A buttery smooth display has become one of the game changers even for budget smartphones under Rs 15,000. Our smartphones have been our default screen for a while now and as the quality and resolution of Content continues to improve on OTT platforms and YouTube, the refresh rate of the display has become a deal breaker for many consumers. The value proposition for Samsung’s new F Series device is built heavily on the 90Hz refresh rate. But that’s not the only reason why the Samsung F12 (that was launched along with the F02) deserves to be on your radar.
Design is an area where Samsung seems to have upped its game in the budget smartphone battles. Of course we’re not just talking about the device but also the UI. Samsung’s One UI (this device runs on 3.1) is more pleasing on the eye than most of its rival brands and their custom UI at this price point. You do get a little bloatware out of the box, but it’s mostly apps you can uninstall. The device is finished with a cool new striped pattern on the rear that will remind you of premium smartphone back cases that blend style with a rugged form factor.
This striped pattern looked quite appealing in our review unit (sky blue). The other design element that we like is the placement of the four lenses in a symmetrical pattern as part of the rear camera set-up. This is part of the new design template we’re seeing on the F series devices. Despite a plastic back, the device is a tad heavy. It weighs just above 220 gm but the 6000 mAh battery might be a happy trade-off for heavy duty users who max out on their screen time. The battery comfortably lasted more than a day in our tests. Samsung adds a 15W fast charger in the box.
The F12 is very similar to Samsung’s M12 that we checked out about a month ago. The hardware spec sheet is almost identical. It’s powered by the same Exynos 850 processor. We checked out the 4GB/128GB variant (there’s also a 4GB/64GB variant). We found it was enough speed for everyday tasks but certainly not lightning quick for intensive gaming. The F12 managed a modest score of 969 in our Geekbench test, similar to the M12.
The 90Hz refresh rate on the 6.5-inch (720 x 1600 pixels) Infinity-V display (with a teardrop notch) is one of the device’s key highlights. It’s one of the best displays at this price point; it’s quite smooth and colours are vibrant. Audio gets a boost with Dolby Atmos surround sound but there are no stereo speakers, hardly a surprise at this price point.
A quad cam has almost become an industry standard even for budget smartphones. At its core is a 48MP primary lens. Images snapped with the 5MP ultra-wide lens (123 degree field of view) are quite sharp while a 2MP depth sensor and a 2MP Macro lens complete the set up aside from. an 8MP selfie shooter. It’s quite a dependable shooter in optimal light but lowlight images are not great.
The Samsung Galaxy F12 is one more addition to the cluttered sub Rs 15,000 price band where customers often struggle to keep up with the plethora of options and launches. A bright display with a 90Hz refresh rate backed by a robust battery are among the key features that enable the F12 to break this clutter.
The Samsung Galaxy F12 costs Rs 10,999 (4GB/64GB) / Rs 11,999 (4GB/128GB) and comes in Sea Green, Sky Blue and Celestial Black.