Apple iPhone SE 3 (2022) vs Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G: Which smartphone should you buy?

Apple iPhone SE 3 (2022) vs Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G: Which smartphone should you buy?

Smartphones are important in our day-to-day lives. What used to be unnecessary is now an essential utility that we can’t ditch. Upgrading them periodically has arguably become a necessity, too. That’s because a phone becomes less useful when it’s unsupported and out of date. So even if your phone functions just fine, you might find yourself pressured into upgrading when it becomes old. One of the common dilemmas people face when deciding to buy a new phone is choosing the model. Different users look for various specifications, and we’re here to help. This is the iPhone SE 3 (2022) vs Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G — a battle between two budget-friendly phones from two competing corporations. If you buy the iPhone SE 3 (2022), it’s important to grab a case and a charger for the device. If you choose the Galaxy phone instead, also don’t forget to protect it with a case.

XDA VIDEO OF THE DAY

iPhone SE 3

Navigate this article:

Apple iPhone SE 3 vs Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G: Specifications

Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G Apple iPhone SE 3
CPU
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G
    • 4x cores @2.4GHz + 4x cores @1.9GHz
  • Adreno 642L
  • 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 5.2
  • 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
  • Mint
  • Violet
  • White
  • Black
  • Red
  • Midnight
  • Starlight
Material
  • Plastic back
  • Plastic frame
  • Glass back
  • Aluminum frame
Price Starts at $350 Starts at $429

Build and Design

When we look at the builds and designs of Apple’s iPhone SE 3 (2022) and Samsung’s Galaxy A52s 5G, we notice very obvious differences. Each smartphone has its own distinct features and look — which make it easy to tell them apart. The iPhone SE 3 has the classic chassis Apple introduced with the iPhone 8. It has thick top and bottom bezels and includes the iconic Home Button. On the other hand, the Galaxy A52s 5G has a more futuristic-looking body, featuring thinner bezels and a hole-punch front-facing camera.

When it comes to the build materials, the Apple phone includes an aluminum frame and a glass back. On the contrary, the Galaxy A52s 5G goes for a plastic exterior. This makes the iPhone SE 3 a higher-end phone from this aspect — as its materials are more premium. If the design is more important than the build to you, then the Samsung phone wins this round because its front has a modern appearance.

An infographic showing various features of the Galaxy A52s

In this colors round, the Galaxy A52s 5G wins. That’s because it comes in four color options to choose from, while the competition goes for three. If colors are irrelevant to you, then you can just skip this round altogether. And don’t forget that cases provide both protection and a fresher look for the phone. In the end, design is a subjective matter that only you can personally judge which has a better one.

Display

When you buy a new smartphone, it’s important for it to have a decent display. That’s because we spend the majority of the time staring at the screen when using our phones. This round’s medal goes for the Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G for very obvious reasons.

Starting with the basics, the Galaxy phone has a 6.5-inch display with a 2400-by-1080p resolution. This completely destroys the iPhone’s 1334-by-750p 4.7-inch screen. That’s not to mention that the Galaxy A52s 5G has a higher peak brightness and supports 120Hz refresh rates for smoother scrolling, etc. The Apple phone looks ancient when placed next to its rival, especially when we consider the thick, prehistoric bezels Apple has been using since the iPhone 6. If you prefer smaller displays, the better option might be the iPhone. However, objectively speaking, the Samsung phone has a better screen.

And since we’re tackling screens, the Samsung Galaxy phone has an in-display fingerprint scanner. As a result, the screen extends to the very top and bottom of the phone. On the other hand, the iPhone SE 3 has a Touch ID sensor baked into the physical Home Button. Thus, it occupies space unnecessarily, and the phone has significantly thicker bezels.

Performance

The SoC of your phone is one of the biggest factors that determine how well your smartphone performs. Of course, there are other elements that affect the outcome, but the chip remains the backbone. Starting with release dates, both Apple’s A15 Bionic and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 778G were released in 2021. They’re relatively recent processors, but their powers vary notably. It’s worth pointing out that the A15 Bionic is the same chipset that powers the highest-end iPhone 13 lineup. Despite the iPhone SE 3 being a budget phone, Apple didn’t hold back when it comes to boosting it up. Instead, it sacrificed its design for the sake of the unrivaled performance that comes with an affordable price tag.

Snapdragon 778G logo

The Apple A15 Bionic chip wins in single- and multi-core CPU tests, GPU tests, and power efficiency tests. Expectedly, it has a higher overall score and easily beats the Snapdragon chip. That’s not to mention that Apple has a 5nm transistor, which beats the 6nm 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

Phone cameras have become the main aspect to consider when buying a new device. In our increasingly digital world, we almost have an obligation to document our personal lives through online spaces — also known as social media services. A sharper shot will only better reflect your genuine smile, and a higher resolution will likely lead to more engagement. Almost all smartphones sold today can get everyday tasks just fine. This turns the camera(s) into a distinguishing factor that makes a certain device stand out.

We have an obvious winner this round, and it’s the Galaxy A52s 5G. It has four back cameras, with the primary one beating that of the iPhone SE 3. Apple’s phone — on the other hand — only has one rear-facing camera. Despite both phones having a single front-facing camera, the Samsung phone also beats the one it’s competing with. We can’t underestimate the video recording capabilities of the iPhone SE 3 (2022). However, Samsung earns a higher overall score when it comes to this round.

Battery Life and Charging

Battery life also happens to be an aspect we shouldn’t ignore or take for granted when choosing a new phone to buy. First, let’s highlight that a larger battery doesn’t always equate to a longer battery life. Some SoCs are more power-hungry, and the optimizations of a certain operating system directly impact the battery life. The iPhone SE 3 has a 2,018mAh battery, while its competitor has a 4,500mAh one. That of Apple lasts around 15 hours when watching videos on a single charge. On the other hand, the battery of the Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G lasts for around 19.5 hours when doing that same task.

It’s worth noting, though, that how long a phone lasts when watching videos isn’t exactly a unit of measurement that accurately reflects the battery life when doing everyday tasks. Typically, people don’t spend all day on their phones watching videos nonstop — or we would like to think so. They usually use different apps, which consume different amounts of power, at different frequencies. iPhones tend to last longer when in standby mode, while Android phones lose their at a faster rate when performing no tasks. Both of these phones should last you all day on a single charge, assuming you’re not using them for heavy, intensive tasks. If we had to choose a winner, though, we would crown the Galaxy A52s 5G as its specifications and other relevant tests win over the iPhone SE 3.

How quickly (or slowly) a device charges is also a point to consider when buying a new smartphone. Each of these phones shines in its own way. The Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G supports 25W fast wired charging, which beats the iPhone’s 20W. However, the iPhone SE 3 supports Qi wireless charging at up to 7.5W. So if wireless charging is important for you, you’re limited to the Apple phone. If you prefer faster-charging speeds, then go for the Samsung.


Apple iPhone SE 3 vs Samsung Galaxy A52s 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 $350. It’s worth mentioning, though, that the Samsung phone was released in 2021, while the iPhone SE 3 was released this year. 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 Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G.

    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 A52s is a 2021 A series phone from Samsung that improves on the A52 5G. It has a more powerful processor and support for faster charging.

Which of the two smartphones 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 with his dogs 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]

We are reader supported. External links may earn us a commission.