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Our exploration into the complicated world of the Samsung entry-level smartphone lineup continues - we now have the Galaxy A02s for you. Pushing the limits of what can fit a tight budget and still be worthy of the badge, the A02s' compromises are what we're here to assess.
We mentioned that it's a confusing roster that Samsung has, and the A02s is also available as M02s in some regions. While they do have separate model numbers, the hardware is identical, so it could be said that our findings here will apply equally well to the M02s, even though it says A02s on our review unit's packaging.
The 's' in those names carries a lot of significance, mind you. Galaxy A02 and M02 non-s models exist too, identical between them just as well, but with further downgraded internals when compared to the A02s and M02s. Keep your eyes open to what it says on the box.
So, the Galaxy A02s packs a 6.5-inch LCD - AMOLEDs are too expensive for this segment. The chipset won't win any awards either - the Snapdragon 450 is more than three years old, though it is made on a 14nm process (compare to the 28nm Mediatek in the non-s models).
The triple camera on the back is mildly deceptive - the 13MP main module is joined by the usual (and questionably useful) duo of 2MP 'macro' and depth cameras. Which is to say, there's no ultra-wide camera - you'll need to look at the A12 for one of these. The 5MP selfie cam is another small downgrade.
Samsung didn't mess around with the battery, though, and the A02s comes with a 5,000mAh powerpack - same as on the A12 and A02. We wouldn't call the hardware demanding, so we expect to see great endurance numbers.
There's nothing surprising about the presentation - the A02s ships in the same packaging as the A12 we had before and most other affordable Galaxies. Pull out the cardboard tray out of the sleeve, and you'll get the same bundle - the phone itself, a 15W adapter and a USB-A-to-C cable. A simple case would have been nice, but every penny is important in this class, so we're not bothered by its absence.
Much like the A12, the Galaxy A02s has a special back texture - more on that on the next page where we take a look at its design and build quality.