Samsung Just Made The Mid-Range Phone Market Interesting Again

Samsung Just Made The Mid-Range Phone Market Interesting Again
Image: Tegan Jones

Samsung just announced its 2021 A-Series of mid-range phones… and this might just be the best thing the company does all year.

To be clear, this is by no means a sledge. I was impressed by the S21 Ultra and I recently gave Samsung’s top of the range 8K television a whirl.

But despite this, I get the feeling that Samsung may just injected some game changers into the mid-range market.

The Samsung A-Series is nothing new, and they have a reputation of being quite solid little handsets. But there has never been anything particularly exciting about the ones that have been released in Australia.

But the the new A32, A52 and A72 devices have captured my attention.

When Google released its mid-range Pixel 3a back in 2019, it quite literally changed what consumer should expect from mid-range phones – from the camera to the specs to the price.

Apple finally came to the party last year with the new iPhone SE and iPhone 12 Mini.

And now it seems that Samsung is ready to make that leap.

Most of its new ‘Awesome’ devices have 5G options, including the entry-level A32.

Samsung Galaxy A32 5G and 4G

samsung galaxy a72
Image: Tegan Jones

Coming in at $499, it makes it one of the very few sub-$500 5G devices in Australia.

It comes with a 48MP quad-camera, 6.5-inch HD+ screen and 5,000 mAh battery.

Interestingly, this is also the same price as the 4G variant, which has been given more RAM, a 64MP quad camera, a bigger a FHD+ Super AMOLED display and a 90Hz refresh rate.

If you’re confused as to why the 4G version has bigger specs than the 5G, you’re probably not the only one.

Samsung has said that it has done this in order to allow customers to choose which features they value.

While this makes sense, it did leave a few of us tech journalists scratching our heads, trying to work out which device got which specs and at what price.

I would also hazard a guess that if Samsung tried to put a 90Hz display and a 5G modem in an entry-level mid-range phone the battery would probably suffer immensely.

Here’s the full list of specs so you can see the key differences between the two phones:

A32 A32 5G
CPU Helio G80 Dimensity 720 5G
RAM 6GB 4GB
Storage 128GB 128GB
Display 6.4-inch Super AMOLED 1080p, 90Hz 6.5-inch HD+, 720p, 60Hz
Operating System Android 10 Android 10
Rear Cameras 64MP, 8MP, 5MP, 5MP 48MP, 8MP, 5MP, 2MP
Front camera 20MP 13MP
Network 4G 5G
Water Resistance No No
Battery 5000mAh, 15W fast charge  5000mAh, 15W fast charge
Colours Awesome Black, Blue and Violet Awesome Black, Blue and Violet

Galaxy A52

Samsung Galaxy A72
Image: Tegan Jones

Sitting in the middle of the pack is the Samsung Galaxy A52 which also has 4G and 5G models.

You’ll notice a bit of a spec bump across most categories, including the processor, cameras and storage options.

You also get an IP67 water resistance rating and a 120Hz refresh rate on the the display of the A52 5G.

These models also have a slightly smaller battery than the A32 but it’s unlikely to make a huge difference.

A52 A52 5G
CPU Snapdragon 720G Snapdragon 750G
Memory 4GB/6GB/8GB 6GB/8GB
Storage 128GB/256GB 128GB/256GB
Display 6.5-inch FHD+ SuperAMOLED, 1080p, 90Hz 6.5-inch FHD+ SuperAMOLED, 1080p, 120Hz
Operating System Android 10 Android 10
Rear Cameras 64MP, 12MP, 5MP, 5MP 64MP, 12MP, 5MP, 5MP
Front camera 32MP 32MP
Network 4G 5G
Water Resistance IP67 IP67
Battery 4,500mAH, 15W fast charge 4,500mAH, 15W fast charge
Colours Awesome Black, Blue and Violet Awesome Black, Blue and Violet

Samsung Galaxy A72

At the top of the range is the A72. You may have noticed that ‘5G’ isn’t written anywhere, and that’s because it doesn’t have it.

It seems like an interesting choice not to give the big daddy a next-gen network option, but it makes a little more sense if you look at the specs.

The A72 is super similar to the A52. The key differences is that it’s a bit bigger, has a slightly larger battery and the camera is a touch better.

It’s also exactly the same price at the A52 5G. And this is what Samsung means when it says that customers can choose was they value.

If you really want 5G, you can get the A52. If you prefer slightly better specs but are quite happy with 4G, you can do that to for the same amount of money.

I get it, but like as I said earlier, this can all be a bit confusing until you see it all in front of you.

A72
CPU Snapdragon 720G
Memory 6GB/8GB
Storage 128GB/256GB
Display 6.7-inch FHD+ SuperAMOLED, 1080p, 90Hz
Operating System Android 10
Rear Cameras 64MP, 12MP, 8MP, 5MP
Front camera 32MP
Network 4G
Water Resistance IP67
Battery 5,000mAh
Colours Awesome Black, Blue and Violet

Samsung Galaxy Australian price and release date

samsung galaxy a

The somewhat convoluted SKUs aside, there’s still a lot to be excited about with the 2021 ‘Awesome’ series.

Considering the specs, the pricing is very competitive.

The A32 comes in at just $499 for both models, which is particularly good news for those curious about 5G but don’t want to spend too much.

The A52 is just $599 for the 4G version and starts at $649 for the 5G models. That goes up to $749 if you’re after 256GB storage.

And then there’s the A72 for the same price at $749.

After the last year the world has been through, people are looking for quality as well as affordability more than ever.

Not everyone can afford to drop $1000 on a phone, let alone $2000. And they shouldn’t have to get something that not only does the bare minimum, but is impressive.

And this is why the A Series seems to be particularly compelling. Samsung seems to be really paying attention to this side of the market this year and I predict that it will work in the company’s favour.

While I don’t expect the brand to stop going hard on flagship devices anytime soon (not to mention foldables) it’s refreshing to see some extra care injected into its mid-range offerings this time around.