Samsung Galaxy A03s Review: Budget All-Arounder

Galaxy A03s

Samsung has added another entry-level into its portfolio: the Galaxy A03s. It’s always been a tough battle in the entry-level segment, with brands trying to cram as much specs as they can into a budget. If you ask us, Samsung shines the brightest with its flagship devices. Just look at the Galaxy Z Fold3 and Z Flip3 it released earlier this year—absolutely breathtaking. Its current mid-range offerings (such as the A52) have also been head turners.

 But of course, there’s still the wider entry-level market to contend for and fight it does. Although Samsung has been one of the frontrunners of the smartphone market, several notable competitors have since joined the game. And sometimes, it all boils down to the battle of the lowest price. But fans of the brand know and trust it for several reasons. Notably, its solid UI and general well-roundedness even when it comes to budget entries. Now, let’s take a look at this newest release.

Specifications

OSAndroid 11 with One UI 3.1
ProcessorMediaTek Helio P35 Octa-Core Processor
Display6.5″ 720×1600 HD+
Wireless ConnectionsBluetooth 5.0, WiFi 802.11 b / g / n 2.4GHz, A-GPS, Glonass, Beidou, Galileo
Memory64 GB Internal Storage, expandable up to 1TB with MicroSD Card, 4GB RAM
ConnectorsType-C USB, 3.5mm headphone jack
CamerasRear: 13MP, f/2.2 + 2MP, f/2.4 macro + 2MP, f/2.4, depth sensor Front: 5MP, f/2.2
SecurityFingerprint, Face unlock
SIM Card Slot2x Nano SIM + 1x MicroSD/MicroSIM slot
Battery5,000 mAh
SRP4GB+64GB- P6,490

High-End Looks

We didn’t get to unbox this unit but we’re assuming that it comes with the basics—a power adaptor, USB-C cable, SIM ejector pin, and user manuals.

The Galaxy A03s itself sports a textured matte plastic case back that feels and looks classy. Our blue test unit came in a dashing midnight blue. While some may not enjoy the feel of textured plastic, it’s undeniably grippy and not a fingerprint magnet. The Galaxy A03s’ triple rear cameras along with a LED flash are set flat against the back, too, which adds to its luxe look. The plastic rear melds seamlessly into what feels like a metallic side body while still maintaining that matte feel, minus the texture.

To one side, you can find the volume buttons as well as the home button-cum-side fingerprint scanner. We appreciate the presence of the scanner, even though the button itself would benefit from a more perceptible click. Throughout our test period, unlocking the phone using the scanner was quick, accurate, and it encountered zero hiccups.

Watch and Play

Up front, the Galaxy A03s sports Samsung’s infinity V display, with thick bezels framing the 6.5” HD+ screen. It’s good enough for streaming your favorite shows and movies. It’s also sufficiently bright to use even in direct sunlight.

Inside, the Galaxy A03s runs on Android 11 with One UI 3.1.  As far as entry-level smartphones go, it is a capable smartphone when it comes to everyday tasks. There is, however, a perceptible slowness when interacting with the phone which we suspect is because of the 3GB + 32GB memory configuration as well as the outdated Helio P35 chipset.

Gaming-wise, while you can play graphic-heavy titles like Call of Duty Mobile or Asphalt 9: Legends on the Galaxy A03s, it’s not going to be the smoothest or most enjoyable experience. However, casual gaming is fine if you’re not all too picky about the details. Overall, there’s nothing particularly amazing about it, which is expected given its price, but it does what it needs to do well.

All-Day Battery

The Galaxy A03s sports a 5,000 mAh cell and it’s quite the trooper. Light everyday use can get you up to two and a half days without needing to recharge. And even with heavy use, can still go up to a day. Admittedly, charging isn’t the fastest here but you won’t need to do that all that often anyway. 

‘Gram-Worthy

The rear cameras of the Galaxy A03s consist of a main 13MP shooter assisted by a 2MP macro lens along with another 2MP depth sensor. Photos taken on good lighting are nice and crisp. Details are sharp and colors are well-replicated.

On Samsung’s camera app, you get all the basic features plus a few add-ons like portrait mode, hyperlapse, macro mode, and food mode. There’s no night mode here, though.

Portraits on the rear camera are okay, but it struggles to pull in fine details like wisps of hair. This is also evident on shots taken on the 5MP selfie camera. Night shots are likewise usable but not impressive.

You can shoot up to FHD (30 FPS) on the Galaxy A03s. In good lighting, video quality is fair. Obviously, you shouldn’t expect any cinematic-level shooting here, but capturing memories and milestones to share are all good.

Here are some sample shots taken on the Galaxy A03s:

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy A03s is your everyday do-it-all smartphone. While it doesn’t offer anything particularly spectacular, it’s a reliable device that does what it needs to do well—without breaking the bank.

The Samsung Galaxy A03s is available in black, white, and blue colorways with 3GB + 32GB and 4GB + 64GB configurations (but only the latter is available in the Philippines as of writing). The 4GB + 64GB option retails at P6,490.

Learn more about the Samsung Galaxy A03s here.

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