If you're a fan of the Galaxy A3x series, you use a Galaxy A31, and you're looking for an upgrade, you have a lot to look forward to this year. The new Galaxy A33 5G is a great step-up from the 2020 model, as it brings upgrades and new features in many hardware and software areas.
Samsung announced the Galaxy A33 earlier today, and the device was accompanied on the virtual stage by the Galaxy A53. It's no coincidence. A lot of things have changed since the Galaxy A31 was released, and the new Galaxy A33 punches above its weight. It doesn't look out of place next to the Galaxy A53, but what about the A31?
Galaxy A33 5G vs A31: Design and build quality
Last year, Samsung challenged the mid-range smartphone market with the Galaxy A52. It marked the return of IP water and dust resistance rating to the Galaxy A5x series sine the Galaxy A5 (2017), and Samsung has once again challenged the market this year.
The Galaxy A33 5G also marks the return of water and dust resistance for the series since we last saw this feature in 2017 with the release of the Galaxy A3.
Samsung's new Galaxy A33 5G has an IP67 rating, which means it should be able to survive in up to 1 meter of freshwater for up to 30 minutes.It's a big step up from the Galaxy A31's lack of water resistance.
In addition, the Galaxy A33 features Gorilla Glass 5 display protection, and the back panel design is more modern and in sync with the rest of the Galaxy A series for 2022.
Galaxy A33 5G vs A31: Firmware and support
The Galaxy A31 shipped with Android 10, can be upgraded to Android 11, and should be updated to Android 12 at some uncertain point in the future. And that's where support will end, barring a couple more years' worth of security patches — up to the year 2024.
The Galaxy A33 5G falls under Samsung's new four Android OS upgrade policy. It ships with Android 12 (One UI 4.1) and will receive Android 16 and everything in between. Samsung also guarantees up to five years of security patches to top it all off.
Galaxy A33 5G vs A31: Display
Although the Galaxy A31 and Galaxy A33 have very similar displays, the 2022 model has one significant upgrade.
Both phones have 6.4-inch Super AMOLED FHD+ Infinity-U panels, but the Galaxy A33 5G's display can render 90 frames per second.
The Galaxy A31 is limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, but the Galaxy A33's 90Hz display will smoothen out UI animations and make everything feel a bit more responsive.
Can the chipset sustain the higher framerate? Technically, it should.
Galaxy A33 5G vs A31: Chipset, memory, other specs
Samsung no longer uses a MediaTek-supplied chipset for this year's Galaxy A3x model.
Enter the Exynos 1280. It's a new 5nm chipset Samsung has designed for the mid-range smartphone segment. It has two ARM Cortex-A78 CPU cores (2.4GHz), six ARM Cortex-A55 cores (2.0GHz), and an ARM Mali-G68 graphics chip (1,000MHz).
The 5nm Exynos 1280 SoC should not only be a whole lot more powerful than the 12nm Helio P66 chipset used by the Galaxy A31 but more energy-efficient, too.
As for memory options, the Galaxy A33 doubles the minimum onboard storage from 64GB to 128GB and ships with 6/8GB of RAM.
Unfortunately for customers that use audio equipment based on the 3.5mm standard, the Galaxy A33 5G doesn't have a 3.5mm port.
Galaxy A33 5G vs A31: Battery and fast charging
The Galaxy A33 5G has a 5,000mAh battery. It's the same capacity as the Galaxy A31, but it benefits from upgraded 25W Super-Fast Charging technology, up from the 2020 model's 15W limit.
Keep in mind that you may need a wall charger if you upgrade to the 2022 model. The Galaxy A33 5G doesn't ship with a 25W charger, but Samsung is willing to sell you one separately.
Galaxy A33 5G vs A31: Cameras
Likewise, the Galaxy A33 5G's camera setup is relatively similar to the Galaxy A31's. It consists of a 48MP sensor (f/1.8), though, this time it has OIS (Optical Image Stabilization). Then there are the 8MP ultra-wide (f/2.2), 5MP (f/2.4) macro, and a 2MP (down from 5MP) depth sensors.
This year's model has a lower-resolution 13MP (f/2.2) camera as opposed to a 20MP selfie sensor, but numbers don't always tell the whole story.
The Galaxy A33 5G's main sensor has OIS, which can make a huge difference, and the phone is equipped with the Exynos 1280 chipset. The latter, Samsung says, allows the Camera app to perform better and deliver higher-quality results in more lighting conditions, thanks to AI advanced processing.
Galaxy A33 5G vs A31: Is the 2022 model worth it?
The Galaxy A33 5G appears to be more than a worthy upgrade for Galaxy A31 users looking for more power, camera features, better build quality with water resistance, superior firmware support, and the list could go on.
It does cost a bit more than the Galaxy A31 at launch, and you won't get a wall charger in the box, but the phone makes up for it in many other areas. It's technically a better phone, barring some inconveniences, i.e., the missing wall charger and 3.5mm headphone port.
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