cheap cell phones are for a moment.For the first time, you can buy a smartphone for just $250 and expect it to receive the following security updates four years. You’ll find that the smooth performance is adequate for most smartphone tasks, even gaming, and takes delightful photos that won’t blow your mind. This is my experience with the Samsung Galaxy A13 5G.
This Android phone might not look all that great—its plastic body feels cheap and attracts a lot of fingerprints—but I’ve been using it for almost a month with few hiccups. If you hate spending money on your phone and don’t care about having the best camera, the A13 5G delivers the basics at a very low price.
For a cheap phone, you need at least one device that can run all your favorite apps and games without too much stuttering or lag. The MediaTek Dimensity 700 processor inside the Galaxy A13 5G succeeds here. Apps open relatively quickly, switching between them is snappy, and I rarely see this phone slow down.even games like this forever nails and dead cells Works great on device.
There’s a 5,000mAh battery that will keep the A13 5G running for more than a full day. If you’re conservative enough, you can use the phone for a full two days, but most of the time my battery life was only a full day and a half. Like most cheap phones, there’s no wireless charging, and don’t expect it to charge to 100 percent fast.
You only get 64 GB of storage, which is on the low side for a phone at this price, but there’s a MicroSD card slot that lets you expand that space if you need more. Other perks include NFC so you can use Google Pay for contactless payments (a must-have on any phone in my opinion), a power button that doubles as a fingerprint sensor, and a headphone jack.
Samsung’s software interface isn’t quite as simple as what you’d see on phones like the Moto G Stylus 2022 or the OnePlus Nord N20 5G — and there are plenty of Samsung apps — but you can uninstall many of them, and there are plenty more custom made. Samsung leads its peers when it comes to software support: it promises two OS upgrades and four years of security updates. No other phone in this price range comes close. (The A13 5G launched on Android 11, but has been updated to Android 12, which will also get Android 13.)
The screen is one of the few disappointing parts of this phone. This is a low resolution LCD panel with a screen refresh rate of 90Hz. Of course, interacting with the display feels pretty smooth. But if you look closely, things can appear blurry. This didn’t affect my experience with the phone much, but the poor screen brightness did. The screen can be difficult to read when you’re outdoors in direct sunlight, and Samsung’s slow auto-brightness feature doesn’t help. Most of the time, I had to manually set the screen brightness.
The camera system won’t win any awards either. Don’t be fooled by the triple-camera array. It’s a 50-megapixel main camera paired with a 2-megapixel macro and 2-megapixel depth camera. The latter is only used to improve portrait mode photos with more accurate blur, and I rarely find the need for a macro camera (which lets you take super close-up photos of objects).