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Samsung Galaxy A52 Hands-on Review: High on features, low on price

The A52 brings considerable improvements over its predecessor at a pretty modest price.

March 22, 2021 / 09:34 PM IST
Last week, Samsung launched three new smartphones in its Galaxy A series. The Galaxy A52, Galaxy A52 5G, and Galaxy A72, although the 5G A52 model didn’t make its way to India. But we managed to get our hands on the 4G version of the Galaxy A52 and after spending some time with the device, it is safe to say that the A52 brings several improvements over last year’s Galaxy A51. In our first impressions, we take a brief look at the Galaxy A52 to find out just how much has changed from the previous generation.
Last week, Samsung launched three new smartphones in its Galaxy A series. The Galaxy A52, Galaxy A52 5G, and Galaxy A72, although the 5G model of the A52 didn’t make its way to India. But we managed to get our hands on the 4G version of the Galaxy A52 and after spending some time with the device, it is safe to say that the A52 brings several improvements over last year’s Galaxy A51. In our first impressions, we take a brief look at the Galaxy A52 to find out just how much has changed from the previous generation.
First off, let’s talk design and build. When you pick up the Galaxy A52, there’s no mistaken this is not a flagship, the polycarbonate back spells that out pretty clearly. However, the glossy finish from the A51 has been replaced by a smooth matte finish, which prevents any fingerprint smudges and looks pretty good. The A52 also possesses a metal frame with a glossy finish. The Galaxy A52 is available in Awesome Black, Blue (Our Model), White, and Violet colour options.
First off, let’s talk design and build. When you pick up the Galaxy A52, the first thing you'll notice is this is not a flagship, the polycarbonate back spells that out pretty clearly. However, the glossy finish from the A51 has been replaced by a smooth matte finish, which prevents any fingerprint smudges and looks pretty good. The A52 also possesses a metal frame with a glossy finish. The Galaxy A52 is available in Awesome Black, Blue (Our Model), White, and Violet colour options.
On the front, you get a hole-punch camera cutout, while the screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 5. There are power and volume buttons on the right, a speaker grille and a headphone jack at the bottom, and a SIM card tray with two SIM slots and a microSD card slot on the top. And to top it all off, you even get an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, which is game-changing at this price. There’s not much going on with the design of the Galaxy A52 and that isn’t a bad thing. The build quality is solid, while the overall finish is “subtly stylish”.
On the front, you get a hole-punch camera cutout, while the screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 5. There are power and volume buttons on the right, a speaker grille and a headphone jack at the bottom, and a SIM card tray with two SIM slots and a microSD card slot on the top. And to top it all off, you even get an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, which is game-changing at this price. There’s not much going on with the design of the Galaxy A52 and that isn’t a bad thing. The build quality is solid, while the overall finish is “subtly stylish”.
In terms of display, the Galaxy A52 sports a 6.5-inch FHD+ AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate. The screen doesn’t have an adaptive refresh rate and can only scale between 60Hz and 90Hz. You can also switch between Vivid and Natural modes, while brightness goes up to 800 nits. The display gets fairly bright even under direct sunlight, while it also boasts excellent contrast level, good viewing angles, and vibrant colours. The display here is nothing short of class-leading.
In terms of display, the Galaxy A52 sports a 6.5-inch FHD+ AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate. The screen doesn’t have an adaptive refresh rate and can only scale between 60Hz and 90Hz. You can also switch between Vivid and Natural modes, while brightness goes up to 800 nits. The display gets fairly bright even under direct sunlight, while it also boasts excellent contrast level, good viewing angles, and vibrant colours. The display here is nothing short of class leading.
For performance, the Galaxy A52 opts for a Snapdragon 720G SoC paired with up to 8GB of RAM. The Snapdragon 720G is a welcomed change over last year’s Exynos 9611. There were no issues in games, with Call of Duty: Mobile and Raid: Shadow Legends running smoothly on ‘High’ settings. The chip is powerful enough to drive the 90Hz refresh rate without any lag issues. But as good as the Snapdragon 720G is, the 5G competition and Samsung’s own Galaxy F62, easily outpace the A52. Lastly, you also get 128GB of storage, which is expandable up to 1TB.
For performance, the Galaxy A52 opts for a Snapdragon 720G SoC paired with up to 8GB of RAM. The Snapdragon 720G is a welcome change over last year’s Exynos 9611. There were no issues in games, with Call of Duty: Mobile and Raid: Shadow Legends running smoothly on ‘High’ settings. The chip is powerful enough to drive the 90Hz refresh rate without any lag issues. But as good as the Snapdragon 720G is, the 5G competition and Samsung’s own Galaxy F62, easily outpace the A52. Lastly, you also get 128GB of storage, which is expandable up to 1TB.
When it comes to cameras, the Galaxy A52 packs a quad-camera setup on the back. The main camera in the setup has been updated to a 64 MP sensor with f/1.8 aperture and optical image stabilization. The primary sensor is paired with a 12 MP, f/2.2 ultrawide lens with a 123-degree field of view, a 5 MP macro unit, and a 5 MP depth sensor. On the front, the notch houses a 32 MP, f/2.2 selfie shooter. Additionally, you can record 4K videos at 30fps on both the front and rear cameras. We weren’t able to fully test out this camera system, but our initial impressions were mostly positive.
When it comes to cameras, the Galaxy A52 packs a quad-camera setup on the back. The main camera in the setup has been updated to a 64 MP sensor with f/1.8 aperture and optical image stabilization. The primary sensor is paired with a 12 MP, f/2.2 ultrawide lens with a 123-degree field of view, a 5 MP macro unit, and a 5 MP depth sensor. On the front, the notch houses a 32 MP, f/2.2 selfie shooter. Additionally, you can record 4K videos at 30fps on both the front and rear cameras. We weren’t able to fully test out this camera system, but our initial impressions were mostly positive.
Here’s a shot taken on the phone’s main camera. There’s a good amount of detail, while colours are pretty well represented.
Here’s a shot taken on the phone’s main camera. There’s a good amount of detail, while colours are pretty well represented.
You can crop into photos taken at the full 64 MP resolution without losing that much detail.
You can crop into photos taken at the full 64 MP resolution without losing that much detail.
The ultrawide camera also looks good, with noticeably less softening on the edges.
The ultrawide camera also looks good, with noticeably less softening on the edges.
Here’s the same photo on the main camera.
Here’s the same photo on the main camera.
This is 2x zoom.
This is 2x zoom.
4x zoom still looking good.
4x zoom still looking good.
And finally, 10x zoom.
And finally, 10x zoom.
Night mode is decent, but we’ll have to test it in a few more scenarios before passing final judgement.
Night mode is decent, but we’ll have to test it in a few more scenarios before passing final judgement.
Powering the Galaxy A52 is a 4,500 mAh battery, which Samsung claims can offer up to two days of battery life. However, those claims seem a bit exaggerated. While using the A52, we got a full day of use with 15 percent left over to take into the next day. My usage also involved one hour of gaming. It isn’t the best, but it gets the job done without much effort. The one caveat here is that although the phone supports 25W fast charging, Samsung only bundles a 15W adapter in the box, which makes charging the device pretty slow.
Powering the Galaxy A52 is a 4,500 mAh battery, which Samsung claims can offer up to two days of battery life. However, those claims seem a bit exaggerated. While using the A52, we got a full day of use with 15 percent left over to take into the next day. My usage also involved one hour of gaming. It isn’t the best, but it gets the job done without much effort. The one caveat here is that although the phone supports 25W fast charging, Samsung only bundles a 15W adapter in the box, which makes charging the device pretty slow.
The Galaxy A52 runs One UI 3.1 based on Android 11, which is just about as good as it gets in terms of Android skins. One UI 3.1 has no shortage of features and customization, although the interface is a little heavy on unwanted first-party apps. Like with all mid-range A series phones, the Galaxy A52 promises three years of guaranteed Android updates and four years of security patches.
The Galaxy A52 runs One UI 3.1 based on Android 11, which is just about as good as it gets in terms of Android skins. One UI 3.1 has no shortage of features and customization, although the interface is a little heavy on unwanted first-party apps. Like with all mid-range A series phones, the Galaxy A52 promises three years of guaranteed Android updates and four years of security patches.
Our first impressions of the Galaxy A52 were generally positive. The phone brings considerable improvements over its predecessor. With a 90Hz display, stereo speakers, a solid mid-range chipset, and a sizeable battery, the A52 is quite the entertainer. But beyond entertainment, the Galaxy A52 also looks good and brings an IP rating. While we’re yet to test out the cameras, they seem quite reliable at first glance. At a starting price of Rs 26,499, the Galaxy A52 is a strong contender for the best phone under Rs 30,000. Stay tuned for our full Samsung Galaxy A52 review for a more in-depth look at performance and camera quality.
Our first impressions of the Galaxy A52 were generally positive. The phone brings considerable improvements over its predecessor. With a 90Hz display, stereo speakers, a solid mid-range chipset, and a sizeable battery, the A52 is quite the entertainer. But beyond entertainment, the Galaxy A52 also looks good and brings an IP rating. While we’re yet to test out the cameras, they seem quite reliable at first glance. With a starting price of Rs 26,499, the Galaxy A52 is a strong contender for the best phone under Rs 30,000. Stay tuned for our full Samsung Galaxy A52 review for a more in-depth look at performance and camera quality.
Carlsen Martin
first published: Mar 22, 2021 05:59 pm

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