[i2pc pros_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-up” cons_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-down” show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]Dual SIM & memory expansion
Good battery life
90Hz display NFC
[/i2pros][i2cons]HD resolution display only
Too weak processor
Thick and heavy
No gyroscope & e-compass
Long loading time[/i2cons][/i2pc]
With the Galaxy M series, Samsung has been able to regain some of the lost market shares in the middle class. The top sellers such as the Samsung Galaxy M51 are usually in the price range between 20,000 Tk and 25,000 Tk. With smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy M12, however, the Korean manufacturer is now venturing into the highly competitive price range below 23,000 Tk. The equipment list includes a 90 Hz IPS display, a large 5000 mAh battery, and a 48-megapixel quad camera. In this review, we find out whether the Samsung Galaxy M12 is worth recommending.
You can immediately feel and see that the Samsung Galaxy M12 is not a high-priced smartphone. The case of the smartphone consists entirely of plastic and is quite bulky with a thickness of 9.7mm. The fact that Samsung couldn’t have designed the smartphone a bit slimmer is surprising when you look at the competition: The Redmi Note 10, which costs the same, measures just 8.3mm, and has a 5000mAh battery. The weight is also extremely high at 215g. Here, too, the Samsung Galaxy M12 weighs a whole 35g more than the competing models from Xiaomi. The other dimensions are 164mm in length and 76mm in width.
Apart from the not very compact dimensions, the Samsung Galaxy M12 is well made. The back has a ridged pattern and is completely fingerprint resistant. The back of the Samsung Galaxy M12 is also well protected against scratches. It is also pleasing that the quad camera module does not protrude a millimeter from the back.
On the right side, there is a power button and the volume controls. At the same time, the power button was used to unlock the smartphone via fingerprint. The unlocking succeeds in the test with a high success rate. The time to unlock is about 1 second above average. Alternatively, face unlock is also available via the front camera.
Only the SIM slot is on the left side of the smartphone. Two nano SIM cards and one microSD can be used in these at the same time. We are pleased that Samsung offers the user maximum expandability with a triple slot.
On the underside of the smartphone, there is a 3.5mm headphone jack, a speaker, and a USB-C 2.0 slot. The front camera is housed in a waterdrop notch. Unfortunately, there is no notification LED.
The Samsung Galaxy M12 doesn’t win a beauty contest. The smartphone is thick and heavy, although it doesn’t offer an exceptionally large battery. On the other hand, the workmanship is okay and the right standards are present with a headphone jack, micro-SD slot, and dual SIM.
The Samsung Galaxy M12 has an average-sized display with a 6.5-inch screen. An important difference from the other smartphones in the Galaxy M series is that this one only has an IPS panel. While smartphones like the Galaxy M31 & M51 already come with an AMOLED panel, the cheaper technology is used here. There is also a heavy saving in resolution. With 1600 x 720 pixels, this is only at HD level, while full HD panels have already established themselves as the standard in the price range of over 15,000 Tk. The pixel density is still sufficiently sharp at 270 pixels per inch. However, the display looks slightly grainy compared to other devices. There are also halos on the edges of the display, which are clearly visible with bright display content.
The manufacturer compensates for the fact that Samsung has saved on both the display technology and the resolution with an extra feature, namely the 90 Hz refresh rate. The Samsung Galaxy M12 updates content 1.5 times faster than a conventional 60 Hz panel, which makes the display appear much smoother. Scrolling in the system or in apps is much smoother as a result.
The brightness of almost 400 lux is below average for a smartphone in this price range. The display can still be read outdoors. However, as soon as there is a lot of sunshine, it becomes somewhat difficult to read the text on the display. We have nothing to complain about in terms of color reproduction. The display is conveniently calibrated and the color temperature can also be continuously adjusted.
The contrast is, of course, significantly lower than with AMOLED panels, so that black areas are always slightly greyish. Otherwise, a dark mode and a reading mode are available in the display settings. There is no always-on function due to the display technology used, and there is also no notification LED. Widevine L1 for watching Netflix & Amazon Prime Video in HD quality is included with Samsung as always.
The refresh rate can, of course, be reduced to 60 Hz in the settings. However, we would advise leaving the 90 Hertz mode activated. Samsung uses an active adaptation to the content anyway, which also works well in the test.
The ten-point touchscreen worked without any problems in the test. However, fingerprints and streaks of grease quickly appear on the display. It is pleasing that Gorilla Glass 3 is used to protect against scratches.
The Samsung Galaxy M12 is equipped with the current Android 11 system. In this respect, there is no need to worry about when the smartphone will receive an update to the latest Android version. In addition, according to the manufacturer’s update promise, the M12 should receive Android basic updates in the next three years.
Of course, the in-house One UI surface is laid over the Android 11 system. In version 3.1, the system from Samsung keeps its trendy look and, as always, shines with numerous additional functions. However, the system sometimes seems a bit overloaded and a few third-party apps are preinstalled. With the exception of Microsoft OneDrive and Netflix, these can be uninstalled. If you also want to free the system from a few unnecessary Samsung services, take a look at this guide.
In terms of functions, you can actually find everything you need. On-screen buttons or swiping gestures can be used for operation, notifications and access rights for apps can be set, and the system generally looks well optimized. There are no jerks in the animations, even at 90Hz, so you get a smooth display in the system.
The Samsung Galaxy M12 works with an Exynos 850 processor from our own production. This is an octa-core processor from the end of 2019, which is manufactured using the current 8 nm manufacturing process. The computing unit integrates eight Cortex A-55 cores with a maximum clock speed of 2 GHz. A Mali G52 GPU is responsible for the graphics.
In the benchmarks, the Samsung Galaxy M12 scores fewer points than low-budget devices like the Redmi 9T or the Poco M3. There is a big gap between faster mid-range phones like the Realme 8 5G or the Redmi Note 10s.
There is a choice of 64 GB or 128 GB of storage. Samsung does not specify whether these are UFS or eMMc chips. The memory achieves 316MB/s reading and 250MB/s writing. These are average values. However, the main memory is very slow at 4.7 GB/s. In addition, the capacity of 4 GB of RAM is relatively small and only makes the smartphone suitable for multitasking to a limited extent.
The performance of the system is generally rather slow. There are regularly longer loading times when opening apps, and the smartphone seems a bit sluggish in general. If you have a little patience, you can also reach your goal with the Galaxy M12. Users who value a responsive, fast device are clearly in the wrong place here.
The Samsung Galaxy M12 has four cameras on the back. The sensors have the following specifications:
As is so often the case with cheap devices, Samsung makes the built-in sensors a mystery. However, we estimate that a Samsung GM1 or possibly GM2 sensor is used as the main camera. However, there is no security here. Let’s take a look at the test shots:
The photos taken in daylight are of variable quality. In our tests, it often happened that images became completely blurred. Although we always take multiple photos per scene and use the best ones, the Galaxy M12 sometimes failed to produce a good autofocus shot at all. There is also a lack of sharpness, especially in close-ups. Depending on the situation, whether the color representation is successful or not. Strong green tones are sometimes oversaturated, and the smartphone doesn’t handle dim light well either. Shots with muted colors, on the other hand, often turn out quite well. The amount of detail is average, and almost all shots have a slight amount of image noise.
Night shots have a lot of image noise and appear very pale and lacking in contrast. However, the color representation is mostly okay. But you don’t get really nice night shots. The night mode with artificial long-term exposure was also saved. Maybe the M12 could have teased a little more out of the recordings.
The ultra-wide-angle camera with 5 megapixels does not produce particularly good pictures either. In contrast to the main camera, this is forgivable in this price range. In general, the color representation is a bit pale and there is a lack of details. Many recordings also have a slight gray haze. However, the camera can be used for recordings without great aesthetic demands.
The Samsung Galaxy M12 usually succeeds quite well in separating the foreground and background in portrait shots. However, the color representation of the photos is also rather over-the-top and no longer looks natural. In addition, the poor dynamics of the recordings often ensure that the person appears too dark.
Samsung probably had to accommodate the macro camera in order to be able to advertise with a “quad camera”. Unfortunately, in practice, it is almost impossible to take usable pictures. The images are mostly blurred. And if a shot is successful, there is still a lack of details and the colors appear washed out. In practice, you get better shots when you digitally zoom in with the main camera.
The Samsung Galaxy M12 records videos without any stabilization at all. Unfortunately, the recordings are very blurred as soon as you move the smartphone in your hand. Otherwise, the pictures taken with the main camera have a usable color representation, and the focus also works reliably. However, the videos from the ultra-wide-angle camera have a problem with the exposure and color display, which sometimes leads to incorrect display.
Samsung simply didn’t bother with the camera on the Galaxy M12. The images of the 48-megapixel main sensor are partially convincing in daylight, but focus problems often occur here as well. The M12 is ultimate and of little use for videos, selfies, or ultra-wide-angle shots. Connectivity
The Samsung Galaxy M12 is a dual-SIM mobile phone that, in addition to two SIM cards, can also accommodate a microSD card for memory expansion. The following main frequencies are supported:
The Samsung Galaxy M12 is therefore well equipped for use in Bangladesh. The network reception was average in our test. VoWifi and VoLTE can be used for telephoning. The call quality is satisfactory, although the Galaxy M12 transmits voices a bit tinny and thin.
Bluetooth 5.0 and Wifi 4 are available for use. The WiFi standard is therefore much older and only allows connections to 2.4GHz networks. In the test, the Galaxy M12 had good WiFi reception, but the data throughput was quite low. More than 30 Mbit could not be retrieved from my 100 Mbit performance. Bluetooth also worked without problems, but the aptX standard is not supported for music playback.
In terms of sensors, Samsung does not pack a gyroscope or an e-compass into the device in addition to the standards for brightness, acceleration, and proximity. This can lead to problems with some apps, and pedestrian navigation is also much more difficult without a direction display. The location is otherwise determined reliably via GPS, Glonass, Beidou, and Galileo. There is an FM radio for listening to music, which can be used with 3.5mm headphones connected. NFC for contactless payment is also available, which is a bit surprising given the otherwise meager sensor equipment.
The mono speaker on the bottom produces a loud sound. As is almost always the case in this price range, the sound is too treble-heavy. However, the Samsung Galaxy M12 still does well compared to the competition. The Samsung can be used for occasional video viewing.
The Samsung Galaxy M12 has a 5000 mAh battery on board for power supply. The capacity is definitely good, but you can also find similarly sized batteries in some competitors, such as the Redmi Note smartphones. The runtime in practical use is good. Usually, you get about 2 days with an active usage time of 3 to 4 hours a day. In the PC-Mark battery test, the Galaxy M12 achieved a runtime of 12.5 hours, placing it in the bottom third.
For charging, Samsung includes a 15-watt charging adapter in the scope of delivery. The loading process takes a lot of time. It starts at 2:55 hours.
The Samsung Galaxy M12 cannot claim a place on the podium of our leaderboard given the strong competition from Xiaomi and Realme. Overall, it is a usable smartphone, but cutbacks have been made in too many areas. While Xiaomi already equips the cheaper Redmi Note 10 with a Full HD AMOLED display, the Samsung Galaxy M12 only has an HD display with IPS. While the 90Hz is a nice feature, it doesn’t compensate for the difference in display quality. The same applies to the Exynos processor, which is significantly slower than all the chips in comparable devices. The camera is also a disappointment in the test and takes hardly usable pictures even during the day. There are also a few bold cost-cutting measures, such as not having a gyroscope or an e-compass. And finally, the smartphone can’t make up for the somewhat poor “inner values” with its looks either. The Galaxy M12 is simply too thick and too heavy for a 6.5-inch smartphone with a 5000mAh battery and plastic housing.
With the Galaxy A52, the Korean manufacturer has one of the best devices in the price range of around 25,000 TK in its range. So we advise Samsung fans to spend more money and get the model mentioned. But if you want a smartphone under 20,000 Tk, you’re much better off with a Redmi Note 10.