The iPhone SE (2022) is the third entry in Apple’s affordable “Special Edition” line of smartphones. Recycling the design of the iPhone 8 from 2017, it receives the powerful Apple A15 Bionic processor from the iPhone 13, while introducing 5G connectivity, an improved camera, a larger battery than previous iPhone SEs and a very attractive price. competitive $429.
But in a market saturated with affordable Android devices, it’s certainly not without rivals. Perhaps the most notable of these is the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G. Another sub-$500 phone, it has a delicious 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display, a reliable 4,500mAh battery, a versatile camera, and now-mandatory 5G support. It’s also very good value for money, but as a one-year-old phone, is it better than the iPhone SE (2022)?
We answer this question in this comparative test iPhone SE (2022) vs Samsung Galaxy A52 5G. We review each phone’s specs, displays, designs, performance, batteries, cameras, and software, helping you decide which is the high budget phone for you.
|iPhone SE (2022)||Samsung Galaxy A52 5G|
|Cut||138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm (5.45 x 2.65 x 0.29 inches)||159.9 x 75.1 x 8.4 mm (6.30 x 2.96 x 0.33 inch)|
|Weight||144 grams (5.08 ounces)||189 grams (6.67 ounces)|
|Screen size||4.7 inch liquid retina||6.5-inch Super AMOLED|
|Screen resolution||1334 x 750 pixels (326 pixels per inch)||2400 x 1080 pixels (407 pixels per inch)|
|Operating system||iOS 15||Android 11, OneUI 3|
|Storage room||64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB||128 GB, 256 GB|
|microSD card slot||No||Yes|
|Tap to pay services||Pay Apple||Google Pay, Samsung Pay|
|Processor||Apple A15 Bionic||Snapdragon 750G|
|RAM||4GB||6 GB, 8 GB|
|Camera||Wide 12-megapixel rear, 7-megapixel front||64MP wide, 12MP ultrawide, 5MP deep and 5MP rear macro, 32MP single|
4K at 60fps, 1080p at 120fps
|4K at 30fps, 1080p at 60fps|
|Ports||Lightning||USB-C, headphone jack|
|Fingerprint sensor||Yes, front mounted (home button)||Yes, on screen|
Quick charge (25W)
|Application Marketplace||Apple App Store||Google Play Store|
|Network support||Most major US carriers||Most major US carriers|
|Colors||Black, White, Red||Stunning Black, Stunning White, Stunning Purple, Stunning Blue|
|Exam score||News||4.5 out of 5 stars|
Design, display and durability
Let’s not beat around the bush: the iPhone SE (2022) isn’t the most attractive phone you’ll see released this year. It regurgitates the design of the iPhone 8, which means you have a small phone with large browbands and chin straps, as well as a home button. If you like retro designs, you might find it charming, but compared to the edge-to-edge display of the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, it looks pretty uninspiring.
Samsung’s device also has the edge in the display department. Equipped with a 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels, it packs 407 pixels per inch. In contrast, the iPhone SE has a 4.7-inch Retina LCD display, with a resolution of 1334 x 750 pixels. That equates to around 326 pixels per inch, and when you factor in the marked reduction in size, the SE’s screen just isn’t as impressive as the A52’s. Especially when the latter supports a refresh rate of 120Hz, which allows for smooth scrolling.
One area of parity, however, is that both phones have been given an IP67 rating. This means that both phones can tolerate being submerged in up to one meter of water for up to 30 minutes. Of course, that’s not enough for the iPhone SE to make up for its less attractive design and less impressive display, so this round is an easy win for the A52.
Winner: Samsung Galaxy A52 5G
The Samsung Galaxy A52 5G is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G, while it also uses 6GB of RAM as standard. This makes it a very capable smartphone, and it runs just about all the latest games and apps without issue. That said, as good as it is, the modest iPhone SE (2022) comes with the very powerful Apple A15 Bionic, as well as 4GB of RAM. Using the A15 Bionic – which is built using 5nm transistors – makes Apple’s phone surprisingly fast for such a small device, and as solid as the A52 the SE has a clear advantage .
Unfortunately, the SE commits the increasingly unforgivable crime of coming with 64GB of internal memory as standard (although for $479 you can have it with 128GB). That’s a pretty paltry amount of storage in 2022, with our growing need to take 20 different photos of the same scene to find the perfect image. As for the A52, it offers a more generous 128GB of memory as standard, giving you more or less twice the storage pleasure. It also has a slot for a microSD card, so you can really expand its memory.
At this point, it’s hard to say which device has the most battery life, as we haven’t had a chance to fully review the iPhone SE yet. The Galaxy A52 has a 4,500mAh battery that can last two days if you’re a moderate user, making it pretty good by contemporary standards. With the iPhone SE (2022), it comes with a bigger battery than its predecessor, but it’s still unclear by how much. As such, we can’t say if it could outlast the A52, and given that the iPhone SE (2020) had a fairly average battery, it’s not cheap.
The Samsung Galaxy A52 5G comes with a 64MP wide lens, a 12MP ultra wide lens, a 5MP depth lens and a 5MP macro lens on the back. The iPhone SE (2022), on the other hand, comes with a single 12 MP wide lens.
So you’d be forgiven for thinking the A52 offers a much better camera, but it doesn’t. Yes, the iPhone SE has only one lens, but Apple’s software extracts every ounce of quality from it. As with the second-gen SE, it takes very natural and well-balanced shots in most conditions. It also benefits from the addition of Apple’s Deep Fusion technology, Smart HDR 4, as well as an improved Portrait mode that uses the same Portrait Lighting effects found in the iPhone 13.
In other words, its primary lens is among the best in the industry. The same can’t be said for the A52, which, despite having a 64MP primary lens, still suffers from the same inconsistency and oversaturation issues as other Samsung phones that have come before it. So even with an extra ultra-wide and macro lens, you probably won’t enjoy the A52’s camera as much as the SE’s.
Winner: iPhone SE (2022)
The Samsung Galaxy A52 5G has now been updated to Android 12 with OneUI 4 running on top. OneUI 4 is a remarkably fast Android skin, with plenty of customization options to suit your particular style. It’s no better or worse than the iPhone SE’s iOS 15, though Apple’s operating system has historically prioritized simplicity and security over customization and complexity.
While it’s largely a matter of taste as to which operating system you prefer, there’s no doubt that the iPhone will receive more updates over its lifetime. Samsung has committed to three major Android updates for the A52, while you’ll likely get five or six with the SE. That means Apple’s phone wins.
Winner: iPhone SE (2022)
Both phones support 5G, which might not be remarkable these days, but is still commendable for such cheap phones. That said, both devices only support the longer-range sub-6Hz 5G frequency range and not the faster mmWave bands. Still, 5G sub-6Hz is still a big step up in speed over 4G, so most people won’t care.
Both phones are also equipped with fingerprint sensors. The iPhone SE has Touch ID via its home button, and the A52 has an in-screen sensor. Unfortunately, the Galaxy A52’s scanner has a few well-documented issues, and our review revealed that it often refuses to recognize any input. This does not apply to the scanner of the iPhone SE, as anachronistic as we find a Home button in 2022.
Apart from these two features, neither phone really has any quirks or novelties to tell. They are just very affordable phones which overall are very good.
Price and availability
The Samsung Galaxy A52 5G starts at $499 and can be purchased directly from Samsung’s website. It is supported by all major carriers in the United States and can be purchased from almost all major online retailers.
The iPhone SE (2022) starts at $429 and goes up to $579 for the version with 256 GB of internal memory. It can be pre-ordered from Apple and will be supported on all major networks.
It’s not a dominating victory, but the The iPhone SE (2022) is overall a better phone than the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G. It certainly isn’t as beautiful and its screen isn’t as attractive, but it beats Samsung’s device in several key areas. It offers faster performance, has a significantly better main camera, and will be supported for longer with updates. It also supports 5G, which for a phone priced at $429 is pretty good. Again, the A52 is still a great low-cost phone, so if you’re an Android or Samsung fan, it certainly won’t let you down.