Samsung’s Galaxy A5x series offers a sweet middle ground in its vast range of phones. The Galaxy A525G was so well-rounded last year that it was difficult to recommend the Galaxy A72 which was launched along with it.
The Galaxy A53 5G was announced officially on March 17. It builds upon the success formula of its predecessor. But has it done a good enough job? The A53 5G is a great phone at a reasonable price and seems to be a solid upgrade on the A52 5G.
There are no big changes being made. Samsung kept it simple with a new chipset, a few minor upgrades, such as a larger battery and faster screen refresh rate. The new chip appears to be a big help with improvements to the camera system.
The Galaxy A53 is available in the U.S. at $449 and only comes in one version, which has 128GB internal storage and 6GB RAM. This is a great combination, but you can always expand the storage.
Galaxy A53 5G Design & Display
The A53 5G’s plastic back is matte and resists fingerprints. The same colors are available, including the new peach and blue colors.
It is slightly larger than the A33 in terms of size at 6.2×2.9×0.3 inches (1159.7x74x8.1mm). The A53’s power and volume buttons are located on the right side of its frame. They are easily accessible. They feel solid when clicked, which gives them a feeling of quality build.
The bottom side houses the SIM card/microSD slot as well as a microphone, USB port and speaker grill. The buttons are left on the left, but one microphone has been added to the top. If you look closely enough, you can see a super thin speaker grill at the top of the screen.
It is possible that you have noticed the absence of any mention of a headset jack. It is gone from the Galaxy A5x/A3x series. This is always a bit disappointing.
The Galaxy A53 5G has an IP67 rating to protect it from dust and water, as well Gorilla Glass 5 protection.
What you get inside the box
The Galaxy A53’s small box contains the phone and the documentation. It also includes the SIM eject tool and a USB to USB-C cable. This is it. There’s no charger or fancy accessories.
Galaxy A53 5G Display
Samsung’s Galaxy A53 5G features an Infinity-O (or punch-hole-style screens), Super AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and 2400×1080 resolution. It also has 800 nits maximum brightness. It measures the same as the A52 5G, measuring 6.5 inches.
The A53 5G’s 120Hz mode is just as good as you would hope. The phone feels very responsive, no matter what you do on it. Animations also look smoother thanks to this mode. It is easy to view the display from a different angle, and the colors look great in the Vivid or Natural modes. This is not the case with mid-range phones.
The A53 5G’s screen has an integrated optical fingerprint scanner. Unfortunately, it is not Samsung’s ultrasonic sensor. This is my main complaint about the A53. It’s not that the ultrasonic sensor isn’t available, but the slow optical one. This method takes a long time to unlock your phone.
Thanks to the Exynos 1280’s faster AI processing and face recognition, it has been able to recognize faces much better than the previous generation. This makes it easy for me to pick the fingerprint option over it. Although you do lose some security reassurance in this instance, I’d rather have delayed unlocking.
Galaxy A53 5G Performance and software
The Galaxy A53 5G has a Samsung Exynos 1280 SoC, rather than the Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset in the A52 5G. It’s built using the 5nm process. There are eight cores in total, with 6 Cortex A55 2.0GHz efficiency cores and 2 Cortex-A78 performance cores at 2.4GHz. The GPU and APU are claimed to have 2.1 times the performance of the A52 5G starting in 2021.
The benchmark scores however, show a completely different picture. These numbers are not the only ones that speak. There were also some issues with gaming on the Galaxy A53 5G. In Minecraft, for example, I noticed frame drops quite often in gameplay.
Nonetheless, web browsing, watching videos and navigating the UI went without any problems.
Samsung’s One UI 4.1 is included with the Galaxy A53. This latest stable version of Android 12 is also included. This phone runs flawlessly with the software. The UI is well-organized and intuitive, so it’s easy for you to navigate the menus and other features.
Samsung offers 4 years of major updates in the area of software, so you don’t have to be concerned.
Galaxy A53 5G Camera
The 64MP F1.8 main camera on the A53 5G is equipped with optical image stabilization (OIS). The main camera is not the only one that’s available. There are also five additional cameras: a 12MP F2.2 ultrawide, a 5 MP F2.4 depth and five MP F2.4 macro snappers.
These specs are identical to the Galaxy A52 5G camera systems on paper, but don’t judge too quickly. The Exynos 1280 is the big difference in the A53 5G’s camera system.
The improved AI performance has made portrait mode possible on both the back and front cameras. It also allows for blur adjustment during this mode. The new chipset also allows for portrait lighting in portrait mode.
Samsung’s Galaxy A53 5G does not have a telephoto camera, but the Exynos 1280 allows for a feature they call AI zoom. This AI zoom/improved Digital Zoom was tested on the Galaxy A53 5G. We noticed a significant improvement in the quality of the shot, mainly in terms of the detail.
The significantly improved dynamic range for both stills and videos is more important than the AI zoom or better portrait mode. Samsung has improved the color science to bring more vibrant and saturated colors. It is up to you to decide if you prefer a natural or processed look.
You can’t deny that detail is important. The new chipset seems to be helping with that when you shoot with the A53 ultra-wide camera.
You can see the same benefits as when you shoot photos with the Exynos 1280 while recording video. Just like the A52 5G, image stabilization works well. The microphones are doing an excellent job, and the recorded audio sounds clear.
Galaxy A53 5G Audio Quality
The A53 5G stereo speakers are louder than ever. They are clear and have a great sound stage. The A53 5G’s treble and mids sound clear and rich, making it a great phone for watching videos and listening to your favorite podcast. The bass is a bit weaker, but it is still there at maximum volume.
One thing to remember is that distortion can creep in at 100% volume. Anything below 90% is acceptable.
You can use Bluetooth headphones if you prefer to listen to music through your phone, since the A53 has lost its 3.5mm audio jack, which was on the Galaxy A52 5G. This route may have been chosen by Samsung to allow for the installation of new components. It is, however, a little disappointing that it isn’t there.
The A53 5G’s haptics are disappointing, just like the Galaxy A52 5G or many other budget phones. It just feels strange that the phone vibrates when you touch the screen. The vibrations are weak and erratic.
One thing I can confirm is that there is absolutely no delay between taping on the screen and the vibration.
Galaxy A53 5G Battery and Charging
The Galaxy A53 5G’s battery is 5000mAh and can take up to 25W fast charging. The battery is extremely powerful and I was able to see this in daily use of the device. With the 120Hz refresh rate on, the A53 5G lasted me for a whole day.
This phone will likely last you for a day or two if you’re not bothered by the display refresh rate dropping from 120Hz to a less smooth sixtyHz.
The 25W fast charge is disappointing, considering there are other manufacturers like Xiaomi, which produce phones with 40W or more. You won’t find wireless charging at this price, but that’s to be expected.
You can find the best fast chargers for your phone at .
Although the A53 5G does not have nearly enough improvements over its predecessor, the Galaxy A52 5G remains a notable mid-range phone with many of the same positive characteristics.
The A52 5G also has a headphone socket and appears to be performing as well in GeekBench multiscores as the A53 5.G. It is certain to get some great discounts now that the updated version is available.
The A52 is worth looking at if you’re okay with a smaller battery and a 90Hz refresh rate, as well as 1 year less of major software updates.
There are two great alternatives: the Redmi 11 Pro 5G by Xiaomi and the Pro Plus 5G from Xiaomi. Both feature larger 120hz AMOLED displays and great stereo speakers. The 11 Pro 5G can charge at 67W, while the 11 Pro Plus 5G can charge at 120W. This allows for super fast charging.
The camera systems are one of the most important tradeoffs in the Redmi phone. The main camera takes excellent photos, but both the secondary and primary cameras are terrible at taking any other camera-related shots.
Summary and final verdict
Initial thoughts were that the Galaxy A53 5G was too much of an upgrade to the A52 5G. However, after putting all the improvements Samsung has made, it’s not the case.
An A53 5G’s battery life is better than that of the A52 5G last year. Its display and audio quality is a wombo combination that adds a lot to its value. This makes it an excellent device for watching a variety of media.
While it is easy to overlook the negative aspects of the Exynos 1280’s haptics, gaming performance with the A52 is a completely different story. Samsung may be able use the Exynos 1280 better with some updates. However, as it stands now, it’s a bit disappointing and games are just okay.
However, the new chip seems to have had a significant impact on the camera system. Both video and photos seem much more professional, despite the fact that the hardware-specific camera remains the same.
The Galaxy A53 5G is a great all-rounder and even better than its predecessor. This mid-ranger is a great choice if you love the design and Samsung’s One UI Software.