The Samsung Galaxy A series gets another refresh this 2022. And the entire line includes the Galaxy A53 5G. Reviewers and enthusiasts have considered this new device from Samsung as one of the best mid-range smartphones this year. It is both affordable and a capable device for average to above-average users. This is a fair assessment.
It has also been pitted against the iPhone SE 2022 from Apple. The mid-range device from Apple sports the A15 Bionic chip while featuring an outdated design principle. However, for the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G, the approach revolves around a flagship-grade design philosophy with an immersive OLED display, a huge battery, and a better main rear camera.
The overall hardware specifications and technical capabilities of this device mark are a welcome improvement to the previous Galaxy A52 5G and Galaxy A52s 5G models. But is it worth buying? This quick review highlights the advantages and main selling points of the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G and its notable drawbacks and issues.
Pros of Samsung Galaxy A53 5G: Reasons Why You Should Buy
1. Large and Immersive OLED Display with High Refresh Rate
Similar to the Galaxy A52 5G and A52s 5G, one of the advantages of the Galaxy A53 5G is its large OLED panel. Measuring at 6.5 inches diagonally with FHD+ resolution, 405 PPI pixel density, and 800 nits peak brightness, it delivers an immersive user experience. It also looks sleek thanks to its 20:9 aspect ratio and around 85 percent screen-to-body ratio.
The 120Hz refresh rate of the Super AMOLED panel provides smooth scrolling and comfortable web browsing. This refresh rate is also ideal for fast-paced and action-packed mobile gaming, especially when playing popular first-person shooters such as Call of Duty Mobile and PUBG or graphics-intensive titles such as Genshin Impact.
It is also durable. The Gorilla Glass 5 protects it from scratches and drops. Similar to the iPhone SE 2022, this device also comes with an IP67 rating that indicates resistance from splash and even submersion to water of up to 1 meter for a maximum of 30 minutes. However, compared with its iPhone counterpart, the A53 5G looks more current and elegant.
2. Decent Camera System with Optical Stabilization on the Main Cam
The photo-taking and video-recording capabilities of the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G are understandably inferior to flagship Samsung Galaxy smartphones and other high-tier devices from other manufacturers. However, it is relatively one of the best among the mid-rangers of 2022 and a considerable upgrade from the Galaxy A52.
It has a quad-camera module on the rear. Specifically, the back cameras include a main 64-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization, an ultra-wide 12-megapixel camera, a 5-megapixel depth sensor, and a 5-megapixel macro camera. There is also a LED flash on the back. The front-facing camera is a 32-megapixel shooter.
The optical image stabilization of the main camera allows users to record stable videos. There is also a selection of camera features for taking beautiful images. The AI-enabled image processing automatically enhances photos and the Portrait mode enables users to take portraits with decent and close-to-accurate background and foreground separation.
3. Large 5000mAh Battery and Support for 25W Super Fast Charging
Battery capacity is another advantage of the Galaxy A53 5G. The phone can last an entire day on a single charge under relatively above-average use. Specific use cases for this single-charge battery life include consistent connection to Wi-Fi or cellular networks, mobile browsing, playing video games, and taking photos or recording videos.
The phone can also last two days on a single charge under specific use cases. The 5000mAh lithium-polymer battery capacity enables this device to last longer under average to moderate use. The built-in adaptive power-saving feature automatically conserves battery use through the smart allocation of hardware and system resources.
It also supports fast charging. The phone is compatible with a 25W Super Fast Charging adapter from Samsung and other fast-charging bricks from other manufacturers. This device can juice up from 9 percent to 100 percent under an hour. Under 30 minutes of fast charging, the phone can reach more than 30 percent of the battery charge level.
4. Standard Connectivity Technologies and 5G Cellular Network
The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G is also equipped with standard connectivity components found on modern smartphones. These include wireless technologies to include dual-band Wi-Fi radio, Bluetooth 5.1, support for GPS technologies and standards, and NFC, as well as wired technology based on USB Type-C 2.0 and USB On-The-Go.
It also connects to GSM, HSPA, and LTE cellular networks. However, it is also one of the few mid-range smartphones in the market that connects to a 5G network. The specific wireless radio component used in this device allows users to connect to networks based on the more common and accessible sub-6 GHz 5G technology.
The sub-6 GHz 5G technology might be inferior to 5G networks based on the mmWave 5G technology. However, it has numerous advantages. These include better network performance compared to 4G and LTE-A technologies, as well as wider regional availability and better energy efficiency than the mmWave 5G standard.
5. Long-Term Software Upgrades and Support for the Galaxy A53 5G
Another one of the selling points of the Galaxy A53 5G and perhaps, one of its advantages over other mid-range smartphones from other manufacturers, is that it is future-proof. Samsung promises to give the Galaxy A series of smartphones launched in 2022 four Android operating system upgrades and 5 years of security patches and software updates.
This level of support is normally available only to flagship devices. Most entry-level and mid-range smartphones in the market suffer from a lack of support after two to three years. They fundamentally end up looking and feeling outdated. Even high-end devices from less popular manufacturers suffer from this same problem.
Hence, another good reason to buy the Galaxy A53 5G is an assurance that it will remain up-to-date for the next five years. The four major Android operating system upgrades will mean that this device will get to enjoy the latest and the best from Android. Consumers will definitely get a lot of value from purchasing this smartphone from Samsung.
Cons of Samsung Galaxy A53 5G: Reasons Why You Should Not Buy
1. Relatively Average Processing Capabilities from the Exynos 1280
The Samsung Exynos 1280 is a system-on-a-chip based on the 5nm process technology. It has 2 high-performance Cortex-A78 cores clocked at 2400 MHz and 6 power-efficient Cortex-A55 clocked at 2000 MHz. Furthermore, this SoC also has a 4-core ARM Mali-G68 integrated GPU with clock speed running at 1000 MHz.
Of course, while this is a capable chipset, it is not as powerful as other SoCs from other manufacturers. The older HiSilicon Kirin 980 used in the 2018 Huawei Mate 20 Pro had a score of 140916 for CPU performance and a score of 143456 for GPU performance using AnTuTu 9. The Exynos 1280 had a CPU score of 97691 and a GPU score of 125329.
Other mid-range to even flagship-grate but budget-priced smartphones have better chips. The Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro and the Redmi K20 Pro feature the more powerful Snapdragon 855. The Realme GT 5G sports the flagship Snapdragon 888 SoC. Note that these devices are within the price range of the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G.
2. Not Suitable for High-End Gaming and High-Performance Uses
Based on the aforesaid, the Exynos 1280 is one of the major disadvantages of the Galaxy A53 5G. It is still a capable phone for running apps and average use cases. However, when it comes to using resource-intensive apps and running multiple apps simultaneously, this smartphone can experience notable hiccups as it struggles to keep up.
Consider high-end gaming as an example. This device can still run popular game titles such as Call of Duty Mobile, PUBG, Genshin Impact, and Mobile Legends, among others. However, it cannot play these games at maximum settings. The CPU and GPU are not capable enough to run games at more detailed graphics and high frame rates.
It is not suitable for high-performance uses due to the limitations of the Exynos 1280. Examples include editing videos for extended periods or editing and altering images using resource-intensive apps. Other examples include multitasking such as using video conferencing apps and switching to web browsing or productivity apps.
3. Alternative Mid-Range Smartphones with Better Cameras
The main shooter in the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G is decent. However, as mentioned, it is not the best, especially when compared to flagship devices. Furthermore, the other cameras found on the rear and the front are also average to above-average at their best. There are alternative mid-range smartphones in the market that have better cameras.
Note that the iPhone SE 2022 has better cameras and camera features partly due to its A15 Bionic chip that enables it to utilize features found in the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 phones. These include better night shot mode, the more accurate background-foreground separation feature of the Portrait Mode, and the Smart HDR automatic image processing.
The Google Pixel 6 is slightly expensive at USD 600.00. The A33 5G is cheaper by around USD 50.00 to USD 70.00. However, the Pixel 6 has been acclaimed in the consumer tech community as one of the most affordable smartphones with the best cameras. The Realme 9 Pro Plus that retails between USD 458.00 to USD 324.00 takes good photos in low light.
Galaxy A53 5G Review Verdict: Reasons Why You Should or Should Not Buy
The primary advantage of the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G is that it is one of the best all-around mid-range smartphones of 2022 with decent hardware specifications perfect for average users with a limited budget. The immersive Super AMOLED display is undeniably one of the primary reasons that make this device a good value for the money.
However, because of its limited processing capabilities, this device is not ideal for high-end mobile gaming, especially in use cases that involve competitive gaming. Furthermore, it is unsuitable for resource-heavy use cases such as extensive photo and video editing. A notable reasons user should not buy this device is above-average camera performance.
Consumers might be better off buying other mid-rangers. The iPhone SE 2022 is a good option for individuals loyal to the entire iOS experience. There are also other capable Android smartphones within the mid-range price range. The Samsung Galaxy A73 5G is also another notable option because of its better chipset and cameras.