The predecessor from spring 2019 was one of the most popular mid-range smartphones for a long time. With the Samsung Galaxy A52, there is now a successor that even supports 5G. Can this model also convince? You can find out in the TECHNOLOGY BUTTON test.
In mid-March 2021, Samsung presented the Galaxy A52 5G. Equipped with the new cellular standard, a 120 Hz display, a quad camera and protection from water, it offers many features that users are currently looking for when buying a smartphone. At the same time, the A52 5G also has to meet high expectations, after all, the predecessor was one of the particularly popular models in its price range. Can the newbie keep up? TECHNOLOGY BUTTON tested how the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G fares in everyday life.
- Processing and first impression
- The display of the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G impressed in the test
- Technical Equipment
- Operating system and performance
- Galaxy A52 5G camera tested
- Battery with a long enough breath
- Samsung Galaxy A52 5G in price comparison
- Conclusion of the test
Processing and first impression
Partial rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The Samsung Galaxy A52 5G comes in four different colors: white, black, blue and purple. We looked at the black version in the test, which, like all other versions, also has a housing and frame made of plastic. Even when unpacking the smartphone, it is positive that Samsung has not done without a charging cable and a power supply unit. Headphones are not included with the device, but the equipment is much more extensive than the current top models in the Galaxy S21 series.
Taken in hand for the first time, two things stand out: On the one hand, the matte and slightly rough back, which hardly attracts fingerprints and which also makes the Galaxy A52 5G less slippery. On the other hand, there is also the plastic housing, which can be slightly but noticeably dented on the back. Unfortunately, this point leaves a less valuable impression. Otherwise, the device is very solid and carefully processed and is even protected against dust and water according to IP67
The design corresponds to the current line from Samsung – including the large camera on the back and the full view display on the front. The volume buttons and the home button are arranged on the right edge. At the top is one of the two speakers and the hybrid slot for two SIM cards or a SIM card and a micro SD memory card. On the other hand, Samsung has positioned the USB-C port, the 3.5 millimeter jack and another speaker at the lower edge. A very classic arrangement.
However, we noticed one point in the design in the test of the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G: the notch. At the top of the display is a hole-shaped notch, also known as a punchhole notch. This type of notch is actually quite subtle, but on the Galaxy A52 5G, Samsung has provided it with a narrow silver border, which makes it stand out from the switched-off black display. In principle, this is not negative, but it made us a bit puzzled in the test.
The display of the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G impressed in the test
Partial rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Let’s stay with the display. For a mid-range smartphone, the Galaxy A52 5G has a really good screen with HDR support. Samsung uses a Super AMOLED panel with a diagonal of 6.5 inches in the device. It has a resolution of Full HD + with 2400 x 1080 pixels and creates a refresh rate of a full 120 Hz, which is not common in this class. Especially when playing games, owners of the Galaxy A52 5G benefit from a very fluid display and rapid image changes. The display also impresses with its rich and bright colors and excellent contrasts.
In terms of brightness, however, the smartphone lags behind the current top models – even if only minimally. The Samsung Galaxy A52 5G does not shine as brightly in the test as the Galaxy S21, for example, which should hardly bother users. Because even without the peak pointing upwards, the display can be read easily even in sunlight.
The various display settings were positive in the test. For example, the color temperature can be adjusted and Samsung also offers a system-wide dark mode. The eye comfort functions, such as an automatically activated blue light filter in the evening, can also be set individually. For a mid-range device, the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G is really well positioned here.
Also read: Samsung Galaxy S21 in the test
Partial rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
In the 5G version of the Galaxy A52, Samsung uses the Snapdragon 750G from Qualcomm, which not only has the required 5G module, but also offers a little more performance overall than the 720G in the LTE version of the A52. The chip’s 700 series is known for its very solid performance. Although it does not achieve the top values of the top 800 processors, the performance should be completely sufficient for most users. The chip also coped very well with the high performance demands of the 120 Hz panel in the test.
In detail, the Snapdragon 750G, manufactured using the 8 nanometer process, consists of eight cores, which are divided into two clusters. Two Cortex-A77 cores with up to 2.2 GHz provide the performance boost, four further Cortex-A55 cores with up to 1.8 GHz are responsible for everyday tasks and are therefore a little less powerful, but also more energy-efficient. The chip includes the Adreno 619 graphics unit, which offers sufficient performance for most games.
In our test device, the chip is accompanied by 128 GB of internal memory and 6 GB of working memory. Access to the internal memory is sufficiently fast despite the UFS 2.1 model used, but access to the micro SD card is rather slow, which is noticeable, for example, when loading images and videos stored there. Users * also have to do without Wifi 6 (AX), the fast WLAN standard remains (so far) reserved for the top models.
Operating system and performance
Partial rating: 4 out of 5 stars
As far as the software is concerned, the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G offers a decisive advantage over many other smartphones. When setting up, users can decide for themselves which additional apps and apps suggested by Samsung they want to install. We like this solution much better than the third-party apps installed ex works, which may have to be laboriously and individually uninstalled. In addition, the smartphone already comes with Android 11 and the One UI 3.1 interface. The latter scores with its tidy look and the ability to install individual themes and personalize the Galaxy A52 5G. It also has a fold-out sidebar that gives you quick access to popular apps.
At the time of testing, the security patch had the status of February 2021. Overall, Samsung promises security updates for the Galaxy A series for four years. For the Galaxy A52 5G, however, these do not come monthly, but collected once a quarter. There is also good news for the major firmware updates, which should be available for three years. Samsung guarantees those who buy the Galaxy A52 5G an update to Android 12, 13 and 14.
The system can be protected in various ways. The most comfortable is the fingerprint sensor, which is located directly under the display. To activate the sensor field, however, you have to tap the display, lifting the device is not enough. Alternatively, face unlocking via the 32-megapixel front camera is also available, but this is less secure. Users can also set up the classic PIN or a pattern.
Multimedia performance of the Galaxy A52 5G
As already mentioned, the smartphone is very suitable for gamers. Not only because of the chip, but above all because of the display with 120 Hz. In the test, we were able to play games such as “Asphalt 9: Legends” with the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G without stuttering or delays. We particularly liked the fact that the Snapdragon 750G is not throttled much. If necessary, the high performance can be used permanently without overheating. The Galaxy A52 5G only warmed up slightly under constant load.
Those who like to watch videos will also benefit from the HDR-capable display. Here, Samsung is making good use of the advantages of OLED technology. In addition to Google Play, two apps are preinstalled on the device for streaming videos: YouTube and Netflix. On YouTube, HDR playback worked without any problems. With Netflix, however, users have to forego the improved image dynamics due to a lack of certification.
After all, the audio playback is a little consoling. Samsung has installed two speakers in the Galaxy A52 5G that are connected to a stereo pair. In the lower speaker, the sound comes out with a little more volume, but this only has a minimal effect on the overall sound. Overall, the sound quality of the speakers at medium volume is astonishingly good. However, if users screw them up – the maximum volume is very high – the small boxes quickly start rattling.
Galaxy A52 5G camera tested
Partial rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
The camera of the Galaxy A52 5G turned out to be a point that makes the smartphone stand out from the crowd. It delivers results that can almost be compared with those of the top smartphones.
A total of four sensors form a unit on the rear. The main sensor of the quad camera takes pictures with up to 64 megapixels and has an f / 1.8 aperture and an optical image stabilizer (OIS). Samsung uses pixel binning here, combining four pixels into one, so that in the end images with 16 megapixels are created. This and the overall high resolution ensure a high level of detail in the photos. It also allows you to zoom in on the images afterwards and to enlarge sections without major losses.
The ultra-wide angle with its 12 megapixels and the f / 2.2 aperture is the second important sensor of the Galaxy A52 5G. It can be used to take pictures with an image area of 123 degrees. In the test, we also achieved high-contrast and sharp photos with it, but depending on the incidence of light, the automatic had some problems with the exposure, so that the photos were sometimes a bit bright. This can be counteracted with a slight repositioning or a change of focus. Due to the lower resolution, however, it is not possible to zoom into the photos without loss.
The third and fourth sensors are telephoto lenses with 8 megapixels, which only allow digital zoom, and a macro lens with 5 megapixels. By and large, both serve to provide additional image information. However, Samsung has thought through the selection of sensors well, as they cover zooming in closer and the ability to capture objects further away.
Photo and video results in detail
Overall, the photos taken with the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G in the test convince with their sharpness of detail in daylight and artificial light as well as their color intensity typical for Samsung smartphones. The autofocus captures subjects quickly and the shutter release also works quickly. In addition, the camera app is relatively simple and easy to understand so that users can quickly find their way around. However, wide-angle shots can sometimes tend to be slightly blurred towards the edges and the night mode does not come close to that of the Galaxy S21. In the dark, there is more frequent image noise and rings of light around illuminated objects in the image. This shows the advantages that more expensive models have over the middle class.
Video enthusiasts are also better off using the upscale smartphone models. The Samsung Galaxy A52 5G manages 4K videos with up to 3840 × 2160 pixels in the test. Despite optical and electronic video stabilization, the recordings were often blurred.
Battery with a long enough breath
Partial rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The Samsung Galaxy A52 5G has a 4500 mAh battery. That is 500 mAh more than the battery in the Galaxy S21 delivers. The battery can be charged with 25 watts – no peak values, but ok. At least in theory. Because it is not really charged that fast. In the test of the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, we needed a good one and a half hours for a full charge, which is a rather boring average. Other smartphones in this price range often offer better values here. Samsung also reserves the right to wireless charging and, consequently, reverse wireless charging for its top smartphones. Here, owners of the Galaxy A52 5G have to make compromises.
On the other hand, we have hardly any objections to the runtime. The standby times are great. In the test, we deliberately left the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G lying around for a few days and only used it occasionally to a small extent. During this time, the battery charge dropped by only a few percent. And the battery also shows its staying power in active operation. The device lasted almost two days with moderate to heavy use before it had to be plugged in again – a very good value.
We also like that Samsung includes both a charging cable and a power adapter. At least buyers get some accessories here. On closer inspection, however, you shouldn’t expect too much from it. The power supply is a standard model with a maximum of 15 watts of power, so it does not support the 25 watts of the Galaxy A52 5G. And the charging cable, with its 80 centimeters length, didn’t really convince us either. It is so short that it was not enough to cover the distance between the socket and the desk surface. A cable with a length of 1.5 meters would have been much better here.
Samsung Galaxy A52 5G in price comparison
Samsung offers the Galaxy A52 5G in two versions – one with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage for 429 euros and one with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage for 489 euros. The surcharge for the significantly better storage equipment is within a reasonable range of 60 euros, which is why it is worth considering.
At the time of the test, the price of the smartphone had already dropped to around 400 euros. For this money, buyers get very solid equipment. A direct comparison with other models around 400 euros also shows that there are definitely alternatives. For example, the Xiaomi Mi 10T with Snapdragon 865, the same memory as the A52, 5G and at least 5000 mAh battery with 33 watts. We have compiled further alternatives for you here: The best smartphones up to 400 euros
Conclusion of the test
Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars / 79 percent
After testing the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, we can draw a clear and positive conclusion: The smartphone does very well in most categories and shows only a few weaknesses overall. The performance should be enough for the large number of smartphone users, more is usually not needed. With its 120 Hz display and 5G, the Galaxy A52 5G also has features that were reserved for the upper class for a long time, but are now increasingly found in cheaper models. That makes the device one of the frontrunners in the middle class.
The camera, battery, display and system are the most important points when it comes to smartphones. At the same time, there are also those in which the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G performed well in the test. However, if we look at the details, it gets a bit boring. Because the device lacks real special features. In addition, Samsung could have made a little more effort when choosing the power supply and the charging cable, since the parts supplied do their job more poorly than well.