Samsung's Galaxy A Series offers features the Galaxy S21 lost and are under $500

Samsung Galaxy A52 in black laying on a black desk
(Image credit: Samsung)

The Samsung Galaxy A Series is hardly a secret, by volume these phones typically outsell the admittedly much pricier Galaxy S Series like the current Galaxy S21 lineup. Despite this, the Galaxy A Series rarely gets the same fanfare, but Samsung changed that up a bit with its Galaxy Awesome Unpacked event last month.

The Galaxy A Series this year is comprised of five different phones in the U.S. starting with the A02S for just $110 and scaling up to the A52 that starts at $499, we will not be getting the top of the line Galaxy A72 as that would almost certainly overlap considerably with the successor to the Galaxy S20 FE (via Cnet).

Samsung Galaxy A52

The Samsung Galaxy A52 is most like its S Series siblings, featuring a 6.5-inch FHD+ AMOLED Infinity-O display with a 120Hz refresh rate. Internally, it steps down to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G and 6GB of RAM. But sticks to a base 128GB of storage and for a sub-$500 price point that isn't bad, we'd need to see how performance holds up in our testing.

Battery life should be quite good as the A52 packs a 4500mAh battery, 500mAh more than the Galaxy S21. Camera specs can be a bit deceiving, but Samsung certainly brought plenty of them to the A52. The front-facing camera is a 32MP, while on the back, you have a quad-camera array with a 64MP primary wide-angle, a 12MP ultra-wide, a 5MP macro and a 5MP depth camera. 

A few other features that the A52 enjoys alone among the Galaxy A Series are 25W fast charging, IP67 water resistance and perhaps most importantly three years of major Android OS updates. The Galaxy A52 also brings back a couple of features that S Series fans might miss, including a microSD slot with support for up to 1TB microSD cards and a headphone jack.

Samsung Galaxy A32, trio of phones with center phone screen facing you and two facing away

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung Galaxy A32 and A42

The Samsung Galaxy A32 and A42 still offer 5G support like the A52. That's big news for the A32 as it starts at just $280, making it the least expensive 5G phone we've seen in the U.S. The A42 starts at $400 making it a more direct competitor for the TCL 10 5G UW or OnePlus Nord N10 5G. Both phones get even bigger batteries than the A52 at 5000mAh, but slower fast charging with a max of 15W. 

Displays differ slightly with the Galaxy A42 getting a 6.6-inch HD+ Super AMOLED Infinity-U display with a 60Hz refresh rate. The A32 has a 6.5-inch HD+ LCD Infinity-V display with a 90Hz refresh rate. 

Internally, the A42 has the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G and 128GB of storage as the A52, but with 4GB of RAM, while the A32 uses a MediaTek Dimensity 720 with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Both phones have a microSD card slot so you can add up to 1TB of additional storage. 

Both the A42 and A32 have a 48MP primary wide-angle camera, 8MP ultra-wide and a 2MP depth camera, but the cheaper A32 also includes that same 5MP macro camera found on the A52. Both also use the same 13MP front-facing camera.

Software support for the A42 and A32 includes two years of major Android OS updates, which in the budget segment is solid, but somewhat disappointing to see the more affordable phones not get the software support of the upper-tier models.

Samsung Galaxy A52 in violet with Galaxy Buds and Galaxy Watch 3

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung Galaxy A02S and A12

The most affordable models in the A Series this year are the A02S and the A12 which will start at $110 and $180 respectively. These phones stick to just 4G, which is perfectly acceptable at this price point.

Both phones feature 6.5-inch HD+ LCD panels with Infinity-V displays and 60Hz refresh rates. Again, these phones should last for a couple of days on a charge thanks to their 5000mAh batteries and they feature 15W fast charging to get you topped up again. 

The A02S moves to a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450, while the A12 uses a MediaTek P35 processor. Both offer 32GB of storage with a microSD slot available to expand that by up to 1TB. The A02S gets 2GB of RAM compared to 3GB for the A12. 

The A02S has a triple camera array on the back with a 13MP main wide-angle, 2MP macro and 2MP depth camera. The A12 steps up to a quad camera array with a 16MP main wide-angle, 5MP ultra-wide, 2MP macro and 2MP depth camera. The A12 also gets a slightly better 8MP front-facing camera to the 5MP on the A02S.

Sean Riley

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.