Technophile

Galaxy F62: All the stamina you need

Mala Bhargava | Updated on February 18, 2021

A flagship chip comes to a mid-range phone and brings with it the biggest battery ever

Smartphones have a tough time trying to be different these days. One thing phone makers are really working hard at is to give a phone a distinct look by being creative with the back panel. Samsung has accordingly decided to make their new F62 (not a fighter aircraft) wear a pin-striped suit. There are very fine vertical lines on the back which you will either love or hate. I don’t mind them a bit. But what I do mind is the speed with which that back panel takes on finger smudges which is rather rapidly. The colours for this phone are Laser Green, Blue and Grey of which the green is by far the more attractive. There’s a prominent gradient from top to bottom so the green eventually ends in just plain mirror finish and the same shading is reflected all around the edges. 

No small fete

The F62 is a well-build and solid phone, but the back is made of polycarbonate even though it looks quite glassy. There’s no case in the box and you can probably get away without using one though you can buy one and deal with the smudges problem that way. This is not a small phone, made to feel bigger than most because it’s also a little heavy though not as heavy as it could be. Well, it has one big reason to be heavy and that’s a 7,000mAh battery. With that huge a battery, Samsung could probably not have lived down giving you no charger, so there is a 25W charger and cable in the box. It can get through a day and a half of phone calls and movies, though if you use it for long sessions,  you’d best have large strong hands with some staying power.

 

Known quantity 

One major highlight for the F62 is its processor which is the Exynos 9825. This is equivalent to the Snapdragon 855 of 2019 and while that sounds old now, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s powerful. It was in fact used in Samsung’s Note 10 Plus which tells you it was no slouch. Think of it as a once-flagship SoC that has now made it to mid-range. The Note 10 Plus was Rs 80,000 at launch. The F62 starts at Rs 23,999. The Exynos 9825 is a chip built on the 7 nanometer process and it has eight cores and is meant to support fast better-processed photography, gaming and multitasking. But just to be clear, there are now mid-range Snapdragon processors that more than match up to the Exynos 9825. Samsung has affixed the term ‘Full-on speedy’ to describe this phone’s power and is touting it rather relentlessly with its campaigning and while it’s very good, it isn’t breaking any speed records. Gamers complain that there’s some speed throttling going on with intense gaming to prevent heating. 

There are two variants of the F62: Both have 128GB storage plus a dedicated slot for a memory card but one comes with 6GB RAM and the other 8GB RAM. In this day I would recommend the one with 8GB of RAM. If Samsung uses an AMOLED display you can be fairly sure it’ll be really good and it is on this device. It’s a 6.7-inch 1080x2400 pixels FullHD with a nice high contrast ratio and just a dot to house the 32MP front camera. It’s a really bright screen and mercifully not an LCD. But there’s no high refresh rate and users are getting to expect that these days even at this price point. It has fairly loud and well rounded sound — though no stereo speakers. Fans of the 3.5mm jack can rest happy as the slot has made an appearance on this phone. The fingerprint sensor is on the power button and that’s fine by many users. 

One thing the F62 does not have is support for 5G and with the number of phones turning up all future proofed for connectivity, some users may resent its absence. 

Nicely enough, the F62 comes with Android 11, so that puts an end to endless speculation on when an upgrade could come, if it would come at all. Samsung’s OneUI is ever familiar and feature-filled, but what is objectionable is the big number of unwanted apps you’ll find to start with. PhonePe, Moj, Snapchat, DailyHunt, Facebook, and lots more took space on the home screens and the phone. The screens were quite empty of apps when I finished removing (some uninstalled) the ones I wouldn’t have wanted. Anyone who’s even a little tech savvy will know how to get rid of what they don’t want but I’ve come across enough users who have crowded home screens all because they don’t know what to do with apps they don’t use. There are also plenty of notifications all day long coming from MyGalaxy and elsewhere. It’s a pity that this should be part of one’s experience for something one has paid a good amount for.

 

Four cameras sit in a neat square on the back of the phone. The main one is 64MP and with it are the usual complement of ultra wide (12MP), macro (5MP) and depth (5MP). These are obviously not the best that Samsung achieves with cameras, but they’re for for good optimum light. Indoors, as you move about with the cameras, you’ll find a brick-red shift in colour. In fact, colours depended more than usually on one’s angle and distance from a subject. The images are pixel-binned down to 16MP. There’s a bit of struggle to focus in indoor light too — not necessarily very low light either. The macro and depth cameras do fine and in fact, better than one is used to in the mid-range segment. The 32MP selfie camera is not bad either. It certainly takes years off my face without the usual Botox effect. 

The F62 is very like the Galaxy M51 and could well be its successor, though they’re from different and supposedly unrelated series. This phone has competition from some recent value-for-money smartphones like the Mi 10i and the OnePlus Nord. 

Price: Rs 23,999 and Rs 25,999

Pros: Good processing power, huge battery, good sound, very bright AMOLED screen with deep contrasts, Android 11.

Cons: Very smudge prone, too many unwanted apps, too many notifications, no high refresh, no support for 5G.

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Published on February 18, 2021
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