Last year, and in the last couple of years overall, compact Android smartphones have become something of a rarity. Amd most of these smaller phones happen to be Samsung devices, like the Galaxy S10e and the A40. With the first, everything is clear – it’s a serious flagship, which was replaced by the Galaxy S20, which had grown in size. And what about the A-Series? Today I have a review of the Samsung Galaxy A41 – an update of the compact mid-ranger.
Samsung Galaxy A41 specs
|NETWORK||Technology||GSM / HSPA / LTE|
|LAUNCH||Announced||2020, March 18|
|Status||Available. Released 2020, May 22|
|BODY||Dimensions||149.9 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm (5.90 x 2.75 x 0.31 in)|
|Weight||152 g (5.36 oz)|
|Build||Glass front, plastic back, plastic frame|
|SIM||Single SIM (Nano-SIM) or Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)|
|DISPLAY||Type||Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors|
|Size||6.1 inches, 89.8 cm2 (~85.9% screen-to-body ratio)|
|Resolution||1080 x 2400 pixels, 20:9 ratio (~431 ppi density)|
|PLATFORM||OS||Android 10, One UI 2|
|Chipset||Mediatek MT6768 Helio P65 (12nm)|
|CPU||Octa-core (2×2.0 GHz Cortex-A75 & 6×1.7 GHz Cortex-A55)|
|MEMORY||Card slot||microSDXC (dedicated slot)|
|Internal||64GB 4GB RAM|
|MAIN CAMERA||Triple||48 MP, f/2.0, 26mm (wide), 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF
8 MP, f/2.2, 123˚ (ultrawide), 1/4.0″, 1.12µm
5 MP, f/2.4, (depth)
|Features||LED flash, panorama, HDR|
|SELFIE CAMERA||Single||25 MP, f/2.2, 25mm (wide), 1/2.8″, 0.9µm|
|COMMS||WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot|
|Bluetooth||5.0, A2DP, LE|
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS|
|USB||2.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector|
|FEATURES||Sensors||Fingerprint (under display, optical), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass|
|BATTERY||Non-removable Li-Po 3500 mAh battery|
|Charging||Fast charging 15W|
|MISC||Colors||Prism Crush Black, Prism Crush Silver, Prism Crush Blue, Prism Crush Red|
Price and positioning
This is primarily a compact smartphone and the only one in the current Galaxy A line, if you do not take into account the Galaxy A01, which is in another league. And even other manufacturers have nothing like the Samsung Galaxy A41, if you look at the latest models. It turns out that we are dealing with an almost unique model.
The Samsung Galaxy A41 costs about $278, which is slightly cheaper than the cost of the Samsung Galaxy A40 at the start of sales. Now they are asking for $219 for the latter, so I suggest figuring out what the A41 has to offer – maybe it’s too early to write off last year’s A40.
What’s in the box
I didn’t get to see the box itself since I was sent only a phone, but I know how it all looks. Inside we have a 15 W power adapter, a USB/Type-C cable, a wired headset, a SIM card eject tool and a pile of various pieces of paper.
Design, materials and build quality
The design of the smartphone is a symbiosis of two generations of the A-series. We can see last year’s drop-shaped notch, while this year’s models of the Galaxy A51 and A71 type got a hole in the center, like flagships. Why not the Samsung Galaxy A41 I do not quite understand, but I think the smartphone would have looked fresher.
On the back there is a trendy block of cameras in the shape of a rectangle with rounded corners. Secondly, a pattern in the form of “prism faces” is applied here. It should remind us of the Samsung Galaxy A51 and A71. Just the direction and location of the “zones” is slightly different.
I personally do not like this design very much. With the so-called O-neckline it would have looked much better. Here there’s simply nothing special. The bezels are rather thin and, in general, the smartphone looks okay, even despite the old-fashioned selfie camera.
The materials also remained unchanged, which, however, is not a surprise. Since the more expensive models are equipped with plastic cases, A41 was destined to become plastic as well? Both the frame around the perimeter and the back panel are made of simple plastic. On the front we have glass with an oleophobic coating, but it’s not even Gorilla Glass 3, even though it was installed in the older models.
The build quality is great, the smartphone feels sturdy. Moisture protection, of course, is missing. There are 4 colors to choose from: Prism Crush Black, Prism Crush Silver, Prism Crush Blue and Prism Crush Red. There is a pattern on each of them.
In front of the upper part we find the earpiece speaker, under it is the front camera eye, to the right under the screen are light and proximity sensors. Below is an empty field – there is also no LED for notifications.
On the right side we find the volume button and a power button under it. On the left is a slot for a pair of nanoSIM cards and a microSD memory card.
Below there is a 3.5 mm audio jack, a Type-C port in the center, a microphone hole and a multimedia speaker. There’s also an additional noise canceling microphone.
At the back in the upper left corner there is a block with three camera eyes, a flash and the inscription “48 mega pixels”, which is simply essential. At the bottom is the Samsung logo.
In height and width, the Samsung Galaxy A41 is slightly larger than the Galaxy A40. The dimensions: 149.9 × 69.8 mm for the A41 and 144.4 × 69.2 mm for the A40. The thickness is the same – 7.9 mm, and the mass of the new product is 152 g versus 140 g of the predecessor. In general, the difference is not very big.
In fact, the Galaxy A41 is very convenient. You can use it with one hand without difficulty, the buttons are placed at a comfortable height. The rounded back panel also contributes to the comfortable operation of the device.
Samsung Galaxy A41 Display
The smartphone received a 6.1-inch Super AMOLED display. The resolution of the panel is Full HD+ or 2400×1080 pixels, the aspect ratio is 20:9, and the pixel density is 431 ppi.
The image quality is excellent, the colors are saturated and contrasty. The brightness margin also did not disappoint, and on the street the information from the display remains readable. Viewing angles are as wide as usual, but we still get that green-pink overflows on a white (or simply light) background.
You can choose between natural or saturated color reproduction, and you can also correct the color temperature if it suddenly seems too warm or cold. In addition, the following settings are available in the settings: a blue filter, forced full-screen format, Edge side panels and highlighting the edges of the display during notifications. There is also protection against accidental contact and increased sensitivity of the sensor grid.
Always On Display function is also here, with three modes: touch, continuous and on schedule. There you can change the look of the watchface.
Overall, the screen is excellent, but I also encountered problems with the auto brightness and the proximity sensor. The first one sometimes refuses to work, despite the fact that the conditions can change dramatically. The second is just a little lacking in sensitivity.
But at the same time, I do not exclude the fact that these might be isolated issues. After all, this is not a commercial device. There were no such problems with previous models.
Samsung Galaxy A41 Performance
The platform has changed markedly and instead of the Exynos proprietary chipset we got 12-nm Mediatek MT6768, aka Helio P65. The chipset consists of eight cores divided into two clusters: 2 high-performance Cortex-A75 cores with a maximum clock frequency of up to 2.0 GHz and 6 less powerful Cortex-A55 cores with a clock frequency of up to 1.7 GHz. The graphics accelerator is Mali-G52 MC2.
There’s only one configuration, with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. The type of RAM is LPDDR4x, and the drive is eMMC 5.1. In general, this is the minimum set for 2020, so don’t expect much in a way of multitasking.
Out of 64 GB, 50.20 GB will be available to the user. In any case, if necessary, you can insert a microSD memory card up to 512 GB. Let me remind you that the phone has a separate slot and does not take away the ability to use two SIM-cards at the same time.
What about performance? First of all, there’s a lot more throttling compared to the Galaxy A40. CPU performance under load is reduced by 26%, while the A40 lost only 10%. Although according to the same tests there is an advantage in the form of a more advanced graphic component. But really, I wouldn’t call the Samsung Galaxy A41 very powerful.
The UI might lag as usual, albeit rarely. In demanding games, the performance is so-so. High settings are available somewhere, but FPS are very inconsistent. I checked the games below through Gamebench with max graphics settings possible for this device.
- PUBG Mobile – high graphics settings with smoothing and shadows, an average of 23 FPS
- Shadowgun Legends – ultra-graphics, an average of 15 FPS
- Call of Duty Mobile – medium, depth of field and shadows are on, the “Battlefront” mode is ~ 24 FPS
So yes, you better choose the minimum settings.
Samsung Galaxy A41 cameras
The main unit of Samsung Galaxy A41 cameras consists of three sensors:
48 MP, f/2.0, 26mm (wide), 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF
8 MP, f/2.2, 123˚ (ultrawide), 1/4.0″, 1.12µm
5 MP, f/2.4, (depth)
The main module of the smartphone makes okay photos for its class. According to the specifications, it is the same as the Galaxy A51, even if the photos are a little worse. I suspect that the capabilities of the camera were cut by software. The lack of night mode is one of the indirect evidences of this. However, if we move away from comparison, the camera is okay. The right colors, good detail in the afternoon and in a well-lit room, and especially in the 48-megapixel mode. In low light conditions the camera chokes: digital noise, insufficient sharpness and darkish pics. A night mode would’ve been handy, but alas.
With an ultrawide module, everything is also predictable. By definition, it needs ideal conditions, then it will be possible to get an acceptable photo. There is a difference in the color rendition of the main and ultrawide modules. However, sometimes the differences are minimal, and sometimes just too obvious.
Video recording is not a strong point of the Samsung Galaxy A41. You can count on Full HD and 30 frames per second max. For 2020, this isn’t much, especially in this segment. I also don’t understand why there is no electronic stabilization. I do not require it in 4K, but why not in 1080p @ 30FPS? The image from an ultrawide angle looks less twitchy, but the rolling shutter effect is noticeable.
The front camera is 25 megapixel, with f/2.2 aperture, 1/2.8″, 0.9µm. The angle in itself is relatively wide. In the application it possible to take photos with a small crop, but the resolution is lesser than 25 megapixels. With it, at the output we get pictures with a resolution of 8 megapixels, and 12 megapixels without crop. If you set the maximum size, then the possibility of zoom disappears. This camera as a whole is not bad, but without noticeable difference in quality with different resolutions.
The application, as I have already noted, has lost some of its functions. There are image optimization, “live” focus, manual mode with minimal capabilities, panoramas and “food”.
The capacitive fingerprint scanner, which was at the back of the Galaxy A40, became optical and migrated to the front panel under the display. By and large, this can be regarded as a plus, since the technology is more relevant. And it’s at least as good as before. It seems to me that’s it’s even faster than the A40. Buy apply your finger as accurately as possible. This is about the same sensor as we’ve seen in the Samsung Galaxy A51. Nice, but not perfect.
Unlocking with the face is also there. The method works relatively quickly if conditions are okay. In complete darkness it will not work if the backlight function is not turned on.
To increase stability, you can add an alternative view, and for speed there’s an accelerated recognition. In addition, there are options that allow you to stay on the lock screen after scanning, then to manually swipe, and there is also a “check” for open eyes when recognizing.
Samsung Galaxy A41 battery life
The smartphone uses a 3500 mAh battery, which isn’t much. But do not forget that our smartphone is compact and relatively thin, so it is to be expected. Nevertheless, I will allow myself to praise the smartphone, because I was expecting much worse.
Unexpectedly, the Samsung Galaxy A41 has enough juice for the day of active use from early morning until late evening. If you use it sparingly, then you can get one and a half, and even two light days. I got a whole two days out of it, and the screen was active for about three hours a day.
In total we have more than 6 hours of the active screen in two days of work without recharging. Not bad for a 3500 mAh battery. And the PCMark 2.0 test at maximum screen brightness showed 9 hours and 8 minutes in general, which is a wonderful result.
Sound and communication
The earpiece speaker is okay. Multimedia speaker is mediocre, it’s not very loud, but the sound quality is more or less. Distortion at maximum volume are to be expected.
The sound in the headphones is quite good, both with a wired connection via 3.5 mm and wirelessly via Bluetooth. There are Dolby Atmos effects, an equalizer and Adapt sound, so you can still slightly adjust the sound.
Wireless modules are fully available and work perfectly: dual-band Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.0 (A2DP, LE), GPS (A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS) and an NFC-module are all present.
Firmware and software
The software component of the Samsung Galaxy A41 consists of the Android 10 OS and One UI 2.1, the proprietary shell. We already talked about it tons of times in other reviews of Samsung devices, so I can’t add anything new. But if you’re completely unfamiliar with it, then I can refer to the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G or the Samsung Galaxy A51 reviews. If you want, there are details.
Samsung Galaxy A41 is a good choice for those who are looking for a relatively compact and inexpensive smartphone. It will run casual games and make decent photos, but nothing spectacular.
If you don’t care about the dimensions, then the Galaxy A41 won’t look appealing. First of all because all it is is the Samsung Galaxy A51 which costs slightly less but makes worse photos and offers worse performance.
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