Phone Review - Samsung A20 - Great Piece of Inexspensive Kit.

in #techlast year

I thought I’d do a quick review on my latest piece of kit. My Motorola MotoZ started dying on me last month, you can read my final review about it here:

https://peakd.com/tech/@the-bitcoin-dood/motorola-motoz-final-review-rip

So my Motorola MotoZ was replaced out of necessity. The screen started peeling, the camera stopped working, and the battery was no longer holding it's charge. It's hard to make out in the image but you can see the edge of the screen is starting to peel away from the phone. First time I ever had that happen. It really seemed like it would just be a matter of days till the phone was no longer usable.

motoZpeeling.jpg

I needed a quick inexpensive solution and after much research decided on a Samsung Galaxy A20. I suppose calling this a downgrade may be a matter of perspective. With the exception of going from 64gb of storage to 32gb of storage and a considerably lower price tag, everything else seems superior. I should note, seems superior for what I use the phone for.

samsungA20.jpg

So what do I use the phone for? The Dood’s needs are simple. It must be able to handle 2FA, a crypto wallet, email, text and talk, and a decent camera. For the most part, those are my main needs. For apps I run a couple different 2FA apps, Twitter, Amazon music, a guitar tuner, a metronome program, Coinomi wallet and Google Keep Notes.

The phone was setup with a clean factory reset. I then started a new Google account because I didn’t want all my old account imported into my new phone. I’ve had the same Google account for a really long time. I honestly can’t remember how long. Before I ever had a smartphone. Somehow when I set up the MotoZ it imported all my contacts from social media, and backed up all the apps from 3 different phones. It was a nightmare straightening it all out, and I honestly never got a good handle on it. I just made it tolerable. I DID NOT WANT THAT TO HAPPEN AGAIN.

So factory reset,new Google account and manually added my phone numbers and contacts I wanted. It’s nice having a blank calendar, and clean install on this. Also, by setting up a new account, the old account, pictures and everything else is still available via my laptop if I need it. Eventually, I may wipe my Chromebook, and add it to my phone account as an alternative way to share data.

I don’t want to get into service provider stuff for security reasons. I was pleasantly surprised that the phone wasn’t filled with bloatware. I’m not sure if that’s because of the provider or the Samsung factory. I was able to delete most of the apps I didn’t want that came with the phone. Not surprising, Facebook could only be deactivated and not removed. That kind of chaps my ass considering I’ve never had a Facebook account and don’t understand why their app is nonremovable. Anyway, I’m stuck with that piece of crap using up some of my system resources.

So what does it do and how well does it do it? That’s my only question with tech. I could care less about manufacturer names or model numbers. For me, this phone does everything I need it to do and it does it well. Seriously, for a cheap temporary solution, I’m in no hurry to find a better phone. I’m guessing storage space may become an issue, I do tend to get a little app happy over time. Till then, I’m very content with everything this phone offers.

2FA works great and was easy to transfer over to the new phone. Amazon music works great. Connected to my bluetooth speakers no problem. Sounds absolutely fantastic! My Coinomi wallet works great. By creating the fresh Google account it’s nice having a clean Google drive, blank calendar, and empty Keep Notes making everything easy to find and reconfigure. On a downside to this, I wish there was a way to import all my movies that I bought from Google Play. Apparently there is no way to do this :( My old Google account was a mess, data overload, and so many people I no longer communicated with. I’m also working hard to keep my personal life, and internet life separate on this phone. As far as all the movies, I can still access them via my ROKU TV and also via my Chromebook. Worst case scenario, I keep my old account strictly for the entertainment and keep it separate from the phone.

Finally, worthy of it’s own paragraph, the camera is fantastic. This is my second Samsung phone. My first smartphone was a Samsung Stratosphere and I loved the camera. After that phone I had an LG, an HTC, and a Motorola. None of those camera’s were even close to the Samsung camera. I take a lot of photo’s for social media, and travel and stuff. I may never buy another brand phone again just because of the quality of the Samsung camera. I’m not sure if it’s their software, or the camera itself, but nothing compares to Samsung for smartphone camera’s IMHO.

My most recent photo taken for Twitter. The detail and depth is far superior to the MotoZ. I should note however that the MotoZ does have an improved MotoMod camera that you can purchase and it's supposed to be pretty nice.

motorcycle.jpg

With all that said, I think, depending on your needs of course, the Samsung A20 is a great phone in the under $200 price range. I have been looking at some higher end phones, but I’ll have no problem getting through the summer, and maybe even till next summer with this phone. It fits every one of my needs perfectly. On top of that, between Covid19 and civil unrest, I'm not sure I'll be doing much travelling this summer. This phone should work out perfectly for me. If you’re looking for an inexpensive phone in the under $200 range, I have no problem suggesting the Samsung A20, it’s a great piece of kit at a great price.

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Sounds like a reasonable phone. I will try to keep my old Moto going a while longer after replacing the battery, but it struggles for memory at times.

Do you have a removable battery in yours? I think that's the worst new design trend in smartphones with non-removable batteries. I don't understand why all the new phones have this "feature". I probably would of kept mine longer and made due without the camera if I didn't have to take apart the whole phone to replace the battery.

It is easily removable. The old one swelled up and was pushing the cover off. Seems this can happen when they develop a fault. The new battery was not expensive and came with a set of tools that I did not actually need.

Seems like good value. A lot of the cheaper smart phones aren't up to much. Bought a HTC for that price before and it was a slow piece of crap. I normally get the galaxy note for a long time and switched to a Huawei this time for the price. Its good and got it free but its on contract.

I've been considering a Huawei, I've read so many great things I've heard the cameras are phenomenal. They also come with a lot of storage space. The Huawei phone I was looking at had all the features I wanted. That is definitely a consideration when I decide to upgrade.

My HTC phone was a disappointment also. I forget what model I bought, but it was in the under $200 range and I had a similar experience. Just super slow, and really only able to handle the most basic tasks. I managed to get a year or so out of it, but wasn't happy with it at all.

The A20 is probably the best phone I've ever bought under $200. It's been pretty impressive so far.