The new Galaxy A-series, which was refreshed in 2019, is now over two years old and the phones have had their share of issues in the past. Issues like performance, camera quality and such. But with ongoing generations, Samsung has managed to work on these with its decent camera hardware and putting a Snapdragon instead of a mid-range Exynos chipset. The Galaxy A52 arrives after the Galaxy A51 which was launched in India back in 2019 and brings with it a host of design changes, a new chipset, and new colours as well. Is it enough?
Is Samsung Galaxy A52 a decent pick - or not? Read our full review to find out.
Design and build
The Samsung Galaxy A52 features a new design language than that of the early Galaxy A series of phones. If you look closely - the front and back panels are flat as opposed to the curved back panels offered earlier. The rear panel gets a camera module that is slightly raised but not in a way that would cause uneven placement. The frame is plastic, the back panel is plastic, and Samsung calls the colour - Awesome Blue.
The body colour is polarising for some - while interesting for others. Understandably, Samsung has tried to make the new A-series funkier than before, especially with its Blue and Violet shades. It seems more iPhone-ish when thinking of the blue and violet shades except that Samsung went for a matte finish - which in retrospect is not a fingerprint magnet, so plus points there.
The volume buttons and the power key have a decent tactile feel and are both placed on the right side of the frame. The Galaxy A52 is also IP67 rated which is a massive plus. It also gets a Type-C port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a loudspeaker at the bottom.
In terms of build quality, we have no complaints. The plastic back panel feels sturdy and we did like the flat back design - taken straight from the Note 20 series. That said, I feel the colour treatment could have been a bit more mature. Considering Samsung is vying for a major spot in the mid-range market - getting the hardware right is half the job done. The other half's design and colour.
Overall the A52's form factor is simple and Note-like which means holding it and daily use are going to be easy for you, and it is definitely better than the Samsung Galaxy A51.
Now talking about the display, the Galaxy A52's display is a 6.5-inch Super AMOLED panel with a Full-HD+ resolution and also gets a 90Hz refresh rate. The screen gets 90Hz by default and you can change it down to 60Hz to increase battery life.
For a mid-range phone, the Galaxy A52 gets a lot of real-estate upfront which came into play when we were watching movies on Netflix or Prime Video, or just watching videos on YouTube. Bezels are noticeable but they are not discomforting to look at. In short, the aesthetics remain premium.
The display gets two colour modes - Basic or Vivid. We found the Basic closer to being accurate - although we must say Samsung has spoilt us when it comes to its AMOLED displays and this meant we always had the Vivid mode turned on. Slightly saturated - that is the Samsung way. The 90Hz refresh rate is a positive tick on the feature list. For a mid-ranger, Samsung seems to have put a lot of thought into what is important for this category of smartphone.
Software and performance
The Galaxy A52 features the latest Android 11 OS with One UI 3.1 on top. We have already discussed the new One UI with Android 11 - basically a tonne of enhancements and features to fiddle with. You get Samsung's SmartThings, Dolby Atmos, customise how your notifications show and how you interact with them, new navigation options and a lot more.
Coming to the daily performance, it was decent and we did not see any issues with it. Apps opened and closed smoothly - and so was jumping between the apps. The Snapdragon 720G from Qualcomm is definitely not the fastest mid-range chipset out there, but it does the job reasonably better than the Exynos chipsets in this range.
Basic games like Subway Surfer, Temple Run, Candy Crush worked pretty well on the Galaxy A52. Bump it up to COD Mobile and Asphalt - the game would stutter a little but you can improve the experience by tweaking its graphics settings. To add, the 90Hz display was a blessing.
Samsung Galaxy A52 Review: Camera
The Galaxy A52 features a quad-camera at the back panel which is headed by a 64-megapixel sensor, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle sensor, a 5-megapixel macro, and a 5-megapixel depth control sensor. The 64-megapixel sensor also gets optical image stabilisation - OIS and clicks binned 16-megapixel images.
Images shot with the main camera looked pretty well, but a tad colour saturated. There was a slight lean towards the cooler spectrum of the Kelvin scale - but with AI scene optimiser, the images usually came out with decent colours. Details were in place and there was no over-sharpening of the images. Checkout the samples below.
Again, kudos to Samsung for polishing its camera quality. The ultra-wide-angle did look like it lost a few colours here and there and was slightly softer than the main sensor. However, daylight shots were pretty much decent enough. Also, the same sensor could be used for Night Mode shots as well. Edge detection was on point on the Galaxy A52 - sometimes it did go overboard with it.
There is a macro sensor as well and is capable of shooting decently detailed pictures in the optimum amount of light. Overall, the Galaxy A52 does a pretty decent job in the camera section.
Battery and charging
The Galaxy A52 gets a 4,500mAh battery and we were able to push through an entire day of usage which included basic calls and message, social media browsing, music and videos before reaching out for the charger.
But when we finally ran out of the battery, the 15W charger in the box felt like a disappointment. When the Galaxy A52 is capable of running a 25W fast charger, I wonder why would Samsung not bundle it with the phone, especially when the pricing isn't affordable. Also, there is no wireless charging on the Galaxy A52, but that's okay.
The 15W charger took close to two hours to fully charge from less than 10 per cent to full 100 per cent. With the 25W charger - the Galaxy A52 was able to get to 90 plus per cent of charge in less than 100 minutes.
Should you buy the Galaxy A52?
Apart from the Blue and Violet shade which I think was slightly over the top - the Galaxy A52 is a pretty decent mid-range smartphone along with Samsung's branding. The phone has got the design, the looks, the 90Hz AMOLED display and decent camera quality. On top of this, the Galaxy A52 is water-resistant. There are several other options that you can go for instead of the A52 but none of them are water-resistant.
But in terms of compromises, the processor is not the best in its category and you would need to purchase a 25W fast charger if you aren't okay with the 15W bundled unit. Also, Samsung's own Galaxy F62 is cheaper and is a good alternative to the Galaxy A52.