Samsung A52 Review: A Fantastic Mid-Range Smartphone

Pros

  • Good design with IP67 certification
  • 90Hz Super AMOLED display is impressive
  • Strong rear camera performance
  • Competitive performance

With

  • Still uses a plastic body

Samsung A52

Samsung’s A-series phones are mid-range phones with slightly more premium features than their M-series counterpart. Last year, the A51 from the A-series was the best-selling Android phone.

Enter 2021, they have launched A51’s successor in the form of Samsung A52. So, how good is the A52? Let’s find out in this review of Samsung A52.

Samsung Galaxy A52 Specifications

  • Body: 159.9 x 75.1 x 8.4 mm, 189 g, Hybrid Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
  • Protection: IP67 dust/water resistant, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 (front)
  • Display: 6.5 inches Super AMOLED, 1080 x 2400 pixels, 90Hz, 800 nits (peak)
  • Chipset: Qualcomm SM7125 Snapdragon 720G (8 nm)
  • CPU: Octa-core (2×2.3 GHz Kryo 465 Gold & 6×1.8 GHz Kryo 465 Silver)
  • GPU: Adreno 618
  • Memory: 128GB 8GB RAM
  • YOU: Android 11, One UI 3.1
  • Rear Camera: 64 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/1.7X”, 0.8µm, PDAF, OIS
  • Front Camera: 32 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), 1/2.8″, 0.8µm
  • Battery: Non-removable Li-Po 4500 mAh Battery, Fast charging 25W
  • USB: USB Type-C 2.0, USB On-The-Go
  • Misc: Fingerprint (under display, optical), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
  • Colors: Awesome Black, Awesome Violet, Awesome Blue

Samsung Galaxy A52 Price in Nepal: Rs. 41,999 (8/128GB)

Samsung A52 Review

Appealing Aesthetics

  • 159.9 x 75.1 x 8.4 mm
  • 189 g Nano-SIM, dual stand-by
  • IP67 dust/water resistant
  • Plastic back, aluminum frame

Samsung A52 ImpressionsDesign

Samsung A52 is instantly a better-looking phone than the A51. The switch to the matte finish plastic from glastic finish is the sensible choice. While keeping the device light and thin, the smooth rear panel is eye-catching.

Though it doesn’t get a premium build, it gets IP67 certification for dust/water resistance which is a premium feature for this segment.

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Upfront, A52 gets a hole-punch design similar to the A72. It’s minimal and much smaller than the hole punch of the M62. Also on the front, it gets an in-display fingerprint scanner which works better than the predecessors. However, it is still not where it should be as I was greeted with occasional misreads.

While we are on the topic of unlocking, the face unlock is not impressive either. It does a fine job under good lighting conditions but it is not as fast as some Chinese competitors.

High Refresh Rate Display Matters

  • 6.5 inches Super AMOLED
  • 1080 x 2400 pixels
  • 90Hz, 800 nits (peak brightness)

Samsung A52 Display

Some might question if the high refresh rate is worth the hype. Well, it definitely matters.

Once you get the hang of a high refresh rate display, going back to normal display feels boring. That’s why a 90Hz display panel on the A52 makes sense. Yes, it is not a 120Hz display like the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max. But, it feels smooth enough.

I was actually impressed by the implementation of a high refresh rate on the A52. It supports 90Hz on most apps like Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, and Google News. I did not find the drop in smoothness even in unoptimized apps like Facebook.

However, it doesn’t support 90Hz on some games like COD Mobile and the Camera UI. You should also note that it is not a variable refresh rate panel.

Talking about the colors, it does not have a wide color gamut. But the AMOLED panel has good color reproduction and a wide viewing angle. On top of that, it can pump the brightness up to 800 nits. In my books, it is one of the best OLED panels for the price.

Performance Upgrade

  • Qualcomm SM7125 Snapdragon 720G (8 nm)
  • Octa-core (2×2.3 GHz Kryo 465 Gold & 6×1.8 GHz Kryo 465 Silver)
  • Adreno 618
  • 128GB 8GB RAM

Samsung employed its underwhelming Exynos chipset on the A51 last year. But, A52 gets the Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G chipset. It is a noticeably big upgrade compared to the Exynos chipset and it’s similar to the Snapdragon 732G chipset that is used on the Redmi Note 10 Pro/Pro Max.

So far, the general performance of the A52 feels great. It breezes through normal tasks such as app opening, app switching, multi-tasking, and navigating UI. The 90hz smoothness and UI optimization also play a major hand.

As for gaming, I tested PUBG Mobile and COD Mobile on the A52. And the results are quite good. You can play COD Mobile up to High graphics and Max fps settings with a more or less stable frame rate. The M62 has slightly better performance with the same settings but the sustained performance of A52 looks better.

Similarly, you can play PUBG Mobile up to Balanced graphics and Ultra fps settings. The frame rate is quite consistent at 38-40 fps. So, gaming on the A52 is definitely good enough.

Camera Upgrades

  • Rear Camera: 64 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/1.7X”, 0.8µm, PDAF, OIS
  • Front Camera: 32 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), 1/2.8″, 0.8µm

Samsung A52 Cameras

Compared to the A51, Samsung A52 features a similar quad-camera setup with an upgraded 64MP sensor.

Along with the upgraded main sensor, Samsung has included OIS on its main sensor that can capture up to 4K 30fps videos. It can also do 4K 30 videos from the front camera but the front camera lacks a stabilization option.

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NORMAL IMAGES

Images from the main camera are well detailed with slightly boosted colors. The colors do not look as saturated as was the case with previous Samsung phones.

The dynamic range is pretty impressive and the exposure looks well balanced. However, the contrast was a bit off in some colorful subjects. As for the 64MP images, they do not get HDR which results in low contrast. So, normal images are appealing than 64MP images.

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LOW-LIGHT IMAGES

Images take in low light conditions are decent. The noise is under control and the HDR helps to provide good exposure. However, the included Night Mode doesn’t provide massive improvement.

Some images get a healthy boost in brightness and the shadows are lifted. But, Night Mode also brings a matte painting effect to the picture. To make it worse, the Night Mode pictures are captured at lower resolution.

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ULTRAWIDE ANGLE IMAGES

The 12MP ultrawide angle also shares a similar color profile with slightly colder colors. The ultrawide images do not have the same dynamic range as the main sensor. However, the images look sharp with good FOV.

The lens correction algorithm also helps to keep the distortion to a bare minimum.

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MACRO AND PORTRAIT IMAGES

Then there’s a 5MP depth sensor and a 5MP macro sensor. The macro photos look good when HDR is enabled. But the problem is, the Auto-HDR doesn’t get activated every time.

As for the portrait photos, the bokeh effect is convincing whereas the subject separation is just average.

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SELFIES

Moving on to the 32MP front camera, the selfies have good sharpness and selfies turn out impressive in good lighting conditions.

The Auto HDR and Scene optimizer helps to make the images more appealing. Note that, Auto HDR and Scene optimizer is not available on 32MP mode.

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Video

Starting with the main camera, the 4k footages have close to zero noise with good details. The dynamic range is reasonably wide and the colors look good too.

The 4k ultrawide footages also have good detail but the noise is more evident. Also, 4k footages don’t get OIS but the stabilization is pretty decent.

Moving on, the 1080p footages do not have good detail and it lacks sharpness. You can also notice some noise blotches in the video. However, you get OIS in 1080p videos which does a decent job of handling jitters.

Battery Life

  • Non-removable Li-Po 4500 mAh Battery
  • Fast charging 25W support, 15W in-the-box
  • USB Type-C 2.0

In terms of endurance, A52 gets a slightly smaller battery than the A72. The 4500mAh battery is claimed to provide 2 days of battery life.

I was getting more than a day of usage on moderate usage. A52 was able to provide almost 6 hours of screen on time on average. As for charging, it does support 25W charging but it comes with a 15W charger in the box. The included 15W charger can charge the A52 from 0 to 100% in 1 hour and 30 mins.

OS & Others

  • Android 11
  • One UI 3.1
  • Stereo Speaker

Android 11

Samsung A52 runs on the One UI 3.1 on top of Android 11. And, if you read my reviews then you already know that I absolutely adore the One UI.

And, I’ve been loving the One UI even more as it now has Google Feed integration in the home screen. However, my review unit comes with some extra bloatware like the Yandex search engine and 2GIS. Thankfully, it won’t be present in the retail unit.

Moreover, Samsung has also promised 3 generations of OS updates and 4 years of security updates. And, Samsung has been doing a great job of pushing regular updates.

Another noticeable feature is the dual stereo speaker setup. There’s a main speaker on the bottom and the earpiece works as the extra speaker. It is noticeably loud but the clarity is not impressive.

Should You Buy Samsung A52?

Yes! If you’re looking for a complete all-rounder mid-range smartphone. It is the go-to phone.

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It has got a good design with IP67 certification and it clearly has good performance. Along with that, a smooth 90Hz display and above-average camera performance make A52 a good choice.

Samsung A52 is definitely one of the best mid-range devices right now.

Hope you like our Samsung A52 review. If you have any questions regarding the device, you can leave them in the comments!


In the meantime, you can watch our full review of the Samsung Galaxy A72.

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Rabins Sharma Lamichhane

Rabins Sharma Lamichhane is the owner of RabinsXP who is constantly working for increasing the Internet of Things (IoT) in Nepal. He also builds android apps and crafts beautiful websites. He is also working with various social services. The main aim of Lamichhane is to digitally empower the citizens of Nepal and make the world spiritually sound better both in terms of technology and personal development. Rabins is also the first initiator of Digital Nepal.

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