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Samsung did an unquestionably great job with the latest batch of Galaxy A phones. The Korean giant clearly decided to focus its efforts on what is officially its best-selling line. The new “Awesome is for everyone” tagline fits like a glove. Devices like the Galaxy A32, A52 and even the slightly extraneous A72, with its extra telephoto, bring plenty of value to the table.
In its quest to be as trendy and appealing as possible, Samsung also went ahead and made 5G versions of the A52 and A32. These 5G variants tend to target roughly the same price point as their 4G counterparts, which inevitably means that some compromises are in place to accommodate the processor with 5G support. We already dug extensively into the matter of the Galaxy A52 5G and its slight yet still noticeable downgrades over the regular Galaxy A52 in those respective reviews. Now it’s time to do the same for the A32 5G, which, by all accounts, has suffered a much worse downgrade.
Samsung Galaxy A32 5G specs at a glance:
- Body: 164.2×76.1×9.1mm, 205g; plastic body.
- Display: 6.50″ TFT, 720x1600px resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, 270ppi.
- Chipset: MediaTek MT6853 Dimensity 720 5G (7 nm): Octa-core (2×2.0 GHz Cortex-A76 & 6×2.0 GHz Cortex-A55); Mali-G57 MC3.
- Memory: 64GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 6GB RAM, 128GB 8GB RAM; microSDXC (uses shared SIM slot).
- OS/Software: Android 11, One UI 3.1.
- Rear camera: Wide (main): 48 MP, f/1.8, 26mm, 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF; Ultra wide angle: 8 MP, f/2.2, 123-degree, 1/4.0″, 1.12µm; Macro: 5 MP, f/2.4; Depth: 2 MP, f/2.4.
- Front camera: 13 MP, f/2.2, (wide).
- Video capture: Rear camera: 4K@30fps, 1080p@30/120fps; Front camera: 1080p@30fps.
- Battery: 5000mAh; Fast charging 15W.
- Misc: Fingerprint reader (side-mounted); FM radio; 3.5mm jack.
In fact, we would go as far as to say that the Galaxy A32 5G is an entirely different device than the vanilla A32. The price point is roughly the same, which was clearly Samsung’s main goal, but for that to happen, the A32 5G comes with an LCD display instead of an OLED. A lower-res HD+ one, at that, stuck at 60Hz refresh rate. The panel is so different, in fact, that it even has a bigger diagonal at 6.5 inches. The entire A32 5G is bigger in every dimension, measuring 164.2 x 76.1 x 9.1 mm and tipping the scale at 205 grams. A whole 20, or so, grams more than the regular A32, yet still with the same 5,000 mAh battery.
The camera department has also experienced some changes, including a main camera swap to a lower-res 48MP unit. Interestingly enough, though, the A32 5G gets an extra 2MP depth sensor over its vanilla sibling. Also, it can do 4K@30fps video capture. That final intriguing bit comes courtesy of the MediaTek Dimensity 720 5G chipset found in the Galaxy A32 5G. An all-round upgrade over the MediaTek Helio G80 inside the regular A32.
So, it’s pretty clear how the budget was relocated to make the Galaxy A32 5G a reality. Now the question remains whether the downgrades were worth it to make room for a slightly better chipset, with 5G connectivity.
As a budget offer, the Galaxy A32 5G understandably comes in a rather plain box. It is a basic cardboard bottom piece, with a sleeve on top. You should definitely be careful about applying pressure to the top of said sleeve. Perhaps Samsung can do a bit better for protection during transit. On a more positive note, at least the A32 5G itself comes well wrapped in plastic all around, including thin layers stuck right on to the plastic frame, for extra protection.
Speaking of protection, or lack thereof, the Galaxy A32 5G does not have a pre-applied screen protector, nor is there a case in the box. Both common with budget phones from other manufacturers. What you do get is a basic 15W wall charger (9V@1.67A or 5V@2A) and a simple and fairly short USB Type-A to Type-C cable. At last, there is no proprietary charging scheme at play here, so you don’t necessarily need to stick to the included cable to get the full 15W.
The Samsung Galaxy A32 5G can currently be had for a bit under €250, which is about as much, or just slightly more than the vanilla Galaxy A32. And, in fact, the vanilla is a viable option if you don’t particularly care about 5G and would much rather get the much better 90Hz Super AMOLED panel and slightly better cameras. Though, with video capture capped at 1080p. Otherwise, you would still be getting the same in-depth and feature-rich Samsung One UI experience, as well as the Korean giant’s newfound promise for longer software support.
The Samsung Galaxy M42 5G also should not be glanced over, but unfortunately, it has limited availability. Otherwise, it successfully patches up the single biggest issue on the A32 5G – the display – by offering an HD Super AMOLED panel.
It is hardly surprising that Xiaomi has plenty of competing offers to pit against the Galaxy A32 5G. The Redmi Note 10 series instantly springs to mind. The clear direct competitor has to be the Redmi Note 10 5G. It is based on a very similar Dimensity 700 chipset, which brings the 5G connectivity to the table. It is also priced nearly identically to the A32 5G. Its main camera is also a quite similar 48MP Quad-Bayer one, but you will be losing an ultrawide going for the Xiaomi. On the flip side – the Redmi Note 10 5G has a noticeably better 90Hz IPS display. Honestly, however, Xiaomi had to downgrade strategically to fit 5G into that phone. Not unlike Samsung. If you don’t particularly care about 5G, you can get a lot more value for a significantly lower price with the vanilla Redmi Note 10. This includes a jump to a Super AMOLED display and a stereo speaker setup. Also, an official IP53 rating.
Then there is also Xiaomi’s Poco line. It is truly hard to beat its value propositions. The Poco M3 Pro 5G is a great all-around competitor to the Galaxy A32 5G. It is essentially the same phone as the Redmi Note 10 5G we mentioned earlier while managing to cost less on many markets. A no-brainer, really. If you would rather substitute 5G for a larger still 6,000 mAh battery and a stereo speaker setup, then the vanilla Poco M3 is worth considering. It gets totally upstaged by the Poco X3 Pro, though. No 5G on this one either, but what you do get at a shockingly low price includes a 120Hz, HDR10, IPS display, stereo speakers, IP53 and definitely not least – a powerful Snapdragon 860 chipset that almost seems unattainable in this price bracket. Looking for a great budget gaming experience – look no further.
Realme currently has a pretty strong budget lineup as well. The Realme 8, in particular, will set you back a bit less than the Galaxy A32 and yet brings a great Super AMOLED, HDR10 display to the table and an otherwise quite comparable set of other specs. Minus 5G, that is. If the latter is particularly important to you, you might also be interested in the OnePlus Nord N10 5G.
There is a lot to love about Samsung‘s current Galaxy A family. The “Awesome is for everyone” marketing slogan actually fits the bill quite well. The value proposition is quite strong, especially for devices like the Galaxy A52 and vanilla A32. The design is fresh and trendy, the hardware is mostly on point, and the added-value features in One UI 3.1 are better than ever. Now with the added benefit of longer software support. A lot of that has rubbed off on the Galaxy A32 5G as well. There is plenty to love about it. And it has great battery life even if charging is a bit slow. The camera setup holds up surprisingly well too.
However, the A32 5G biggest folly is that Samsung went about creating it by taking its good-value sibling and cramming 5G into the mix, without really inflating the budget price point. This has resulted in a phone with an unfortunately-downgraded LCD display, in particular, among other things. It is the single biggest gripe we have with the Galaxy A32 5G, since it just fails to live up to current market standards. It’s as simple as that.
All things considered, the Galaxy A32 5G is currently one of the cheapest Samsung phones with 5G on offer. Until the Galaxy A22 5G becomes a thing. If it is absolutely imperative for you to get a budget 5G Samsung, in particular, today, then the A32 5G is the way to go. Otherwise, we would probably hold off a bit or consider alternatives for better value.
- Excellent battery life.
- Latest Android and One UI, bright software future.
- The MediaTek 720 is a modern, efficient and well-equipped chipset, with decent performance for the price.
- Decent all-round camera performance, including useful Night mode and 4K@30fps video capture with the main cam.
- Body feels a bit hollow and there is no ingress protection.
- Disappointing LCD display, just HD resolution, inaccurate colors and slow pixel response times.
- Just a single loudspeaker with underwhelming performance.
- Ultrawide lacks 4K video recording and its 1080p video stabilization is poor.