The Galaxy A03 is an entry-level phone from Samsung that can be confused with two other models: the Galaxy A03 Core and the Galaxy A03 s. And it is very close to this second in several specifications.
Its price, however, is closer to the company’s simplest model, the A03 Core. And then confusion is created among potential buyers: is it worth investing in this model?
I tested the Galaxy A03 Core, and I will tell you what I thought of it in this review.
The dimensions and weight of the Galaxy A03 are the same as the Galaxy A03s. And, despite both having a plastic finish, they are visually different.
The A03 looks even more straightforward, and you can already tell that it’s an entry-level phone when you look at it. That is not necessarily a bad feature.
The back has a slightly rough texture, which helps ensure a good grip. The cell phone seems firm and resistant to everyday accidents, but I recommend being careful as if it were a more expensive device to avoid falls.
At the bottom, you’ll find a P2 connector and the device’s first significant downside: micro USB. And that messes up the loading speed, which is pretty slow. But I’ll talk about that later.
Another negative point that is also linked to the construction issue is the absence of the fingerprint reader. Galaxy A03 only offers facial recognition like biometrics for unlocking, which is not so reliable on Android.
In other words, to have some security on your phone, you’ll have to enter a PIN, password, or draw a pattern whenever you want to access apps.
- Size: 6.5 inches, 102 cm² in area, ~81.8% occupancy;
- Panel technology: PLS LCD;
- Resolution and aspect ratio: HD (720 x 1600 pixels), 20:9;
- Approximate density: 270 pixels per inch.
An entry-level smartphone doesn’t need to have a screen with amazing settings. At this point, the Galaxy A03 is quite honest, as it has a good display. It’s not impressive, but it’s affordable and has few weaknesses.
It has a PLS LCD panel with a good viewing angle. However, it has a little less attractive colors than an IPS panel of cell phones in the same price range. Nothing too serious, making the display quality acceptable.
There are no extras here. The frequency rate is 60 Hz, and the device does not offer HDR to improve contrast. The black, at least, achieve a very dark gray tone.
Configuration and Performance
- Operating system: Android 11 under One UI 3.1 Core;
- Platform: Unisoc T606 (12 nm);
- Processor: Octa-core (2x 1.6 GHz Cortex-A75 + 6x 1.6 GHz Cortex-A55);
- GPU: Mali-G57 MC1;
- RAM and Storage: 4/64 GB.
The Galaxy A03‘s processor can be a bit of a mess, but it’s nothing out of this world. On the other hand, the Unisoc T606 is decent and delivers a reasonable experience for positioning the device within an entry-level category.
The use of HD resolution helps to keep the system relatively fluid, and I didn’t feel as many stutters on this model as I saw on some phones with the Snapdragon 680 and Full HD screen.
You see, it’s not the case to say that the Unisoc T606 is faster than Qualcomm’s mid-range chip. Here, the credit goes to Samsung for reducing the demand for a lower resolution GPU and offering 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage.
I don’t recommend the device for gaming, especially if it’s competitive. For more casual games you can even face it. But the device took a long time to load Asphalt 9, for example, and gave some stutters that intermediate models don’t.
Like the Galaxy A03s, the A03 comes out of the box with Android 11 installed underneath the One UI 3.1 Core interface. Despite being released in 2022, it continues with this version even in August.
So don’t expect this model to follow Android’s four updates policy and one more year of security updates for this model. There is not even information if it will receive two system version updates.
As for the system itself, the Galaxy A03 has a slightly lighter One UI. This helps keep fluidity to a minimum for everyday use. The features available are pretty basic because it’s the company’s second simplest model this year.
- Main: 48 MP, f/1.8 aperture, autofocus;
- Depth: 2 MP, f/2.4 aperture;
- Selfies: 5 MP, f/2.2 aperture;
- Videos: 1080p at up to 30 fps.
The photo set looks double, but only one camera takes pictures. The other is a blur assist in portrait mode, which you could do with just software, as Google did for a long time on the Pixel.
Anyway, I thought the sensor did a pretty decent job, and I expected a lot less from the photos I took with this device.
Indeed, the colors are not eye-popping, with very disappointing vivacity. But the textures and sharpness impressed me, at least with good lighting.
In low light, the problem is with sharpness. The Galaxy A03 must be very stable to take good photos at night or indoors. I found that the night mode only makes the image brighter, and I preferred the results to the normal mode.
Selfies and video recording
The front camera has a much lower resolution than the main one, and you can see that in the results. The textures are much lower, although they are still photos in which your face is recognizable.
What I mean is: don’t expect the quality of an iPhone, of course, and not even a more advanced Galaxy A. These are selfies that, with good lighting, will allow robots to recognize your face for banking transactions, for example. Nothing much more than that.
Video recording is limited to Full HD resolution and maintains a photo-like quality: good sharpness and slightly muted colors.
Entry phones don’t just cut costs on the processor, screen, and camera. It also has a lower sound system than more advanced models, not just for bringing a single speaker.
The Galaxy A03 has a bit of muffled audio, even at medium volume. In fact, it practically only emits mid-tones, with a lot of distortion in the highs and lows. You can listen to WhatsApp audio and some videos, but it’s not a great experience.
Battery and Charging
- Charging capacity: 5000mAh;
- Recharge: up to 7.5W.
Battery capacity has ceased to be an issue on cheaper models in recent years. At least among larger manufacturers, such as Samsung, put 5,000 mAh of charge in the Galaxy A03.
And that, combined with the chip that consumes little energy, guarantees a very good usage time. According to my tests, the device has everything to stay away from the socket for more than two days if the use is only for simpler apps.
In Netflix video playback, the Samsung mobile got an estimated 15.8 hours. This with the screen brightness at 50%, which is very comfortable to use indoors.
But everyday use can be even better. With more than six hours of testing, of which about 3 hours and 20 minutes were with the screen on, the device consumed only 12% of its charge. An average of 1.8 percentage points per hour.
At this rate, you can imagine it would consume less than 40% of its battery daily. And even so, it would be with a more intense use than the average user. So you can expect it to be two days away from the outlet.
The problem is recharging. With the micro USB cable, the power is quite limited. The charger in the box is still quite powerful, with 7.5 W, but it needs at least three hours in the socket to go from 0% to 100%.
So the charge must last a long time because it will take a while when you need the outlet. Remember that making small charges throughout the day is recommended instead of just one to fill the entire battery at once.
Samsung Galaxy A03: is it worth it?
Galaxy A03 is an honest entry-level phone that has minimal memory to offer a pleasant user experience today. In addition, it offers good photo quality with its main camera and great battery life.
Its main negative points are circumventable, depending on its use. In my opinion, the fingerprint reader’s absence weighs the most against the device. I think keeping your data and apps safe is crucial in 2022.
The micro USB connector is a pretty serious problem, too. But it will make a difference when recharging, which is only necessary every two days for this model. It should have USB-C, but it’s not something that affects that much if you organize yourself well.
Another point is the absence of NFC. But it is expected since the phone does not have a fingerprint reader. I think it’s important to mention why it’s best to avoid this model if it’s important to you.
Overall, the Galaxy A03 offers an interesting experience for an entry-level model. It is recommended for anyone that just needs a phone for social networks and messengers.
- Galaxy A03 combines streamlined design aesthetics with a cross-hatched light pattern and soft matte finish on the back
- 48MP Main Camera for amazing everyday photos
- 2MP Depth Camera lets you adjust the depth of field in your photos
- Octa-core processing power with up to 3GB/4GB of RAM for fast and efficient performance for the task at hand