A week with the Samsung Galaxy A11
Jesse Simms • September 4, 2020if( has_post_thumbnail( $post_id ) ): ?>
After taking the Galaxy A51 for a spin, I decided to try out its younger sibling, the Galaxy A11, to see if a sub $200 Samsung device could become my daily driver.
With a two day battery, great display and camera that punches far above its weight class, there’s some good reasons to pick what we’ve deemed “The Hawk.”
Things I love
6.4 inch display
Budget phones have come a long way in recent years, and the Galaxy A11 is no exception. This massive screen, complete with the popular selfie punchhole camera, truly makes the A11 look like a premium device. Perfect for watching Netflix, YouTube and Twitch – you honestly don’t need to spend more for a simple media machine.
The Galaxy A11 comes with a 4000 mAh battery and fast charging, so you’ll never be caught dead again. I got a little over two full days of regular use before I needed to plug it in. Honestly, who needs more than that?
When I think of Samsung smartphones, I think of stellar cameras, and the A11 is no exception. Three rear cameras offer some impressive photography for a $179 device. Its 13MP main camera takes a great, quick shot, the ultra-wide camera offers a 115-degree field of vision shooter while a 2 MP depth camera puts your subject in perfect focus.
Fingerprint sensor placement
The Galaxy A11’s fingerprint sensor sits on the back of the phone, directly where your pointer finger naturally rests when holding the device. I’m a huge fan of this placement (it’s been my favourite since it appeared on the Nexus 5X), and I’m glad to see Samsung bringing it to one of their models too.
To be honest, I prefer this over an on-screen fingerprint sensor, because there’s nothing easier than unlocking your phone by the time it’s out of your pocket.
As I mentioned in my Galaxy A51 review, headphones jacks are one of the best reasons to avoid the flagships. No need to worry about your bluetooth earbuds dying, just plug and play.
Android 10 out of the box
Shipping with Android 10, you get all the latest OS bells and whistles including my favorite – system-wide dark mode.
Most devices at this price range still use the old school Micro-USB charger, so it’s a pleasant surprise to see a USB Type-C charging port on the A11 for quicker charges and a future-proof cable.
What I don’t love
Only 2 GB of RAM means you’ll notice the occasional slowdown when waking up the device or switching between apps. I found that restarting the device every couple days helped with performance issues, but still something to consider.
If you’re a hardcore smartphone gamer (playing games like Call of Duty Mobile instead of Candy Crush), I’d recommend moving up a notch to the Galaxy A51 for a much smoother experience.
The plastic exterior is meant to emulate glass, but ends up attracting a lot of smudges on the back. I would have preferred a black matte finish, but it’s not a dealbreaker as a case will solve this issue for you anyway.
Is the Galaxy A11 for you?
All in all, Samsung’s Galaxy A11 is a safe bet at an even safer price. While it’s not the most powerful phone out there, the camera and excellent battery life set it apart from other budget smartphones on the market.