If you find it difficult to justify spending over NZD$1000 for the latest smartphone, and you still want to be able to take good pictures, watch Netflix and scroll through social media apps, then the A52 will do a good job.
Note that the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G model will do an even better job and it only costs NZD$100 more.
For this review, we have been using the standard Samsung Galaxy A52 (4G version).
- Nokia 3.4 review
- Best Phone NZ 2021: What’s the best smartphone I can buy in NZ?
- Samsung Galaxy M51 review
- Xiaomi Redmi Note 9T review: The $399 5G smartphone!
- Capable display
- Premium design
- Vibrant colours
- Affordable price
- Above-average main camera
- Not as good as 5G variant
- Struggles with zoomed photos
- Not great for gaming
Price & Competition
It’s important to understand the differences between the Galaxy A52 and the Galaxy A52 5G, because it’s more than just 5G compatibility.
The A52 5G has a better 120Hz refresh rate compared to the A52’s 90Hz. It has a slightly faster processor and comes with 8GB RAM (the A52 only comes with 6GB of RAM). These are significant differences that make the 5G model a more powerful device. Other than that, the phones are identical.
The A52 5G model costs NZD$700 (USD$499; £400), and the standard A52 costs NZD$600 (USD$400; not available in the UK)
Design & Display
The A52 looks like a premium device. The punch hole camera is unobtrusive and sleek, and while this isn’t an edge-to-edge screen, the bezels are small enough for it not to be an issue.
It’s not until you touch the A52 that you realise this is a mid-range device. The plastic back doesn’t feel strong, and it gives the phone a hollow feeling.
The good thing about this plastic back is the colours it allows. Our review device had the “Awesome Blue,” colour, and it makes the device stand out. You can get the A52 in Awesome Black, Awesome White and Awesome Purple, and they all look good.
The seamless, single-piece back design nicely flows around the camera bump. And it’s matte plastic, meaning fingerprints never showed.
The A52 has a 6.5 inch AMOLED display with a 1080 x 2400 pixel resolution, and a maximum 90Hz refresh rate. It’s pretty standard for a mid-range phone and you won’t have any issues with it. It runs smoothly, and is more than capable of producing a sharp picture when watching YouTube or Netflix.
The phone has an IP67 water and dust resistance rating. This means it can withstand being under 1m of water for 30 minutes without taking any damage. Most phones have this. It isn’t a unique feature, but it’s nice to have.
Samsung’s Galaxy A52 has four cameras in its array. There’s a 64MP main camera, a 12MP ultrawide, a 5MP macro and a 5MP depth sensor used to create depth-of-field effects when taking portrait photos.
The main camera can capture an impressive amount of detail. It allows for decent photos in well-lit scenes, and it’s also capable of producing good images in low-light scenes.
Without a dedicated optical zoom lens, zoomed photos do lack detail and definition. The 10x maximum zoom is pretty much unusable, but details are lost even at 4x zoom.
The dedicated depth sensor works very well. Portrait photos look great, and blurring out the background to make the focal point stand out is simple.
The front camera works as it should. Selfies look fine.
Overall the images the A52 produces are okay, if a little over-saturated. Everything is vibrant, and it can take away from the realism of the image (but this is a personal preference).
Mid-range phones usually come with a mid-range chipset and the A52 is no different. This phone has a Snapdragon 732G, and it’s fine.
This processor and the 6GB of RAM will accommodate normal day-to-day phone activities like scrolling through Instagram or watching YouTube. However, it struggles with higher-end processes like gaming. Games like COD Mobile or Asphalt Drift caused some overheating and stuttering.
The A52 comes with a 4,500mAh battery which is pretty standard in the market. It lasts just under two days of light usage and one day of heavy usage.
It supports 25W fast charging, and we found Samsung’s claims of being able to charge 50% of the battery in 30 minutes to be true.
The A52 also comes with a charger in the box, which is always welcome.
Samsung’s Galaxy A52 is fine, if all you want to do is the basics.
It takes great pictures with its main camera, but zoomed-in photos lack detail. It has enough RAM and processing power to carry out basic tasks like scrolling social media apps and web browsing, comfortably – but it struggles with high-end games.
With that said, it only costs NZD$600 and to get to that price point obviously, sacrifices need to be made.
Overall, Samsung’s Galaxy A52 is just okay. It’s hard to recommend when the superior Galaxy A52 5G is only NZD$100 more and has a 120HZ display, 5G compatibility and a better Snapdragon 750G chipset.
|Display||6.5-inch Super AMOLED, 90Hz,|
|Resolution||Full HD+, 1080 x 2400 pixels, (407 ppi)|
|Rear Cameras||64 MP, f/1.8 main; 12 MP, f/2.2 ultra-wide; 5 MP, f/2.0 macro; 5 MP F/2.4 depth|
|Front Camera||32 MP, f/2.2|