The Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G hits the sweet spot between features and price. This mid-range smartphone sports a smooth 120Hz AMOLED screen, IP67 dust and water resistance, and a 64MP main camera with optical image stabilisation (OIS). The latter two, especially, are not usually found in phones in its price bracket (around S$600). At the same time, the A52s retains features (microSD card and headphone jack) that are often omitted in premium phones. In short, the A52s offers the best of both worlds, though it is not without downsides.
- 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display (2,400 x 1,080 pixels, 120Hz)
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G chip with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage
- 64MP main camera, 12MP ultra-wide, 5MP macro and 5MP depth
- 4,500mAh battery (with 25W fast charging)
As you may surmise from the model name, the A52s 5G is an upgraded version of the A52 5G. The new version comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G processor that's faster and more efficient than its predecessor's 750G. The 778G also uses a more advanced 6nm manufacturing process that should improve the battery life. In Geekbench 5, the A52s scored 2,701 for the multi-core test, which is around that of the Poco X3 GT (with a MediaTek Dimensity 1100 chip). The older A52 scored 1,834 in comparison. Meanwhile, the A52s' 4,500mAh battery easily lasts more than a day even with the Always On Display featured enabled. I usually get around 1.5 days of use out of it. In our usual video playback test, the A52s ran out of battery at the 15hr 28min mark. However, it takes a while to charge the phone due to its slow 25W charging speed.
The A52s retains the same all-plastic chassis as the older version. But I can hardly tell that from my matte black review set. The body also does not flex under pressure, and you can dunk this IP67-rated phone under 1m of water for 30 minutes. The Corning Gorilla Glass 5 reinforced display gets reasonably bright (up to 800nits with high brightness mode), though it lacks HDR support. Thanks to its 120Hz refresh rate, the screen feels responsive when scrolling through webpages or navigating the interface. However, the A52s does not have the adaptive refresh rate feature of Samsung's higher-end phones, like the Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G. This means the A52s will not automatically switch between 120Hz and 60Hz refresh rates based on the content displayed. Another possible sign of cost-cutting in the A52s: The haptic feedback is middling with weak vibrations that are not tight enough.
Its quad-camera system is very decent for a mid-range smartphone. Predictably, there's no telephoto camera. But both the primary 64MP camera and the ultra-wide camera perform well in daylight. The camera processing, though, tends to be fairly aggressive. Colours come out a tad more saturated and brighter than I would have liked. Meanwhile, indoor photos taken in less than ideal lighting came out grainy and lacking detail. Night mode helps to alleviate this in low light conditions, but the photos look smeary and noisy upon close examination. Overall, the cameras are probably adequate for the average user, but perhaps not if you take a lot of photos.
The Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G strikes a good balance between features, performance and price. But it's obviously not comparable to high-end phones. Even the A52s' so-called premium features like the 120Hz display is slightly downgraded from the version found in flagship Samsung phones. But if you're not buying a flagship model anyway, these features are nice to have. On the other hand, the A52s' 3.5mm audio jack and expandable memory are handy to have. The A52s is also fast enough to run apps without any apparent lag. One could argue that a faster flagship processor will offer more longevity, but they are also more expensive. In short, the A52s will suffice for most users looking for a modestly-priced yet capable phone. Get it for around S$600 on Shopee or Lazada.
Note: Review unit provided by Samsung.
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