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Samsung Galaxy M52 5G Review: A Significant and Meaningful Upgrade

Pros

  • Impressive 120Hz Super AMOLED display
  • Great performance
  • Great camera
  • Slim and lightweight
  • Great battery life
  • One UI feels very intuitive

Cons

  • Average mono speaker
  • Average vibration motor
  • No headphone jack
  • Plastic back
Samsung M52 Review
Samsung M52 Review

Samsung just launched an upper mid-range phone, Samsung Galaxy M52 5G in Nepal. This is a successor to a well-reviewed Samsung Galaxy M51 that was launched last year.

Samsung Galaxy M52 5G price in Nepal is Rs. 48,999 for 6/128GB variant and Rs. 50,999 for 8/128GB variant. The phone is available to buy from authorized Samsung stores across Nepal.

Samsung is known for sacrificing the phone’s performance for having a superb display and camera in the mid-range segment.

However, this time—after tough competition from Chinese smartphone manufacturers such as Xiaomi, Poco, and Realme—Samsung has leveled up the game by including a competitive chipset.

So, is Samsung finally catching up with the rest of the phones in the performance department? You will find out in TechLekh’s Samsung Galaxy M52 5G review.

Samsung M52 5G Specifications

  • SIM: Hybrid Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
  • Display: 6.7 inches “Infinity-O” Super AMOLED Plus, FHD+, 120Hz, 20:9
  • Chipset: Qualcomm SDM778G Snapdragon 778G 5G (6 nm)
  • CPU: Octa-core (4×2.4GHz Cortex-A78 & 4×1.8GHz Cortex-A55)
  • GPU: Adreno 642L
  • Memory: 128GB 6GB RAM, 128GB 8GB RAM
  • OS: Android 11, One UI 3.1
  • Rear Camera: 64 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/1.73″, 0.8µm, PDAF
  • Front Camera: 32 MP, f/2.0, 26mm (wide), 1/2.8″, 0.8µm
  • Battery: Non-removable Li-Po 5000 mAh battery, Fast charging 25W, Reverse charging
  • USB: USB Type-C 2.0
  • Misc: Fingerprint (side-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
  • Colors: Blue, White, Black

Samsung M52 5G Price in Nepal: Rs. 48,999 (6/128GB) | Rs. 50,999 (8/128GB)

Samsung M52 Review

Slim and Light Design

  • 164.2 x 76.4 x 7.4 mm
  • 175g
  • Hybrid Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
Samsung M52 Review
M52 5G Design

In the past, one of the major complaints after the performance of the Samsung’s M series phones was its design. The design was not only dull but it was also bulky and heavy. With the Samsung Galaxy M52 5G, Samsung has redesigned the phone. Though the build is still made out of plastic, it looks much better than before.

When I first picked this phone up, I immediately realized how light and slim the phone is. This is very unlike any Samsung’s M series phone before.

At just 7.4mm thickness and 175g weight, Samsung Galaxy M52 5G is probably the slimmest and lightest available mid-range phone in 2021.

The rear has a glossy surface to it that makes this phone a bit slippery but on the bright side, it does a fair job at hiding fingerprint smudges, thanks to the pinstripe pattern.

ALSO READ: Poco F3 GT Review: An Impressive Gaming Phone

The rear camera bump is still in the same place but it only has three cameras now instead of four. And, the camera design also looks much minimalistic than before.

Both the power button—which also doubles as a fingerprint sensor—and the volume buttons are on the right side. On the bottom, there is a mic, USB Type C, and a mono speaker. Unfortunately, the M52 5G no longer has a headphone jack.

Excellent Display

  • 6.7-inch Super AMOLED Plus
  • FullHD+
  • 120Hz Refresh Rate

Samsung M52 Review

Samsung Galaxy M52 5G comes with the same large 6.7-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED display. However, Samsung has listened to its customers and has now implemented a 120Hz refresh rate display.

The already awesome display of the Galaxy M51 is now even smoother in the new Galaxy M52 5G. The display, however, is not a dynamic one, meaning the refresh rate is fixed and doesn’t change depending on the content of the display like we see in flagship phones. If it’s set at 120Hz, it’s fixed at 120Hz.

Talking about the quality of the display, the display is excellent. Watching movies and playing games on this display is a pleasant experience.

It is bright and the colors look vibrant; you will not have any complaints regarding the display.

Smooth Performance

  • Qualcomm SDM778G Snapdragon 778G 5G (6 nm)
  • Octa-core (4×2.4GHz Cortex-A78 & 4×1.8GHz Cortex-A55)
  • Adreno 642L GPU
  • 6/8GB RAM 128GB storage
Samsung M52 Review
Samsung M52 Gaming

The Samsung Galaxy M52 5G is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G 5G chipset. It comes in two variants: 6GB RAM 128GB storage and 8GB RAM 128GB storage. I am using the 6GB variant.

Snapdragon 778G is a very capable chipset and is a huge improvement over the last year’s Galaxy M51. This chipset is built on a 6nm process node and is also found in the more expensive Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G.

Benchmark Scores

Yet the Snapdragon 778G is not as powerful as the MediaTek Dimensity 1200 found in phones such as the Poco F3 GT, especially on the graphics side. In terms of benchmarks, when tested on Geekbench 5, Poco F3‘s Snapdragon 870 and F3 GT’s Dimensity 1200 were slightly better than the SD 778G, but overall, performed very similar.

However, testing the GPU performance on 3DMark (Wild Life), we got to see a massive difference between Samsung and Poco’s chipset. The two phones from Poco crushed the SD 778G’s GPU scores. Poco F3 and Poco F3 GT both managed to score around 4100 while the Galaxy M52 5G’s 778G chipset scored just around 2400.

How does it perform in real life though?

In my real-life day-to-day usage, I did not face any performance issues on the Galaxy M52 5G. I did not encounter any noticeable lags or stutters when opening, closing, using, and switching between multiple apps. It ran smoothly throughout my usage.

I was, however, frequently facing shutter lags while taking photos from the main camera. More on that later.

How does it handle games?

Talking about the gaming aspect of the phone, I am satisfied with it. When playing Call of Duty Mobile, graphics can be set up to very high settings at very high frame rates. It was smoothly delivering 60fps at those settings.

PUBG Mobile also delivered an average of 60fps frame rate when set at the extreme frame rate and smooth graphics. However, when set to any higher graphics, the frame rate dropped down to only 40fps at the Ultra frame rate.

Overall, it is a good chipset and I enjoyed playing games on it. It’s not the best out there, but it definitely is capable of providing a smooth experience.

When playing Mortal Kombat, it was smoothly running at above 110 fps. More graphics demanding games such as Genshin Impact, however, struggled a bit and was only delivering around an average of 30fps. But it’s an open-world game, therefore, should not be much of a problem.

The thermal of the phone was also not that bad. Given it’s a comparatively thinner phone, it did heat up quickly but it never got uncomfortably hot. It felt warm around the camera area, which did not bother me much.

Great Camera

Samsung M52 Camera

The Samsung Galaxy M52 5G has a triple camera setup on the rear comprising a 64MP main camera, a 12MP ultrawide camera, and a 5MP macro camera. These are the same cameras we find in the Galaxy M51 and Galaxy M62; the only difference is the M52 5G lacks a depth sensor.

This phone also is the first phone in the Galaxy M series to support the Single Take, which was introduced on the Samsung Galaxy S20 series.

Before talking about the quality of the camera, I quickly want to point out one thing. One issue I frequently experienced when using the camera was the shutter lag.

Especially when taking photos of fast-moving objects such as pets and children, there was always a lag of about 2 seconds or more.

This is very annoying and I have missed multiple shots because of this.

NORMAL PHOTOS

Samsung Galaxy M52 5G takes really great photos. The photos look sharp and have a good amount of details in them. Having said that, I did notice this phone oversaturates colors a bit such as yellow and green, which is very common in Samsung devices.

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Other than that, the photos from the main camera are very good. The processing also handles dynamic range very well most of the time, but there were some instances when the phone could not expose the highlights or shadows.

Overall, I really like the camera.

ULTRAWIDE ANGLE PHOTOS

The 12MP ultrawide camera sensor here has a 123-degree FOV. The quality and the colors of the photos taken from the ultrawide angle lens are very similar to the main camera.

If you zoom in, you might see a little less sharpness and details compared to the main camera, but overall, that’s not a major issue and it does a very good job at what it is supposed to do.

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Also, If you look at the corners of the ultrawide photos, you will notice a slight distortion which could’ve been handled a bit better but still, it is not a dealbreaker.

What I like about the ultrawide camera is it has the same color as the main camera with pretty good details. And, that is everything a normal person needs.

LOW LIGHT PHOTOS

The low light capabilities of this camera have also impressed me. The photos taken in low light conditions surprisingly have good details. The photos retain a good amount of details and sharpness and are also decently exposed.

Realistically, the night photos will not be as good as the day photos, we know that, yet the low light camera performance of the Samsung Galaxy M52 5G is still respectable.

The night mode helps the photos to have even more details but requires you to hold the phone steady for few seconds.

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In pitch darkness, the camera struggles a bit but still manages to take decent photos.

PORTRAIT PHOTOS

The Samsung Galaxy M52 5G lacks a depth sensor, which was present in its predecessor. However, I did not miss the depth sensor at all.

Galaxy M52 managed to do a good job at detecting the edge of the subject, even in indoor low-light environments.

MACRO PHOTOS

The macro camera of the Galaxy M52 5G is not a gimmick; it actually has decent macro photography abilities.

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It has a very shallow depth of field, and when you get closer to the subject, you can get a good macro photo if it has a good lighting environment.

SELFIE

Samsung Galaxy M52 5G has a 32MP selfie camera that takes good photos. The selfies have good details and sharpness.

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Sometimes, it feels the color of the skin tone leans towards a red-ish or yellow-ish tone. But overall, the photos taken from the front camera are really good.

VIDEOS

Samsung Galaxy M52 5G can shoot up to Ultra HD at 30 fps and up to 1080p at 60 fps. The video quality from the rear camera is decent. It has a decent sharpness and maintains good exposure.

The videos were not stable and the EIS didn’t seem to be working. But, a software update seems to have enabled the EIS. The videos have decent stabilization with EIS turned on at 1080p after the update.

The front camera is also capable of shooting up to Ultra HD at 30 fps and up to 1080p at 60fps. The front video quality is great with good color, details, and decent stabilization.

Battery

  • Non-removable Li-Po 5000mAh battery
  • Fast charging 25W
  • Reverse charging
Samsung M52 Battery

Galaxy M52 5G has a 5000mAh battery, which is 2000mAh less battery capacity than what its predecessors offer. Samsung took this step after receiving many complaints from its users regarding the size and weight of the M series phones.

Therefore, Samsung decided to put a smaller battery, and now, as a result, the Galaxy M52 5G—as mentioned earlier—is among the lightest and thinnest mid-range phones in 2020.

As for the battery life, I am not a heavy gamer, so the phone easily lasted for more than a day during my moderate usage. I only used to charge this device once every two days. On average, I was getting about 7.5 hours of screen on time with a 120Hz screen refresh rate turned on.

The phone supports 25W fast charging. With the supported charger, it takes around 1.5 hours to fully charge the phone from 0%. However, the phone only comes with a 15W charger in the box.

Software

  • Android 11
  • One UI 3.1
Samsung M52 Software

Samsung Galaxy M52 runs on One UI 3.1 that is based on Android 11. I didn’t face any bugs or issues with the software. It is well optimized and the 120Hz high refresh rate also runs very smoothly.

I don’t have any complaints about the software of the Samsung Galaxy M52 5G.

Speaker and Others Little Things

The Samsung Galaxy M52 5G has a bottom-firing mono speaker. The speaker gets pretty loud but it is just average. It lacks bass and the clarity of the sound is also not that great at full volume.

It would have been better if it had a stereo speaker setup.

The vibration motor in the Galaxy M52 5G is also very average. It does not include good haptic feedback; it feels cheap. For connectivity, the phone does support 5G and has 11 5G bands, which can be useful in the future when 5G is available in Nepal.

Should You Buy Samsung M52?

Samsung Galaxy M51 was already one of the most loved mid-range phones in 2020 and early 2021. Everything was great about that phone except for the performance and design. While Samsung did bring the Samsung Galaxy M62 later as a replacement for the Galaxy M51, it also had the same not-so-great bulky design.

ALSO READ: Samsung Mobiles Price in Nepal: Features and Specs

This year, however, Samsung listened and delivered what was missing. Samsung Galaxy M52 5G now comes with a great chipset, a great high refresh rate display, and a better design along with great camera performance, and great battery life.

The Galaxy M52 does the basic right, but Samsung wants to differentiate this phone from premium phones by not providing a premium build, a good haptic motor, OIS, stereo speakers, and an in-display fingerprint sensor.

Regardless, Samsung Galaxy M52 5G is undoubtedly the best mid-range smartphone you can get for under Rs. 50,000 in Nepal. Unlike last year, you do not need to sacrifice one thing for the other anymore. Except for a headphone jack, though.

What do you think about the Samsung Galaxy M52 5G? Let us know in the comments!


Also, watch our review of the Poco F3 GT in Nepali.

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