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Samsung Galaxy A53 5G Review: A mid-ranger with tons of potential

Stick around to find out if the Galaxy A53 5G is the new king of the mid-range!

April 29, 2022 / 06:08 PM IST

The Samsung Galaxy S22 was unveiled as the company’s flagship offering in 2022, bringing top-tier specifications at a premium price. However, following the launch of the Galaxy S22 series, Samsung also unveiled the Galaxy A53 5G in India. Unlike the Galaxy S22 smartphones, the Galaxy A53 5G targets the higher-end of India’s mid-range market.

Like its predecessor, the Galaxy A53 5G also debuts in the sub-35K market. Samsung has managed to bring a few upgrades on the A53 5G at a marginally lower price than last year’s Galaxy A52s 5G (Review) and slightly higher than the Galaxy A52 5G. The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G price in India is set at Rs 34,999 for the base 6GB/128GB model and Rs 35,999 to bump it up to 8GB. But how does the Galaxy A53 5G fare in India’s highly competitive premium mid-range market, stick around and let’s find out.

Design

First off, the Galaxy A53 5G retains the same design as the Galaxy A52 5G. The polycarbonate frame on the A53 5G did feel a little smoother, while the phone has flatter sides, similar to that of the Galaxy S22 (Review). Additionally, the frame has a glossy finish. The frame does have a glossy finish. The A53 5G is available in Awesome Blue, Awesome Black, Awesome Peach, and Awesome White colour options. The phone also has a polycarbonate back and a matte finish, which is quite resistant to fingerprints.

Samsung a53 5G India

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There’s a rectangular camera module on the back that blends in with the back panel, while the phone easily lays flat on the surface as the modules barely protrude from the back. While the camera lenses have black inserts, there are the regular volume and power buttons on the left, while the SIM tray, speaker grille, and USB Type-C port sit at the bottom. The phone felt pretty comfortable to use with one hand, while the in-display fingerprint reader was quick and responsive. Additionally, the A53 5G also comes with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance.

Display

The display here is pretty much the same as that on the A52 5G. Because, if it ain’t broke, why fix it. The phone sports a 6.5-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED panel with a hole-punch camera cutout and pretty slim bezels. The A53 5G also features a 120Hz refresh rate that is smooth and responsive.

Galaxy A53 display

You can switch between 120Hz and 60Hz in the Settings and once you select an option, the phone will use it as the default refresh rate. The screen does push out punchy and vivid colours, although HDR is missing. The panel is protected by Gorilla Glass 5 and the dual stereo speakers tend to pump out surprisingly loud audio, which doesn’t get distorted at higher volumes.

Performance

When it comes to performance, Samsung has opted for a new Exynos 1280 SoC, which can easily handle multitasking and other daily activities without any lag or stuttering. The Exynos chip is paired with up to 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. And while the new 5nm Exynos outperforms the Snapdragon 750G found on the Galaxy A52, it doesn’t match up to the Snapdragon 778G on the Galaxy A52s 5G. I did test a couple of games on the phone, including Call of Duty: Mobile and Asphalt 9: Legends.

Galaxy A53 5G

Both titles worked surprisingly well on high graphics, but you may have to use medium settings for the best frame rates. On Geekbench, the phone managed a single-core score of 509 points and a multi-core score of 1878 points, which was around the same as the Vivo T1 (Review) and its Snapdragon 695 chip. As compared to smartphones using Snapdragon and MediaTek chips in this range, the Galaxy A53 5G and its Exynos chip fall short of the mark.

Cameras

The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G opts for a quad-camera setup on the back that is very similar to that of its predecessor. At the helm sits a 64 MP primary sensor with optical image stabilization (OIS). The other three cameras include a 12 MP, f/2.2 ultrawide shooter, a 5 MP depth sensor, and a 5 MP macro unit. So let’s take a look at how these cameras perform in the real world.

Galaxy A53 cameras

Firstly, the main camera captures images with natural colours, crisp details, and good dynamic range in bright light. HDR also works well for the most part and images appear quite sharp. The one issue I had was with saturation, which was not always on point. In some situations, images looked a bit oversaturated. However, saturation could also make photos pop in certain situations. You can also take photos in the full 64-megapixel resolution, which gives you just a bit more detail.

Both Scene Optimizer and Auto HDR work in the 64 MP mode. Edge detection also works well in portrait mode. The 12 MP ultrawide camera does a pretty good job of matching results on the main shooter in bright sunlight. However, results can be a swing and a miss in more complex lighting situations. Images were noticeably softer on the ultrawide, while there was noticeably less detail as compared to the main camera. On the plus side, there’s noticeably less saturation with more natural colours.

Galaxy A53 5G

The Galaxy A53 5G also has an Automatic Night Mode, which kicks when there’s less light in a scene. Night mode does a solid job of restoring parts of overblown highlights, cleaning noise, and fixing details in shadows. Night mode on the A53 was quite reliable, although it does take some time to capture shots. Night shots on the ultrawide couldn’t keep pace with the main camera. The macro camera on the A53 5G was a swing and a miss, getting widely inaccurate results.

The 32 MP selfie camera on the A53 5G takes good photos in daylight with solid detail and sharpness. It also took detailed portrait selfies with natural colours, although the Night mode on the selfie camera wasn’t any good. The Galaxy A53 5G can capture 4K video at 30fps or 1080p video at 60fps, while the front camera supports 4K recording at 30fps. The ultrawide camera also supports video at the same resolution. There’s a Super Steady mode but it only works at 1080p at 30fps, which results in sub-par quality in anything other than bright sunlight.

There have been instances where I have been critical about the cameras on the Galaxy A53 5G, but it is worth noting that these are some of the best cameras in this range. I think Samsung should have upgraded the hardware, but the current hardware still works really well with the software and the tons of camera feature don’t hurt. The A53 5G does require a little work tuning the saturation down, but for the most part, the phone has a very reliable camera setup that works well in most instances.

Battery

The A53 5G has a large 5,000 mAh battery that got me through an entire day of use with some battery life to take into the next day. My daily use with the phone included 30 minutes of gaming, 20 minutes with the camera, two hours of music playback, and around two hours of browsing the phone. By the end of the day, I was still left with around 15 percent of battery. You should get around six hours of screen-on time, which is pretty good.

Samsung Galaxy A53

However, the lack of a charger in the box, means you’ll likely be stuck with charging the device over a laptop, which takes forever, or if you have an adapter, the 25W charging support will take around 90 minutes to fully charge the device. The charging support is a far cry from its competitors. I’d say that the A53 5G offers great battery life but sub-par charging capabilities.

Software

There’s a lot to love about One UI, although the best part here is the four years of major Android updates, which is better than most Android flagships. The prospects of having a mid-range phone delivering Android updates till 2026 and security updates even beyond that are rather impressive.

A53 5G

Apart from the pre-installed bloatware, you won’t have too many complaints about the software, One UI 4.1 is arguably one of the most feature-rich third-party skin and brings better integration with Google services than previous versions of the software.

Verdict

When Samsung started off with the Galaxy A series, there was a lot to be skeptical about. However, the A series has come a long way since then. Last year, the trio of Galaxy A52 smartphones showed a lot of promise. And the latest Galaxy A53 5G is just another sign that Samsung is serious about the mid-range. With the Galaxy A53 5G, Samsung uses the tried and tested, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. The Galaxy A53 5G brings a ton of excellent features, like the quad-camera setup with tons of features, the vibrant 120Hz AMOLED display, a large battery, and good software. What’s more, is that the phone offers best-in-class software support; add the IP67 rating to it, and you are looking at a mid-range phone with the legs to go the distance.

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

However, there are some caveats here, like the lack of a charger in the box and the Exynos chip, which performs quite poorly in benchmarks. Additionally, it uses a plastic back as compared to glass on most other smartphones in this range. While most smartphones go the high-performance route in the sub-35K space, Samsung takes a more balanced approach, not offering the best performance, but delivering an excellent smartphone experience across the board, which makes the Galaxy A53 5G easy to recommend if you are looking for a good mid-range smartphone that can go the distance.



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Carlsen Martin
first published: Apr 29, 2022 06:08 pm
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