Samsung unleashed the new A series of smartphones to the world recently – starting with the Galaxy A53 5G. Many people anticipated this smartphone and after spending some time testing this phone, here is our full, in-depth review of the Galaxy A53 5G.
Let’s start off by talking about the color. The new Galaxy A series still has the Awesome Blue color – the same name as last year’s Galaxy A series, but it looks… very pale in comparison. It’s like someone took the Awesome Blue from last year and bleached it.
But honestly speaking, if you don’t have last year’s Awesome Blue color to compare, it still looks great. What’s treated though, is the new, smoother matte finish on the Galaxy A53. It’s not as rough as last year’s finish and I absolutely love how it feels.
One thing that I really like is how the camera bump was smoothened into a slope. It gradually rises from the back panel and rises to meet the camera lenses. It just looks very clean.
Of course, speaking of the cameras, the Galaxy A53 has a total of 4 cameras but I’ll only consider two of them to be usable. The setup is similar to last year’s A52 as it has a main camera, ultrawide angle camera, and then a depth sensor, and another fixed-focus macro camera. The last 2 cameras are pretty pointless, though.
To have a look at all the pictures taken, watch our video at the top of this review.
The screen though, got an upgrade from last year’s Galaxy A52. It now uses a 6.5-inch Super AMOLED screen with a resolution of 2400×1080 pixels and can go up to a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz.
And as mentioned in our Galaxy A series introductory video, the Galaxy A53 5G has the smallest selfie camera cutout compared to the A33 and A73. I don’t know why there’s such a big discrepancy, but whatever.
And just for fun, I tested the color accuracy of the Galaxy A53 too. It has an average maximum brightness of about 400 nits, which is good enough for outdoor usage with indirect sunlight.
Then, we tuned it back down to 100 nits brightness to test out the color accuracy. And without a doubt, the Galaxy A53 5G covers 100% sRGB and 98.75% of DCI-P3 color gamuts. Even the Delta E numbers are very low too. So good job there, Samsung.
We should also mention that there is no factory-applied screen protector out of the box.
As for the performance though, I’d say this is pretty much a work in progress. That Exynos 1280 chipset in this phone is fantastic for day-to-day usage, but the gaming performance is another story.
When we got the phone, we immediately did an initial gaming test – and the performance was abysmal. It was horrendously stuttery and laggy and I was rather disappointed. Then, 2 days later, Samsung pushed out an update for the Galaxy A53 5G and it now has the option to enable the “alternate game performance management” option.
Then, we did a follow-up gaming test video and I am pleased to say that Samsung managed to improve the gaming performance while also lowering the temperature. This is a clear sign of optimization but I think Samsung can push this chipset even further. Currently, I’d say that the Exynos 1280 is better than the Snapdragon 720G but definitely not at the level of the Snapdragon 778G yet.
How about the battery life then? We had to redo this test because that update that we mentioned earlier really changed how the chipset performed.
And I have to say, the Exynos 1280 chipset is rather great. We locked the screen brightness to 100 nits and ran PCMark 10 battery life test and with its 5,000mAh battery, we got more than 12 hours.
Oh – by the way, there is no charger included in the box. That is why the box of the Galaxy A53 5G is so slim.
Anyway, for the charging speed, Samsung maintained the maximum of 25W wired fast charging on the Galaxy A53 5G and it charged from 15% to 100% battery in about 77 minutes. Definitely not the fastest in terms of fast charging, but I’m okay with that.
Software – One UI 4.1
This phone is currently using the latest version of Android 12 with One UI 4.1 so you can pretty much expect a very similar level of user experience and features as the Galaxy S22 series of phones.
I won’t go much in terms of software here because we’ve talked about it in our previous reviews that you can check it out at the top right corner. In short, One UI good and I use it every day.
Few more quick mentions
When compared to the Galaxy A52, this new Galaxy A53 lacks a few things.
it doesn’t have an audio jack, and there is also no charger included in the box. There is not screen protector included too, by the way.
But, it is still rated for IP67 and still has the microSD card slot – so that’s fantastic.
So, at the end of the day, the Galaxy A53 5G is still a solid phone to get today. It’s a great all-rounder mid-range smartphone that has good performance for day-to-day use with some gaming on the side, good battery life, excellent software – and excellent software support as well. The price though, I am still rather salty at that extreme price hike over the Galaxy A52.
At RM1,849 – I just think it’s rather steep. If you have that budget to spend for a phone like this, then go on ahead. The Galaxy A53 5G is a solid phone overall.
However, if you’re looking for an even better deal, then maybe take a look at the Galaxy A52s 5G from late last year. It doesn’t have that extensive software support, but you can get it for less than RM1,500 through retailers now. That is a much better deal, in my opinion.