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Galaxy A53 hands-on: Samsung perfects its winning formula

Review
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Last updated: March 28th, 2022 at 18:46 UTC+02:00

The Galaxy A5x phones have always been Samsung’s best-selling mid-rangers. Last year’s Galaxy A52 sold like hot cakes as well. So the device that follows it in 2022 has big shoes to fill. The Galaxy A52 brought some major upgrades such as a 90Hz display, stereo speakers, a bigger battery and faster charging.

This was Samsung’s winning formula. It made the Galaxy A52 stand out from the competition. For the Galaxy A53, Samsung has perfected this formula. Our Galaxy A53 hands-on has our reflections on this device based on the time that we’ve spent with it so far.

The upgrades are measured but focused. Samsung hasn’t upset the apple cart too much. Rather, it has fortified its mid-range lineup with a device that looks very promising.

Design

The design doesn’t get any major changes. Like its predecessors, the device has plastic on the back and at the sides. I will mention that the plastic material feels of a much higher quality compared to previous models. There are no patterns or other embellishments. You get a plain version of whichever color you choose. There are four of them: Awesome Black, Awesome White, Awesome Blue and Awesome Peach.

The rear camera cutout has a more curved slop and it’s color-matched to the body. The device itself has an IP67 rating for water and dust resistance. It gets Gorilla Glass 5 on the front for some added protection.

Display and sound

The refresh rate has been bumped up compared to the Galaxy A52’s 90Hz. The Galaxy A53 comes with a 6.5-inch FHD+ resolution Super AMOLED Infinity-O display with a 120Hz refresh rate. The phone is capable of handling this higher refresh rate very well, the animations are silky smooth and the UI is a joy to navigate. The panel has a High Brightness Mode so it can reach peak brightness of 800 nits. This is a noticeable improvement.

Much like its predecessor, the Galaxy A53 comes with stereo speakers, and the sound quality is decent enough. The beloved 3.5mm headphone jack is no more, though. Samsung has removed it from the device and this decision is bound to rub a lot of people the wrong way.

Performance

Samsung has equipped the Galaxy A53 with its new 5nm Exynos 1280 processor with integrated 5G support. Samsung claims that it provides an 18% improvement in multi-core CPU and an impressive 43% bump in GPU performance compared to the Snapdragon 750G-powered Galaxy A52 5G.

The new chipset is paired with 6/8GB of RAM and 128/256GB storage options. There is a noticeable improvement in performance compared to the predecessor. For a mid-range device, it’s actually impressive. Samsung is talking up the mobile gaming potential of this device and that’s something we’ll put to the test in our full review.

Cameras

The Galaxy A53 has a 64-megapixel optically stabilized primary sensor like its predecessor and the rest of the setup is similar as well. The other sensors include a 12-megapixel ultrawide, 5-megapixel depth and 5-megapixel macro camera. Yet again, the latest Galaxy A5x misses out on a zoom camera. It’s one upgrade that a lot of fans are waiting for but Samsung doesn’t seem to want to play ball.

Samsung has improved the camera software to elevate low-light photography. That’s something we’ll be testing out in the full review. In the time we’ve spent so far, the cameras appear to be decent enough, with the performance being not too far off than that of the Galaxy A52.

Battery

This is one of the more meaningful upgrades that Samsung has made to the Galaxy A53. It comes with a 5,000mAh battery that supports 25W fast charging. So while Samsung has giveth, Samsung has also taketh away.

The Galaxy A53 does not come with a charger in the box. So if you want to take full advantage of its charging speed, you need to buy Samsung’s official 25W charger separately.

Samsung claims the capacity is enough for two day battery life. Our brief time with the device does suggest that but stay tuned for our detailed tests on its battery life and charging times.

Software

The Galaxy A53 ships with Android 12 and One UI 4.1 out of the box. So it gets a lot of the same features that Samsung’s latest flagships do. The Galaxy A53 has one major advantage over all of the mid-rangers that have come before it.

Samsung has confirmed that the Galaxy A53 will receive four years of Android OS upgrades. It also gets five years of security updates. This level of update commitment is unheard of in the mid-range segment. So full marks to Samsung for taking the lead here.

Conclusion

The Galaxy A53 appears to be a worthy successor to its predecessor. We’ve been impressed by it during the course of our Galaxy A53 hands-on and look forward to testing it in more detail for the full review. Samsung has focused on the quality of improvements this time around, not the quantity. The winning formula that it set with the Galaxy A52 has clearly been perfected. It does appear that the company may have yet another winner on its hands.

Review Galaxy A53
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