The Galaxy A51 is considered one of the most popular Samsung smartphones ever released. Therefore, the release of the Galaxy A52 proved to be an extremely exciting event. The successor brings with it a slew of improvements and also launched with a 5G version in tow. In the NextPit universe, we would like to settle the question once and for all, whether you should rather purchase the Galaxy A51 or the A52 in 2021.
Smartphones in the mid-range segment always knock our socks off! That is because it's not uncommon for premium features to be available in this segment at a really attractive price point. This is a concept that Samsung served especially well with devices from its Galaxy A series range. The model examples here would be the Samsung Galaxy A51 and the Samsung Galaxy A52 (5G).
According to the South Korean manufacturer, the Galaxy A51 is one of the best-selling Samsung smartphones to date. Hence, it is no wonder that the unveiling of its successor in March 2021 caught the attention of the mobile world. Along with the Galaxy A52 5G, Galaxy A32, and Galaxy A72, the Galaxy A52 also picked up praise from many quarters for its improvements.
But what exactly has Samsung improved in the Galaxy A52 that should make you as an owner of the Galaxy A51 sit up and take notice? Which smartphone is more recommended if you're buying a handset at this time? We explore these questions in our Versus article. Jump directly to the corresponding paragraph if you are interested in selected topics.
Table of contents
- Technical specifications compared
- Price comparison
- What works for the Galaxy A52: Upgrades in all aspects
- What works for the Galaxy A51: A steeper price drop
- Special 5G edition
At the end of this article, there is a conclusion with a clear buy recommendation, but which is it? Are you interested in Samsung smartphones and came across this article? Then take a look at our list of the best Samsung smartphones in 2021. Perhaps a more expensive or cheaper model will suit your needs better!
As usual, we begin this edition of our NextPit Versus article with a comparison of the technical specifications. We can refer to this comparison later when it boils down to the advantages and disadvantages of the individual devices. So, where has Samsung improved for the Galaxy A52?
Samsung Galaxy A51 vs. Galaxy A52: The hard facts
|Model||Galaxy A51||Galaxy A52|
|Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G|
|Memory (RAM / internal)||Min: 4GB / 64 GB
Max: 8 GB / 256 GB
Min: 4GB / 128GB
|Expandable memory?||Yes, MicroSD (combined)||Yes, MicroSD (dedicated)|
|Display||6.5-inch Super AMOLED display with 1,080 x 2,400 pixels at 60 hertz||6.5-inch Super AMOLED display with 1,080 x 2,400 pixels at 90 hertz|
|Size||158.5 x 73.6 x 7.9 mm||159.9 x 75.1 x 8.4 mm|
|Weight||172 grams||189 grams|
|Connectivity||LTE, WLAN 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0, USB Type-C, NFC, GPS||LTE, WLAN 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0, USB Type-C, NFC, GPS|
|Main camera||48 megapixels on 1/2.0" at f/2.0||64 megapixels on 1/1.7" at f/1.8 (OIS)|
|Ultra-wide angle||12 megapixels at f/2.2 and 123° field of view||12 megapixels at f/2.2 and 123° field of view|
|Macro||5 megapixels at f/2.4||5 megapixels at f/2.4|
|Depth||5 megapixels at f/2.4||5 megapixel at f/2.4|
|Front camera||32 Megapixel on 1/2.8" at f/2.2||32 Megapixel on 1/2.8" at f/2.2|
|Video||max. 4K at 30 frames per second||max. 4K at 30 frames per second|
|Battery capacity||4,000 mAh||4,500 mAh|
|Charging technologies||Fast charge with 15 Watt||Fast charging with 25 Watt|
|Authentication||Under-display fingerprint sensor||Fingerprint sensor under the display|
|Operating system||Android 11 with Samsung UI 3.1||Android 11 with Samsung UI 3.1|
|Test report||Galaxy A51 review||Galaxy A52 5G review|
We also take a very factual approach when we look at the price trends of these smartphones. This is because the Galaxy A52 was released in March 2021, while the Galaxy A51 has had a lot more time to experience price cuts since it was released in January 2020.
When comparing prices, the Galaxy A51 can be had for a bit cheaper in July 2021. Yes, you do pay less money for the Galaxy A51. However, the price difference is far less than first expected. Usually, the price drop of smartphones is not linear, but it flattens out gradually.
If you are planning a purchase in a few weeks or months from now, the price difference could shrink even further.
So let us focus on the Samsung Galaxy A52 for a moment and see just how relevant the improvements have been. Basically, Samsung has included upgrades in all categories. This is especially notable with the higher refresh rate of 90 Hertz in the still very high-quality Super AMOLED display. In addition, the display is now protected by Gorilla Glass 5, while the A51 relied on Gorilla Glass 3.
For better durability, the A52 comes with an IP67 certification, something which the A51 misses out on in terms of protection against dust and water splashes. While the dimensions of both smartphones are pretty much identical due to the same 6.5-inch display size, the A52 is heavier. The predecessor weighed 172 grams, with the Galaxy A52 tipping the scales at 189 grams.
Another thing that increased is the number of megapixels on the main camera. Still part of a quad-camera setup, the Galaxy A52's main sensor delivers 64 megapixels of goodness. The lens used is also a bit faster with an open aperture of f/1.8 with Samsung throwing in optical image stabilization as an added bonus. Theoretically, this should mean that shots captured in darker environments should have less blur.
The other cameras at the back remain unchanged. You can still switch to an ultra-wide-angle camera with 12 megapixels and a field of view of 123 degrees. In addition, there is a macro and a depth camera at 5 megapixels each. You can snap 32 megapixel selfies as you stare into a centrally-located punch-hole camera.
As a newer device, the Galaxy A52 also brings with it more power underneath the hood. For this model, Samsung relied on the mid-range Snapdragon 720G SoC. The Galaxy A51 was still powered by its own Exynos 9611 chipset. The speed advantage that the Snapragon processor brings is, among other things, due to a different manufacturing process. While the Exynos 9611 was manufactured using the 10-nanometer process, the Snapdragon SoC relies on an 8-nanometer process. The clock speed of six of the eight processors is also slightly higher.
One more clue to remember about Samsung: For the Galaxy A52, Samsung provides four years of monthly security updates. With the Galaxy A51, you will also get up to four years of security updates, but those are limited to just quarterly releases.
Last but not least, we took note of two upgrades made to the battery: Not only has the Galaxy A52's battery grown from 4,000 to 4,500 mAh, it can also be recharged faster at 25 watts. In the Galaxy A51, quick-charging only worked with 15 watts.
Let's move on to the arguments in favor of the Galaxy A51. As you can imagine after reading the last paragraph, it does not look good for the Galaxy A51. The Galaxy A52 is the better smartphone in all aspects. What's left, therefore, is only a certain price advantage, which will continue to dwindle in the coming weeks.
However, you may have found the Galaxy A51 sold at a very good price, or perhaps there's a cheap mobile contract that includes the smartphone. Considering smartphone market in 2021, Antoine has reviewed the Galaxy A51 once again. You can find out how well the mid-ranger performed in his latest review of the Samsung Galaxy A51.
If you're thinking about the Galaxy A51 or the Galaxy A52, there's one thing you shouldn't forget: The Galaxy A52 has also been released with a more powerful 5G version in this country. Apart from supporting the new mobile standard, you will also benefit from a higher-quality display here.
While it might boast a similar 6.5-inch form factor, the Super AMOLED display offers a refresh rate of 120 Hertz. In addition, the processor underneath the hood is a little bit more powerful. If you like to buy smartphones that you would like to use for a long time, it might be worth forking up the extra pennies.
You can also find out additional information online about a 5G variant of the Galaxy A51. This first iteration hit the market in the US and didn't really make it over to Europe. Although you can find the device at some retailers or at Amazon Marketplace, I do not recommend picking it up. This is because Galaxy A51 5G edition only supports a few of the German 5G bands, which means you are better off with the Galaxy A52 5G.
Rarely has a winner in a NextPit Versus shootout been as clear as the one today! The Samsung Galaxy A52 is the better smartphone in all aspects, with just a slightly more expensive price point. Upgraded features like the higher refresh rate display and better quad camera at the back make the added premium worth it.
In addition, the Galaxy A52 brings with it a higher frequency of security updates, not to mention finally having IP certification. With the Galaxy A52 enjoying great popularity in 2021, you can also look forward to good deals for this smartphone. After all, electronics retailers base their offers on devices that are most likely to be bought.
Is the upgrade worth it?
Although the Galaxy A52 is the clear winner in our comparison, an upgrade is not absolutely necessary at this point in time. After all, most of the improvements were related to details that are not all that noticeable in everyday use. For instance, having optical image stabilization theoretically ensures better pictures, but this is only if you only shoot during the day, which it is hardly noticeable in the first place.
So if you're already using the Galaxy A51, you don't really need to buy a new smartphone. Or perhaps you have a different opinion about that? Feel free to let me know in the comments if you agree with my line of reasoning and which smartphone you decided to settle for.