A new phone does not necessarily have to cost several hundred dollars. Entry-level smartphones like the Oppo A16s or the Samsung Galaxy A12 offer long battery runtimes, enough power for most mobile games, and several cameras on the back. But which of the two models will make you happier after you buy it? Here at NextPit, we got both devices to compare them!
People in the US have to spend an average of around $550 on a new mobile phone! If that's too expensive for you, you don't have to resort to second-hand offers or contracts. There are solid everyday phones for less than $200. We compare two of them for you today - the Oppo A16s and the Samsung Galaxy A12.
Attention: Unfortunately, the Oppo A16s is not currently available in the US market, but the A12 can be found in the official Samsung Store for $179.99.
Before we start, one more thing: This article was written in cooperation with Oppo. The topic is therefore agreed upon, but the manufacturer has no influence on the exact content or the results.
|Option 1||Option 2|
|Display||6.52 inch LC display with 60 hertz | 720 x 1,600 pixels||6.5 inch LC display with 60 hertz | 720 x 1,600 pixels|
|Performance||MediaTek Helio G35||MediaTek Helio P35|
|Memory||64 GB / 4 GB RAM||64 GB / 4 GB RAM|
|Selfie camera 🤳🏻||8 MP | f/2.0||8 MP | f/2.2|
|Wi-Fi 5 | Bluetooth 5.0 | USB-C with USB-2.0||Wi-Fi 5 | Bluetooth 5.0 | USB-C with USB-2.0|
|Fingerprint sensor||Yes, in the on button||Yes, in the on button|
|Battery||5,000 mAh | 10 watts charge||5,000 mAh | 15 watts charging|
|To the offer*||
While we have already published a review on the Oppo A16s, the review on the A12 is still in progress. However, the phone is available to us for this comparison, which also allows us to accurately evaluate the build quality and design. We will go into more detail about the individual aspects of the smartphones in the next few paragraphs.
Models and prices
The Oppo A16s is also available without the "s" - and then comes without an integrated NFC chip. In terms of price, the two models hardly differ, the Oppo A16 costs ~$175, while you have to pay ~$197 for the A16s. In terms of color, you have to choose between the Pearl Blue and Crystal Black variants. There are no storage variants here, 64 gigabytes are always on board. Unfortunately the device is not sold in the US.
According to Samsung's homepage, you will have to pay from $179.99 for the Galaxy A12. In addition to the version with 32 gigabytes of internal storage, you can also find a version with 64 or 6/128 gigabytes of storage on Amazon. This will cost you just under $200. You can pick between black and white polycarbonate backs.
Design and display
Oppo as well as Samsung did not dare to make big leaps in the design of their smartphones. You get both smartphones with plain polycarbonate backs, displays with waterdrop notch and around 6.5 inches from one display corner to the next. However, if you look closely, the two phones differ in size:
The difference in size is due to a slightly larger display in the Oppo A16s (6.52 inches). Qualitatively, the two phones hardly give each other anything. LCD displays are used in each case, but both are nice and bright and offer great colors. Both displays have a resolution of 720 x 1600 pixels in 20:9 format.
There are also differences on the back of both phones - Samsung's camera module looks a bit tidier. While Oppo arranges the cameras in a rectangle, Samsung relies on a square. The back of the A12 is also slightly ribbed, which makes the phone minimally more grippy in everyday use.
What else is there to say about the design? Both phones come with 3.5-millimeter jack and mono speakers on the bottom. These are more suitable for hands-free telephony than for grandiose music enjoyment. This is nothing special in this price range. By the way, I like the vibration motor of the A12 better in comparison. It's far less spongy and a little more subtle than Oppo's.
Both phones use these vibrations to indicate that your fingerprint has been recognized, for example. This is scanned via a scanner in the on button, and this works equally well on both phones.
Hardware and performance
There were hardly any differences between the phones in terms of design and displays. The same goes for the installed SoC. Both manufacturers rely on MediaTek for the SoCs. A Helios P35 is used in the Samsung Galaxy A12 - the Helios G35 in the Oppo A16s. According to the manufacturer, the latter is optimized for gaming, but the same graphics unit, the PowerVR G8320, is used. In the benchmarks, the two phones are on a similar level:
Oppo A16s vs. Galaxy A12
|Model||Geekbench 5||3D Mark Sling Shot|
|Oppo A16s||167 / 997||840|
|Samsung Galaxy A12||183 / 1.085||1.249|
Apart from the computing power, you have to be satisfied with eMMC 5.1 as storage standard for both phones. According to the manufacturer's website, the RAM of both devices is 4 gigabytes. If the internal memory of both phones is not enough, you can use microSD cards to get more gigabytes into the phones.
Neither smartphone is ready for the new 5G mobile standard yet, but that's not a big deal. However, both smartphones have an NFC chip, which allows you to make mobile payments, for example. Other interfaces include Bluetooth 5.0, the aforementioned jack and USB-C with USB 2.0 standard.
We've already talked about the different camera bumps on the back - and the cameras also differ on the two phones. The main camera of the A12 has a resolution of 48 megapixels, while you have to be content with a maximum of 13 megapixels on the Oppo. However, the difference is actually much less serious. Samsung uses pixel binning to downscale the 48 MP images to 12 megapixels.
However, the A12 offers a decisive advantage if you like to explore new perspectives. Because only Samsung lets you switch to an ultra-wide-angle camera. This expands the field of view to 123 degrees, which is especially advantageous for group pictures or architecture. Furthermore, both phones offer macro and depth cameras with 2 megapixels. These are rather less useful in everyday life.
Selfies are taken with 8 megapixels, the Oppo model shines with a slightly higher light intensity. Instead of an aperture of f/2.2, you shoot with an open aperture of f/2.0.
Batteries and Quick Charging
You can almost guess: The Oppo A16s and the Samsung Galaxy A12s offer the same battery capacity! This is with 5,000 mAh each really lush. And since both phones use fairly energy-efficient hardware, the battery life is long-lasting. You can look forward to runtimes of two days or more after buying either.
A charger is included with both smartphones. However, the Galaxy A12's charger does more and recharges the smartphone with 15 watts. Oppo only charges the A16s with 10 watts, and that makes a real difference with such large batteries. Therefore, the Samsung model has the edge when it comes to the battery.
Software and update guarantee
Before we draw a conclusion and more or less recommend one of the two phones to you, a few things about sustainability. The Oppo A16s comes with ColorOS 11 out of the box, which in turn is based on Android 11. Since Oppo promises two more Android versions for the smartphone, Android 13 is already the end - the operating system is expected to be released in 2022. Security updates also come only every three months.
The future looks much brighter for the Galaxy A12. The smartphone is included in Samsung's new update schedule. Thus, there are four years of security updates, which, however, like Oppo only appear quarterly. Keep in mind, however, that the Galaxy A12 has already been released in 2020. So if you buy the phone in 2021, Samsung's update promise drops a bit, since the count starts at Android 11 and not Android 12.
So which phone should you buy if you're looking for a phone under $200? If you are standing between the Oppo A16s and the Samsung Galaxy A12, the decision is not that easy. Because both phones offer comparable or identical features in many aspects. However, Samsung shines with a longer update promise, which should please long-term users. Yet this question can only be hypothetical for US readers. But humor me, if you could easily get the Oppo A16s which device would you choose?
As you can read in our everyday review of the Oppo A16s, however, we're only slightly confident that you'll keep a cheap phone for four years. So in the end, it's a matter of taste which phone you'll select. Personally, I would go for Samsung - just because I like the design of the back and OneUI 4.0 better.
Do you have any other favorite sub-$200 device you want us to try out? Tell us in the comments!