The new design language, spearheaded by the Galaxy A52 and A72, looks very "trendy", clearly targeted to the young Gen-Z crowd, mainly with a creative and social angle.
The new design mainly focuses on the rear panel, which now features a soft and silky finish, almost like a vinyl skin. The actual feel is sort of smooth and rubbery but also slightly silky. It is particular, and we recommend trying it out for yourself before committing since the reactions around the office to it were varied. It is available in Awesome Black, Awesome White, Awesome Violet and Awesome Blue.
"Awesome" is sort of a marketing cornerstone for the A32, A52 and A72, with Samsung really hammering in the models' "awesome battery, display and camera" and the "Awesome is for everyone" slogan.
Back to the eye-catching back, though, we honestly can't take our eyes off of the A72. The Awesome Violet we got on the A52 review unit already had that effect on us, but the Awesome Blue, as seen on the A72, is somehow even better. The soft pastel tone just works. In fact, it is nothing short of awesome.
Another peculiar element of the back design is the slightly more pronounced "lip", for lack of a better term. The plastic back on the A72 slopes down at a more aggressive angle and sort of tucks into the phone's middle frame.
Samsung also did the outline of the camera island slightly differently, basically smoothing it out and blending it with the back panel. Despite this, it is clearly inspired by the original design language of the Galaxy A51, with some inspiration for the accents also being drawn from the Galaxy Note 20 family.
The bill of materials on the A72 is nothing special. Both the back and the middle frame are made from plastic. Even so, it feels very well put together and solid in hand. Compared to the previous-gen Galaxy A71, the A72 has grown in pretty much every dimension. Measuring 165 x 77.4 x 8.4 mm, it tips the scale at 203 grams, which is also a noticeable uptick. However, both the extra thickness and heft are put to good use with increased battery capacity from 4,500 mAh to 5,000 mAh.
One thing that really stands out on the Galaxy A72 is the IP67 ingress protection rating. This is a first for the Galaxy A family and is very much appreciated.
It is great to see a 3.5mm audio jack here. It is positioned on the bottom frame, and unlike on the Galaxy A52, does not require strategically boosting thickness on the middle frame around it. The A72 is thick enough to accommodate it a bit better.
Next to it - a Type-C port, with a USB 2.0 controller behind it, with OTG functionality. And next to that - a single bottom-firing speaker. While that's technically the only full-featured, dedicated speaker the A72 has, it's a stereo speaker setup, with the earpiece pulling double-duty as the second channel.
That leaves the top side of the device mostly empty, only housing a secondary noise-cancelling mic and a Dual Nano-SIM card tray. The tray is a hybrid affair, though, with the second slot shared by a Nano-SIM tray and a microSD one. This means you will have to pick one or the other.
The left side of the Galaxy A52 is absolutely uninterrupted. This is one area where you can most easily feel the plastic material of the frame itself. If you don't specifically focus on it, though, we have to say that the finish feels good and doesn't come off as cheap in any way. It is not trying to imitate metal either, instead going for a glossy finish in a slightly different shade than the back. The two complement each other nicely.
The volume rocker and power button are on the right-side frame. Both are well-positioned and feel good, with a "clicky" response to them. No complaints.
The bezels surrounding the 6.7-inch display are not particularly thin but not too thick either. Sort of a Goldilocks situation - just right. We guess that the amplified earpiece requires some extra room. On the plus side, the selfie punch hole is pretty tight, with little blank space, which helps convey a more modern design overall.
The A72 has an under-display fingerprint reader. It is a standard optical one rather than one of Samsung's complex ultrasonic modules. Frankly, that's probably for the best. The reader itself is consistent, but a bit sluggish by today's standards. We appreciate the reliability, which at least makes it usable on a daily basis.
One noteworthy omission in terms of controls - there is no notification LED on the A72.