Gaming/Chipset Performance, Battery, Sound, and Conclusion
The Samsung Galaxy A52 4G is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G that was almost every manufacturer’s favourite prior to the Snapdragon 778G thanks to a good balance between performance and power efficiency. This chipset is also optimized so any phone using this processor will guarantee no lag especially if the UI is also optimized and stable. Luckily, OneUI is one of those types.
The review unit we have has 8GB RAM and 256GB of internal storage. This is the highest configuration Samsung could give you for the A52 4G and it works smoothly despite the numerous features and gimmicks the UI has.
The most logical thing to do is, of course, download and run benchmarks, in particular AnTuTu and Geekbench. I also downloaded PCMark for battery endurance testing which I will be using later.
According to AnTuTu, the phone had garnered a score of 313,203 points which isn’t too bad for a phone that uses a year-old processor. It still competes well with similar handsets at its price range, but you may find it underwhelming in contrast to newer releases, especially now that the processor is nearly two years old. The phone did surprisingly defeated the Poco F1, a phone that supposedly uses a more powerful Snapdragon 845 chip. Granted it’s not a new flagship chip, but it should still be more powerful than some midrange chips released by Qualcomm
Geekbench gave the phone a score of 1661 points for the multi-core performance, and 542 points for the single-core score. For the GPU, Geekbench gave the phone a score of 1067 points for the Vulkan test and 1204 points for OpenCL. OpenCL is a little less demanding in comparison to Vulkan so it should not be a surprise to see a slightly higher score for it versus Vulkan. These tests are not too bad but nothing to be amazed about. Still, it’s a one-year-old processor that still kicks to this day.
Benchmarks usually don’t mean much in real-world performance tests therefore there are users that don’t take it very seriously. However, it tells us, on paper, how the phone should perform in practice. Now that the benchmark tests are done, let’s dive into the real-world testing.
Mobile Legends (ULTRA, HFR Mode, HD Mode)
Probably one of the most popular MOBA titles in Southeast Asia including the Philippines. It’s also one of the most basic games one could play on a device. It doesn’t require that much specs as even budget phones like the Cherry Mobile Aqua S9 can run it with little to no problems (although lag is much more present with that phone).
With that said, the game started on ULTRA graphics by default with HFR and HD mode enabled. That just goes to show that the Snapdragon 720G is more than enough to run this game smoothly
Indeed, with the beautiful vivid SAMOLED panel of the Samsung Galaxy A52 4G paired with 8GB RAM and Snapdragon 720G, the performance of the game ran super smooth with almost no lags concerning its raw gaming performance. Almost everything looked vibrant and the HFR mode worked quite well with it. There’s also a normal amount of heat dissipated by the phone that’s only quite noticeable if you’re playing for longer periods. Thanks to the SD720G’s power efficiency, I almost forgot I was doing a review here as I quite enjoyed every round I played with the phone.
In terms of sound, the phone managed to keep up with the intense teamfights during the midgame partly because of how Mobile Legends is probably the least demanding of all the games I’ve tested with this phone. Overall, it’s a fun and pleasurable experience that makes you forget that your phone is probably dead from playing from super long hours. Charge that phone before your next game!
League of Legends: Wild Rift
Another popular MOBA that is once again rising in the number of players thanks to Arcane, the game (and the PC version)’s TV show tie-in. It’s also one of the least intensive games I played using this phone. (Although others say this game is a lot more consuming than Mobile Legends, just a rumor I’ve heard. Take it with a pinch of salt).
Anyway, the game started under “Performance” settings with 60fps stable at the helm. Since there were barely any options here (the game automatically sets the settings for you if you select a preset), I tried making my own under the “Custom” Graphics preset.
My settings are as follows:
- 60fps frame rate (the highest the phone can handle)
- Graphics Quality: Medium
- Effects Quality: Low
- Resolution: Medium
- Post-Processing: On
- Floating Text: On
- Interface Animations: On
- Character Inking: Off
According to the game, this resulted in a total of “medium” level performance, at least in theory. This will be different in practice. Again, the processor is the SD720G so it should be able to handle LoL Wild Rift at any setting, even the highest one.
Here, I set my Frame Rate to 60fps, the quality to “High”, the effects quality to “Low”, the resolution to “medium”, the Post-processing to “On”, and interface animations to “On”. The latter does little to influence the performance change so this is more of a player’s choice. With those settings in mind, the game gave an overall performance overview of “Medium”. Meaning, it can handle the game but expect some lagging and chipping in some scenes such as intense teamfights.
Despite what the game said, I found the performance to be smooth and lag-free even during the most intense situations. Probably the only times there was chipping was because of our internet connection and not because of the processor. Overall, the character animations move rapidly, the buttons are very responsive and the game just feels satisfying and locks steadily at 60fps. Oh, the refresh rate also is adaptive, so it’s using the full 90Hz that makes the game even more immersive.
Asphalt 9: Legends
This is one of those games I expected to be very demanding considering its download size and that the Samsung Galaxy A52 4G would suffer from, especially in lag spikes. SPOILER ALERT! I was wrong.
Turns out the game isn’t that heavily demanding at all and the phone handled it quite well. Although unlike Mobile Legends or Wild Rift, this one produced more heat (but not to the point of using the phone as cookware) that’s still manageable. I did notice some slight lagging but it did not detract me as the experience still remained smooth all throughout. I wonder though, what if I played Asphalt 8 instead. That game is more demanding than A9 surprisingly.
The phone managed to play Asphalt 9 on PERFORMANCE MODE with no problems, just prepare with a bit of heat on your hands.
Oh, the gameplay footage doesn’t have sound. According to my screen recorder, this was due to the DRM that’s installed within the game that prevents it from recording with sound. I have not turned off the music (since the music in the game is copyright-protected) so I don’t know how this affects if you just let the engine/sfx on. Probably the same thing would happen regardless.
PUBG New State (Very High Refresh Rate, High Graphics)
PUBG New State (ALL HIGH)
As you can see, my gameplay for the Very High Refresh Rate and High Graphics was ass. So I decided to tone down the graphics a little, now it’s ALL HIGH.
Well, after tinkering a bit, the game’s performance improved significantly, yeah the frames can still drop or spike from time to time but my overall experience with all high is pretty smooth, and it wasn’t irritating to play. Granted this was just a solo BR game, but there can only be a total of 100 players regardless how many players there are. Yeah there are less firefights, but the game would stutter on higher refresh rates even if the situation’s calmer.
If you want to experience a smoother gameplay, I suggest experimenting with the refresh rate and graphics settings that will be suited to your liking. For me, All high is ideal.
Genshin Impact (60fps custom)
For Genshin Impact, which is the highest-demanding game I installed, and probably the longest waiting time thanks to the large 21GB update, I used the game’s recommended settings. The game has recommended me to use the “low” graphics settings and at 30fps. Just for some cracks and giggles, I decided to modify the graphics settings and run it on 60fps. The game told me it’s on “overclocked” settings. I also heard reports about the game dying on 60fps even with the Snapdragon 888+ processor, which is already a flagship chip used on some gaming smartphones. So it’s safe to assume the SD720G won’t fare much better.
Here are my graphics settings before we proceed.
- Render Resolution: Low
- Shadow Quality: Medium
- Visual Effects: Medium
- SFX Quality: Medium
- Environment Detail: Medium
- FPS: 60fps
- Motion Blur: On
- Bloom: On
- Anti-Aliasing: TAA
- Crowd Density: High
- Co-op Teammate Effects: On
- Overall Performance Load: Overclocked
By the way, the highest factor for the “overclocked” performance load was, funnily enough, the frame rate. Otherwise, it would have been stuck to the “Balanced” performance mode under medium.
Running on 60fps isn’t a good idea, and boy am I correct. The game stuttered heavily, there are times where the video isn’t in-sync, it does not help that the phone became instantly hot after trying to render almost all of Monstadt. The running sequencies doesn’t feel smooth. While I don’t have an FPS counter, I’m just guessing the game runs at a sweet 15fps because that’s how it feels like.
After the recording, I switched back to 30fps with the game’s recommended settings and it ran smoothly, and how it should be in the first place.
Oh well, at least it’s not like my older Aqua S9 where it fails to render anything even at the lowest settings. But why the hell am I comparing a 4K phone to a 20K one? That’s not even a fair match.
CALL OF DUTY MOBILE
I tested COD Mobile using two different graphics setups. Take note I haven’t tested the zombies and Battle Royale mode for this one and I only played multiplayer. Back to the graphics settings, the first one I used was VERY HIGH GRAPHICS and VERY HIGH REFRESH RATE.
Under all VERY HIGH SETTINGS, the game worked fine and smooth, so these graphics settings work well for the multiplayer mode. As I said earlier, I haven’t tested other modes, and it’s up to you whether these settings are still applicable. I quite enjoyed playing Call of Duty and with the 90Hz refresh rate, sliding right and left felt smooth and motion blur is less noticeable.
I also tested the game under max refresh rate, as per the game’s recommendation but I toned down the graphics to high so that the game would still run smoothly. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case as the game suffered from fps lag and frame drops. This isn’t just from the recorder either. I’m not sure if the max refresh rate is applicable to other modes, but for multiplayer, “all very high” settings is the most optimal for a smooth gaming experience.
The phone has a single bottom-firing speaker but it is unannounced whether it supports Hi-Res Audio or not. It thankfully also has a headphone jack so you don’t have to use silly dongles or rely on Bluetooth headphones to listen to music
I’m no audiophile but let me tell you almost immediately I fell in love on how the sound quality felt on this phone. It is one of the best I’ve heard in a midranger for a long time. The single bottom-firing speaker is loud but not deafening, and it has strong frequencies with a crystal clear bass and no “watery-feeling” sound. It works so well for both music and videos or movies. With the bright and colourful display and top-notch sound quality, it feels as if you have a portable theatre on your hands.
Thankfully it still has a headphone jack. The testing on this one may be unreliable because the sound quality also depends on which earphones you’re using. In this case, I used my good ol’ Mi Buds Classic. The sound of it is immersive and is also clear. There are also sounds I hear which I barely or don’t hear while using speakers. Not sure what the actual term is called though. While clean and loud, it’s not something to be bragging about unless you use higher-quality headphones or earphones.
The phone has a 4500mAh battery with support for up to 25W fast charging. This charge rate is a little underwhelming given the price (the Realme GT Master Edition can charge as fast as 65W for nearly the same price, and has a larger battery too) but for an average user, if it can charge fast, then it’s probably good enough.
To test the battery endurance, I used a benchmark tool called “PCMark for Android”. This app is similar to AnTuTu where it’s used for benchmarking performance. But for this test, I used it to test the battery life. The phone was charged from full and it drained all the way down to 20% overnight. According to PCMark, the phone should last for around 10-11h on average alhough, this is theoretical and the actual battery drain may be slower or faster depending on how you’re using the phone, but 11h is pretty average (in a good way) these days, and most phones could last slightly longer. This is not to say the battery performed badly, in fact, this longevity is pretty good for a 4500mAh battery, but all I’m saying is that, the results could have been better. We sort of expected it to last for 12 hours.
After that battery drain, I drained the battery even more until it reached 2%. I used a stopwatch app to see how long the battery would charge using the given 15W charger. In my test, the phone charged from 2-100% in less than two hours. Pretty fast, but nothing sort of impressive.
The Samsung Galaxy A52 4G, despite being 4G-only, is still a worthy contender even for today’s standards. The phone is balanced in all respects and it has numerous features that are rare for similarly-priced or slightly more expensive handsets. Where else can you find an IP68 rating and OIS together in a higher midranger? Probably none these days.
5G services is still immature here and is yet to become widespread, and most Filipinos still enjoy the blazing-fast speeds of 4G LTE. The “5G” moniker in most phones would become meaningless as a few months from now, the technology would become commonplace, and 4G-only phones would become a thing of the past. However, we do need a replacement now and the Samsung Galaxy A52s is still pretty expensive, with little to no significant improvements to justify its price versus the A52 4G. Also, the A52 4G is upgradable to OneUI 4.0 meaning the company still supports the phone, so it could last as long as the A52s 5G or the A52 5G.
With that said, the Galaxy A52 4G is still a worthy buy. The SAMOLED screen, the 90Hz refresh rate, OIS, and IP68 rating makes the phone still worthy for a price of Php18,990 (possibly lower now that the A53 is fast approaching). One deal-breaker that sets this and the A53 apart is the headphone jack, which is rumoured to disappear on the A53.
Thank you so much for reading our review! We’ll update this page once our video review of the Galaxy A52 4G is ready. I hope this review helped you figure whether the phone is still worth purchasing, and whether 4G phones are still considerable for this day and age. Purchase links is available in the next segment.
PROS AND CONS:
- A very bright display even during peak sunlight. The display is still readable and colours still pop out thanks to the high-quality SAMOLED panel. The 90Hz refresh rate also helps in smoother animations and transitions.
- Has OIS and IP68 all for under Php20K
- The Snapdragon 720G processor inside the phone can still fare well against phones o
- Can record up to 4K@30fps in both cameras, and 1080p@60fps for the main camera
- Macro camera surprisingly provides plenty of detail despite being a 5mp sensor
- Camera app has a lot of fun and unique features for users to play around
- The 64mp camera remains highly detailed even when zoomed in
- OneUI 3.0 runs smooth, even with all the gimmicks and bloat
- Cameras, especially the main one, has vibrant and lively colours
- Sound is very impressive for the price
- Retained the 3.5mm jack that’s still very useful today
- Upgradable to OneUI 4.0 that improves longevity
- Hybrid SIM slot means you have to choose between two SIM Cards or a single SIM Card + SD Card combo.
- Front camera needs some improvement as the colour reproduction is pale
- Night mode can produce oversaturated images
- The cameras, without night mode, suffers in huge quality depreciation
- 720p video is useless in many cases
- OIS is only available for the main camera and is capped at 1080p@30fps
- The 25W fast charging is negligible. While it is good for a phone to have fast charging at this price rate, we expect it to charge faster than 2 hours from 2% to full. Battery is also large but nothing special
- Samsung Store
- Third Party Resellers:
You can also purchase the unit in offline stores such as in Samsung’s flagship concept stores and authorised third-party stores found in different malls around the country. Officially, the phone sells for Php 18,990 for the 8/256 variant, which is what we have.