Samsung left a few details out when it announced the latest generation of its budget and mid-range Galaxy A-series phones last month. Now the company has finally returned to reveal all the details about which makes and models are officially coming to the U.S., including a few phones that didn’t get much attention back at its Unpacked event.
In the U.S., Samsung’s A-series lineup consists of five devices, starting as low as $110 for the Galaxy A02s and going up to $500 for the Galaxy A52 5G. All five phones share a similar design, with three or four rear cameras and plastic bodies that (aside from the A42 5G) are available in any color you like as long as that color is black.
However, what might be a little confusing is that depending on your carrier, not every new A-series model will be available to you or will work on your network, and the A32 5G and A52 5G have some quirks when it comes to 5G support. There are even some important differences on the length of support for security patches between various models, so here’s a quick rundown of what you get with each new Galaxy A phone headed to the U.S.
The $110 Galaxy A02 is the least expensive of the bunch, and as you’d expect, doesn’t come with a lot of frills, but all the basics are there. It features a 6.5-inch LCD display with an HD+ (not full HD) resolution, triple rear cameras with a 13-MP main cam, just 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and a Snapdragon 450 processor. One interesting note is that it seems the A02 is also the only new A-series phone that doesn’t come with a fingerprint sensor.
The A02 is expected to go on sale sometime in late April or early May and will be available from Verizon, Boost, Charter, Metro, U.S. Cellular, and unlocked directly from Samsung.
Moving up to the $180 Galaxy A12 gets you a slightly faster MediaTek P35 chip along with 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and a side-mounted fingerprint sensor. However, the screen is the same 60Hz 6.5-inch LCD panel you get on the Galaxy A02. The Galaxy A12 will be available from both AT&T and T-Mobile (including their MVNOs Cricket and Metro) this week, with an unlocked model coming later this year.
Where things start to get interesting is with the $280 A32 5G, which is now Samsung’s cheapest 5G phone, though it only has support for sub-6Ghz 5G. In addition to a higher-res 48-MP main cam, the A32 5G also features a bonus fourth rear cam, a 6.5-inch LCD screen with a 90Hz refresh rate, a MediaTek 720 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. And if you’re so inclined, the A32 even supports video capture at 4K.
The A32 5G will initially be available from Cricket, Metro, and T-Mobile, with an unlocked model from Samsung expected to arrive later this spring.
Then there’s the Galaxy A42 5G, which starts at $400 and will be available exclusively from Verizon on April 8 (though Samsung says an unlocked model is said to be coming sometime later this summer). It’s the only A-series phone to support both sub-6Ghz and mmWave 5G. And while there’s a $120 price gap between the A32 5G and the A42 5G, the A42 gets some significant upgrades thanks to its 6.6-inch AMOLED display (which annoyingly is still limited to an HD+ resolution), a Snapdragon 750G processor, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of onboard storage.
The A42 5G even comes with support for Samsung’s Scene Optimizer tech, which uses AI to better tune and adjust your photos, and a fancier on-screen fingerprint sensor.
Finally, there’s the $500 A52 5G, which is the star of the line and comes with a 6.5-inch AMOLED display with a full HD+ resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate, stereo speakers, and even an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance—a first for any A-series phone.
And while it shares the same Snapdragon 750G chip used in the A42, it comes with two extra gigs of RAM (6GB total) and 128GB of storage. The A52 5G’s rear cam has also been bumped up to 64-MP, with Samsung adding in support for OIS to help capture sharper photos that minimize the effects of shaking hands.
One last important tidbit: Like its more expensive Galaxy S siblings, the A52 5G will also get three full years of OS and security updates, with the A42 5G and lower getting two years of OS and security patches. On the bright side, every new A-series phones come with support for microSD card storage, which is something you don’t get on the more expensive Galaxy S21 line.
The A52 5G will go on sale on April 9 and will be available from pretty much everywhere that isn’t Verizon, including AT&T, Metro, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and unlocked from Samsung.
For now, my main gripe with the A52 5G is that despite being the most expensive new A-Series phone (at least in the U.S.), it doesn’t support mmWave, which is something I’d like to see on more mid-range phones going forward. Currently, the difference between various flavors of 5G causes more confusion than it should, and one way to combat that confusion is simply offering support for all the main 5G bands on a single device.
As the successor to last year’s most popular Android phone, the A51, the A52 5G is poised to once again to be the most popular phone in the A-series family. And with the other A-series phones priced between $100 and $400, Samsung is really trying to make sure there is at least one phone in practically every price bracket.
[Update 11:15 AM ET] Added updated info about unlocked A-series models slated to arrive later this spring/summer.