The new $500 handset does everything a phone needs to do, though it’s plagued by the same flaws as its predecessor.
Samsung Galaxy A52 5G
LAST YEAR I said Samsung’s $ 400 Galaxy A51 was too expensive. Of course, Samsung has raised the price for its successor, the Galaxy A52 5G. This year’s upgrade costs $ 500.
Before you get the forks out, this new Android phone has some new features that somehow justify the price hike, like additional 5G connectivity, a faster screen refresh rate of 120Hz, and a commitment from Samsung to a longer window. for software updates: three years of Android operating system updates with four years of security updates. The latter is even longer than what Google is offering for its Pixel phones.
The A52 5G is a good phone, but it has the same shortcomings as its predecessor: performance isn’t as smooth as it should be, and the cameras are still a step behind our current favourite mid-range phone, the Pixel, lagged 4A. 5G.
Almost smooth navigation
I’m tough on the A52 because it really could do better. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not far behind. Inside is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G chip with 6 gigabytes of RAM, a powerful combination to get my apps started quickly and graphically demanding games like Sky: Children of the Light and Genshin Impact. More expensive phones like the Galaxy S21, but it’s far from frustrating.
The benchmarks I ran even put the A52 a notch higher than similarly priced phones like the Pixel 4A 5G ($ 500) and the new Moto G Stylus 5G ($ 400). , noticeable stutters in daily use. Whether you’re switching apps, zooming in on Google Maps or scrolling through Twitter, the A52 5G flashes randomly. I suspect the software just isn’t that well optimized. (A lot of pre-installed bloatware raises this suspicion.) I can still do things easily, so it really comes down to how much stuttering annoys you.
These issues, however, spoil one of the most important new features a bit: the refresh rate of 120 Hz. Such a powerful screen spec is rare on a phone at this price point. Conventional phones have a refresh rate of 60 Hz, which means that the screen is updated 60 times per second. If this speed doubles to 120 overall, the screen looks smoother. But if the aforementioned stutterers show up from time to time, they take this liquid.
The 6.5-inch AMOLED screen takes on some slack. It’s sharp, with a resolution of 2,400 x 1,080 pixels, and wonderfully bright and colourful. With two speakers that sound pretty good too, I didn’t mind catching up on Star Wars: The Bad Batch on this device before bed. . , the large 4,500 mAh battery cell gives you nothing to worry about. I usually ended the day with about 40 per cent in the tank.
It’s a surprisingly chic device too. It’s big but slim, which makes it feel less difficult. And of course, it’s only available in black, but the matte plastic design means you don’t have to worry about cracking your back if you drop it. The phone looks simple yet modern, and that aesthetic is enhanced by the slim bezels around the display. as well as the floating hole punching chamber on the front.
The other great addition here is the 5G connectivity which is good for the future but doesn’t buy this phone for 5G. The nextgen network is still in short supply in the US, and even if it’s available in your area, the A52 only supports Sub6 5G, the version that isn’t significantly faster than current 4G LTE speeds. It’s safe to say that when you switch between 5G and 4G, you probably won’t notice much of a difference.
Good to see here is the NFC support, which enables contactless payment via Google Pay or Samsung Pay, as well as the biometric authentication via the in-display fingerprint sensor. It’s reliable if maybe a little slow. Did I mention the A52 is IP67 waterproof? That kind of quiet, especially if you’re near a pool or the ocean this hot summer, isn’t something you get with the Pixel or Moto mentioned above.
Here’s a curiosity: if you choose this phone over one of the more expensive Galaxy models, you can access some features that these more expensive models lack, namely the A52 has a headphone jack (yay!) And a MicroSD card slot to add more Space if the built-in 128 gigabytes are not enough