Samsung Galaxy A52, A52 5G, and A52s: The most important differences
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Samsung’s A-class delivers mid-range smartphones and has proven to be extremely popular, thanks in no small part to the runaway successes of the A51 and A52 models. Last year’s A51 model has been improved in almost all respects, and now we just have to settle one point:
Which of the three current models is most likely worth buying – the Galaxy A52, the Galaxy A52 5G, or the Galaxy A52s that entered the race at a later time and has not yet a confirmed release date for the US market?
You’ll find that there are really just a few differences that separate them. With the A52, only one of the models comes with a 90 Hertz refresh rate and lacks 5G connectivity. The A52s comes in an exclusive Mint paint job – and all three rely on different SoCs from Qualcomm. But let’s go through them in order to dig deeper.
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The appealing build quality, despite the use of a plastic case, a slightly raised camera bump that is of the same color as the case, all of these and virtually everything else is identical on all three models when one looks at the design. In fact, the weight of all three models is the same, tipping the scales at 189 grams while sharing similar dimensions right down to a tenth of a millimeter. If the three candidates didn’t have different wallpapers preinstalled, you would hardly be able to tell them apart.
But, wait – one thing is actually different! While the A52 and the A52 5G are available in Awesome Black, Awesome White, Awesome Violet, and Awesome Blue, there is a completely new color for the Galaxy A52s: Awesome Mint! This replaces the blue version of the two other A52 models.
It is almost like playing a broken record with the display: Samsung’s display makers give us crisp Super AMOLED displays. And yes, you’ve guessed it, all of them pack 6.5-inch screen sizes and 2,400 x 1,080 pixels resolution. Again, there’s only one difference, but it plays a far more important role than the different color variants. Basically, the A52 that arrives with just LTE support has to make do with a 90 Hertz refresh rate, both the A52 5G and the A52s shine with 120 Hertz!
Once you get used to the buttery smooth and fluid display, you probably won’t want to voluntarily opt for a lower refresh rate. Thus, the A52 cannot keep up in this aspect.
Yay! For the very first time, we have found an item on the specifications sheet where all three competitors differ from each other: The Galaxy A52 relies on the Snapdragon 720G SoC, while the A52 5G is equipped with the Snapdragon 750G SoC. The A52s also relies on a mid-range SoC from Qualcomm: Here, the Snapdragon 778G sees action.
In his review of the A52 5G, our colleague Ben confirmed that the Snapdragon 750G delivered a very decent degree of performance, which obviously includes gaming based on the ‘G’ suffix. However, the Snapdragon 778G, which is the only one among the three SoCs that was released in 2021, is an even better performer.
The Snapdragon 778G is most capable processor of the lot and is also more efficient than the other two Qualcomm SoCs. It also inherited a few gaming features from the Snapdragon 888, such as Variable Rate Shading, which allows for better rendering in mobile games.
While the A52 is available in variants with and without 5G, the A52s comes exclusively with 5G functionality. In terms of other connectivity options, the rest of the pack remains identical, just like the available storage variants. If you want to take advantage of your local 5G network, the A52 is out of the question. If you want the strongest performance, then you will have to pick the A52s from these three smartphones.
The more efficient SoC also does its job in ensuring that the 4,500 mAh battery of the A52s lasts longer. Theoretically, the A52 has an edge in this department because the display offers only a 90 Hertz refresh rate. Speaking of the battery: All three devices support quick-charging with 25 watts, but only the A52s comes with a 25 W charger. The other two will have to make do with a 15 W charger.
In case you haven’t noticed, all three Galaxy models from Samsung’s A-class are almost identically equipped. If you need further proof, you can now take a look at the following table. Here, we have listed the most important specifications and highlighted the differences in bold:
Galaxy A52 vs A52 5G vs A52s
The differences between all three smartphones in Samsung’s A52 lineup are minimal yet obvious at the same time. Nevertheless, we can deduce a few things from them. For instance, compared to the other two, the Galaxy A52 has some obvious disadvantages in terms of SoC, display, and battery life. Only the lower price of around $450 (MSRP) would justify why you would prefer the Galaxy A52 over the other two.
However, if you don’t want to or cannot afford to spend more than 350 dollars in any case, we would like to recommend you to also take a look at the cheaper smartphones among the competition, such as those found in our list of best smartphones for less than $300.
If you decide against picking up the cheap A52, there are still two alternatives. The MSRP (starting at $499 for the A52 5G vs. $610 for the A52s) are fairly close to each other. If you can afford the extra money, go for the A52s with the superior SoC alongside the 25-Watt charger in the box.
As mentioned earlier: It is only small things that distinguish these smartphones from each other. But when armed with identical cameras, designs, battery capacities, and storage space, it is exactly these details that make the difference. That’s exactly why we think the Samsung Galaxy A52s comes out on top!