Samsung’s recent mid-range Galaxy A-series phones have been more concerned with design and features than power and performance. The Galaxy A52 (review) definitely looked like a mid-range smartphone, but it lagged a bit in terms of performance when compared to the competition. With the new Galaxy A52s, Samsung swapped the Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G SoC for the sophisticated Snapdragon 778G. It also means that the Galaxy A52s supports 5G. Is that enough to take on more recently launched smartphones such as the Realme GT Master Edition and the Realme GT, both at competitive prices? I have been using the Samsung Galaxy A52s for a few hours and here are my first impressions.
The Samsung Galaxy A52s is a mid-year update for the Galaxy A52, which was released in March of this year. The Galaxy A52s cost Rs. 35,999 in India for the 6GB RAM and 128GB base storage variant. There is an 8GB RAM variant with the same amount of storage, priced at Rs. 37,499. Interestingly, both variants are selling for around Rs. 33,990 on Amazon as of now. I received the 8GB RAM variant of this smartphone in Awesome White finish for review. It is also available in Awesome Black and Awesome Violet.
In terms of design, the Galaxy A52s looks identical to the Galaxy A52. It has a plastic frame and a polycarbonate back panel. The matte-finished back panel looks a bit premium. The camera’s layout looks very modern and minimalist with the cutouts for the camera lens being prominent, while the rest of the module blends in with the back.
There is a 6.5-inch Full-HD + Super AMOLED screen with a perforated cutout for the selfie camera. The screen refresh rate increases to 120 Hz from the Galaxy A52’s 90 Hz, which should please gamers. Its bezels appear thinner on the sides than on the top and bottom edges. The Galaxy A52s features a stereo speaker configuration, with the headset doubling as the secondary speaker. Next to the USB Type-C port on the bottom, there’s also a 3.5mm headphone jack. This phone is IP67 rated for dust and water resistance like the Galaxy A52.
Nothing has changed in terms of camera specs. There is a 64 megapixel primary camera with optical image stabilization (OIS), a 12 megapixel ultra wide angle camera, a 5 megapixel macro camera and a 5 megapixel depth sensor. Selfies are handled by a 32 megapixel front camera. The Galaxy A52s has a 4,500mAh battery that supports 25W fast charging. However, like the Galaxy A52, there is only a 15W charger in the box. The phone runs One UI 3.0, based on Android 11.
Given its hardware, the Samsung Galaxy A52s looks like a solid competitor that sits between the high end of the mid-range segment and the low end of the premium segment. With prices starting at Rs. 35,999 in India for the 6GB RAM base variant, the Galaxy A52 seems to have a lot going for it, including the upgraded processor, stereo speakers, modern design and IP67 rating.
Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 778G performs well, as we saw with the Realme GT Master Edition (revision) (from Rs. 25,999 onwards) and gives the A52s a much needed performance boost along with 5G features. However, with the Realme GT (first impressions) offering a high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor and several other attractive options such as the OnePlus 9R (review) and Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro (review), also priced below Rs. 40,000, Samsung still seems to target those who prioritize design. So a lot depends on the performance of the Galaxy A52s cameras and whether they match the quality you can get from competitive low-cost premium devices. This is one of the things I’ll be testing in detail, so stay tuned for the full review of the Samsung Galaxy A52s, which should be out soon.