Samsung Galaxy A53 Review

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When we unpack and hold the Galaxy A53 in our hand, something does not feel quite right. The impression is a more budget-like mobile than we expect when the price is around 320 USD. Even the predecessor Galaxy A52 we thought was a bit plastic to be a good mid-range mobile, but it had a more quality feel.

Galaxy A53’s evenly thick shape with flat glass front and flat matte plastic on the back, framed by a wide, slightly curved glossy plastic frame, makes it a sturdy device to grip, especially due to the relatively large 6.5-inch screen, with enclosing frame that is not directly minimal.

A should be short for Awesome, which we learned last year. So, if we ignore the shape and grip of the chassis, which we do not really agree with, how awesome is the Galaxy A53? Yes, there are some qualities here that can appeal.

The design also has a couple of nice features. First, it is ip67-rated, which means that it can withstand a short dip in the water, down to one meter for up to 30 minutes. We may not recommend that you make it a habit, but it is certainly an extra security.

samsung a53 back

Flat and matte on the back.

The camera body on the back has a smartly rounded elevation that both looks good and means that there are no sharp corners for dust to collect in. We also like the color options. Classic black and white with a silvery edge, pastel blue or peach with a tinted metallic sheen in the frame. The official names of them are Awesome Black, Awesome White, Awesome Blue and Awesome Peach. Awesome worse.

Great for media

Picture and sound are also top class. Samsung knows its screens and has long put some of its best even in its mid-range mobiles. Here is a beautiful amoled with 1080p resolution, which has up to 800 cd / m 2 in brightness. It is not as bright as most flagship mobiles have nowadays, but good and bright enough not to cause problems when used in sunlight.

You get 120 Hz frame rate, and can choose between 120 Hz or 60 Hz mode. We assume that it switches between 120 and 60 Hz when needed in the higher mode, as it seems to have the same effect on battery life as other phones with a similar screen that do. But it is not clear in Samsung’s specifications if this is the case. However, it is not an ltpo monitor, you do not get dynamic frequency down to 10 Hz or lower, which might have saved additional battery.

The screen has a large color gamut and excellent color accuracy, without us having to mess with it. There is a good opportunity for manual white balance setting, but we do not feel the need for anything. If there is something it lacks, it is specific support for hdr. But that does not stop it from being a real height screen for watching movies with.

Especially thanks to excellent stereo speakers with dynamic, clean and powerful sound. It actually sounds a bit better here than in the Galaxy S22 series. It may not be as detailed, but the bass is more distinct and there are fuller sounds with more pressure in. This year’s top models from Samsung are a bit clumsy at that point.

galaxy a53 colors

Galaxy A53 is available in four colors.

A few steps behind

In terms of performance, the Galaxy A53 is far from the top in its price range. For example, the Moto G100Realme GT 2 and Oneplus Nord 2 beat it with horse lengths in both processing power and game graphics, and are often more generous with working memory. This is just a marginal upgrade in performance over the Galaxy A52 with the Snapdragon 750G, and we had definitely hoped for more.

It is not disqualifyingly slow, but in some situations the limitations are noticeable. Starting and switching between heavy apps gives annoying micro-breaks and on occasion even the interface feels unreasonably sluggish. Many games we test give us regular drops in frame rate, which other mobiles in the price range can handle without any problems. It may be that the model with eight gigabytes of frame can handle it better than our mobile, we got the six gigabyte model for testing.

One thing that can not be complained about, however, is the battery life. With a 5,000 mAh battery and overall power-efficient hardware, it lasts for just under a day when we stream movies from Youtube at high brightness. The battery life is then also affected by some of the sound volume, with headphones it lasts longer than with high volume in the speakers.
Unfortunately, Samsung now does with the A-series as with the S-series and skips chargers in the box. It supports fast charging up to 25 Watts, but you can get the plug yourself.

You get a stable 4g ​​and 5g connection with well-approved signal strength compared to other mobiles in the same places that we test. The phone does not support wifi 6, but its performance on wifi 5 is not to complain about. However, Wifi 6 support would have been good for its longer range. The phone supports dual SIM, if you do not want to use a micro sd memory, which takes up one of the slots.

Familiar but good cameras

The cameras are basically the same as those in the Galaxy A52, a 64 megapixel main camera, a 12 megapixel wide angle, 5-megapixel macro and an extra sensor for improved depth of field in the main camera’s portrait mode. It performs well, without major surprises. Photos in daylight have real stuns in the colors, nice dynamics with good nuance in both light and dark surfaces.

You have no optical zoom, but up to 5x digital zoom still looks good, if you do not go down to pixel level and review. The wide angle takes daylight images that match the main camera in color and (almost) in dynamics. However, it has problems with lens correction, lines in the corners of the image get a slight skew. The 32-megapixel selfie camera does a good job, and gives almost as good a portrait effect as the main camera, despite the lack of an extra light sensor.

In darker light conditions, the camera may struggle with slow and jumpy autofocus, but it is possible to get nice and sharp images in a room with dim lighting, or outdoors with street lights. However, not entirely without noise, which tends to creep up in dark areas, like a night sky. We avoid mentioning the macro camera, which mostly seems to be there for Samsun to be able to say “quad camera” in the specifications. It takes pale pictures and has constant problems measuring the right focus.

Many updates to wait

Galaxy A53 comes with Android 12. Samsung has one of the best updates in the Android world: four Android generations and five years of security updates. This is a big plus for the longevity of the phone. Other manufacturers have also moved up on that point, but Samsung is still one step ahead of most.

On top of everything is Samsung’s One UI interface. It is one of the more flexible, well-thought-out and feature-rich systems among Android mobiles, although we think that Samsung could well skip some unnecessary things like its own browser and app store, plus a handful of third-party apps we could just as easily download ourselves if needed.

It is a system that does things in its own way, everything from navigation to split screen management. There may be a learning threshold if you switch from another manufacturer. However, the wide range of functions in the system may be worth it. Here are most of the things we like about One UI, besides the Dex desktop interface, which it does not support. It’s just as good, because it would probably have gone awry considering the phone’s performance.

samsung a53 screens

Nice and fast navigation, if you are used to it.

Opinion

It’s hard to see what happened a year ago with the Galaxy A52. It is a marginal increase in performance that causes it to lag significantly behind competitors. Battery life, camera and screen are good, but not better than before. You get better sound and fresher systems, but also a more angular shape and no charger. We had hoped for much more.
Pros:
  • Good screen and speakers
  • Excellent battery life
  • Competent cameras
  • Best upgrade policy

Cons:

  • Plastic feel and bulky design
  • Half performance for the price range
  • No charger

All in all, the phone feels uninspired. What is good in the Galaxy A53 was also good in the Galaxy A52, and the most significant boost is more powerful speakers. At the same time, Samsung is slipping more and more in performance against what its competitors offer in the same price range. It wants you to be really attached to the One UI as an interface for it to be worth being Samsung loyal. The water resistance and Samsung’s excellent update plan raise it from being mediocre, but it can not be a top rating.