Samsung Galaxy A13 budget smartphone – Review and opinion

In recent years, Samsung’s entry-level A-series smartphones were having a hard time keeping up with the excellent offerings from Chinese manufacturers. The features were often somewhat inferior and, at the same time, the price was higher than Xiaomi and company.

But with the arrival of the Galaxy A13, Samsung has improved many aspects in this smartphone, such as the screen, the camera and in performance, which make this model a great option, if you are looking for an affordable mobile.

The Samsung Galaxy A13, is available in versions of 32GB storage and 3GB of RAM, as well as with 64GB or 128GB and 4GB of RAM. At the same time, you have it available with or without 5G connectivity. But the 5G version is older and presents worse features in terms of display and camera.

Samsung Galaxy A13 features
  • Processor SoC: Samsung Exynos 850 (S5E3830)
  • CPU: Cortex A55 Octa Core 2 GHz
  • GPU: ARM Mali-G52 MP1
  • Storage memory: 32GB / 64GB
  • RAM memory: 3GB / 4GB
  • 6.6-inch display with full HD+ resolution
  • PLS (IPS) panel
  • Main camera: 50.0 MP F1.8 + 5.0 MP F2.2 + 2.0 MP F2.4 + 2.0 MP F2.4
  • Front camera: 8 MP F2.2
  • Digital zoom up to 10x
  • Video recording up to FHD (1920 x 1080) resolution @30fps
  • Android 12 operating system (upgraded to Android 13)
  • 5000 mAh battery
  • MicroSD card slot (up to 1TB)
  • 3.5mm headphone jack connection
  • Available in 5G version (worse features)
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • NFC
  • Dimensions: 76.4 x 165.1 x 8.8 mm
  • Weight: 195 grams
Samsung Galaxy A13 review
6.7
Amazon prices
Samsung Galaxy A13
ADVANTAGES
  • More than acceptable performance within its range
  • Large screen with good contrast and brightness
  • Good color reproduction
  • Gorilla Glass 5 finish on the front side
  • 50 MP main camera performs well in good light.
  • Shoots good Full HD video in good light.
  • Long term software support
  • Great battery life in general
  • 3.5 mm jack and NFC
DISADVANTAGES
  • Macro camera very poor in quality
  • Battery charging somewhat slow
  • Soft plastic back, prone to scratches and smudges.
  • Charger not included

Samsung Galaxy A13 review and opinion

Unboxing

Samsung has joined the trend of no longer including a charger with entry-level smartphones. It is not the only one, as more and more manufacturers have taken this decision. On the one hand, it’s fine, as this move is supposed to be environmentally friendly, since in theory, almost everyone has one or more USB chargers at home and the smaller box reduces CO2 emissions during transport. At the same time, of course, it reduces the cost for Samsung.

In the box, only a USB cable and a SIM tool are included, as well as the warranty documents.

Design

The Galaxy A13’s casing looks different from that of its predecessor, the Galaxy A12: instead of a textured matte plastic, there is now a glossy back with a completely redesigned camera module. With white, black and the new light blue color, there are now a total of three color variants available.

A weak point of this new finish, is that the glossy surface attracts fingerprints and is prone to scratches. The thickness is 8.8 mm so we are talking about a relatively thin mobile.

Galaxy A13 ThicknessGalaxy A13 Thickness

On the front, there’s a small teardrop-shaped notch that offers a screen-to-body ratio of 82%. That’s quite common in this price range. We are pleased with the very robust construction of the casing, which reliably protects the liquid crystal layer of the display when exposed to pressure.

On the side, there is the slot for the SIM and microSD card. Two SIM cards and a memory expansion card can be used simultaneously.

At the bottom, we find a 3.5 mm headphone jack, the USB-C charging port and the speaker output.

Headphone and USB-C connectionsHeadphone and USB-C connections

Display

The PLS (IPS-like panel) display of the Galaxy A13 offers a Full HD+ (1080 x 2408) resolution. While this is not technically an exception within this price category, it is a significant improvement over the predecessor. Just remember that the 5G version of the A13 features a lower resolution display, in this case HD+. With a maximum brightness of 560 nits, it is also significantly brighter, as the previous generation achieved a brightness of up to 450 nits. Contrast is 1275:1 and the refresh rate is 60 Hz.

PLS Full HD+ Samsung Galaxy A13 PLS Display.PLS Full HD+ Samsung Galaxy A13 PLS Display

PLS displays offer good colors and good viewing angles, but on the downside, blacks are inferior and have a gray tint compared to AMOLED displays.

Although brightness is pretty decent as we have seen, reflections and glare obstruct viewing in direct sunlight on a sunny day.

Camera

There is a four camera module in total: a 50 MP wide-angle, a 5 MP ultra wide-angle, a 2 MP macro, and a 2 MP depth camera. Note that the Samsung Galaxy A13 5G lacks the ultra wide-angle camera, so you gain 5G at the cost of a camera.

Samsung Galaxy A13 camera systemSamsung Galaxy A13 Camera System

We were particularly pleased with the performance of Samsung’s main rear camera. It’s a 50-megapixel camera, although images are pixelated at 12.5 megapixels by default. We found it produced sharp results in good lighting, and edge detection in portrait mode was impressive, especially with static objects.

The 50 MP main camera is the star of the show, and you can take really nice photos with the phone in good light and with enough time to hold it steady. There’s no optical zoom, but the digital zoom brings out details quite well and the HDR processing keeps details visible in dark and bright areas.

Good results with Samsung Galaxy A13 main camera.Good results with Samsung Galaxy A13 main camera

We saw some blurring and distortion in ultra-angular mode, and we could see that the camera struggles in low light: the images you get in the dark aren’t great, but they are usable in some cases.

Photo in dark Galaxy A13 main cameraPhoto in dark main camera Galaxy A13

The macro camera leaves much to be desired and offers very poor photographs, with little definition. They are not valid even to get out of the way so it is a testimonial camera rather than usable.

Macro camera with very poor qualityMacro camera with very poor quality

On the front is an 8 MP wide-angle selfie camera that covers the basics well, though it doesn’t offer much else.

Color reproduction is also good overall, though not always perfect, as Samsung tends to boost contrast. In any case, it looks very good for those who want to share vivid snapshots on social networks.

The Galaxy A13’s low-light performance on the other hand doesn’t offer the same quality as there is no dedicated night mode. For this reason, you’ll have to rely heavily on ambient light and post-processing wizardry. As a result, images tend to lose detail rather quickly and have a lot of grain.

As for video recording, it delivers pretty good results as long as the lighting conditions are good. It provides good sharpness and colors although it does not have advanced features such as stabilizer or HDR mode, reserved for higher ranges. When the light is low, artifacts and noise come to the fore and the quality is compromised. Even so, you can still record videos in the dark with minimally acceptable results.

Sound

As far as sound is concerned, it has a speaker located on the bottom edge of the smartphone that offers a decent maximum volume level and a good sound overall. At maximum volume, it at least doesn’t overemphasize the treble too much, which makes it quite suitable for occasional music playback.

That said, it is highly recommended that you add external speakers or headphones to it for better definition. You can connect headphones via cable thanks to a 3.5mm jack input or via Bluetooth. It supports SBC, AAC, LDAC and Samsung’s own Scalable Codec. However, it is only compatible with the basic version of the aptX codec.

Performance

The processor remains the same as in the previous A12. It is the 8-core Exynos 850 which offers sufficient performance for basic use, but struggles when using demanding apps or games.

Although the Galaxy A13 is not intended as a smartphone for gaming, if you play video games occasionally and these are not very demanding, it offers respectable performance.

Samsung Galaxy A13 gaming performanceSamsung Galaxy A13 gaming performance

Already with more demanding games like PUBG Mobile, the experience is different. Already some occasional stutters are noticeable around 20 FPS, which sometimes hinders fast-paced shootouts.

Operating system

The Galaxy A13 comes preinstalled with Android 12 and Samsung’s OneUI 4, which significantly changes and extends the functionality of the operating system. However, the update to Android 13 and One UI 5.0 was released in November.

The Samsung phones have traditionally had proprietary apps such as a web browser and file explorer, which are somewhat redundant thanks to proprietary versions of Android. Samsung apps can only be hidden, but not completely removed. In addition, most pre-installed third-party apps for advertising purposes can be removed.

Autonomy

The Samsung Galaxy A13 integrates a 5000 mAh battery that offers a good autonomy to use it without problems for two days with normal use. With a more basic use, with the screen at a brightness around 40% and limited to social networks, browsing and listening to some music can last up to 3 days.

Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Samsung Galaxy A13 reviews - Is it worth buying?Samsung Galaxy A13 reviews – Is it worth buying?

The Samsung Galaxy A13 is positioned as a great option within the cheap smartphone range. With significantly faster Wi-Fi, a brighter and higher resolution display along with NFC support, which doesn’t come standard on all competing devices, the Galaxy A13 offers several improvements.

While you shouldn’t expect top camera performance from a phone under €180, the Galaxy A13 performs well relative to its price range and photos captured with the camera can look quite good especially in good lighting conditions.

The Galaxy A13 5G combines an affordable price with respectable performance and a guarantee of future upgrades.

In terms of the look and feel of the casing, many budget devices from other manufacturers tend to offer more and the Galaxy A13, which uses the same SoC as its predecessor, isn’t exactly among the best either. Charging isn’t the fastest and fully charging the device takes more than two hours.

Overall, the Galaxy A13 is worth considering if you’re on a budget or need a basic smartphone. As alternatives, you have the Xiaomi Redmi 10 which is another strong contender that offers a 90 Hz refresh rate in addition to a high-resolution display for a similar price, however it doesn’t have the same update policy as Samsung.

View Samsung Galaxy A13 price

6.7 Total Score
Samsung Galaxy A13 review

For the price, this is a reliable device with a good performance, a good battery life and a good camera. This is no surprise, since Samsung makes a lot of these devices, and it's something the company is very good at. It's an entry-level smartphone, so it's limited in terms of running powerful games, and it's got a screen of good quality for brightness and colour, but it doesn't compare with the AMOLED and 90Hz displays found on higher-end phones. But if you're looking for an affordable phone, the Galaxy A13 series are among our top picks.

PROS
  • More than acceptable performance within its range
  • Large screen with good contrast and brightness
  • Good color reproduction
  • Gorilla Glass 5 finish on the front side
  • 50 MP main camera performs well in good light.
  • Shoots good Full HD video in good light.
  • Long-term software support
  • Great battery life overall
  • 3.5 mm jack and NFC
CONS
  • Macro camera very poor in quality
  • Battery charging somewhat slow
  • Soft plastic on back, prone to scratches and stains.
  • Charger not included

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  1. Samsung Galaxy A13 processor is not as performing as described in this survey. It’s quite slow and lags sometimes which is not very commonly found in other Samsung smartphones with 4gb ram.
    The plastic back is also easy to break.

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