Samsung launched the Galaxy A52 smartphone in the ‘A Series’ in India last month as the successor to last year’s Galaxy A51. This comes with huge improvements compared to the predecessor, including a 90Hz refresh rate AMOLED screen, quad rear cameras with support for OIS in the main camera, slightly bigger 4500mAh battery, and IP67 ratings for water resistance. Specifications look great on paper. Is the phone worth the price? Let us dive into the review to find out.
- Samsung Galaxy A52 smartphone 6GB RAM, 128GB storage version in Awesome Blue colour
- 2-pin 15W fast charger
- USB Type-C Cable
- SIM ejector tool
- Quick Start Guide and Warranty information
Display, Hardware and Design
The phone comes with a 6.5-inch Full HD+ Infinity-O Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1080×2400 pixels at about 407PPI, aspect ratio of 20:9. The display looks bright, thanks to 800 nits brightness, offers good color reproduction and the sunlight legibility is good as well. Since it has an AMOLED panel, it offers true blacks. The screen is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5.
Since it has a 90Hz refresh rate screen that offers a fluid user experience since it offers smoother animations, scrolling and gaming. Similar to the other Samsung phones, there is Blue light filter, which is now called Eye comfort shield. This is said to reduce eye strain by limiting the amount of blue light emitted by the screen, You can set it for sunrise to sunset and also set a custom schedule. You can change font size and style and select apps that you want to use in the full screen aspect ratio. There is also dark mode, which looks great on the AMOLED screen. You can choose from Vivid or Natural screen modes based on your preference or set the white balance manually. The phone doesn’t have DC dimming or low brightness anti-flicker mode that is present in some AMOLED screen phones in the price range. I didn’t notice any screen flicker issues in low brightness on the phone.
It doesn’t have notification LED, but there is Always on display with tap to show option that shows the AOD screen for 10 seconds after you tap the screen. You can also set a schedule. There are a lot of options to choose from such as clocks, GIF or you can download any AOD from Themes section.
On the top, there is an 32-megapixel camera in the tiny punch-hole and the earpiece is present on the top edge. The punch-hole is smaller than the F62, and it is not intrusive. It has gyroscope and magnetic sensor, otherwise known as magnetometer for VR.
There is a small chin below the screen. The phone has an in-display fingerprint sensor which is fast to unlock the phone, but it is not as fast as the side or rear-mounted fingerprint scanner.
The phone has a glossy plastic frame which is prone to scratches and smudges, but it is not slippery. Coming to the button placements, the power button and the volume rockers are present on the right side. There is nothing on the left side. The hybrid dual SIM slot and the secondary microphone are on the top. The 3.5mm audio jack, primary microphone, USB Type-C port and the loudspeaker grill are on the bottom. Since the sides have a glossy finish they attract fingerprints easily.
On the back, there is a quad camera module arranged in a rectangular array. There is single LED flash. Even though the phone has a 6.5-inch screen, it is compact to hold. It is 8.4mm thick and weighs 189 grams. The phone has a plastic back with a matte finish that doesn’t attract fingerprints or smudges and is also not prone to scratches with day-to-day use compared to the Galaxy M51 and the F62. This might not feel premium, but the design looks attractive, and you can use the phone without a case.
In addition to the Blue colour variant that we have, the phone also comes in Black, White and Violet colours. This comes with dust and water-resistant to a depth of one meter for up to 30 minutes with IP67 certification that you rarely see in phones in the price range.
It has a 64-megapixel rear camera with Sony IMX682 sensor, 0.8μm pixel size and f/1.8 aperture and it also supports OIS. The secondary camera is 12-megapixel Samsung S5K3L6 f ultra-wide sensor, and there is a 5-megapixel depth sensor and a 5-megapixel macro sensor with f/2.2 aperture. The phone has a 32-megapixel camera on the front with Sony IMX616 sensor with f/2.2 aperture. There is Live Focus that makes use of the 5-megapixel depth sensor. You can also adjust the bokeh effect before or after the shot. There is selfie portrait option for the front camera that uses software to blur the background. There is also a wide-angle option for the front camera.
It has Auto mode, Food, Night, Panorama, Macro, Live Focus, Super Slow-mo, Slow motion and Hyperlapse as well as Pro mode to adjust ISO, shutter speed, focus, white balance and exposure manually. You can choose 64MP option from the aspect ratio settings on the top. It also has AR stickers that lets you add stickers. It also has scene optimizer, which is AI mode that automatically detects modes, and you can also enable auto HDR option. The Single Take feature can now capture footage, up to 15 seconds of it, and then use AI to produce up to 14 different outputs – 10 photos and 4 videos.
The phone has Cam2API support with RAW support since it uses a Snapdragon SoC.
Coming to the image quality, daylight shots are good, and the camera captures a good amount of detail, creates well exposed photos with good dynamic range and detailing, and dynamic range can further be improved enabling HDR mode from the settings, which automatically turns on HDR when needed. Even though the phone has a 64-megapixel sensor, the final output has 16-megapixel resolution, which is common in phones with large sensors. Autofocus speeds are fast and accurate. Ultra-wide shots from the 12MP camera is good in daylight. Even though the edges look a bit curved due to the ultra-wide lens, ‘Shape Correction’ is automatically applied that automatically crop the edges, still some images look a bit curved at the corners, which is common in wide-angle lenses.
Macro shots from the main camera is good, and there is a dedicated macro camera mode which is decent, but there is no touch to focus option in this mode since it is fixed focus, so you have to keep it in 5cm distance. Live focus is good at detecting the edges. Low-light performance is good, which can be improved further with Night mode that offers more details, but you need to keep your hand steady, since it takes two to three seconds to process. Night mode shots are zoomed in and the output is 12MP in resolution instead of 16MP. 64-megapixel shots have good amount of details, but the colours are not vibrant, and the images are about 18MB in size. Images with flash is good and is not overpowering.
The 32-megapixel front camera is good in most cases. Wide-angle mode takes images in 12-megapixel resolution after pixel binning, while the normal mode takes images in 8-megapixel. Software blur in the live focus mode has average edge detection.
Check out some camera samples.
It can record videos at maximum 4K resolution at 30 fps from both front, rear and ultra-wide cameras. The rear camera can also shoot 1080p 60fps videos, but the stabilization works only in 30fps when it’s enabled in the settings. The normal stabilization works with both ultra-wide and main camera, but only the main camera has OIS. There is a separate Super steady mode which uses the ultra-wide camera to capture the video in 1080p 30fps. This is smooth, but you don’t see a huge difference between this and the normal stabilization from the main camera. You can switch bewteen normal and ultra-wide cameras when video recording is in progress, but it doesn’t have option to switch between the front and rear cameras when recording a video, which was a nice feature that was available in Galaxy F62.
It can shoot slow motion at 720p at 480fps and there is also super slow motion, which shoots an 8-second video with 6 seconds of slow motion, and also lets you add custom music for the slow motion part. Video quality is good, and the audio crisp since it has a secondary microphone. Check out the video sample below.
Software, UI and Apps
Coming to the software, the phone runs on Android 11 with Android security patch for February 2021. On the top of Android 11, it has the latest Samsung One UI 3.1, which brings several new features.
The advanced features option has Games Launcher that gathers your games downloaded from Play Store and Galaxy Apps into one place for easy access, smart pop-up view, Screenshots, direct share, motion gestures like lift to wake, double tap to wake, smart stay, smart alert that vibrates when you pick the phone up after missing calls or receiving messages, easy mute by putting your hand over the screen or turning your phone face down, one-handed mode that lets you use the phone easily with one hand, finger sensor gestures to open and close the notification panel using the fingerprint sensor, palm swipe screenshot capture, swipe to call or send messages. Dual messenger lets you sign in to a second account of social media apps and the Panic mode lets you Send SOS message by pressing the Power key three time.
The Device maintenance option lets you manage your device’s battery life, storage, RAM usage, and security all in one place. Out of 128GB (UFS 2.1) in our unit, 106.4GB is free. Out of 6GB LPDDR4x RAM, about 5.4GB is usable and 3GB is free when default apps are running in the background. Since this has UFS 2.1 storage, we got sequential read speeds of about 511MB/s.
Apart from the usual set of utility apps and Google Apps, the smartphone comes with Facebook, Netflix and Microsoft apps such as OneDrive. There is also Samsung Max, My Galaxy and other Samsung apps. You get the option to install apps when you are setting up the phone, which you can choose not to. It also has Samsung Pay via NFC, but the Indian version doesn’t have MST support. It also has Samsung Pass, Secure Folder, Bixby Voice/Vision, Samsung Cloud, Easy Mode and Samsung Knox support.
Fingerprint sensor and Face unlock
The phone has an in-display fingerprint sensor that immediately unlocks the phone even when the phone is locked. It is good, but not as fast as a physical fingerprint scanner. You can add up to 3 fingerprints, and adding fingerprint is easy. It has support for Face recognition, which doesn’t work well if the lighting is poor in the room, if you are hats, or use heavy makeup. Both these are protected by Knox security.
Music Player, FM Radio and Multimedia
YouTube Music is the default music player. It has equalizer, Dolby Atmos, UHQ upscaler, Surround and Tube Amp Pro sound effects that can be enabled from the settings. All these improve the audio when listening through earphones. It has FM Radio support with support for recording. That said, audio through third-party headphones is good. Loudspeaker output from the stereo speakers is good, but not as good as other phones that offer better stereo speakers in the price range.
The phone comes with Widevine L1 support out-of-the-box so that you can enjoy HD content on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar and other streaming apps.
Dual SIM and Connectivity
The connectivity options include, Wi-Fi 802.11 ac (2.4GHz + 5GHz), with VoWiFi for Jio and Airtel, Bluetooth v5.0 and GPS with GLONASS. It has support for USB OTG and NFC that works with supported payment apps. It has 4G connectivity with support for a lot of bands and has Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) and WiFi-Calling or Vo-WiFi support for Reliance Jio, Airtel and more, and also has support for LTE-A or Carrier Aggregation which the Galaxy M51 and F62 lack. The dialer and messaging have familiar UI. Since this is a dual SIM phone, you get the option to select either SIMs when calling or sending a text message. Moving on, the call quality is good, and we did not face any call drops and the earpiece volume was loud. Speaker output during calls were good as well.
The Galaxy A52’s head SAR is 0.460 W/Kg, which is less than 1W/kg, even though the limit in India is 1.6 W/kg (over 1 g). This is less than the F62 which was 0.739 W/Kg.
Performance and Benchmarks
Coming to the performance, this is powered by an Octa-Core Snapdragon 720G 8nm Mobile Platform, which has 2 x Kryo 465 Performance CPUs (A76-based) clocked at up to 2.3GHz and 6x Kryo 465 Efficiency CPUs (A55-based) at up to 1.8GHz. It has Adreno 618 GPU with support for Open GL ES 3.2, Open CL 2.0, as well as Vulkan 1.1 graphics, up to 8GB LPDDR4x RAM and 128GB UFS 2.1 storage.
Thanks to the slightly higher clocked larger Kryo 465 cores based on new Cortex A76, this is faster than the Snapdragon 730G that uses Kryo 470 cores. The Snapdragon 720G also features select Snapdragon Elite Gaming features including Game Anti-Cheat Extensions and Game Fast Loader, True HDR Gaming featuring 10-bit color depth and aptX Adaptive audio provides high-quality synchronized sound. We did not face any issues or frame drops in the graphic-intensive games. It gets a bit warm on intensive gaming and 4G data use, but it doesn’t get too hot to handle. That said, check out some synthetic benchmark scores below.
The 4500mAh battery offers good battery life that lasts for a day with heavy use. With average use it should last for two days. I got 6 hours of screen on time with camera, videos and apps like Instagram, Strava, YouTube playback, Chrome browsing etc. mostly on Wi-Fi and occasionally on 4G for close to 2 days. Adaptive battery saving and other options will let you increase the battery life, but the performance might be affected.
In our One Charge rating, the Samsung Galaxy A52 scored 17 hours and 12 minutes, which is good. We tested in 90Hz, so it will be better in 60Hz. Samsung has offered 15W fast charger in the box. Charging with the bundled charger takes about 2 hours for 0 to 100%, and 0 to 50% took about 45 minutes. You can get the 25W charger separately since the phone supports 25W superfast charging which takes about 1 and half hour for 0 to 100%, and 0 to 50% took about 30 minutes. Wish the company had added a 25W charger in the box since the M51 and the F62 coming with one.
Overall, the Galaxy A52 is the best mid-range smartphone from Samsung in the A series for the price. It has a 90Hz Infinity-O AMOLED display, 64MP camera with OIS, stereo speakers and also comes with IP67 ratings. It doesn’t have a premium glass back, but the plastic matte back looks attractive and doesn’t attract fingerprints. Some might prefer a dedicated SIM slot, and the Snapdragon 720G is not a powerful SoC considering the price.
Samsung’s own Galaxy F62 is a solid phone for the price if you need a bigger battery and a powerful SoC. The latest Redmi Note 10 Pro Max is another option if you need 120Hz refresh rate AMOLED screen and better cameras at a cheaper rate. The iQOO 3 after the price cut is a good deal.
The Samsung Galaxy A52 comes is priced at Rs. 26,499 for the 6GB RAM with 128GB storage and Rs. 27,999 for the 8GB RAM with 128GB storage version, and is available from Amazon.in, Flipkart and Samsung.com online as well as offline stores. As a part of launch offer buyers get Rs. 2000 instant cashback with HDFC Bank credit cards, debit cards and EMI transactions, so the effective starting price of the phone is Rs. 24,999 which is a good deal.
- 90Hz AMOLED display is good
- Capable cameras with OIS in main 64MP camera
- Smooth performance
- Good design
- IP67 water-resistant
- Stereo speakers
- Good battery life
- No 25W charger in the box
- Not a powerful SoC for the price
- Hybrid SIM might not be preferred by everyone