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Samsung Galaxy A03 Core Review: A Good Cheap Smartphone

Pros

  • Sturdy build
  • Good display
  • Responsive UI
  • Excellent battery

Cons

  • Average camera
  • Old chipset
  • Slow charging
  • No fingerprint sensor

Samsung offers a number of smartphones in its A series that range from entry-level to premium mid-range. On the left end of this range lies the Samsung Galaxy A03 Core.

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It’s an entry-level phone offering basic features targeted towards light users. Though there are not many smartphones that have come out recently in this price segment, there are already a number of good competitors in the market, such as the Redmi 9A and the Realme C20.

The Samsung Galaxy A03 Core price in Nepal is Rs. 11,999. The price is already appealing, especially after the recent price hike of the most popular entry-level smartphone, the Redmi 9A.

So, how well can this phone perform? Are entry-level phones any good in 2022? Let’s find out in TechLekh‘s Samsung Galaxy A03 Core review.

Samsung Galaxy A03 Core Specifications

  • Body: 164.2 x 75.9 x 9.1mm, 211g, Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
  • Display: 6.5 inches HD+ PLS TFT LCD, 720 x 1600 pixels, 60Hz
  • Chipset: Unisoc SC9863A (28nm)
  • CPU: Octa-core (4×1.6 GHz Cortex-A55 & 4×1.2 GHz Cortex-A55)
  • GPU: PowerVR 8322
  • Memory: 32GB 2GB RAM, eMMC 5.1, Dedicated microSDXC slot
  • OS: Android 11 (Go edition)
  • Rear Camera: 8 MP, f/2.0, AF
  • Front Camera: 5 MP, f/2.2
  • Battery: Non-removable Li-Po 5000 mAh battery, 7.8W charging
  • USB: Micro USB 2.0, USB On-The-Go
  • Misc: Accelerometer, Proximity, Light sensor, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Colors: Black, Blue

Samsung Galaxy A03 Core Price in Nepal: Rs. 11,999

Samsung Galaxy A03 Core Review

Sturdy Plastic Build

  • 154.2 x 75.9 x 9.1mm
  • 211g
  • Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)

 

The phone has a plastic body, which I don’t even think needs to be mentioned anymore as it’s standard on all phones in this price range. But unlike the Samsung Galaxy A03s that I reviewed a while ago, the A03 Core features a textured surface on the back, which helps to give a good grip, and surprisingly, the whole build feels very sturdy.

To give it a unique touch, the rear camera portion has a diagonal striped pattern. I also appreciate the curved sides, as they make it easier to hold the phone. The power and volume buttons located on the right side are also not that difficult to reach, though I did not find them to be very tactile.

By the way, it does not have a fingerprint sensor, which is a common cut in such phones. Moving on, the bottom packs a beloved 3.5mm headphone jack, an outdated micro USB port, and a mono speaker.

Great Display for the Price

  • 6.5″ HD+ PLS TFT LCD
  • 720 x 1600 pixels

The phone has a huge 6.5-inch PLS TFT display. Predictably, the display has got an HD+ resolution. What I did not expect, though, was good display quality.

Samsung Galaxy A03 Core Display
Samsung Galaxy A03 Core Display

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a budget phone, so expecting it to have an excellent flagship-level display is not realistic, but nonetheless, considering the price, I am satisfied with the display.

Given the price, I am happy with the display.

The display is bright. The colours and sharpness are also acceptable. I did not have any visibility or reading issues on a day-to-day basis and watching some YouTube videos was also satisfactory.

Average Camera

  • Rear Camera: 8MP, f/2.0
  • Front Camera: 5MP, f/2.2

The Samsung Galaxy A03 Core has a single rear camera of 8MP and a 5MP front camera. The good thing I like about its camera design is that it does not pretend to have multiple cameras on the back as we see on other similarly-priced phones. (Though keep in mind, even if they do have an extra camera, they always turn out to be useless on budget phones.)

Samsung Galaxy A03 Core Rear Camera
Samsung Galaxy A03 Core Rear Camera

I’m afraid that’s the only good thing you will read about the camera in this review. When it comes to the camera quality, the photos taken with the A03 Core are pretty boring. The photos lack details, and both the shadows and highlights appear to be exposed improperly.

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If there is enough light, such as during the daytime, both the front and back cameras may take decent photos, but they still struggle to maintain a good exposure. During the nighttime, without a surprise, the photo comes out grainy and blurry.

Besides the photos it takes, there is another thing about the camera that I find really annoying. It’s the sound—the shutter sound. It’s so loud and sounds like a 10-year-old Chinese feature phone.

The video is also average, with no details or sharpness. Having said that, the camera should be enough for video calling, which is what I assume the majority of users, including elderly people and students, will purchase this phone for.

Performance

  • Unisoc SC9863A SoC
  • PowerVR GE8322 GPU
  • 2GB RAM | 32GB storage

The Samsung Galaxy A03 Core is powered by a three-year-old Unisoc SC9863A chipset. The chipset is not known for its performance.

In Geekbench 5, a CPU-centric benchmarking utility, the phone managed to score just around 125 in the single-core score and around 470 in the multi-core score.

However, I am not that disappointed by the real-life performance of this device. This is because of how well the software is optimized to run on this not-so-powerful hardware.

It’s running on One UI Core on top of Android 11 (Go edition). And, considering the price, it’s commendable how responsive the overall device feels. Yes, the loading times of apps were not that fast, but the phone surprisingly felt smooth.

The phone handled pretty well when using light apps, such as calling, messaging, and video streaming. The opening and closing of apps were also not frustratingly slow, though it may test your patience once in a while.

I can easily see people using this device on a daily basis just fine who just need a few basic smart features.

However, with only 2GB RAM, the phone may begin to show its age soon, but let’s hope that the Android Go edition holds up well.

For gaming, the device is capable of playing light games fairly smoothly. But for playing heavy games, such as PUBG Mobile, the phone should not be your phone of choice. The phone does provide playable fps in the lowest settings, but the experience is far from smooth.

ALSO READ: Dell Laptops Price in Nepal: Features and Specs

Excellent Battery Life

  • Non-removable 5000mAh battery
  • 7.75W charger

The battery life is one of the strongest selling points for the Samsung Galaxy A03 Core. Its 5000mAh served me for more than a day easily. For light users, I would not be surprised if the device did not need to be charged for even 2-3 days.

One downside is that charging the phone takes a long time as it comes with just a 7.75W charger. It takes over 3 hours to fully charge.

But it’s good practice to just charge it on a daily basis instead of draining the battery to zero and then charging it again fully. It will not only extend the life of the battery but will also reduce the waiting time.

Software and Speaker

  • Android 11 (Go edition)
  • One UI Core
  • Down-firing mono speaker

The Samsung Galaxy A03 Core runs on Android 11 (Go edition) and Samsung has topped it with its own One UI Core to give it a Samsung feel.

The One UI Core is Samsung’s striped-down version of the One UI meant for low-end phones. And, as mentioned earlier, the software is impressively well optimized.

The UI feels smooth and uncluttered, with no unnecessary heavy apps and features. It’s light and responsive, and I enjoyed using it.

The phone has a down-firing mono speaker. The speaker is just average, with a flat sound and no bass. However, even at full volume, I did not notice any significant distortion, which is good.

Should You Buy the Samsung Galaxy A03 Core?

The Samsung Galaxy A03 Core is a great phone for Rs. 12,000! It has a great display, excellent battery life, and software that is well-optimized. The software experience is what makes this phone a better option than others. It feels comparatively smoother thanks to Android (Go edition) and One UI Core.

It’s for someone on a tight budget who just wants a phone for their basic day-to-day tasks such as browsing, using social media, messaging, calling, online classes, and video streaming. If you are that person, then you should buy it.

However, if you are looking for a phone with greater performance or a better camera, then this phone might not suffice for you. The Realme C20 is a good option if you are looking for better camera performance.

READ NEXT: Realme Narzo 50i Review: Good Budget Phone with Stock Experience

What do you think about the Samsung Galaxy A03 Core? Let us know in the comments!


Also, watch our review of the Vivo Y15s in Nepali

4 Comments

  • · Edit

    The phone is cheap quite alright but it’s useless because it has a lot of limitations for example it has no voice recorder, the sound and picture qualities are useless… If you thinking of getting it you will just waste your money

    Reply
  • One thing I didnt see covered in this review – WIFI does not include the much faster 5GHz frequencies. And tho it supposedly includes 2.4 GHz B,G,N standards, I have not been able to get the phone to connect a speed faster than 59 Mbps. While many other phones in my stable, some as much as 5 years old, will connect at 122 Mbps on the same router, on the same 2.4 GHz frequencies.

    Reply

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