This story become originally posted 2020/08/01

eight:00am PDTon Aug 1, 2020 and closing up to date 2021/04/15

eight:45am PDTon Apr 15, 2021. 

Samsung has so many finances phones that it is able to be tough to hold music of all of them. One of the organisation’s greater latest releases is the Galaxy A11, a low-quit device with an MSRP of $179.99. However, the sub-$200 charge bracket is a pretty aggressive one, and the Galaxy A11 is preventing the new Moto E, Nokia 2.three, or even other Samsung-made telephones to your hard-earned coins.

The Galaxy A11 sits close to the lowest of Samsung’s smartphone lineup in the United States, alongside closing 12 months’s Galaxy A10e and the Galaxy A01. It’s a succesful smartphone, but relying on what functions you care about, there are higher alternatives obtainable.

Design, hardware, what’s in the container

Samsung’s price range phones more often than not look the identical, and the Galaxy A11 is not any exception. The tool has a plastic outdoors, lined with a glossy end that easily draws smudges and dust. I get that the concept is to emulate the look and feel of glass, however I might have without a doubt desired a easy matte coating.

The rear cover attracts fingerprints and dirt very effortlessly

The lower back of the cellphone additionally has a fingerprint sensor close to the top, which worked just nice in my checking out. There also are 3 rear cameras, which includes a prime 13MP lens, a 5MP wide-perspective digital camera, and a 2MP intensity sensor. A flash is positioned to the proper of the digicam array.

The Galaxy A11 has a 3.5mm audio jack on the top, that is (fortunately) not unusual in telephones round this fee, however what is not common is the A11’s contemporary USB Type-C port for charging. There are nevertheless plenty of sub-$two hundred telephones inside the United States the use of the older microUSB connector, so Samsung receives brownie factors there.

At 6.4 inches throughout, the Galaxy A11’s screen slightly larger than the display on the Galaxy S20 (6.2″), however smaller than the display screen on the Galaxy S20+ (6.7″). While the A11’s panel is not full HD, at handiest 1560×720, the display looks respectable enough looking for YouTube films and scrolling through social media. There’s no big notch for the camera, like on the Galaxy A10e or A01 — just a hollow at the top-left of the show.

Powering the smartphone is a Snapdragon 450 chipset, paired with 2GB RAM and 32GB of garage. That’s now not a variety of memory to paintings with, and the Snapdragon 450 is 3 years vintage at this factor. Even though the chipset is capable of working in 64-bit mode, Android on the Galaxy A11 runs in 32-bit mode to reduce reminiscence usage. That method no Pokémon Go.

The Galaxy A11 is also missing NFC, so you can’t use Google Pay, Samsung Pay, or every other contactless fee applications. It’s nonetheless rare for sub-$2 hundred phones inside the United States to come with NFC support, however that does not make the omission any less frustrating. The Google Nexus S from 10 years in the past had NFC — it need to be simple capability in each smartphone now.

Software, overall performance, battery

The Galaxy A11 comes with Samsung’s custom version of Android 10, additionally known as One UI 2.1. That manner the software program experience in all fairness similar to what you get on flagship Galaxy S and Note smartphones, minus the capabilities that require precise hardware. There are all the usual Android 10 capabilities (full-display screen navigation, progressed notifications, device-extensive darkish theme, and so forth.), plus the functionality Samsung adds on pinnacle.

If you have used a Samsung cellphone at any point in the beyond few years, you’ll experience right at home on the Galaxy A11. Samsung still makes duplicates of Google’s packages that you can not fully put off (or maybe disable, in a few instances), and you can not use third-celebration launchers with the new gesture navigation, but ordinary I do not have many lawsuits with One UI.

However, in case you buy the Galaxy A11 from a carrier, prepare for a number of bloatware. My evaluate unit got here from Boost Mobile, and over 15 0.33-birthday party apps have been robotically installed out of the container. Some of them, like Boost’s FastNEWS app, had been even sending unsolicited mail push notifications.

The Galaxy A11’s overall performance is set what you will count on for a reasonably-priced smartphone. Apps can take some seconds to start up, and there are slowdowns whilst the telephone is waking from sleep, however every day use isn’t always outright horrible. Battery lifestyles, at least, is extremely good — the large four,000mAh battery need to final maximum people over two days.

Camera samples

There are three rear cameras on the Galaxy A11: a 13MP f/1.8 important, a 5MP f/2.2 huge-angle, and a 2MP f/2.four intensity camera. You can get decent enough pictures out of the primary digital camera, given sufficient lights, though Samsung’s photograph processing can now and again smear information and produce unrealistic colorings. However, the 5MP huge-angle lens absolutely doesn’t have a excessive sufficient decision to create appropriate snap shots. Don’t use it except you like the look of virtual digicam pix from a decade in the past.

I desire Samsung might have taken the value of the extensive-attitude lens and positioned it elsewhere (like a higher chipset), however it appears to be a requirement for price range telephones in 2020 to have a crappy extensive-perspective or macro lens.

Should you purchase it?

Only if you get it at a steep bargain. The Galaxy A11 has an MSRP of $179.ninety nine, which is clearly too much money for this phone. The new Moto E is a drastically better cost at $one hundred fifty, and it even has a quicker chipset than the Galaxy A11. There’s additionally the $a hundred thirty Moto G7 Play to keep in mind, which shares the Moto E’s quicker chipset, though it hasn’t received Android 10 within the United States but.

However, similar to a brand new car, the Galaxy A11 would not look like sticking to the MSRP. Boost Mobile is already selling the telephone for $130, and U.S. Cellular has it right down to $ninety nine. At around $one hundred, the Galaxy A11 is a much better value — hardly any (new) phones in that charge variety have a USB Type-C port or a fingerprint sensor.

Buy it if:

  • You get the telephone for towards $100.
  • You really want a reasonably-priced phone with Samsung’s One UI.

Don’t purchase it if:

  • You need support for contactless payments.
  • You’re seeking out a smartphone with a great digital camera.
  • Buy:
  • Samsung (carrier models best),
  • AT&T,
  • T-Mobile,
  • Boost Mobile,
  • U.S. Cellular

Should you still get the A11?

Last 12 months, we decided that the A11 changed into a bargain if you can get it at a discount. In light of the newly introduced A12, must you even examine the A11?

The Galaxy A12 is a totally comparable phone occupying the equal niche, but it makes gains in some remarkable places. For one, you get a much newer ARM chip inside the 12nm Helio P35. That’s a MediaTek chip, but it ought to be able to squeak beyond everything within the Snadragon 400-series in relation to raw performance. The A12 also gets a further gig of RAM, 1,000 extra mAh of battery capability, and a barely large display. The backside bezel at the A12 has additionally slimmed down highly.

Samsung updates its flagship and pricier A-series phones for four years, however cheap phones just like the A11 and A12 do not get that remedy. You can assume quarterly updates, and no longer for very long. The A11 is already a year old, and Samsung will probably start ignoring this finances phone earlier than lengthy. The A12 is new and could get timely updates for a bit longer earlier than Samsung actions on.

With a MSRP of $a hundred and eighty, the A11 did not have plenty room to drop. Depending on wherein you appearance, you might discover it for round $a hundred on diverse pay as you go carriers or all the way up to full rate (Samsung). The unlocked telephone is $159 on Amazon. We instructed you no longer to pay complete fee last year, and that’s even greater genuine now. If you may get the A11 for $99 or much less from your chosen service, this is nonetheless an acceptable deal. If not, you need to scrape collectively any other seventy or 80 bucks for the newer phone.

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