Samsung Galaxy A52 long term review: regular phone

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Samsung’s A-series phones have become a known quantity: they are good moderately priced devices, aimed at people who might not care about their phone’s processor or even what RAM is. But as the delta between mid-range and flagship shrinks, cheaper options like the Galaxy A52 just get better and better – you don’t have to give up as much to save money as before. . The A52 is so solid, in fact, that I wouldn’t mind using it full time – if it weren’t for a few sore spots, anyway.

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G
RAM 6 GB
Storage 128 GB, expandable by MicroSD (up to 1 TB)
Display 6.5 ” 1080p 120Hz OLED
Rear cameras 64 MP f / 1.8 primary, 12 MP f / 2.2 ultra-wide, 5 MP f / 2.4 macro, 5 MP f / 2.4 depth
Front camera 32 megapixels f / 2.2
Drums 4,500mAh, 25W fast charge (wired only)
Software Android 11, a 3.1 user interface
Biometrics In-display optical fingerprint scanner
Headphone socket Yes
Price $ 500
To buy AT&T, T-Mobile, Best Buy, Samsung

ANDROID VIDEO OF THE DAY

GOOD

Display A high-quality 120Hz OLED panel is wild at this price point.
Updates The A52 is good for three OS updates and four years of security patches, which is great for any 2021 Android device.
Design Subjective, but I think it’s a monumental improvement over the dated appearance of the A51.

THE NOT SO GOOD

Cameras Samsung’s $ 500 phones still take much worse photos than Google’s or Apple’s $ 400 (ish) phones.
Fingerprint detector Not great, but not particularly fast either.
Haptic Soft and unsatisfying.

Design, material, contents of the box

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The A52, as far as I’m concerned, is a revelation for Samsung’s mid-range design. Last year’s A51 was a good phone, but its iridescent pattern and shiny plastic coating really screamed budget. In contrast, the A52 is a sleek, monolithic plastic slab with a beautiful eggshell finish. Internationally it’s available in a number of trendy pastels, but here in the US we’re stuck with black for now (Impressive Black, officially). It’s a shame we lack the fun, but the black version has a sort of sleek, deceptively high-end vibe that I don’t mind at all – although it does show more hand oil than the more colors. clear, which is a disappointment.

The camera bump is molded from the same piece of plastic as the backplate, a cool look that wouldn’t be as possible if the phone was made of glass. Along the edges, the frame is covered with shiny and mirror plastic. Looks good, but as long as it’s plastic, I would have preferred it to be the same finish as the back of the phone.

Up front there’s a 6.5-inch 1080p OLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate. Everything there is better than I expected. Colors and viewing angles are great, and 120Hz is quite unexpected in a $ 500 consumer phone. The under-display optical fingerprint reader, on the other hand, is pretty inexpensive. It is relatively precise, but all it takes is a bit too much time to work to feel fluid.


Big screen, poor fingerprint scanner.

No surprises in the box: You get the phone, normal documentation, a 15-watt power brick, and a USB-C-to-USB-A cable.

Software, performance and battery life

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The Galaxy A52 runs One UI 3.1 on Android 11, and I have to say I’ve grown to love Samsung’s software. A lot of its apps still suck – ads and all – but hey, you don’t have to use them if you don’t want to. The inevitable things like navigation and menus are easy to use and harmless to look at, even by my picky standards. Additional features like the Edge Panel menus, while not necessarily my thing, are there if you want them and easy to tidy up if you don’t. Samsung has also committed to three operating system version updates and four years of security patches for the A52, which is the best software support you’ll get on just about any phone that was not manufactured by Apple.


The performance is also more than sufficient. Running on a 750G (5G-capable) Snapdragon chipset and six GB of RAM, the A52 is not aggressive quick like a Snapdragon 888 phone, but it’s also not frustrating to use. It will take care of any normal smartphone task you throw at it without complaint, but don’t expect to smoothly edit a huge spreadsheet while playing a grueling 3D game.

The battery life is also solid. I was never very scientific in keeping my eye on lifespan, but with casual use I easily rode the A52 through day two with the display set to 120Hz – if you recalled at 60, obviously, it would last even longer. There is no wireless charging, but the 4,500 milliampere-hour cell can handle a wired input up to 25 watts.

Cameras

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The cameras of the A52 are in a difficult situation. They aren’t bad, but I still can’t help but be at least a little dissatisfied.

With enough light, photos from the main sensor are good – and they should be, considering this is an optically stabilized 64-megapixel shooter. The flexibility of having a wide lens is something you really can’t take for granted in this price range either. But two of the four cameras are crude – five-megapixel macro and depth sensors – and all of the sensors seem to struggle with exposure in less than ideal circumstances. I often found myself with shots that were significantly darker or lighter than I expected. The details can get a bit awesome if you crop as well.

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The macro camera, if you can’t guess, isn’t really worth using. In my experience, the results are usually no better than cropping a photo from the main sensor.

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Macr-oh no. Please stop it, Samsung.

It almost seems unfair to compare other mid-range phones to the Pixel 4a when it comes to imaging prowess, but Google is really eating everyone’s photo lunch in the sub-flagship space (the 4a 5G to $ 500 even has an ultra-wide lens). I was hoping this phone, which costs $ 150 more than the base model 4a, from the same company that has made one of the best camera phones so far this year, would just have a Small more to offer, but as it is, its cameras are just fine.


Should we buy it? Rating 7.5 / 10

Samsung galaxy a52

Sure. The A52 costs $ 100 more than the A51 at launch. For that hundred bucks, you get a revised design, better processor, more RAM, faster display, and IP67 water resistance (the A51 had no official rating). It’s a lot of improvement.

In the grand tradition of the A-series, the A52 is another capable mid-range Samsung phone in a long line of capable mid-range Samsung phones. But I would have liked to see a few tweaks to get a lower price tag or to allocate more budget to the weakest points of the A52 – by removing the two unnecessary camera modules and replacing the 120Hz panel with a 90Hz panel, per example.

And at $ 500, the A52 has the Pixel 4a 5G to face. Compared to this phone, this one has poorer cameras and slower processor, but also a better display, expandable storage, larger battery, rated water resistance, and longer software support. .

Unless you really want the best photos taken by the 4a 5G, there’s nothing here that makes me hesitate to recommend the A52. Do you want a good, big device for around $ 500? That’s it. Get knocked out.

Buy it if:

  • Top of the list is display quality and long software support.
  • You just want a decent big phone that you won’t have to think about again for years to come.

Do not buy it if:

  • You want foreground photos. Consider the Pixel 4a 5G.
  • You can save for longer. The S20 FE is constantly on sale, and the Galaxy S21 is as cheap as $ 650
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Where to buy the Galaxy A52:

UPDATE: 2021/08/06 9:39 a.m. PDT BY TAYLOR KERNS

Long-term impressions

The extra time spent with the Galaxy A52 only reinforced my first thoughts: I really love this phone.

The build quality is excellent for an all-plastic device; it doesn’t flex or squeak, and it has good weight. I’m also more and more attached to the stealthy matte black color, and while I envy the fun pastels the rest of the world has gotten, I’ll take care of it on top of any glossy finish, top it off. hand.

The display, a 120Hz OLED, is exceptional for a mid-range phone, and the Snapdragon 750G here is unequivocally good enough for what most people do with their phones on a daily basis. I just wish it had eight GB of RAM – six are feeling stingy, and I imagine that deficiency will be very tangible by the time the A52 reaches the end of its software lifespan in mid-2025.

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My initial complaints are still relevant today. Camera performance is just good enough for this price, and there’s cheaper phones from competitors like Google who take pictures in a whole different league. And while I like the build quality here, the A52 falls flat on other quality of life points, like the slow fingerprint sensor and absolutely excruciating haptics (I turned off vibrations everywhere. where I can).

Overall, this is still a very good mid-range device – and it will remain safe to use for another three years and change thanks to Samsung’s industry-leading update policy. At $ 500, it’s not priced as aggressively as last year’s $ 400 A51, but it’s also materially better than this phone was in many ways. And hey, if it’s too expensive, there is still the A42.


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