Good looks and reasonable display aren’t enough to compromise on overall performance
Samsung has been steadily flooding the market with Galaxy A Series devices, which span from cheap entry-level to mid-tier phones. Out of all, Galaxy A10 comes with the most watered specs as compared to its siblings in the series, and is also the cheapest one.
Galaxy A10 was launched with a price tag of PKR 21,500 ($130 roughly) in Pakistan and is currently available in Red, Blue, and Black colors.
The recently launched Huawei Y6 Prime 2019 also offers similar specs with the same price tag while Tecno has upped the game in the budget category by providing a triple camera-based Camon i4 at the price of Galaxy A10.
So will the Samsung Galaxy A10 be able to leave its mark in such a crowded smartphone market? Here is our real-life review of the phone to know everything you need.
Galaxy A10 specs
- Display: 6.2 inches
- OS: Android 9.0 (Pie), OneUI 1.1
- Chipset: Exynos 7884
- RAM/ROM: 2GB/32GB
- Rear Camera: 13MP
- Front Camera: 5MP
- Battery: 3400 mAh
- Full specs
Design and Display
Our review unit was Red, and it is the kind of color that makes a statement as soon as you hold it in your hand. It’s bright and vibrant, but if you prefer more subtle colors, you can opt from the black and blue color options too.
The phone is entirely made out of plastic and has a glossy finish. It’s a unibody design, so the back also extends to the sides of the phone, replacing the frame. Not only is it bright and bold in looks, but also comfortable and handy.
On the back, a single camera set up along with an LED flash rests on the top left corner while at the bottom left, you can find a tiny opening for the speaker. We didn’t like the speaker placement on the Galaxy A10 because if you play something on your phone while placing it on a flat surface, the sound muffles down.
On the right-hand side, you get the volume rocker and the power key. The high placement of the volume key forces you to stretch your thumb to reach out for it. The power key, however, is rightly placed and doesn’t pose any such problems.
On the left, you get a SIM card tray that has three slots; two for the SIM cards and thankfully a dedicated microSD slot to enhance the storage of the phone up to 512GB.
The bottom of the device has got a micro USB charging port along with the main microphone and a 3.5mm headphone jack. A secondary noise cancellation microphone is also included on the phone.
Galaxy A10 sits in hand perfectly due to the unibody design but gets smudgy and dirty very quickly because of the glossy finish, so you might want to keep a cleaning cloth at hand if you are rocking the phone without a protective cover.
As far as the design goes, Galaxy A10 shows off the effort put into it. The glossy finish looks premium and is better than what we have seen on the Huawei Y6 Prime. Since it’s a unibody phone, the sides of the handset also don’t look bulky like what we experienced with the Tecno Camon i4.
Also Read: Here, you can find the comparison between Galaxy A10 and Teno Camon i4.
Galaxy A10 packs a 6.2 inches TFT IPS display, having a resolution of 720×1520 pixels. It comes with a modern 19:9 aspect ratio, which makes the phone taller and not too much wider. With that, it also rocks an 81.6 % screen to body ratio.
Samsung calls it the infinity-V display because the notch on the top of the phone resembles the letter “V”. Oppo F9 was the device that started this tiny notch trend, but they call it the waterdrop notch.
Both the side and the top bezels are quite minimal and do not pose any intrusion in the viewing experience. The chin, however, is a bit larger than the bezels but not to an extent where it starts to look obtrusive like we experienced in the Tecno Camon i4.
The display does a pretty great job and can get extremely bright when cranked to maximum. It also includes “adaptive display,” which dims down or brightens up the screen accordingly with the amount of light in your surroundings. It works perfectly to tone the display brightness up or down both in indoor and outdoor situations.
The overall viewing experience is never compromised, and thanks to the excellent color reproduction as well as high brightness levels, you can easily browse through the phone, read your texts, email your friends or can do whatever you like on the phone, even under direct sunlight.
Galaxy A10 runs on Android Pie with Samsung’s own software One UI version 1.1. The One UI is by far the most refined OS from the company, and unlike the Android-based EMUI from Huawei, it does not come with bulks of bloatware; instead, it has a minimal number of pre-installed apps.
The OS makes use of a white minimalistic interface that resembles a lot with the stock Android. Not only is the style of the UI enhanced than what we previously saw in the Galaxy J6+, but it also presents enough substance and currently is the only third-party OS from any manufacturer on the market that is optimized for one-handed use.
A game mode is also installed on the phone and has many options regarding notification management. However, it is merely a gimmick and does not have any effect on the gaming performance of the device. There are constant ads in the game launcher, which is very annoying.
There is also a night mode included in the display settings. It induces a system-wide black color in the UI, so using your phone at night becomes easy, and it doesn’t strain your eyes too much. However, if you have the night mode on during daylight, you might experience difficulty reading small text on the screen.
Performance and Battery
Samsung Galaxy A10 comes with an Exynos 7884 chipset, which is coupled by 2GB RAM and 32GB of internal storage that can be expanded up to 512GB via a dedicated microSD card slot. It does not come in any other RAM or storage variant except this one.
It is a good chipset but has gotten pretty old since its launch back in early 2018. Pair an older chipset with 2GB RAM, and you have a perfect recipe for an entry-level smartphone.
The benchmark performance of the device is surprisingly better than the Vivo Y91, which rocks a MediaTek chipset with 3GB RAM.
In our real-life light usage test, Galaxy A10 performed great initially. Browsing social media, texting, calling, snapping random pictures didn’t hurt the phone’s performance, and it went on smooth.
After almost 40 mins of such light usage, I began to feel the device’s temperature mildly rising, and as it did, I also started to witness slightly late responses when I opened different apps. Thankfully it never hanged, and the phone delivered a reasonable performance in the light to moderate usage.
However, the phone is never meant for power users. If you are an avid gamer, you might want to skip this phone.
Not only in heavy usage but even if the phone gets hot during light usage, it exhibits a noticeable lag
The heavy usage test affected the phone badly when it started stuttering to an extent where it began to get on your nerves. I played deer hunter, and it repeatedly got stuck and went unresponsive, so I had to close it down and restart the app.
The same happened with Asphalt 9, which is also another resource-intensive game. The 2GB RAM couldn’t hold up with a pile of apps opened in the background. However, when I cleared the background apps, the game launched easily but couldn’t be played smoothly because of the extreme lag.
Since Galaxy A10 has a tiny single speaker on the back, the sound quality is inferior and cannot be heard 10 feet across the room if your room fan is running. For headphones and Bluetooth headset, however, it sports the Dolby Atmos sound, which can be toggled on and off from the quick settings in the notification shade and feels impressive with the earphones.
Since the device does not have any fingerprint scanner, so you have to rely on either the pin, pattern, or face unlock, which is the least secure method, as the phone also warns you when registering a face. Besides being less reliable, it is too sloppy and takes more than 2 seconds to recognize your face and unlock the phone.
Galaxy A10 sports a 3400mAh battery. Don’t let the numbers deceive you, as the battery of the phone is quite good. It managed to let go of only 13% battery in one hour of light usage. Similarly, the heavy usage also did not affect the battery much, and even though it got hot eventually, it drained 15% battery in a whole hour.
All in all, the phone’s performance is not something that may have surprised us. It went just the way we expected. The heating problem might be a turn off for many people out there as the phone quickly heats up after a while of usage.
Samsung Galaxy A10 packs a single camera on the back with 13MP resolution and a 5Mp selfie camera on the front. The camera app is also plain and simple, and since you don’t get the secondary depth-sensing lens on the back, you’ll not be able to capture portraits with blurred background on this phone.
You can see that the camera of the Galaxy A10 takes good pictures. In auto mode, the colors are balanced, but the images come out on the softer side instead of being overly sharp. The HDR mode does not introduce any dramatic changes in the pictures and instead darkens the overall image by a minute scale, to the extent that it’s negligible.
In some scenarios, the HDR works better than the auto mode and balances the dynamic range of the picture by lighting up the shadows and toning down the highlights in the picture.
Though the camera does not support optical zoom, you get a toggle just above the shutter, which enables the 2x digital zoom and can be handy when going from 1x to 2x. Even at 2x, it maintains a decent amount of details in the picture.
During night time, you can spot a little amount of grain even with well-lit subjects. Galaxy A10 also fails to contain light and blows it out.
The colors, however, come out decently saturated. In night shots, you may notice an increased amount of contrast in the images with auto mode.
HDR in night time works even better and properly enhances the brightness of the scene to maximize the dynamic range in the picture, but even with HDR, the light treatment in the scene does not get any better.
The 5MP camera does a decent job of maintaining details in selfies under ample light. Since the Galaxy A10 did not have any beautification features, we did not notice any overly smoothed or whitened pictures. The colors come out balanced, and the details are kept nicely.
The camera in the Samsung Galaxy A10 is an amalgamation of some average photos and some slight compromises. You can get pretty decent pictures in daylight scenarios. Still, in the night time, the camera treats the images appropriately but slightly blows the lights out of proportion, but it’s not something that we don’t get in other budget phones as well.
Galaxy A10 is a mix of great design and a decent display at the cost of underwhelming performance and an overall average camera. However, devices within this price range do come with some compromises, and Galaxy A10 is no exception.
If you are looking for a device with much more camera abilities and even better performance, you can opt for the Tecno Camon i4, which also comes at the same price as the Galaxy A10 and has a triple camera setup too along with 3GB RAM.
Moreover, if you need a performance-oriented device, then with a slightly higher price of PKR 27,800, you can get the Honor 8C, which has a far better performance than the Galaxy A10.