Samsung Galaxy A52 vs. Galaxy A72Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

The Galaxy A series has taken on an increased significance over the last two years as Samsung's flagships have crossed the $1,000 figure. Customers that don't want to spend that much on a phone have inevitably turned to options like the Galaxy A50 or the A51, and Samsung did a great job porting over features from its flagships to its more affordable phones.

For 2021, Samsung rolled out exciting changes to the Galaxy A series. The Galaxy A52 and Galaxy A72 come with an fresh new design that makes them stand out a lot more from their predecessors, and there's also a 5G-enabled model of the A52 called the Galaxy A52 5G that allows you to switch to 5G on a budget.

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So if you're in the market for a new phone in 2021 and want to know the differences between the Galaxy A52, A52 5G, and the A72, here's what you need to know.

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G vs. A52 vs. A72: Three great options

Samsung Galaxy A52 reviewSource: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

Samsung has also streamlined a lot of the features across the mid-range Galaxy A series, and that means there are fewer differences between the Galaxy A52 and A72 than previous years.

The Galaxy A52 and A52 5G are identical — the only difference is the Snapdragon 750G chipset on the latter.

As for the two flavors of the A52 — the regular 4G model and the A52 5G — the only difference is that the latter is powered by a Snapdragon 750G chipset that facilitates 5G connectivity. In all other areas, the phone is identical to the regular model. The Galaxy A52 5G is the default option in the U.S. and other western markets, but there are a lot of regions where you'll be able to choose between the regular A52 and the A52 5G.

Let's start with what's similar across all three phones. They share the same design language, with Samsung switching to a minimalist aesthetic that makes these devices look premium. The camera housing at the back is similar to that of the Galaxy S21 series, but the matte finish for the body and the pastel hues give the Galaxy A series its own visual identity.

All three phones are available in the same four color options — Awesome Blue, Awesome Black, Awesome White, Awesome Violet — and they all have a polycarbonate back. The mid-frame itself is made out of metal, but is coated in a glossy finish. Other features that you'll find as standard include a microSD card slot, stereo speakers, and the 3.5mm jack.

A key addition in 2021 is IP67 water resistance. All models in the Galaxy A mid-range series have the feature as standard, and it is great to see Samsung offer ingress protection to its affordable phones. With IP67 protection, you'll be able to use the Galaxy A52 5G, A52, and the A72 at the pool or in the bathtub without any issues.

Samsung Galaxy A52 reviewSource: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

With the 2021 Galaxy A series, Samsung is bringing high refresh rate screens to its mid-range phones. The Galaxy A52 and A72 feature a 90Hz AMOLED panel, and the A52 5G comes with a 120Hz AMOLED. The 90Hz panels on the A52 and A72 are great in their own right, but you just get that little bit extra on the A52 5G.

All three models have high refresh rate displays and exciting new cameras.

The Galaxy A52 and A52 5G share the same 6.5-inch AMOLED panel, and the A72 gets a slightly larger 6.7-inch screen. Other than the increase in size, the panel quality itself is identical. They offer excellent colors, high brightness levels, and with stereo sound onboard along with the 3.5mm jack, these phones are ideally suited for consuming multimedia on the go.

Coming to the hardware side of things, the Galaxy A52 and A72 feature a Snapdragon 720G. Last year's A51 was lackluster in this area, so it is great to see Samsung make positive strides on the hardware front. The Snapdragon 720G offers reliable performance in day-to-day tasks, and although it isn't tailored for gaming, it holds up pretty well in all but the most intensive games.

The Galaxy A52 5G, meanwhile, gets the beefier Snapdragon 750G chipset with 5G connectivity. The chipset has newer Cortex A77 cores that give it a distinct edge when it comes to performance, and it has a Sub-6 5G modem with all the requisite bands. All three devices come with 128GB of storage as standard, with the A52 5G and A72 starting out with 6GB of RAM, while the A52 comes in a 4GB option.

With three guaranteed updates, Samsung has a clear edge on the software front.

As for battery, all three phones have 25W wired charging as standard, and you won't find wireless charging here. The Galaxy A52 and A52 5G feature a 4500mAh battery, while the A72 has a larger 5000mAh unit. You'll easily get over a day's worth of use from all three devices, and obviously the A72 has an edge in this area because of the larger battery.

Switching over to the camera, all three phones have the same 64MP primary camera at the back. The camera takes great photos in most lighting conditions, and holds up pretty well to other mid-range phones. There's also the same 12MP wide-angle and a 5MP macro lens, and the A52 as well as A52 5G feature a 5MP portrait lens while the A72 gets a much more interesting zoom camera with 3x optical zoom.

You get One UI 3.1 based on Android 11 out of the box, and the Galaxy A52, A52 5G, and A72 will get three guaranteed Android updates and four years of security patches. The assurance of long-term updates immediately makes the Galaxy A series a standout option in the mid-range segment, and Samsung has a clear edge here.

Samsung Galaxy A52 vs. A52 vs. A72: All the specs

Samsung Galaxy A72 reviewSource: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

Category Galaxy A52 5G Galaxy A52 Galaxy A72
Operating system Android 11
One UI 3.1
Android 11
One UI 3.1
Android 11
One UI 3.1
Display 6.5-inch 120Hz Super AMOLED
2400x1080 (20:9)
Gorilla Glass 5
6.5-inch 90Hz Super AMOLED
2400x1080 (20:9)
Gorilla Glass 5
6.7-inch 90Hz Super AMOLED
2400x1080 (20:9)
Gorilla Glass 5
Chipset Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G
2 x 2.20GHz Cortex A77
6 x 1.80GHz Cortex A55
Adreno 619
8nm
Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G
2 x 2.30GHz Cortex A76
6 x 1.80GHz Cortex A55
Adreno 618
8nm
Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G
2 x 2.30GHz Cortex A76
6 x 1.80GHz Cortex A55
Adreno 618
8nm
RAM 6GB/8GB 4GB/6GB/8GB 6GB/8GB
Storage 128GB/256GB 128GB/256GB 128GB/256GB
MicroSD slot Yes Yes Yes
Rear camera 1 64MP, f/1.8
PDAF, OIS
4K at 30fps
64MP, f/1.8
PDAF, OIS
4K at 30fps
64MP, f/1.8
PDAF, OIS
4K at 30fps
Rear camera 2 12MP, f/2.2
Wide-angle lens
123-degree field-of-view
12MP, f/2.2
Wide-angle lens
123-degree field-of-view
12MP, f/2.2
Wide-angle lens
123-degree field-of-view
Rear camera 3 5MP, f/2.4
Macro lens
5MP, f/2.4
Macro lens
8MP, f/2.4
3x zoom lens
Rear camera 4 5MP, f/2.4
Portrait lens
5MP, f/2.4
Portrait lens
5MP, f/2.4
Macro lens
Front camera 32MP, f/2.2
4K at 30fps
Fixed-focus lens
32MP, f/2.2
4K at 30fps
Fixed-focus lens
32MP, f/2.2
4K at 30fps
Fixed-focus lens
Connectivity Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.0
NFC, A-GPS
Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.0
NFC, A-GPS
Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.0
NFC, A-GPS
5G Sub-6 5G
N1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28, 38, 40, 41, 66, 78
Audio 3.5mm jack
Stereo speakers
3.5mm jack
Stereo speakers
3.5mm jack
Stereo speakers
Battery 4500mAh
25W wired charging
4500mAh
25W wired charging
5000mAh
25W wired charging
Water resistance IP67 IP67 IP67
Security In-display fingerprint (optical) In-display fingerprint (optical) In-display fingerprint (optical)
Dimensions 159.9 x 75.1 x 8.4mm
189g
159.9 x 75.1 x 8.4mm
189g
165 x 77.4 x 8.4 mm
203g
Colors Awesome Blue, Awesome Black, Awesome White, Awesome Violet Awesome Blue, Awesome Black, Awesome White, Awesome Violet Awesome Blue, Awesome Black, Awesome White, Awesome Violet

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G vs. A52 vs. A72: You can't go wrong here

Samsung Galaxy A52 reviewSource: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

If you're in the U.S., your options are limited to the Galaxy A52 5G. Samsung is being very strategic about where it launches various models in the Galaxy A series, and customers in the country miss out on the regular 4G-only Galaxy A52 and the A72.

If you're in the U.S., your best option is the Galaxy A52 5G.

That said, the Galaxy A52 5G is a fantastic choice. The Snapdragon 750G delivers noticeable performance gains over the Snapdragon 720G in the A52 and A72, and you get 5G connectivity. I used the Snapdragon 750G in the Xiaomi Mi 10i a few months ago, and the chipset is a stellar option in the mid-range segment.

For $500, the Galaxy A52 5G is one of the best Android phones in its category. There really isn't anything missing here, and for what it costs, the A52 5G is a great all-round option.

If you're in a country where Samsung sells the Galaxy A52 and A72, I'd recommend going with the former. The Galaxy A52 is a standout value in 2021, and it has the same foundation as the A72. The only difference between the two phones is that you get a slightly larger screen, larger battery, and a zoom lens with 3x zoom. Those additions aren't worth the price hike, and the Galaxy A52 gives you all the features you're looking for in an affordable package.

Switch to 5G

Samsung Galaxy A52

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G

The obvious mid-range choice in 2021

The Galaxy A52 5G nails the basics and is one of the best mid-range phones around today. It has a gorgeous design backed by a stunning 120Hz AMOLED screen, reliable hardware with 5G connectivity, great cameras at the back, battery that lasts over a day, and will get three Android updates. You can't really ask for much more from a device in this category.

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