I was fortunate enough to try out an entry-level Samsung phone in the Galaxy A03s. It was fine for what it was. With that in mind, Samsung launched another entry-level phone in 2022, the Samsung Galaxy A03. I got a chance to check it out for myself and here are my first impressions.
Disclaimer: Samsung Philippines sent me this Galaxy A03 unit for me to review. It arrived on March 1 and I’ve been using this phone on and off alongside another phone for review.
In case you need a list of the full specs, here they are:
- 6.5-inch PLS TFT LCD display with a 1600 x 720 resolution
- Unisoc SC9863A octa-core processor
- 3 or 4 GB RAM
- 32 or 64 GB eMMC 5.1 storage
- Dual SIM support
- Up to 1TB microSD card support
- Dual rear cameras: 48MP main camera with f/1.8 aperture, 2MP depth camera with f/2.4 aperture
- 5MP front camera with f/2.2 aperture
- 5000 mAh battery with 10W charging
- Android 11 with One UI Core 3.1
- Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.0
- Comes in Black, Blue, or Red
I actually expected to get pretty much the same stuff as its sibling, but I noticed something missing. For some weird reason, they took away the wired earphones! That was pretty much the one thing you got going for peripherals-wise, and now it’s gone. That’s not the only story here.
Samsung’s probably one of the only companies left that use a Micro USB port on its phones. (Here’s another one.) Aside from it being a cost-cutting measure, it still baffles me why phone makers still do this. Is USB Type-C really that expensive? Oh well. At least there’s still a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The rest of the phone is just standard fare for entry-level phones. You get dual SIM and up to 1TB microSD card support. The volume rocker and power button are on the right side of the phone.
I got the Black color, but the Samsung Galaxy A03 comes in Blue and Red. This phone has a patterned back with a matte feel. It’s a good thing for the A03 though since there’s no included case.
You don’t get any fancy tricks with the display of the Samsung Galaxy A03. It just rocks a simple 6.5-inch PLS TFT LCD display with a resolution of 1600 x 720. This phone adopts the Infinity-V display look that was also found in the A03s. Despite how simple it is, I’m okay with the display so far. There’s no noticeable color shifting and the brightness is okay indoors.
“I shouldn’t really expect much when it comes to performance on entry-level phones.”
That’s probably the line I would have said three years ago. Even then, we’re seeing phones in this segment that can punch above its weight class. If there’s one good thing that stood out to me when I first used the Galaxy A03, it’s the performance. Samsung really didn’t specify on its website as to what processor is used here. I have seen from another source that it could possibly be a UNISOC processor. Whatever it is, I didn’t really encounter a lot of issues so far.
While the Galaxy A03 didn’t get really high settings for Pokémon Unite, it was good enough for me to play the game sometimes on it. One UI Core 3.1 based on Android 11 felt fast, even if I didn’t have a high refresh rate or even 1080p resolution. Since it’s not the full One UI experience, you don’t get stuff like support for Samsung Pay.
The Samsung Galaxy A03 comes with a 48MP main rear camera and a 2MP depth sensor. It also has a 5MP front camera. I’ll save my comments on these cameras for the full review. For now, here are some sample shots. (I’m not gonna give links to full resolution versions for this one though.)
That’s it for my first impressions of the Samsung Galaxy A03. It’s an interesting entry-level phone with a focus on bringing a smooth smartphone experience. I feel like it’s a solid option for first-time buyers and students on a tight budget. Stay tuned for the full review! I wanna put this phone through its paces to see if there’s more than just the obvious.