Hands-On

Samsung Galaxy A20 Hands-on: One of the familiar faces

One of the many new similar-looking phones

Published

on

Samsung‘s new strategy involves compelling models that are competitively priced. One of those is the Galaxy A20 which is priced under US$ 200. It’s been quite some time since I’ve tried a budget Samsung phone. This makes the Galaxy A20 interesting — at least, for me.

How does a budget Samsung phone fare? Here’s my hands-on.

Let’s get right into the phone starting in the front:

It has a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display…

Fairly big for a budget phone

… with a V-shaped notch

Samsung calls this Infinity-V

On its left, a triple card slot

Fans would love this

The physical buttons are all on the right

One for power and another for volume

At the bottom: headphone port, USB-C, and speaker

USB-C on a budget phone!

Its back is really glossy

It’s called “3D Glasstic”

It has two rear cameras and a fingerprint scanner

Keeping the essentials in check

The new wave of Samsung phones

The Galaxy A20 is part of Samsung’s reimagined Galaxy A series for 2019. The Galaxy A series used to be Samsung’s midrange lineup. Now, it also covers the budget segment. The move battles the rising popularity of Chinese manufacturers in developing markets.

The Galaxy A50, which is currently one of the best midrange phones shares a lot in commone with the Galaxy A20, design-wise. Both phones have the same 3D Glasstic body — a fancy name for glossy plastic. To be honest, I still prefer the previous matte bodies of the discontinued Galaxy J series, specifically the Galaxy J6 or the Galaxy J8.

The Galaxy A20 sports a Super AMOLED edge-to-edge display with a small V-shaped notch. To meet the target price point, the phone’s display only has an HD+ resolution. The lower pixel count is pretty obvious to the naked eye. The lack of sharpness is redeemed by the panel’s vibrant colors and deep blacks.

Decently fast and stable

Performance-wise, the Galaxy A20 doesn’t disappoint. I have little expectations for a budget Samsung phone. Still, the phone has proven me wrong. It already has Samsung’s new One UI on top of Android 9 Pie out of the box, a big advantage over older Samsung phones. I particularly like One UI’s system-wide dark mode. Likewise, I don’t have to wait for Android Q to get that.

The processor of the phone is Exynos 7884. It’s paired with 3GB of memory and 32GB of expandable memory. This is not the fastest configuration you can under US$ 200, but it gets the job done. The storage might not be enough to store all your games and videos, though. Thankfully, the phone has a dedicated microSD card slot for expansion.

Generally, the Galaxy A20 performs okay with everyday tasks like messaging, browsing the web, and scrolling through social networking apps. There’s no hint of sluggishness with day-to-day use. Although, it takes a bit longer to load heavier apps. The phone just needs an extra second or two compared to faster (and more expensive) phones.

In the gaming department, I am surprised that the Galaxy A20 can deliver better than the competition. My staple games — like Asphalt 9: Legends and PUBG Mobile — run smoothly with little to no lag. I’m not saying the Galaxy A20 can be your next gaming phone. At the very least, it can handle casual games and graphics-intensive titles in low to medium settings pretty well.

Also, the Galaxy A20’s battery capacity is impressive. The phone has a 4000mAh battery inside — bigger than most cheap phones today. Additionally, it also has a USB-C port that supports fast charging up to 15W.

Ultra wide-angle is a treat

Finally, you can get dual rear cameras on a budget Samsung phone. Like with the Galaxy S10e, the Galaxy A20’s setup is a combination of a normal camera and an ultra wide-angle shooter. The main one has a 13-megapixel sensor with an f/1.9 aperture. Meanwhile,the ultra wide-angle camera has a 5-megapixel sensor.

Like with most phones today, even in the budget segment, the Galaxy A20’s main camera can shoot decent stills in bright environments. At night or in low light, the quality becomes so-so. The phone also has an 8-megapixel front camera which takes not-so-pleasing selfies.

As for the wide-angle shooter, it has a really wide FOV like an action camera. Having this secondary camera will let you take an image with a different perspective. It’s also fun to use; you’ll enjoy trying it out in open areas.

Of course, there’s a catch. The quality of the wide-angle shots is nowhere near the main camera’s. At least, it’s definitely more useful than just a depth sensor. The Galaxy A20’s camera also has other features like Live Focus for bokeh and beauty mode for an instant touchup.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

In my opinion, the Galaxy A20 is proof of Samsung’s realization of its customer’s love for more value for their money. Despite brand unfamiliarity, Chinese manufacturers are luring phone buyers by offering bang-for-the-buck devices.

Although the Galaxy A20 is far from holding the bang-for-the-buck title, it’s a good option for those who want a budget Samsung phone. It has the basics covered with a few extra features to make it stand out.

The Galaxy A20 is priced at PhP 9,990 in the Philippines, MYR 699 in Malaysia, and INR 11,490 in India.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy A50 Review: The ideal midranger, almost

Hands-On

Microsoft Surface family Hands-On

And it’s dual screen

Published

on

Our Microsoft Surface Family Hands-On features the Surface Laptop 3 and Surface Pro X.

We also take a quick look at the Surface Buds, Surface Neo and Surface Duo. The latter two foldable devices are coming in time for next year’s holiday season. The Surface Duo and Android-powered Windows phone with two displays hinged together in the middle.

Joining me in this video is my She Said, He Said Co-Host Nicole Scott.

Continue Reading

Hands-On

Realme 5 Hands-On: A phone that you can rely on

Power in a budget

Published

on

When Realme unveiled the Realme 5 and Realme 5 Pro, one can’t just walk away and not look at this beautiful duo. However, the Realme 5 stands out compared to its pro version, with its shiny and bigger build.

Even though I dislike tall and bigger smartphones, I gave the Realme 5 a try. Let’s see what this phone has to offer.

The Realme 5 has a 6.5″ IPS LCD screen…

… and a dewdrop notch

On its bottom are its speaker grilles, a micro USB port, and a headphone jack

Found on the right side is its power button…

… while the left side contains the volume keys and the card tray

It has a plastic build designed with diamond cuts…

… and a quad-camera setup along with a dedicated fingerprint scanner

Premium-looking for its price

Realme follows the recent approach of every smartphone makers: Design an affordable phone to something premium-looking. Thanks to its well-thought design, the Realme 5 doesn’t look like a cheap, budget phone.

While its body is made of plastic, Realme made this affordable smartphone premium through its Gorilla Glass 3 at the front and adding splash resistance all over its body. Additionally, it comes in two cool gradient colors (like any other smartphones in 2019): Crystal Blue and Crystal Purple.

Its front has a 6.5″ IPS LCD screen with a 20:9 ratio and 720p resolution. For a massive smartphone, its resolution is a little bit low, causing icons to blur a little.

Enjoy longer playtime

The Realme 5 didn’t disappoint in terms of power and performance. For me, this is where this phone shines apart from its shiny design. Sporting a Snapdragon 665 processor and carrying a 4GB RAM and 128GB storage, this phone lets you play your favorite mobile games decently, such as Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.

Don’t worry about running out of juice, though! Packed with 5000mAh battery, this phone can last throughout the day, even if you’re a power user or a non-stop gamer.

Recently, I went on a hike and while there are occasional photo-taking sessions, the Realme 5 didn’t suck up a lot of its battery throughout the day. It even lasted the next day, and can definitely last longer if it’s just on standby.

Light, clean, and easy to look at

Realme 5 runs Color OS 6 based on Android 9 Pie, and is planning to upgrade it to Android 10. Similar to Realme X, its icons looks cleaner and lighter, making it pretty easy to look at. However, it isn’t that speedy when it comes to navigating, scrolling, and switching between apps.

But thanks to its user interface with a lighter feel, you won’t even notice the speed difference compared to your previous phones. It will just make you feel it’s fast enough to get the job done.

Easier and prettier selfies

Sitting inside the notch is a 13-megapixel camera with f/2.0 lens. Other options include a portrait mode, a panorama mode, and a time-lapse mode. For those who want to add an extra flair, there are built-in filters to choose from. If beauty is your concern, say no more. The camera has a lot of enhancement options like smoothing, nose trimming, face thinning, and eye enlargement.

Additionally, taking a selfie is pretty easy. You can opt between using the regular capture button, through the volume keys, through timer, fingerprint, touch, or even hand gesture.

Picture-perfect memories

On the flip side, its rear cameras are equipped with a 12-megapixel main camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide lens, a 2-megapixel dedicated macro camera, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor.

For a budget smartphone, my eyes and heart are happy with the photos. It’s not that detailed, but it’s rich in colors and highly vibrant despite a gloomy weather. It’s even better when there’s a substantial amount of natural light.

Its ultra-wide angle photos are suitable for online consumption. It lets you create dramatic shots and add perspective on your photos.

Through AI scene recognition, the Realme 5’s cameras automatically detect the settings for a certain scene. If it’s dim or during at night, it automatically activates HDR and brightens up the processed photo. Noise levels are pretty low, and it’s a big improvement for Realme.

There are more camera modes available apart from photo, portrait, video, and ultrawide, such as nightscape, panorama, expert, time-lapse, slo-mo, and ultra macro. Overall, the Realme 5 has decent cameras that are suitable for sharing on social media. Its ability to capture true colors and vivid scenes guarantees you don’t need a lot of editing apps to enhance and process your photos, you can now share it as is.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

Realme provides excellent value on its smartphones, especially in the Realme 5. What it lacks in display, screen resolution, and user interface, it compensates in power, performance, and cameras. With this kind of offering, it’s hard not to consider and give this phone a try.

For its price, the Realme 5 is a real treat for people looking for a budget smartphone that provides more than what they need. Its 3GB RAM/64GB storage variant costs PhP 7,990 (US$ 154) while its 4GB RAM/128GB storage variant is priced at PhP 9,990 (US$ 192).

Additionally, there’s a cheaper, Lazada Exclusive Model with a 3GB RAM/32GB storage for only PhP 6,990 (US$ 134). The Realme 5 is available nationwide starting October 4.

Continue Reading

Hands-On

Huawei Nova 5T: Flagship-like midranger

Stylish and powerful

Published

on

What happens when you put flagship-level processor and cameras in an expressive-looking package — you get the Huawei Nova 5T.

From the moment of its launch, the Nova 5T knew what it wants to be. It’s a smartphone that can more than get the job done and look good while doing it.

Flagship phone in a midranger’s body

The Huawei Nova 5T looks extremely good on paper. Powering the device is the Kirin 980 processor. It’s the same processor found on Huawei’s early 2019 flagship — the P30 Pro. That alone says a lot but it doesn’t end there.

You also get 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. These are insane numbers for a flagship smartphone, let alone one that’s priced in the midrange category (PhP 18,990).

Not just good on paper

Putting the phone through the paces, we quickly realized that it’s more than just the numbers. The Huawei Nova 5T flat out delivers a smooth performance you might forget you didn’t pay an extraordinary amount to get it.

We used the P30 Pro for a while and there’s little to no difference in performance. Whether you’re using your phone to answer a pile of emails or by scrutinizing every single one of your crush’s social media posts, the Nova 5T is up for the task.

You probably enjoy a fair amount of Netflix and YouTube sessions. The 6.3-inch IPS LCD display provides you with a good enough screen to enjoy your favorite shows whether you’re watching at home or outdoors.

Naturally, this phone can game. It’s more than enough to get you that MVP on Mobile Legends and can easily power you through PUBG mobile for that chicken dinner. And with a 3750mAh battery, you have more than enough juice to get you through a busy day.

Cameras that let you shine

The phone is equipped with four cameras: a 48MP wide angle shooter, 16MP ultra wide angle, 2MP dedicated macro camera, and 2MP depth sensor.

Huawei has made a name for itself in the mobile photography segment. The Nova 5T also delivers in this category. We’re fans of the ultra wide angle, it’s just too bad we haven’t had the chance to use it on a more scenic view prior to this hands-on.

The triple cameras are great for providing different perspectives. And the depth sensor does exactly what it’s supposed to do.

 

 

In front, situated at the top left area of the display is the punch hole, 32MP front-facing camera. You also get an adjustable beauty mode and portrait levels to help take your selfies to the next level.

The camera also has some other fun features you might enjoy playing with like Light Painting, Time-lapse, and Slow-mo. Here are other samples:

A flashy design

The Nova 5T is also all about expressing yourself. We’ve covered the idea behind the branding, and whether it’s your cup of tea or not, you can’t deny that this look is truly Huawei.

It mirrors the self-identity approach that it believes is paramount to its intended market. It looks great but does more than enough heavy lifting to power your day.

Adding the fingerprint scanner to the power button instead of putting it under the display is also an underrated touch. The fingerprint scanner is fast, accurate, and is at a comfortable position whether the phone is facing up or down on a table.

We’re excited to get EMUI 10

EMUI 9 already has a lot going for it. The extra things it provides are quite thoughtful. For instance, despite it still being based on Android 9 Pie, EMUI 9 implements fullscreen gestures that’s close to Android 10. Of course, this wouldn’t matter much to you if you’re the navigation bar type of person.

There’s also other helpful little quirks like swiping down with three fingers or knocking on the display to capture a screenshot.

Which is why we’re excited for the phone to get EMUI 10. It’s a faster, cleaner, and smoother version of EMUI and should help enhance the experience of using the Nova 5T.

Moving over to the phone is also quite easy thanks to Huawei’s Clone Phone app. It’s perhaps one of the most convenient ways to move from one phone to another.

Is the Huawei Nova 5T your GadgetMatch?

When we think about smartphones that offer the “best bang for your buck,” they usually don’t look like this. And probably don’t perform as well as the Nova 5T does.

In a way, the Huawei Nova 5T breaks expectations on so many fronts. That’s what sets it apart from other phones in this category.

To be able to harness this much power, at a reasonable price, and with an expressive look — we’re not sure how Huawei pulled it off, but we’re very glad that they did.


This feature was produced in collaboration between GadgetMatch and Huawei Philippines.

Continue Reading

Trending