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Samsung Galaxy M52 5G review: Sleek design, top-notch display and big battery

Samsung Galaxy M52 5G review: Sleek design, top-notch display and big battery
  • The Samsung Galaxy M52 5G starts at ₹29,999.
  • The phone has a sleek 7.4mm profile, which is comfortable to hold.
  • It features a superb display, delivers decent performance, but there are few things missing.
  • Read the review to find out everything about what’s on offer with this latest M-series device from Samsung.
Samsung needs no introduction, and especially for its smartphones, as it is among the leaders around the globe for over a decade. The company has a diverse portfolio of smartphone products, ranging options for first-time users to professionals. It has segregated its lineup with different alphabets and the Galaxy M-series offers mid-range smartphones with decent performance. Building up on its already popular mid-range series, the company recently launched the Galaxy M52 5G and is marketing it as the leanest and the meanest device.

In this review, we will find out whether the claims about the phone are true or just marketing fluff. We will also compare some of its specifications to its predecessor, Galaxy M51. This review talks about the design, display, performance, camera and our final verdict. Let’s dive in to find out everything about the Galaxy M52 5G.

The Galaxy M52 comes in two variants — 6GB+128GB and 8GB+128GB variants. The 6GB RAM variant is priced at ₹29,999 while the 8GB RAM variant will retail at ₹31,999. The phones are available in two colours — Icy Blue and Blazing Black.

The unit we are reviewing is in Blazing Black colour variant and is equipped with 8GB RAM+128GB storage.

Samsung is also offering introductory prices of ₹26999 for the 6GB+128GB variant and ₹28999 for the 8GB+128GB during the Amazon Great Indian Festival. However, this offer is for a limited period only. So if you are looking to bring home the Galaxy M52 5G, take advantage of the deal.

The phone features a polycarbonate body, with a glossy finish. On its black back, it has a striped design featuring silver vertical stripes. Even though the back and sides are made of plastic, the phone still feels very premium to hold. While it claims to be the “leanest” Samsung M-series phone, with its slim profile and a thickness of just 7.4mm, it isn’t the leanest device as Mi 11X lite is only 6.81mm thick. It feels lightweight in the hands weighing just 173g, however, the Mi 11X Lite only weighs 159g.

The rear camera bump is protruding off the body and is placed on the left side of the back. It houses a triple camera setup, unlike its predecessor which has a quad-camera set-up. On the front, we have the 32 MP front camera that is accommodated in a punch-hole type cut out at the top of the display. The bezels around the display are fairly thin.

On the right side, we have the volume buttons at the top and the power button just below it. This makes you take screenshots using two hands since you have to click the volume down and power button simultaneously and both are on the same side. The power button also houses the fingerprint scanner which is very snappy. The phone also has a face-recognition sensor, but it isn’t as responsive as the fingerprint scanner.
On the left side we have the SIM tray that has a hybrid design meaning you can either have two SIM cards or one SIM and one MicroSD card for additional storage.

At the bottom, it features the USB Type-C port for charging and single bottom-firing speakers. The audio isn’t very loud from the speakers that do not offer stereo support and you will need headphones or speakers to enjoy content, which is anyway recommended if you want the best experience. So it’s not a deal breaker.
One of the biggest drawbacks of this phone is the absence of a 3.5mm audio jack. While I have moved on to wireless headphones, I still like using my wired earphones when the other ones are charging. And not being able to connect them to this Galaxy M52 device is annoying at times. Interestingly, its predecessor, the Galaxy M51, did feature the 3.5mm audio jack. Again, it might not be an issue for many users, but if for you it is, then you can look at Realme X7 Max 5G in the same price range.

Overall, the phone feels good in the hands and single-handle operation is comfortable. The phone is sleek and is lightweight, but the back does catch fingerprints and using a back cover is recommended. Design-wise, the only negatives would be its audio features; lack of 3.5mm jack and poor sound quality from the speakers.

The display is one of its superior features. It is equipped with a 6.7-inch FHD+ sAMOLED+ Infinity-O display that comes with a 120Hz refresh rate. The refresh rate can be set to standard 60Hz by going to Settings > Display and tapping motion smoothness. With 120Hz refresh rate, it offers smooth scrolling and transitions.

The AMOLED display supports up to 1080 x 2400 (FHD+) resolution and delivers beautiful vivid picture quality by default. You get deeper blacks and high contrast, making the pictures look lively, and it can be adjusted by tweaking the screen mode to “Vivid” from “Natural” in Settings.
Reading e-books and viewing your favourite video content should be pleasing on this display. I am having a good time with this phone’s display as I can catch the daily news with the Eye comfort shield that filters the blue light and reduces strain on eyes. Watching videos on YouTube and OTT platforms is truly an amazing experience given the picture clarity and sharpness.

Even while playing games, the display offers clarity and with its 120Hz refresh rate the experience is quite smooth. It was easy to spot opponents in battle royale games and first person shooter games in general. The picture quality and the clarity of the display delivers an enjoyable gaming experience.

The Galaxy M52 5G’s has Gorilla Glass 5 protection on the display that should offer some amount of protection from scratches and accidental drops.

The Galaxy M52 5G is powered by a competent mid-range processor, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G chipset. It offers consistent performance across the system and applications. The apps load in no time, and I did not experience any lag while switching between them or searching for them. I found the performance of the phone to be exceptionally good while gaming or streaming content from OTT platforms.
I encountered an issue where the M52 did struggle a bit. While all the devices in my room had no issues connecting to my 5GHz WiFi connection, the M52 did show sign of poor connectivity, which was due to the range as it improved as I moved closer to the router.

Samsung and other smartphone makers are now providing 5G support to mid-range and budget smartphones, and with this Galaxy M52, you get support for 11 bands of 5G. However, 5G is yet to roll out in India and you will not be able to use this feature any time soon in the country. The 5G support makes it future proof and also allows you to use the feature when you travel to a country that supports the 5G network.

I tried games like Asphalt 9 and Battlegrounds Mobile India, and the performance of the phone was quite incredible. Both the fast chipset and good quality display combine to offer crisp and vibrant graphics that help in gaming.

There was no lag or frame drop instance while playing any of these highly demanding games. It did get warm but I did not experience abnormal heating after playing for 45 minutes to an hour. It may heat up if played for longer but I cannot be certain since I did not test it yet.

There is a significant drop in battery capacity from its predecessor. The Galaxy M51 was equipped with a gigantic 7,000mAh battery while this Galaxy M52 comes with a 5,000mAh battery, which is still massive. However, this is quite impressive for this device since its thickness is claimed to be reduced by 21%.

In terms of performance, the battery life is impressive as it gave me over 9 hours of screen time with mixed usage including light gaming, streaming and web-browsing. The phone comes with a 15W charger in the box, which takes about two hours to recharge the battery fully from under 10% charge. Nevertheless, the phone is compatible with a 25W Samsung charger that should improve the charging time significantly.

Interestingly, Samsung has reduced the number of camera sensors on this Galaxy M52 compared to its predecessor. The rear camera module features a 64MP primary sensor, 12MP ultra-wide lens and a 5MP Macro sensor. The 5MP depth sensor that was available on its predecessor, Galaxy M51, is missing on this device.
The camera offers fairly accurate daylight performance with the primary sensor. The pictures have high dynamic range, sharp focus and clarity. The ultra-wide lens also captures a large field of view and delivers decent performance during the day. The macro sensor is just a mediocre addition to the camera module, as the performance is below par when compared to the other two sensors.
At night, the primary sensor produces grainy results with normal photo mode, but there is a significant improvement in the results when the camera is operated in Night mode. More light and colour is captured in the Night mode than the regular photo mode. The ultra-wide lens’ performance is ordinary in low-lit areas.
In the front, you have a 32MP front camera that can click sharp selfies. The front camera reproduces natural colours in both indoor lighting and daylight.

In terms of videos, you can record footage in 1080p at 30/60fps while you can only shoot at 30fps in 4K and 720p resolution. The phone doesn’t come with optical image stabilisation and the output can come out shaking at times if the phone is not held stably. For better results., using a tripod while shooting videos is recommended. The colour reproduction during the day was very accurate, while at night, the colours were faded, which is a common issue in smartphone cameras.
You can shoot videos with the front camera in the same resolutions and frame rates as that with the rear camera. I shot videos in 4K 30fps mode, and the footage captured details however the output becomes grainy when you zoom in. I did not face any glitches while video calling using the front camera.
As for the modes, the camera has a Photo mode where you can use the primary sensor to click images without zooming in or adjusting to a large field of view. Using the same mode, you click images with an ultra-wide sensor and digitally zoom up to 10x. Then we have the video mode to record footage. There is a Single Take mode that can capture a moment in various ways including, a panoramic view, regular view and a video. The Fun mode is integrated with Snapchat filters and allows you to click images with funny backgrounds and virtual props.

To explore other modes, you will have to click on More, where you can access Pro Mode, to set the auto-focus, white balance, ISO, aperture and other settings to click pictures like a professional. Other modes here include macro, portrait, hyperlapse, slow motion video and panorama.

The camera app is very responsive when you open it. Switch between modes is also smooth and the camera loading time after clicking an image or recording a video is remarkably low.

The Galaxy M52 5G comes with Samsung One UI 3.1 running on Android 11. The UI is very clean and offers plenty of customisation options. You can choose from plenty of widgets that can be added to your home screen. There are plenty of themes and wallpapers options that users can use to personalise the phone. Users can also change the layout of how apps will appear and how many apps will appear in each line.

The phone comes with pre-installed applications that are both native and third-party apps like Moj, Daily Hunt, Byjus, Josh, Amazon and others. While you can delete most unwanted applications, you will not be able to delete system apps like the Clock, Calculator, Gallery and others that are needed for the smooth functioning of its software.

The Samsung Galaxy M52 5G has seen a major upgrade from its predecessor. The display, performance and camera are all above-average. The phone does lack some places such as the missing 3.5mm jack, no stereo speakers for audio and mediocre macro lens. Most of these are not a deal breaker for many. So overall it's a fairly good deal for the price and it gets better if you can get it during a sale.

However, you should note that there are plenty of other options from its competitors, such as the OnePlus Nord 2 , Mi 11X and Realme X7 Max . While the OnePlus Nord 2 and the Realme X7 Max have the MediaTek Dimensity 1200 chipset, the Mi 11X has the Snapdragon 870 which are slightly more efficient than the Snapdragon 778G chipset used in the Galaxy M52, the battery life is better on M52, it's the lightest among its competitors and also offers same, if not better, camera performance than its competitors.

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