Samsung refreshes two budget A-series phones with 5G and higher prices

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With 2022 and CES just around the corner, Samsung is ready to introduce new updates to its popular and budget-friendly A-series, which has helped keep sales strong for the Korean company despite supply woes for the flagship Galaxy S21. This time around, both the Galaxy A13 5G and A03S are getting a bit more expensive while confirming some new hardware and 5G connectivity for the A13.

Samsung Galaxy A13 5G

Unlike the 4G-only Galaxy A12, the new A13 will be able to access 5G networks, specifically, with the sub-6GHz bands available on T-Mobile and AT&T. The A13’s 5G readiness partly explains its new $249.99 price. That’s a whopping $70 increase from its $179.99 predecessor and slightly cheaper than the $279.99 Galaxy A32 5G with similar specs.

Its higher price makes it possible to bring some premium features to the A13, as the relatively low-resolution 6.5-inch Infinity-V HD Plus display will feel smoother with its 90Hz adaptive refresh rate. This is up from the standard 60Hz of the A12 and keeps pace with the $239.99 OnePlus Nord N200 5G that offers a 1080p display with 90Hz refresh. Thanks to its more up-to-date MediaTek Dimensity 700 processor, the A13 is better equipped to multitask and handle various mobile games than the A12, which shipped last year with a chipset from 2018. The A13 also promises an updated triple-camera system with a 50-megapixel main camera, plus a macro and a depth sensor for bokeh effects.

Samsung Galaxy A13 5G’s side fingerprint sensor

The Samsung Galaxy A13 5G features a fingerprint sensor embedded into its power button.
Image: Samsung

It’s a bit disappointing that the A13 will only have 64GB of internal memory — yes, its microSD slot will support up to a 1TB card — and Samsung has not specified how much RAM this model has (the A12 had 3GB RAM). That said, you’ll be able to plug wired headphones into its 3.5mm audio jack, make contactless payments via NFC, enjoy a 5,000mAh battery, and use the side fingerprint sensor to unlock your phone (there is no face unlock option).

Samsung Galaxy A03S

Samsung is not revealing nearly as many details about the upcoming Galaxy A03S, only confirming that the A03S will cost $159.99 when it ships in 2022, while the base A02S debuted at just $109.99 last year. With scant details about the A03S’s new hardware to justify this $50 price increase, the press release hints that it’ll have “a long-lasting battery, triple camera system, and fingerprint security.” You can probably expect an updated processor from the A02S, and perhaps 32GB of storage in the base model, but you’ll have to wait for CES or a potential Samsung Unpacked event to find out more, including what it looks like because we don’t have pictures of it yet.

Both phones will ship with Android 11, but it’s unclear whether they will receive four years of regular security updates like Samsung has guaranteed for some A-series phones.

The new A13 5G will be an AT&T online exclusive starting on December 3rd, 2021, with T-Mobile and following suit in early January 2022. If you prefer the ultra-budget A03S, you’ll need to wait until early January 2022, when it’ll be available on AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and

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