Apple iPhone SE 3 (2022) vs Samsung Galaxy A52 5G: Which smartphone should you buy?

Apple iPhone SE 3 (2022) vs Samsung Galaxy A52 5G: Which smartphone should you buy?

Upgrading our smartphones has become an essential part of our modern life. If you want to receive support, app updates, and operating system (OS) upgrades, then you must own a relatively new phone. Even if your old one is still functional, at some point apps might stop working or get limited to an older version that lacks new functionalities. When you want to buy a new phone, a common question would be: “Which should I go for?”. Different people look for different things, and we’re here to help you with this dilemma. This is the iPhone SE 3 (2022) vs Samsung Galaxy A52 5G — the battle between two affordable yet very different smartphones. If you decide to buy the iPhone SE 3, don’t forget to also grab a case and a charger for it. If you go for the Galaxy A52 5G, it’s also important to protect it with a case.

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Apple iPhone SE 3 vs Samsung Galaxy A52 5G: Specifications

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G Apple iPhone SE 3
CPU
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G
    • 2x ARM Cortex-A77 @ 2.2GHz
    • 6x ARM Cortex-A55 @ 1.8GHz
  • Adreno 619 GPU
  • Apple A15 Bionic
Body
  • 159.9 x 75.1 x 8.4mm
  • 189g
  • 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3mm
  • 144g
Display
  • 6.5-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED
  • 2400 x 1080p
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • 800 nits max brightness
  • 4.7-inch Retina HD LCD display
  • 1334 x 750p
  • True Tone technology
  • Haptic Touch support
  • 625 nits max brightness
Cameras
  • Primary: 64MP, f/1.8
  • Wide-Angle: 12MP, f/2.2
  • Macro: 5MP, f/2.4
  • Depth: 5MP, f/2.4
  • Front-facing: 32MP, f/2.2
  • Primary: 12MP, f/1.8
  • Front-facing: 7MP, f/2.2
Memory
  • 6GB RAM
  • 128GB Storage (expandable with Micro SD card)
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB/128GB/256GB Storage
Battery
  • 4,500mAh
  • 25W wired fast charging
  • 2,018mAh
  • 20W wired fast charging
  • 7.5W Qi wireless charging
Connectivity
  • 5G
  • 4G LTE
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Sub6/mmWave 5G
  • 4G LTE
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • Bluetooth 5.0
Water Resistance IP67 IP67
Security In-display fingerprint scanner Touch ID
OS One UI 3.1 based on Android 11 iOS 15
Colors
  • Blue
  • Violet
  • White
  • Black
  • Red
  • Midnight
  • Starlight
Material
  • Plastic back
  • Plastic frame
  • Glass back
  • Aluminum frame
Price Starts at $499 Starts at $429

Build and Design

The Apple iPhone SE 3 and Samsung Galaxy A52 5G are two very different phones when it comes to both build and design. Any person can easily distinguish the two by looking at them because almost every element is distinct on each. Starting with the iPhone SE 3, it has an outdated iPhone 8 design that features thick bezels at the top and the bottom of the screen. On the contrary, the Galaxy A52 5G goes for a more modern exterior with thinner bezels and a hole-punch camera.

When it comes to the build, the iPhone SE 3 has an aluminum frame with a glass back, while the Samsung phone has a plastic build. The affordable smartphone manufactured by Apple is made from more premium materials, while the Galaxy A52 5G comes with a more futuristic front.

As for the colors, the iPhone SE 3 loses this round. It comes in three finishes to choose from, while the competition goes for four. If color isn’t really a priority for you, then this shouldn’t matter. And always remember that cases not only provide protection, but they also give the phone a fresher appearance. Ultimately, design is a very subjective and personal matter, so only you can decide which looks better. We’re only laying out the facts, such as the iPhone SE 3 having a higher-end build.

Display

Display is an essential aspect to consider when buying a new phone. After all, when using our smartphones, we spend most of the time staring at said display. In this round we will announce the winner before breaking down the specifications because it’s pretty obvious — the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G.

First things first — the Samsung phone has a 6.5-inch screen with a 2400-by-1080p resolution, which destroys the 1334-by-750p of its 4.7-inch rival. Additionally, its peak brightness is higher and it supports 120Hz refresh rates. This makes the iPhone SE 3 look ancient when placed side by side. That’s not to mention that the Galaxy A52 5G has thinner bezels when compared to the thick, dated ones on Apple’s affordable phone. If a larger screen is a con for you personally, then that’s a different story. However, objectively speaking, Samsung gets the crown this round.

Speaking of screens, the Galaxy A52 5G has an in-display fingerprint scanner, allowing the screen to extend to the very top and bottom of the phone. In the iPhone’s case, the Touch ID scanner is built into the physical home button, which occupies unnecessary space. But that’s the tax you have to pay for using a phone with a prehistoric exterior build.

Performance

The chip included in your phone plays a big role when it comes to performance. There are other factors that affect how a phone performs, but the processors remain the backbone. For starters, the Apple A15 Bionic chip goes back to September 2021, while the Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G 5G is a year older than that. Additionally, the A15 Bionic is a high-end chip that powers the iPhone 13 lineup. On the contrary, the Snapdragon 750G 5G is a middle-range processor.

The winner is very clear here. Apple’s A15 Bionic chip wins in single- and multi-core CPU tests, GPU tests, power efficiency tests. As a result, it has a higher overall score and easily beats Qualcomm’s. That’s not to mention that Apple’s has a 5nm transistor, which beats the 8nm of its rival. On a side note, don’t let the 2GB of extra RAM on the Samsung phone fool you. iOS objectively requires fewer processing resources than Android. Just because a number is lower doesn’t mean the overall outcome is automatically inferior.

Cameras

When some users want to buy a new phone, all they care about is the quality of the photos it takes. And that’s fully understandable, as nowadays plenty of people document their lives online. Clearer shots further make a staged moment look realistic. And, of course, they help preserve genuine memories in a higher resolution to look back to. Ultimately, most phones released in this era get the basic, average tasks done. Having a slightly faster phone isn’t as important as owning one that replaces a DSLR to many.

The clear winner of this round is the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G. For starters, it has four rear cameras (with the primary beating Apple’s), while the iPhone SE 3 only has one camera on the back side. While both devices have one front camera, Samsung also beats the one on the iPhone. When it comes to the technical specifications of the camera on the Galaxy A52 5G, the phone beats its rival in all aspects. The iPhone SE 3 does maintain an edge when it comes to video recording, but the Galaxy A52 5G wins in overall photo camera versatility.

Battery Life and Charging

This part is tricky — a bigger battery doesn’t necessarily mean a longer battery life. Some processors drain more power than other ones, and the device’s OS and its optimizations play a major role in this matter. The Samsung Galaxy A52 5G has a 4,500mAh battery, while its rival has a 2,018mAh one. The former lasts around 19 hours when playing video a single charge, which beats the latter’s 15-hour.

However, video playback isn’t exactly an accurate way to measure battery performance. How much apps consume battery power and how long the device lasts on a single charge with normal, everyday use matter more. iPhones tend to last very long on standby, while Android generally has a poorer comparative track record. So in effect, both the phones should just about last you through a day on light to moderate use, though heavier use may kill both of them before that. Ultimately — based on specifications and other tests — the Samsung A52 5G wins this round.

When it comes to charging, the Galaxy A52 5G’s 25W fast wired charging defeats the iPhone SE 3’s 20W. However, the iPhone can charge up to 7.5W on a Qi wireless charger only. The Samsung phone doesn’t support Qi wireless charging (or any other wireless standard). So if you’re looking for better battery life and faster-wired charging, join Team Samsung. If Qi wireless charging (or lack thereof) is a dealbreaker for you, then the iPhone SE 3 is what you’re looking for.


Apple iPhone SE 3 vs Samsung Galaxy A52 5G: Which smartphone should you buy?

We’ve broken down the important specifications of each of the two affordable smartphones from Samsung and Apple. Which one is right for you depends on your perspective, priorities, and workflows. What do you need? What fits into your daily life? Are you tied into a specific ecosystem? Ask yourself these questions, then weigh the pros and cons of each device that we’ve dissected in this article. Ultimately, you’re the best judge when it comes to this particular matter.

Both phones start at are in the budget-friendly range, with the iPhone SE 3 starting at $429 in the US. On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G starts at $499 despite it being around a year older than the iPhone SE 3. It’s also worth keeping in mind that Apple will likely support the iPhone for a longer period of time. So if software updates are important to you, we advise you to go for the fresh iPhone rather than the year-old Samsung phone.

    The all-new iPhone SE 3 (2022) packs Apple's A15 Bionic chip, 5G support, and a dated design. It is available in three colors to choose from.
    The Galaxy A52 5G is a mid-ranger from Samsung, bringing along features like a 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, the Snapdragon 750G SoC, a 64MP quad camera setup, IP67 water and dust resistance, and more, in an easy-to-handle polycarbonate body.

Which of the two phones will you be buying, and why? Let us know in the comments section below.

About author

Mahmoud Itani
Mahmoud Itani

Mahmoud is an Istanbul-based Beiruti who has always sought freedom through writing. His hobbies include keeping up with tech news, writing articles about Apple devices & services, crocheting, meditating, and composing poetry. You’ll likely find him jogging at a park, swimming in open water, brainstorming at a coffeehouse, or merely lost in nature. He can be reached on Twitter @Mahmoudzitani or via [email protected]

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