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Galaxy A32 preview: High refresh rate on a budget

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Last updated: March 8th, 2021 at 12:37 UTC+02:00

The Galaxy A31 came last year as an affordable mid-ranger with all the right specs for everyone who isn’t a gamer, owing to a not-so-powerful MediaTek processor that sat under the hood. This year’s Galaxy A32 is similarly powered by a MediaTek chip (the Helio G80), but Samsung has sprinkled a handful of upgrades that make the phone a lot more attractive than its predecessor.

The Galaxy A32 features a 90Hz Super AMOLED display, gets a higher-resolution main rear camera, and runs the latest version of Android (11) and One UI (3.1) out of the box. The high refresh rate display is the star attraction here, as it’s not a feature that’s very common outside of flagships. In Samsung’s case, high refresh rate panels have only been seen on flagships until now, and that makes the Galaxy A32 more special than the Galaxy A30 and Galaxy A31 could ever hope to be.

But can the Galaxy A32’s MediaTek chip handle pushing more frames per second at all times? The Helio G80 has the same GPU as the Helio P65 that powered the Galaxy A31, and while the clock speed of the GPU is higher on the former, is that enough to provide — and sustain — the benefits of a higher refresh rate?

Galaxy A32 hands-on

Well, I have mixed feelings after a day of using the Galaxy A32. The high refresh rate makes its presence felt when scrolling inside apps like WhatsApp and YouTube, but stutter is introduced when you start scrolling too fast. The notification shade, meanwhile, seems to be locked to 60Hz at all times, whether you’re scrolling through the notifications or the quick toggles.

Transition animations when you switch between apps or go to the home screen seem to be smooth for the most part, but again, there’s a bit of stutter every now and then. Still, the A32 feels smoother than any previous non-flagship Galaxy device, which is a substantial benefit that most customers will enjoy.

Most customers will probably like the phone’s design as well. The Galaxy A32 looks very cute in the blue paint job. Not having the camera sensors placed in an island is a breath of fresh air, and the lack of any fancy gradients is also a bonus in my book. Like the Galaxy A31, the Galaxy A32 isn’t very heavy despite featuring a 5,000 mAh battery, and thanks to the plastic back, this is a phone you can use without a case.

As for other aspects of the Galaxy A32, such as the cameras, software, overall performance, and battery life, I will only be able to offer a verdict in our full review, so watch out for that in the coming days. In the meantime, feel free to leave any questions you may have down in the comments section.

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