Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Samsung Galaxy A13 review

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OUR VERDICT

Besides its very appealing price, the Samsung Galaxy A13 only manages to be ‘good enough’ in most of the areas that matter for a smartphone (from the camera to the battery life) – but for some users that’s going to make it a tempting, value-for-money deal.

Design

  • Solid, standard design
  • Choice of four colors
  • No waterproofing or dustproofing

You can pick up the Samsung Galaxy A13 in black, white, peach or blue, depending on the part of the world you’re in, and it was the white version that we had in to review. The design is all very basic and plastic, as you would expect at this price point, but it’s also nicely curved and really well put together.

In other words, it feels like a phone that’s going to last, and we like the way that the rear camera module is embedded into the back of the phone, up in the top left corner – something Samsung is doing in all of its Galaxy handsets this year.

At first glance you might think this is a phone that’s more expensive than it actually is, and when that’s the case you know that the design and engineering teams have done a decent job.

Display

  • 6.6-inch LCD screen
  • No HDR support
  • Standard 60Hz refresh rate

The Samsung Galaxy A13 comes with a 6.6-inch, 2408 x 1080 LCD screen that does a decent job with websites, photos, videos and games. It’s suitably bright, vivid and crisp, and while there’s no support for HDR or anything above a 60Hz refresh rate, we didn’t have any real complaints about the display.

There’s a teardrop notch up at the top of the display in the center, and while the bezels aren’t the thinnest you’re going to come across, they’re not an eyesore. The rounded corners of the screen do come across as a little bit too rounded but again it’s by no means a major complaint that would stop you from buying the Galaxy A13.

While the standards of this display panel aren’t up to those of the OLEDs that Samsung sticks to the front of some of its more expensive phones, it’s still one of the best parts of the overall Galaxy A13 package. As it’s not OLED though, you don’t get the standard options for adjusting color vibrancy and temperature.

It’s worth noting that the Samsung Galaxy A13 5G available in the US has a completely different – and lower resolution – screen, but we’re specifically looking at the 4G model here.

Cameras

  • Quad-lens rear camera
  • 1080p, 30fps video recording
  • Does okay in low light

As with a lot of cheaper phones, the Samsung Galaxy A13 has more lenses than you might expect, but the extra ones don’t do an awful lot.

There are four of them in total: a 50MP wide one, a 5MP ultrawide one, a 2MP macro one and a 2MP depth one. Note that the Samsung Galaxy A13 5G available in the US lacks the ultrawide snapper – so you gain 5G at the expense of a camera.

On the video side, the handset is capable of getting up to 1080p footage at 30 frames per second.

The 50MP main camera is the star of the show, and you can get some really great-looking snaps with the phone in good light and with plenty of time to keep the phone steady. There’s no optical zoom but the digital zoom does a passable job of picking out details, while the HDR processing capably keeps the details in darker and lighter areas visible.

We did see some blurring and warping in ultrawide mode, and the camera does start struggling in low light: the pictures you’ll get in the dark aren’t great, but they’re usable in some cases. On the front there’s an 8MP wide selfie camera which covers the basics well, although it doesn’t go much beyond that

There’s no doubt that spending a bit more money is going to get you a phone camera that captures significantly better pictures, but at the same time the Samsung Galaxy A13 isn’t going to let you down most of the time. As you’ll see from the samples we’ve included below, the camera performance is probably better than you would expect from such an inexpensive phone.

Performance and specs

  • Sluggish performance
  • Expandable storage
  • No 5G on the UK model

Our Samsung Galaxy A13 review unit came with an Exynos 850 processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, which you can expand via a microSD card if necessary.

You won’t get away with much less if you want to run the latest version of Android, and there is the occasional stutter and moment of lag as the phone moves through apps and menus.

That’s backed up by Geekbench 5 scores of 155 (single-core), 586 (multi-core), and 678 (OpenCL), which are some of the lowest we’ve seen in a phone this year. You will be able to run everything you want to be able to run, but you’re going to have to put up with slower speeds than you would get from a more expensive handset.

In the US, there’s a version that comes with the slightly faster MediaTek Dimensity 700 processor, so it’s a more tempting proposition in terms of value if you’re buying it there. Even more so, because this model comes 5G connectivity as well – the UK version of the phone that we had is stuck with 4G as well as the slower CPU.

While we didn’t find the sluggishness of the Galaxy A13 a huge problem while we were using it, it is noticeable, and we can’t tell you what the phone is going to run like a year or two years after you’ve bought it: chances are that it’s going to start slowing down more rapidly over time than a mid-ranger or flagship handset.

Software

  • Almost stock Android 12
  • Little bloatware
  • Handy weather widget

Out of the box, the Samsung Galaxy A13 runs Android 12 with One UI 4.1 on top. As variations on Android go, One UI is one of the better ones, and you get plenty of additional customization options that Google doesn’t include as standard (everything from interface themes to memory management).

As usual with Samsung phones, you get a pile of apps that are really just inferior duplicates of everything that Google provides – including apps for notes, calendars, contacts, photos and videos, and a web browser. Samsung’s own apps for smart home management and fitness tracking are included too.

Samsung has been improving in recent years when it comes to prompt Android updates, so you can at least be assured that the Galaxy A13 will be well supported with patches and upgrades for a while.

Battery life

  • 5,000mAh battery capacity
  • More than a day of use
  • 15W wired charging

The Galaxy A13 comes with a 5,000mAh capacity battery, and with a normal amount of use that’s going to last you a day and probably a bit extra on top of that – if you’re really careful you can get two days out of this, thanks to the large battery and the less powerful specs running under the hood.

We tested the phone with an hour of video streaming at a low volume, and with the screen set to maximum brightness – that knocked the battery level down by 10%, suggesting around 10 hours of playback in total. Dim the screen and you’d be able to stretch that out further, so you’d be okay for watching films on long-distance trips.

You get a fairly standard 15W wired charging rate with this phone, and wired charging is your only option – there’s no wireless charging here, which is exactly as you would expect for a smartphone in this price range. When you’re shopping on a budget, wireless charging is one of the features you usually have to go without.

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