Samsung’s mid-range alternative to its flagship Galaxy S22, the Galaxy A53 is the latest release in its A series. Does it perform well without cutting too many corners? Read on to find out.
Samsung Galaxy A53 key features
- 6.5-inch FHD AMOLED display with 120Hz maximum refresh rate
- Four rear cameras: 64MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 5MP macro and 5MP depth
- 32MP front camera
- 6GB of RAM
- 5000 mAh battery
- 128GB storage, expandable up to 1TB
- 5G support
- Ships with Android 12 and One UI 4.1
- Four colourways: Black, Blue, White and Peach
The Samsung Galaxy A53 is a budget-friendly option that still manages to pack some premium features into its frame, such as a stunning screen and long-lasting battery life.
It comes with 128GB of storage, which can be expanded to a massive 1TB of storage via microSD. In a time where flagship phones are doing away with expandable storage – looking at you, Samsung S series – this is a welcome feature.
However, you may be dismayed to find that the 3.5mm headphone jack has now vanished, as has the bundled power brick that normally comes in the box. Its predecessor, 2021’s Samsung Galaxy A52, kept these features, so it’s a shame to lose them.
One flagship feature to appreciate, though, is Samsung’s commitment to provide the Galaxy A53 with the same level of support: namely, four years of OS updates and five years of security updates. For those planning on keeping their phone for a good while, this is great news.
Samsung Galaxy A53 dimensions
The Galaxy A53 measures 159.6 x 74.8 x 8.1 mm and weighs 189g. Its screen is 6.5 inches diagonally, just like the A52.
Yes, it’s quite large (as is the case with most phones, these days). But when held in the hand, it’s surprisingly lightweight and easy to manage.
How good is the Samsung Galaxy A53's Camera?
Specs-wise, the camera hardware on the A53 is the same as the A52.
It sports four rear cameras: one 64-megapixel main camera at f/1.8, one 12-megapixel ultra wide at f/2.2, and two 5-megapixel cameras at f/2.4 (one for macro shots, another for depth). On the front, you’ll find a 32-megapixel selfie camera at f/2.2.
Not to mention, Samsung has introduced some new software features, such as advanced portrait mode and built-in Snapchat filters. There’s also 4K/30p video recording.
In bright lighting, the cameras are very capable. Images from both the rear and front cameras show plenty of contrast and colour, as per Samsung’s signature style.
However, it struggles in more challenging conditions. Although Samsung has improved its night mode software, low light can still pose a problem, particularly if your subject is moving. This isn’t helped by the fact that the shutter can be slightly slow at times.
On paper, the 5MP macro camera and depth sensor should add versatility to your images, with close-up and bokeh capabilities. But in practice, they’re not as effective as suggested.
Still, despite its shortcomings, the A53 does a decent job for day-to-day shots. Casual snappers will most likely find that it fits their needs, but keen photographers may want to look to the flagship Samsung Galaxy S22 for a more premium camera experience.
How good is the Samsung Galaxy A53's Design?
Despite the Samsung Galaxy A52’s large size, it’s surprisingly thin and lightweight.
This may be because the back is made from a matte plastic, rather than glass. It doesn’t feel too flimsy, though, and it’s more resistant to fingerprints as a result. Following the blueprint of the Galaxy A52, the rear camera bump sits as a raised module that blends in with the rest of the phone’s back.
The front is made from Gorilla Glass 5, and it carries an IP76 rating – meaning it’s water-resistant up to 30 minutes under one metre of water, as well as being 100% protected against dust and sand.
Overall, it’s a solidly built phone that’s easy to handle. And you can choose from four ‘Awesome’ colours: Black, White, Blue and Peach.
How good is the Samsung Galaxy A53's Display?
Samsung leads the way with its dazzling displays – so, despite being a mid-range phone, the Galaxy A53 doesn’t skimp on its screen.
It sports a sizeable 6.5-inch display, with a maximum brightness of 800 nits and refresh rate of 120Hz. For users, this means a nice and bright screen you can comfortably use even in sunlight, and a smooth scrolling experience for your viewing pleasure.
Like with the Samsung S series, there’s a tiny hole punch front camera at the top. It’s very small and unobtrusive, keeping most of the screen real estate free.
How good is the Samsung Galaxy A53's Battery life?
Battery life has been given a bump, with the Galaxy A53 sporting a 5000mAh battery compared to the A52’s 4500mAh cell. For light to normal usage, that should get you through up to two days’ use on a single charge – which is a pretty excellent battery life.
Charging is also faster, at 25W, although it still doesn’t support wireless charging.
It’s also worth noting that the Galaxy A53 follows the footsteps of Samsung’s S flagship series, ditching the power brick that would normally be included in the box.
What are the key differences between the Galaxy A53 and the Galaxy A52?
While the Galaxy A53 doesn’t deviate too much from the Galaxy A52, it does present differences worth mentioning:
- Bigger battery capacity (5000mAh versus 4500mAh)
- Slightly thinner size
- Better camera performance
- More powerful processor
- Lower starting price
- No headphone jack
- Only one storage option (128GB versus the A52’s 128GB or 256GB)
Galaxy A53 pros and cons
- Bright and brilliant screen
- Expandable storage up to 1TB via microSD
- Long-lasting battery life
- Same level of support as Samsung’s flagship devices
- No headphone jack or power brick in the box
- Camera performance limited in low light
- Minor upgrade from the excellent A52
How does Samsung compare to other manufacturers?
Known for its sky-high prices and premium products, Apple doesn’t have a dedicated budget line-up. But it does have the iPhone SE (2022), which is its more affordable alternative to the main iPhone 13 range.
On the Android side of things, Google releases a mid-range version of its Pixel phone every year, which offers some of the best flagship features for a lower price.
At the time of writing (April 2022), the Google Pixel 6a is set to follow the Google Pixel 6, although it hasn’t been released yet. In the meantime, 2021’s Google Pixel 5a still has a lot going for it, such as good battery life and a great camera.
MoneySuperMarket's expert rating: 3.5/5
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy A53 is a solid and reliable performer. If you want a phone from Samsung without having to pay the high prices of its premium S series, it’s a failsafe option.
Of course, it doesn’t match up to the Samsung Galaxy S22 in terms of build quality and camera system. But, at around half the price, it has some great things going for it, like its vibrant screen and long-lasting battery life.
It’s not the most exciting upgrade from the impressive Galaxy A52 – the improvements are minor, rather than major. Still, it does refine some key aspects of its predecessor, namely in its bigger battery, better camera performance and more powerful processor.
However, it also takes a few steps back. There’s now no headphone jack, nor a bundled power brick in the box. While this has become the norm with flagship phones, it’s disappointing to see this in a device that’s meant to be budget-friendly – you’ll be forced to buy a charging brick and pricier wireless headphones.
Samsung Galaxy A53 contract options
If you don’t want to shell out the cash to buy the Galaxy A53 outright, you can spread that cost with a mobile contract deal. By paying monthly, it can help make costs more manageable – plus, you can sometimes find deals that throw in some tempting perks or rewards.
Contracts with no upfront cost
Even if you get a phone contract, you may sometimes have to pay an upfront cost when you sign up.
This is usually the case with brand-new flagship handsets, as it basically acts as a deposit towards the cost of the phone. Nevertheless, plenty of networks offer no upfront cost contracts.
Read our page for more on phone contracts with no upfront cost.
Contracts with no credit check
Networks will usually require you to pass a credit check before signing up for a phone contract. So, if you have a bad credit score, it can be tricky getting accepted for a phone contract – particularly if the phone is the latest, most expensive version.
Visit our page for tips on getting a phone contract with bad credit.
What was the Galaxy A53's release date?
The Galaxy A53 was announced on 17 March 2022 and went on sale on 1 April.
Is the Galaxy A53 worth buying in 2022?
At the time of writing (May 2022), it’s the latest model in Samsung’s mid-range A-series.
So, if you’re looking for the latest phone but don’t want to splash out on a flagship handset, the Galaxy A53 is well worth checking out.
Is now a good time to buy the Galaxy A53?
It depends – as mentioned above, if you want the latest iteration of Samsung’s A-series handsets, now is a good time to get your hands on the most up-to-date model.
However, at the time of writing (May 2022), it’s at its most expensive price point. If you’re able to wait a year, you’ll be able to get it for cheaper when a newer version is launched.
Will the Galaxy A53 drop in price?
Typically, phones drop in price when a newer model comes out on the market. It’s safe to say that the Galaxy A53 will become cheaper next year, as Samsung has been releasing new phones every year since 2010.
Should I upgrade to a newer Samsung Galaxy?
If you already own the previous year’s Samsung Galaxy A52, the incremental improvements of the A53 might not be worth it.
On the other hand, if you’re using a handset that’s a few generations old, it may be time for an upgrade. And with Samsung promising five years of security updates for the A53, you’ll be able to use it for a good while.
Galaxy A53 5G specs
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