The Samsung A smartphones are no-nonsense devices. For a not too high price you get a decent smartphone from a trusted brand. That also applies to this Samsung Galaxy A41. But is it also the best smartphone for you?
Samsung Galaxy A41Price € 275,-
Colour black, blue white
OS Android 10 (OneUI 2)
Screen 6.1 inch amoled (2400 x 1080)
Processor 2GHz octa-core (MediaTek Helio P65)
Storage 64GB (expandable with memory card)
Battery 3,500 mAh
Camera 48.8.5 megapixels (rear), 25 megapixels (front)
Connectivity 4G (LTE), Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC
Format 15 x 7 x 0.8 cm
Weight 152 grams
Website www.samsung.com/en 7 Score 70
- Versatile camera
- Light and handy
The Samsung Galaxy A40 has been one of the best-selling smartphones in the Netherlands over the past year. For a price just under 300 euros you got a basic smartphone with little to criticize. Although brands such as Xiaomi, Nokia and Motorola also offer good smartphones in the same price range, Samsung's brand awareness is a major asset for the sales success of the A40.
It is therefore not surprising that Samsung has come up with the successor in the spring of 2020, the Samsung Galaxy A41. The price has remained the same: 289 euros. Differences are mainly in a more powerful chipset, larger battery capacity, a better screen panel with fingerprint scanner underneath and three cameras on the back. The A40 has a dualcam and the fingerprint scanner is physically at the back.
Unlike the more expensive smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy A41 does not have a glass housing, but the back is made of plastic. The glossy back masks that well, by the way. This has the disadvantage that the smartphone (just like the versions with glass back) is sensitive to fingerprints. The advantage is that the A41 is less vulnerable and remarkably light. All in all, the smartphone is particularly handy due to its pleasant size and weight.
It is the amoled screen of the Galaxy A41 that positively stands out. The screen is slightly larger in diameter: 6.1 inches (15.5 cm) as opposed to the screen panel of the Galaxy A40 of 5.9 inches (15 cm). In terms of net size, the two devices hardly differ from each other because of the slightly thinner screen edges. The Galaxy A41 is more elongated, without losing its handy size. To achieve this, the front camera is placed in a teardrop-shaped screen notch at the top.
The image quality of the screen is fine. Colors are vibrant and the brightness is sufficient to use the smartphone outside in the sun. Thanks to the Full HD image resolution, the screen is also sharp enough to display everything neatly.
Although the Galaxy A41 has received an upgrade in terms of chipset, in practice you notice that there has been skimping on this area. The Mediatek Helio 65 processor with 4GB of RAM is a bit sparse, so you notice that loading takes a little longer and the device does not always respond quickly. In normal use as apps and browsing, it is not very bothersome. But heavier games will not run well. The chipset is not very taxing for the battery, which has a reasonable capacity of 3,500 mAh. Depending on your use, you can safely do a day and a half with a charged battery.
Also keep in mind that Mediatek has a lousy reputation when it comes to driver support, which, along with Samsung's disappointing update reputation, doesn't bode well for long-term support for Android and security updates.
Fortunately, the Galaxy A41 does run on the most recent Android version: Android 10. Samsung has added its own sauce on top of this, OneUI, which adapts Android to the smallest details. Everything looks very recognizable for a Samsung phone, and all Samsung apps and services are of course in the spotlight. Although the chance is of course plausible that you do not use many Samsung apps and services. When you swipe the start screen to the left, you get an overview page with news and many updates of (Samsung) apps. It is striking that the name Bixby is not shown, the ailing voice assistant from Samsung seems to be slowly being phased out.
Unfortunately, not all the unnecessary features of OneUI have been phased out. There is also a lot of bloatware present. For example, many Microsoft apps are pre-installed, which is a bit of a duplicate with Android's Google Docs apps. Also in the settings, Samsung has hidden bloatware in Device Maintenance in the form of an unnecessary virus scanner and memory optimizer.
Fortunately, you have enough storage capacity left. About 48GB of the 64GB is available, and you can also expand this with a memory card. In addition to a place for this memory card, the slot also contains space for two SIM cards. That's nice too.
Because you see three cameras on the back of the Galaxy A41, you tend to think that you also have a wide-angle and a macro lens in addition to the main camera. Unfortunately this is not the case, you have a wide-angle lens and the regular camera, the third lens is a depth sensor. This is used, for example, to blur the foreground or background to highlight the subject to be photographed. That creates expectations for the portrait mode (which Samsung calls Live Focus), which are fulfilled when there is sufficient available light. In less light, you will notice that the camera has difficulty distinguishing the subject from the foreground and background.
When you use the wide-angle lens, you cannot focus. Which is crazy considering the presence of the depth sensor. This makes the wide-angle lens really only suitable for landscapes and large objects.
The regular camera performs as you would expect from Samsung and a smartphone in this price range. It is in particular the versatility that the depth sensor and wide-angle lens make the camera worthwhile for, for example, sharing photos via WhatsApp or social media.
Alternatives to the Samsung Galaxy A41
While the Samsung Galaxy A41 is an excellent budget smartphone, you can get more powerful smartphones from other brands for a similar price. Perhaps the Samsung brand is worth it to you. The Motorola G8 Plus for example, although Motorola seems to know more and more when it comes to update support. The same goes for the Oppo A9. An alternative where you can expect good support comes from Nokia, such as the Nokia 7.2.
Conclusion: Buy Samsung Galaxy A41?
Anyone looking for a simple and affordable smartphone will quickly find this Samsung Galaxy A41. Especially because Samsung is a popular brand. There is little to fault about the device. The screen is neat, the camera versatile, you get modern features such as a fingerprint scanner under the screen and the device is remarkably light and handy. The performance is a bit of a let down - and a Mediatek processor doesn't bode well for the update support. Samsung's One UI is also just a bit too full of bloatware.
Thanks to Belsimpel for making a review device available.