Technology Samsung's new Galaxy A52, A52 5G and A72 mid-priced smartphones are loaded with cool features
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Right now, all signs point to 2021 being a turning point for Samsung smartphones. An end-of-year scoop from Reuterscites multiple anonymous sources who claim there won’t be a new Galaxy Note this year, and a Samsung official basically confirmed as much to a Korean news agency. We’ve also seen Samsung announce plans to make its flashy new foldable phones more “accessible”, which dovetails with earlier reports saying the resources that would’ve been allocated to the Note is instead going to those foldables. The times, they are a-changing.
Samsung debuted a trio of newtoday: the Galaxy A52, A52 5G and A72 smartphones. The new phones are designed for all ages, but also will especially appeal to a youthful audience, with flattering selfies and photos "for your squad" mentioned at least a dozen times during the unveiling event, titled Samsung Awesome Unpacked.
"Galaxy A is awesome all around, so it's no surprise its biggest fans belong to the next generation of influencers. This is the generation that's harnessed the power of we when it's the global cultural thing and come together with friends from around the world...organize around issues, and everything in between," said Charles Hsieh, senior manager for launch and partnerships for Samsung, at the livestream Unpacked event on YouTube.
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Hseih said that Galaxy A was the most popular family of Android devices in 2020. Last year, Samsung launched six smartphones for the A series: A01, A11, A21, A51, A51 5G and A71 5G. In January this year, Samsung released the Galaxy A32 smartphone.
Samsung broadening its audience with these devices
Forrester vice president and principal analyst Thomas Husson said Samsung is working to appeal to the mid-range smartphone market with its A series.
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"Samsung's approach here is to broaden its target audience and to deter aggressive Chinese competitors like Oppo, Vivo or Xiaomi to steal more of Huawei's market share outside China," Husson said.
At the U.S. equivalent of $418 to $538, the new phones are priced significantly less than, which top $1,200 with max memory and storage. The Galaxy S21 starts at $800, the Galaxy S21+ starts at $1,000 and the Galaxy Ultra S20 starts at $1,200.
Tuong Huy Nguyen, Gartner senior principal research analyst, said the audience is, simply, "Many people who can't afford, or don't want to pay a lot for flagship phones, but would like some of the features found in the halo products. Features such as the quad camera, fast charging, large expandable memory capacity—all at a much more affordable price point than the S series devices."
Key features in the A series include an improved camera and screen
All three A-series phones feature high-quality cameras and screens, a muted finish and a minimized punch hole. They work with the wider Galaxy ecosystem, including the Galaxy Buds Pro, Galaxy SmartTag and Galaxy Tab.
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The company's mainstream smartphone lineup has become popular with consumers around the globe.On Wednesday at 7 a.m. PT, Samsung is scheduled to hold its second virtual Unpacked event of 2021. Samsung called Wednesday's event "Galaxy Awesome Unpacked" and said it'll explain how it's "bringing Awesome to everyone." (Yes, capital "A" Awesome). Its first Unpacked, in mid-January, marked the introduction of Samsung's flagship phones for the year, the Galaxy S21, S21 Plus and S21 Ultra. All came with 5G, and the devices started at $800, which is $200 less than their predecessors.
Each phone features a quad camera with 64MP on the main lens and a 32MP front lens for selfies. The rear camera on the Galaxy A72 has 3x optical zoom and 30x digital zoom. The Galaxy A52 and A52 5G feature digital zoom up to 10x.
Samsung has partnered with Snapchat for the A52 and A72 exclusively so that Snapchat lenses can be used through the native camera app on the phones.
Samsung is bringing back Optical Image Stabilization for these devices.
"Even your most basic photos will look clear and bright," said Se-Jin Lee, brand experience manager for Samsung, during the YouTube livestream. "When we take photos or videos, it's just natural for our hands to shake a bit. With OIS, the gyro sensor recognizes the motion and sends the signal to the microprocessor. This chip then calculates and sends the signal to the camera sensor on how much the camera lens should move to compensate for the motion. That way, the shots you take will look clear, steady and ready to post. No more busted photos and videos."
There's also a night mode feature to brighten up photos by combining multiple photos.
Samsung’s midrange phones now feature fast refresh rate screens, stabilized cameras
The A-series phones will also include IP67 ratings, brighter screens, and expandable microSD storageKey specs across the board include IP67 water and dust resistance, brighter screens with faster refresh rates, and a 64-megapixel main camera with optical image stabilization. All three models include a microSD card slot for expandable storage and will ship with a charging brick in the box — features that you won’t find in the S21-series flagships.
The video features in the A series are also improved, so that vloggers will create smooth video. There's an option called Single Take that uses one long shutter press to take a video and produce two to nine different photos at the same time, so users don't have to decide between a video and a photo.
The Samsung A-series screen
The Galaxy A52 has a 6.5-inch screen with a 90 Hz refresh rate, while the Galaxy A52 5G has the same size screen as the A52, but with a 120 Hz refresh rate. The Galaxy A72 has a 6.7-inch screen with a 90 Hz refresh rate.
The displays on each phone feature 800 nit brightness, which is the highest in the Galaxy A series lineup. The screens are Eye Care certified and automatically adjust the color temperature based on smartphone usage patterns to reduce eye fatigue.
The displays are all FHD+ Super AMOLED with an Infinity-O Display with a minimized punch hole.
Battery performance, memory, storage features and more
The battery will last more than 48 hours on one charge due to the power efficient display and processor, according to Samsung. The Galaxy A52 phones both have a 4,500 mAh battery, and the Galaxy A72 has a 5,000 mAh battery.
The Galaxy A52 is available with 4GB, 6GB or 8GB of RAM, and 128GB or 256GB of ROM. The Galaxy A52 5G and the Galaxy A72 are available with 6GB or 8GB of RAM, and 128GB or 256GB of ROM.
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Storage is expandable, up to 1TB, on all three phones through the MicroSD slot.
The phones all operate on Galaxy's One UI 3.1, and use for security. The devices are all IP67 rated so they are protected from dust and water.
Pricing on the A-series phones
The A-series phones are known for their affordable price points that still allow for an array of features. Samsung has cut the least expensive phones from the lineup--at launch last year, the A01 was priced at $110, the A11 at $180, and it was $250 for the A21. The A51 began at $400 last year, and the 5G version was $500. The most expensive last year was the A71 5G, priced at $600 to start.
This year, Samsung hasn't released U.S. prices yet for the A series, nor said which countries will offer the devices. But European prices were announced, and it's from €349 for the A52, the A52 5G starts at €429, and the Galaxy A72 will be available from €449. In U.S. dollars, that's $418 for the A52, $514 for the A52 5G and $538 for the A72.
How to purchase
Samsung has not released dates yet on when the phones will be available for purchase, or in which countries they will be sold.
Galaxy A32 vs. Galaxy A42 vs. Galaxy A52 vs. Galaxy S20 FE: Samsung's 5G phones compared .
A trio of 5G phones from Samsung's latest Galaxy A lineup will arrive in the US this week. Here's how they stack up against each other.Only the A42 5G can connect to super fast millimeter-wave 5G, though mmWave is offered only by Verizon right now. The A32 5G and A52 5G tap into the slower but more widespread 5G networks preferred by AT&T and T-Mobile. The prices for these phones range from $280 to $500, giving Samsung bragging rights -- the $280 Galaxy A32 5G is one of the cheapest 5G phones on the US market.