Samsung Galaxy A52 vs Galaxy A51: Upgrade or no?

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Samsung Galaxy A52

Earlier today, Samsung launched a bunch of new phones within its budget-conscious Galaxy A-line. As with last year’s lineup, the 2021 iterations offer plenty of bang for your buck. The Samsung Galaxy A52 might be the “Goldilocks” of that family — offering the best specs at the best price.

Last year, the Samsung Galaxy A51 caught our attention for being quite a package. Ultimately, we felt it was a tad overpriced when you factored in its weak chipset, but the phone still proved to be very popular.

Related: Samsung Galaxy A51 review: Great screen, bad performance

With the launch of the sequel, some Galaxy A51 owners might be curious about upgrading. Likewise, some folks just looking for a new phone that won’t break the bank might be interested to see what’s changed as compared to last year’s model. Let’s check it out!

Samsung Galaxy A52 vs Galaxy A51 specs

  Samsung Galaxy A52 Samsung Galaxy A51
Display 6.5-inch Super AMOLED
FHD+ (2,400 x 1,080)
Infinity-O (display cutout)
407ppi
90Hz refresh rate
6.5-inch Super AMOLED
FHD+ (2,400 x 1,080)
Infinity-O (display cutout)
405ppi
60Hz refresh rate
Processor Unnamed octa-core CPU Samsung Exynos 9611
RAM 4, 6, or 8GB 4, 6, or 8GB
Storage 128 or 256GB
microSD support (up to 1TB)
128 or 256GB
microSD support (up to 1TB)
Power 4,500mAh battery
25W fast wired charging
No wireless charging
4,000mAh battery
15W fast wired charging
No wireless charging
Cameras Rear:
1) 64MP main
Optical image stabilization (OIS)
Auto-focus (AF)
0.8µm, ƒ1.8

2) 12MP ultra-wide

Fixed focus (FF)
1.12µm, ƒ2.2

3) 5MP macro

1.12µm, ƒ2.4, FF

3) 5MP depth sensor

1.12µm, ƒ2.4, FF

Front:

1) 32MP main
0.8µm, ƒ2.2, FF

Rear:
1) 48MP main
Auto-focus (AF)
0.8µm, ƒ2.0

2) 12MP ultra-wide

ƒ2.2

3) 5MP macro

ƒ2.4

3) 5MP depth sensor

ƒ2.2

Front:

1) 32MP main
0.8µm, ƒ2.2, FF

Audio Bluetooth 5.0
Stereo speakers
3.5mm headphone jack
Bluetooth 5.0
Stereo speakers
3.5mm headphone jack
Connectivity LTE only (no 5G support)
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 5.0
NFC support
LTE only (no 5G support)
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 5.0
NFC support
Security In-display fingerprint sensor
IP67-rated against water/dust
Face unlock (insecure)
In-display fingerprint sensor
No IP rating
Face unlock (insecure)
Software Android 11
One UI 3.0
Ships with Android 10
Android 11 update available now
Dimensions and weight 159.9 x 75.1 x 8.4mm
189g
158.5 x 73.6 x 7.9mm
172g
Colors Awesome Violet, Awesome Blue, Awesome White, Awesome Black Prism Crush Black, Prism Crush White, Prism Crush Blue, Prism Crush Pink

The specs table above proves that Samsung didn’t really change too much about the Samsung Galaxy A52 as compared to last year. Obviously, specs don’t tell the whole story. The design of the phone, for example, is totally revamped. However, the lack of any truly significant updates suggests Galaxy A51 owners might be OK skipping this upgrade.

As far as we can tell, the biggest changes this year are a slightly better rear camera setup, a slightly bigger and faster-charging batter, a higher refresh rate display, and the introduction of an official IP rating. Those are all great upgrades for sure, but is it enough to toss aside a Galaxy A51?

See also: Samsung phones buyer’s guide: Everything you need to know

In the case of the cameras, you’re getting the exact same setup as last year. Sure, the primary lens is a bit better but you still don’t get a telephoto lens. The introduction of optical image stabilization (OIS) is certainly a nice touch, though.

The larger and faster-charging battery is also good, but there’s still no wireless charging. That would be a huge ask for a phone at this price point, sure, but you’re starting to see the trend here: the Samsung Galaxy A52 is probably too similar to the Galaxy A51 to necessitate an upgrade.

It might all come down to price

Samsung Galaxy A52 1

One of our chief criticisms of the Galaxy A51 was its price. At a $399 launch price, it competed with the likes of the Google Pixel 4a and the 2020 iteration of the Apple iPhone SE. Considering the performance issues, it was hard to recommend folks pay more for the Galaxy A51 instead of saving $50 and going with the Pixel 4a.

So far, Samsung hasn’t announced US pricing for the Samsung Galaxy A52. However, it did say that the phone will cost €349 (~$415) in Europe. That heavily suggests that the Galaxy A52 could land at $349 here in the States. If it does, then it will ostensibly offer better specs and a subjectively better design at a lower price. That would be great news!

Related: The best budget phones you can currently buy

However, that still wouldn’t change the specs sheet you see above. It probably wouldn’t be a good idea for someone to toss their Galaxy A51 aside for the Galaxy A52 as they wouldn’t stand to gain too much. Instead, based on the info we know, it seems more prudent to suggest folks looking to upgrade from a much weaker/older phone might want to be on the lookout for the Galaxy A52.

Stay tuned for our full review of the Galaxy A52, which will allow us to give much more specific advice to potential buyers.

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