Samsung Galaxy A01

Samsung is best known for its Galaxy S and Galaxy Note lineups, but its Galaxy A series of entry-level and midrange smartphones is more budget-friendly than those flagships. The Samsung Galaxy A01 ($149.99) is the lowest-end offering in the series. Unfortunately, the A01 is more style than substance. In exchange for good looks and a bright and nearly bezel-free display, you’ll have to live with a painfully slow processor, scant storage, and underwhelming cameras. The $150 Motorola Moto e is a better bet.

Bright and Bold Display  

Take one look at the Galaxy A01 and you’ll know it’s a budget phone. Its plastic body and tiny camera module are dead giveaways. That’s not to say it’s ugly, however. In fact, it has a charming small phone aesthetic we’re quite fond of. 

The Galaxy A01 measures 5.8 by 2.8 by 0.3 inches and weighs just 5.4 ounces. It’s the perfect size to slide into your pocket and light enough to hold comfortably for a long while.  

Top half of Samsung Galaxy A01 display, showing camera cut-outZTE Blade A3 Prime.  

Durability is on par with most entry-level phones. There’s no IP rating, so any accidental drops in the sink or prolonged exposures to the elements are not going to end well. The plastic frame and backplate are likely to withstand minor drops and dings without much damage, but the display—which doesn’t appear to be made of strengthened glass—is not going to fare as well. As always, you’ll want to buy a sturdy case.

Good Call Quality Despite Slow LTE Speeds

Samsung sells two versions of the Galaxy A01 in the US: one for Verizon, and another that works on AT&T and T-Mobile’s networks. Both have extensive band support for their respective carriers. Our review unit was provided by Cricket Wireless and tested on Cricket’s network in Chicago. 

Left side of the Samsung Galaxy A01See How We Test Phones

On Geekbench 5, a benchmarking test that quantifies raw computing power, the Galaxy A01 scored 150 single-core (SC) and 540 multi-core (MC). The Moto e managed 248 (SC) and 781 (MC) on the same test. Our subjective experience is that the Moto e handles basic tasks much more smoothly than the Galaxy A01. 

A 3,000mAh battery gives you plenty of screen time. In our battery drain test, which streams HD video over Wi-Fi at full screenbrightness, the A01 eked out 10 hours and 14 minutes before powering down. There’s no fast charging option, but it only takes just over two hours to completely recharge the depleted battery. 

Capable Cameras, But Only With the Right Light 

The rear camera module uses a 13MP wide-angle lens with an f/2.2 aperture and a 2MP depth sensor with an f/2.4 aperture. On the front, you’ll find a 5MP lens with an f/2.2 aperture. 

With good light, the Galaxy A01 is capable of taking admirable photos. The majority of our test shots were vibrant with excellent depth of field, though we noticed some loss of fine detail in the background. In low light, however, the cameras struggle. All of our test shots looked flat, and details in the foreground and background were fuzzy.

Back of Samsung Galaxy A01Android 10 along with One UI 2. Samsung’s custom skin brings some unique changes to Android, including a reversed navigation menu, an updated Settings menu, and a suite of productivity apps. 

There is, however, one noticeable omission: Easy mode, a feature found on most Samsung phones that allows users to create a basic UI that’s great for children, seniors, and people who prefer less-complex feature phones. Without it, this phone is less useful as a low-cost phone to give to your child or parent.

Top view of Samsung Galaxy A01 with teardrop notch Moto G Power surpasses both and can often be found for around the same price. Unfortunately, Samsung misses the mark here.

January 22, 2021
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