Samsung and AT&T Unveil a Budget 5G Phone That's Actually Worth a Dang

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Andrew is a writer for Review Geek and its sister site, How-To Geek. Like a jack-of-all-trades, he handles the writing and image editing for a mess of tech news articles, daily deals, product reviews, and complicated explainers. Read more…
When people ask me which ultra-affordable phone they should buy, I usually tell them to avoid anything with gimmicks like giant camera arrays or 5G support. These features are often poorly executed in budget phones, yet they come at the expense of battery life or other important specs. But AT&T and Samsung may have completely flipped the script.
Launching this month, the Samsung-made AT&T Fusion 5G is a $220 phone with proper 5G support. Unlike other budget 5G phones, it isn’t just stuck on the slower sub-6 spectrum. It also works with mmWave networks, which offer the crazy wireless speeds that are faster than most home internet connections.
The AT&T Fusion 5G also packs a large 6.82-inch 900p display, an impressive 4750mAh battery, and wireless charging support. And although the Fusion 5G only packs 64GB of internal storage, you can add on to it with a microSD card.
These are pretty attractive specs, and I have a feeling that AT&T made a good choice when it teamed up with Samsung for this device. Previous AT&T Fusion phones were manufactured by VinSmart, a Vietnamese company that vanished last year.
That said, I do have a few worries about the AT&T Fusion 5G. It features a crazy 48MP quad-camera array, and based on my experience, cheap phones with tons of cameras tend to take bad pictures—it’s nice in an iPhone, but it’s a gimmick in a budget device. Not to mention, these excessive camera arrays cost money, which means Samsung and AT&T had to cut corners somewhere.
I’m also worried about the phone’s performance, as AT&T hasn’t announced which processor it uses. My best guess is that the Fusion 5G runs on a MediaTek chip, much like Motorola’s new budget devices or the new Samsung Galaxy A13. (We’ve reached out to AT&T for clarification.)
Either way, the AT&T Fusion 5G looks like a solid option for those who want speedy wireless networking on an affordable device. AT&T offers 5G at no extra charge to its Unlimited customers, who can purchase the AT&T Fusion 5G for $220 or $6.12 a month starting January 7th.
Source: AT&T
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