Search results for

All search results
Best daily deals

Affiliate links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.

Samsung Galaxy A25 5G rear hero
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Samsung Galaxy A25 5G review: Should you buy it?

Is there room for one more good budget phone in Samsung's lineup?
By

Published onMarch 13, 2024

Samsung Galaxy A25 5G

The Samsung Galaxy A25 5G does its best to compete in the middle of a crowded segment. It takes a few steps past its predecessor with an updated chipset, excellent update commitment, and a solid primary camera, but struggles in familiar places with underpowered peripheral cameras, a cheap plastic construction, and a display that's not bright enough for sunny days.

MSRP: $299.99

See price at Amazon

What we like

Excellent stereo speakers
Class-leading software commitment
Solid primary camera
Sharp 120Hz display

What we don't like

Plastic build feels cheap
Inconsistent fingerprint reader
Low-res macro camera
No water or dust rating

Samsung Galaxy A25 5G

The Samsung Galaxy A25 5G does its best to compete in the middle of a crowded segment. It takes a few steps past its predecessor with an updated chipset, excellent update commitment, and a solid primary camera, but struggles in familiar places with underpowered peripheral cameras, a cheap plastic construction, and a display that's not bright enough for sunny days.

Samsung Galaxy A25 5G review: At a glance

  • What is it? The Galaxy A25 5G sits right in the middle of Samsung's budget-friendly A series, replacing a Galaxy A24 that never made its way to the United States. It offers a smooth, 6.5-inch AMOLED with a 120Hz refresh rate, an in-house Exynos 1280 chipset, and a triple camera system captained by a 50MP primary sensor. Oh, and it still has a headphone jack!
  • What is the price? Samsung's Galaxy A25 5G costs $299 and comes configured with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage in the US.
  • Where can you buy it? The Samsung Galaxy A25 5G was launched in December 2023 and is available unlocked directly from Samsung and Best Buy or through carriers like Straight Talk and US Cellular.
  • How did we test it? I tested the Samsung Galaxy A25 5G for seven days, and the review unit was purchased by Android Authority.
  • Is it worth it? The Galaxy A25 5G fills the middle of Samsung's budget lineup nicely, but it falls into a few familiar traps. It's boosted by an excellent update commitment and a good primary camera, but the fingerprint reader is a bit wonky and the plastic-on-plastic build doesn't feel great in the hand.

Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy A25 5G?

Samsung knows as well as anyone that the affordable Android market is a challenging space to occupy. It offers several budget-friendly smartphones, with standouts at the highest (Galaxy A54 5G) and lowest (Galaxy A14 5G) ends, but has struggled to deliver great phones in between the two for a few generations now. We picked apart issues like weak low-light cameras on the Galaxy A34 5G and underwhelming speakers and sizable bezels on the Galaxy A23 5G, but now Samsung is ready to try for the middle ground again with its Galaxy A25 5G.

Like many of Samsung’s other budget offerings, the Galaxy A25 5G lifts much of its design from its flagship relatives. Threads of the Galaxy S24 series run through the individual circles for each camera, the mostly flat side rails, and even the 6.5-inch 120Hz AMOLED panel (even if it’s not quite as polished as Samsung’s premium lineup). Outside of those key characteristics, however, the Galaxy A25 5G cuts several corners to keep itself under the $300 mark, like skipping any level of water or dust resistance, but it does use Gorilla Glass 5 for the display, which earns just a few points for durability.

The Galaxy A25 5G lifts a lot of design cues from its flagship relatives in the Galaxy S24 series.

It pairs a plastic frame with a dot-covered plastic back that doesn’t show fingerprints but holds onto smudges. One of the more unusual aspects of that plastic frame is what Samsung calls “Key Island,” a raised section along the right side for the fingerprint reader and volume rocker. I imagine the idea is to make it easier to find the buttons without looking, but Samsung probably could have achieved the same effect by simply raising the buttons from the side of the frame.

This version of Samsung’s capacitive fingerprint reader was also one of the most inconsistent I’ve ever used — at least for the first few days. I had to add and remove my fingerprints three or four times before the sensor recognized them and unlocked upon contact. It’s an unexpected quirk, to say the least, given Samsung’s usually excellent capacitive fingerprint readers. Thankfully, features like a dual nano-SIM tray and headphone jack make the rest of the plastic frame a bit more enjoyable than my stay on Key Island. The frame also houses a down-firing speaker that pairs nicely with the earpiece for stereo sound. I’d activate Dolby Atmos immediately, though — the difference in sound quality is night and day, as I found out while testing the toggle on a few different Spotify playlists.

Samsung Galaxy A25 5G home screen in hand
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Around the front, you get a consistent strength across all of Samsung’s budget-friendly devices — a quality AMOLED panel. The Galaxy A25 5G’s 6.5-inch display tops out at 1,000 nits in high brightness mode, which is good for the money, and it’s paired with a smooth 120Hz refresh rate that’s becoming more and more common across affordable devices. Unfortunately, the Galaxy A25 5G comes locked into its refresh rate, meaning that you have to toggle to 60Hz manually. It’s a good way to save a little bit of battery, but it would be nice to switch refresh rates automatically. Although it’s plenty bright indoors and the refresh rate is smooth, I quickly found that the Galaxy A25 5G comes up short outdoors. As you can see in the image above, it’s easier to pick out my reflection in the display than helpful information like the weather and remaining battery percentage.

Design quirks aside, the Galaxy A25 5G’s software experience and update commitment earn it some significant points. It ships with Android 14 and Samsung’s One UI 6.0 skin right out of the box, and it promises four major Android updates and five years of security patches, which is beyond respectable for a phone at this price. Although our Galaxy A25 5G came out of the box with a head-scratching July 2023 security patch, it quickly received updates to bring it into January 2024. Of course, the budget phone doesn’t get the same Galaxy AI features as Samsung’s top-end Galaxy S24 flagships, but it offers plenty of room for customization and fine-tuning. There’s also a bit of bloatware from both Samsung and Microsoft, but you can delete almost all of it — save for the OneDrive app and Samsung Messages — once you finish the setup process.

Come for the flagship-inspired design, stay because you'll still be getting updates in 2028.

Powering the Galaxy A25 5G is Samsung’s in-house Exynos 1280 chipset, a 5nm processor we first saw on the Galaxy A53 5G a few years ago. At the time, we knocked the chipset as not quite powerful enough for Samsung’s $450 mid-ranger, but it feels more at home at the lower end of the lineup. It’s backed by 6GB of RAM and 128GB of expandable onboard storage, with the microSD card sharing the dual nano-SIM slot.

Samsung Galaxy A25 5G benchmark comparison Wild Life Stress Test

While the Galaxy A25 5G won’t set any land speed records (it’s a $300 device, after all), it offers enough power to carry you through a full day of social media, email, and Spotify streaming. I didn’t reach for it as a go-to gaming device, nor would I likely recommend it as one. Instead, I noticed that the Exynos 1280 warmed up while re-watching Dune ahead of an IMAX appointment for the sequel. While you could get away with basic games like Candy Crush or other puzzles, heavier games like Genshin Impact bog the Galaxy A25 5G down to a crawl. Nevertheless, you’re getting decent overall bang for your buck, with benchmark results falling not far off the Galaxy A54 5G.

While discussing performance, let’s touch on how the Galaxy A25 5G’s cameras stack up. The trio of rear lenses may look like that on the back of the Galaxy S24 series, but there’s a sizable gap between the two. Samsung’s sub-$300 entry packs a 50MP primary camera, backed up by an 8MP ultrawide sensor and a 2MP macro lens. Although the primary sensor is pretty good in well-lit scenarios, and the ultrawide camera is a plus for group photos, I’ve yet to find a dedicated macro sensor that comes close to carrying its weight with this common budget camera trinity. The lowly 2MP resolution isn’t sharp enough to preserve the details you’d want from a macro shot, and it’s trying to compete in a world where more capable phones are using software-based macro mode in their ultrawide sensors anyway.

Macro issues aside, I’m pleased with the color and clarity of the Galaxy A25 5G’s primary and ultrawide sensors — at least up to 2x zoom. I took the phone out for a few sunny days of “false spring” and was happy with Samsung’s recreation of the sky and several different colors in the stickers that litter the signs of Baltimore and the funky handpainted sign inviting you to check out both books and records. I was, however, somewhat surprised not to see Samsung’s usual punchy reds and greens recreated when I scrolled through my camera roll.

Unsurprisingly, the Galaxy A25 5G’s zoom capabilities leave something to be desired — they’re almost worthless past 2x zoom due to the lack of dedicated hardware. While the phone can technically reach 10x zoom from the primary camera, the results are pixelated and give up on details like the individual bricks in a wall. The Galaxy A25 5G also has a 13MP selfie camera in the Infinity-U notch, which does the job just fine without falling into the lure of high-resolution selfie shooters we often see on budget phones. If you want to see more full-resolution camera samples, you can do so at this Google Drive link.

On the video side, the Samsung Galaxy A25 5G can now shoot 4K video at 30fps from its primary camera — an upgrade over the 1080p limit of its predecessor. Unfortunately, that extra resolution comes with a tradeoff, as there’s no image stabilization at 4K, so you’ll have to stick to 1080p if you want to capture your kids running around or take videos while out for a walk or run. Personally, I found that I preferred the lower-resolution, better-stabilized clips chasing my cats around my apartment to the higher-resolution but shakier ones. My goal was to record my cats, not to recreate the Blair Witch Project, so stabilization was the way to go. The selfie camera is also capped at 1080p resolution at 30fps.

The last piece of Samsung’s budget-friendly puzzle is the Galaxy A25 5G’s battery life and charging setup. It pairs a 5,000mAh cell with 25W wired charging that matches the Galaxy S24. When you need a charge — which, in my case, wasn’t more than every other day or so — it’ll take just about an hour and a half to get you back to a full battery. I was also impressed that the Galaxy A25 5G doesn’t seem to throttle its charging speed.

Samsung's 25W charging isn't quite as impressive as the numbers we're starting to see from OnePlus and Nothing's budget phones.

I cycled the battery a few times, and the phone charged at a constant 25W right up to about 95% full. Unfortunately, there’s no wireless charging on this plastic package, nor is there a charger included in the box, but we have several Galaxy-compatible favorites we recommend if you need one. Samsung’s 25W charging speeds aren’t as impressive among budget competitors as they once were, either, now that OnePlus and Nothing have entered the fray in the US with affordable phones that can deliver 50W and 45W, respectively, but the limitations are at least more tolerable here than they are on a $800 flagship.

Not only is the middle of a budget Android lineup the hardest to flesh out, but it’s also the hardest to judge. Whereas the Galaxy A54 5G shines with more power and the Galaxy A1X series earns points for its excellent price, the Samsung Galaxy A25 5G has to find a unique place between the two. To that end, it both succeeds and comes up just a little short. Yes, it picks up an updated (but not quite new) processor and pairs it with an excellent commitment to future updates, but the phone is held back by strict camera limitations and a fingerprint reader that caused more headaches than it solved.

Samsung Galaxy A25 5GSamsung Galaxy A25 5G
Samsung Galaxy A25 5G
Excellent stereo speakers • Class-leading software commitment • Sharp 120Hz display
MSRP: $299.99
Good budget buy.
The Galaxy A25 5G sits right in the middle of Samsung's budget-friendly A series, replacing a Galaxy A24 that never made its way to the United States. It offers a smooth, 6.5-inch AMOLED with a 120Hz refresh rate, an in-house Exynos 1280 chipset, and a triple camera system captained by a 50MP primary sensor. Oh, and it still has a headphone jack!
See price at Amazon
Samsung Galaxy A25

What are the best Samsung Galaxy A25 5G alternatives?

samsung galaxy a25 5g vs iphone se 2022 vs moto g power 5g in hand
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

As mentioned, there’s a lot of wiggle room in the affordable Android segment, so you might find that the Galaxy A25 5G just isn’t for you. If that’s the case, here are a few others worth looking at instead:

  • Samsung Galaxy A54 5G ($449.99 at Samsung): Samsung’s Galaxy A54 5G is the cream of the crop when it comes to budget-friendly Galaxy devices. It’s a bit more expensive but adds an updated Exynos 1380 processor, a more durable Gorilla Glass 5 display and back panel, and an official IP67 rating against water and dust. It is, however, a generation older, so you might want to consider…
  • Samsung Galaxy A35 5G (TBC): With the Galaxy A55 5G reportedly skipping out on a US launch, the Galaxy A35 5G looks set to span the gap between the Galaxy S23 FE and the A series in the states. That’s a big ask, but we’ll have to wait and see what US pricing looks like before we judge the A35 5G. In the meantime, you may want to wait for pricing and our impressions of the latest A3X series phone (we’ll be getting one in soon) before taking the plunge on the A25 5G.
  • Motorola Moto G Power 5G (2023) ($249 at Amazon): Motorola’s budget-friendly alternative comes in a bit closer to the Galaxy A25 5G itself, offering a similarly sized display and the convenience of a headphone jack. However, the Moto G Power 5G offers slower wired charging speeds and an update commitment that can’t match Samsung’s.
  • OnePlus Nord N30 ($299 at Amazon): Not to be outdone, OnePlus has a budget offering of its own with the fast-charging Nord N30. It offers blistering 50W speeds and has a 108MP primary camera on its glossy back panel.
  • Apple iPhone SE (2022) ($429 at Amazon): Apple’s affordable iPhone SE (2022) is a difficult one to recommend on the surface due to its many outdated specs and design quirks, but it offers a flagship-grade A15 Bionic processor and software updates beyond what Samsung can match. Of course, it’s trapped in the body of an iPhone 8 and only has one rear camera, but it’s a cost-effective way to access features like iMessage and FaceTime.
  • Nothing Phone 2a (£319.99 at Amazon): Nothing’s third launch is the newest Galaxy A25 5G alternative to think about, and it might also be the toughest to get (at least in the US). The Phone 2a brings a unique design while simplifying the Glyph interface and sporting Nothing’s usual pair of 50MP camera sensors on the see-through back panel.

Samsung Galaxy A25 specs

Samsung Galaxy A25
Display
6.5-inch AMOLED
2,340 x 1,080 resolution (FHD+)
120Hz refresh rate
396ppi
Processor
Samsung Exynos 1280
RAM
6GB
Storage
128GB
Power
5,000mAh battery
25W wired charging
No wireless charging
Cameras
Rear:
- 50MP wide, f/1.8, OIS
- 8MP ultrawide, f/2.2
- 2MP macro, f/2.4

Selfie:
- 13MP, f/2.2
Audio
Stereo speakers
Headphone jack
Dolby Atmos
Video
4K/30fps
1080p/30fps

Durability
Plastic frame
Plastic back
Glass display
Connectivity
Wi-Fi 5
Bluetooth 5.3
Biometrics
Side-mounted fingerprint reader
Ports and switches
USB 2.0 via USB-C
Software
Android 14
One UI 6.0
Dimensions and weight
161 x 76.5 x 8.3mm
197g
Colors
Blue Black

Samsung Galaxy A25 review: FAQ

No, the Samsung Galaxy A25 5G does not charge wirelessly. Instead, it supports up to 25W wired charging.

Yes, the Galaxy A25 5G supports dual-SIM in the form of two nano-SIM cards.

No, or at least Samsung does not make any claims about the Galaxy A24 5 G’s durability, which suggests that it’s not waterproof.

Yes, the Galaxy A25 5G has a headphone jack on the bottom edge next to the USB-C port.

Yes, the Samsung Galaxy A25 5G supports NFC for wireless payments — unlike several budget phones from competitors.

Yes, the Galaxy A25 5G has a side-mounted fingerprint sensor that it shares with the power button.