While leading smartphones seem to be attracting the most attention, the mid-range market has made great strides in the last few years, thanks to advances in technology and better support for long-term software updates. After spending a few weeks with the new Samsung Galaxy A53 5G, it’s clear that I can continue to function fully with a mid-range phone and save hundreds of dollars on what I’m spending on flagships now.
Samsung’s recent public commitment to software upgrades, including for the Galaxy A53 5G, is a significant reason to consider the A53 5G over Google Pixel 5A 5G. Samsung is offering one year more support than Google and has already proven over the last few years that it is serious about timely Android security updates. I personally am not a fan of Google Pixel hardware due to device damage, errors and poor cellular reception. On the other hand, Samsung phones have some of the best reception of any phone, advanced software features are included as part of the OneUI, and Samsung offers an almost flagship experience for the same price.
- Affordable price
- Solid battery life
- Reliable cellular performance
- Wonderful display
- Good camera results
I do not like
- Accidental performance slowdown
While Samsung’s flagship phones are twice the price of the A53 5G, S21 FE is only $ 150 more. For this price increase, you get a better processor, more cameras and Samsung DeX, while giving up the microSD card slot. The A53 is a great option for less than $ 500 and I personally would choose it over Google Pixel 5a, TCL 20 Proand other mid-range phones under $ 500. There are some other great options, but Samsung’s commitment to software support is something that other smartphones in this price range can’t offer.
Also: Samsung’s best phone: Check out the new Galaxy
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G hardware
Samsung Galaxy A53 has a manageable size with a flat 6.5-inch Infinity-O AMOLED display. Slightly rare for a phone under $ 450 is support for screen refresh rates up to 120 Hz, so you can experience a smooth scroll of the phone. The 32-megapixel front camera with center hole is located on the display with adequate minimum frames on all four sides, so you can hold and use the phone with ease.
A glossy black plastic edge wraps around the phone with power and volume buttons on the right, a USB-C port, a speaker and microphone on the bottom, and a microphone hole on the top. There is no 3.5 mm headphone jack, but there is a microSD card slot with a SIM card tray underneath.
The back has a beautiful matte finish in the color scheme Awesome Black. Fingerprint stains will appear on the back panel, but they are also easy to erase. A common Samsung brand is also on the back. Four camera and flashlight openings are located on the back in the upper left corner. The back panel runs seamlessly up from the flat back and around the cameras, giving it an elegant, finished look. Samsung refers to this design feature as Ambient Edge.
Starting in the upper left corner and working down in a column, Samsung provides a 12MP ultra-wide camera, 64MP main camera and 5MP depth sensor. We find a 5MP macro camera with an LED flash under it on the right. The performance of the camera was solid and I especially like that the depth sensor keeps photos in portrait mode without having to move away from the subject. Macro photos also look great on the Galaxy A53.
Samsung Galaxy A53 has a large 5000 mAh battery and when combined with Samsung’s processor, it is likely to take two days of battery life from the phone. Wireless charging is not supported, but 25W fast charging is with the right charger. Keep in mind that the box with the Galaxy A53 does not include a charger, another way in which Samsung managed to save some money.
5G is supported, including mmWave support, and in my testing I was able to experience stable cellular performance and fast download / upload speeds. Samsung is leading in this area and if keeping in touch in areas with poor coverage is important to you, then you should consider a Samsung phone.
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G specifications
- processor: Samsung Exynos 1280
- Main display: 6.5-inch, 2400 x 1080 pixel resolution, Super AMOLED Infinity-O with 120Hz refresh rate
- OS: Android 12 with OneUI 4.1
- RAM: 6GB
- Storage: 128 GB internal memory with microSD card slot
- cameras: 12MP ultra wide f / 2.2, 64MP f / 1.8 wide angle, 5MP f / 2.4 depth sensor and 5MP f / 2.4 macro camera. 32MP f / 2.2 front camera.
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac, Bluetooth 5.1, GPS / Galileo / GLONASS, NFC
- Sensors: accelerometer, barometer, ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, gyroscopic sensor, geomagnetic sensor, Hall sensor, proximity sensor, RGB light sensor
- Dust / water resistance: degree IP67
- Battery: 5000mAh non-removable with support for fast charging.
- Dimensions: 159.6 x 74.8 x 8.1 mm and 189 grams
- Color: Great black
The phone also has dual stereo speakers that sound surprisingly great with exceptional volume and clarity. This is one of those areas that is usually compromised in a mid-range phone. These specifications show a very capable option with some features that are rarely used, such as ultra-broadband and Wi-Fi 6, missing from the list compared to the latest flagship.
Also: Review of the Galaxy S21 FE 5G: Leading features, excellent reception and Samsung extras
Software for Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G starts with Android 12 and Samsung One UI 4.1. The Android security update from April 1, 2022 is present in our review unit. Samsung’s new software upgrade policy means you’ll probably get up to four operating system upgrades and five years of security updates. The company has proven experience with regular security updates and I look forward to experiencing extended support for Samsung phones.
I personally find value in some Samsung applications, such as the Internet, Calendar, Gallery, Samsung Notes and Samsung Health. They are installed by default and offer a slightly different experience than standard Google applications. Microsoft applications, including Office, OneDrive, Outlook, and LinkedIn, are also installed on the A53 5G by default.
With Samsung Calendar, you can have Google Calendar, Outlook, and other calendar services all displayed in a single consolidated calendar interface. The Internet provides a better overall browsing experience than Google Chrome. Samsung’s Gallery lets you quickly and easily create a custom collage, while Google Photos puts your photos where Google wants you to position them.
Camera software is Samsung’s most important application for the A53. There are many settings, options and modes that you can explore. Shooting modes include entertainment, single frame, portrait, night, photo, video, professional, professional video, food, panorama, super slow motion, slow motion, hyper-delay and macro. This is the first time I’ve seen the fun mode on a Samsung phone and it seems to have effects from Snapchat Lenses. If there are modes you use frequently, touch and hold the mode and drag it to the shortcut menu so that you don’t have to touch the More option first to see all the modes.
Also: Galaxy S22 Ultra Review: More perfect and will be the iPhone 13 Pro Max
Filters, aspect ratios, timers, flash settings, scene optimizer and more are designed to help you capture the best content possible with the Galaxy A53. You can include photo suggestions to help you navigate, and this is a great option to help you learn how to make the most of your phone’s cameras.
Daily experiences and conclusions
When I saw the ad for the Galaxy A53, I wasn’t so excited as I didn’t expect the Samsung phone under $ 450 to be worth a look. After a few weeks of using the phone, I now wonder why I spend twice as much and more on the latest flagships. Of course, the quality of the photos is better with the high-end flagships, but I just take photos and share photos with family and friends as an amateur. I have limited photographic skills and I won’t win any photo contests, so I don’t really care to have the best shooter in my hand.
Although the high refresh rate of the display is fantastic, I see a slight lag in the content that appears on the display and when switching applications from time to time. It really only worries me if I jump to the flagship and I can see the differences, but for the low price of $ 450, this is obviously an acceptable compromise and one that most owners are unlikely to notice.
One feature that worries me is mine iPhone 13 Pro Max is that I have to stand 20 feet away from someone to make a good portrait outside. The Galaxy A53’s depth sensor keeps you close to the subject for decent portraits. There are also several shooting modes to help you get creative with photography, even if you’re not a professional.
If you want to save some money on a smartphone and want an option to help you get the job done and have fun, then the Samsung A53 5G is worth your attention. The comfort of knowing that you can count on years of software updates is a major advantage and something that sets Samsung apart from the mid-range market. Capable specifications, expandable storage space and high-quality construction make this phone, which should work well for years.