Samsung Galaxy A12 Nacho new edition for the battery champion. In our study of the Samsung Galaxy A12 Nacho, we found some positive aspects as well as some flaws… Like the Galaxy A12, the price of Samsung’s phone is very attractive. Read our review to find out if this entry-level smartphone is worth buying.
The Korean manufacturer adds another entry model to its popular A-series. However, Samsung’s phone with the model number SM-A127F is not completely new as it is very similar to its Galaxy A12 (SM-A125F)…To minimize confusion, we’ll expand the name of the “newer” Galaxy A12 with its codename “Nacho”. After all, the only notable difference is in the choice of SoC. Unlike the A12 model, which was equipped with the MediaTek Helio P35, the 2021 variant is now based on the house’s own Exynos 850 chipset
We haven’t been able to pinpoint an RRP for the Galaxy A12 Nacho, but the entry-level smartphone is available at around the same street price as the 2020 model upon market launch (around €170 ( $192)). . In return, buyers of Samsung’s 6.5-inch smartphone get an HD+ display with a teardrop notch, a 5,000mAh battery, and a quad-camera setup with a 48MP main camera.
The Nacho’s front features a teardrop notch—no difference to the Galaxy A12 here, as with the rest of the design. The fairly wide bezels above and below the screen are perfectly acceptable for the price range. In numbers, around 82% of the front corresponds to the screen.
Two-color options are available for the Samsung Galaxy A12 Nacho plastic back. There are two versions available: black and white. As you’d expect from an entry-level smartphone, the Galaxy phone’s case isn’t protected against dust or water ingress. The controls for volume adjustment and the on/off switch are well made and have nice pressure points.
Although the build quality is good, the Galaxy smartphone does not have a luxury feel to it. Both the back and the frame are plastic. We like the slightly textured surface (considering the type of material), and it gives the Nacho a nice grip. However, the haptics is somewhat clouded by the hollow back. We can easily press the plastic material one to two millimeters in the central area above the Samsung logo.
Buyers of the Samsung Galaxy A12 Nacho can pick between 32 and 64 GB of eMMC storage, as well as 3 GB or 4 GB of RAM. Taking into account the operating system and the pre-installed apps, our test model only has 22 GB available. This translates to very limited storage on the 32GB version. However, a microSD card of up to 1 TB can be used to expand the storage without losing the dual SIM functionality of the Samsung smartphone.
Other connectivity features of the Samsung Galaxy A12 Nacho include Miracast, which enables wireless streaming of screen content to external monitors, a 3.5mm audio jack, and USB OTG. External storage devices are reliably recognized in the test, but data transfer speeds with the USB Type-C port are not very high due to the use of the USB 2.0 standard.
A microSD card reader
From our Angelbird V60 reference card, the SD card reader recovers very good transfer rates. The copy speed of over 50 MB/s is excellent, and the Cross-Platform Disk Test results are likewise commendable.
When using a microSD card, the Nacho allows the user to choose whether the storage medium should be used as expansion or internal storage.
Unlike the Galaxy A12, however, the Nacho comes directly with Android 11. During the testing period, we were unable to get any information on when Samsung would provide an update to Android 12. The A12 model is expected to ship in July 2022, so a similar timeline for the Exynos variant seems plausible. We also expect the Nacho to receive two major Android updates, similar to its sister model. In this price range, the latter is commendable.
In version 3.1, Samsung blends the Android system with its internal user interface, One UI (Core), which incorporates the Bixby smart assistant, as is customary. With its latest October-level upgrade, the Samsung Galaxy A12 Nacho is a little out of date in terms of security updates, which should be given every quarter, but the higher-priced mid-range options are usually no more up-to-current either. The Widevine L1 certification process has been completed, and video content from streaming services can be viewed in HD quality with the Nacho.
Samsung DeX is not compatible with the Samsung Galaxy A12 Nacho. Samsung’s Knox security environment is built into Nacho’s software and hardware. Consequently, the inexpensive mid-range model is not equipped with an additional desktop mode via Samsung DeX.
Samsung has installed a dedicated tray for two nano-SIM cards as well as a slot for memory expansion in its low-end smartphone. The Galaxy smartphone’s two card slots can connect to the mobile Internet via the LTE standard. The Nacho uses a small number of frequency bands to connect, as is typical for a smartphone in this price category. The Galaxy A12 with Exynos can only connect to 10 LTE bands. The German-speaking zone, on the other hand, has no shortage of frequency bands.
For a wireless connection, Bluetooth version 5.0 is available, as well as a near-field communication (NFC) chip, allowing Google Pay to be utilized with the entry-level phone. The paid service comes with a Play Protect certification.
The Wi-Fi module only supports IEEE 802.11b/g/n standards, which means it can only communicate at 2.4 GHz. In our Wi-Fi test, this resulted in very low average transfer speeds of roughly 40 to 50 Mb/s. Furthermore, the speeds obtained with the Nighthawk AX12 reference router are not very consistent.
To test the positioning accuracy in practice, we took the Galaxy smartphone on a short trip. Simultaneously, we recorded the route with a Garmin Venu 2 for comparison purposes. The GPS module uses the main satellite systems GPS (L1), GLONASS, QZSS, and Galileo (E1), as well as the supplemental satellite-based system SBAS to determine your position. Between the GPS module of the smartphone and the smartwatch, there are about 20 meters at the end of the almost 4.5-kilometer test track, which is not much.
The Galaxy A12 Nacho also makes small positioning errors, but the deviations in the detailed view of the GPS log are quite small, so there are hardly any noteworthy inaccuracies in the route.
The low-cost Samsung phone has both VoLTE and Wi-Fi calling capabilities. Skype video calls with the built-in front-facing camera work flawlessly in the test, and voices come through loudspeakers. Call quality through the Samsung Galaxy A12 Nacho earpiece is also good. We did not experience any issues with voice transmission
The 8 MP camera, located in the hole at the front, produces solid selfies with a high degree of smoothness in Photo mode. In portrait shots, the dynamism of the images suffers, and the sky looks “burnt” even in winter conditions.
In addition to the 48 MP main camera, the Nacho’s camera module on the rear has a macro and depth camera, as well as an ultra-wide-angle lens with a resolution of 5 MP. By default, photos shot with the Samsung GM2 are captured in pixel-binning mode, which results in photographs with a resolution of 12 MP rather than 48 MP.
The results achieved with the main camera that comes with an aperture of f/2.0 and EIS are perfectly fine for this price range – but not much else. The autofocus feature isn’t always reliable, and the overall image sharpness could be a little better. Also, details are often washed out by soft focus, and exposure isn’t always optimal. There are clear disadvantages in low light, although subjects are reproduced fairly sharply. However, the dynamic range is not very good, so bright areas are often overexposed.
With a field of view of 123 degrees, the ultra-wide-angle lens can capture a lot of photographic content. However, we believe there is a lot of space for quality enhancement. The Galaxy phone has big issues with exposure, and the already low image sharpness drops noticeably at the edges in particular.
The Nacho can only capture videos in FHD quality at 30 frames per second, even though the built-in Exynos 850 allows 60 frames per second theoretically. Switching between wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle lenses while recording is not possible with the Samsung Galaxy A12 Nacho.
We tested the color reproduction of the 48MP lens under controlled lighting conditions using the ColorChecker Passport compared to actual reference colors. Colors are checked once under studio light and once under 1 lux light intensity. In addition to the typical brightness of smartphones, the Nacho reveals particularly large ColorChecker deviations when it comes to gray tones. Compared to the reference colors, brown and green tones also show deficiencies in their reproduction.
Our test chart image, including pixel-binning, confirms the fairly high degree of soft focus and a decrease in sharpness around the edges.
The 6.5-inch 60Hz LC display only has a resolution of 1600×720 pixels and thus a low pixel density well below 300 PPI. With the Redmi 10 or Redmi Note 8 2021, Xiaomi’s competition has a clear advantage in sharpness in this price segment.
The brightness of the PLS panel is uniform. However, shadow formations are visible on the Samsung phone in the front camera area. Also, the lighting at the top edge of the screen is quite uneven.
The Nacho’s maximum brightness using a pure white wallpaper is within a satisfactory range of 446 cd/m² considering it’s an entry-level phone, but this isn’t much in absolute terms. And the competition in this price range, like the Redmi 10 with 90 Hz, has a much higher brightness than the Samsung Galaxy A12 Nacho. Samsung uses pulse width modulation (PWM) to control the brightness of the screen despite being an LC panel. We noticed flickering on the screen from a brightness of 7%.
Furthermore, we examined the brightness of the display with an even ratio of dark to bright areas (APL50). We determine a maximum brightness of 447 cd/m².
The display backlight flickers at 178.6 Hz (probably uses PWM – Pulse-Width Modulation) at 7% brightness and below. Above this brightness level, there should be no flickering / PWM.
The 178.6 Hz frequency is relatively low, so sensitive people should see flickering and eye strain from the screen (used at the brightness indicated below).
Comparison: 52% of all devices tested did not use PWM to dim the display. If used, we measured an average of 22011 (min: 5 – max: 3846000) Hz.
Compared to the IPS competition, the Samsung Galaxy A12 Nachooffers attractive contrast. Analysis performed with the spectrophotometer and CalMAN software reveals no low mean DeltaE deviations from the sRGB color space for Samsung’s entry-level smartphone with values of 4.9 (colors) and 5.1 (grayscale) – but the results are acceptable considering the level Price.
The default color temperature of around 7,900 K is also far from the ideal value (6,500 K), and in contrast to Samsung’s mid-range and high-end models, the Nacho’s OneUI interface does not allow any adjustments in color reproduction. This means that the slightly bluish color tint cannot be corrected.
Unlike the Galaxy A12 with its MediaTek MT6765 Helio P35, the Nacho is equipped with the Exynos 850 SoC. The latter offers eight cores (8 cores ) with a performance of up to 2 GHz. Not only is the processor performance low, but the graphics power of the integrated Mali-G52 MP1 processor is also on the lower end of the performance spectrum.
Nevertheless, in our benchmark test package, there is still a significant increase compared to the Galaxy A12 with the MediaTek SoC, especially when it comes to graphics.
Unfortunately, in everyday use, this performance boost isn’t visible. The TheExynos 850 in combination with 3 GB of RAM offers solid system performance in the entry-level segment. Because of the sluggish eMMC storage, program loading times are long, and momentary lags are common, even in simple applications. When complex apps or background processes are running, Galaxy A12 Nacho One UI sometimes needs to take a break.
On pages with a lot of picture content, opening the keyboard can take several seconds, and scrolling can be highly choppy. We strongly advise all prospective buyers of the Nacho to go for the 4GB RAM version, despite the general performance shortfalls that are likely to remain.
The relatively weak Mali-G52 MP1, which only supports one cluster, still allows demanding games from the Android Play Store to be run – at least at the lowest graphics settings. Using the GameBench application, we analyzed some games to better evaluate the 3D performance of the Samsung Galaxy A12 Nacho.
Modern games like PUBG Mobile can hardly be played at medium details (HD). The shooter plays at an average of 28 fps, but the sharp drops in frame rate (down to 18 fps) spoil the gaming experience. The game runs much better on the lowest graphics mode at almost 40fps.
Games with lower graphics power requirements also perform better. The Armajet arena shooter tops out at 50fps in our measurements. However, the playback fluctuates considerably, so that an average of around 40 fps is reached.
With the accompanying 15-watt power adapter the Galaxy smartphone’s 5,000 mAh battery can be fully charged in around 2 hours. The Nacho’s energy use is rather typical. Idle consumption, on the other hand, might be reduced.
The solid power management is also reflected in the battery life. The Galaxy A12 Nacho stands out neither positively nor negatively in the basic category.
Our battery tests with an adjusted panel brightness of 150 cd/m² reveal a good duration of 18 hours when playing video content continuously with Wi-Fi disabled, and 14:30 hours when browsing the web via the Wifi. However, the Galaxy A12 performs much better when it comes to our Wi-Fi test in particular.
A 15-watt charger, a USB cable, and a SIM pin are included in the box, in addition to the Samsung phone. The Samsung Galaxy A12 Nacho does not come with a protective case. In its online store, the Korean company has yet to include any special accessories.
An active fingerprint scanner is located on the frame of the case. The biometric finger recognition is quite reliable, but the speed of the sensor is not very high. Another unlock option is a simple 2D facial recognition, which works through the front camera. The recognition rates are convincing, but the face unlock feature is quite insecure.
Inputs on the 6.5-inch LC display are processed accurately and quickly, even down to the corners of the touch screen. Samsung’s low-priced phone does not offer a high refresh rate that exceeds 60 Hz.
Is the Samsung Galaxy A12 Nacho the best? Probably not. Although the Exynos 850 is more powerful than the MT6765 Helio P35 in its sister model, the SoC improvement is limited. However, the additional graphics performance might be worth it for price-conscious gamers.
Compared to the “normal” Samsung Galaxy A12 model, the Nacho shows shorter battery life and a slightly smaller screen. Flaws like slow Wi-Fi or poor performance are common to both Galaxy smartphones
Samsung is offering a variant of the Galaxy A. But the Samsung Galaxy A12 Nacho is not worth recommending.
We cannot identify any significant progress between the Galaxy A12 Nacho and the Galaxy A12. To a certain extent, it is the opposite, because we remember that the A12 has a higher quality feel.
Relative to the Redmi 10, both Galaxy phones have a hard time scoring points with a good price-performance ratio. However, internal competition from Samsung could also make it difficult for potential Galaxy fans to choose the A12 Nacho. For example, Samsung offers a much better AMOLED panel and fewer gaps in the 4G version of the Galaxy A22 for about the same price as the Nacho.