Just last month, Samsung launched its newest entry-level devices in the Philippines. One of which is the Galaxy M12. Priced at PhP7,490, it offers most of what you’d expect for its price point, plus a unique back panel design. Apart from that, does the phone have anything to write home about? or is it just like everyone else? Let’s find out.
|Available Colors||Black, Blue, Green|
|Display||6.5” HD+ TFT|
|Dimensions||164 x 75.9 x 9.7mm|
|Processor||Octa-Core 2.0GHz (Exynos 850)|
|MicroSD||Expandable up to 1TB|
|Camera (Rear)||Quad Rear 48MP (F2.0) + 5MP Ultra-Wide (F2.2) + 2MP Depth (F2.4) + 2MP Macro (F2.4)|
|Camera (Front)||Front 8MP (F2.2)|
|OS||One UI Core|
|In-Box Items||Travel Adapter, Data Cable, Earphones, Ejection Pin, Quick Start Guide|
|Others||15W Charging, Side Fingerprint Scanner, Dolby Atmos|
Design and Build Quality
Perhaps the thing that makes the Galaxy M12 stand out is the stripe grooved pattern on its back panel. Apart from the visual flair, it doesn’t really make the phone easier to grip, but it makes it less prone to fingerprints and smudges.
Another thing that’s also very noticeable about this phone is how thick it is, most likely due to that 5,000mAh battery. Personally, I’d take a slightly thicker phone if it meant longer battery life. Not every device has to razor thin, which by the way, can also make then less sturdy.
Both the power button which also works as a fingerprint scanner, and the volume rocker are located on the right side, while the left side houses a SIM slot. There’s a USB-C port at the bottom, along with a headphone jack, a speaker grille, and a microphone.
The 6.5-inch PLS TFT LCD has a resolution of 720 x 1600 or HD+, which is fairly common in this price range. You don’t get the bright and vibrant colors that an AMOLED screen offers, and you’ll be able to tell that text isn’t as sharp, but at this segment, this is usually where they level it down a bit, in favor of other more important things.
|Geekbench 5 Single Core||178|
|Geekbench 5 Multi-Core||1038|
|3DMark Wild Life||431|
Galaxy M12 is powered by an Exynos 850 SoC, along with 4GB of RAM, which should still be enough for a bit of multi-tasking, but may not be enough for those who run a ton of apps at the same time. There’s also 64GB of storage, which is personally enough, but could be an issue depending on how many apps and files you have. Fortunately, the device has provision for a microSD card.
For daily performance, the phone runs smooth for most of the time with when going through the typical tasks. There are occasional stutters here and there, but nothing deal breaking.
|Ragnarok Next Generation||Runs well on “Prioritize Performance” preset|
|Genshin Impact||Playable at lowest preset, with occasional stutters|
|Black Dessert Mobile||Smooth at Quality Preset|
|Mobile Legends||Smooth on Ultra + HFR + HD|
Gaming-wise, you can play popular titles like CoDM, Genshin Impact, Ragnarok Next Generation, and Black Dessert Online close to 30fps, which is what you’d be aiming for at this price range. Mobile Legends, on the other hand, will run at Ultra + HD Mode + HFR Mode with no issues.
At the back of the Galaxy M12 is the usual composition – 48MP main sensor, along with an 8MP ultra-wide unit, and a pair of 2MP sensors for macro and depth.
Now, instead of putting a measly 2MP sensor just so you can market a triple or quad camera, I prefer that a sensor be used for multiple roles, just like this phone, because it means you’ll most likely get the same quality regardless if the type of shot you’ll take.
Moving on, the Galaxy M12 is able to deliver images with good detail and sharpness, although sometimes, you’d get a bit of overexposure in some areas.
The ultra-wide unit shows a ton of distortion, unfortunately, which may ruin the image depending on the subject. As far as selfies are concerned, they’re neither great nor bad, and will pass for your usual social media posts.
Galaxy M12 runs on One UI 3.1 on top of Android 11. As far as performance goes, it’s generally smooth with little bits of stutters here and there.
Microsoft Apps are pre-loaded into the device while Game Launcher lets you access all games installed on the phone, gives you app recommendations, lets you view your gamer profile, and lets you adjust settings for Game Booster. You can also customize the power button to launch a specific app on double press.
Speaking of which, Game Booster lets you choose a performance setting, set the resolution for screenshots and screen recordings, and more. Edge Panel lets you access a number of apps through a panel that appears with a left swipe.
The device also gives you the full suite of security options including Facial Recognition and Fingerprint Scanning, plus the usual PIN, Pattern, and Password. Face recognition works well, and is fast enough.
With its 5,000mAh battery, the Galaxy M12 managed to score an impressive 18 hours and 28 using PCMark’s Work 3.0 benchmark which simulates tasks like photo and video editing as well as data manipulation.
Unfortunately, our review unit didn’t come with a charger, so we couldn’t really test how long it will take to recharge the phone from zero to full using the default brick.
Samsung Galaxy M12 Verdict
The Samsung Galaxy M12 offers good performance, a decent main camera, and excellent battery life. One UI has some nifty features and runs smooth for most of the time.
On the other hand, its wide-angle lens introduces a ton of distortion at times, and the front bezels could be just a little bit thinner.
Overall, it’s a phone that doesn’t stand out except for that striped pattern on its back, I’d even say it’s too simple, but sometimes, that’s just what you’ll need. Is it the best you can get at this price point? definitely not, but if you’re a fan of the brand, then it’s a decent choice.