Samsung’s acclaimed Galaxy S series has long dominated the Android flagship sector. However, it has been progressively increasing its mid-range efforts, with the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G being the most recent addition.
Rather than excelling in a single area, this £399/US $499 phone offers an all-around degree of competency that should satisfy the majority of casual users. The Samsung Galaxy A52 5G handles most of the essentials well, including a speedy and colorful display. A great primary camera, and strong build quality. However, in this segment of the market, competition is fierce, and competing attempts from Chinese firms like Xiaomi and OnePlus risk making the Galaxy A52 5G appear pricey.
What will you see here?
Design and build
Although the design language of the Galaxy A52 5G isn’t very impressive, it does demonstrate Samsung’s mastery of the production process. A Gorilla Glass 5 front panel meets a gleaming metal frame that contrasts nicely with the matte surface of the back panel, providing a welcome break from the greasy glass-effect materials that are so common in the budget market. The phone feels substantial in the hand, with a welcome lack of flex, although it’s far from light at 189g.
This is frequently one of the first things to go in the name of cost-cutting. It’s one of those small gestures that may make a big difference when searching for a mid-range phone, especially if you don’t plan on replacing it anytime soon. A 3.5mm headphone jack is also present on the phone’s bottom, next to the USB-C port. Also throughout, from one of two rather reedy stereo speakers.
The Samsung Galaxy A52 5G doesn’t have many standout features. But if you had to pick one, it would surely be the display. This is the type of brilliant 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display on which Samsung has made a name for itself. It rivals anything outside of the flagship class, with a Full HD+ resolution, a maximum luminance of 800nits, and a 120hz rate. There are a few oddities, such as the absence of capability for HDR streaming. Despite this being missing, the video material looks fantastic on such a colorful backdrop.
It’s a dead flat display that should not be considered a mid-range compromise. With the Galaxy S21, Samsung has gradually returned to this path, and the lack of curves makes for a much more useful phone on a daily basis. The bezels on the Galaxy A52 5G aren’t the thinnest you’ll find, even on a mid-range phone, with an 84.1 percent screen-to-body ratio. But they’re small enough and perfectly proportioned to be unobtrusive.
The shiny ring surrounding the hole-punch selfie camera, on the other hand, does not sit well with us. This is something we’ve seen in other inexpensive phones, like the Poco F3, and it’s always painfully eye-catching. Another issue we had with the Galaxy A52 5G’s display was the in-display fingerprint sensor. It’s sluggish to open and much too unstable for our tastes.
Specs and Performance
In designing its latest mid-range phone, Samsung has effectively walked the spec tightrope. But if it wiggles at all, it’s in terms of basic performance. The Snapdragon 750G CPU in the phone is an upgrade over the Exynos 9611 chip in the Galaxy A51, but it still falls short. In fact, it is behind a lot of comparably priced competitors.
The Genshin Impact on the Galaxy A52 5G starts out with modest settings. You can force these parameters to High and 60 frames per second, but the effect is slow and stuttering. For instance, the Poco F3 defaults at High and can be pushed up to High/60fps with very usable results.
Most smartphone components can be masked, but when it comes to camera performance, there’s no mistaking a mid-range phone for a premium phone. Unless you have a Pixel phone. While the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G camera cannot compete with the Google Pixel 4a’s point-and-shoot capabilities, it does perform well.
Its 64Mp primary sensor, in particular, captures bright, decently detailed images with Samsung’s signature enhanced color technology. You either like Samsung’s punched-up colors or you don’t, but the Galaxy A52 does.
When compared to the Poco F3, which we used side by side the Galaxy A52 5G’s photos are brighter and generally better with fine detail. Samsung frequently rescues more detail in HDR scenarios as well, however, the trade-off might be the occasional hyperreal or overexposed photo.
In certain situations, the camera of the Galaxy A52 5G goes too far with its punchy processing. When filming a pizza being devoured beneath a lockdown-friendly gazebo, for example, the Samsung made the entire picture seem strange and unappealingly yellow. Also, the Poco F3 is captured in all its meat-and-cheesy splendor.
We’ve previously said that the Galaxy A52 5G nails a few little but important elements, one of which is the presence of OIS. This shot-steadying feature is still not standard in mid-range phones; for example, neither the Poco F3 nor the more expensive OnePlus 9 have it, while the OnePlus Nord does. At the very least, Samsung deserves credit for including it.
Similarly, the Galaxy A52 5G’s 12Mp ultra-wide sensor isn’t as good as a flagship sensor, but the results are adequate for the price. When compared to the Poco F3, the Galaxy A52 5G’s ultra-wide photos performed far better, with improved definition and exposure, much less softness towards the corners, and a significantly broader 123-degree angle.
When plugged in, this isn’t the fastest charging phone on the market. Samsung’s 15W brick lags well below the 30W-and-above offerings of Xiaomi, Oppo, and others. you were able to charge the A52 5G from 0 to 31 percent in 30 minutes, which is nothing out of the ordinary in 2021.
Wireless charging is also not available. Of course, this isn’t a common feature in the £400 range, but it’s worth noting that the iPhone SE has it.
The A52 5G is outfitted with Samsung’s One UI 3.1 on top of Android 11. Since the terrible old days of TouchWiz, which occasionally resembled some type of first smartphone’ app you would use to entertain a kid, Samsung’s software has advanced significantly. Even when compared to prior versions of One UI, the business now uses a much lighter touch in its customizing efforts.
Samsung Daily has been moved to the left side of the main home screen in favor of Google Feed. This is a welcome adjustment. But make no mistake: One UI still has a crowded front. The useless Bixby companion is still there, waiting to be revealed with a long power button push.
Notifications were also a little unreliable on the A52 5G. You discovered that the phone didn’t always bounce into the linked applications directly from our taps.
Meanwhile, in addition to the vast list of possible installs. Also, you receive a number of preloaded programs that you may or may not desire right away. TikTok, Netflix, and Microsoft OneDrive are among the apps included. However, it is significantly less terrible in this regard than, say, Xiaomi. Even with its polarising software offering, Samsung goes above and above. Four years of security fixes are not to be taken lightly, especially at this price point. Overall, One UI is a quick, fluid, and useable interface with plenty of customization options.
Price and availability:
The Samsung Galaxy A52 5G launched on sale in the United States and the United Kingdom on March 19, 2021. Prices begin at £399 in the United Kingdom and $499.99 in the United States.
This positions it in the lower middle of the market, costing twice as much as the Poco X3 NFC and half as much as the OnePlus 9 Pro. The OnePlus Nord costs £379, and the Poco F3 costs £329. The Google Pixel 4a costs £349, and the iPhone SE costs £399.
In terms of value, the latter two phones lack the 5G connection seen in the Galaxy A52 5G. Meanwhile, only the Poco F3 has a 120Hz AMOLED display like the Samsung. But, with the exception of the Pixel 4a, all of those phones have higher performance, and Google’s phone has a better camera.
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G is just about worth the money. While equivalent or better value may be found elsewhere, depending on your demands.
The Samsung Galaxy A52 5G offers a well-balanced mid-range smartphone bundle for roughly £399/$499. The headline feature is a fantastic 120Hz Super AMOLED display, but the overall impression is of a phone that covers all the basics and pays attention to the finer points. An IP67 rating, optical image stabilization for the camera, and a 3.5mm headphone socket. Also, four years of security updates aren’t as flashy as a glass and metal shell or a fast CPU. But they add up to a surprisingly comprehensive product.
However, it is not without flaws. The performance might, and arguably should, be better for the money. The fingerprint sensor is rather subpar, and this isn’t an all-time classic Samsung design.