Samsung Galaxy A52 Long-Term Review: The Mid-Range Phone To Beat

Samsung Galaxy A52 Review Long-Term Long term
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Hey guys. I hope you are doing well and taking all the necessary precautions against the recent spike in COVID 19 cases. In this article, I am going to give my long-term review of the Samsung Galaxy A52.

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We have already briefly discussed the phone in our early impressions and even talked about the phone at length in our detailed comparison against the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max. But soon after that, one of our team members has been extensively using it as his daily driver for almost a month now, and here’s what we think about this phone.

Samsung Galaxy A52 Specifications:

  • Body: 75.1 x 159.9 x 8.4mm, 189 gm, IP67 dust/water resistant
  • Display: 6.5-inches “Infinity-O” Super AMOLED panel, 90Hz refresh rate, Gorilla Glass 5, 800 nits peak brightness, SGS Eye Comfort Shield
  • Resolution: FHD+ (2400 x 1080 pixels), 20:9 aspect ratio, 407 PPI
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G (8nm Mobile Platform)
  • CPU: Octa-core (2×2.3 GHz Kryo 465 Gold & 6×1.8 GHz Kryo 465 Silver)
  • GPU: Adreno 618
  • Memory: 4/6/8GB LPDDR4X RAM, 128/256GB storage (expandable)
  • Software & UI: Android 11 with Samsung’s One UI 3.1 on top
  • Rear Camera: Quad-camera;
    – 64MP f/1.8 primary lens, AF, OIS
    – 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide lens, 123º FOV
    – 5MP f/2.4 macro sensor
    – 5MP f/2.4 depth sensor
  • Front Camera: 32MP f/2.2 sensor (punch-hole cutout)
  • Audio: Stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos audio, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Security: Optical in-display fingerprint sensor, Face unlock
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyro, Geomagnetic, Hall, Light, Virtual Proximity
  • Connectivity: Dual-SIM (Nano), WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (Dual-band), Bluetooth 5.0, GPS / AGPS / Glonass / Galileo / Beidou, NFC, USB Type-C, 4G LTE
  • Battery: 4500mAh with 25W fast charging (15W adapter provided)
  • Color options: Awesome – Black, Blue, White, Violet (No white color in Nepal)
  • Price in Nepal: Rs. 41,999 (8/128GB)

Samsung Galaxy A52 Long-Term Review:

First off, because of the global chipset shortage as well as the recent lockdown in India subsequently resulting in limited manufacturing, Galaxy A52 is currently out-of-stock in most parts of the world.

Galaxy A52 - Display 1

And since we’ve seen a lot of positive reviews of this phone, its demand is also really high. So yeah, the supply chain has been disrupted by this—and it’s not just with the A52, but practically with every smartphone brand in 2021.

As expected Samsung is charging a little bit higher for this phone compared to the competition like the Note 10 Pro Max or the Realme 8 Pro. But as I said in my comparison video, A52 is the better overall phone, in almost every aspect.

Design and Build

  • Glass front, plastic back, plastic frame
  • IP67 dust and water-resistant

So, let me start this review with what we have liked about the Samsung Galaxy A52. First off, I think the overall heft and the ergonomics of the phone are spot-on. It’s not that heavy or as wide as with the Note 10 Pro Max, so that’s great about this device.

Galaxy A52 - Design 2

Also, the color choices that Samsung is offering with its latest A-series are quite the eye-candy. Plus, it has got an IP67 rating as well, which came as a big surprise because it’s truly a one-of-a-kind feature for a phone at this price range. In fact, even the more expensive phones like Mi 11X Pro or the OnePlus 9R are void of any sort of ingress protection.

Anyhow, one major complaint shared by some users about this phone is how it comes with a plastic back as well as the frames. But, in my usage, this matte back didn’t feel that cheap and the build is solid. No cheap creaks and such. But since plastic is plastic, it can get easily scratched and discolored over the long run. So far, we haven’t had such issues yet, but that’s something you have to take care of by maybe getting a cover or a skin.

Display

  • 6.5-inches FHD+ Super AMOLED screen
  • 90Hz refresh rate, Corning Gorilla Glass 5
  • Up to 800 nits brightness, SGS Eye Comfort

Likewise, I haven’t faced any problems with the display like flickering or unresponsive touch. This AMOLED screen is also bright, the auto-brightness works fine, and the colors, as well as the touch response, are great. The in-display fingerprint sensor isn’t the fastest but if you turn off the animation, it works just fine.

Galaxy A52 - Display 2

Another highlight of the Galaxy A52 when it was announced was its 90Hz refresh rate, but I guess that’s no longer a highlight seeing how the cheaper Note 10 Pro brings a 120Hz refresh rate AMOLED screen.

And honestly speaking, for me, the difference between a 60Hz and 90Hz screen isn’t that big of a deal. So, I think maybe Samsung should have provided a 120Hz screen just like with the 5G variant of Galaxy A52.

As a result, the perceived smoothness while scrolling through the UI is definitely better on a 120Hz screen in phones like Note 10 Pro Max. But when it comes to the actual performance, well, here the Galaxy A52 does it better than the competition, which comes off as a big surprise because technically, Note 10 Pro Max has a relatively better Snapdragon 732G chipset.

Performance

  • Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G SoC (8nm)
  • Up to 8GB LPDDR4X RAM, 128/2256GB storage (expandable)
  • Android 11 with Samsung’s One UI 3.1 on top

Hence, despite the inferior Snapdragon 720G at work, Samsung has optimized One UI well enough to run better and smoother. We haven’t faced any instance of lags or hints of slowing down on this phone either, even after installing over 50 apps and cycling through them every day.

Galaxy A52 - UI 2

I got the 8GB RAM variant whose memory management has also been satisfactory, and the multitasking is decent too.

Still, I think, Samsung should have given the Snapdragon 750G or the Dimensity 800U here—the 5G-ready ones, given its price tag. Yes, the 5G variant delivers exactly this but what I’m trying to say is that maybe A52 didn’t need a separate 4G and 5G model in the first place.

Cameras

  • Quad-camera setup at the back
  • (64MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 5MP portrait, 5MP macro)
  • 32MP selfie camera inside the punch-hole cutout

Galaxy A52- Back Cameras

Moving on, another aspect that we have liked about the Galaxy A52 is its cameras—both front and back. It doesn’t have a 108MP sensor like what other brands are offering lately at a similar price.

But trust me, with its 64MP primary sensor, you are going to get a better image overall – be it in terms of color science, details, or dynamic range. Plus, it shoots better ultra-wide shots from its 12MP sensor.

Nighttime Images

The one area where the 108MP lens reigns supreme is in the nighttime shots.

As you can see from these samples, the nona-binned shots of the Note 10 Pro Max bring out less noise and more details on the images during low light conditions.

vs Galaxy A72

We also compared the A52’s camera against the more expensive Galaxy A72 which comes with the same chipset and lenses. And as expected, both of them capture identical photos almost all the time.

So, as I said in our full review of the Galaxy A72, until and unless you absolutely favor a big phone, the A52 is a much better value since it’s like $100 cheaper and gives you an almost exact smartphone experience.

And a lot of you were asking me to compare the Galaxy F62’s camera with the A52 as well. I did, and my final verdict is that you are going to get better photos from the A52.

Since you get Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) here, this phone can deliver better sharpness and details in both daylight as well as low-light shots. Plus, you are also getting a natural color tone and nice exposure maintenance as opposed to oversaturated ones from the F62.

What I don’t like about Galaxy A52

Now, let me talk about the things I didn’t like about this phone. First is its gaming performance. It’s just about average if you ask me, and this is solely because of the hardware limitation as the Snapdragon 720G doesn’t have a great GPU inside. And, if you can cash in a little bit more, you can get the Mi 11X or the iQOO 7 that boasts a much more powerful Snapdragon 870 chipset.

Galaxy A52 - UI 1

Even the cheaper Poco X3 Pro with its Snapdragon 860 will give you way better fps in this regard. As a consolation, even with continuous gaming, the A52 doesn’t heat up that bad, so that’s something I guess.

Another thing I didn’t like about the phone is that it doesn’t capture well-stabilized videos despite featuring OIS. The 1080P 30fps videos are somewhat okay, but it completely lacks stabilization in 4K 30fps or 1080P 60fps mode.

This definitely isn’t a hardware limitation and feels more like Samsung not wanting to provide such standout features because it wants to distinguish this mid-range phone from the company’s expensive ones.

No 25W power brick inside the box

And lastly, this might come off as me nitpicking but I feel Samsung should’ve provided a 25W power adapter instead of the 15W brick that ships inside the box. Although the difference between the two isn’t night and day, I think the company has been a little greedy here.

Galaxy A52 - Charging

Plus, you don’t get great haptics with the A52. I would rate them as only average. Samsung is offering stereo speakers, although it’s nothing that will blow your mind. The battery life has also been okay-ish. I would constantly get around 6 hours of screen-on time, which on my usage translates to like a day’s endurance. So, that’s good!

And finally, about the software update situation, it is kinda weird. That’s because the A52 5G gets monthly security updates whereas this 4G variant only gets quarterly updates instead. I find this a bit strange. That being said, Samsung will be offering 3 years of OS upgrade on this phone, which is something only Samsung does in the Android world and it’s unfortunate seeing how other manufacturers haven’t jumped in on this bandwagon yet.

Conclusion

So, what do I make of this phone? As I’ve discussed throughout this review, I think Samsung has delivered a strong well-balanced mid-range phone with the Galaxy A52. Yet, I feel like the company is charging like, maybe 10 to 15% more for this phone because well, it’s Samsung!

Plus, I still won’t recommend this phone to those who prefer raw performance over everything else, like for someone who plays a lot of games. For that, I think you are better off with the newly announced Mi 11X or the iQOO 7.

  • Watch our video review of the Samsung Galaxy A52.

Samsung Galaxy A52 Long-Term Review: Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • A balanced smartphone experience
  • Ergonomic design with nice color options
  • IP67 dust-water resistance certified
  • Vibrant 90Hz Super AMOLED screen
  • Decent camera performance, OIS support
  • Samsung’s One UI is well optimized
  • Provides an all-day battery endurance

Cons:

  • Snapdragon 720G isn’t that powerful
  • Only 15W power adapter inside the box
  • No OIS support above 1080p/30fps videos
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design & Build
9
Display
8.5
Performance
7.5
Back Cameras
9
Front Camera
8.5
Software & UI
9.5
Battery
8.5
Value for Money
8.5