Samsung Galaxy A53 5G: Review and opinion: Is it worth it?

The Galaxy A53 5G, is one of Samsung’s most popular smartphones and is a very interesting option in the mid-range by including a high refresh rate display, the latest software, a stylish casing with water protection and a versatile camera system.

Last year, the Galaxy A52 5G was a very complete phone and became one of the best in its segment. And now, can we say the same about its successor?

The A53 5G series we find it to be a solid upgrade over the A52 5G and it’s a great phone for its price range. However, it doesn’t introduce enough improvements to justify buying it if you already have an A52 5G or another good mid-range phone.

Samsung has applied slight changes such as a larger battery, a higher screen refresh rate and changed the design. That said, it is worth mentioning that the new chip seems to help a lot in the photographic and video section.

Samsung has opted for the 5-nanometer Exynos 1280 5G chip for the Galaxy A53 5G and equipped it, in addition to 5G connectivity, with a Super AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate.

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G review mid-range smartphone.Samsung Galaxy A53 5G review mid-range smartphone

The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G has a waterproof casing and an attractive matte back. The Super AMOLED display supports HDR10+ and the 64 MP main camera has optical image stabilization and 2X lossless zoom, while the 12 MP ultra-wide camera has a larger sensor than most cameras in this price range.

The strengths are completed by stereo speakers, large battery with a relatively fast charging process, fingerprint scanner under the display, so it doesn’t look like a bad choice a priori.

But is it a phone worth buying? Can its performance compete with other options out there on the market like the OnePlus Nord or the Realme X7? We’ve tested the phone from all angles and summarized our opinions in this Galaxy A53 5G review. We hope this clears up any doubts you may have and helps you decide if it’s the option for you.

8.2
Price on Amazon
Samsung Galaxy A53

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G review

ADVANTAGES
  • Beautiful design
  • IP67 certified
  • Large AMOLED display
  • 120 Hz refresh rate
  • Good battery life
  • Balanced and sufficiently powerful stereo speakers
  • Great camera experience, both for photos and videos
  • Good stabilization system
  • Good operating system experience
DISADVANTAGES
  • No charger included
  • Charging is not as fast as other competing models
  • No longer includes a 3.5 mm jack input
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G features
  • Processor: 2.4GHz, 2GHz Octa-Core 5-nanometer Exynos 1280
  • Super AMOLED display
  • Resolution: 1080 x 2400 (FHD+)
  • Android 12 One UI 4.1
  • 64.0 MP + 12.0 MP + 5.0 MP + 5.0 MP main camera
  • 32.0 MP front camera
  • Video recording: 4K UHD (3840 x 2160)@30fps
  • RAM: 6GB / 8GB
  • Internal memory: 128 GB / 256 GB
  • Dual-SIM
  • Stereo speakers
  • Dolby Atmos sound
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • NFC
  • 5000 mAh battery
  • Dimensions: 159.6 x 74.8 x 8.1 mm
  • Weight: 189 grams
Table of contents – Samsung Galaxy A53 5G review

Unboxing

The Galaxy A53 5G comes in a regular cardboard box and the package is quite simple: it only includes a USB cable, the tool to remove the SIM and the usual warranty documentation and quick guide. As with other models it does not include a charger.

Design

Great design is in the DNA of the Galaxy A series, but this generation might be the best yet. It’s slightly larger than the A33, measuring 159.7 x 74 x 8.1 mm and weighing in at 189 grams. The volume control and power button are located on the right side of the A53’s frame and are easy to reach. Both feel sturdy when pressed, giving a sense of good build quality.

The Galaxy A53 5G is a mid-range smartphone, but its casing has several premium features. The Gorilla Glass 5 front panel is much appreciated, the plastic frame is beautiful with its glossy finish, while the plastic back has this amazing matte coating that is really fascinating and is fingerprint resistant. The quad camera protrudes just a little bit from the back, and not in a neat way, but more like a little hill. This makes the phone move a bit on the desk or table, but certainly not as much as a Galaxy S21 Ultra for example.

Samsung is one of the few manufacturers to offer official IP ratings for its mid-rangers like the Galaxy A53 5G, which gives it an edge over some of its Chinese competitors. The phone is dust and water resistant to IP67 and can survive up to 30 minutes in up to one meter of water.

IP67 water and dust resistance - Samsung A53 5G analysis and reviews.IP67 water and dust resistance – Samsung A53 5G review and opinions

For comparison, most of Xiaomi’s phones are only splash water resistant to IP53 standard, while other manufacturers’ phones have no protection at all.

At the bottom you’ll find the SIM/microSD card slot, a microphone, a USB-C port and a speaker grill. The left side has been left without buttons, while on the top one more microphone has been added. A super-thin speaker grille can also be seen on the top bezel of the display if you squint hard enough.

Unfortunately, Samsung has decided like other manufacturers to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack connection.

It comes in the same colors, including the two new blue and peach in addition to black and white.

Display

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G with 6.5-inch Super AMOLED screenSamsung Galaxy A53 5G with 6.5-inch Super AMOLED Display

The Galaxy A53 5G comes with a 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display with a refresh rate of 120 Hz and a resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels. This is a top-of-the-line display that offers a wide color palette in addition to a high brightness of up to 800 nits. It also offers support for the HDR10+ format.

The display reaches a maximum brightness of 378 nits when the brightness is manually adjusted and in sunlight mode the display goes up to the 800 nits we discussed.

The display conforms to DCI-P3 (Vivid mode) or sRGB (Natural mode) color spaces. The accuracy of the Vivid profile is superb: colors are not overly saturated, but whites and grays are a bit bluish. Natural mode offers perfect color accuracy with an average DeltaE of 1.8.

The A53 5G’s 120 Hz mode is as good as you’d expect and makes the phone look very snappy no matter what you’re doing on it, and animations are smooth. You can choose between a 60 Hz (standard) and 120 Hz (high) refresh rate. Both have fixed refresh rates with no adaptive settings, which can impact battery life.

In 120 Hz mode, all applications run at 120 Hz, including YouTube, Netflix, performance tests, games, and social networking. This does not mean that all games can reach 120fps. In fact, most barely reach 60fps.

There are no problems viewing the screen at an angle and the colors are amazing in both Vivid and Natural modes, which is not always the case with other mid-range phones.

The AMOLED display is protected by a flat piece of Gorilla Glass 5, which is known for its good resistance to breakage, but is not as well protected against scratches. Since it’s a flat panel, just put on a protective glass sheet if you want to feel particularly safe. Note that if you use a glass protector, you will also have to re-register your fingerprints to improve accuracy.

Integrated into the display of the A53 5G is the optical fingerprint scanner, which unfortunately is not Samsung’s famous ultrasonic sensor. This optical scanner, however, works quickly and reliably and gives very few erroneous readings, which is very good.

Luckily, facial recognition has improved over the previous generation thanks to the Exynos 1280 and the faster AI processing it brings to the table. That makes it good enough for me to choose it over the fingerprint alternative.

Battery life

The Galaxy A53 5G’s battery has a capacity of 5000mAh and can support up to 25W of fast charging. It is certainly a robust battery, which was proven in our daily use of the device. It lasted through a full day of heavy use and with the 120Hz refresh rate turned on.

Setting it to a 60 Hz refresh rate, the battery lasts for two days without issue and in our testing managed over 34 hours in calls, nearly 17 hours in web browsing and 22 hours in video playback. With less intensive use, you can use it without charging for up to three days.

The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G supports 25W adaptive fast charging, but no charger is included. If you want to charge your A53 5G faster, you will need to purchase Samsung’s 25W AC adapter or other compatible adapter separately.

With a 15W charger, you can charge 35% of the empty battery in 30 minutes. This is an acceptable value, but far from the best. Full charge, it takes 1 hour and 39 minutes, which represents a decent overall performance.

Sound

The A53 5G’s stereo speakers are now more powerful than before. Above the display is a very thin grille behind which hides the earpiece, which also acts as the second speaker in the stereo system.

The main speaker is located below the handset, and we were delighted to find that both are equally powerful (including bass) and well balanced. They have impressive clarity and soundstage, with rich, clean sounding highs and mids, making it a great phone for watching videos and listening to your favorite podcast.

Galaxy A53 stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos support.Galaxy A53 stereo speakers with support for Dolby Atmos

Bass, on the other hand, is barely there, although what little there is isn’t muffled even at maximum volume, so that’s something.

One small thing to note, however, is that at 100% volume a slight distortion starts to appear. Anything above 90% is fine.

If you prefer to use headphones instead of speakers, you’ll have to get yourself some Bluetooth, as one of the features of the Samsung A53 5G that have been removed in this new generation is the 3.5mm audio jack that the Galaxy A52 5G did have.

To adapt the audio profile to your personal needs and preferences.it features an advanced equalizer and Samsung’s Adapt-Sound system.

Software

Much of the appeal of Samsung devices lies in the software and the Korean giant is introducing major improvements to its software with the Galaxy A family. The Galaxy A53 comes with Samsung’s One UI 4.1, the latest stable version on top of Android 12. The software works flawlessly on this phone. It is easy to find your way around the menus and the various functions, as the user interface is intuitive and well organized.

One UI 4.1 layer based on Android 12 of Samsung A53 5G
One UI 4.1 layer based on Android 12 of Samsung A53 5G

Most importantly, Samsung has committed to 3 major OS updates and 4 years of security patches, something really unheard of in this price range.

The under-display fingerprint reader will probably be the primary method of unlocking for most people, but you can also use face unlock instead or alongside it.

Performance

The Galaxy A53 5G uses the Exynos 1280 SoC, the 5G counterpart to the Snapdragon 750G that powered the Galaxy A52 5G model. This processor handles daily tasks such as email, browsing and social networking smoothly. At launch, there were people complaining about occasional jerks, but Samsung has been releasing updates that have been correcting these issues and we can tell you that currently the performance is quite good.

The 5-nanometer Exynos 1280 that mounts this Samsung smartphone, is a mid-range chip, but that the Korean company has been optimizing its software so that its performance can approach that of other more powerful processors. Compared to the previous 2021 model, there has been an increase in speed and agility when running games that demand more power or demanding applications.

With the Game Booster feature the phone tracks your gaming patterns to optimize battery life, temperature and memory. At the same time, it blocks background activities and notifications, so you don’t lose concentration when playing.

The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G offers a solid base configuration with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. There is a 256 GB version in case you need extra storage from the start, but you can take advantage of the microSD slot instead. The version with more storage also increases the RAM from 6 GB to 8 GB which offers a bit more power for your daily tasks.

Camera

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G camera system with optical image stabilization.Samsung Galaxy Galaxy A53 5G camera system with optical image stabilization

The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G features a 64 MP F1.8 main camera with optical image stabilization. In addition to the main one, there is also a 12 MP F2.2 ultra wide-angle, a 5 MP F2.4 depth and a 5 MP F2.4 macro. The front camera for selfies has a 32MP sensor.

The main camera uses a 1/1.7″ 64MP 1/1.7″ Sony IMX682 sensor with 0.8µm pixels and a 24mm f/1.8 optically stabilized lens. The optical image stabilizer is quite rare in this mid-range class and we like it.

Camera system - Samsung Galaxy A53 5G review and opinion.Camera system – Review Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

The ultra-wide camera uses a 13MP 1/3″ imager with a pixel pitch of 1.12µm. The sensor sits behind a 13mm lens with a bright aperture of 2.2 and the focus is fixed.

The macro camera uses a 5MP GalaxyCore GC5035 sensor with an aperture of f/2.4 and fixed focus at about 4cm.

A53 5G macro cameraSamsung Galaxy A53 5G macro camera

The depth sensor uses the same 5MP GalaxyCore GC5035 module with an f/2.4 aperture and infinite focus.

The selfie camera is the same as the Galaxy A53: it uses the 1/2.8″, 32MP Sony IMX616 sensor with 0.8µm pixels and a quad-layer filter. It is therefore designed to take 8MP photos (in standard mode, 3264 x 2448 pixels are recorded). But there is also a 32MP mode if you need it.

Admittedly, on paper, these are the same specs as the Galaxy A52 5G’s camera system, but don’t rush to judgment. There is one big difference that makes the A53 5G’s camera system more capable than that of its predecessor, and that’s the Exynos 1280.

A53 camera test
Samsung Galaxy A53G 5G camera test

Thanks to the improved AI performance, portrait mode has been improved on both the front and rear cameras, including the ability to adjust the blur during that mode. Another feature made possible by the new chipset, is the addition of portrait lighting while in portrait mode.

While there is no telephoto lens on the Galaxy A53 5G, the Exynos 1280 does enable a feature that Samsung calls AI zoom. We were able to test this enhanced AI zoom/digital zoom on the A53 5G, and we did indeed notice an improvement, especially in the amount of detail in the shot.

However, more important than the AI zoom and improved portrait mode is. the greatly improved dynamic range, both when taking photos and recording video.. Samsung has made adjustments to the colors making them more vivid and saturated without being artificial.

Also noticeable is the increase in detail in the brighter parts and it seems that the new Exynos 1280 chipset is helping exactly that when you take a picture with the A53’s ultra wide-angle camera.

Photos taken with this phone have a good amount of detail, excellent contrast, accurate colors and a wide dynamic range. It offers a lossless 2x zoom with its high-resolution 64MP sensor. The photos we took at 2x magnification were solid, with excellent detail and all the advantages of normal non-zoom photos: vivid, accurate colors, exceptional contrast and dynamic range.

The 12MP photos recorded by the ultra-wide camera are among the best you can get on a mid-range smartphone. They offer a good level of detail, to which the smoother noise reduction has undoubtedly contributed. Color and contrast are commendable, as is the dynamic range thanks to automatic HDR.

In areas where colors are uniform, some noise is noticeable, but not overly distracting. We’ve seen sharper images in this category before, but suspect that HDR processing might be responsible for the lower sharpness and possible loss of detail. Non-HDR photos are indeed sharper, but this is more due to more aggressive processing than too much extra detail. The only other difference is that the extremes of tones are predictably less pronounced.

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G camera tests.Samsung Galaxy A53 5G Camera Tests

Unlike what we observed with the main camera, shooting without HDR with the ultra-wide camera does not result in sharper images. The Galaxy A53 5G has a special 5 MP depth sensor that helps the main camera take portrait photos. The portrait photos we took are good, but not the best we’ve seen. Subjects are detailed and well exposed and blur effect is quite convincing. It works especially well when backgrounds and hairstyles are simple, but as with many other phones we’ve tested, when backgrounds are more complex and hairstyles are messier, you can see some errors.

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G main camera
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G main camera

The main camera takes great night shots, with a lot of texture, satisfyingly low noise, excellent color saturation and good contrast. Exposure and dynamic range are also commendable for photos taken without night mode.

The Samsung A53 5G has one of the common features in today’s smartphones such as night mode. When used with the main camera, it takes a cropped 12 MP photo and we found that a little more detail is seen in textures and some shadows, small areas of washed out light are recovered and noise is removed, though sometimes at the cost of fine detail.

In our opinion, we don’t see the point of using the main camera’s night mode unless it’s really necessary. The camera is well equipped for taking moving pictures in low light, Samsung’s processing is also competent and provides natural-looking images.

However, the night mode makes a big difference in ultra-panoramic photos. You’ll get better exposure, less noise and even better colors.

As for the front camera for selfies, the photos have a resolution of 32 MP and we can say that they are not the sharpest, but they stand out for their contrast, color and dynamic range. And we must comment that the resolution of the details degrades drastically in low light conditions and that with this camera, the advantages of HDR and scene optimizer are not offered.

Portraits taken with the front camera in well-lit situations look great: subject separation is good, as is background blur.

The same advantages that the Exynos 1280 brings when taking photos can be seen when recording video, and image stabilization has improved over the A52.

You can record video in 4K resolution at 30fps with its main camera and with the ultra-flat camera. 1080p at 30fps is available for both, while 1080p at 60fps only works with the main camera. Electronic stabilization is available for both the main and ultrawide cameras, but can only be used at 1080p resolution.

Video performance is generous, with a rate of 48 Mbps at 4K. Clips recorded in 4K with the main camera are excellent for this range, with a high level of detail and low noise. Overall, the Galaxy A53 5G has great scene control: colors are accurate, contrast is superb, and dynamic range is sufficient to get a great picture.

Audio is recorded in stereo at a bit rate of 256 Kbps and the microphones also seem to do an impressive job, as the recorded audio sounds crisp.

The camera app is the same one found on all Samsung phones today. Swiping left and right switches between modes, and there’s an option to reorder certain modes or remove them from the viewfinder. A vertical swipe in either direction switches between the front and rear cameras.

There’s also a Pro mode with which you get granular exposure control and manual focus, shutter speed control down to 10s.

Veredict – Final opinion Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

Samsung A53 5G - Review and opinionSamsung A53 5G – Review and opinion

At first glance, the Galaxy A53 5G may not seem like much of an upgrade over the A52 5G, but when you analyse and test all the improvements Samsung has made, this first impression changes.

Also with the latest updates, Samsung has been able to utilize the Exynos 1280 in a better way and its performance has improved.

The camera system, seems to have benefited greatly from the new chip and both photos and video seem more polished in more ways than one, despite the specific camera hardware remaining the same. The stabilization of the main camera has been improved with the latest updates and in its range it offers above average performance.

Other welcome features in this range include IP67-certified casing and 120Hz AMOLED display.

The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G is a good smartphone with a well thought-out feature set: few mid-range phones can offer an attractive design, 120 Hz AMOLED, a decent chipset and such a good camera selection. We also liked the battery life and speaker performance, as well as the fluidity of One UI.

The Galaxy A53 5G is indeed a solid 5G phone and there’s no arguing with that. Its price has been adjusted over time and currently we think it’s worth it. There are some better or faster phones out there at a similar price point, but without having the upgrade support that Samsung offers.

In short, the Galaxy A53 5G is a solid all-rounder, even more so than its predecessor. If you like Samsung’s design and One UI software, you can’t go wrong with this mid-range.

View Samsung Galaxy A53 5G price

SAMSUNG Galaxy A53 5G A Series Android Smartphone White

128GB + 6GB RAM, 6.5” FHD Super AMOLED Screen
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SAMSUNG Galaxy A53 5G A Series Android Smartphone Black

128GB + 6GB RAM, 6.5” FHD Super AMOLED Screen
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Other alternatives

There are many other alternatives in the mid-range sector and for a similar price to the Samsung Galaxy A53. Here are some of the best alternatives, which you can buy right now.

Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G

Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G and Pro Plus 5G are also great alternative options. Both have larger 120 Hz AMOLED displays and pretty good stereo speakers. Not to mention the 11 Pro 5G can be charged at 67W and the 11 Pro Plus 5G at 120W, allowing for super short charging times.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

However, one of the biggest drawbacks of the Redmi phones is the camera system. Aside from taking pretty good photos with the main camera, both are pretty bad at almost anything else camera related.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE with 5G technology is only €60 more expensive than the A53 5G and has a lot to offer, which justifies the extra price. It has a similar 120Hz AMOLED display, but offers much better performance thanks to its flagship-grade Snapdragon 865 5G chip.

The S20 FE also has a better camera on the back – there’s a 12MP main camera with OIS, a dedicated 8MP camera with OIS and 3x optical zoom, while the 12MP ultrawide shooter is comparable to the A53. And if those aren’t enough reasons to spend more money, there’s also fast wireless charging and reverse wireless charging.

OnePlus Nord 2 5G

Another option is the OnePlus Nord 2 5G series, which costs a bit less than the A53, and offers much faster performance thanks to its Dimensity 1200 SoC. The 50 MP main camera also has OIS, so mobile photographers should be happy.

The display has 90 Hz instead of 120 Hz, but that’s 90 Hz that you’ll be able to get the most out of with the right content thanks to the powerful hardware. Oh, and the included 65W charger takes the battery from 0% to 100% in 30 minutes.

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Galaxy A53 5G waterproof?

Yes, as it is IP67 certified, so it can withstand up to certain degrees of water exposure. Although technically with this certification it can withstand submerged for 30 minutes up to 1 meter deep, there are a number of precautions to be taken as it is only for normal water, not salt or chlorinated water. See the manual for more information.

Why is a charger not included in the box?

Samsung and other manufacturers, have decided to stop including in many models the charger, as they consider that it is harmful to the environment, since most users will already have some charger at home. With this, according to the manufacturers, the aim is to reduce waste.

8.2 Total Score
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G review

The Galaxy A53 5G is very interesting phone that stands out for its splendid Super AMOLED display, a 120 Hz screen and a fairly solvent camera system. It also has a good autonomy and includes stereo speakers better than what we have seen in this price range.

PROS
  • Nice design
  • IP67 certification
  • Large AMOLED display
  • 120 Hz refresh rate
  • Good battery life
  • Balanced, sufficiently powerful stereo speakers.
  • Great camera experience, both photo and video.
  • Good stabilization system
  • Good experience with the operating system
CONS
  • Charger not included
  • Charging is not as fast as other competitive models.
  • No longer includes 3.5 mm jack input
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