The Galaxy A51, launched in early 2020 in a Brazil without a pandemic, is still widely remembered as a good phone for those who don’t want to spend a lot of money. Samsung was able to offer a balanced smartphone at a price that was not impressive at launch, but which has become very attractive over time. So, of course, launching a successor to such a well-known model would not be an easy task.
A year later, the Galaxy A52 comes with the proposal to bring features previously exclusive to higher price ranges: it has a 90 Hz AMOLED screen, quad camera at the rear and even water resistance, with IP67 certification. Did it work? I tested Samsung’s new premium intermediary in the past few weeks on its 4G version and I will share my impressions below.
Galaxy A52 video review
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The Galaxy A52 was provided by Samsung on loan and will be returned to the company after testing. For more information, visit tecnoblog.net/etica
Design and canvas
The design of the Galaxy A52 reminds me of a simplified version of the Galaxy Note 20, with right angles, cameras arranged in a vertical and rear plastic rectangle, without any sophistication in the materials. The sky blue color is not one of my favorites, but at least the device is thin, comfortable to use and brings the good remnants of an intermediate cell phone, such as the headphone jack and the memory card reader. (Yes, it even has FM radio.)
The IP67 certification, which marks the resistance to water and dust on the Galaxy A52, is one of the great strengths of the product. In addition to ensuring a peace of mind for the owner when the device gets wet by accident, this is the type of protection that is usually exclusive to premium smartphones, and some direct competitors do not include this feature even in more expensive models. It’s great to see the technology coming to devices that are a little more affordable.
The Galaxy A52’s 6.5-inch AMOLED screen takes it a step further than the Galaxy A51, which already had an excellent panel. The resolution was maintained in Full HD +, which is more than enough to support the optimal definition, but the refresh rate went up to 90 Hz, with the 5G variant having 120 Hz. The fluidity of the display adds to the brightness, contrast infinite and colors right to bring a great experience.
The Galaxy A52 runs Android 11 from the factory with the One UI 3.1 interface, which I like a lot for its visual uniformity and for being designed to be used with one hand. Some features of Samsung’s premium models, such as DeX, are not here, but the software is, for the most part, identical to the rest of the Galaxy line. That means clean screens, Samsung Pay and native tools that work well, like My Files and Calendar.
Samsung’s excellent update policy counts a lot of points in favor of the Galaxy A52, which is yet another smartphone from the brand to be guaranteed three new versions of Android (ie, up to Android 14) and four years of security fixes from of the launch (that is, until the beginning of 2026). It’s great that this is happening on an intermediary cell phone when certain companies don’t offer as much support time or at the end of the line.
Of course, the software is not perfect, since Bixby is far from being unanimous, but Samsung is today the Android manufacturer that comes closest to perfection in this regard.
The cameras were upgraded compared to the Galaxy A51 and were very close to the Galaxy A71, with a quadruple set formed by the main camera of 64 megapixels, ultrawide of 12 megapixels, macro of 5 megapixels and a depth sensor to photograph portraits with blurred background . The selfie camera continues with 32 megapixel resolution.
Brightly lit, the Galaxy A52 delivers photos with wide dynamic range, balanced exposure and great definition. The colors are very saturated and impress the eyes, but without reaching the point of disturbance. With ultrawide, the definition is slightly affected outside the center of the image, but the rest of the qualities remain.
In the dark, night mode manages to maintain good definition and color saturation without increasing both the noise, both on the main camera and on the ultrawide. The balance in exposure pleases me a lot, even more on a smartphone that is not a top of the line. Only the sharpening filter, to increase the impression of sharpness, is a little too much, creating hard edges around objects.
The 5 megapixel macro camera actually works well, despite being inferior to the Moto G100’s 16 megapixel ultrawide hybrid camera. Although it does not have such a good dynamic range, it is a nice feature to record details that would not be possible with a conventional lens with a minimum minimum focusing distance.
The selfies are captured by the 32 megapixel camera and are of good quality. The definition is great, the colors please and the background blur feature is reasonable, just forgetting a few strands of hair in the middle, which is expected in a simpler optical set. For an intermediate phone, the front camera is good and has the bonus of shooting in 4K, a feature that seems to have been overlooked by competitors.
Hardware and battery
In hardware, the Galaxy A52 does not deviate much from the category standard. Anyone who was allergic to the Samsung Exynos 9611 chip on the Galaxy A51 can be happier with Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 720G, now working together with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage, with the possibility of microSD expansion.
On a daily basis, the processor works with ease, quickly switching between applications and displaying system animations fluently, also thanks to the 90 Hz refresh rate. The Adreno 618 graphics chip handles most games and just isn’t enough if you want to put the graphics at maximum: when all the shadows, reflections and filters of Asphalt 9 are activated, the hardware shows signs of choking and an unstable frame rate in some scenes.
The 4,500 mAh battery is an evolution compared to the 4,000 mAh battery of the predecessor and does the job. In the quarantine pattern, with three hours of streaming on Netflix, one hour of web browsing and half an hour of Asphalt 9, always with maximum brightness, at 90 Hz and connected to Wi-Fi, the Galaxy A52’s battery went from 100% to 64%. It’s the same excellent result as the Galaxy S21 Ultra, showing that the 8 nanometer Snapdragon 720G is economical and the screen takes good care of energy.
Let’s start at the beginning: the Galaxy A52 has a suggested price of R $ 3,299, which is extremely high and makes it an unviable option. Whoever has this money should save a few bucks and buy the Galaxy S20 at retail, which is a superior and cheaper device. Like the Galaxy A51, the Galaxy A52 has an inflated tag price that makes no sense, unless there is a nice offer – and the Galaxy Buds + as a launch gift from Samsung is not convincing.
As we already know that this price is unsustainable for more than a few weeks in online retail, this forces us to apply the devaluation factor of Android and imagine future scenarios. The predecessor, Galaxy A51, can be found without difficulty for R $ 1,800 at the time this review is published. I would pay up to 20% more for the Galaxy A52 news – if the price is around R $ 2,100, just below the Galaxy S20 FE, Samsung’s intermediary is interesting.
The Galaxy A52 has a very balanced set at the same time that it adds news to the segment of intermediate phones, which was one of the keys to the success of the Galaxy A51. Performance may not be the best for games and the battery doesn’t have the Galaxy M51’s 7,000 mAh battery, but it is more than enough for basically any other type of user: the design is robust, the camera takes good pictures and the screen is excellent (and excellent considering the entire market, not just the category).
Samsung’s policy of long-term updates gives the user greater security and should serve as an example for other cell phone manufacturers, especially at a time when money is scarce and people are taking longer to change handsets. Provided that for the right price, the Galaxy A52 is the mid-range phone that I would buy.
Samsung Galaxy A52
- Cameras do good job for an intermediary
- Design with protection against water and dust (IP67)
- You can continue to keep P2 and microSD, please
- Software with guaranteed updates
- Excellent quality screen with strong brightness
- It would be nice if the price was right at launch
- Snapdragon 720G has limited graphics performance
- Screen: 6.5-inch Super AMOLED with Full HD + resolution (2400 × 1080 pixels) and 90 Hz refresh rate;
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G octa-core up to 2.3 GHz;
- RAM: 6 GB
- Storage: 128 GB (with microSD slot up to 1 TB)
- Rear quad camera:
- Main: 64 megapixel (f / 1.8), optical image stabilization
- Ultrawide: 12 megapixel (f / 2.2)
- Depth: 5 megapixel (f / 2.4)
- Macro: 5 megapixel (f / 2.4)
- Front camera: 32 megapixel (f / 2.2)
- Battery: 4,500 mAh
- Connectivity: USB-C port, 4G, 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz), Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, NFC, headphone jack (3.5 mm), FM radio
- Water and dust resistance: yes, IP67
- Dimensions: 159.9 × 75.1 × 8.4 mm
- Weight: 189 grams