Samsung’s new $US250 (A$352) Galaxy A13 5G is here (in the US), and it’s one of the most affordable ways to upgrade to 5G.
The Galaxy A13 5G offers some pretty decent specs if you just want the basics. The new phone has a 6.5-inch edge-to-edge display with a 90Hz refresh rate, which delivers smooth scrolling akin to what you get on the OnePlus 8 and Pixel 5. Just don’t expect blazing-fast processing power: The A13 5G will run on a MediaTek Dimensity 700 processor (depending on the region you live).
The A13 5G offers 64GB of storage, and there’s an expansion slot for beefing that up to 1TB with a microSD card. A fingerprint sensor embedded on the side enables easy unlocking, and the 3.5 mm headphone jack should make up for the fact that the A13 5G has only a single speaker setup.
The Galaxy A13 5G features a rear three-camera array: a primary 50-megapixel lens with an f/1.8 aperture for capturing ample light, along with a 2-MP macro camera and a 2-MP depth camera. There’s also a 5-MP front-facing camera for the occasional video chat.
The A13 5G is powered by a gigantic 5,000 mAh battery with 15W fast charging for folks on the go, though you don’t get wireless charging at this price. There is also no wall charger included in the box, so you’ll want to make sure you have a compatible charging brick on hand (or buy a new one, which of course costs extra).
The A13 5G doesn’t ship with the latest version of Android — it runs Android 11 out of the box instead of Android 12. But this is par for the course for Samsung’s lineup; a few former flagship models are still waiting for the upgrade, including the Galaxy S20, though it’s currently running a beta for Android 12.
Then there’s 5G. The Galaxy A13 5G is compatible with sub-6GHz 5G, which connects to the low-band spectrum, so you won’t get the fastest speeds, but if you’re on AT&T and T-Mobile, you’ll have access to their slower but more expansive 5G networks.
The Galaxy A-series has always been a solid deal for anyone looking to get relatively up-to-date hardware specs without an enormous price tag. Of course, it does come with caveats, like an entry-level to a mid-range processor and a middling camera.
There is some competition for 5G phones at this price point, namely the $US240 (A$338) OnePlus Nord N200, which is available to buy both unlocked and on T-Mobile. It also boasts a 90Hz refresh rate and 5,000 mAh battery, and it has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 5G processor and a slightly larger 6.7-inch display. If you want a cheap 5G phone, the OnePlus is also worth considering.
You can buy the Galaxy A13 5G through AT&T beginning Dec. 3 T-Mobile customers and those interested in an unlocked model will have to wait until January 2022. Samsung is also launching another, lower-end device, the $US160 (A$225) Galaxy A03s, alongside the A13 5G on the same timeline.
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