Samsung Galaxy A53 5G is the company’s latest entry into a segment that’s crucial for many smartphone brands in India. The Rs 30,000-Rs 40,000 segment has been one that has given brands like Samsung, OnePlus, and Vivo a good push in the overall smartphone shipments for years. And, no surprise, Samsung wants to build on it.
The all-new Samsung Galaxy A53 5G brings a bunch of upgrades to its predecessor, the Galaxy A52s, but there are a few compromises too. However, one thing that stands out with the Galaxy A53 5G is that it’s the only phone in its price segment with an IP rating for dust and water resistance. Another thing that goes in its favour is it runs Android 12. We have spent a few weeks testing the Galaxy A53 5G, and here’s why we feel it’s a capable mid-ranger.
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G Review: Stylish design mixed with cool colours
The Galaxy A53 5G retains the signature Galaxy A-series design we first saw on the Galaxy A52. Nothing makes the Galaxy A53 5G design unique, but it still feels like a timeless one, and you won’t get bored.
At the front, there’s the Corning Gorilla Glass 5 glass on top to make it less prone to scratches. At 8.1mm, the phone is sleek enough compared to a host of phones in this category.
The front has the 6.5-inch display dominating the front, while the in-display selfie camera sits in the centre at the top. However, we wish the bezels around the Galaxy A53 5G display could have been reduced slightly. It’s a phone priced above Rs 30,000, and a more immersive display could enhance the overall experience.
Even though the Galaxy A53 5G packs a massive battery under the hood, Samsung has done well to contain the overall weight. At 189 grams, the Galaxy A53 5G is neither too heavy nor too light. But, thanks to a well-proportionate body, the one-hand usage is a delight.
There’s a lot that other brands can learn from Samsung regarding what materials to use on the phone. We could gather that the Galaxy A53 5G primarily uses plastic material. Though, it feels sturdy for everyday use and premium enough.
The biggest USP of the Galaxy A53 5G is its back panel. It feels soft, and the texture is such that it handles smudges efficiently. The only place where you could see smudges is on the frames.
Coming to buttons, the Galaxy A53 5G offers the signature Galaxy A-series type placement which means you get everything on the right panel. The power button is placed in the centre while the volume rocker is slightly above the power button. The gap is good enough for consumers to identify what they are hitting.
The bottom panel has the speaker grille alongside the Type-C charging slot and the hybrid SIM slot.
Another good thing about the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G is its colour options. It comes in Black, White, Peach, and Light Blue, which we got for our review. None of the colours is shiny or offers any other traits like colour changing back. It has no tricks up its sleeve and yet feels classy. The Galaxy A53 5G is among a handful of mid-range smartphones that I used without a case for the entire review. But, I have to admit that there was no rear case in the box.
A well-constructed phone, indeed, for the price. Overall, it feels solid and offers confidence while in daily use. The due credit goes to the excellent rounded corners that help the phone sit well in the palms.
Coming to the display, the Galaxy A53 5G features a 6.5-inch Full-HD+ AMOLED Infinity-O display with a 120Hz refresh rate that offers a 20:9 aspect ratio and 405 PPI pixel density. Notably, this is the same display we saw on the Galaxy A52 5G. But we can’t complain because this is a stunning panel.
Samsung is known for choosing some of the best displays on its smartphones, and Galaxy A53 5G is no different. However, it isn’t the top-notch Dynamic AMOLED that we get on the more premium models, but it still does a pretty great job. From movies to videos to pictures, the Galaxy A53 5G offers one of the best displays in this price segment. The colours are crisp, and the texts appear sharp.
The only qualm we have with the Galaxy A53 5G display is that it doesn’t come with an automatic option for refresh rate. Currently, it offers high (120Hz) and standard (60Hz) options. An auto-refresh option like how premium Galaxy phones provide on Galaxy A53 5G could have helped enhance the overall display experience and boost battery performance.
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G Review: Dependable everyday performance
Samsung lately has tweaked its strategy for the Indian market, and thankfully, we now get phones with both Exynos and Snapdragon chipsets. Samsung Galaxy A53 5G packs the company’s octa-core Exynos 1280 5nm architecture based processor. It is clocked at 2.4GHz and comes in two variants – 6GB+128GB and 8GB+128GB. We got the 8GB RAM variant, and we will get into specifics in a bit.
While Exynos chipsets have proved their mettle in several devices in India but Exynos 1280 isn’t exactly an upgrade. In fact, it feels less capable than the Galaxy A52s and Galaxy A52, which were powered by Snapdragon 778G and Snapdragon 750G processors, respectively. While the reason may be best known to Samsung but largely the Galaxy A53 5G isn’t a beast of any sort.
The phone handled multitasking with ease and even general operations efficiently. Casual gaming was handled nicely, though, this isn’t a phone for hardcore gamers. There was no major heating issue on the phone, but it did get warm after a couple of BGMI and COD Mobile gaming sessions. Even the app boot-up time was quick.
We noticed during the review that the phone did lag a bit soon after it was restarted, which was the case almost always. But, apart from this, the phone pretty much could handle everything we threw at it.
The Galaxy A53 5G fared well in our standard tests but didn’t outshine others. On GeekBench, it scored 766 in the single-core test and 1798 in the multi-core test. On AnTuTu, the phone scored 389,654, while on the 3D Mark Wild Life Unlimited test, it scored 2897.
The in-display fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy A53 5G is quick and something I could rely on at any given point in time. The face unlock also a decent option but struggles a bit in low-light.
The speaker performance of the Galaxy A53 5G is impressive. Again, though, this is ideal for single person use. It has good audio clarity for songs and movies. Call clarity is fantastic, and we tested the phone with Jio, Airtel and Vi SIMs. Even the Wi-Fi performance is arguably good than what we have seen on other devices in this price segment.
How good the phone performed cannot be judged without talking about the UI. The good news is that the Galaxy A53 5G runs on Android 12 based on One UI 4.1. One thing that separates a Samsung phone from the rest of the crowd is its software commitments. The Galaxy A53 5G comes with a promise of 4 years of Android upgrades and 5 years of security updates.
One UI is one of the big reasons why people love Samsung phones. The UI is straightforward to understand. No additional tweaks to change the core Android software experience. Yes, it is heavily customised but doesn’t add unnecessary elements to the UI. Anyone who has used a Samsung phone before will feel right at home, while for those who will pick a Samsung for the first time, it won’t be a task to understand the UI. One of our favourite One UI 4 features is Colour Palettes. It was showcased during Google’s Android 12 announcement at IO last year. You can now match the colour palette of your wallpapers with the app icons, text, and everything that you see on your screen with the help of this feature.
There’s also the Edge panel on the Galaxy A53 5G, which we have seen on other Samsung phones. Overall, the UI feels buttery smooth and is one of our favourites in the Android space.
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G Review: A solid primary camera
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G features a 64-megapixel primary camera with optical image stabilisation (OIS) and f/1.8 aperture. It packs a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera with f/2.2 aperture and two 5-megapixel depth and macro cameras. At the front, there’s a 32-megapixel selfie camera.
The primary camera on the Galaxy A53 5G is one of the reasons why people will love this phone. We had a great time using the primary camera, especially during daylight, as we got the best results with abundant details, good exposure, colour accuracy (minus some overexposed images), decent dynamic range, and the right amount of texture. Small details in multiple pictures we took came out right while we loved the vibrant pictures.
Even the macro camera does the job reasonably well. We managed to click some decent macro shots.
If you love to take casual photos without tinkering much with settings, then Galaxy A53 5G can be a great companion.
Indoor pictures from the Galaxy A53 come out good as well. First, though, you have to make sure there’s ample light source around the subject. With good light around, the camera results are usually colour accurate. The portraits using the Galaxy A53 5G are good and look pleasant. We like the overall subject detection on the phone.
If a department needs a bit of upgrade, it’s the low-light performance. The phone takes longer to focus, and the samples lack details and have corner softness. An unnatural blur also gets captured when shooting in extreme low-light situations. However, not all is bad when it comes to low-light pictures. In some samples, we could notice that the cameras could capture well-controlled noise.
The ultra-wide camera on the Galaxy A53 5G offers a run of the mill performance. Nothing outstanding, and in fact, we could notice a colour difference in some samples. It’s a sensor that could have helped the Galaxy A53 5G have dominance in this price segment. One big issue we noticed in some camera samples is over-saturation. The software tweak within the phone tries to pop colours, but it usually ends up over-doing it. The phone misses out on a telephoto camera, which, if included, could have been a great addition.
The selfies come out good in broad daylight or in a situation where there’s a light source around the face. However, we noticed inaccurate colours and a lack of fine details in low light.
Coming to the video capabilities, the Galaxy A53 5G can record 4K videos. The quality is decent, though nothing that you can’t get on other phones in this price segment. But then, there’s the same Samsung problem, and we could notice colours being saturated. We have to admit that the Galaxy A53 5G is good enough for casual videos that you post on social media because the platform, anyways, reduces the quality.
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G Review: Battery impresses
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G packs a 5000mAh battery which is a good size considering the screen and price category of the phone. However, what isn’t ideal is the decision to ditch the charging adapter in the retail box. Samsung has started experimenting with no charger in the box across different prices, and the Galaxy A53 5G seems to be part of that experimentation. The phone supports 25W fast-charging and can fully charge from 0 to 100 in about 70 minutes which isn’t that bad.
Coming to the real-world battery performance, the Galaxy A53 5G offers excellent overall battery stamina in everyday use. With heavy use where we had up to 20 apps open in the background, the Galaxy A53 5G gave around 12-14 hours of battery backup. While with medium use, the phone lasted for more than a day. During the review, the phone easily gave over 6 hours of screen-on-time.
In our video loop test, where we run a high-resolution video on loop with custom settings, the phone lasted for roughly 10 hours before automatically switching off. The figures are decent for a phone with a 5000mAh battery.
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G Review: Verdict
The Galaxy A53 5G smartphone is an easy recommendation for people who are not into too much gaming or things that require a very powerful processor. It packs a decent primary camera, excellent display, and solid battery. To top it up, Samsung promises multi-year OS and security updates that can help keep the phone brand new. The Galaxy A53 5G can handle day-to-day tasks comfortably.
Samsung’s decision to not put a charger in the retail box may not go well with some, but the company is smart enough to offer a bundled charging adapter offer at affordable rates at the time of purchase. Unfortunately, the low-light camera performance isn’t something that impressed us.
The Galaxy A53 5G is retailing in India at Rs 34,499 for the 6GB RAM version, while the 8GB goes up to Rs 35,999. However, some offers are running online in May bring down the price to as low as Rs 32,000 for the 6GB version, making the deal an even sweater one.
There are some excellent options for those considering alternatives like the Realme GT Neo 3 80W or the OnePlus 10R, as technically, both are the same phone.
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G34499
Design and Build8.0/10
Value for Money8.0/10
What Is Good?
- Stunning display with 120Hz refresh rate
- IP67 rating
- Solid primary camera
- Impressive battery backup
What Is Bad?
- No charger in the box
- No 3.5mm audio jack
- Low-light camera performance could have been better