Finally, something I wasn’t too afraid of handling! To be fair though, I have to admit that this phone does feel less solid compared to the premium ones, so I was still as careful as could be.
One of the last budget-friendly Samsung phones I reviewed was the A72 in March 2021, and I was genuinely impressed by what I saw and experienced.
The A52s is no different in the sense that it looks almost identical, and you’d really only find differences in its hardware.
On the outside
Weighing just 189g, you could say it’s thanks to its matte plastic back which, while very pretty to look at in the Phantom Black variant, was extremely easy to mar with nasty fingerprints.
Tapping your nails on its back also gives you that “hollow” sound, typical of plastic back phones. Despite that, I’d say that the phone still has some heft to it, making it nice to hold.
Samsung also kept the flat edge display, so there were no accidental touches happening. With a Super AMOLED display like the A72’s, it was equally vibrant and clear, but a new addition is the option of a 120Hz refresh rate.
Its similar brightness of 800 nits also meant that you could easily see your screen when you’re out in the sun (though you’d likely have to max out your brightness for clarity).
The A52s’ camera housing is similarly sleek too, and the bulge isn’t very noticeable. It wouldn’t be fair to compare the A52s’ cameras to the A72’s, but in terms of the A52s versus the A52’s cameras, there are practically no differences.
Both the A52s and its predecessor have a 64MP wide, 12MP ultrawide, 5MP macro, and 5MP depth camera.
Testing out the cameras in my garden during the day yielded alright photos, though I didn’t have very high expectations anyway.
On the inside
In terms of hardware, the A52s does boast an upgrade to the Qualcomm SM7325 Snapdragon 778G. As always, I’m not sure what these numbers and letters mean, but playing Genshin Impact on the A52s at least wasn’t an experience that made me want to bash my head in.
Playing on the lowest graphic settings ensured that I had minimum lag, and apart from minor screen stutters every now and then (this game can get flashy), the A52s handled the game alright.
Like the A52, the A52s has a 4500mAh battery and is charged up pretty quickly. With casual usage even with the display at 120Hz, the phone could last me about a day.
Turning on power-saving mode would of course help you conserve more juice.
Impressed at first glance
Many budget phones in the market are now quite competitive in terms of their offerings, and everyone will have their preferences for certain features or another.
The A52s impresses for the most part, but it’s not the cheapest budget phone you could get on the market at RM1,899. In fact, its price tag is similar to that of the A72’s.
I think what’s a pity is that Malaysia still lacks nationwide 5G infrastructure, thus rendering devices with 5G capabilities moot at this point.
Personally, I don’t think we’ll be seeing leaps and bounds in 5G development for at least the next few years, and by the time we do, it’s likely that better 5G phones will be on the market too, whether budget or flagship.
In this sense, I feel that the A52s is a little too early for the Malaysian market, and its value here is thus diminished. But overall, still a solid phone.
I’ll be writing a full review on this device soon as there’s more to it that wasn’t covered in this first impression, so stay tuned!