with Samsung’s One UI 6 skin over the top.

    Samsung’s UI looks excellent and, more importantly, is simple to use. In addition, features such as the sidebar may come in handy on a regular basis. Here, you can save your favorite applications and contacts so they’re only a swipe away.

    In addition to features like Link to Windows (for quick sharing with a Windows PC), the company adds many of its own, such as Smart Switch (for moving everything from your old phone), Quick Share (for instant sharing with other Samsung devices), and Multi control (using one device’s mouse and keyboard to control another and drag files between them).

    Samsung’s interface looks good and is, most importantly, easy to use

    Things aren’t perfect everywhere, with a slew of pre-installed programs, commonly known as bloatware. I’m sure certain applications emerged despite my preferences during setup.

    Temu, CrossWord Jam, and TikTok are just a few examples, with Microsoft and Facebook also contributing. Fortunately, you can remove the great majority.

    Samsung also offers great software support. Whereas competitors may only upgrade the Android version twice or three times, the Galaxy A25 will receive up to four updates, as well as up to five years of security fixes. It isn’t quite on par with the Galaxy S24, but it’s close.

    Price & Availability

    As already mentioned, the Galaxy A25 5G costs £249 in the UK. This gives you 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.

    Samsung’s website also mentions possibilities of 8GB RAM and 256GB storage, but there’s only one model to choose from once you hit ‘buy’.

    You can buy it direct from Samsung, or via Amazon or Currys.

    Those in the US will have to fork out $299.99 from SamsungAmazon, where it is also just the 128GB model on offer, but with only the Blue Black colors.

    Specs

    • Android 14 with One UI 6
    • 6.5in AMOLED, 2340 x 1080, 120Hz, 19.5:9 aspect ratio
    • Exynos 1280
    • 6GB RAM
    • 128GB of storage (expandable via microSDXC)
    • Cameras:
      • 50Mp OIS main camera
      • 8Mp ultrawide
      • 2Mp macro
      • 13Mp selfie camera
    • Dual-SIM (microSDXC shares second slot)
    • Stereo speakers
    • NFC
    • GPS
    • Bluetooth 5.3
    • Wi-Fi 5
    • Fingerprint sensor (in power button)
    • 5000mAh battery
    • 25W wired charging
    • USB-C charging port
    • 161 x 76.5 x 8.3 mm
    • 197g

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