Samsungs mid-range Galaxy A53 is an iterative upgrade

The Galaxy A53 is IP67 dust and water-resistant – a welcome feature, especially on a mid-range device.
Samsungs mid-range Galaxy A53 is an iterative upgrade

Samsung Galaxy A53. Picture: Noel Campion.

The most popular phones are often those that sit in the middle of a range. They offer many of the benefits of their more expensive siblings while costing much less. The Samsung Galaxy A53 is the upgrade to last year’s A52 and while it looks almost identical, there are some subtle differences – some good, some not so much.

Design

The Samsung Galaxy A53 comes in a choice of four colours. Picture: Samsung
The Samsung Galaxy A53 comes in a choice of four colours. Picture: Samsung

The A53 is available in black, white, peach, or blue with a quality build that’s primarily made of plastic. The frosted black finish on my review device looks great and is less likely to break than glass. However, it doesn’t feel as premium as other devices that use glass and metal.

The edges are curved with a glossy finish while the four-lens rectangular camera module on the back is raised with a gradual bevel all the way around.

On the front, the admittedly large 6.5-inch screen is surrounded by a black bezel that’s slim – though not the slimmest. It’s interrupted only by a small central punch-hole for the 32MP selfie camera.

The under-display optical fingerprint reader is located towards the bottom of the screen where it’s easily reachable. It may not be the fastest, but I did find it reliable for the most part.

The front glass is protected by Gorilla Glass 5 and should keep it safe from the occasional drop as well as scratches. There’s also IP67 dust and water-resistant, which is always a welcome feature, especially on a mid-range device.

One big change from the A52 is the omission of the 3.5mm headphone jack.

Display and sound

Samsung Galaxy A53. Picture: Noel Campion.
Samsung Galaxy A53. Picture: Noel Campion.

The 6.5-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED display is one of the highlights of the A53. It has a peak brightness of over 800nits and supports a high refresh rate of 120Hz. This is a top-notch screen with all that we love about OLED including vibrant colours and infinite contrast. The 120Hz is a welcome feature here too and makes the phone feel snappy and smooth, especially for scrolling and swiping.

The Samsung Galaxy A53 has excellent stereo speakers but no 3.5mm headphone jack. Picture: Noel Campion.
The Samsung Galaxy A53 has excellent stereo speakers but no 3.5mm headphone jack. Picture: Noel Campion.

The sound system employs two speakers for a stereo setup that’s great for watching movies or playing games. The sound quality is excellent and it can get reasonably loud too.

Even though there isn't a headphone jack, USB-C and Bluetooth headphones can both be used. The phone also supports Dolby Atmos.

Hardware

The Samsung Galaxy A53 has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage but you can upgrade the latter via a microSD card. Picture: Noel Campion.
The Samsung Galaxy A53 has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage but you can upgrade the latter via a microSD card. Picture: Noel Campion.

The A53 supports 5G, Bluetooth 5.1 and WiFi 5, but strangely not WiFi 6 which the older A52s supported.

It comes with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage and supports increasing this via the microSD card slot up to 1TB.

In benchmarks, the A53 performed much better than the A52. In the 3DMark Wild Life Extreme test, I got a score of 637 on the A53 and 333 on the A52. In Geekbench 5 the single-core score was 674 and 1,837 for multi-core on the A53 while on the A52 the single-core was 398 and 1,579 for the multi-core score.

The A53 is a big improvement for gaming over the A52 but it won’t handle the latest graphics-heavy games with all the graphical bells and whistles turned on.

In general use, I didn’t find the phone slow and it was quick to switch between apps and swipe through the interface or scroll through social feeds.

Battery

The Samsung Galaxy A53 has a two-day 5,000mAh battery. Picture: Noel Campion.
The Samsung Galaxy A53 has a two-day 5,000mAh battery. Picture: Noel Campion.

Samsung claims up to two days of battery life and with any kind of heavy use, you should still get through a full day. While the A53 supports 25W charging, this can’t be considered fast charging anymore in a world where we now have up 150W charging.

Also, Samsung doesn’t include a charger in the box, just a cable and they only recommend you use supported chargers. Their Super Fast charger has an RRP of €35 and you will already have the type-C to type-C cable you need to go with it.

There’s no support for wireless charging, which is a pity.

Cameras

The Samsung Galaxy A53 has four cameras one of which is used for depth duties in portrait mode shots. Picture: Noel Campion.
The Samsung Galaxy A53 has four cameras one of which is used for depth duties in portrait mode shots. Picture: Noel Campion.

The 64MP f/1.8 main camera is excellent and capable of capturing beautiful images. Also, only the main camera features optical image stabilisation. The 12MP f/2.2 ultrawide and 5MP f/2.4 macro cameras also work well but don’t fair as well in capturing the same level of detail or sharpness, especially in low light. There’s also a 5MP f/2.4 depth camera that works to improve features like portrait mode.

The overall camera experience is fabulous and the camera app is a big part of this. It has many excellent features and an intuitive interface that just works.

Verdict

The Galaxy A53 is a solid phone with a lot of extras not always present in a mid-range handset. The display is stunning and the sound system is excellent. I found the performance about what I’d expect from a phone in this class and the 5,000mAh battery is good enough for one if not two days of use. It improves on the A52 with a slightly larger battery and a faster processor but at the expense of the 3.5mm headphone jack.

Samsung Galaxy A53 – €459  Samsung

More in this section

The Business Hub
Newsletter

News and analysis on business, money and jobs from Munster and beyond by our expert team of business writers.

Sign up
Lunchtime
News Wrap

A lunchtime summary of content highlights on the Irish Examiner website. Delivered at 1pm each day.

Sign up
Revoiced
Newsletter

Some of the best bits from irishexaminer.com direct to your inbox every Monday.

Sign up
Execution Time: 0.221 s