Samsung A52 Review: The powerhouse on a budget

Earlier we had tested the Samsung S21 Ultra 5G, which was a technical tour-de-force. That phone was quite frankly an overkill in terms of size, hardware, and features. And at RM5399, it was the ultimate indulgence for content creators and online gamers.
 
This time though we have the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G. At approximately 3 times lesser in price than the S21 Ultra, is its capabilities only 1/3 of the former? If so, who would the device serve best? Lets find out! 

Under the hood

Battery

Camera

The battery is a generous 4500mAh, which is only 500mAh lesser than the 3 times pricier S21 Ultra.

Despite literally living on Netflix, YouTube and a series of online games, the phone’s power lasted us for the whole day, with a quick 30 minute charge required at night for further operations. 
In the back there are 4 cameras with 64MP, 12MP, and two 5MP sensors respectively. The 64MP camera with 26mm lense is your main camera. 

While the 12MP camera is for the ultrawide shots, with 123 degree field of view. The two 5MP camera’s handle macro shots and depth.
 
At the front there’s a 32MP selfie camera capable of 4k recording at 30fps. 

Storage

The A52 comes in 128GB and 256GB storage sizes. We had the top of the range 256GB model for our test. 

Processor and Ram

The A52 runs on Snapdragon 720G processor. Interesting enough, you have a choice of either 6 or 8GB rams for this phone, with 8 GB being the default for the 256GB model

Price

As mentioned earlier, at RM1499, its almost 1/3 cheaper than the flagship S21 Ultra. But on the surface at least, we find that the features are definitely not 1/3 lesser than the S21. 

Look and Feel

On its own the A52 is a decent looking smartphone. The 6.5 inch display is relatively big and easy to use when navigating through app functions. The 90Hz refresh rate and 407ppi provided a very good viewing experience while watching movies over streaming platforms. The screen is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3, and it does withstand mild dirt and moisture on it. 
It fits nicely in my pocket and I’m a 6ft 3′ adult weighing 115kg’s. The phones relatively light too making it easy to be carried around, and easier to handle when taking a picture or shooting a video.
 
When it comes to outright finish though, you certainly feel the price gap between the S21 and the A52, especially with the choice of color and finish. Overall, its a practical package which makes the user experience easy. 

Real World Performance

Display

The heaviest usage we subjected to the display is while playing Need For Speed No Limits, and while editing footage we shot via a stand alone DSLR camera. The gaming experience was fluid, with details visible even in low lighting conditions. While the DSLR footage that was imported over, and working on them was easy. 

Processor

Speaking of video editing, despite importing relatively large files for editing on the phone, the A52 using 3rd party video editing softwares managed to handle the tasks relatively easily. There was no lag, and the rendering time was quite quick.
 
Even games with heavy graphics were easily handled with no lag. It coped at every level with barely any lag. For the price it certainly handles quite a lot of load.

Camera

The 64MP camera image

Macro lense from the same distance

Wide angle lense from the same distance

Software

While Android is great for flexibility and you are spoilt for choice in terms of apps, the bottleneck is also itself. One thing we noted was Instagram kept crashing while we tried performing certain functions. Hopefully it was a temporary bug and will be fixed. Otherwise as time goes by, it’s going to be an issue..

Ecosystem

While Samsung does have an Apple-like ecosystem between their devices, the fact that Android’s ecosystem itself allows us to share data from the phone to other devices via google applications makes it easy to use and versatile.
 
Unless you already have more than a few Samsung devices, the flexibility provided by the Android platform should suffice. We have yet to test how Samsungs ecosystem really works though. 

These two pictures were taken using the Pro mode. Depending on how you utilize it, you can take some pretty spectacular shots 

Conclusion

The Samsung Galaxy A52 may cost at 1/3 of the Samsung S21 Ultra but it does not feel like its worth only a 3rd of the former. It’s a versatile, ergonomic and very capable tool for amateur content creation and gaming purposes. With the generously sized battery and relatively strong hardware, you can enjoy hours of activity with this phone with ease. Plus the pro mode for the camera’s can offer you a great deal of flexibility in taking that ultra impressive shot. And thanks to the pricing, it would be a worthy investment for students and young adults.  

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