In the previous generation of the family Galaxy A, A51 and A71 were the ones that attracted the most attention. The first for having a “well-rounded” set for an intermediate cell phone, and the second for presenting an even better package for just a little more money. Of the two, the A71 was the one I liked the most and would have been the middleman I would recommend to most people if Samsung itself hadn’t released the M51, which had everything the A71 has and a wonderful battery.
Now, the next generation has arrived with improvements to the A52 that make it level up compared to the A51, but it ends up so close to what the A71 already has that, after 2 weeks of use, I was left wondering: however much it is an excellent cell phone and there is the A71 and M51 as intermediaries, as well as the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition as an older top of the line that’s already in the same price range, what’s the point of this one?
Looking from the front, the A52 looks just like the A51: small borders on all sides of the screen and a small hole for the front camera in the middle. In the rear, the change was big, as the acrylic plastic from the previous generation, which could even pass for glass, was replaced by a more assumed one, which goes to the top of the camera bumps (it has a face, texture and sound of plastic itself). I didn’t think it was ugly, but the predecessor was prettier, in my opinion — at least it doesn’t slip like the A51 did; in fact, the A52’s grip is quite secure and comfortable to use. Even though it’s a little heavier than the previous one, it’s still a lightweight device, which doesn’t get in the way of use.
The power and volume buttons are still on the right side, as the USB-C input, headphone plug and lower speaker are still facing down. A welcome change from a generation to now is that the A52 comes with IP67 water resistance certification, which Samsung says can withstand up to 30 minutes of submersion in 1 meter of standing fresh water. It’s not the first time we’ve seen this in the family, as the Galaxy The 2017 came with IP68, which is even better, being one of the points that can be compared to the A71.
For hardware, the processor is the Snapdragon 720 G, which has a performance very, but very close to the A71’s Snapdragon 730. The difference is that this one gets a clock 0.1 GHz faster, while the other one offers a little more performance on the GPU. In practice, both are equally great for general use without any sign of choking or locking. Even a tough game like Genshin Impact runs smoothly as long as you leave the graphics at the low setting.
Here, it is noteworthy for the unaware that there is a different model, which is the A52 5G. His main change is the 750 G processor, which, in addition to being a little more powerful, has connectivity to fifth-generation mobile networks (when they are fully functional in Brazil). This A52 that I tested, without 5G in the name, works only on 3G and 4G networks.
In Brazil, the A52 comes with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage, allowing you to expand the internal space using a micro SD card; as long as you don’t want to use two carrier chips, as the space for the card in the tray is hybrid.
From the factory, the A52 is running version 3.2 of Samsung’s OneUI, which is the name given to its modification of Android 11. So, we see all the most traditional features of the brand running smoothly on the system.
As with the S21, you can now choose to display Google Discover over Samsung’s screen when swiping left from home. Other than that, nothing out of the ordinary, being a solid and familiar experience.
The A52’s screen has 6.5 inches, Full HD+ resolution and a Super AMOLED panel, which guarantees that excellent color set, strong brightness and great image quality that Samsung has mastered very well. And here comes another advantage of the new device over the previous generation, which is the 90 Hz refresh rate, which makes both browsing and playing in compatible games something more enjoyable. The result is a great experience for those who care, but it’s not to be missed if you’ve never had contact with it before. I really like it.
It is on cameras that the A52 is most similar to the A71. 64MP main sensor with f/1.8 aperture, one ultrawide with 123° angle, 12MP sensor and f/2.2 aperture, 5MP macro with f/2.4 aperture and 5MP depth sensor. The only difference is that the main sensor also has optical stabilization, which helps to take photos and create videos even more stable and focused.
By default, the main camera merges several pixels into one to make photos with a more balanced exposure, and you can still turn on 64 MP mode if you prefer, but most of the time it’s preferable to use normal mode. In any case, daytime photos with the three sensors are great, rich in detail and vivid in color. The ultrawide loses a little detail in the corners, as is normal in cameras of this type, but this doesn’t impact the result much. The depth sensor makes good portraits with out-of-focus background. In places with a lot of light, macro helps to make good photos up close to the subjects — only in the dark it doesn’t really do any good.
At night, the main camera manages to take excellent pictures in “normal” mode, even with a little zoom, and the ultrawide one shows a little noise and loses color, but still produces decent results. By activating night mode, the colors of the main camera are even a little exaggerated and unnatural, but the problems of the ultrawide are practically all solved. Therefore, in the dark, use the “normal” mode for photos and only turn on night if you want to use the sensor with a wider angle.
In videos, the A52 makes 4K recordings at 30 frames per second with the rear and front cameras. The rear camera’s optical stabilization helps produce much steadier video than the previous generation, which adds up to great image quality. It’s also possible to activate the Superstable if you want less jitters and don’t mind recording in Full HD.
The front camera comes with a 32 MP sensor and f/2.2 aperture, just like the A71. So there’s also the thing about snapping pixels together to make HDR photos better, but you can tweak the aspect ratio button to use full resolution — likewise, I don’t see much advantage. In any case, daytime selfies come out really nice with the light in their favor and still look good with strong light in the background. In the dark, noise appears in normal mode, but selfies are still usable. Using the screen as a flash, the noise decreases, but I found the brightness too strong on this device, also giving to try to use the “night” mode, but without a tripod or support the focus is difficult.
To power the set, the A52 comes with a 4,500 mAh battery, which is bigger than the direct predecessor and equal to the A71. Even with the higher consumption of the screen at 90 Hz, this resulted in an optimal duration of power reserves. After a long day of use, with more than 10 hours of screen on and a lot of time on non-demanding games, I managed to save more than 10% of charge.
Ending his energy in less than 1 day was something I could only do by appealing to a lot of heavier gaming time. In a more moderate use, with just a few hours of social networks, messengers and photos, it’s not unreasonable to expect it to be able to spend 2 full days without a recharge.
Speaking of recharging, the A52 is compatible with chargers up to 25 W, although what comes in the box has only 15 W. With this accessory, the device took approximately 2 hours to go from 0 to 100%, which is not one of the worst results I’ve ever seen, but it’s also far from fast. At least they didn’t take the charger out of the box and use the environmental excuse, as they did with the S21.
Audio is another point where the A52 has improved, with good quality stereo sound coming from both the bottom speaker and the front-facing speaker just above the front camera. The maximum volume is loud and does not noticeably diminish the sound quality. It’s just a shame that Samsung stopped including the headphones in the box. The optical fingerprint reader is still positioned under the glass, it’s easy to reach on the screen, and it worked pretty quickly almost every time I touched it, so no complaints here.
It is worth it?
Okay, so the A52’s firepower has risen to a level very close to the A71’s, the screen has gained a higher refresh rate, the main camera now has optical stabilization and the device has become water resistant. Together, these are pretty significant improvements, right? And they would even justify a slightly higher price. But that’s where the problem starts.
First, the launch value of the A52 wasn’t just a little higher, it was a lot higher. It was released for $3,299, which makes it very easy to find superior top-of-the-line devices from the competition for less. A curious thing is that now, less than 1 month after launching here in Brazil, you can already buy the A52 for prices starting at R$ 2,299 in cash at online retailers, which is a huge drop in such a short period.
For BRL 1.8 thousand, you can find the Galaxy M51, which is basically the same device as the A71, only with a monstrous 7,000 mAh battery. It’s not waterproof nor does it have the other small advantages of this one, but it brings a very good experience and for a lot less money. And if you want an IP68 certification and an experience even better than the A52 at almost every point, then for the same R$2,300 you can get the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition. So I repeat the question: what is the meaning of Galaxy A52? The answer at this point is “none”. Maybe it will become an excellent option when the price drops, but until then there is smartphones best.
what did you think of the Galaxy A52? Leave your opinion and any questions you have in the comments below.
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