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Dhaka Tribune

Samsung Galaxy A04s: Good camera, but is the performance a letdown?

It is a good improvement over the Galaxy A03s from the previous year because it has a high refresh rate screen, a passable primary camera and excellent battery life. But sadly, this hardly tips the scales in its favour

Update : 21 Dec 2022, 06:12 PM

Samsung released its entry-level smartphone — Galaxy A04s — in the last week of September - the successor to the Samsung Galaxy A03s.

With smartphone prices witnessing a hike in the Bangladeshi market lately, the phone also came with a price tag of Tk17,999 for a 4GB RAM and 64GB storage version. There is another version with 128GB storage priced at Tk18,999.

When compared to the A03s, the A04s offer some improvements and changes. It now has a 90Hz display, an Exynos chipset and a 50MP primary sensor. But is it worth the price?

Aesthetic

Weighing 195 grams, the Galaxy A04s is 9.1 mm thin, which makes it a little bit thicker than the competitors. 

The A04s, on the other hand, has a better design than the A03s and appears more premium as it borrows design elements from the more expensive A-series phone.

The back panel's textured finish makes it less smudge-prone.

Although the embedded fingerprint sensor in the power button functions well, it is not quick enough. A triple slot is also available, which can simultaneously hold two SIM cards and a microSD card. It has a speaker, a USB Type-C port and a 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom.

The phone has a good grip, but due to its size, using it with one hand is difficult. However, it doesn't feel heavy despite weighing about 195 g.

Display

Samsung Galaxy A04s has a 6.5 inches PLS LCD display that supports a 90Hz refresh rate. Galaxy A03s had a 60Hz panel.

PLS is produced by Samsung, and they claim that PLS panels have better viewing angles, a 10% increase in brightness, a 15% decrease in production costs, increased image quality, and allow for flexible panels compared to IPS panels.

The display resolution is 720 x 1600 pixels with a 20:9 ratio. While the lower display resolution is sharp enough and will surely help the battery of the smartphone to survive longer, at this price point, Samsung should have gone with a 1080p display.

Brightness is good on the display of A04s. Samsung claims that it has a peak brightness of 400 nits.

Despite having good viewing angles, the display panel's colour reproduction is at best average. The vibrant colours that we have come to expect from Samsung phones are not present.

The well-optimized 90Hz refresh rate offers smooth scrolling. While watching videos and when the screen is not in use, the panel's refresh rate drops to 60Hz. If not, it continues to run at 90Hz.

Performance

Samsung Galaxy A04s comes with an 8nm Exynos 850 chipset. For a moment there, I had to struggle to find something to compare it with. 

I tried comparing it with the Snapdragon 720g and found out that the Snapdragon chipset is far superior to this. Then, I went as far as the Snapdragon 665 and still couldn't make a comparison. 

Even MediaTek's G80 is far better than Exynos 850. But considering the price range, I had to stick to it. 

The Exynos 850 only managed to score 154 in Single-Core and 582 in Multi-Core on GeekBench. The Helio G80, in contrast, receives 350 and 1317 points, respectively, which is more than double.

According to Nanoreview, the AnTuTu score of Exynos 850 is 146,634 and Helio G80 has a 54% better score of 225,651.

While using the phone, I also noticed occasional lagging while switching apps. So, it is safe to say that Samsung Galaxy A04s just do not hold up well when it comes to performance. It just has very poor performance considering its price tag.

Camera

A 50MP main sensor, a 2MP depth sensor and a 2MP macro sensor make up the triple camera system on the Samsung A04s. A 5MP selfie camera is located on the front.

The main camera's images are poorly exposed and have dull colours in the darker areas. Similar to the dynamic range, the focus is occasionally not adjusted and the dynamic range is only average.

Low-contrast, washed-out photos with low resolution are produced by the 2MP macro camera. Setting the proper focusing distance is also challenging.

Meanwhile, the portraits are sharp and contain fine details, which is above average. Although the dynamic range could be better, the colours appear enhanced. 

However, it struggles with complex areas like hair. The blur effect is still believable enough.

In favourable lighting conditions, selfies come out fairly well. They look sharp and have good detail. The skin tone is nice, and the face tone appears natural.

The Samsung A04s has a 1080p 30fps video capture capability. The colour is neutral and the dynamic range is above average. The footage sometimes looks not ideal because of the obvious exposure shift. The videos also don't have adequate stabilization.

Given that it is an entry-level budget phone, the video quality is decent.

Battery

The 5000mAh battery in the Samsung A04s can deliver excellent battery life. It can give you up to 7-8 hours of screen time with moderate use. 

With moderate usage, the phone's battery will easily last more than a day.

However, with the 15W charger, charging the battery from 0% to 100% takes longer than three and a half hours. Charging speed should have been better in this phone. 

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy A04s is a low-cost entry-level device and may be the least expensive Galaxy smartphone available. It is a good improvement over the Galaxy A03s from the previous year because it has a high refresh rate screen, a passable primary camera and excellent battery life. But sadly, this hardly tips the scales in its favour.

It might be useful for someone who prefers to communicate primarily through phone calls and text messages. However, we find it difficult to recommend the A04s for anything else. 

There are better options available in the market within the same price range. Especially if you look at Xiaomi and Realme, which mostly dominates the entry-level smartphone market. 


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