Samsung Galaxy A32 vs A52 vs A72: Budget brouhaha

Some curious hardware choices between the Samsung Galaxy A32, A32 5G, A52, A52 5G and A72 make for some fascinating comparisons.

There’s a whole galaxy of Samsung phones available for purchase. You can go all out on the Samsung Galaxy S range, like the recent Samsung Galaxy S21, get a bigger screen with the Samsung Galaxy Note, or play with the foldable displays of the Samsung Galaxy Z line.

Those seeking a more budget-friendly Samsung Galaxy handset should first look at the Samsung Galaxy A range, which starts with budget-friendly handsets and stretches up to others that are close in pricing and performance to the cheaper Samsung Galaxy S phones. Samsung recently unveiled five handsets from the Samsung Galaxy A range – the A32, A32 5G, A52, A52 5G, and the A72 – and we pit their specs against each other in this article to see which ones comes out on top.

Samsung Galaxy A32 vs A52 vs A72: Price

Have a gander at the Samsung Galaxy A new handset pricing table below and you’ll likely spot at least a few curiosities.

Samsung Galaxy A72, A52 and A32 pricing in Australia
Galaxy A32128GB6GB$499
Galaxy A32 5G128GB4GB$499
Galaxy A52128GB8GB$599
Galaxy A52 5G128GB6GB$649
Galaxy A52 5G256GB8GB$749
Galaxy A72256GB8GB$749

Some of the winners of these comparison categories may feel a bit inconsistent, but that’s because of some odd hardware pairings across the range. At first glance, the Samsung Galaxy A32 is the cheapest of the lot until you notice that the A32 5G is the exact same price at $499. That said, the A32 5G has a bigger display albeit at a lower resolution and a lower refresh rate (60Hz vs 90Hz), plus it only has 4GB of RAM whereas the A32 has 6GB.

It’s a similar story when you go to the other end of the spectrum: the 256GB model of the A52 5G is the same price as the A72, the latter of which doesn’t have 5G but has the same 256GB internal storage and 8GB of RAM. Still, price being the ultimate determining factor here, the future-proofed A32 5G comes out on top.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy A32 5G

Samsung Galaxy A32 vs A52 vs A72: Plans

Most of the Galaxy A series handsets are available through Telstra, Optus and Vodafone here in Australia (some models are even available through Woolworths Mobile and Southern Phone). Take a look at the tables below for a glance at the most popular plans for each device through each provider.

Samsung Galaxy A32 vs A52 vs A72: Specs

Below is a full specs breakdown for the five handsets so you can see what is being compared across the Samsung Galaxy A32, A32 5G, A52, A52 5G and A72 range.

Galaxy A72 vs A52 vs A52 5G vs A32 vs A32 5G
SpecsGalaxy A32Galaxy A32 5GGalaxy A52Galaxy A52 5GGalaxy A72
Display6.4-inch Super AMOLED6.5-inch HD+6.5-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED6.5-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED6.7-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED
Resolution (pixels)1080×2400720×16001080 x 24001080 x 24001080 x 2400
Refresh rate90hzNo specified90Hz120Hz90Hz
Main camera64MP PDAF (F1.8)48MP PDAF (F1.8 0.8µm)64MP OIS AF (F1.8 0.8µm)64MP OIS AF (F1.8 0.8µm) 64MP OIS AF (F1.8 0.8µm)
Front camera20MP (F2.2)13MP (F2.2)32MP FF (F2.2 0.8µm)32MP FF (F2.2 0.8µm)32MP FF (F2.2 0.8µm)
Ultra-wide lens8MP (F2.2) 123-degree FOV8MP (F2.2) 123-degree FOV12MP FF (F2.2 1.12µm) 12MP FF (F2.2 1.12µm) 12MP FF (F2.2 1.12µm)
Macro lens5MP (F2.4)5MP (F2.4)5MP FF (F2.4 1.12µm)5MP FF (F2.4 1.12µm)5MP FF (F2.4 1.12µm)
Depth sensor5MP (F2.4)2MP (F2.4)5MP FF (F2.4 1.12µm)5MP FF (F2.4 1.12µm) 5MP FF (F2.4 1.12µm)
ZoomNot specifiedNot specified10x Digital Zoom10x Digital Zoom30x Digital Zoom 3X Optical Zoom
Water resistanceNoNoIP67IP67IP67
CableUSB-C 2.0USB-C 2.0USB-C 2.0USB-C 2.0USB-C 2.0
MicroSD slotYesYesYesYesYes
SecurityIn-display Fingerprint ScannerFingerprint scannerFace recognition Fingerprint sensorFace recognition Fingerprint sensorFace recognition Fingerprint sensor
ChipsetMediatek Helio G80MediaTek Dimensity 720Snapdragon 720gSnapdragon 750gSnapdragon 720g

Samsung Galaxy A32 vs A52 vs A72: Display

The bizarreness continues with the part of the smartphone you’ll spend the most time interacting with. The Samsung Galaxy A32 has a smaller screen (6.4 inches) than the A32 5G (6.5 inches), but it’s a higher-quality Super AMOLED display compared to the A32’s older-tech TFT display. On top of this, the A32 has a 1080×2400 resolution and 90Hz refresh rate for smoother on-screen action, while the A32 5G has a noticeably lower 720×1600 display with a 60Hz refresh rate.

For initial comparisons, this puts the A32 ahead of the A32 5G, more so given the price is great for a screen that’s almost identical to the A52 and A72. The only difference for those more expensive handsets is the A52 has a 6.5-inch display while the A72 has a 6.7-inch screen. The best display of the lot, though, comes from the A52 5G, which has a 6.5-inch 1080×2400 Super AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy A52 5G

Samsung Galaxy A32 vs A52 vs A72: Cameras

Cameras are much easier to compare across the range. Unsurprisingly, the Samsung Galaxy A32 and A32 5G have the lowest-quality cameras of the lot, with the A32 again beating the A32 5G with higher-resolution main camera (64MP vs 48MP), front camera (20MP vs 13MP), and depth sensor (5MP vs 2MP).

From this point of the range upwards, though, the cameras are identical in terms of resolution, with only zoom separating the A72 from the A52 and A52 5G. In all three of these handsets you’ll find a 64MP main camera, 32MP front camera, 12MP ultra-wide lens, as well as 5MP macro lens and depth sensor. But while the A52 and A52 5G have 10x digital zoom, the A72 has 30x digital zoom and 3x optical zoom, which zooms it ahead of the other four handsets.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy A72

Samsung Galaxy A32 vs A52 vs A72: Performance

The great news on the storage front is all of these new Samsung Galaxy A handsets come with at least 128GB of internal storage, plus expandable MicroSD storage if that’s not enough. There are also 256GB variants for the Samsung Galaxy A52, A52 5G and A72. That said, the base 128GB A52 model only has 4GB of RAM, which is the same story for the A32 5G. Meanwhile, the A32 has 6GB of RAM, while the A52 5G and A72 both have 6GB in the 128GB version and 8GB in the 256GB variant.

In terms of connectivity, all handsets are identical when it comes to having Bluetooth 5.0 as well as WiFi 5, with WiFi 6 a strange omission for the A52 5G and A72 (at least the latter). As for mobile connectivity, only the models with 5G in their name have 5G connectivity, which means the A32, A52 and, somewhat surprisingly, the A72 are all 4G-capable handsets.

When it comes to chipsets, the three more expensive Samsung Galaxy A handsets have Snapdragon processors, while the A32 has a MediaTek Helio G80 and the A32 5G has a MediaTek Dimensity 720. According to Nano Review hardware comparisons, the A32 5G outperforms the A32 on the chipset front in every category: it has a 25% edge in CPU performance, a 36% lead in gaming performance, and a 24% boost in battery efficiency. Overall, the A32 5G has a 25% edge on the A32.

Both the A52 and A72 have Snapdragon 720G chipsets, while the A52 5G boasts a Snapdragon 750G upgrade. According to Nano Review hardware comparisons between the two chipsets, the A72 has identical battery efficiency but an 8% lead overall. The A52 5G has around a 13% edge against the A52 and A72 in terms of CPU performance and the same for gaming performance. It’s not a commanding lead, but it’s enough to make the A52 5G the winner here.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy A52 5G

Samsung Galaxy A32 vs A52 vs A72: Battery

This is another fascinating comparison category because of the battery capacity differences across the Samsung Galaxy A range. The Samsung Galaxy A52 and A52 5G have the lowest battery capacity at 4500mAh, while the A32, A32 5G and A72 all have larger 5000mAh battery capacities.

Given there’s identical battery efficiency between the Snapdragon 720G chipset inside the A52 and A52 5G as well as the Snapdragon 750G inside the A72, there’s no fancy equations to take into account where, on paper, the A52 and A52 5G might have had an efficiency edge over the A72’s bigger battery.

In the same breath, according to Nano Review hardware comparisons, the A72’s chipset has 30% better battery efficiency compared to the A32’s chipset and an 8% lead next to the A32 5G’s chipset. Combine this with the reality that 4G is better optimised and therefore less draining on battery life than 5G, and this makes the top-tier Samsung Galaxy A handset the top pick for this category.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy A72

Samsung Galaxy A32 vs A52 vs A72: Which should I buy?

It’s a tie between the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G and the A72, which also happen to be the two most expensive handsets. If price is the be-all and end-all for you, stick with the A32 5G, which has future-proofed cellular activity, although the screen and hardware aren’t as great as the other handsets in the Samsung Galaxy A range.

If you do care more about other smartphone factors, the A52 5G keeps the future-proofed cellular connectivity with a great-looking, high-refresh-rate display and impressive performance. For those who care more about camera quality and versatility as well as battery life, the A72 is your best bet. Still, there are bucks to be saved with the A32 and A52 if you don’t want to splurge on your sub-$1,000 handset budget.