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12 May 2021

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G vs A72: mid-range phones with four years of support

Samsung's latest handsets have features to rival a premium phone, and the reviews are in. Find out if they're worth snapping up

There's more to Samsung's Galaxy range than just the flashy flagships, as the new mid-range Samsung A52 5G (£399) and A72 (£419) prove.

With around £400 to spend, you can get your hands on a phone with a hefty amount of processing power, impressive camera specs and even some added extras such as 5G.

And with the announcement that Samsung will support most new devices with four years of security updates, it's a brand worth considering if you're looking for longevity.

Read on to see how the latest handsets compare or go straight to the best mobile phones we've tested to find your perfect model.

Find the best contract deals on Samsung phonesat Which? Mobile Switch.

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G vs A72

At first glance, these new models have a lot in common, but there are some key differences.

Samsung Galaxy A52 5GSamsung Galaxy A72
Screen size6.5-inch6.7-inch
Display resolution2,400 x 1,0802,400 x 1,080
Rear cameras64Mp wide, 12Mp ultra-wide, 5Mp macro, 5Mp depth64Mp wide, 12Mp ultra-wide, 8Mp telephoto, 5Mp macro
Front camera32Mp wide32Mp wide

Both are big handsets, but the extra 0.2-inches on the A72 gives it the edge if you like larger phones, plus it means it can also fit in a slightly bigger battery.

The main advantage of the A52 is that it comes 5G compatible. If you're not intending to use a 5G contract, you'll get a slightly better camera setup on the A72.

Otherwise, there's a lot here to make both phones stand out in their price bracket. The 6GB of Ram should make them more than capable of running videos and intensive apps without too much glitching and slowing, the OLED screens should give a premium feel and the IP67 waterproofing means the phones are protected from water damage when submerged up to a metre for up to 30 minutes.

128GB of storage should be plenty, but if you do need more you can use a micro-SD card on both phones.

One advantage of choosing one of these over a pricier phone (besides the huge savings) is that you get a headphone jack, so you won't need to use an adaptor with your wired earphones.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy A52 5G review and Samsung Galaxy A72 review to see how both these phones performed in our test lab, then find the best contract deals for A52 5G and best contract deals for the A72 at Which? Mobile Switch.

High-end OLED displays

The OLED displays of Samsung's two new mid-range models are among their standout features.

We usually see LCD screens on phones of this price. They can score well in our test lab, but OLEDs tend to be better at showing off colours and don't have the slight bluish tint that LCDs can give off.

Both screens are big enough to use for video if you want to catch up with your favourite shows on the commute, though you might want to pick the slightly bigger A72 if that's important to you. Both have a resolution of 2,400 x 1,080, which should show off HD content well.

However, if you want a screen that picks up the crispest details and most vivid colours, you'll still need to choose a premium handset. The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G (£1,100), packs in a resolution of 3,200 x 1,440 on its 6.8-inch screen.

Four rear cameras on each

With a grand total of five cameras apiece (four rear cameras and a front selfie snapper), including a high-megapixel (Mp) wide lens front and back, these Samsungs should be a good choice for a keen smartphone photographer.

There is a key difference though - the A72's telephoto lens. This type of lens is usually reserved for pricier handsets and has often impressed us in the test lab. It's great at retaining the detail when you're zooming in and nicely defines your subject against the background when using portrait mode.

You can't tell how well a phone takes photos and videos based on the specs sheet though, so read our Samsung Galaxy A52 5G review and Samsung Galaxy A72 review to find out which impressed us most.

You can also find our top tips for taking the best photos with your phone in our guide to the best camera phones.

Four years of security support

If you're intending to keep a phone for longer than a typical two-year contract, you'll need to consider the length of security support.

This is the period that your phone's manufacturer will send out security patches after launch. These keep your software running smoothly and also patch vulnerabilities that could leave your data exposed to hackers.

Apple's iPhones typically have five to six years of security support, but Android phones typically have a much shorter update cycle. You can expect the following support periods for popular Android brands:

  • 2 years - Most of the cheaper mobile phone brands, including Motorola, Oppo, Realme and Xiaomi, along with some Samsung models, only support handsets for two years after they launch. This means you'll need to upgrade as soon as your contract ends.
  • 3 years - Nokia's smartphones and Google PIxels get three years of software support. Most of OnePlus's phones do too, except cheaper handsets such as the OnePlus Nord N10 5G, which will get just two.
  • 4 years - Samsung is leading the way on Android. It has recently announced four years of security support for most (though not all) its handsets launched from 2019.

To check how much longer your handset will be supported, head to our phone support calculator and search for your make and model.

Mid-range smartphones: the features to look for

Premium features used to be reserved for premium phones, but in recent years the mid-range market has started to seriously challenge more expensive models. Bear the following useful features in mind if you are spending less - choose the right model and you will be able to tick these boxes.

  • A good amount of Ram A good amount of Ram helps a phone run more smoothly and be generally more enjoyable to use. With too little, a phone will lag, slow and stall when you're running multiple programs in the background or trying to load an intensive app. 6GB is a good amount, though you can sometimes even find 8GB, like on the reasonably-priced Realme 7 Pro.
  • Generous internal storage You usually don't find any really stingy storage if you have more than £250 to spend, but you should still check that your new handset has enough. 64GB should be a minimum for most casual users, though look for a phone with a micro-SD card slot, as this means you can extend the storage.
  • Multiple cameras As you can see from these new Samsungs, there's no need to spend a fortune for a really good camera setup. Some lenses, like ultra-wide, can add far more flexibility to your photos. You may not get the very best camera technology on these cheaper phones, but for most people this won't be an issue.
  • 5G Not so long ago you had to shell out for a premium handset if you wanted 5G, but we're seeing more and more mid-range and budget handsets launch with 5G compatibility. It's not an essential feature, but it's a good way of futureproofing if you think you might want to consider a 5G contract.q

Browse our mobile phone reviews to choose your perfect model.