Smartphones are an integral part of our life and I wouldn’t think twice about leaving them at home if I am off somewhere. With that being said, depending on your budget, you could be using a premium flagship smartphone or a budget phone and luckily, Samsung Galaxy F12 is a budget-friendly smartphone.
Also Check: Recycle Your Old Phone, Get Rewarded!
With a combination of a good display from Samsung and a 90Hz refresh rate, a decent processor, and humongous battery life, here’s a hands-on review about the newly released Samsung Galaxy F12.
Prices in India, Variants, Availability
Samsung Galaxy F12 in India is available on both Flipkart India and Samsung India website among other retails scores. It is available in 64GB+4GB variant at Rs.10,999/- while the higher 128GB+4GB is available at Rs.11,999/-. Flipkart runs an exchange program with a discount of up to Rs.11,200/-. There are tonnes of other deals and discounts such as Rs.1,000/- off on Credit/Debit cards, Rs.1,000/- an instant discount of ICICI Bank CC, Credit EMI, and Debit non-EMI transactions. You can choose between Celestial Black, Sea Green, and Sky Blue colour variants.
We have with us yet another affordable smartphone, Samsung Galaxy F12 in a white box packaging with the device printed on top. It comes with standard packaging and the box contents now you are used to.
- Galaxy F12 device
- 15W charging adapter
- USB Type-C charging cable
- Sim ejector tool.
Sadly, there is no transparent case or screen protector provided along with the device.
Specs at a glance
Before we talk in detail about what’s in store for you in the Galaxy F12, let’s have a quick look at the specs:
- Display: 16.55 cm (6.515 inch) HD+ Infinity-V Display, 90Hz refresh rate
- Processor: Exynos 850 chipset
- Storage: 4GB/64GB, 4GB/128GB
- Software: OneUI 3.0 based on Android 11
- Rear cameras: 48MP+5MP+2MP+2MP Quad camera setup
- Selfie camera: 8MP
- Battery: 6000 mAh
- Weight: 221g
- Dimensions: 164.00 x 75.90 x 9.70 mm
Solid Grip and Sturdy Design
Unlike the Samsung Galaxy M12 which has a textured plastic back panel, Samsung Galaxy F12 (which has all the identical specs) has a vertically striped pattern. Hold it and you will see that all the lines are parallel to each other and this does help to have a good grip on the phone. Since there’s no glass, you don’t have to worry about fingerprints and smudges either. Though I feel that the strips do make the phone look cheap although this is my opinion and you might have a different outlook on it.
A quad-camera setup arranged in a square camera bump takes just a bit of the back panel. The phone does look tall so that’s a thing.
Now, flip the phone and you get a giant display with a waterdrop-shaped notch on-board. Yes, there are profound bezels around the edges and the chin is very thick which is something you get at this price tag so that’s not a big deal. If you aren’t a fan of this stripped design, I would recommend buying Galaxy M12 instead. The device is 221 grams in weight which again justifies the price tag it targets.
Talking about the ports and orifices, Samsung Galaxy F12 has a secondary microphone on top; a SIM card slot on the left; a power button cum fingerprint scanner and a volume rocker on the right; and finally, a primary microphone, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a USB Type-C port, a single bottom-firing loudspeaker are at the bottom and that ends it all.
Display - Don't Spend More For 90Hz Now
Samsung Galaxy F12 packs in a 6.5-inch HD+ LCD panel with a resolution of 720 x 1600 pixels. It does arrive with an unknown version of Corning Gorilla Glass on top, however, everything remains the same as you would have seen with Galaxy M12.
What you get at Rs.10,999/- is a display with a 60Hz refresh rate and luckily, it isn’t static but an adaptive refresh rate. This ensures that the refresh rate changes as per the requirements. The display tends to play with the refresh rate such as YouTube sticks to 90Hz mode while the notification shade is locked at 60Hz. Using Instagram and Facebook for scrolling works at 90Hz. Similarly, intensive apps like games would excel at 90Hz.
The display is bright but you will still struggle under direct sunlight which is a trade-off you will have to work out with when buying a budget-friendly smartphone. The display is huge and there’s not a second thought about it so viewing content on the display, however, HD+ or below is a wholesome experience.
Additionally, the display comes with an eye comfort shield that kicks off extra blue light and prevents your eyes from straining. This is essentially more profound when using the phone at night time with little to no surrounding light to compensate for the brightly lit display though you can bring down the brightness to a minimum during such scenarios.
The display is average and the 90Hz is the only USP but at this price point, can you expect more? I don’t think so. If you are upgrading from a TFT or LCD panel, you will love Galaxy F12’s IPS LCD panel but if you are downgrading from AMOLED, I highly doubt you will find a reason to love it except the fact that LCD panels are superb battery savers.
Identical Budget Performance
Samsung Galaxy F12 hosts an in-house Exynos 850 chipset fabricated on an 8nm node. The chipset comprises four 2.0GHz Cortex-A55 cores and four 2.0GHz Cortex-A55 cores along with Mali-G52 GPU. The device arrives with a decent 4GB RAM and 64GB/128GB of eMMC 5.1 storage configurations onboard.
Just like the Galaxy M12, the Galaxy F12 packs in the same chipset and thus delivers almost identical performance. It can withstand multitasking, switching between apps, browsing, and all other daily tasks without breaking a sweat. Things might change when subjected to graphics-intensive games. I played PUBG Mobile on Samsung Galaxy F12 for an hour and to be honest, I was impressed with its battery backup since, after an hour, the battery was still at 90-91 per cent. On the other hand, the graphics weren’t all jacked up and I did have to tweak it to play the game without much hassle.
You won’t notice frame drops at times unless you exactly know what you are looking at. The device does a satisfactory job when it comes to performance and above all, it is just a budget smartphone so I won’t be harsh on it for sure.
The chipset handles temperature well since I noticed just a bit of warmth after playing PUBG Mobile for a good hour. There are plenty of smartphones available in the market that can go upwards of 45-degree Celsius while Galaxy F12 stayed well under it at least at the time of testing.
Software - Clean Custom UI
OneUI 3.1 based on Android 11 handles the software part. Fully optimized on the device, OneUI 3.1 is one of the best custom UI out there so much so that the OnePlus’ OxygenOS 11 actually has some identical elements when it comes to its one-handed usage. The OneUI 3.1 has an upper level of customizability, one-handed usage with interactive and viewing area clearly layout, and an overall clean interface to use.
Cameras - Just Right For Price
When it comes to optics, Samsung Galaxy F12 packs in a quad-camera setup. It will feature a 48MP primary sensor with f/2.0 aperture along with a 5MP ultrawide snapper with f/2.2 aperture, a 2MP macro, and a 2MP depth sensor with f/2.4 each. The front packs in an 8MP module with an f/2.2 aperture.
If you have seen those specifications earlier, this is because Samsung Galaxy F12 shares almost 99 per cent of its specifications with the Galaxy M12.
I tested the camera rig to test it out practically. The rear primary shooter can capture decent images with decent details in the daytime or if you are adding artificial lighting to it. The low-light photography will surely take a hit since there’s no night mode on-board.
The images aren’t that detailed so you will have to do with average results but hey, at Rs.10,999/-, I do think that doesn’t break the price justification for sure. The ultrawide snapper takes a wider snap although Samsung hasn’t mentioned exactly how much. Galaxy M12 grabs ultrawide snaps at 123-degree and I do think that Galaxy F12 either snags photos with a lower or equal field of view.
The depth sensor works in combination with the primary shooter for portrait shots and there’s no doubt it is average and so are the shots captured using the macro sensor.
Overall, if Galaxy F12 is your first Android smartphone assuming that you never used iPhones or have been using Android devices released some years ago, you will feel confident about the camera photos and videos. For the rest of the users, the shots are disappointing, with a lack of sharpness, details, and dynamic range. The shutter speed is mehh… as well so yeah, there are some caveats of using the budget-friendly Galaxy F12 smartphone.
Battery - More Than A Day
Samsung Galaxy F12 comes strapped with a giant 6,000 mAh battery which without any hassle should last for more than a day and a half on mixed usage. Using it lightly will surely extend its battery backup to the next day.
I tested the phone for its charging speed which is at 15W which isn’t that fast. But hey, given the fact that the phone is just Rs.11,000/-, it is acceptable. Talking about the charging speed, the phone took about 2 hours and 43 minutes to charge to its full capacity from 1 per cent. Above all, the phone didn’t heat up even after plugging in the charger for almost 3 hours straight.=
The bonus here is the addition of an LCD panel which is power-efficient compared to Super AMOLED where the latter is although superior, the price point justifies having the LCD panel instead.
Audio, Connectivity, Biometrics
Well, there’s no stereo speaker here but you get a loud bottom-firing loudspeaker with Dolby Atmos. This makes sure that the sound quality is good and loud although I won’t compare it with any mid-range smartphones. It is good for its price point and not having a stereo speaker is common at this price tag as well.
About the connectivity features, the Samsung Galaxy F12 arrives with a 3.5mm headphone jack as well as a USB Type-C 2.0 port at the bottom. The phone has Bluetooth v5.0 support with LE and A2DP as well as Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n so you get some cutbacks here. The device has A-GPS, Glonass, BDS, and Galileo GPS support as well.
Samsung Galaxy F12 comes with a suite of security features such as a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, facial recognition, and the usual PIN and pattern unlocking mechanisms. If you want to unlock the phone in an instant, I would recommend using the side-mounted fingerprint scanner that works pretty instantly. The facial recognition system isn’t lagging behind but still, you will be pressing the power button anyways, which unlocks the phone since the power button doubles as a side-mounted FPS.
Pros & Cons
- 6.5-inch HD+ display with 90Hz refresh rate
- Extra-large 6000 mah battery
- Stunning 48MP quad-rear camera setup
- 128GB internal storage
- Exynos 850 processor
- Android 11 Operating System
- Side-mounted fingerprint sensor
- No fast charging
- 720-pixel resolution
- No Gorilla Glass protection
- No dust and water resistance
- No 5G connectivity
Samsung usually releases tens of smartphones across budget, mid-range, and flagship categories. Samsung Galaxy F12 falls in the budget category and does have some decent specifications such as the inclusion of an HD+ 90Hz display, a 6000 mAh battery, a quad-camera setup among others.
The OneUI 3.1 with Android 11 out-of-the-box is bingo on the device. However, the striped pattern at the back makes the device look more rugged or sometimes, cheap. You can buy Galaxy M12 which is virtually the same phone minus the rugged striped pattern for the back panel. But you can still buy the Galaxy F12 if you want to stick to the Galaxy F-series and on a tight budget. Check out Realme C25 if you are searching for its alternatives.