Smartphones, Tablets & Wearables

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G: Samsung’s mid-range hope in the test

If you are looking for a suitable smartphone, you can quickly get overwhelmed in view of the rich market. Once the basic question of whether Android or Apple has been answered, you are still far from out of the woods – at least if you opt for an Android device. It used to be easier. No matter whether flagship, mid-range or low-budget device – the majority opted for Samsung. In the meantime, this has changed. Thus, the South Korean tech company has received a lot of competition in the last few years, especially in the mid-range.

Providers such as Xiaomi, Poco or OnePlus now offer many price-performance crackers that Samsung has a hard time keeping up with. However, the South Koreans try to stay on the ball again this year with their A series. The Galaxy A53 5G is the top of the comparatively low-priced devices. We want to take a closer look at whether Samsung can not only outdo the competition but also the popular predecessor with the smartphone that costs just under 450 Euros in our review.

Technical details

Processor Octa-core processor (Exynos 1280) with maximum clock speed of 2.4 GHz
Display 6.5-inch Super AMOLED in FHD+ resolution (1,080 x 2,400 pixels) and 120 Hz refresh rate
Camera Quad camera with 64 MP (F1.8) + 12 MP (F2.2) + 5 MP (F2.4) + 5 MP (F2.4), front camera with 32 MP (F2.2)
Memory 6 GB RAM/128 GB flash memory or 8 GB RAM/256 GB flash memory, memory expandable via microSD to 1 TB
Network Dual SIM card slot (Nano SIM) and 5G
Connectivity USB-C, USB 2.0, GPS, WLAN 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz), VHT80, NFC, Bluetooth 5.1
Dimensions and Weight 159.6 x 74.8 x 8.1 mm and 189 g
Battery capacity 5,000 mAh with a maximum of 25 watts of charging power
Colors Awesome Blue, Awesome Black, Awesome Peach, Awesome White
Prices (MSRP) 449.00 euros (6/128), 509.00 euros (8/256)

Scope of delivery

With the Galaxy A53 5G, Samsung is definitely staying true to its new policy of delivery and is taking its cue from Apple. Apart from the smartphone itself, there is only usual paperwork like the Quick Start Guide, the matching charging cable (USB-C to USB-C) and a SIM card tool. It is a pity that Samsung does not include a power adapter in its most expensive representative of the A-series. What will please the environment will probably cause frustration among some customers.

Design and workmanship

Once you take it out of the box, you quickly get an impression of why so many consumers will still opt for a Samsung smartphone in 2022. For example, the 159 mm x 74.8 mm x 8.1 mm Galaxy A53 5G comes with a great build quality. It does not wobble or creak at any point. Furthermore, the buttons offer a great pressure point that makes it fun to use the power button or volume rocker. Not only the size is reminiscent of last year’s predecessor in the form of the A52S. The weight is also identical at 189 grams.

Even though the build quality is beyond any doubt, you will notice that this is not a device of the upper class when you take a closer look and feel it. Samsung relies completely on plastic – which is of course not surprising considering the price. Fortunately, Samsung also follows the trend of matte smartphone cases in the Galaxy A53 5G. This does not only have the advantage that you will hardly see micro scratches on the back. Ugly fingerprints shouldn’t stand a chance here either.

The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G is available in four different colors (picture: Samsung)

You can choose between four different colors for the Galaxy A53 5G. Our test device comes in classic black. Alternatively, you can also buy the smartphone in orange, white or blue. As simple as the color scheme of our A53 5G is, as round is the design that Samsung relies on here. Simple shapes are the order of the day here. I like that very much because the mid-range smartphone does not only look modern this way. On top of that, it fits very well in the hand due to the lack of too many curves.

A look at the back reveals the camera module. Samsung relies on a quad camera here, where three lenses are the same size and one is comparatively small. The camera unit is completed by the flash. Although the camera unit of the A53 5G is anything but small, it looks quite compact. Samsung achieves this with the smooth transition from triple camera to frame.

There are no big surprises in the rest of the build either. As with the A33 5G, Samsung does not place anything on the left side. On the top again, unlike the slightly cheaper sibling of the A-series, there is only a microphone, the earpiece including speakers, and a punchhole camera. The dual-SIM card slot with room for two nano-SIMs or one nano-SIM and one microSD is not at the top, but at the bottom of the device, unlike the A33 5G. In addition, there is a USB-C port, another speaker and a microphone. The right side of the device impresses with the power button and the matching volume rocker.

Although the case is made of plastic, it makes a high-quality impression with its matte finish

Some will surely complain that the Galaxy A53 5G no longer has a 3.5 mm jack. However, before you go on the barricades about this, you should consider the advantages that result from this. Samsung is now able to protect the mid-range smartphone against damage from dust or water according to the IP67 standard. On top of that, there is more space in the case. Samsung obviously uses this to install a bigger battery compared to last year’s predecessor. But more about that later.

Display

Let’s move on to Samsung’s main discipline – the display. The South Koreans are again true to their reputation with the Galaxy A53 5G. Thus, there is hardly anything to complain about in the mid-range smartphone. The screen measures 6.5-inches and offers great contrasts and vivid colors thanks to AMOLED technology. A FHD+ resolution (2400 pixels x 1080 pixels) also ensures razor-sharp content. In addition, the screen contents are easy to recognize even in bright environments.

Samsung again does a great job with the display. The Super AMOLED is a real feast for the eyes.

A great feature is the refresh rate of 120 Hz. Even simple scrolling in the browser is really fun here. After all, the high Hertz number ensures stutter-free moving images and prevents distorted pictures. Unfortunately, the refresh rate cannot be adjusted intelligently. It can only be lowered manually to 60 Hz in the settings. Too bad. To prevent ugly scratches, Samsung also uses Gorilla Glass 5. All in all, Samsung leaves a very good impression here.

Performance

But what is under the lid of the A53 5G? It is clear that the South Korean tech company is saying goodbye to Qualcomm as a chip manufacturer. The Snapdragon 778G was used in the predecessor. Now Samsung relies on its own Exynos 1280. The octa-core processor has a maximum clock rate of 2.4 GHz. Unlike the Galaxy A13 and A33 5G, you can choose different RAM features for the A53 5G. The Exynos is supported by either 6 GB or 8 GB of RAM.

Before we get to the practical impression, let us first take a look at the benchmarks. I opted for Geekbench 5 and 3DMark Wild Life. While Geekbench examines the general system performance with a view to the processor, 3DMark is especially interesting for fans of mobile games. Of course, a comparison to other devices is a good option here. Accordingly, we used the results from the Galaxy A33 5G and the Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G.

Samsung relies on an in-house Exynos 1280. (Image: Samsung)

In Geekbench 5, the Galaxy A53 5G is behind the Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G with 745 points (single-core) and 1967 points (multi-core). The Galaxy A33 5G, on the other hand, has to draw the short straw as a slightly weaker equipped smartphone with 683 points (single-core) and 1628 points (multi-core). The Galaxy A53 5G again has the lead over the Redmi in 3DMark. While the mid-range device from Xiaomi only achieves 1957 points, the Samsung device manages 2292. The Galaxy A33 5G is only marginally weaker with 2164 points.

But can you feel the results in practice? The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G is anything but a performance monster. Although the smartphone offers the best conditions for smoothly switching back and forth between different apps with 120 Hz, the suitable computing power seems to be missing. Thus, minor stutters occur from time to time when you only jump between the home screen’s pages. The slight advantage of the Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G is clearly noticeable in practice. The latter offers a much higher system speed. However, the occasional stutters of the A53 5G will probably not bother many users.

We always have to keep in mind that this is a mid-range device. Thus, we should not expect miracles here. Accordingly, average users will be happy with the occasional use of messenger, browser and shopping app. However, you cannot play demanding games here. By the way, we tested the model with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of flash storage. It is possible that the variant with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of flash storage offers better performance. Nevertheless, Samsung has to admit that the competition offers a much better value for money in terms of performance. The South Korean tech company definitely has to improve this!

Android 12 with in-house user interface

The Galaxy A53 5G comes with Android 12 ex-works. Samsung gives the operating system its very own look with the help of the in-house user interface One UI 4.1. Samsung users will immediately feel at home here. Everyone else will benefit from the self-explanatory handling. Especially smartphone users who want to have many customization options of a visual and functional nature will be happy here. By the way, the manufacturer promises that the A53 5G will also be supplied with the next three “major updates” of Android. This means that you should be able to install Android 13, 14 and even 15 on the A53 5G. In theory, this is very commendable. However, we dare to doubt whether the computing power can still act this.

Quad camera with good performance

Connoisseurs of last year’s Galaxy A52 predecessor will certainly recognize the camera module. After all, Samsung did not change anything here. In view of the positive feedback, that would have surprised us as well. Thus, the camera on the back is composed of a main camera (64 MP), ultra-wide-angle camera (12 MP), macro camera (5 MP) and depth camera (5 MP).

The rear sensors are complemented by a front camera with 32 MP. Enough about the theory, let’s take a look at some pictures. It’s worth it! For a mid-range smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G takes really great photos. Especially when you use the powerful main camera, you will be surprised by the sometimes impressively good results.

Thus, the shots are rich in detail and offer great color reproduction. The latter point could perhaps put off one or the other. Especially people who are put off by too gaudy and sometimes unrealistically colorful colors in photos will certainly judge the image quality differently.

The portrait mode is convincing, but also reveals weaknesses of the processor. After all, you have to live with long shutter release times here.

To photograph panoramas or a group of people, you can use the ultra-wide-angle lens. Here, too, the results are impressive. However, they cannot keep up with the quality of the 64-megapixel main camera. Of course, a portrait mode should not be missing.

Pictures with the ultra-wide-angle lens look a bit overexposed – matter of taste.

Although good results are achieved here as well, you’ll have to be a bit patient. In view of the weak processor, the camera software sometimes seems a bit overwhelmed when it comes to separating the sharp foreground from the blurred background. The results are good, though. The macro lens doesn’t do an outstanding job, but a solid one.

During the day, the A53 5G’s shots are beyond reproach. But what does it look like when the sun goes down? Samsung provides a special night mode in its camera software that is automatically activated when the camera registers too poor light conditions. However, you can also deactivate it if you want.

In practice, the smartphone took very good photos without image noise even in twilight. The color reproduction is also convincing in low-light conditions. The front-facing camera also has no reason to complain. It has the best prerequisites for a selfie in between. In terms of motion pictures, a maximum of 4K at 30 frames per second is possible on the Galaxy A53 5G.

Pictures taken with the selfie camera offer a nice bokeh effect

What’s especially cool about this is that the selfie camera can also record in 4K. If you want, you can switch back and forth between both cameras in one shot. This is especially handy for VLOGs. All in all, Samsung does a convincing job with the camera of its A53 5G, where many competing smartphones cannot keep up.

Connectivity

As the name suggests, the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G not only supports 4G, but also 5G. With a suitable cell phone contract, you can then enjoy the most modern mobile standard. On top of that, the mid-range device has a practical dual-SIM card slot. Two nano-SIMs or one nano-SIM and a microSD for more memory can be inserted here.

Samsung relies on a punch-hole design for the front-facing camera with 13 MP.

We find it a bit unfortunate that the latest WiFi standard in the form of WiFi 6 is not supported, but only WiFi 5. Since the predecessor already had the latest standard on board, this decision is a bit surprising. Furthermore, Samsung relies on Bluetooth 5.1 here and supports music fans with the most common codecs for Android. Thanks to NFC, you can also use features like Google Pay.

A real marathon runner

Samsung’s A series does not only stand for affordable prices. It has also always been the measure of all things in terms of battery performance. Here, the weak processors in particular come into play as a big advantage. After all, they do not help the smartphone achieve top performance, but they are beyond doubt in terms of energy efficiency. Samsung has increased the Galaxy A53 5G’s battery compared with the predecessor. It now has an impressive 5,000 mAh. In practice, the smartphone easily lasted for one and a half days during excessive use. Average use should also easily last for two days.

Unfortunately, you have to buy the power supply like the SAMSUNG EP-TA800N with 25 watts yourself. (Image: Samsung)

As pleasing as the staying power may be, the charging technology saddens us. It is really surprising that Samsung calls its maximum 25-watt battery charging fast. After all, competitors offer much more here. The equally expensive Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G, for example, shows how fast charging really works. Up to 120 watts are possible here. Charging the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G takes a correspondingly long time. The battery needs just under one and a half hours for a full charge. That is no longer up to date!

Conclusion

First things first: The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G is a good mid-range smartphone with strengths and weaknesses. Let’s start with the positives. Our highlight of the A53 is undoubtedly the great display. The combination of a 6.5-inch AMOLED screen in FHD+ resolution and 120 Hz refresh rate is really fun in everyday use. Furthermore, it offers a very good camera. Especially the photos of the main camera score with vivid colors. However, these are a matter of taste and might be a bit too gaudy for some. Furthermore, it offers a great battery life that should last one and a half to two days for most users. Last but not least, we have to emphasize the usual high build quality as well as the protection against dirt and water according to IP67.

The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G is guaranteed to be supplied with software updates until Android 15

The processor performance is the main reason to complain. The performance of the Exynos 1280 can lead to annoying stutters in everyday use. The processor’s technology is also sometimes overtaxed in applications like the camera. We wonder how the A53 5G will be able to last until Android 15. Furthermore, the fast charging technology with a maximum of 25 watts is no longer up to date – not even in the mid-range. Nevertheless, the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G can be recommended for smartphone users who value a great display, a very good camera, and a battery with staying power. However, those who can live with a weaker battery should also take a closer look at the Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G (review), which costs about the same.

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

Workmanship
Hardware
Display
Performance
Battery
Value for money

86/100

The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G is a good mid-range smartphone with a great display, very good camera and a long-lasting battery. Unfortunately, the performance is lacking.

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G price comparison


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Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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