Samsung Galaxy A13 review

samsung galaxy a13 review

Introduction

The Galaxy A13 is one of the newest entry-level phones joining the Galaxy A family. We have the 4G version for review, which is already selling in India and Europe. There is a Galaxy A13 5G as well, which upgrades to a 90Hz screen and a MediaTek Dimensity 700 chipset, but is otherwise quite similar to our 4G version.

It should be noted that the Galaxy A13 is actually not the lowest entry into the Galaxy A family, as it still sits above the Galaxy A03. Samsung has really been fleshing out its lineup lately. Unfortunately, that also means we end up with a large number of very similar devices.

Samsung Galaxy A13 review

The Galaxy A13’s body is nearly identical to the A13 5G, though it does get Gorilla Glass 5 display protection like the Galaxy A23. Also the same size 6.6″ PLS LCD, though at 60Hz, unlike the A13 5G and A23, both of which can do 90Hz.

Samsung Galaxy A13 specs at a glance:

  • Body: 165.1×76.4×8.8mm, 195g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass 5), plastic frame, plastic back.
  • Display: 6.60″ PLS LCD, 1080x2408px resolution, 20.07:9 aspect ratio, 400ppi.
  • Chipset: Exynos 850 (8nm): Octa-core (4×2.0 GHz Cortex-A55 & 4×2.0 GHz Cortex-A55); Mali-G52.
  • Memory: 32GB 3GB RAM, 64GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 6GB RAM; eMMC 5.1; microSDXC (dedicated slot).
  • OS/Software: Android 12, One UI 4.1.
  • Rear camera: Wide (main): 50 MP, f/1.8, PDAF; Ultra wide angle: 5 MP, f/2.2, 123-degree, 1/5″, 1.12µm; Macro: 2 MP, f/2.4; Depth: 2 MP, f/2.4.
  • Front camera: 8 MP, f/2.2, (wide).
  • Video capture: Rear camera: [email protected]; Front camera: [email protected]
  • Battery: 5000mAh; Fast charging 15W.
  • Misc: Fingerprint reader (side-mounted); 3.5mm jack; Virtual proximity sensing.

The camera setup on the A13 is nearly identical to that on the A23, except for the lack of OIS on the main camera and the unfortunate 1080p video capture limitation imposed by the 8nm Exynos 850 chipset. The Galaxy A13 5G gets the MediaTek Dimensity 700, whereas the A23 is based on the Snapdragon 680 chip and they can both capture 4K video too.

All three phones have 5,000 mAh batteries, but the A13 pair is limited to 15W charging, while the Galaxy A23 can charge at up to 25W. Like we said – subtle difference in these parts of Samsung’s lineup.

Unboxing

Before we get into the actual review, let’s check out the retail package. Unfortunately, there isn’t much to go over here. Samsung has really slimmed down the accessory bundle. In fact, there are no accessories to speak of unless you count the Type-C to Type-C USB cable. We gave it a quick test, and it seems to be a simple passive cable without an e-marker chip. Then again, it just needs to handle 15W of charging and USB 2.0 data transfer speeds (480Mbps).

Samsung Galaxy A13 review

This means that you’ll have to pick up a charger separately. Any decent PD unit or one of Samsung’s older-style Adaptive Fast Charging adapters should work since the A13 can’t use more than 15W.

While the lack of a charger in the box is a bit unfortunate, there is the ecological angle to consider. Indeed, shipping fewer chargers likely means fewer will eventually end up in a landfill. Also, the entire packaging of the Galaxy A13 is made from non-corrugated fiberboard (paperboard), also marked as 21 PAP. It is made of cellulose fibers that are recyclable and biodegradable (compostable).

Design

Samsung currently has a few different “looks” within its lineup. This design language, particularly the camera island with the separate cameras and no islands dates back to the Galaxy A32. Though, now that the Galaxy S22 Ultra brought that look to the very top of the company’s range, the Galaxy A13 gains a few trendy points. In contrast, the Galaxy A23 sticks to the more traditional Galaxy A series island painted the same color as the rest of the back.

Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Unlike the Galaxy A32, though, the A13 has a simpler overall body construction. Instead of using a three-piece design, the A13 has a plastic unibody, which was all the rage a few years back but very rare these days. It is made of plastic, which makes it lightweight and also can’t really shatter or dent. It can scratch and chip, though, and the material Samsung is using on the A13 isn’t the sturdiest. In fact, our review unit managed to pick up a nasty black blemish and a chip in the frame during the review without us doing anything particularly harsh to it.

Samsung Galaxy A13 review

You can get the Galaxy A13 in Black, White, Peach and Blue. The latter looks fresh and “youthful” and might be pretty popular, given the Galaxy A series is mostly geared towards a younger crowd.

Our white Galaxy A13 looks good from a distance, but it loses a lot of its charm up close. The finish looks pretty cheap and while the glossy surface doesn’t show dirt and grease, it still accumulates them and can quickly get kind of nasty to the touch.

Samsung Galaxy A13 review

The surface isn’t particularly grippy either, which makes the A13 slippery and diminishes its handling a bit. The shape is ergonomic enough but does need a case to fix handling.

Materials and build quality

As we already mentioned, the particular plastic on the unibody of the Galaxy A13 isn’t particularly sturdy and doesn’t feel particularly good either. There is also noticeable flex to the pack panel with an air gap between it and the battery on the inside. A hollow feeling is never great.

Samsung Galaxy A13 review

On a more positive note, the way the display is slotted into the unibody is reassuring and there’s a protruding black plastic frame on all sides. That means that a fall should mostly get absorbed by this frame and not the glass and display.

Samsung Galaxy A13 review

The Galaxy A13 actually has a name-brand Gorilla Glass 5 protective finish on the front. That definitely instills a lot of confidence. Much more so than the, say, the Galaxy A12 or the A03, which just have an undisclosed glass protective surface. The display surface itself is almost perfectly flat for the actual display bit and the reasonably-sized display bezels, which means that applying a glass screen protector for even more peace of mind should be easy.

Controls

The Galaxy A13 has a standard control scheme. The volume rocker and power button are on the right-hand side and well-positioned in terms of height. Neither feels quite right when pressed, though as they are a bit mushy and without much tactile feedback. The volume rocker is also on the thinner side. Making it a bit wider might have helped the situation.

Samsung Galaxy A13 review

The power button on the A13 doubles as a fingerprint reader. Snappy and perfectly reliable – we have nothing to complain about.

Samsung Galaxy A13 review

The left side of the flare just houses the triple card tray. It includes two nano-SIM slots and a separate microSD slot, so no picking and choosing needed.

Samsung Galaxy A13 review

The top of the Galaxy A13 is pretty much empty. It just has the secondary noise-canceling mic inside a small hole.

The bottom of the phone has the bottom-firing speaker. The Galaxy A13 doesn’t have a hybrid setup with the earpiece or anything of the sort, so that’s the only speaker there is, but you do get a 3.5mm audio jack. And the main microphone is here as well.

Samsung Galaxy A13 review

The USB Type-C port on the bottom of the A13 is wired for USB 2.0 (up to 480 Mbps) data speeds and up to 15W of charging. There is USB Host support as well, but no video out.

Rounding off the controls tour, we need to address the sensor situation. The A13 has an accelerometer, magnetometer, rotation, compass, orientation and motion sensors. There is no full-featured hardware proximity sensor. It is a virtual unit recognized by the OS as a Samsung Ear Hover Proximity Lite Sensor (ProTos Lite). That means that it uses a combination of data from the phone orientation sensor and the selfie camera to turn off the display during calls but does not provide an actual proximity readout. It is not particularly accurate in practice and frequently does not turn off the display during calls.

Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Arguably worse still the A13 also lacks an ambient light sensor. It uses the selfie camera to measure ambient light. This is a very much flawed and inefficient system. Not only is the reading not nearly as precise, but the phone can’t afford to take measurements too often since the camera wastes a lot of power. That makes the A13 sluggish and inaccurate when responding to external light changes. In practice, it took a very long time for the A13 to respond to bright sunlight. Oftentimes the brightness wouldn’t even boost after taking the phone out of a pocket at all. And bringing it indoors afterward rarely resulted in automatically lowering the brightness. We found ourselves turning auto brightness off and managing it ourselves as the auto was downright infuriating in its unreliability.

In case anybody was wondering, there is no notification LED on the A13, but that’s the norm, rather an exception.

Connectivity and features

The two nano-SIM slots on the Galaxy A13 are both capable of Cat.7 speeds of up to 300 Mbps down and up to 150 Mbps up, with 2x (2CA) carrier aggregation. There is dual standby as well.

Samsung Galaxy A13 review

In terms of local connectivity, the Galaxy A13 maxes out at Wi-Fi 5, along with Wi-Fi direct and hotspot support, as well as Wi-Fi Miracast . You also get Bluetooth 5.0 with LE. Our unit has NFC, though that seems to be market-dependent, so check with your local retailer. The A13 has GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, and BDS for location.

Interestingly enough, the Galaxy A13 lacks an FM radio receiver, even though the official specs for the Exynos 850 claim that there should be one on board.

Unimpressive 6.6-inch PLS LCD display

The Galaxy A13 comes with a spacious 6.6-inch display. It has a 20:9 aspect ratio and a resolution of 1080 x 2408 pixels, which works out to about 400 ppi density.

Samsung Galaxy A13 review

The panel identifies itself as SyncMaster 8224 and is a PLS TFT LCD, which is basically Samsung’s variation on IPS technology for anyone not familiar with the matter.

The display on the Galaxy A13 is unfortunately held back by its sluggish pixel response.

The Galaxy A13 is not too shabby in terms of brightness and contrast. It gets just shy of 500 nits on the slider in manual mode. As we mentioned, there is an auto-brightness mode too, and it can boost brightness beyond that. We measured numbers as high as 587 nits. Not class-leading, but not bad at all and decently usable outdoors. Also, we reiterate that while auto-brightness and hence the brightness boost are present, they don’t always work as expected and are far from reliable due to the absence of an actual light sensor on the A13.

Display test100% brightness
Black,cd/m2White,cd/m2Contrast ratio
Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 (Max Auto)0736
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 (Max Auto)0682
Realme 8 (Max Auto)0657
Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC (Max Auto)0.5156311225:1
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro (Max Auto)0.4876161265:1
Samsung Galaxy A22 (Max Auto)0597
Samsung Galaxy A13 (Max Auto)0.4485871310:1
Poco M3 Pro 5G (Max Auto)0.3665361464:1
Poco M4 Pro 5G (Max Auto)0.335101545:1
Nokia G21 (Max Auto)0.3335001502:1
Samsung Galaxy A130.3764981324:1
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 5G (Max Auto)0.2754921789:1
Samsung Galaxy A03s0.2844881718:1
Xiaomi Redmi 10 (Max Auto)0.44771193:1
Xiaomi Redmi Note 100475
Samsung Galaxy A12 (Max Auto)0.3494721352:1
Xiaomi Redmi Note 110465
Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC0.3544601299:1
Realme 80458
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro0.3554561285:1
Poco M3 (Max Auto)0.2774391585:1
Nokia G210.2684371631:1
Poco M3 Pro 5G0.284131475:1
Poco M4 Pro 5G0.2644101553:1
Samsung Galaxy A120.2923981363:1
Xiaomi Redmi 1003961494:1
Poco M30.2523951567:1
Samsung Galaxy A220391
Samsung Galaxy A22 5G0.2363851631:1
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 5G0.213771795:1

While measuring the brightness on our Galaxy A13 review unit, we also noticed that it is quite uneven. That’s not a major deal on a relatively small display, and you probably won’t be able to notice it in practice. But still, it’s indicative of lower-quality panel.

An arguably bigger issue is pixel response time. The Galaxy A13 refreshes its panel at a standard 60Hz, and even then, its pixels are slow to react, which leads to smearing and ghosting, particularly with fine text in motion. There is the occasional animation stutter and slowdown while rendering the UI itself due to the underpowered chipset, too, which just adds to the nasty visual artifacts and smearing, but a decent part of it is still to blame on the panel.

Color accuracy is mediocre. The Galaxy A13 lacks any sort of color modes or color adjustments, which is typical for lower-end Samsung devices, so you don’t get to tune it either.

Display settings - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Display settings - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Display settings

The default color profile seems to target the DCI-P3 color space instead of the narrower and easier sRGB for some reason. While the primary colors aren’t too far off, and the range is there, the calibration is off, and everything is noticeably cold and blue.

Unsurprisingly, there is no HDR support on the Galaxy A13. Neither the display can handle HDR content nor can the hardware decode HDR streams.

No HDR support - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Widevine L1 allows for FullHD streaming - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Widevine L1 allows for FullHD streaming - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

No HDR support • Widevine L1 allows for FullHD streaming

On the plus side, there is the highest Widevine L1 DRM certification, which means that the Galaxy A13 has access to HD and higher quality streams on services like Netflix. The latter was more than happy to offer-up FullHD quality and match the native resolution of the display.

Battery life

The Samsung Galaxy A13 has a big 5,000 mAh battery which is great to see. Also, while the Exynos 850 is far from the best performing chipset, it is quite power-efficient with its 8nm process. So we weren’t surprised to see the Galaxy A13 scoring an impressive 114 hours of total endurance in our testing.

Samsung Galaxy A13 review

The Shannon 318 LTE modem inside the Exynos 850 is far from cutting edge with just Cat.7 LTE speeds, but it sips power and manages both impressive standby and call times. Both on-screen test results are great too.

Our battery tests were automated thanks to SmartViser, using its viSerDevice app. The endurance rating denotes how long the battery charge will last you if you use the device for an hour of telephony, web browsing, and video playback daily. More details can be found here.

Video test carried out in 60Hz refresh rate mode. Web browsing test done at the display’s highest refresh rate whenever possible. Refer to the respective reviews for specifics. To adjust the endurance rating formula to match your own usage patterns check out our all-time battery test results chart where you can also find all phones we’ve tested.

Charging speed

The Galaxy A13 isn’t particularly speedy when it comes to charging. It can charge at a maximum rate of 15W which it seems to be happy to get from one of Samsung’s current 25W PD chargers just as well as the old style Samsung Adaptive Fast Charging bricks.

30min charging test (from 0%)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
    65%
  • Realme 8
    56%
  • Poco X3 NFC
    55%
  • Poco M4 Pro 5G
    54%
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 11
    51%
  • Realme 8s 5G
    50%
  • Nokia G21 (65W PD)
    37%
  • Poco M3 Pro 5G
    33%
  • Samsung Galaxy A02s
    30%
  • Samsung Galaxy A31
    30%
  • Realme 8i
    30%
  • Samsung Galaxy A13
    27%
  • Samsung Galaxy A21s
    26%
  • Xiaomi Redmi 10
    26%
  • Poco M3
    25%
  • Samsung Galaxy A22
    23%
  • Samsung Galaxy A22 5G
    23%
  • Nokia G21
    22%
  • Samsung Galaxy A12
    20%
  • Samsung Galaxy A03s
    15%

Time to full charge (from 0%)

Lower is better

  • Poco M4 Pro 5G
    1:07h
  • Realme 8
    1:09h
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
    1:13h
  • Realme 8s 5G
    1:14h
  • Poco X3 NFC
    1:15h
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 11
    1:18h
  • Poco M3 Pro 5G
    2:00h
  • Nokia G21 (65W PD)
    2:09h
  • Xiaomi Redmi 10
    2:13h
  • Samsung Galaxy A13
    2:18h
  • Samsung Galaxy A22
    2:20h
  • Realme 8i
    2:21h
  • Samsung Galaxy A22 5G
    2:29h
  • Poco M3
    2:30h
  • Samsung Galaxy A02s
    2:36h
  • Samsung Galaxy A31
    2:48h
  • Nokia G21
    2:49h
  • Samsung Galaxy A12
    3:03h
  • Samsung Galaxy A03s
    3:38h

The A13 managed to go from dead to just shy of 30% in 30 minutes, and a full charge takes well over two hours.

Again, not particularly speedy, but we’ve seen worse from budget devices as well.

Speaker test

The Galaxy A13 has a single bottom-firing speaker at its disposal. It managed an Average loudness score in our testing. It should be noted that due to its positioning, it is relatively easy to cover the speaker up, which you should be aware of. The quality of the output is far from impressive either with overpronounced treble and non-existent bass.

Samsung Galaxy A13 review

In terms of audio quality, the A13 actually sounds decent. Frequency response isn’t too far off recent Samsung flagships like the S22. However, the sound stage is understandably narrower, without nearly as much depth to it. There is practically no bass. Highs still sound fairly clean even at max volume, though, which is nice. Overall, not bad for a budget phone, though a better stereo speaker setup is potentially attainable in this price range.

Unlike display settings, the Galaxy A13 actually has a few tweaks and adjustments available for audio.

Audio settings: Equalizer - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Audio settings: Dolby Atmos - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Audio settings: Adapt Sound - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Audio settings: Equalizer • Dolby Atmos • Adapt Sound

There is a fairly in-depth equalizer with presets as well as custom controls. The A13 also has Dolby Atmos support. It only works on stereo headsets and Bluetooth speakers, not the built-in loudspeaker. Last but not least Adapt Sound is Samsung’s long-standing feature to automatically tune audio cased on your personal hearing and age.

Use the Playback controls to listen to the phone sample recordings (best use headphones). We measure the average loudness of the speakers in LUFS. A lower absolute value means a louder sound. A look at the frequency response chart will tell you how far off the ideal “0db” flat line is the reproduction of the bass, treble, and mid frequencies. You can add more phones to compare how they differ. The scores and ratings are not comparable with our older loudspeaker test. Learn more about how we test here.

One UI 4.1 Core on top of Android 12

The Galaxy A13 ships with a up-to-date software packge, including Android 12 and Samsung’s custom One UI 4.1. While 4.1 is the latest version of the popular custom software layer, the Galaxy A13 gets the “One UI 4.1 Core” trimmed down version.

Samsung Galaxy A13 review

We get why Samsung tried to include as light of a software layer on the Galaxy A13 as possible. Its Exynos 850 chipset is starved for power. So much so that it often struggles to run the UI smoothly and stutters and slows down even while browsing menus. Not a great experience at all.

The Core version of One UI cuts a few apps and services to make the launcher easier on system resources. What didn’t make the cut – Samsung Pay service (GPay is available), Easy Mode, the Bixby assistant, Windows Link service, and the Good Lock app for advanced customizations. Secure Folder is missing as well, but interestingly enough, there is Knox on the A13 and even advertised on the official specs page for its malware and threat protection.

Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Samsung’s Music Share and Smart View are not available either. We suspect few people will miss these on such a basic phone. The Samsung Game Launcher is absent too, but Game Booster is a part of One UI 4.1 Core. Samsung Smart Widgets, Edge Panels and the fancy Object Eraser in the gallery app are also not available, but the new Color palettes are here.

The Galaxy A13 does not support Always-on Display. Its default lock screen has two shortcuts – dialer and camera, but you can pick different apps. The lock screen has a wellbeing widget – you can now keep track of how much time you’ve spent on your phone without even unlocking it.

Unlocking the screen with the side-mounted fingerprint scanner is a breezy experience – the reader is always-on and has superb accuracy and speed.

Lockscreen, widgets and unlocking - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Lockscreen, widgets and unlocking - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Lockscreen, widgets and unlocking - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Lockscreen, widgets and unlocking - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Lockscreen, widgets and unlocking - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Lockscreen, widgets and unlocking - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Lockscreen, widgets and unlocking - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Lockscreen, widgets and unlocking - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Lockscreen, widgets and unlocking - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Lockscreen, widgets and unlocking

If you are coming from a slightly older version of One UI, you might notice that pulling the notification shade covers the entire screen underneath, even if there’s just one notification card or none. Previously, a portion of the screen below the last notification still remained visible, just darkened.

Notification history is a nifty feature that was originally introduced with Android 11, and it is present here. It is turned off by default, though.

Notification shade, quick toggles and notification history - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Notification shade, quick toggles and notification history - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Notification shade, quick toggles and notification history - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Notification shade, quick toggles and notification history - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Notification shade, quick toggles and notification history - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Notification shade, quick toggles and notification history

All of the standard layout adjustments and toggles for the quick panel and taskbar are accounted for. There are Bubbles notifications for messaging apps – you’ll find these in the ‘Floating notifications’ submenu, where you can alternatively turn both of them off and opt for the old-school cards-only interface.

Another fairly new addition you might notice coming from an older Android is the reworked multimedia controls originally introduced with Android 11. You get the active audio playback apps right below the quick toggles, and swiping to the side switches between the apps.

The Media screen was already available on One UI 2.5 pre-Android 11, and it offers similar functionality for picking the output device. The volume control panel has gotten a makeover too, and now the four sliders are vertical instead of the horizontal ones of One UIs past.

Multimedia and volume controls - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Multimedia and volume controls - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Multimedia and volume controls - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Multimedia and volume controls

The Android experience with One UI is rather straightforward and familiar.

General One UI experience - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
General One UI experience - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
General One UI experience - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
General One UI experience - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
General One UI experience - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
General One UI experience - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

General One UI experience

There are plenty of system navigation options, with a few tweaks and layouts available for gestures, as well as old-school button controls, even the really-old original style, with the back button on the right side.

Navigation options - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Navigation options - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Navigation options - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Navigation options

One UI has always offered plenty of customizability, and One UI 4.1 Core on the Galaxy A13 is no exception. You get wallpapers and services like Dynamic lock screen and Samsung Global Goals. There is also a whole tone of themes and wallpapers to choose from through Samsung Themes – many free as well.

Rich customization and theming options - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Rich customization and theming options - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Rich customization and theming options - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Rich customization and theming options - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Rich customization and theming options - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Rich customization and theming options

As we mentioned, the new Color palette feature is present. It allows you to match the accent colors of the UI and even stock app icon colors to the colors in your wallpaper.

The One UI dialer app lends itself to plenty of customization too. There are two different layouts for the in-call screen to choose from. You can also set up a background image or video for that screen, though it’s going to be all the same for all of your calls – you can’t have a different one on a per-person basis.

Samsung Galaxy A13 review

The settings menu has recently undergone a subtle but meaningful makeover. Subcategories are made more legible by using a dot separator and extra spacing, while recent searches are now shown as bubbles instead of a list. Additionally, there’s a newly added feature to search settings by hashtags – for conceptually related things found in different places in the menu.

Settings menus - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Settings menus - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Settings menus - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Settings menus

The Galaxy A13 comes with Samsung’s own Gallery, Internet browser and Notes app. The gallery notably lacks Samsung’s fancy new Object Eraser feature. The Galaxy Store offers its own different selection of apps compared to the Google Play Store, though many do overlap and can be downloaded and updated through either repository.

Samsung apps - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung apps - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung apps - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Samsung apps

Beyond all of this, the S22 comes loaded with a standard set of apps from Samsung, Microsoft and Google.

Pre-installed apps - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Pre-installed apps - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Pre-installed apps - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Pre-installed apps - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Pre-installed apps

Granted, the list has gotten a bit extensive, but there is nothing here that we would consider bloat in the traditional sense. Well, Facebook and LinkedIn are a bit borderline. Anything you don’t personally like or appreciate having on your device can be easily uninstalled or, failing that – disabled.

Overall, One UI remains one of the best and most polished custom Android experiences out there. It is chuck-full of useful features. Even in this lighter One UI 4.1 Core version, the Galaxy A13 is running. Unless you simply have a preference for a clean AOSP experience, there really isn’t much to dislike about One UI itself.

There is, however, plenty to be unhappy about the way it runs on the Galaxy A13. It is very much not a fluent and smooth experience. There are plenty of slowdowns and stutters all over the place in animations and transitions. Slow app load times and even app switching and background operation issues due to the limited resources of the phone. The Exynos 850 seems to really be struggling to keep up with the otherwise excellent One UI 4.1 Core.

Performance and benchmarks

Power is arguably the biggest Achilles’ heel of the Galaxy A13. It is equipped with the Samsung Exynos 850 chipset. On the surface, it doesn’t look too bad. It is a chip from 2020, built on a reasonably efficient 8nm LPP process.

Samsung Galaxy A13 review

The CPU setup consists of eight symmetrical Cortex-A55 cores, which came out in 2018 and are starting to show their age. All eight cores capable of speeds up to 2.0 GHz.

Our review unit is equipped with 4GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 128GB of eMMC 5.1 storage, which makes it the second best available config, with the top one upping RAM to 6GB. Probably the weakest link in the proverbial chain here, though, is the GPU. The Exynos 850 is running a single Mali-G52 graphical core, and that’s it. It’s not a particularly powerful core, to begin with, but for some odd reason, Samsung decided to just include one of it. It really struggles to deliver, especially on the Galaxy A13 which has a FullHD+ display.

Let’s kick things off with some CPU loads and GeekBench. The Galaxy A13 is struggling. Even more so, in fact than its Samsung Galaxy A21s sibling, which is also running the Exynos 850 chipset. Perhaps the Android 10 OS that the device was running at the time of its review and potentially its One UI skin were lighter, or it might be optimization issues.

GeekBench 5 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Poco M4 Pro
    1836
  • Poco M4 Pro 5G
    1797
  • Poco X3 NFC
    1777
  • Samsung Galaxy A22 5G
    1719
  • Realme 8
    1690
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 11
    1662
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
    1599
  • Poco M3
    1398
  • Samsung Galaxy A22
    1372
  • Xiaomi Redmi 10
    1294
  • Nokia G21
    1193
  • Samsung Galaxy A21s
    1100
  • Samsung Galaxy A12
    1034
  • Samsung Galaxy A03s
    889
  • Samsung Galaxy A13
    588
  • Samsung Galaxy A02s
    495

GeekBench 5 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Poco M4 Pro 5G
    597
  • Poco X3 NFC
    568
  • Samsung Galaxy A22 5G
    560
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
    534
  • Realme 8
    533
  • Poco M4 Pro
    523
  • Samsung Galaxy A22
    376
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 11
    376
  • Xiaomi Redmi 10
    361
  • Nokia G21
    311
  • Poco M3
    308
  • Samsung Galaxy A21s
    184
  • Samsung Galaxy A03s
    179
  • Samsung Galaxy A12
    169
  • Samsung Galaxy A13
    153
  • Samsung Galaxy A02s
    131

Regardless, in its current state even the Galaxy A03s with its meager MediaTek Helio P35, as well as the A13’s own predecessor – the A12, running the same chipset, embarrassingly have the A13 beat. Even the Nokia G21 with its exotic and unpopular Unisoc T606 has a lead in the CPU department.

Basically any other chipset you can get in this price range seems to be more capable.

AnTuTu is a bit more favorable to the Galaxy A13 since its gets to strut its higher resolution, newer software and newer features and APIs over some of its rivals. Even so the A13 is still miles behind the most powerful phones in its price range.

AnTuTu 8

Higher is better

  • Realme 8
    298328
  • Poco M4 Pro 5G
    296721
  • Poco X3 NFC
    283750
  • Samsung Galaxy A22 5G
    242155
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 11
    228044
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
    218788
  • Samsung Galaxy A22
    185358
  • Poco M3
    177904
  • Samsung Galaxy A13
    122822
  • Samsung Galaxy A12
    107189
  • Samsung Galaxy A21s
    107157
  • Samsung Galaxy A03s
    103465
  • Samsung Galaxy A02s
    90811

AnTuTu 9

Higher is better

  • Realme 8
    357488
  • Poco M4 Pro 5G
    353663
  • Poco M4 Pro
    318444
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 11
    244526
  • Samsung Galaxy A22 5G
    223188
  • Nokia G21
    171299
  • Samsung Galaxy A22
    165959
  • Samsung Galaxy A13
    136286
  • Samsung Galaxy A03s
    101299

The meager single Mali-G52 core is predictably contributing a lot to these poor compound AnTuTu benchmark scores. Some of the higher difficulty tests like the Aztek runs, even failed to execute and crashed due to limited resources a few times.

GFX Aztek ES 3.1 High (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Realme 8
    12
  • Poco X3 NFC
    11
  • Samsung Galaxy A22
    9.2
  • Samsung Galaxy A22 5G
    8.4
  • Poco M4 Pro
    8.3
  • Samsung Galaxy A21s
    7.1
  • Nokia G21
    6
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
    5.6
  • Samsung Galaxy A12
    4.6
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 11
    4.6
  • Samsung Galaxy A02s
    3.5
  • Samsung Galaxy A13
    3.3
  • Poco M3
    2.8

GFX Aztek ES 3.1 High (offscreen 1440p)

Higher is better

  • Realme 8
    7.7
  • Samsung Galaxy A22 5G
    5.5
  • Poco M4 Pro
    5.5
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
    3.7
  • Samsung Galaxy A22
    3.3
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 11
    3.1
  • Poco M3
    2.8
  • Samsung Galaxy A13
    2.2
  • Nokia G21
    1.9
  • Samsung Galaxy A12
    1.5
  • Samsung Galaxy A02s
    1.2

GFX Aztek Vulkan High (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Realme 8
    11
  • Poco X3 NFC
    11
  • Samsung Galaxy A22
    9.4
  • Samsung Galaxy A22 5G
    7.8
  • Poco M4 Pro
    7.7
  • Samsung Galaxy A21s
    6.6
  • Nokia G21
    5.6
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
    5.3
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 11
    4.8
  • Poco M3
    4.1
  • Samsung Galaxy A12
    3.8
  • Samsung Galaxy A02s
    3.5
  • Samsung Galaxy A13
    3.4

GFX Aztek Vulkan High (offscreen 1440p)

Higher is better

  • Realme 8
    7.5
  • Samsung Galaxy A22 5G
    5.1
  • Poco M4 Pro
    5.1
  • Poco M3
    4.2
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
    3.5
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 11
    3.1
  • Samsung Galaxy A22
    2.9
  • Samsung Galaxy A13
    2.3
  • Nokia G21
    1.8
  • Samsung Galaxy A12
    1.2
  • Samsung Galaxy A02s
    1.1

The numbers are firmly in the single digits, and hence we can’t even begin to have any discussions about “playable frame rates”.

Even as we go lower down the stack into older OpenGL ES 3.1 tests, the Galaxy A13 just can’t break double-digit territory.

GFX Car Chase ES 3.1 (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Realme 8
    18
  • Samsung Galaxy A22
    16
  • Poco X3 NFC
    16
  • Poco M4 Pro 5G
    13
  • Samsung Galaxy A22 5G
    12
  • Poco M4 Pro
    12
  • Samsung Galaxy A21s
    11
  • Nokia G21
    8.9
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
    7.9
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 11
    6.8
  • Samsung Galaxy A02s
    6.1
  • Poco M3
    5.9
  • Samsung Galaxy A03s
    5.5
  • Samsung Galaxy A13
    5.2
  • Samsung Galaxy A12
    5

GFX Car Chase ES 3.1 (offscreen 1080p)

Higher is better

  • Realme 8
    20
  • Poco X3 NFC
    19
  • Poco M4 Pro 5G
    16
  • Samsung Galaxy A22 5G
    14
  • Poco M4 Pro
    14
  • Samsung Galaxy A22
    9.3
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
    9.3
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 11
    8
  • Poco M3
    7.2
  • Samsung Galaxy A13
    6.2
  • Samsung Galaxy A21s
    6
  • Nokia G21
    5.2
  • Samsung Galaxy A03s
    3.5
  • Samsung Galaxy A02s
    3.4
  • Samsung Galaxy A12
    3.3

GFX Manhattan ES 3.1 (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy A22
    30
  • Realme 8
    29
  • Poco X3 NFC
    27
  • Poco M4 Pro 5G
    23
  • Samsung Galaxy A22 5G
    21
  • Poco M4 Pro
    21
  • Samsung Galaxy A21s
    19
  • Nokia G21
    17
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
    15
  • Samsung Galaxy A03s
    14
  • Samsung Galaxy A12
    13
  • Samsung Galaxy A02s
    12
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 11
    12
  • Poco M3
    11
  • Samsung Galaxy A13
    8.3

GFX Manhattan ES 3.1 (offscreen 1080p)

Higher is better

  • Realme 8
    33
  • Poco X3 NFC
    33
  • Poco M4 Pro 5G
    26
  • Samsung Galaxy A22 5G
    24
  • Poco M4 Pro
    24
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
    17
  • Samsung Galaxy A22
    15
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 11
    15
  • Poco M3
    13
  • Samsung Galaxy A13
    9.4
  • Samsung Galaxy A21s
    9.4
  • Nokia G21
    8.5
  • Samsung Galaxy A03s
    7.9
  • Samsung Galaxy A12
    7.7
  • Samsung Galaxy A02s
    6.1

Mind you, there is an extra layer of unfortunate circumstance here. While we appreciate the inclusion on a FullHD+ display on the Galaxy A13 for its added sharpness that meant that the already struggling Mali-G52 is forced to render at that native resolution in benchmarks.

GFX Manhattan ES 3.0 (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Realme 8
    48
  • Samsung Galaxy A22
    42
  • Poco M4 Pro 5G
    37
  • Poco M4 Pro
    33
  • Poco X3 NFC
    33
  • Samsung Galaxy A22 5G
    31
  • Samsung Galaxy A21s
    28
  • Nokia G21
    24
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
    21
  • Samsung Galaxy A03s
    19
  • Samsung Galaxy A12
    19
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 11
    18
  • Poco M3
    17
  • Samsung Galaxy A02s
    16
  • Samsung Galaxy A13
    14

GFX Manhattan ES 3.0 (offscreen 1080p)

Higher is better

  • Realme 8
    53
  • Poco X3 NFC
    44
  • Poco M4 Pro 5G
    40
  • Poco M4 Pro
    37
  • Samsung Galaxy A22 5G
    32
  • Samsung Galaxy A22
    24
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
    24
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 11
    21
  • Poco M3
    19
  • Samsung Galaxy A13
    16
  • Samsung Galaxy A21s
    16
  • Nokia G21
    14
  • Samsung Galaxy A12
    12
  • Samsung Galaxy A03s
    11
  • Samsung Galaxy A02s
    9.3

This explains the major disparity in on-screen test numbers between the Galaxy A13 and the A21s, which, although running the same chipset and GPU has and HD+ display.

Granted, you can set games to run at lower resolution and most modern mobile game engines are smart enough to drastically scale back quality and all sorts of graphical parameters to accommodate even the weakest of chips.

3DMark SSE ES 3.1 (offscreen 1440p)

Higher is better

  • Poco X3 NFC
    2689
  • Realme 8
    2610
  • Samsung Galaxy A22 5G
    2391
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
    1471
  • Samsung Galaxy A22
    1361
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 11
    1316
  • Poco M3
    1175
  • Nokia G21
    962
  • Samsung Galaxy A21s
    888
  • Samsung Galaxy A13
    886
  • Samsung Galaxy A02s
    438
  • Samsung Galaxy A12
    365

3DMark SSE Vulkan 1.0 (offscreen 1440p)

Higher is better

  • Realme 8
    2639
  • Poco X3 NFC
    2495
  • Samsung Galaxy A22 5G
    2257
  • Samsung Galaxy A22
    1383
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
    1372
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 11
    1267
  • Poco M3
    1106
  • Samsung Galaxy A13
    931
  • Nokia G21
    930
  • Samsung Galaxy A21s
    901
  • Samsung Galaxy A12
    612
  • Samsung Galaxy A02s
    489

3DMark Wild Life Vulkan 1.1 (offscreen 1440p)

Higher is better

  • Realme 8
    1486
  • Poco M4 Pro 5G
    1232
  • Samsung Galaxy A22 5G
    1104
  • Poco M4 Pro
    1099
  • Samsung Galaxy A22
    691
  • Samsung Galaxy A13
    510
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
    482
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 11
    439
  • Nokia G21
    403
  • Poco M3
    368

Even so, the Galaxy A13 is only suitable for the most basic and lightweight casual games. Preferably ones with 2D graphics.

The Galaxy A13 remains cool to the touch even with prolonged loads. That, however, doesn’t mean that the chipset itself doesn’t accumulate heat over time. Plastic is just a good insulator. This is apparently exactly what’s happening since the Galaxy A13 still thermal-throttles and loses a chunk of its performance after a while of sustained load. Not a major chunk, but there isn’t a lot of it, to begin with. Still, there are no jarring and sunned drops down and then back up, so we can’t criticize the thermal-throttling behavior overall.

Thermal throttling - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Thermal throttling - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Thermal throttling - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Thermal throttling - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Thermal throttling - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Thermal throttling

There is no point beating about the bush. Overall performance on the Galaxy A13 is poor. The Exynos 850 chipset is simply not capable of delivering a fluent experience in most modern games and is even struggling to drive the Samsung One UI 4.1 Core. This might be a case of simply asking too much of said hardware and optimization, or further stripping down the UX could potentially help. In its current state, however, the Galaxy A13 simply fails to deliver a satisfactory user experience in terms of speed, responsiveness and fluidity. And sadly, that is an unfortunate conclusion we rarely arrive at these days.

A decent quad camera setup

The Galaxy A13 isn’t particularly impressive in the camera department. This year Samsung, like most of its competitors, has moved past the 48MP Quad-Bayer sensor as seen on the Galaxy A12 and on to a 50MP Quad-Bayer unit or Tetracell as Samsung calls it. Unfortunately, despite our prodding in software and best efforts, the Galaxy A13 refused to give up and particular model number, but this is probably the ISOCELL JN1 (S5KJN1), which we know for a fact is inside the Galaxy A13 5G variant, as well as a few recent Motorola G series phones, the Realme 8i and 9i, as well as the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11, Redmi 10 and Poco M4 Pro 5G. Most of these viable competitors to the Galaxy A13.

Samsung Galaxy A13 review

The Galaxy A13 has an f/1.8 aperture lens in front of said main sensor and basic PDAF. In contrast, the Galaxy A23 that launched alongside the A13 and seemingly shares most of its camera hardware also gets OIS.

The ultrawide camera is as basic as they come with its 5MP 1/5″ sensor (1.12µm pixel size) and f/2.2, 123-degree FoV lens. Then there are two “supplementary” 2MP, f/2.4 cameras on the A13 as well – one for macro shots and the other for depth info in portrait mode.

On the front – an 8MP f/2.2 selfie cam with fixed focus. Seemingly identical to that in last year’s Galaxy A12 as well as the Galaxy A23.

The camera app is the same you’d find on most Samsung phones these days, but it misses on a few features. Swiping left and right will switch between all available modes, and there’s an option to re-arrange or remove some of the modes from the viewfinder. Vertical swipes will switch between front and rear cameras.

The settings icon is located in the upper left corner of the screen and gives you fine control over the cameras. You don’t get separate setting screens for photos and video since the options aren’t that many in total. Grid lines, location data – the usual stuff can be found there. You can also turn on and off the Auto HDR.

Camera UI and settings - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Camera UI and settings - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Camera UI and settings - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Camera UI and settings - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Camera UI and settings - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Camera UI and settings - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Camera UI and settings - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Camera UI and settings - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Camera UI and settings - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Camera UI and settings

There are some fun extras to explore, like Deco Pic and its AR stickers. Also, a Pro mode is available, but only for the main camera and with a rather limited set of controls. You can manually adjust ISO between 100 and 800, Exposure compensation within a two-stop range and white balance between 2300K and 10000K. No manual focus or focus peaking, no shutter speed controls.

Pro mode is rather limited - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Pro mode is rather limited - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Pro mode is rather limited - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Pro mode is rather limited - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Pro mode is rather limited

Also notably missing from the Galaxy A13 camera experience: Scene Optimizer, Night Mode and Video stabilization.

Photo quality

Let’s kick things off with the 50MP main camera. By default, it does four-way pixel binning and produces photos right around 12.5MP (4080 x 3060 pixels). These are overall solid, especially for a budget phone. There is plenty of resolved detail and even fine patterns come out great with minimal moire. We did notice a bit more softness near the bottom left corner in most of our shots. It’s not too bad, and a bit of “lens lottery” is always to be expected. The other edges look just fine.

Samsung Galaxy A13: 12.5MP main camera samples - f/1.8, ISO 40, 1/763s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: 12.5MP main camera samples - f/1.8, ISO 40, 1/697s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: 12.5MP main camera samples - f/1.8, ISO 40, 1/519s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Samsung Galaxy A13: 12.5MP main camera samples - f/1.8, ISO 40, 1/913s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: 12.5MP main camera samples - f/1.8, ISO 40, 1/369s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: 12.5MP main camera samples - f/1.8, ISO 40, 1/489s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Samsung Galaxy A13: 12.5MP main camera samples

Colors admittedly look a bit dull in some of the samples, but that’s actually more to do with the unfortunate overcast weather we have been having lately. Color reproduction on the main camera is actually very decent and true to life.

Honestly, the only more substantial issue we had with the main cam has to do with the unreliable autofocus. It has a tendency to hunt and miss altogether. If you are diligent enough, use tap to focus and get a few shots in a roll, you can expect pretty great results.

You can switch the main camera over to 50MP mode. Capturing 50MP (8160 x 6120 pixels) stills takes a few seconds longer than regular ones. And, as with most other tasks, the Galaxy A13 is not particularly speedy when it comes to shooting photos to begin with.

That being said, you stand to gain a noticeable amount of additional detail in 50MP mode. Since these photos are pretty similar to the regular ones in other aspects of quality, we feel safe recommending the mode, when you absolutely need as much detail as possible. If you don’t mind the larger file size, that is.

Samsung Galaxy A13: 50MP main camera samples - f/1.8, ISO 20, 1/740s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: 50MP main camera samples - f/1.8, ISO 20, 1/680s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: 50MP main camera samples - f/1.8, ISO 20, 1/557s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Samsung Galaxy A13: 50MP main camera samples - f/1.8, ISO 20, 1/737s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: 50MP main camera samples - f/1.8, ISO 20, 1/301s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: 50MP main camera samples - f/1.8, ISO 20, 1/485s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Samsung Galaxy A13: 50MP main camera samples

Here is how the main camera stacks up against competition in our extensive photo compare database. We are including samples in both 12.5MP and 50MP mode.

Photo Compare Tool
Photo Compare Tool
Photo Compare Tool

Samsung Galaxy A13 against the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 and the Xiaomi Poco M4 Pro 5G in our Photo compare tool

Photo Compare Tool
Photo Compare Tool
Photo Compare Tool

50MP: Samsung Galaxy A13 against the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 and the Xiaomi Poco M4 Pro 5G in our Photo compare tool

The main camera is also the one responsible for portrait shots. That and the 2MP depth sensor, which provides some additional depth data. Oddly enough, these photos come out at 8MP resolution (3264 x 2448 pixels). While not perfect, these look solid, especially for a budget device. It makes sense, seeing how they still retain the general processing of the main cam.

Subject separation is very good, with just the occasional mistake here and there and the adjustable bokeh effect looks convincing.

Samsung Galaxy A13: 8MP main camera portrait samples - f/1.8, ISO 1000, 1/20s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: 8MP main camera portrait samples - f/1.8, ISO 80, 1/50s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: 8MP main camera portrait samples - f/1.8, ISO 50, 1/50s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Samsung Galaxy A13: 8MP main camera portrait samples

The mode works great on non-human subjects too. Just make sure to shoot a whole bunch of shots if they are inclined to squirming around.

Samsung Galaxy A13: 8MP main camera portrait samples, non-human subjects - f/1.8, ISO 250, 1/33s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: 8MP main camera portrait samples, non-human subjects - f/1.8, ISO 500, 1/33s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: 8MP main camera portrait samples, non-human subjects - f/1.8, ISO 320, 1/50s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Samsung Galaxy A13: 8MP main camera portrait samples, non-human subjects - f/1.8, ISO 320, 1/33s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: 8MP main camera portrait samples, non-human subjects - f/1.8, ISO 200, 1/50s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: 8MP main camera portrait samples, non-human subjects - f/1.8, ISO 200, 1/50s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Samsung Galaxy A13: 8MP main camera portrait samples, non-human subjects

The Galaxy A13 lacks a dedicated telephoto camera but can still pull off surprisingly good zoom shots with the main camera. You can go all the way up to 10x digital zoom with quick toggles for 2x, 4x and 10x.

2x shots look pretty solid. Detail is on point, and so are the colors. If you pixel-peep, you will notice some slightly more aggressive sharpening, but nothing over the top.

Samsung Galaxy A13: 12.5MP 2x zoom main camera samples - f/1.8, ISO 40, 1/790s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: 12.5MP 2x zoom main camera samples - f/1.8, ISO 40, 1/557s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Samsung Galaxy A13: 12.5MP 2x zoom main camera samples - f/1.8, ISO 40, 1/718s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: 12.5MP 2x zoom main camera samples - f/1.8, ISO 40, 1/571s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Samsung Galaxy A13: 12.5MP 2x zoom main camera samples

Quality quickly starts to degrade when zooming past that point, though. 4x shots already have noticeable pixelation, and things only get worse from there.

Samsung Galaxy A13: 12.5MP zoom main camera samples: 4x - f/1.8, ISO 40, 1/976s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: 10x - f/1.8, ISO 40, 1/878s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: 4x - f/1.8, ISO 40, 1/651s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Samsung Galaxy A13: 10x - f/1.8, ISO 40, 1/861s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: 4x - f/1.8, ISO 40, 1/249s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: 10x - f/1.8, ISO 40, 1/227s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Samsung Galaxy A13: 12.5MP zoom main camera samples: 4x • 10x

The 5MP ultrawide camera (2576 x 1932 pixels) performs as well as you can expect from such a small sensor. That is to say, its photos are lacking in detail, and with limited dynamic range.

Samsung is doing well with the processing, balancing sharpening and noise suppression. Colors arguably look a bit better on the ultrawide than the main cam since they have a bit more “pop” to them. Regardless, Samsung did a fairly decent job matching color reproduction between the two cameras. There is some difference, but it’s not too jarring.

Samsung Galaxy A13: 5MP ultrawide camera samples - f/2.2, ISO 40, 1/1541s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: 5MP ultrawide camera samples - f/2.2, ISO 40, 1/1686s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: 5MP ultrawide camera samples - f/2.2, ISO 40, 1/1092s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Samsung Galaxy A13: 5MP ultrawide camera samples - f/2.2, ISO 40, 1/1957s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: 5MP ultrawide camera samples - f/2.2, ISO 40, 1/1727s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: 5MP ultrawide camera samples - f/2.2, ISO 40, 1/1159s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Samsung Galaxy A13: 5MP ultrawide camera samples

The 2MP macro camera is a bit of a mixed bag. It has fixed focus but it’s not particularly close to the subject. Also, its 1600 x 1200 pixel resolution is quite limiting. Given enough patience, you can get decently-detailed shots and read some small text or get some artsy pics for a social media post, but our guess is most people won’t ever bother with that.

Samsung Galaxy A13: 2MP macro camera samples - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: 2MP macro camera samples - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Samsung Galaxy A13: 2MP macro camera samples - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: 2MP macro camera samples - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Samsung Galaxy A13: 2MP macro camera samples

The 8MP selfie camera captures all-around solid shots. Detail is plentyful, colors are accurate, even if a bit dull like on the main cam. Even though it lacks autofocus, the focal plane is decently wide and forgiving.

Samsung Galaxy A13: selfie camera samples - f/2.2, ISO 50, 1/1404s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: selfie camera samples - f/2.2, ISO 50, 1/627s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: selfie camera samples - f/2.2, ISO 50, 1/912s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Samsung Galaxy A13: selfie camera samples - f/2.2, ISO 50, 1/750s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: selfie camera samples - f/2.2, ISO 50, 1/1460s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: selfie camera samples - f/2.2, ISO 50, 1/1309s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Samsung Galaxy A13: selfie camera samples

In typical Samsung fashion, the selfie camera has a “wide” and a “narrow” mode. There is no way to just select and use one in settings, but you can tell the camera app to remember your last selection, which is good enough. The “wide” mode 8MP photos in 3264 x 2448 pixels, whereas the “narrow” mode, saves shots in about 5MP – 2460 x 1980 pixels.

You can capture selfie portraits as well. Just like on the main cam, the background blur looks very convincing in these. Subject detection and separation are okay.

Samsung Galaxy A13: selfie portrait samples - f/2.2, ISO 50, 1/872s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: selfie portrait samples - f/2.2, ISO 50, 1/703s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Samsung Galaxy A13: selfie portrait samples - f/2.2, ISO 50, 1/1447s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: selfie portrait samples - f/2.2, ISO 50, 1/1621s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Samsung Galaxy A13: selfie portrait samples

Video capture quality

Video capture on the Galaxy A13 is unfortunately limited to FullHD. You can’t even do 60fps, not that we advertise that anyway. You just get 720p and 1080p both at 30fps. That’s not an artificial software limitation either. It’s just what the ISP inside the Exynos 850 can handle. Open Camera doesn’t offer any higher resolutions either.

Videos get captured in a standard AVC stream, hovering around 17 Mbps, which is decent for FullHD. Not ideal, but decent. Audio is a stereo 48 kHz AAC stream, and those go inside a standard MP4 container. Although there is a HEIF option for saving more efficiently compressed photos, there is no HEVC video toggle. We imagine it’s a video encoder limitation.

Videos from the main camera look good. Detail is alright for a 1080p video. Colors are true to life, and everything is nice and sharp. Dynamic range is adquate.

You can pixel-peep away using our video compare tool as well.

Video Compare Tool
Video Compare Tool
Video Compare Tool

1080p: Samsung Galaxy A13 against the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 and the Xiaomi Poco M4 Pro 5G in our Video compare tool

Unfortunately there is no video stabilization on the Galaxy A13 at all. Footage from the main cam in motion is quite shaky as a result. Yet another limitation of the hardware we assume.

2x zoom videos from the main camera hold up well. They are just a bit softer and slightly noisy in certain spots, but well within reason.

Videos from the ultrawide camera are usable but nothing to phone home about. Detail is good for 1080p footage, and colors look alright. The footage is quite noisy, however. And the camera can’t seem to decide on its exposure setting, which leads to some nasty and annoying flickering. That is dependent on the lighting conditions, though.

Selfie videos look impressive given the circumstances as well. We just wish there was some EIS to help smooth out the footage. Otherwise, we can’t complain about the quality.

Overall, despite its hardware limitations, the Galaxy A13 manages to deliver solid all-around video capture and make the most out of its hardware.

Low-light quality

Low light shots from the main camera are quite decent, especially for a budget device. There is a good amount of detail without overly aggressive sharpening. Noise is also minimal.

Samsung Galaxy A13: 12.5MP main camera low-light samples - f/1.8, ISO 1000, 1/25s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: 12.5MP main camera low-light samples - f/1.8, ISO 640, 1/10s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Samsung Galaxy A13: 12.5MP main camera low-light samples - f/1.8, ISO 640, 1/10s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: 12.5MP main camera low-light samples - f/1.8, ISO 1000, 1/10s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Samsung Galaxy A13: 12.5MP main camera low-light samples

The biggest issue with these photos is arguably the limited dynamic range, with blown highlights and shadows almost entirely crushed. Unfortunately, the Galaxy A13 lacks a Night mode – manual, automatic or otherwise. There is even no Smart Scene to try and fix up these shots. Also, autofocus issues are even worse in poor lighting.

Shooting in 50MP mode in low-light still offers some notable benefits in terms of detail, but not nearly as much as daytime shots. That makes it a bit harder to recommend.

Samsung Galaxy A13: 50MP main camera low-light samples - f/1.8, ISO 800, 1/20s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: 50MP main camera low-light samples - f/1.8, ISO 640, 1/10s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Samsung Galaxy A13: 50MP main camera low-light samples - f/1.8, ISO 640, 1/10s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: 50MP main camera low-light samples - f/1.8, ISO 1000, 1/10s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Samsung Galaxy A13: 50MP main camera low-light samples

2x zoom shots from the main camera are decent and definitely usable. Just like their daytime equivalents, you get basically the same quality as with 1x shots, with just a bit more noise and some extra algorithmic sharpening to compensate. However, an argument can be made that this more heavily processed but notably sharper look is a better fit for low-light shots.

Samsung Galaxy A13: 12.5MP main camera 2x zoom low-light samples - f/1.8, ISO 640, 1/25s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: 12.5MP main camera 2x zoom low-light samples - f/1.8, ISO 640, 1/10s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Samsung Galaxy A13: 12.5MP main camera 2x zoom low-light samples - f/1.8, ISO 800, 1/20s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: 12.5MP main camera 2x zoom low-light samples - f/1.8, ISO 1250, 1/10s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Samsung Galaxy A13: 12.5MP main camera 2x zoom low-light samples

The ultrawide camera expectedly struggles a lot in low light. Shots look quite soft and noisy with that distinct oil paiting look.

Samsung Galaxy A13: 5MP ultrawide camera low-light samples - f/2.2, ISO 800, 1/17s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: 5MP ultrawide camera low-light samples - f/2.2, ISO 800, 1/10s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Samsung Galaxy A13: 5MP ultrawide camera low-light samples - f/2.2, ISO 640, 1/10s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: 5MP ultrawide camera low-light samples - f/2.2, ISO 800, 1/10s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Samsung Galaxy A13: 5MP ultrawide camera low-light samples

The selfie camera also sees the limitations of its sensor exposed in low-light. The faces come out looking soft and color get washed out.

Samsung Galaxy A13: selfie camera low-light samples - f/2.2, ISO 2500, 1/8s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: selfie camera low-light samples - f/2.2, ISO 2500, 1/8s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: selfie camera low-light samples - f/2.2, ISO 2500, 1/8s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Samsung Galaxy A13: selfie camera low-light samples - f/2.2, ISO 2500, 1/8s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: selfie camera low-light samples - f/2.2, ISO 2500, 1/8s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: selfie camera low-light samples - f/2.2, ISO 2500, 1/8s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Samsung Galaxy A13: selfie camera low-light samples - f/2.2, ISO 2500, 1/8s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review
Samsung Galaxy A13: selfie camera low-light samples - f/2.2, ISO 2500, 1/8s - Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Samsung Galaxy A13: selfie camera low-light samples

Last but not least, here are some video samples from the ultrawide and main camera in 1x and 2x mode in low light. The main cam actually holds up well. There is a decent amount of detail, and noise is kept at a minimum. While far from perfect, light sources are not entirely blown out either. The same is mostly true for the 2x video. It is just a bit softer and has a bit more sharpening applied.

The ultrawide is pretty much useless for video in low-light. These clips are just too dark and soft to actually be usable.

Alternative offers

At the time of writing the Samsung Galaxy A13 is listed in India for INR 14,999 or right around EUR 180 and just shy of $200. The official Samsung UK website also has a price – GBP 179. That’s fitting some pretty tight budgets, but it doesn’t mean the phone runs uncontested.

Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Looking at the Galaxy A13’s close siblings first, you could easily save a few bucks and go for the older Galaxy A12 instead while stocks last. Its 48MP main cam, while a slightly older design, is not that different in practice. The HD+ display resolution is a bit more of an unfortunate downgrade, but then again, the Galaxy A13 actually has trouble even running its own One UI at FullHD+, so HD+ is realistically a more comfortable environment for the lower-end hardware. And sure, the new Galaxy A23 looks better all around, notably with a usable chipset on board 4K video capture and OIS, but also a notably higher price tag. If you don’t want to deal with sub-par sharpness or irritating performance glitches though, you might need to stretch your budget to meet it.

The slightly-older Galaxy A22, however, is a different beast. It can currently be had for right around EUR 190 and gets you a 90Hz Super AMOLED panel, albeit of lower HD+ resolution. The MediaTek Helio G80 is also arguably more powerful if not as efficient. The slightly older but comparable 48MP main cam on the Galaxy A22 gets OIS too. And beyond that, you are not sacrificing any of the other quality of life aspects of the Galaxy A13. Notably, the big battery with excellent endurance.

A slightly more regional suggestion would be the Galaxy F23, which isn’t all that more expensive than the Galaxy A13 and is currently selling in India. You will have to settle for an PLS display instead of AMOLED, but a fast 120Hz one. The F23 also includes a more capable Snapdragon 750G chipset with 5G connectivity, in case that’s on your list of priorities. Other than that, it is a similar device to the Galaxy A13 in most other aspects.

Of course, we can’t talk about budget phones without mentioning Xiaomi and specifically the Redmi line. The Redmi Note 11 is a viable and direct competitor to the Galaxy A13. For just shy of EUR 200, it gives you a 90Hz 6.43-inch AMOLED display, stereo speakers and 33W charging on its 5,000 mAh battery. The Snapdragon 680 chipset, while limited to 1080p video capture, is still better than the Exynos 850. It is also paired with faster UFS 2.2 storage.

Samsung Galaxy A22
Samsung Galaxy F23
Xiaomi Redmi Note 11

Samsung Galaxy A22 • Samsung Galaxy F23 • Xiaomi Redmi Note 11

Xiaomi has a pretty viable 5G alternative in this price range as well in the Poco M4 Pro 5G. Like the Galaxy F23, it comes with some other specs compromises here and there to fit 5G into the budget, like a 90Hz IPS display and a lighter camera setup also capped at 1080p video capture. Still, the compromises really aren’t that many, and you still get things like stereo speakers, Gorilla Glass 3 and 33W charging.

Xiaomi Poco M4 Pro 5G
Realme 8

Xiaomi Poco M4 Pro 5G • Realme 8

Finally, the Realme 9i fits within the same budges and matches most of the aforementioned specs of the Poco M4 Pro 5G, but notably skips the 5G part, which hurts its value proposition a bit. A much smarter play would probably be the Realme 8 if you can still find one of those. It has a Super AMOLED HDR10 display, a versatile camera setup, and a huge 5,000 mAh battery with excellent endurance and 30W charging.

Our verdict

There is a lot that can go wrong when creating a phone, especially a budget one. The trouble is that most of these devices look very similar on paper. You have to spend some time with them to uncover any issues hidden beneath the surfaces and unfortunately we located a few pretty major ones on the Galaxy A13.

Samsung Galaxy A13 review

While the A13 is structurally solid, it was obviously made cheaply with soft plastics, susceptible to damage. It also looks and feels quite cheap in person. The same goes for the display. While it offers a sharp picture thanks to its FullHD resolution, its pixel response time is sluggish, with plenty of smearing and ghosting. It also suffers from poor backlight uniformity, and since Samsung did not include a proper proximity reader or an ambient light sensor, you have to do a lot of manual adjustments.

But perhaps the biggest issue the Galaxy A13 has is its performance or rather lack thereof. The Exynos 850 is particularly lacking in the GPU department and faced with the daunting task of pushing pixels on a FullHD+ panel, it simply fails to deliver. The otherwise slick and feature-rich One UI 4.1 Core lags and stutters frequently on the Galaxy A13, badly hurting its general usability.

Samsung Galaxy A13 review

It’s a real shame since the Galaxy A13 still delivers in other key aspects. It has stellar battery life, and its cameras, while not exactly impressive, benefit from mature processing and deliver decent results. We just can’t recommend the Galaxy A13, especially since Samsung itself has other better and more well-rounded Galaxy devices in the same price range to get instead.

Pros

  • Gorilla Glass 5 finish on the front.
  • Large screen with good contrast and max brightness. Decent color reproduction.
  • Great all-around battery life.
  • The daylight camera quality is solid. Video capture is also good, despite 1080p resolution cap.
  • Latest Android 12 and solid One UI Core with lots of features.
  • 3.5mm jack, microSD, NFC.

Cons

  • Subpar performance, especially graphics on the FullHD+ display. Lag and slowdowns are frequent.
  • Unibody has soft plastic prone to scratches and blemishes.
  • Virtual proximity sensor is unrealiable, lack of ambient light sensor means brightness adjustment is even worse.
  • No color mode options. Sluggish pixel response times with smearing and ghosting. Poor backlight uniformity.
  • Single speaker with mostly unimpressive quality.
  • No Night mode, Scene optimizer or video stabilization.

Source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.