Samsung Galaxy A52 5G Review: Substance meets Style

The Galaxy A52 is the playful new addition to Samsung’s A-series, and it sports fresh colors, throws in some flagship specs, and 5G capability. Released alongside the regular A52 and the A72, the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G promises to be your work and play companion—we did both, and here’s what we think.

Out of the box, you get the standard vanilla package of a user manual, silicone case, power adapter, USB type-C cord, along with an ejector pin. The A52 5G sports the same look as its 4G sibling, but it gets a sweet 120Hz Super AMOLED screen and a Snapdragon 750G 5G chipset upgrade. It also runs on Android 11 with One UI 3.1 which Samsung debuted on its S21 series early this year. One UI 3.1 comes with some cool features, security upgrades, and minor touches to make the smartphone integrate seamlessly with your daily life.

Specifications:


OS
Android 11 with One UI 3.1
Processor
Snapdragon 750 5G Octa-Core Processor
Display
6.5″ 1080 x 2400 FHD+ Super AMOLED, 120 Hz Refresh Rate with Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Wireless Connections
5G, Bluetooth 5.0, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2.4 + 5gHz, NFC, A-GPS, GLONASS, BEIDOU, GALILEO
Memory
256GB Internal Storage, expandable up to 1TB with MicroSD card; 8GB RAM
Connectors
Type-C USB, 3.5mm headphone jack
Cameras
Rear: 64MP, f/1.8 + 12MP, f/2.2 wide + 5MP, f/2.2, macro +5MP, f/2.4, depth sensor
Security
In-screen fingerprint sensor, Face unlock
SIM Card Slots
Dual Hybrid: 1x Nano, 1x Micro SIM/MicroSD
Battery
4,500 mAh
SRPP23,990

Minimalist

The A52 5G comes in four colorways: you get the usual black and white plus a violet and blue that comes in gorgeous pastel tones. All of this comes in smooth, matte plastic and a gently curving plateau houses its quad-cameras, plus a LED flash. It’s an eye-soothing, aesthetic breather from all the textures and holographic tones that once dominated the smartphone market. Aside from feeling a little ‘hollow’ when tapped (kind of reminiscent of old phones with removable case backs), this minimalistic plastic back gets two-thumbs up—but with no fingerprints on it to show, thanks to the material used. Ringed by a metal frame, it transitions to screen with Samsung’s infinity-O display, which houses its 32MP selfie camera and a fingerprint scanner at the bottom-center.

It’s also IP67 rated, that means it can stand the accidental water spillage. Based on lab tests, it can sit in up to one meter of water for up to thirty minutes but let’s not try this at home.

Built to Entertain

Bottom-firing stereo speakers are encased in the metal frame along with a USB type-C charging port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. At the top of the phone, you can find the sim slot, which can house one Nano SIM and a Micro SD card (or Micro SIM). Samsung also smartly utilizes the earpiece on top of the phone to create surround sound. The audio from the earpiece sounds surprisingly good, is adequately loud, and does not come off as tinny. You also get Dolby Atmos, where you can adjust your sound settings depending on what you’re listening to. RPG Gamers will likewise appreciate gaming mode, which optimizes subtle environmental sounds for a richer experience. Overall, you get audio that is crisp, bright, and punchy though it lacks slightly in the bass department.

Aside from a small punch-hole, it’s all screen on the A52 5G—6.5 inches of it. The 120Hz FHD+ Super AMOLED display along with 8GB of RAM gives you a silky-smooth experience—from day-to-day tasks to high-powered gaming. Graphics-intensive games are a piece of cake for this smartphone, although don’t expect to maximize the 120Hz refresh rate. And during working hours, it can carry everything you need with its 256GB of internal storage. Plus, Samsung has partnered with Microsoft with the Link to Windows feature so you can access files from your phone and respond to text messages from your desktop wirelessly. You also get the whole suite of Google apps pre-installed along with a few other applications.  

Samsung promises a two-day battery life for the A52 5G’s 4,500 mAh cell—maybe a little bit of a stretch—but it certainly can take on a whole work day and then some more. When gaming, it does warm up but never to the point of burning, even when used for several hours straight. which is great if you plan to play On PC Mark’s battery life test, it lasted for an impressive 15 hours and 27 minutes. A little drawback though, is the charger. Out of the box, it comes with a 15W charger which can take the phone from 1% to 100% in about an hour and 42 minutes (based on AnTuTu’s Battery test). The A52 5G also supports 25W super fast charging, though you’ll have to shell out extra for that.

Performance-wise, here’s how its benchmarks measure up:

For a mid-range device, it performs well enough. However, it doesn’t shine exceptionally brighter than expected.

Shoot in Style

The A52 5G sports a 64MP main shooter supported by 5MP macro lens, a 5MP depth sensor, and 12MP ultra-wide lens. Its portrait isolation is good but misses sometimes, generally performing better when hair and clothing is straightforward. Shooting with it is a real joy though, even when not in macro mode, it is great at capturing fine details and delivers crisp photos. It does tend to over saturate bright objects, with HDR turned on as a default setting. Photos and videos are also optimized with OIS—a rare find in the mid-range—which brings the A52 5G’s cameras up close to flagship standards. Its night mode works well enough but could be improved. It struggles in very low light but does still manage to bring out details.

There are also a lot of fun features to explore in the A52 5G’s cameras—there is literally a ‘fun’ mode where you get to play with various effects by Snapchat. You can also create your own emoji-avatar and create custom stickers to send to your friends. When you want to unleash your inner child, AR mode lets you play with cartoons and create doodles in the real world. It’s an A+ time waster, highly recommended. There’s also a Single Take mode, where it captures a short video and automatically picks out the ‘best’ shot as well as giving you short boomerang-like clips and filtered photos. Below are some sample shots taken on the A52 5G:

Selfie Camera
Regular Photo Mode
Macro Mode
Regular Photo Mode
Night Mode

Verdict

The Samsung A52 5G is certainly a great smartphone with notable features and solid specs. However, its price heavily outweighs its performance compared to other 5G devices currently available. At P23,990, it sits a bit higher than the other mid-range offerings in the market and at the same time doesn’t come close to matching flagship-level standard. If you don’t need the additional spec boost and 5G connectivity, the vanilla A52 (4G) might be a better match at P18,990.

More information about the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G can be found here: https://www.samsung.com/ph/smartphones/galaxy-a-series/?product1=sm-a725fzbhxtc&product2=sm-a526bzbhxtc&product3=sm-a326bzwhxtc

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