Samsung has aggressively added 5G connectivity to its mid-budget smartphones, and the Samsung Galaxy M52 5G is a testament to that commitment. On paper, the phone comes with several standout features including a large 6.7-inch display with a 120Hz refresh rate, a 5,000mAh battery and a 32MP front-facing camera. But above all, the company shows off the sleek design of the device which is 7.4mm thick – 21 percent slimmer than the old-generation Samsung Galaxy M51. All of these come with a starting price of Rs 29,999 for the 6GB RAM + 128GB storage variant and Rs 31,999 for the 8GB + 128GB option. The two models are also available at a discount on Amazon and Flipkart for a limited time.
For our review, we tested the top-tier 8GB RAM variant with a charcoal gray finish, namely ‘Blazing Black’. The Samsung Galaxy M52 5G will also get an Icy Blue color option. With a price tag of around Rs 30,000, the phone will compete with equally popular devices like Xiaomi Mi 11X 5G and OnePlus Nord 2 in India. Before we give our verdict, here’s what you need to know about the smartphone:
Design and display: As mentioned, the phone comes with a 6.7-inch Super AMOLED Plus display with Full-HD+ resolution (1,080 × 2,400 pixels) and 120 Hz refresh. Since there is no adaptive refresh rate, users can only choose between the standard 60Hz or 120Hz. At first glance, the Galaxy M52 5G easily looks like any premium smartphone on the market. Despite a large screen, the slim form factor does make a difference, and the Galaxy M52 5G doesn’t look like a clunky brick. In addition, it weighs just 173 grams, 23 grams lighter than the Mi 11X 5G and 16 grams lighter than OnePlus Nord 2 5G.
In terms of display performance, the Galaxy M52 5G offers sufficient brightness and deep blacks suitable for both indoor and outdoor environments. For a company that champions display technology, performance was crisp and we managed to binge-watch several shows on OTT platforms with no complaints about colors. The Samsung Galaxy M52 5G also has a polycarbonate housing that gives it a glass-like appearance. Users will still get a smooth glossy finish on the back panel but can range from smudges and even scratches. In that case, a protective cover might just be enough. That said, a phone with a big screen and a sleek design will still be hard to fit in the deepest pockets. But nice pattern design on the back and sleek look easily overcome these minor drawbacks.
Performance and software: The Samsung Galaxy M52 5G is equipped with the 6nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G octa-core chipset which offered smooth and efficient performance during our test. We were able to take over everyday tasks like web browsing, emails, social media and even heavy gaming. With four to five apps running in the background, the phone had no issues – mind you, all this at the maximum refresh rate of 120Hz. We also played notable racing and action titles like Asphalt 9 and Garena Fire Max, switching back and forth at times, and the 8GB of RAM managed to run both apps with minor stuttering. During our gaming sessions, the phone (at least indoors) had no problems with the heating.
However, the Samsung Galaxy M52 5G comes with a lot of bloatware that makes the first experience messy. The third-party apps like Snapchat, Amazon, and Facebook can be uninstalled, so make sure you decide which one you choose. Brace yourself for occasional promotional notifications from the Galaxy Store. With the latest Android 12 operating system right around the corner, let’s see how long it takes Samsung to upgrade the Android 11-based One UI 3.1 on the phone.
As for Geekbench’s CPU benchmark, the phone’s single-core test falls short when compared to mid-budget rivals like MediaTek Dimensity 1200 SoC, but outperforms in multi-core performance. For customers who are planning to buy a decent phone at around Rs 30,000, the Samsung Galaxy M52 5G can easily handle everyday tasks like social media and web browsing without worrying about lag issues.
Camera: Unlike four rear cameras on the Galaxy M51, the successor Samsung Galaxy M52 5G comes with three rear cameras in a rectangular module that has a negligible bump. However, like the old-generation smartphone, the new device does not deliver excellent camera performance. Most of the photos during our test were strangely sharp and high saturation levels on Galaxy M52 5G linger again. We had similar experiences with Galaxy M51 and Galaxy A52s 5G. In addition, the tertiary 5 megapixel macro camera just couldn’t deliver enough performance.
To clarify, that doesn’t mean the rear camera performance was bad, but photography enthusiasts will miss natural colors (and some tweaks) in their photos and videos. For customers who occasionally shoot at family gatherings or outings, the rear cameras (64 megapixel main + 12 megapixel ultra-wide angle + 5 megapixel macro) on the Galaxy M52 5G will deliver decent quality without having to worry about it. applying the right filter. If you go to the 32-megapixel front camera, you won’t get grainy photos, but the saturation levels are again way too high. In most daylight conditions, the front camera on the Galaxy M52 5G made the skin look too pretty – lacking natural colors and details. But that also means that low-light selfies turn out to be quite good. Customers who like to take selfies may want to pay attention to this.
Battery: Over the years, Samsung phones have come with batteries that rarely fail. Likewise, the Samsung Galaxy M52 5G exceeded expectations when it comes to battery – in one case, more than what the company claimed. Samsung says users will get up to 17 hours of internet use, but we even managed to get around 20 hours, including gaming at a high refresh rate. During our test, we barely used the phone at the standard refresh rate of 60 Hz.
However, Samsung isn’t exactly known for its fast charging technology, and similarly, the Samsung Galaxy M52 5G supports 25W fast charging – not the fastest on the market. It comes with an 18W charging block. The latter took a few minutes over an hour and a half to fully charge. While an hour of charging yielded 62 percent battery. For perspective, the OnePlus Nord 2 supports 5G Warp Charge 65 and the Mi 11X 5G supports 33W fast charging. However, the other two phones also come with smaller batteries.
verdict: As a whole, the Samsung Galaxy M52 5G deserves a lot of attention, especially if there is already a Galaxy A52s 5G on the market with comparable specifications. Mind you, the Samsung Galaxy M52 5G is more affordable and lacks features like IP67 rating or four rear cameras, unlike the Galaxy A52s 5G. There may be those who prefer OnePlus Nord 2 5G over competitors as it tends to perform better in some areas such as cameras and fast charging. However, Samsung’s after-sales service is also worth considering at this price.
Personally, the Galaxy M52 5G exceeded many expectations in terms of build quality and overall performance. It did stumble in other areas, such as face unlock, which barely works in low light. The fingerprint scanner integrated into the power button is also not always responsive. In addition, there is no storage option beyond 128 GB, but users can expand the memory with a microSD card of up to 1 TB (sold separately). That said, if you’re planning to buy a new phone this sales season, here’s your best shot at getting the latest generation phone with future-proof 5G connectivity. In summary, the Galaxy M52 5G has simply made the mid-budget phone wars better with good value for money and great battery life.
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