The Samsung Galaxy A22 5G and the TCL 20 R 5G are two of the cheapest 5G handsets you can buy right now in South Africa, both priced under R4,000.

The A22 5G is available in violet, grey, white and mint, and you can currently get it for R3,749 at Game – though Samsung lists it as R3,999. The TCL 20 R is available in blue and grey, priced at R3,899, only available in-store at Truworths.

  • There are two contenders for the cheapest 5G smartphone in South Africa, coming in at under R4,000.
  • We take a closer look at the Samsung Galaxy A22 5G and TCL 20 R 5G to see which offers better value for money.
  • You can pick up the Galaxy A22 for R3,749 and the TCL 20 R for R3,899.

But which of the two are worth your hard earned randelas? We put them head-to-head to see what gives you more bang for your buck.

Screen size matters

Samsung is known for making good screens and packed in a 6.6-inch TFT display on the A22. It has an 82.3% screen to body ratio, and features Samsung’s Infinity-V display that houses a selfie-cam top centre that is V shaped. It supports a 90Hz screen refresh rate that is noticeable for smooth scrolling and gaming.

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The handset has a full HD+ display with a resolution of 1080 x 2408 pixels that works out to 399ppi (pixels per inch). Unfortunately, it does not have an AMOLED display like the A33. The A22 weighs 203g.

Comparatively, the TCL 20 R has a marginally smaller 6.52-inch IPS LCD display with a 90% screen to body ratio. It also has a V notch display and 90Hz screen refresh rate but a lower resolution display. Its HD+ screen is 720 x 1600 pixels, which works out to 268ppi (pixels per inch) and has a 500nits brightness. The 20 R weighs 186g.

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Under the hood

Both the A22 and 20 R are powered by a Mediatek MT6833 Dimensity 700 (7nm) octa-core chipset, starting with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Important to note with most Android smartphones, it comes pre-installed with bloatware, which means some of the storage will be used by the OS when switched on. The A22 at set-up uses 18.5GB of internal storage, leaving only 45.5GB free. That said, both handsets offer expandable storage slots of up to 1TB, with the 20 R using a shared dual SIM slot. Both have a 3.5mm audio jack and USB-C port.

Both handsets support 5G connectivity, along with WiFi, WiFi Direct, Bluetooth, but very crucially, only one of them supports NFC – the 20 R. Despite Samsung listing NFC for the A22 5G in South Africa, we attempted to download the Samsung Pay app and was met with “this phone is not compatible with this app.” This is important if you want the “tap to pay” functionality and avoid carrying a bank card.