Samsung has recently bolstered its mid-range a-series lineup in the Philippines with the launch of the Galaxy A52 and A52 5G, and while the phones are very similar in looks, they’re actually quite different on the inside, which probably makes up for the difference in price. The 5G variant, in particular, is actually priced the same as the A72 4G.
So which one should you get? now, a lot will most likely immediately point to the 5G variant, because it looks to be specced better, and, of course, 5G. But is that really all that there is to it?
We are curious as well, and thankfully, Samsung sent us a review unit of both the 4G and 5G versions, so we can find out if the 5G variant is the auto-buy option, or whether the 4G variant offers a few tricks up the sleeve that would make it a great option as well.
Galaxy A52 and A52 5G Specifications
|Galaxy A52||Galaxy A52 5G|
|Display||6.5″ FHD+ sAMOLED Infinity-O, 90Hz||6.5″ FHD+ sAMOLED Infinity-O, 120Hz|
|Processor||Snapdragon 720G||Snapdragon 750G|
|Rear Cameras||Main: 64MP f/1.8, OIS||Main: 64MP f/1.8, OIS|
|Ultra-Wide: 12MP f/2.2||Ultra-Wide: 12MP f/2.2|
|Macro: 5MP f/2.4||Macro: 5MP f/2.4|
|Depth: 5MP f/2.4||Depth: 5MP f/2.4|
|Front Camera||32MP f/2.2||32MP f/2.2|
|OS||One UI 3 + Android 11||One UI 3 + Android 11|
|Colors||Awesome Violet||Awesome Violet|
|Awesome Blue||Awesome Blue|
|Awesome Black||Awesome Black|
|Awesome White||Awesome White|
Even in terms of specifications, the 4G and 5G variants are the same in almost every aspect, apart from the refresh rate, and of course, 5G connectivity.
Design and Build Quality
Design-wise, there’s absolutely no difference between the two. You get the typical Samsung look with the punch hole for the front camera, glossy sides, and a vertical camera module that thankfully doesn’t protrude as much as say, the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G.
The button layout is also the same – everything on the right, nothing on the left, SIM slot up top, and a USB-C port, speaker grille, and microphone at the bottom.
The back panels are of a matte finish, making them less prone to visible smudges while adding a bit of grip for easier one-handed use. Both devices boast an IP67 rating for water and dust resistance, so you can take them on your adventures without worry.
While both devices sport a 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display with Full HD+ resolution, the 4G variant has a 90Hz refresh rate, while the 5G variant has a 120Hz refresh rate. While a lot of people will probably not notice the difference, I was able to discern that the screen on the latter was just a bit more snappy and fluid.
It’s also good to note that there’s no option for an adaptive refresh rate. Either you go 60Hz or 90Hz/120Hz. Both displays exhibit good levels of brightness and decent visibility even when in direct sunlight. As expected of a Super AMOLED screen, you get rich, lively, and punchy colors.
Perhaps one are where we can at least hope to find a bit of a difference is in performance. After all, the 4G variant runs on the tried and tested Snapdragon 720G, while the 5G model packs the newer Snapdragon 750G. Both are 8nm chips.
As for the choice of SoC, the latter is fine, but I’m not sure why brands keep sticking to the 720G when there’s say the Snapdragon 768, , and some more capable ones available.
On paper, the Snapdragon 750G should have a slight edge, due to a faster GPU, support for faster RAM, and support for more RAM (8GB vs 12GB). However, both phones have 8GB of RAM, which makes things a bit more even.
RAM and Storage Benchmarks
Androbench, which measures the read and write speeds, shows that the Galaxy A52 5G packs faster storage compared to the 4G variant in all aspects.
A1 SD Bench, on the other hand, which measures RAM performance, shows that the 5G variant has significantly slower RAM when compared to the 4G model, which is surprising, given that the Snapdragon 750G supports faster RAM compared to the Snapdragon 720G.
Other Performance Benchmarks
Surprisingly, the AnTuTu benchmark scores show the Galaxy A52 5G trailing its 4G counterpart despite the advantages of its SoC.
In Geekbench 5,the 5G variant flexes its muscles to pull ahead in Multi-Core performance, while the 4G variant wins in single-core performance.
|Genshin Impact||Black Dessert Mobile||Call of Duty Mobile|
|Galaxy A52 4G||27.3||45.3||57.6|
|Galaxy A52 5G||29.6||43.1||57.1|
Both devices managed to yield good framerates in both Black Dessert Mobile and CoD Mobile, with the latter even almost reaching 60 fps on average. As for Genshin Impact, well, it’s a resource-intensive game where a lot of mid-range devices can only go for at most, 30 fps. So the numbers are actually quite decent, in that regard.
As you can see, the two devices basically offer similar performance on the three games we tested them on, with the 4G variant just a few fps down on Genshin Impact, which is basically just the margin of error and is most likely not noticeable.
The Galaxy A52 4G and 5G are equipped with the same camera configuration – a 64MP main camera, a 12MP ultra-wide unit, and a pair of 5MP sensors for macro and depth. But they’re using a different SoC with a different ISP (Image Signal Processor), so we’ve decided to do a photo comparison anyway, to see if there’s any difference in camera performance.
Galaxy A52 4G (Left) vs Galaxy A52 5G (Right)
And just as we expected, both devices were able to capture pretty much the same level of detail and sharpness, and both were also able to produce a convincing depth of field effect with good accuracy and edge detection.
This also carries over to selfies, which look brilliantly detailed and showcase a proper level of texture. Depth of field effect is just as refined too.
Both the Galaxy A52 4G and 5G run One UI 3 on top of Android 11, and basically offer the same features such as Dark Mode, Game Launcher, the Always-On Display, and the complete suite of security options including fingerprint and face unlock.
On the camera side, you get Single Take, which basically gives you a bunch of upload-ready photos and clips in one click, and Fun mode, which integrate Snapchat’s filters to add certain effects to your shots.
As far as performance is concerned, the UI runs buttery smooth with no stutters or lag when navigating home screens and menus. Samsung’s own take on Android also offers its own dose of personalization.
Using PCMark’s Work 2.0 battery benchmark, the Galaxy A52 4G managed to score 12 hours, while the 5G variant scored close to 11 hours. The difference isn’t exactly worlds, but that 1 hour could make a big difference in some situations, like when there’s no electricity. Our guess is that the difference comes due to the screen refresh rate.
While they differ in uptime, the two devices are similar when it comes to charging time. Using the charger that came with the box, the Galaxy A52 4G and 5G’s batteries went from empty to full in around 1.5 hours. Not exactly the fastest out there, but certainly not slow either.
In general, the Galaxy A52 is a great addition to Samsung’s mid-range A-Series lineup. Its design looks great, the high refresh rate display is a huge plus to the overall experience, and the performance as both a daily driver and in gaming is more than satisfactory in most titles. Considering that there are newer models, the SoC for the 4G variant is debatable, but given the numbers, it’s still a pretty decent option.
It’s also equipped with versatile and very capable cameras, One UI is smooth, snappy, and fluid, and offers some nifty features, and you also get excellent battery life while not having to wait very long to recharge the device.
On the flip-side, it’s hard to find anything wrong with this device. I suppose the price is on the steep side for a mid-range phone, or the protruding camera module can be a bit annoying when you put the phone on a flat surface.
For the bigger question, which Galaxy A52 should you get? well, that’s down to a number of factors – What’s available to you, your needs, and your budget. If you have a strong 5G signal in your area, then, by all means, get the 5G variant. If the aforementioned isn’t available, and you’re fine with a 90Hz display, then the 4G variant is still a viable option.
Now, if money isn’t an issue, the future-proofing and the higher refresh rate that the Galaxy A52 5G gives is I think, just enough reason to get it.