Samsung’s forcing 5G onto everyone with three new Galaxy A phones

With three 5G Galaxy A series phones launching this month, Samsung is bringing 5G to more people at lower prices. There's no escaping 5G anymore.

Samsung Galaxy A42 5G phone with triple-lens camera and 60Hz Super AMOLED display
Galaxy A32 5G

5G has been “coming” for years now, and up until around a year ago, the faster cellular data networking was mostly exclusive to premium phones. Samsung’s changing that with a handful of affordable 5G phones in its mid-range Galaxy A series, which have crept up with strong features while keeping prices much lower than the Galaxy S, Note, and Fold devices.

In total, Samsung’s dropping three new 5G-ready Galaxy A phones this week. The Galaxy A32 5G starts at $279.99; the Galaxy A42 5G at $399.99; and the Galaxy A52 5G at $499.99. That entry-level A32 5G even comes with a 90Hz display — 90Hz for under $300!

What you get for the price — Let’s compare some quick specs to see what kind of value each phone brings.

Galaxy A32 5GSamsung
Galaxy A42 5G
Galaxy A52 5G

A32 5G ($279.99) — April 9

  • Sub-6 5G
  • 6.5-inch LCD (HD+ resolution) with 90Hz refresh rate
  • 48-megapixel quad-camera system
  • MediaTek 720 chip
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB of storage (expandable up to 1TB via microSD)
  • 5,000 mAh battery
  • Side fingerprint reader

A42 5G ($399.99) — April 8

  • Sub-6 5G + mmWave
  • 6.6-inch Super AMOLED display (HD+ resolution) with 60Hz refresh rate
  • 48-megapixel triple-camera system
  • Snapdragon 750G
  • 4GB RAM
  • 128GB of storage
  • 4,500 mAh battery
  • In-display fingerprint reader

A52 5G ($499.99) — April 9

  • Sub-6 5G
  • 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display (FHD+ resolution) with 120Hz
  • 64-megapixel quad-camera system with OIS
  • Snapdragon 750G
  • 6GB RAM
  • 128GB storage
  • 5,000 mAh battery
  • In-display fingerprint reader
  • Stereo speakers
  • IP67 water and dust-resistance

Which carriers will sell the new 5G Galaxy A phones? — For the A32 5G: ACricket, Metro, and T-Mobile. For the A42 5G: Verizon. And for the A52 5G: AT&T, Metro, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and unlocked via Samsung.

All three have headphone jacks! — You’re reading that correctly. The headphone jack is alive and well and lives on in mid-range phones.

Different 5G flavors — If you look carefully at the specs, you’ll notice that the A32 and 52 both work with Sub-6 (midband) 5G and the A42 supports faster mmWave 5G. The latter flavor of 5G is usually only on flagship 5G phones.

The A52 is the sweet spot — At first glance, the A42 5G, the middle child, in the Galaxy A series seems like the best value. But since it’s exclusive to Verizon, the only thing it has going for it is really the mmWave 5G, which isn’t even a legit reason to buy a $1,000+ Galaxy S21 Ultra since coverage is so limited in the U.S. That leaves the A32, which is clearly the stripped-down phone, and the A52, which is the successor to the A51, one of the top mid-range phones to come out in 2020.

All three of these 5G phones will help accelerate the adoption of 5G in the U.S. and push it to become the standard. Because as nice as being an early adopter is, the real breakthrough applications for 5G won’t happen until there’s more people on the networks and as a result, there’s more incentive to develop something new. So how’s that 5G-streamed VR future we were promised looking?