Samsung Galaxy A52 Hands-on Review: A for Aspirational

Awesome screen, awesome camera, long-lasting battery life?

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Now that Samsung has officially declared there won’t be a Galaxy Note 21 in 2021 due to acute chip shortages, a special Unpacked for the new A series upgrades and the whole fanfare around it makes sense to me. This year’s Galaxy A52 and the Galaxy A72 are proper upgrades over the supremely popular Galaxy A51 and Galaxy A71 phones launched last year. You are looking at:

  • A powerful, more reliable SoC
  • Improved display with 90Hz refresh rate
  • Stereo speakers
  • IP67 Rating
  • Bigger batteries with faster charging
  • Assured 3 years of software updates

…and more. 

Here are my immediate first thoughts on the phone.

Pretty Design

I must say, this Blue Colourway on the Galaxy A52 is super attractive. I absolutely love the whole candy funk colour aesthetic. This is a more confident approach to using plastic than trying to gloss it up and adding a faux metal sheen. The matte finish is an additional win for me. Plus, I love how the camera module is a machine-engineered bump that extends out seamlessly from the rear. It almost feels like a 3D-printed plastic cutout. The placement of the camera rings on this module looks good too. Also, it feels solidly put together too. 

Although, I am not a fan of the fake metallic frame. Moving on, the buttons are nice and clicky, you get a 3.5mm headphone port, a Type-C port, a hybrid SIM slot, and a speaker at the bottom that works in tandem with the earpiece in a stereo setup. I was surprised at the quality and the depth of sound. It doesn’t get too loud but it sounds clean and crisp. 

Also read: Redmi Note 10 Pro Max Review: the Realme 8 Pro Has its Work Cut Out

Punchy, Attractive Display

The biggest new upgrade has to be the inclusion of the 90Hz refresh rate to the display. This is your same, excellent Samsung Super AMOLED panel with super punchy colours and deep Blacks. Plus, Samsung has upped the brightness level in High Brightness Mode (HBM) to 800 nits. This display can get really, really bright. HDR content on YouTube just pops and looks fantastic. Goes without saying that you get Widevine L1 support as well. The touch response is pretty good too. Although, I would have liked it if Netflix played back HDR videos as well, which is not possible at the moment. Maybe an update will fix that but I wouldn’t count on it. 

Upgraded 64MP Camera

The Samsung Galaxy A52 now comes with an upgraded 64MP with an f/1.8 aperture lens. The rest of the setup is the same with a 12MP ultrawide, 5MP Macro, and 5MP depth. Plus, you get a 32MP selfie camera too.

I did take a few shots with the phone in my limited time with it and I think the selfies and portrait shots look fantastic. The images from the primary camera offer a good dynamic range with a good colour science. And, the low light performance looks promising as well. The ultra-wide angle and macro cameras take pretty good looking pictures as well. But, the coolest new integration is the addition has to be the integration of Snapchat filters. Look at how cool they look. 

So, my first impressions of the camera are very good. Let me know what phone would you like us to compare against the Galaxy A52 in the comments below. 

Also read: Samsung Galaxy F62 Review – Speedy But Not Full On

Reliable Performance and Excellent Software

The Samsung Galaxy A52 comes with a Snapdragon 720G SoC inside and 6/8GB of RAM coupled with 128GB of storage. The 720G SoC is way better than the Exynos 9611 for sure. It scored over 2,80,000 on AnTuTu. Additionally, I did play 30 minutes of Call of Duty on the phone at High Graphics and Max frame rates, and it touched X degrees by the end of the session. It was as smooth an experience as we’ve come to expect from SD720G. 

I love, love, love the fact that the new Samsung is committed to Android updates. Samsung has assured three years of Android version updates and four years of security updates for the Galaxy A52. And, this phone comes with the latest Android 11 and OneUI 3.1. OneUI is one of my favourite Android skins out there. But yes, there are many bloatware apps installed by default. Thankfully, you can delete all of them. More about the performance and software in my full review. 

Promise of Two-day Battery Life

Samsung has also improved the battery capacity on the Galaxy A52 from 4000mAh on the Galaxy A51 to 4500mAh unit and it comes with support for 25W fast charging as well. However, it is a pity that you get only a 15W charger inside the box. Now, Samsung claims that you can get two days of battery life on the Galaxy A52. This is something we definitely need to check in our full review. 

Closing Thoughts

The Samsung Galaxy A52 is definitely looking like a very promising candidate under Rs 30,000. There are a whole host of upgrades here that will compel even the users of the Galaxy A51 to upgrade. And, considering this is mainly an offline proposition, I am certain that it will attract a lot of buyers. In fact, it does hold up well to many other online-only phones as well. Do let us know what kind of content you would like to see around the phone? Reviews, comparisons, etc. By the way, the 5G variant is not launching in India but that doesn’t really matter since the networks are not here yet and we have no clear sign of when it will actually launch either. 

What do you folks think of the Galaxy A52? Let me know in the comments below.


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