Samsung Galaxy A25 5G Review: Interesting budget smartphone

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Samsung Galaxy A25 5G Review: Interesting budget smartphone

In this article, we’re diving into the new Samsung Galaxy A25 5G, a device that has managed to pique my interest more than its predecessors. Let me be candid; the last few iterations, like the A24 4G, felt somewhat perplexing in Samsung’s lineup. It was a 4G-only device released in select regions, leaving many scratching their heads. Even the A23 series from the year before, with its mix of 4G and 5G models, contributed to a somewhat cluttered A-series landscape. However, there were the extremely popular A21 and A21S models which offered excellent value for money.

Now, with the A25, Samsung seems to have made some significant upgrades, making it potentially the best bang-for-buck option in the sub-$300 smartphone range.

Sale
Samsung Galaxy A25 5G (SM-A256E/DS), 128GB 6GB RAM, Dual SIM, Factory...
  • 5G Bands: 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 26, 28, 40, 41, 66, 77, 78 SA/NSA/Sub6 | 4G LTE Bands: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17,...
  • Packaging contains the cell phone, a USB C to USB C cable, and a sim tray ejector tool. Seller provides a USB C...
  • Display: Super AMOLED, 120Hz, 1000 nits (HBM) | 6.5 inches, 103.7 cm2 (~84.2% screen-to-body ratio) | 1080 x 2340...
  • Cameras: 50 MP, f/1.8, (wide), PDAF, OIS | 8 MP, f/2.2, 120˚ (ultrawide) | 2 MP, f/2.4, (macro) | 13 MP, f/2.2,...
  • This device is compatible with any GSM carrier outside of the United States. In the United States, this device is...

Samsung Galaxy A25 5G: Video Review

SpecsSamsung Galaxy A25 5G
Display6.5 inches, Super AMOLED, 1080 x 2340 pixels, 120Hz, 1000 nits (HBM), 19.5:9 ratio
CPUExynos 1280 (5 nm)
GPUMali-G68
Memory128GB 6GB RAM, 128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 6GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM
Memory Card slotmicroSDXC (uses shared SIM slot)
SensorsFingerprint (side-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, compass, Virtual proximity sensing
Bluetooth5.3, A2DP, LE
OSAndroid 14, One UI 6
Rear Camera50 MP, f/1.8, 27mm (wide), 8 MP, f/2.2, 120˚ (ultrawide), 2 MP, f/2.4, (macro)
Front Camera13 MP, f/2.2, (wide), 1/3.06", 1.12µm
SIMSingle SIM (Nano-SIM) or Hybrid Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
GPSGPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS, QZSS
NFCYes
Battery5000 mAh, non-removable
Charging25W wired
Dimensions161 x 76.5 x 8.3 mm (6.34 x 3.01 x 0.33 in)
Weight197 g (6.95 oz)
ColorsBrave Black, Personality Yellow, Fantasy Blue, Optimistic Blue

Unboxing

Let’s crack open the package and see what’s inside. Upon removing the cover, we’re greeted by the familiar Samsung-branded cardboard package containing the essentials. There’s the usual assortment of paperwork, which, let’s face it, rarely gets a read-through, and a USB-C to USB-C cable for charging the device. At the bottom lies the star of the show, neatly wrapped – the Samsung Galaxy A25 5G. Additionally, you’ll find a SIM ejector tool if you need it. Samsung has stuck to its minimalist packaging approach, delivering only what’s necessary.

Samsung Galaxy A25 5G Review: Interesting budget smartphone

Samsung Galaxy A25 5G: Design

The Samsung Galaxy A25 5G maintains a familiar design language that echoes its predecessors, offering a large 6.5-inch display with noticeable bezels and a bulky bottom chin, reinforcing its budget-oriented build. Despite its substantial size, measuring 161 x 76.5 x 8.3 millimeters and weighing 197 grams, the A25 5G features a screen-to-body ratio that’s slightly improved, thanks to slimmer borders.

Samsung Galaxy A25 5G Review: Interesting budget smartphone

The tall 19,5:9 aspect ratio of the display makes it a bit challenging to navigate across with one hand, yet the expansive screen real estate remains a significant selling point, particularly at this price point. The plastic housing exhibits a dotted design with a subtle sheen, although it tends to attract fingerprints more than expected. The matte finish on the flat sides provides a contrasting texture.

Samsung Galaxy A25 5G Review: Interesting budget smartphone

Examining the phone’s external features, the left side houses a dual SIM and microSD card tray, with the shared setup requiring a choice between a second SIM card or expanding storage via a microSD card. On the right side, you’ll find the volume and power buttons, with the power button doubling as a fingerprint sensor for added convenience, although not the fastest or most accurate.

At the bottom of the device, next to the USB-C port and headphone jack, is one of the two speakers. The other is built into the earcup at the top edge of the display—new for this year’s model. On the back is a slightly redesigned triple-lens camera that promises improved photography capabilities.

Samsung Galaxy A25 5G Review: Interesting budget smartphone

Display

The Samsung Galaxy A25 5G comes with several noteworthy upgrades, starting with its display. Sporting a generous 6.5-inch Super AMOLED panel with a Full HD resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels, boasting a pixel density of 396 pixels per inch, the A25’s display remains consistent with last year’s model. However, the standout enhancement is the adoption of a 120Hz refresh rate, a feature previously reserved for higher-end devices. Combined with its impressive peak brightness of 1,000 nits, the A25’s screen specifications rival those found in Samsung’s flagship S Series phones, albeit with slightly reduced brightness.

Samsung Galaxy A25 5G Review: Interesting budget smartphone

The display offers a captivating visual experience, characterized by vibrant colors, deep blacks, and sharp detail. The increased refresh rate contributes to smoother animations and enhanced responsiveness, making interactions with the device feel fluid and seamless. Despite its large size, the high pixel density ensures that images and text remain crisp, with no visible pixelation even upon close inspection.

While the display’s quality is commendable, it’s not without its drawbacks. Glare can be an issue, particularly in bright environments, although it doesn’t detract significantly from the overall viewing experience.

Samsung Galaxy A25 5G: Performance

The Samsung Galaxy A25 5G packs an Exynos 1280 chipset under its hood, a chip manufactured by Samsung itself using 5-nanometer technology. This processor integrates two powerful ARM Cortex-A78 performance cores clocked at up to 2.4 GHz, along with six energy-efficient ARM Cortex-A55 cores running at speeds of up to 2 GHz. Complementing the CPU is a Mali-G68 MP4 GPU, providing capable graphics performance.

While the Exynos 1280 may sound familiar to some, as it also powers the Galaxy A53 released in mid-2022 at a higher price point, its performance in the A25 is subject to scrutiny. In previous tests, the Exynos 1280 in the A53 wasn’t particularly impressive, especially compared to models equipped with Snapdragon CPUs. However, over a year later, the Exynos 1280 still proves to offer adequate performance for mid-range devices like the A25.

Samsung Galaxy A25 5G Review: Interesting budget smartphone

Benchmark results indicate that the Exynos 1280 performs similarly to its performance in the A53. Paired with six gigabytes of RAM and 128 gigabytes of storage, the A25 offers decent overall performance. However, it falls short in comparison to competitors like the Redmi Note 12 Pro 5G, which delivers superior performance. Moreover, the A25’s memory speeds are notably lower, with read speeds of 530 MB/s and write speeds of 500 MB/s, further highlighting its limitations.

Overall, while the Galaxy A25’s performance isn’t subpar, it struggles to compete with rival devices. The rise of brands like Xiaomi, with their Redmi and Poco smartphones offering exceptional hardware at competitive prices, further underscores the challenge Samsung faces in the mid-range segment.

Software

The Galaxy A25 5G smartphone runs Samsung’s in-house user interface, OneUI, version 6.0, based on Android 14. The system operates smoothly in tests, without any noticeable lag or stuttering. Samsung ensures the device stays up to date with regular security patches and promises four years of software updates and five years of security updates, future-proofing the device to some extent.

Samsung Galaxy A25 5G Review: Interesting budget smartphone

However, it’s worth noting that while the A25 may receive updates for several years, its performance may not be sufficient to keep up with evolving software demands over the same timeframe.

Camera

The Samsung Galaxy A25 5G maintains a familiar camera setup, consistent with its predecessors from previous years. The primary lens remains a 50-megapixel shooter with an f/1.8 aperture, a stalwart feature on Samsung’s A-series phones for quite some time. Accompanying it is an 8-megapixel 120° ultrawide lens, which is a welcome addition, especially considering its rarity in budget devices. However, the third lens is a 2-megapixel macro lens, which some may find less compelling compared to a dedicated depth sensor.

Samsung Galaxy A25 5G Review: Interesting budget smartphone

On the front, the selfie camera retains its 13-megapixel resolution, similar to the previous iteration. Despite the seemingly stagnant camera hardware, Samsung has introduced a handful of additional camera modes and capabilities within the camera app for the A25. These include Pro Photo and Video controls, super slow-motion video, hyperlapse, and high-megapixel photo mode, among others.

Samsung Galaxy A25 5G Review: Interesting budget smartphone

Taking a few sample shots with the A25, the resulting images exhibit improved quality compared to Samsung’s other budget offerings. The images are crisp, with vibrant colors and adequate detail, likely benefiting from the device’s upgraded processor and the latest software updates. Additionally, enhanced video stabilization in 1080p recording mode contributes to smoother footage, further enhancing the camera’s usability.

Audio

Samsung has also improved the audio quality of the A25. For the first time in this price range, the device is equipped with two speakers. This outputs sound from both the bottom speaker and the speaker at the top edge of the display. While the sound quality can’t compete with that of higher-end smartphones, the presence of two speakers marks a significant improvement over previous A-series models. Despite some limitations, such as noticeable distortion at higher volumes, the dual-speaker configuration improves audio clarity and immersion, especially when playing multimedia content.

Battery life

Samsung Galaxy A25 5G is equipped with a 5000 mAh battery. This guarantees long-term use of the smartphone without the need to constantly reach for the charger. With light use, the smartphone’s battery life lasts up to almost two full days on a single charge.

Samsung Galaxy A25 5G Review: Interesting budget smartphone

When it’s time to replenish the battery, the A25 supports relatively faster charging speeds of up to 25 watts. However, it’s worth noting that while the device is compatible with 25W charging, you’ll need to procure a compatible charger separately, as Samsung doesn’t include one in the box.

Unfortunately, wireless charging isn’t a feature included in the Galaxy A25 5G, nor are there any other advanced power or charging features to speak of.

Samsung Galaxy A25 5G: Conclusion

The Samsung Galaxy A25 5G introduces enough new features and improvements to make it a worthy upgrade over its predecessors. The standout addition is the 120Hz display, which elevates the viewing experience to flagship levels. Combined with upgraded internal specifications, the A25 offers performance comparable to previous top-tier A-series phones.

Sale
Samsung Galaxy A25 5G (SM-A256E/DS), 128GB 6GB RAM, Dual SIM, Factory...
  • 5G Bands: 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 26, 28, 40, 41, 66, 77, 78 SA/NSA/Sub6 | 4G LTE Bands: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17,...
  • Packaging contains the cell phone, a USB C to USB C cable, and a sim tray ejector tool. Seller provides a USB C...
  • Display: Super AMOLED, 120Hz, 1000 nits (HBM) | 6.5 inches, 103.7 cm2 (~84.2% screen-to-body ratio) | 1080 x 2340...
  • Cameras: 50 MP, f/1.8, (wide), PDAF, OIS | 8 MP, f/2.2, 120˚ (ultrawide) | 2 MP, f/2.4, (macro) | 13 MP, f/2.2,...
  • This device is compatible with any GSM carrier outside of the United States. In the United States, this device is...

However, it’s important to note that while the processor is powerful, it lags behind competitors like the Poco X6 Pro in direct comparisons. The camera and battery also fail to stand out, and the design may not exude high quality.

Despite these drawbacks, the Galaxy A25 5G presents a solid package overall. It’s worth considering, especially if you’re upgrading from the A24 4G or older A-series models.

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