Samsung launched the Galaxy A52s 5G smartphone in the ‘A Series’ in India earlier this month as an enhanced version of the Galaxy A52. This comes with minor improvements compared to the 4G version of the A52 such as 120Hz refresh rate AMOLED screen and a more powerful Snapdragon 778G SoC while retaining the quad rear cameras with support for OIS in the main camera, 4500mAh battery and IP67 ratings for water resistance. Specifications look great on paper. Is the phone worth the price of Rs. 35,999? Let us dive into the review to find out.
- Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G smartphone 8GB RAM, 128GB storage version in Awesome White 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.
It has a 120Hz refresh rate screen that offers a fluid user experience with smoother animations, scrolling and gaming. The difference between the A52’s 90Hz screen and the 120Hz refresh rate in A52s is not too much, but it’s a great addition. Similar to the other Samsung phones, there is an Eye comfort shield that limit blue light emitted by the screen. 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 or set it to show always. 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 small 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. Wish it had a better frame quality for the price you pay. 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.
On the back, there is a quad camera module arranged in a rectangular array. There is a single LED flash. Even though the phone has a 6.5-inch screen, it is compact to hold. It is 8.4 mm thick and weighs 189 grams, same as the A52. 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 other Galaxy phones like the M51 or the F62. This might not feel premium, but the design looks attractive, and you can use the phone without a case, which by the way is not included in the box.
In addition to the White colour variant that we have, the phone also comes in Black and Violet colours. I liked the Blue colour variant in the A52. This comes with dust and water-resistant to a depth of one meter for up to 30 minutes, with IP67 certification, which is a good addition.
It has a 64-megapixel rear camera with Sony IMX682 sensor, 0.8μm pixel size and f/1.8 aperture, OIS, 12-megapixel ultra-wide sensor with f/2.2 aperture, 5-megapixel depth sensor with f/2.4 aperture 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 a 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 Slo-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.
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. 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 16 to 20MB in size depending on the content. 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 between normal and ultra-wide cameras when video recording is in progress, and also switch between the front and rear cameras when recording a video.
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 samples below.
Software, UI and Apps
Coming to the software, the phone runs on Android 11, and it got Android security patch for September 2021 a few days back. On the top of Android 11, it has the latest Samsung One UI 3.1, which brings several new features. Samsung has confirmed 3 years of OS updates and 4 years of security updates for the phone. The advanced features option has Games Launcher and motion gestures. You also get Dual messenger that lets you sign in to a second account of social media app.
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, 106.3GB is free. Out of 8GB LPDDR4x RAM, about 7.3GB is usable and 3.5GB is free when default apps are running in the background. There is also a new RAM Plus feature that was added in an updated. This is the RAM expansion technology, which uses the internal memory of the phone to expand the RAM by an extra 4GB, in addition to the existing 8GB of RAM. This is enabled automatically.
Since this has UFS 2.1 storage, we got sequential read speeds of about 889.8MB/s. Wish Samsung has gone with UFS 3.0 or 3.1 since Snapdragon 778G supports it.
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. It also has Samsung Pass, Secure Folder, Bixby Voice/Vision, Samsung Cloud, Easy Mode and Samsung Knox support. It doesn’t have ads, but shows notifications of new Sasmsung products ocassionally.
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 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, and Dolby Atmos also works with speakers. It doesn’t have FM Radio support, which the A52 had. That said, audio through earphones is good. Loudspeaker output from the stereo speakers is good as well, but not as good as other phones that offer better stereo speakers in the price range, like the POCO F3 GT.
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. But there is no HDR playback support for Netflix, even though it works on YouTube.
Dual SIM and Connectivity
It has support for 5G SA with support for 12 5G Network Bands N1, N3, N5, N7, N8, N20, N28, N38, N40, N41, N66 and N78 in India, thanks to Snapdragon X53 5G Modem. Other connectivity options include, Wi-Fi 802.11 6 ax (2.4GHz + 5GHz), 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.
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 A52s’s head SAR is 0.724 W/Kg, which is less than 1W/kg, even though the limit in India is 1.6 W/kg (over 1 g).
Performance and Benchmarks
This is one of the first phones to be powered by Snapdragon 778G 6nm Mobile Platform that uses Qualcomm Kryo 670 CPUs with new architecture delivers up to 40% performance uplift and the Adreno 642L GPU is designed to deliver up to 40% faster graphics rendering compared to the previous generation. It has 4 x A78-based Kryo 670 Performance CPU clocked at 2.4GHz and 4 x A55-based Kryo 670 Efficiency CPUs clocked at up to 1.80GHz.
The Adreno 642L GPU offers a smooth gaming performance even in graphic intensive games, and the phone doesn’t get too hot even during long hours of gaming. The phone gets a bit warm on intensive gaming or when recording 4K videos for long, but it doesn’t too hot. We did not face any issues or frame drops in the graphic-intensive games like COD, BGMI and Genshin Impact. It reached maximum 42º in our testing indoors in Wi-Fi, but this might vary outdoors in 4G. That said, check out some synthetic benchmark scores below.
The A52s reatins the same 4500mAh battery as the A52 that offers good battery life that lasts for a day with average use. Did the 120Hz refresh rate and a more powerful Snapdragon 778G make the battery drain quicker than the A52? I got about 5 to 5 anf half hours of screen on time with my daily use mostly on Wi-Fi and occasionally on 4G for close to 1 day use. This is less than the 6h SOT for close to 2 days use in the A52. Still, this is decent for a phone with a 4500mAh battery. 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 A52s scored 16 hours and 27 minutes, which is good. We tested in 120Hz, 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 all the phones in the price segment come with a faster in-box charger.
Overall, the Galaxy A52s is the best mid-range 5G smartphone from Samsung in the A series at a slightly higher price compared to the A52. It has a 120Hz Infinity-O AMOLED display and the Snapdragon 778G offers a smooth performance and a good gaming experience. It retains the 64MP camera with OIS, stereo speakers and also with IP67 ratings which is good. The phone doesn’t have a premium glass back, but the plastic matte back looks attractive and doesn’t attract fingerprints. I just don’t like the glossy plastic frame for a phone in the price range.
realme X7 Max is also a good option with a more powerful SoC. The OnePlus Nord 2 has a glass body and a better camera. The POCO F3 GT offers a better gaming experience with triggers. There is also the iQOO 7 with Snapdragon 870 that offers a better performance compared to all these.
The Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G comes in Awesome Violet, Awesome White and Awesome Black colours, and is priced at Rs. 35,999 for the 6GB RAM with 128GB storage version and the 8GB RAM with 128GB storage version costs Rs. 37,499. It is available from Samsung.com and other online and offline retailers starting today.
There is a cashback of Rs. 3000 on HDFC Bank Credit Card, Debit Card and EMI transactions or users can avail an exchange bonus of Rs. 3000 when they upgrade old smartphone.
- 120Hz AMOLED display is good
- Capable cameras with OIS in main 64MP camera
- Smooth performance
- IP67 water-resistant body
- Stereo speakers
- Decent battery life
- Priced slightly on the higher side
- Glossy plastic frame
- No 25W charger in the box
- Hybrid SIM might not be preferred by everyone