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Samsung packs high-end in Galaxy A52s 5G

Samsung’s A52s 5G adds a new dimension of fast processing power and low-latency 5G connectivity to the mid-range. BRYAN TURNER put the device to the test with several mobile games.

If you’re in the market for an affordable-yet-powerful 5G device, Samsung has just released the ideal option: the Galaxy A52s 5G. It comes with ultra-fast connectivity, a strong Snapdragon 778G 5G processor, and a large 4500 mAh battery.

With all these features, one would expect this handset to cost upward of R10 000, but it comes in at R8,000, with specials often dipping below this price to as low as R7,400.

Out of the box, it comes with a 25W fast charger, and a USB-A to USB-C cable. All great accessories to keep charging quickly between use, and it has to be said, because many brands are doing away with fast-charging equipment in the box.

The handset itself is a marvel to behold, with an all-matte plastic body that doesn’t try to be anything else. Our unit was a matte black that looks elegant and stylish. The edges of the phone are also plastic but have been coated with metallic-looking paint. For those brave enough to take it out without a case, it will probably fare well, but dinging the edges may reveal the plastic beneath the paint.

Along the bottom, there is a USB-C charging port, with a 3.5mm headphone jack to the left and a single speaker grille and primary microphone to the right. The volume rocker and lock buttons are along the right side, with nothing along the left. The SIM and microSD card tray are on the top, alongside a secondary microphone. Hidden in the top earpiece speaker is a secondary speaker for stereo sound.

The camera array makes for a sizable bump in this generation, which speaks to the size of the sensors. All lenses perform better in low light compared to those of the A51. It features a 64MP main sensor with optical image stabilisation (OIS), which is usually reserved for flagship devices, but has landed in the A series this year. Video can be recorded in 4K at 30 frames per second (fps). This enables smoother video recording and sharper photos when the photographer has a shaky hand. Alongside it, the 12MP ultrawide, 5MP macro, and 5MP depth sensors enable various types of photography.

The screen is a smooth 120Hz, 6.5-inch, 1080×2400 resolution display that is a dream to use. It’s also covered with Corning Gorilla Glass 5, which means the device will probably not shatter when dropped. An improved fingerprint sensor underneath the screen is noticeably faster than the previous generation. The front camera is a 32MP sensor, which sits in a punch hole at the top of the display. It’s also capable of 4K 30fps recording, making it ideal for content creators.

A Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G 5G processor makes this device fly with games and downloads. Thanks to the low latency of 5G, we managed to stay connected and in sync with online games like PUBG Mobile and Dead By Daylight Mobile. The games also kept the frame rate high at 70fps and 60fps respectively. On day-to-day tasks with answering messages, taking phone calls and a 30-minute gaming session, the 4500 mAh battery easily makes it through the day.

We ran a few speed tests when we entered an MTN 5G area with between three and four (full) signal bars. It managed to achieve 300Mbps down and 250Mbps up on average (with a peak speed of 345.85Mbps down), which promptly finished the device’s prepaid data. With great 5G comes great data responsibility. On a practical application, TikToks were uploaded before we could even stop the uploads.

The built-in software is snappy, running One UI 3 with Android 11, and will soon be upgradable to One UI 4 with Android 12 when Samsung makes it available. Being in Samsung’s ecosystem is very convenient, with options like Samsung Pay for wallet-free payments coming with the device. It also links well to the Samsung Galaxy Watch range and integrates with Samsung Health for powerful health metrics.

To pair well with fast downloads, the handset comes in 128GB and 256GB variants – and supports a microSD card. This makes Netflix or Showmax downloads on Wi-Fi possible without filling up the internal storage.

The Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G is one of the strongest mid-range devices out there. It is ideal for gamers and content creators who need to have fast, low-latency connectivity while away from a Wi-Fi connection.

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