Samsung’s, with five new models starting at $ 110 for the Galaxy A02S with 4G and going up to $ 500 for the Galaxy A52 5G. With the new lineup, Samsung now has one of the cheapest 5G phones in the US market, the $ 280 Galaxy A32 5G. (This is how Samsung supports 5G , which also features 5G.)
The South Korean electronics giant held an Unpacked event last month, its second in 2021, to show off the new devices. In the past, it reserved global launch events for its more expensive flagship phones, but its focus on the Galaxy A devices reflects the nature of phone purchases today: more consumers are looking for affordable models instead of spending $ 1,000 on more expensive devices.
Last year, three out of every four Samsung phones shipped around the world were Galaxy A devices, according to Strategy Analytics. In the US, where there’s often a bigger market for pricey phones than in many other regions, the A family’s shipments surpassed those of the flagship Galaxy S lineup, 26% to 19%, Strategy Analytics said.
“We’re really establishing a brand where traditionally those consumers might have bought a two- or three-year-old flagship device and instead, they’re preferring a new device that has … the right innovation at the right price point,” Drew Blackard, vice president of product management for Samsung Electronics America, said in an interview ahead of the news. “It’s a really interesting tier of the market.”
Starting this week, US customers will get four phones Samsung didn’t talk about at Unpacked — the 4G-only Galaxy A02S and A12 and the 5G-enabled Galaxy A32 5G and A42 5G — as well as the Galaxy A52 5G.
Samsung kept the prices steady with last year’s A series models. The A02S will retail for $110 when it’s available on April 29, while the A12 will start at $180 when it hits the market on Friday. The A32 5G will cost $280 on Friday, the A42 5G will retail for $400 starting Thursday, and the A52 5G will start at $500 when it also arrives Friday. Of the three 5G phones, only the A42 will run on the ultra-fast millimeter wave network favored by Verizon. The nation’s biggest carrier also will offer the 4G-only A02S.
AT&T will carry the Galaxy A52 5G and the A12, while T-Mobile will offer the A52 5G, A32 5G and the A12. T-Mobile’s Metro prepaid business will sell the A52 5G, A32 5G, A12 and A02S. USCellular will sell the A52 5G and the A02S; AT&T’s Cricket prepaid business will sell the A32 5G, A12 and A02S; and Boost and Charter will offer the A02S. Samsung also will sell unlocked versions of the A52 5G and the A02S.
The higher end Galaxy A72, a follow up to last year’s $600 Galaxy A71, won’t be coming to the US because it’s too similar in price and features to the Galaxy S20 FE. Samsung introduced the FE, which stands for Fan Edition, in September for $700. That selling price made it $300 less than the regular S20 from earlier in the year and $100 less than this year’s starting Galaxy S21.
“We had some good success with the A71 last year, but there was a little bit of overlap with the Fan Edition,” Stephen Hawke, director of smartphone product management at Samsung Electronics America, said in an interview ahead of Wednesday’s news. “And because of the great success we had with [the FE] in the US market, we do not want to continue with the A7 line-up this year. “
Blackard told CNET earlier this year that the
Samsung’s greater commitment to the A Series – and its cheaper flagship models – over the past two years reflects the reality we all live in. Phone designs don’t change much from year to year and consumers stick with devices longer, about three years in the US versus two in the past. At the same time, the new coronavirus pandemic has hurt millions of people financially. While premium specs and advanced features are nice for attention and buzz, people still care about what they spend on phones, especially now.
Different flavors of 5G
In January, to attract more budget-conscious buyers, Samsung cut launch costs for its Galaxy S21 devices by $ 200 to $ 800 over last year’s S20 family, partly due to lower component costs and partly in recognition of the fact that the world is fighting a pandemic. . The Galaxy A series takes Samsung’s prices even lower, giving Samsung one of the cheapest 5G phones in the US at the $ 280 A32. The OnePlus Nord N10 5G is on sale for $ 300 on T-Mobile’s network, while TCL’s 10 5G costs UW $ 400 from Verizon.
“We have been committed to making 5G technology more widely available,” said Jori Robinson, of Samsung Electronics America’s smartphone product management division, in a pre-news interview. “It’s part of a conscious move to ditch the 5G decision so people can focus on choosing the device that’s right for them.”
Last year was Samsung’s first major push with its Galaxy A lineup in the US. Those models included four 4G LTE phones and two 5G devices. They ranged from $ 110 for the Galaxy A10 to $ 650 for the Galaxy A71 5G on Verizon’s network (it was $ 600 with other carriers without super-fast 5G millimeter wave connectivity). This year, only two models will ship with 4G phones and three sport 5G.
The A42 5G is the only model to tap into mmWave, and Verizon is the only carrier to offer it. The device can also access the slower but more reliable sub-6Ghz 5G network that Verizon is building. The A32 5G and A52 5G networks also operate on the lower band networks preferred by AT&T and T-Mobile. The unlocked versions of the phones would work on other carriers’ networks, Samsung’s Hawke said.
“With [the unlocked versions of the] 32 and 52, you would have access to the sub-6 range of the Verizon network, “Hawke said.” Likewise with the 42, which doesn’t have AT&T or T-Mobile specific variants, it does have mmWave, and that would translate into some sort of support for some of the millimeter range within AT&T and T-Mobile on the unlocked variant of that device. “
5G phone specifications
The Galaxy A32 5G, A42 5G and A52 5G all come with large batteries to allow for up to two days of battery life. The A32 and A42 versions have 5,000 mAh batteries, while the 52 has a 4,500 mAh battery. In comparison, the Galaxy S21 packs a 4000 mAh battery, while the S21 Ultra has a 5000 mAh battery. The bottom two models have 15-watt fast charging, while the A52 5G has 25-watt fast charging.
Only the A52 5G has an IP67 rating for water and dust resistance, but all three come with headphone jacks, NFC for mobile payments and microSD card slots to expand the device’s storage capacity up to 1 TB.
The A52 5G has a 6.5-inch FHD Plus Super AMOLED Infinity-O display with a refresh rate of 120 Hz. It also has Samsung Eye Comfort Shield that automatically adjusts the phones blue light based on the time of day. The A32 5G has a 6.5-inch HD + LCD Infinity-V display with a refresh rate of 90 Hz, while the A42 5G has a 6.6-inch HD + Super AMOLED Infinity-U display with a refresh rate of 60 Hz.
When it comes to the cameras on the new 5G models, the A32 and A52 both have four lenses on the back – including the first time Samsung has offered a macro camera on a smartphone – while the A42 has three.
While Samsung has introduced innovations to its high-end devices in the past before moving them to cheaper phones, it is increasingly testing new features in the A series. The company internally calls the lineup its “layer of innovation,” Blackard said. Along with the macro lens, Galaxy A52 also allows users to apply Snapchat’s AR lenses with Fun Mode directly from the native camera app. And the first quad camera arrays appeared first in the A series.
“This will be a very important level for Samsung worldwide,” said Blackard. “It’s not like you get flagship features a few years later; maybe you get … new, unique features in this category first.”
The A52 5G has a 32 megapixel front camera and four rear cameras, including 64 megapixel main lenses, 12 megapixel ultrawide lenses, 5 megapixel macro lenses and a 5 megapixel depth camera. All three 5G models have digital zoom up to 10x.
All phones are equipped with octa-core processors, but their power varies. The A52 5G and A42 5G feature Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 750G processor which is based on 8 nanometer technology and has a clock speed of up to 2.2 Ghz. The A42 5G features MediaTek’s Dimensity 720 which is based on 7-nanometer technology and has a clock speed of up to 2 Ghz.
The A32 5G and A42 5G come with 4 GB of RAM, while the A52 has 6 GB. The A32 has 64 GB of storage, while the A42 and A52 have 128 GB.
The A32 5G can be unlocked with facial recognition or a regular fingerprint sensor, while the A42 5G and A52 5G have facial recognition and optical fingerprint sensors.
All three models run on Android 11. The Galaxy A52 5G will receive three generations of Android OS upgrades and regular security updates for a minimum of four years. The rest of the A Series will only receive Android updates for two years and security updates for a minimum of four years.
The new 4G phones – the A02S and A12 – are aimed at prepaid customers who are more price sensitive. While most more expensive devices have moved to 5G, there is still a large market for 4G phones in the US, Samsung’s Hawke said. The low-end A-series models “have always performed very well for us,” he said. “They have always been the drivers of large volumes in terms of a lot of units.”
While adding 5G would make them too expensive for some customers today, Samsung will consider bringing the faster connectivity to its low-end A-series phones in the future, Hawke said.
The A02S and A12 feature 6.5-inch HD + LCD displays with Infinity-V displays and 60Hz refresh rates.
The A02S has a 5-megapixel front camera and three rear lenses: a 13-megapixel main camera, a 2-megapixel macro camera and a 2-megapixel depth lens. It is capable of digital zoom up to 8x. The A12 has an 8 megapixel front camera and four lenses on the back – a 16 megapixel main camera, 5 megapixel ultra-wide lens, 2 megapixel macro camera and a 2 megapixel depth camera. It has digital zoom up to 10x.
The A12 is equipped with MediaTek’s 12-nanometer P35 clocking up to 2.3 Ghz, while the A02 uses Qualcomm’s 14-nanometer Snapdragon 450 clocking up to 1.8 Ghz.
Both come with 32 GB of storage, but the A02S has 2 GB of RAM while the A12 has 3 GB. Like the 5G models, they both have microSD card slots that allow users to add up to 1TB of flash memory.
Both have 5,000 mAh batteries, come with 15 watts of fast charging, and run on Android 10. Only the A12 comes with biometric data, where users can unlock the phone using a fingerprint sensor on the side. The A02S requires a pattern, PIN or password.
All new A series phones will be available in black, although some models, such as the A42 5G, may also have other variants such as white or gray.