The Samsung Galaxy A52 is one of the company’s latest additions to its popular Galaxy A series of smartphones. It boasts an immersive 6.5-inch Super AMOLED screen with a 90Hz refresh rate, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G chipset, quad-rear cameras, stereo speakers, and a large 4,500mAh battery. Is this a good buy for under PHP 20K and a worthy upgrade from its predecessor, the Galaxy A51? Find out in our review.
Table of Contents
Design and Construction
Let’s start from the back. The rear panel of the Galaxy A52 is designed with a matte haze finish that has a satisfying soft texture. It repels fingerprints and smudges well, which means those who prefer to use their device without a protective case don’t have to wipe it every now and then. The unit we have is the Awesome Blue model, but also comes in Awesome Black and Awesome White.
From here, you can also see the quad cameras and the LED flash. It’s housed in a protruding module but designed in such a way that it seems like it’s just bulging from the back.
Switching to the front, we have the 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display with slim bezels and a tiny hole punch at the top for the 32MP selfie camera. Just above it in the bezel is the earpiece that doubles as the secondary loudspeaker.
The frame is metallic that provides a premium look. At the right, we have the power/sleep button along with the volume rocker right above it.
At the top, we have the card tray for two nano-sized SIM cards and a microSD card in a hybrid setup, and the secondary microphone.
At the bottom are the USB-C port, main microphone, main loudspeaker, and the 3.5mm audio jack.
Overall, we like the design of the Galaxy A52. It’s an attractive mid-range device with a premium build and IP67-rated, meaning it’s dust-proof and can handle being submerged in water. It’s also easy to hold thanks to the smooth curves.
Display and Multimedia
As mentioned, the Galaxy A52 sports a large 6.5-inches Full HD+ Infinity-O Super AMOLED screen with a 90Hz refresh rate. For protection, it has a Corning Gorilla Glass 5. It’s immersive, given the thin bezels around the panel, while the hole punch for the front camera is tiny, so it’s not that distracting. Thanks to its Super AMOLED panel, the colors are vibrant and punchy with deep blacks for excellent contrast.
If you like watching videos on Netflix or YouTube, you’ll like the dual speakers for a stereo experience. It’s not as loud as the speakers found in more expensive devices, but it does offer crisp, clear, and more immersive audio compared to smartphones with a single speaker.
The Galaxy A52 is also a versatile shooter with its 64MP F1.8 main, a 12MP F2.2 ultra-wide, a 5MP macro lens, and a 5MP depth sensor. The main shooter has OIS, while the telephoto lens is capable of up to 10x digital zoom. For selfies, a hi-res 32MP camera takes care of that.
The Galaxy A52 offers a lot of camera features that users will enjoy. You can create AR Doodles and take short clips with the Single Take feature. Samsung also added a Fun mode as well that basically brings Snapchat filters in the native camera app. Also on board is Single Take, a feature so useful that I think every phone should have it. It basically fills your gallery with a bunch of different stills and short videos, all captured with one take.
As for the quality. The rear cameras take photos with vibrant colors, wide dynamic range, and can retain plenty of details. The images produced are good enough for social media uploads. Using the ultra-wide lens, there’s a slight fish-eye effect to the photos and tends to soften some images but has good color reproduction.
For portrait shots, the depth sensor does a good job to blur the background. For the macro shots, it can be a hit or a miss. For low light, the Galaxy A52 has a dedicated night mode feature that produces shots with a good amount of exposure. And for the 32MP selfie camera, the photos produced are quite good, as they look natural under ample lighting, with good colors and decent details.
When it comes to shooting videos, it can record up to 4K resolution at 30fps. Watch the sample below.
OS, UI, and Apps
Running the software department is Samsung One UI 3.0 that is based on Android 11. It’s a highly responsive UI with a clean and attractive look that offers plenty of customizability. It als comes with features that will work well with other Samsung devices in the ecosystem, such as wearables and smart devices.
The Galaxy A52 comes pre-installed with the usual Google services and Samsung apps such as the Galaxy Store, Samsung Global Goals, Samsung Members, Galaxy Wearables, Bixby, and more. For third-party apps, Netflix, and Spotify are pre-installed as well.
Storage-wise, the Galaxy A52 comes with 256GB of storage with 219GB as usable. If you want to expand it, it can accommodate up to 1TB microSD cards.
Performance and Benchmarks
Under the hood, the Galaxy A52 is packed with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G with an Adreno 618 GPU and 8GB RAM. We ran the standard benchmarks apps and here are the results:
- AnTuTu v8 – 250,827
- Geekbench 5 – 520 (Single-core), 1,457 (Multi-core), 949 (OpenCL)
- PCMark – 8,050 (Work 2.0)
- 3DMark – 1,036 (Wild Life)
- AndroBench – 516.52 MB/s (Read), 261.62 MB/s (Write)
The Galaxy A52 was able to breeze through basic tasks such as navigation, web and social media browsing, messaging, and photography. Multitasking wasn’t an issue as well, thanks to the ample RAM. In terms of gaming, the phone could run graphics-intensive games like Genshin Impact and Call of Duty: Mobile without any lags or frame drops, although we would recommend users to try these games in low to medium graphics settings for a smoother experience.
Connectivity and Battery Life
Usual connectivity features such as 4G LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, and GPS can be found on the Galaxy A52. For biometrics, it has an in-display fingerprint scanner and face recognition. The former feels a little sluggish though, which we hope can be improved with a software update.
The Galaxy A52 is equipped with a 4,500mAh battery, which is a large, yet common capacity nowadays. PC Mark rated its battery life at 13 hours, while our video loop test (1080p video, 50% brightness, 50% audio, airplane mode, with earphones plugged in) got us 15 hours and 20 minutes of playback. Charging the device using the 25W fast charger takes over an hour to replenish the battery from 0% to 100%.
The Galaxy A52 is an interesting device given that it has two versions in the Philippine market. The one that we have is the 4G version that is priced at PHP 18,990, while the other is the 5G version with a more powerful chipset, higher refresh rate, and 5G connectivity for a more expensive PHP 23,990. Is it a good upgrade to the Galaxy A51? Yes, it is. Should you get one? If you’re okay not having the bells and whistles of the Galaxy A52 5G, and have a lower budget, then we think it’s a good buy. But if you really need 5G and a better performing chipset at this budget, we think you’re better off looking for a better option.
Samsung Galaxy A52 4G specs:
6.5-inch FHD+ (2400 x 1080) Super AMOLED Infinity-O Display, 407ppi
90Hz refresh rate
Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G octa-core CPU
128GB, 256GB storage
microSD card (hybrid)
• 64MP F1.8 OIS main
• 12MP F2.2 ultra-wide
• 5MP F2.4 macro
• 5MP F2.4 depth
32MP F2.2 FF front camera
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO
Stereo speakers, sound by AKG, Dolby Atmos
IP67 water and dust resistance
4,500mAh battery w/ 25W fast charging
159.9 x 75.1 x 8.4 mm