There's a Samsung smartphone for almost any budget. Case in point — the Samsung Galaxy M52 5G (launch SRP: S$528), which is just S$20 cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G (SRP: S$548) for a similar 8GB/128GB model. Both phones now cost under S$500, but the price difference remains the same. This is why the M52 5G, despite being a very decent mid-range phone, doesn't quite make sense. After all, the A52s 5G has more features, notably IP67 water and dust resistance and a headphone jack. Meanwhile, the M52 5G can only boast a slightly larger 5,000mAh battery compared to the A52s 5G (4,500mAh). Unless Samsung revises the price of the M52 5G, give me the A52s 5G any day.
- 6.7-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, and 5MP macro
- 5,000mAh battery (with 25W fast charging)
In addition to the omitted features mentioned above, the M52 5G also uses a cheaper side-mounted fingerprint sensor instead of the in-display version found in the A52s 5G. Personally, I'm fine with that. The side-mounted fingerprint reader is faster and more accurate. The cost-cutting also extends to the display. I found the M52 5G's screen to be a tad more washed out compared to the A52s 5G's. However, it is reasonably bright and usable outdoors under the sun. Both are 120Hz displays, though they lack the adaptive refresh rate feature of Samsung's premium models. You'll have to toggle between 60Hz and 120Hz manually in the settings. No HDR support for both displays, either.
If you do end up with the M52 5G, I recommend getting a case for it pronto. Not because its slim plastic chassis can't take a few knocks, it's because the phone's glossy finish is a huge fingerprint magnet. It is fairly light, though, and its plastic body is relatively rigid without any flex. Like the A52s 5G, the M52 5G is 5G-capable, thanks to Qualcomm's efficient and capable Snapdragon 778G chipset. Both phones churned out similar results (around the 2,700 mark) in the Geekbench 5 multi-core test. While not quite as silky smooth and lighting fast as flagship phones, you shouldn't have any complaints about the M52 5G's everyday performance.
Another notable difference between the M52 5G and the A52s 5G is the camera system. The M52 5G has only three rear cameras and lacks the additional depth camera found in the A52s 5G. More importantly, the 64MP main camera of the M52 5G does not have optical image stabilisation (OIS), which is handy for when you're trying to hold the phone steady while taking a long-exposure low-light shot. In the day, photos by the M52 5G look very similar to that of the A52s 5G — decent details but a tad saturated. Indoor shots, though, look slightly brighter on the A52s 5G. Night mode does a decent job of brightening photos taken in low light. These images are probably usable for social media, but won't pass muster when zoomed in.
Likely because of its slightly larger battery, the Samsung Galaxy M52 5G lasted a fair bit longer than the A52s 5G in our video-loop battery test. The former clocked just six minutes shy of 17 hours while the A52s 5G lasted around 15.5hr. It will also take about a couple of hours to fully recharge the M52 5G's battery with its relatively slow 25W charging. In other words, battery life is just about the only advantage that the M52 5G has over its marginally more expensive A52s 5G stablemate. Given the disparity in features, I think the A52s 5G makes more sense if you're looking for a good mid-range phone. Of course, the M52 5G is still a very decent phone in its own right. Perhaps Samsung will revise the price in the future. In the meantime, you can find it on Lazada and Shopee.
Note: Review unit provided by Samsung.
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