Samsung Galaxy A32 Review: Compromised Performance
Samsung has launched a slew of mid-range phones in its Galaxy A and Galaxy M range. One of the most recent A series devices to be released is the Galaxy A32 4G. There is a 5G variant as well, but they are very different devices. I’ve been using the standard 4G variant of Galaxy A32 for over two weeks and have had a positive experience. Yet, there are a couple of limitations of the phone making us question if it’s the best phone under Rs. 35,000 in Nepal? Let’s find out more in this review of the Samsung Galaxy A32.
Table of Contents
- Samsung Galaxy A32 Review:
- Samsung Galaxy A32 Review: Pros and Cons
Samsung Galaxy A32 Specifications:
- Body: 73.6 x 158.9 x 8.4mm, 184 gm
- Display: 6.4-inches Super AMOLED “Infinity-U” panel, 90Hz refresh rate, Corning Gorilla Glass 5, 800 nits peak brightness
- Resolution: Full-HD+ (2400 x 1080 pixels), 20:9 aspect ratio
- Chipset: MediaTek Helio G80 (12nm)
- CPU: Octa-core (2×2.0 GHz Cortex-A75 & 6×1.8 GHz Cortex-A55)
- GPU: Arm Mali-G52 MC2
- Memory: 4/6GB LPDDR4X RAM, 64/128GB storage (expandable)
- Software & UI: Android 11 with One UI 3.1 on top
- Rear Camera: Quad-camera;
– 64MP f/1.8 primary lens, PDAF
– 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide, 123º FOV
– 5MP f/2.4 macro sensor
– 5MP f/2.4 depth sensor
- Front Camera: 20MP f/2.2 sensor (notch)
- Audio: Loudspeaker, 3.5mm headphone jack, Dolby Audio
- Security: In-display fingerprint sensor, Face unlock
- Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyro, Geomagnetic, Hall, RGB Light, Virtual Proximity
- Connectivity: Dual-SIM (Nano), WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (Dual-band), Bluetooth 5.0, GPS / Glonass / Galileo / Beidou, USB Type-C, NFC, 4G LTE
- Battery: 5000mAh with 15W fast charge (15W adapter provided)
- Color options: Awesome – Black, White, Blue, Violet
- Price in Nepal: Rs. 31,999 (6/128GB)
Samsung Galaxy A32 Review:
Design and Build
- Glass front, plastic back/frame
- Refreshing color choices
Starting with the design, Galaxy A32 has a look that is somewhat inspired by Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S21 series. And the updated camera unit has been the year’s denouement for Samsung smartphones. Besides that, we could see a similar camera sensor placement. The three relatively large camera sensors stand out from the smaller macro lens and the LED flash on the side.
It’s a mid-range Samsung phone so of course, its back is made of plastic while the screen simply lays flat. The company has gone with a more rectangular design here and I had no problems holding the device. Although Samsung has attempted to give Galaxy A32’s frame a metallic feel, it is also made of plastic.
There is no reflective pattern or other decoration at the back—it is simply plain, which I like after seeing many smartphones with fancy backs. This isn’t to say it doesn’t look good. Furthermore, the back easily picks up fingerprint smudges and slight scuffs. Therefore, I will suggest you put on a decent case on this. Likewise, even though the phone has a big 5000mAh battery, it doesn’t feel that heavy in the hand.
- 6.4 inches FHD+ Super AMOLED screen
- 90Hz refresh rate, 800 nits peak brightness
Moving on, Samsung has made a compromise with the display—not the quality of the actual panel itself though. I’m talking about bezels. There are visible bezels around the display, as well as eyesore bezels at the bottom. Yet, this is quite prevalent in other mid-range phones too so I can’t complain too much.
Another thing that struck me as odd was the old Infinity-U panel, as the Infinity-O display would’ve been a vastly superior alternative. Regardless of other factors, Samsung has a stellar standing when it comes to this AMOLED display. It has a 6.4-inch screen with a U-shaped cutout at the top for the front camera module.
I can easily say that the display quality is excellent for the price we are paying. You can also choose between Vivid and Natural screen modes to manually change the color temperature. Furthermore, the 90Hz refresh rate improves the smoothness of browsing across social media or some other content consumption application.
In-display fingerprint sensor
Like the previous-gen A31, Galaxy A32 holds an in-display fingerprint scanner. It’s not very fast and therefore takes a second to unlock the device. In addition, I had no issues authenticating the accuracy of my fingerprint when unlocking the phone. Moreover, I had no trouble operating the phone outdoors, implying that the outdoor visibility is quite satisfactory.
The limitation I felt is its constant lags, which often occurred during daily use. To put it to the test, I tried switching between apps, opening them, and even scrolling through posts and experienced latency. This negates the entire benefit of the 90Hz display. Maybe Samsung could push an update to optimize Galaxy A32’s smoother refresh rate.
- Octa-core MediaTek Helio G80 SoC (12nm)
- 4/6GB RAM, 64/128GB storage (expandable)
- Android 11 with Samsung’s One UI 3.1 on top
Before I get into detail on how the device works, I should point out that our review unit of the Samsung Galaxy A32 has 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage.
To put it briefly, it offers decent performance. While I first booted the device, it was smooth, everything was working fine. And then suddenly, the phone started slightly lagging in instances such as switching between apps or swiping over the notifications. As I said earlier, I didn’t enjoy the 90Hz refresh rate experience on the Galaxy A32. Plus, no update that the phone has received so far addressed this issue.
On the gaming side of things, I tried PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty Mobile, and they all performed well with the default settings. However, after a few minutes of gaming, the device begins to heat up at the back.
And, I started noticing mild stutters in PUBG Mobile. However, this was not the case with COD Mobile, which worked fine even after playing the game for about half an hour. When playing the games, the CPU temperature goes up to 42 degrees Celsius which is mostly felt around the periphery of camera modules. Thankfully, it doesn’t take much time for cooling.
I was expecting a competing performance, but ultimately, the Helio G80 on the Galaxy A32 is a pretty under-powerful chipset considering the phone’s price. On software, the handset runs on One UI 3.1 on top of Android 11 and there’s a dedicated Game mode that adds a bit of smoothness.
Audio & Call Quality
- Loudspeaker, 3.5mm headphone jack
Like most other mid-ranger, Samsung Galaxy A32 has a loudspeaker in the bottom. The audio output isn’t that loud, but it never distorted at maximum volume. Still, it doesn’t compare to the stereo speaker setup in Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 10 series. On the other hand, Galaxy A32’s call quality is fairly nice although I wished it could get a little louder.
- Quad-camera setup at the back
- (64MP primary, 8MP ultrawide, 5MP macro, 5MP depth)
- 20MP selfie camera inside the Infinity-U cutout
At the back, there is a quad-camera setup led by a 64MP primary sensor. This is followed by an 8MP ultrawide, a 2MP macro, and a 2MP portrait lens. On the front, a 20MP sensor is housed in an Infinity-U cutout.
In good lighting conditions, such as daytime, the Galaxy A32 4G took great images, with the photos displaying saturated color and a wide dynamic range. It outputs 16MP pixel-binned shots by default, and I noticed a lack of detail in those photos.
However, switching to the dedicated 64MP mode alleviates this concern. It captures more clarity, but it falls short in terms of dynamic range. I like the dynamic range in the 16MP mode more.
Likewise, the ultra-wide sensor produces decent images.
The color saturation and dynamic range are also fine. However, when zoomed in, the details are not as precise.
Here, the portrait mode takes a while to process the image, but the results are quite good.
There are few minor edge detection problems here, which can be easily resolved once Samsung pushes the next camera update.
The device bears a 5MP macro lens, but the close-up shots aren’t much great.
Like it is with most non-flagship phones, Galaxy A32’s macro lens feels nothing more than a gimmick.
In a dark environment, the dedicated night mode can collect a good amount of light.
Even then, the night shots aren’t all that impressive. It loses out on finer details.
Samsung Galaxy A32 has a 20MP selfie camera. The skin tones look natural enough and the pictures retain plenty of details too.
On the contrary, the edge detection in portrait selfie shots isn’t that great though.
The camera has a standard video mode, as well as slow motion and hyper-lapse modes for videography. Of note, there is no 4K support here and the phone maxes out to 1080p/30fps videos. I’d say the video quality is pretty nice.
- 5000mAh battery with 15W fast charging
Moving on, Galaxy A32 4G comes with a big 5000mAh battery that supports 15W fast charging. On an average day of use, the phone managed to last for a day and a half. Moreover, under heavy use, it lasted until bedtime.
To be clear, I was using the phone at its highest settings with the 90Hz refresh rate option turned on. The 15W power adapter shipped inside the box takes nearly two and a half hours to charge the battery from 0 to 100%.
To summarize this review of the Samsung Galaxy A32, I would say that the company has some work cut out for it. Personally, I like the refreshed camera module and Super AMOLED screen with 90Hz in this price range.
However, considering its competition like the Redmi Note 10 in Nepal that offers decent specs at a lower price, the Galaxy A32 struggles to stand out. Instead, its performance is sub-par which is the major letdown. Plus, Xiaomi is yet to launch the Redmi Note 10 Pro and Pro Max while Realme will be bringing its 8 series here pretty soon—which are bound to be a better value than Samsung’s Galaxy A32.
Samsung Galaxy A32 Review: Pros and Cons
- Vibrant Super AMOLED display
- 90Hz smooth refresh rate
- Great cameras for daylight scenarios
- Attractive, refined design
- One UI 3.1 is easy to get around
- Helio G80 isn’t that powerful
- 90Hz refresh rate requires optimization
- Speaker doesn’t get loud enough
- 15W charging is pretty slow