The Samsung Galaxy M52 5G is the South Korean firm’s latest entry in the mid-range segment, which is dominated by Chinese brands. To compete with the likes of OnePlus, Realme, and Xiaomi, the Korean tech giant has pretty much closed the gap in terms of specifications. Marketed as a ‘Monster’ smartphone, the Galaxy M52 5G comes with a 5,000 mAh battery and 64MP main camera. It also offers an OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate that is usually reserved for premium handsets. Plus, Samsung is banking on the brand value it enjoys in India. So, has Samsung got a winner at its hand? Let’s find out in our Galaxy M52 5G review.
Samsung Galaxy M52 5G Design
Samsung has some of the best design teams in the world. Its entire flagship line-up attests to this fact. Unfortunately, none of that design flair trickles down in the budget or mid-range segment. The Galaxy M52 5G is no exception as it sports a drab look. It is not that there are glaring faults, but it is downright uninspiring. Just look at its glossy back with a pinstripe pattern. It reminds me of stripe shirts donned by middle-aged uncles in Mumbai metro.
Apart from the lack of character, the Galaxy M52 5G is devoid of metal in its body. Be it the back panel, frame, or even buttons, it is all plastic. No prizes for guessing that the handset doesn’t feel premium. On the bright side, the phone tips the scales at just 173g. If you can ignore the camera bump, the Galaxy M52 5G is quite slim at 7.4mm.
Subscribe to OnsitegoGet the latest technology news, reviews, and opinions on tech products right into your inbox
Moving around the front, the smartphone has fairly thin bezels. To accommodate the selfie camera, Samsung has gone with a punch-hole design at the top centre. It is less jarring than putting up with a notch and more reliable than having a pop-up selfie camera from the years past.
Samsung Galaxy M52 5G Display
Samsung is a global leader in smartphone OLED screens. It has gone with a top-notch 6.7-inch Full HD+ panel for the Galaxy M52 5G. As we have touched upon this topic many times, the OLED technology is far superior compared to LCDs. Every pixel in an OLED panel is self-illuminated and hence can switch off individual pixels to render accurate and inky blacks.
For those who prefer toned-down colours, Samsung has added a ‘Natural’ colour profile in the Settings app. The South Korean brand provides a slider to choose between warm and cold tones. Moreover, you can control the intensity of red, green, and blue diodes. This feature may not feel essential right away. However, it is very useful to restore the screen’s white balance after years of use because a blue diode has a shorter lifespan compared to green and red.
The phone offers a quick setting to switch between 60Hz and 120Hz refresh rates. To take advantage of the latter, the Galaxy M52 5G renders UI at higher frame rates. Thus, you get a smooth and blur-free scrolling experience.
Samsung Galaxy M52 5G Software
The Galaxy M52’s software experience is defined by the One UI 3.1. Based on Android 11, Samsung’s software skin is quite feature-rich. Initially looked down upon due to its garish design, the One UI has come a long way. It now looks modern and less cluttered. Samsung has worked towards achieving a cohesive look in terms of software design. There’s now uniformity in terms of icon size and design. The transparency effect also extends to most screens.
The smartphone offers extensive UI customisation. There’s a steady stream of new themes and icon packs. Moreover, you can fine-tune the rows and columns of icons on home screens. The South Korean company has also kept the widgets alive. However, the implementation is a bit half-baked. To give you an example, some widgets fail to align in the middle.
As mentioned earlier, the One UI 3.1 is loaded with features. Along with that, Samsung has also pre-installed some bloatware. In certain places, the South Korean company has gone too far to promote its services. For instance, if you press and hold the power button, the phone triggers Bixby instead of switching off. However, the company might tone down bloatware with Android 12-based One UI 4.0 and remove ads and push notifications from its stock apps.
Samsung Galaxy M52 5G Performance
The Galaxy M52 5G is powered by Qualcomm’s latest premium mid-range chipset, the Snapdragon 778G. Based on the 6nm fabrication process, the chip fuses an octa-core CPU to the Adreno 642L GPU. This mid-range SoC (System on Chip) packs in enough power to breeze through regular use.
It is the gaming where you get to know the handset’s limitations. In COD Mobile, the graphics settings are capped at ‘High’ if you choose the ‘Max’ frame rate. Similarly, in Battlegrounds Mobile India, the highest you can go is Ultra framerate at HD quality graphics. Another area of concern is sustained performance. During our tests, we found out that the phone’s chip gets throttled to 68% of its max performance in half an hour. However, it’s not the worse we’ve seen in the segment.
The phone’s OLED display is ideal for watching movies on the go. On the flip side, the handset lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack. So be prepared to invest in a good pair of wireless earbuds. Unless you are planning on using a lousy USB-C to use a 3.5 mm jack adaptor.
The smartphone is compatible with 5G networks, but we couldn’t test it due to obvious reasons. The phone’s 4G reception on the Airtel LTE network was good in Mumbai where the phone was tested. We didn’t notice any connectivity-related issues on the smartphone.
Samsung Galaxy M52 5G Cameras
The Galaxy M52 5G sports a triple-camera setup on the rear. It features a 64MP main camera which is accompanied by a 12MP ultrawide camera and 5MP macro camera. The camera interface is fairly straightforward. You can swipe to switch between Photo, Video, and More settings. The latter offers access to Macro, Portrait, Slow Motion, Panorama, and Pro mode.
Coming to the subject of image quality, the 64MP main camera performs well in proper daylight. For a mid-range phone, it captures a good amount of detail. Moreover, colour reproduction isn’t too far from reality, something that we don’t get to see often in the mid-range segment. Switching to a 12MP ultrawide-angle camera comes with a significant drop in quality. Sure, these shots look dramatic, but it is hard to ignore the lack of detail. But, that’s the case with most mid-range smartphones.
In low-light conditions, the 64MP snapper holds its own. Sure, the images contain noticeable noise, but on the bright side, you get a good amount of detail and a decent dynamic range. The night mode further boosts the quality. However, it requires you to hold the phone steady for a couple of seconds. The 12MP ultrawide shooter falters in low-light conditions. The images contain so much noise that it is best to avoid it in low-light conditions.
For close-up shots, the 5MP macro camera comes in handy. However, due to the paltry 5MP sensor, the images are only good for mobile viewing. The 32MP selfie camera packs in plenty of features such as Snapchat filters, beautification, and a wide-angle mode. It produces sharp images with good colour reproduction.
The Galaxy M52 5G captures decent videos. Since the phone lacks Optical Image Stabilsation (OIS), you need to hold the device steady to get good results. The video recording is capped at 4K 30fps. If you prefer a higher frame rate, the only option is to switch to Full HD resolution.
Samsung Galaxy M52 5G Battery Life
Despite its slim design, the Galaxy M52 packs in a 5,000 mAh battery. With screen-on-time in the range of five to six hours, the phone easily lasts for an entire day on a single charge. These figures were achieved with a display set to a 120Hz refresh rate. You can extend the battery life a bit further by capping the screen refresh rate at 60Hz.
While Samsung gets things right with the battery life, it is the charging speeds where things go south. Just when other brands are offering up to 55W fast-charging in the same price range, Samsung is stuck with 25W. To add to that insult, the phone ships with a measly 15W charger. It takes over two hours to charge the phone from 0-100%.
Should You Buy Galaxy M52 5G Over Competing Phones?
The Galaxy M52 5G comes with a starting price of ₹29,999 for the 6GB RAM + 128GB storage variant. The phone offers an excellent OLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate. You also get a pleasant user experience and long battery life. On the flip side, the phone’s design is uninspiring and the camera performance is a mixed bag. The biggest issue, however, is that the M52 5G has to compete with the likes of the OnePlus Nord 2, Xiaomi Mi 11X, Realme X7 Max, and the Realme GT Master Edition. These handsets offer similar or better hardware and trendy designs at aggressive pricing. Especially, the Realme GT Master Edition is irresistible at its current offer price of ₹21,000.
Samsung Galaxy M52 5G
The Galaxy M52 5G offers an excellent OLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, a pleasant user experience and long battery life. On the flip side, the phone’s design is uninspiring and the camera performance is a mixed bag.
- Superb 120Hz OLED screen
- Slim profile
- Snappy performance
- Feature-packed One UI software
- Long battery life
- Drab design
- Mediocre ultrawide camera
- Lacks 3.5mm headphone jack
- Ships with 15W charger