Galaxy A52 5G review: Samsung’s best budget phone with flagship features

The Galaxy A52 5G in the marketplace


We’re not fans of the boxy design and flimsy sides, but those were the case with a lot of sub-$500 phones in the past. We also don’t like that the SIM card tray is at the bottom. It’s a disadvantage in this price segment because it’s difficult to reach it while holding the phone in one hand. Still, the overall design of the A52 5G is still good enough that we wouldn’t mind holding it for extended periods. You’ll find the dual-camera system at the top with the LED flash and fingerprint sensor. The bottom has the USB-C port. After using the Galaxy A52 5G for the past few weeks, we’re impressed by its excellent battery life, good performance and improved design over its predecessor, the Galaxy A50.


The 5G version of the Galaxy A50 (Galaxy A50s) is a slightly larger version of the standard Galaxy A50. Both phones have a slim 6.28mm body, a notched-based design and a glass back. They’re similar in design, but the 5G phone is thicker due to its 5G antenna, though that isn’t noticeable when holding them in hand. The screen is also a bit larger than the 5.6-inch A50s, though that difference is minor. Sarah Tew/CNET Like the A50, the A52 5G has a fingerprint sensor that’s integrated into the power button on the right side of the phone. This button also doubles as a home button. We’re used to pressing on a power button to unlock our phones, but on the A50 you just press on the fingerprint reader.

How it performs

Samsung’s made some smart choices to improve the Galaxy A53 5G’s performance in low-light, augmented reality and gaming. The screen resolution tops out at Full HD+ (1080×2220) instead of Quad HD+, which cuts the battery life by a little bit. The Galaxy A53 has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, which sounds like a lot but don’t worry, there’s still room for a microSD card. Samsung Galaxy A53 5G (left) next to the Galaxy A51 (right). / © AndroidPIT The Snapdragon 660 in the A53 5G and Galaxy A50 are pretty comparable and produce some similarly-performing Android phones. Though the A53 has an 8nm processor instead of the latest 10nm Snapdragon 855, it’s capable of great performance. The screen isn’t really impressive


Galaxy A50 still had an impressive camera that worked well with low light. Its low-light performance was due in part to its software. The A50 is preloaded with the premium Samsung camera app. Samsung’s camera app has a few cameras built-in. Samsung has a super slow-mo camera that’s impressive, but like most other slow-mo videos in the A50, you’ll have to wait a long time to see it. Even with the fast 4X digital zoom feature, the camera doesn’t capture the full scene. For photos with crisp details as you move closer. Samsung can fix that issue through software improvements. Sarah Tew/CNET Galaxy A53 model Samsung’s Galaxy A8S was unveiled last month. It’s an all-screen phone with triple cameras on the back and dual cameras on the front.

Battery life and charging

The A52 5G, like other 5G phones, is supposed to get decent battery life. But when Samsung launched the Galaxy S10 earlier this year it had a 12-megapixel camera but no 5G. The company said that the A series phones used in its own services (S Health, SmartThings) can be powerful enough to make up for the lack of 5G. So far we’ve only used the A52 5G briefly during my tests, so we don’t know if that was really the case. But the rest of the Galaxy A family seems more promising. We’ll likely know more when we do longer tests in a different region. The good news is that the A52 has a 3000mAh battery, a hefty size for a phone that’s supposed to get longer life than the average handset.


Value for money

The A52 5G is an affordable phone, but it’s still far more expensive than phones like the Moto Z3 Play, Honor View 10 or OnePlus 6T. But the A52’s design and display make it a little more interesting. It has a 6.22-inch Super AMOLED screen with a full HD+ resolution, which means a high screen-to-body ratio of 91.8%. The screen is full HD+ (2,280×1,080) with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio, which makes it a better fit for Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat compared to the 17:9 aspect ratio of the majority of flagship phones. The A52 has an octa-core processor, which Samsung says is the world’s first 5G-ready chip. But it’s unclear what specs are inside the chip. The A52’s highlight feature is its 5G connectivity, which the company claims will be available on January 20.

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