Hands on: Samsung Galaxy A53 5G review

Hands on: Samsung Galaxy A53 5G review

The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G is part of the latest generation of A series handsets from the South Korean firm, arriving alongside its slightly cheaper sibling, the Galaxy A33 5G.

It boasts a large screen, big battery, a whole cohort of cameras and a quartet of colors to keep those in the market for a mid-range smartphone interested. As well as being feature packed, there’s an aesthetically-pleasing design which just about gives the Galaxy A53 a premium edge.

And while it may not be as enticing as the flagship Galaxy S22 Ultra, or futuristic as the foldable Galaxy Z Fold 3, Samsung’s A series is incredibly popular. In fact, in 2021, Samsung’s A series accounted for 58% of its total smartphone sales per reports quoting Counterpoint Research.

So while the Galaxy A53 5G may be easy to dismiss as just another mid-range handset, doing so would be doing it - and the entire A series - a disservice.

The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G has the potential to be one of the best smartphones in the world in 2022 when it comes to sales, and we’ve been given early access to bring you a first look with what could be one of the best Samsung phones of the year.

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G price and release date

The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G price is $449.99 / £399 / AU$699. That gets you the 6GB of RAM with 128GB of storage model - and it’s the only variant of the handset Samsung is offering, in the UK and Australia at least.

The price sees the Galaxy A53 rub shoulders with other 5G-toting mid-rangers, including the Mi 11 Lite, OnePlus Nord 2, Moto G200 and the new iPhone SE 2022.

The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G release date is set for April 1 in the UK and Australia, with pre-orders opening today, March 17. We're still waiting to learn the price and release date for other countries, but we'll update this article as soon as we know more.

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G design

Galaxy A53 specs

Weight: 189gDimensions: 159.9 x 74.7 x 8.1mmDisplay size: 6.5-inchResolution: Full HD+Refresh rate: 120HzChipset: Exynos 1280RAM: 6GBStorage: 128GBRear cameras: 64MP + 12MP + 5MP + 5MPFront camera: 32MPBattery: 5,000mAh

The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G is a large phone, with its 6.5-inch display pushing dimensions to 159.9 x 74.7 x 8.1mm, making it a sizable presence in the hand, yet thinner than previous generations.

While the size means it’s not easy to reach every corner of the screen with your thumb when using one-handed - and those with smaller palms will likely struggle if not employing both - the Galaxy A53 was surprisingly light.

Tipping the scales at 189g, it didn’t feel as weighty as the Google Pixel 6 (207g) we had with us, helping us cope with its size. The volume rocker and power/lock key fall nicely under finger (or thumb) on the right side, while the SIM tray can be found alongside the USB-C port and speaker (one of the A53’s two) on the base of the phone.

Samsung has attempted a premium look and feel, with a metallic silver band which runs around the circumference of the device, although the rear is clearly plastic. Not that it’s a bad point, as the handset as a whole feels solid and well made.

The camera bump is even sculpted nicely with the body, in a similar fashion to what we’ve seen on the Oppo Find X5 Pro, but on the Galaxy A53 the camera bump is only slightly raised from the surface of the phone.

Round the front the display is fronted by Gorilla Glass 5 and the handset carries an IP67 dust and water resistance rating, which means it can survive a drop into water for 30 minutes up to a depth of one meter.

Hands on: Samsung Galaxy A53 5G review

There are four colors to choose from, and we got our hands on the subtle, yet stylish blue variant. We also got to eye up the black, white and peach finishes - the latter of which we found particularly alluring.

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Samsung Galaxy A53 5G display

As we've already mentioned, the Galaxy A53 has a larger 6.5-inch display which stretches across much of the front of the phone, although there is a slightly wider bezel along its bottom edge - a subtle hint that this isn't a top-tier S series handset where Samsung keeps bezels to an absolute minimum.

It still looks good, however, and the only blemish on the front is the compact selfie camera which sits within the screen itself - a design Samsung calls 'Infinity-O' but one which is often referred to as a hole punch, or punch hole display.

You don't get a flagship resolution, but the Full HD+ offering here will more than suffice for most users, plus Samsung has introduced a more premium feature to the A53 - a 120Hz refresh rate.

This keeps things on screen running smoothly, whether you're scrolling social or playing the latest game, the display on the Galaxy A53 should be able to keep up with the action without any juddering.

It's a SuperAMOLED panel, which means colors are punchy, and the A53 also boasts up to 800 nits of brightness, which should make it viewable even in sunlight - although there was a distinct lack of available sunlight when we got hands on with the phone.

Keep an eye out for our full Samsung Galaxy A53 review to find out just how well the screen performs in brighter conditions.

There's a fingerprint scanner embedded within the display as well, which is easy enough to hit with your thumb.

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G cameras

Gone are the days where mid-range phones would pack one, maybe two cameras without much fanfare - these days photography features need to be plentiful if you want to compete, and the Galaxy A53 doesn't disappoint.

It has a quad camera setup in the aforementioned smooth, slightly raised camera bump on its rear with a 64MP main camera joined by a 12MP ultra-wide, 5MP bokeh (for blurred background portraits) and 5MP macro (for close-up snaps) array of snappers.

Meanwhile, on the front there's a 32MP selfie camera.

There's plenty of options to choose from for budding mobile photographers, and that's before we've explored the additional features in the camera app.

Samsung has improved its night mode, and the Galaxy A53 will capture 12 images in one for better low light results, although you'll have to wait for our full review to find out how well it performs.

There's also an advanced portrait mode which offers up a blurred background effect as well as a range of studio lighting, plus Samsung has worked with Snapchat to build in the social app's popular filters directly into the A53's camera app.

The filters are easy to access and give users the ability to play and capture a range of fun options without the need to even have a Snapchat account.

So there's plenty going on in the camera app, and from our brief time with the Galaxy A53 we found it to be a solid offering, although we weren't wowed. The shutter felt a touch slow and the macro camera didn't overly impress from our early test, but look out for our full review soon.

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G performance, specs and battery life

The Galaxy A53 comes with a sizable 5,000mAh battery, which Samsung claims will provide up to two days of use.

There's fast charging support too, with the Galaxy A53 able to replenish 50% of charge in 30 minutes using a 25W Super Charger.

That's not the fastest charging we've seen, so if you'd like to top up quicker you may want to shop around, but the 50% in half and hour is still good.

Powering the Galaxy A53 is Samsung's own Exynos 1280, which is the first 5nm chipset to find its way into an A series device. This should provide better performance and power efficiency.

Samsung claims the Exynps ups AI performance by 31%, GPU performance by 43% and CPU performance by 18% versus the previous generation chip.

It means the Galaxy A53 should be able to handle top tier gaming and intensive apps, although we weren't able to test this during our brief time with the phone.

That's backed up by 6GB of RAM, and there's 128GB of storage which should provide enough space for apps, games, photos and more for many.

However, for those who require more space, the A53 has you covered, even though 128GB is the only internal storage that's offered. Samsung has included a microSD slot which supports cards up to 1TB in size.

The Galaxy A53 also features RAM Plus, which Samsung says will make for better multi-tasking. It allows you to select a chunk of the internal storage to use as virtual memory to improve app performance.

You'll have to wait for our full Galaxy A53 review to find out just how well RAM Plus works and how the handset performs overall.

Early verdict

The Samsung Galaxy A53 is a feature-packed, mid-range phone which has enough about it to compete in an incredibly crowded section of the market.

It may not quite have the best bang-for-buck offering, but Samsung's A series continues to grow in popularity and the A53 is a solid new chapter in the story.

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George Washington

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