Samsung presented its new mid-range smartphones to us in March this year. Besides the A32 and the A52 without 5G, the Galaxy A52 5G and the Galaxy A72 were the two most important devices out of the lot. We took a look at the latter two for this smartphone comparison to help those who are still on the fence.
When Samsung lifted the curtain in March this year and finally unveiled its new mid-range after the flagship models spearheaded by the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra in January, there were four different models to marvel at: the Galaxy A32, the Galaxy A52, the Galaxy A52 5G and finally, the Galaxy A72.
We picked out the two most promising models for our smartphone comparison with the Galaxy A72, which nominally leads the Samsung mid-range handset pack and the Galaxy A52 5G. We have already reviewed both smartphones where you can check them out after the specifications comparison segment.
Galaxy A52 5G vs. Galaxy A72: Hardware specifications compared
|Model||Galaxy A52 5G||Galaxy A72|
8 nm octa-core processor (2 x 2.2 Ghz + 6 x 1.8 GHz)
|8 nm Octa-Core processor (2 x 2.3 Ghz + 6 x 1.8 GHz)|
|Memory (RAM / internal)||6 or 8 GB / 128 or 256 GB||
6 GB / 128 GB
|Expandable memory||Yes, MicroSD up to 1 TB||Yes, MicroSD up to 1 TB|
|Display||6.5-inch, Super AMOLED, FHD+, 120 Hz||6.7-inch, Super AMOLED, FHD+, 90 Hz|
|Size||75.1 x 159.9 x 8.4 mm||77.4 x 165 x 8.4 mm|
|Weight||approx. 189 gram||205 grams|
|Connectivity||5G, WIFi 5, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC||LTE, WIFi 5, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC|
|Front camera||32 MP without AF||32 MP without AF|
|Battery capacity||4,500 mAh||5,000 mAh|
|Charging technologies||25 Watts Quick Charging||25 Watts Quick Charging|
|IP Certification||IP 67||IP 67|
|Operating System||Android 11 with 4 years of security updates||Android 11 with 4 years of security updates|
|Price||$429 / $489||$449|
|Test report||Galaxy A52 5G review||Galaxy A72 review|
Two smartphones with a lot of similarities...
Unsurprisingly, the new A-class smartphones are very similar in appearance. All in all, we're dealing with a rather unspectacular form factor. Samsung has ensured that the build quality of both devices is top-notch, as usual. Both models are also similar in size: While the A52 comes with a 6.5-inch display, the A72 is a wee bit larger, arriving with a 6.7-inch display.
In addition, both models are IP67 certified, boast stereo speakers as well as Dolby Atmos support, and a 3.5 mm headphone jack. Another similarity that makes it all the more difficult to choose between the two: Android 11 with guaranteed security updates for up to four years, operating system updates for up to three years, and a memory card slot for expandable memory.
... but there are also differences!
Naturally, it's not just the display size that sets them apart here. While the A52 is powered by a Snapdragon 750G SoC, the A72 is equipped with the Snapdragon 720G, which also lacks 5G functionality. Missing 5G support is the more decisive difference here because when it comes to performance, it is pretty hard to tell between the two.
Personally, I have always found benchmark tests to be meaningless. To get a better idea of the performance gap between the two (if any), check out the table below.
Samsung Galaxy A72 vs A52 5G: Benchmark results
|Benchmark||Geekbench 5 CPU||Geekbench 5 Computing||3D Mark Wildlife||3D Mark Wild Life Stress Test|
|Galaxy A72||548/1616||1.220||1.048 at 6,3 FPS||Highest score: 1.044
Lowest score: 1.040
|Galaxy A52 5G||620/1740||1.312||1,090 at 6.5 FPS||Highest score: 1,093
Lowest score: 1.090
There is also a difference in the available (working) memory: While the A72 will only come in 6 GB RAM and 128 GB internal memory configuration, the A52 5G comes with an optional 8 GB RAM and 256 GB memory configuration. Thus, the A52 is slightly ahead at this point, but only by such a small margin that it should not be ultimately decisive in this comparison.
The camera separates the wheat from the chaff
The difference is probably clearer when it comes down to the camera, although both devices compete with a quad-cam setup where three of the four cameras are identical. In addition to the main 48 MP shooter, there's the 12 MP ultra-wide-angle cam and the 5 MP macro camera. Good news: compared to the very popular mid-range smartphone A51 from last year, Samsung has included optical image stabilization for the main camera in their new mid-range handsets.
So that leaves us with just one of four shooters to make the difference between the two handsets, and unsurprisingly, this is exactly what happens. The A72 has a 3x telephoto sensor at 8 MP resolution, while Samsung 'cheats' by throwing in a 5 MP shooter with a depth sensor into the A52 5G. In my opinion, the A72 scores better here, so that those who love mobile photography would be better off with the larger sibling.
The selfie cams are identical on both devices with 32 MP resolution, but unfortunately, both also do not come with autofocus.
Two beautiful Super AMOLED displays, but ...
Let's now talk about the display: In both cases, Samsung offers us Super AMOLED panels with FHD+ resolution here, which is a fine inclusion considering how Samsung has always been great with displays. Thanks to the slightly smaller display, the A52 is naturally ahead in terms of pixel density.
The bigger difference, however, would be the surprisingly higher refresh rate of 120 Hertz in the "smaller" model. This contrasts with the 90 Hertz refresh rate in the A72, which is perhaps not a complete disappointment for a smartphone in this price range, but I somehow get the feeling of being shortchanged since it is supposed to be the superior option to the A52.
So if you value a particularly smooth display, the A52 should be the better option between the two. Perhaps the battery capacity will also be an interesting point of contention in this context: The larger A72 obviously carries a larger capacity 5,000 mAh battery compared to the 4,500 mAh battery in the smaller A52 5G. This difference is normally compensated by the different display sizes, so the battery life of both handsets should be on par.
However, if you now take into consideration the lower refresh rate in the A72, the 6.7-inch device should also score minimally better here. Let us remember that having your smartphone connected to a 5G network would also consume more power throughout the day, but with 5G networks not being popular worldwide at the moment, that is a moot point - for now.
By the way, both smartphones support fast charging at 25 watts. That is not earth-shattering compared to the rest of the competition, but at least it is significantly faster than the previous rating of 15 watts. You can also count on the fact that the slightly slower charging is healthier for the battery in the long run - a point that should be taken into consideration if you plan to use the smartphone for a longer time due to the guaranteed four-year security updates. As for the battery, it's a shame that both the A72 and A52 5G does not support wireless charging.
- Also read: Does Fast Charging damage your smartphone?
Conclusion: Who is the winner?
As we are on the home stretch of our comparison of Samsung's current mid-range champions, the good news up-front is that you basically can't go wrong with either model because both the Galaxy A52 5G and the A72 are two really decent smartphones.
Yes, of course they look pretty boring and lack that killer feature that will completely knock your socks off. But that's just what you have to live with when you pay "only" less than $500 instead of $1,200 for a high-end flagship that has all the bells and whistles in a stunning design.
Both are priced between $400 and $500, and we can expect them to fall below the $400 mark in the not too distant future. However, the mid-range market is a really competitive sector with strong competition. Just think of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro for instance, which can now be purchased for less than $300.
However, if you want to buy one of these two highly recommended smartphones, you will have to take into consideration the minute differences and decide on what is more important to you. You get the better camera and longer battery life in the A72 - both features that I will personally pay more attention to when purchasing a smartphone when considering what the hardware specifications have to offer.
On the other hand, if you really want to go for 5G support right now, especially in view of the longer term, then aim for the A52 5G. That will also net you the smoother 120 Hz display. Final question: Which device do you like more or has the stronger pull factor for you?