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Samsung Galaxy A53 review: Just right
Samsung's Galaxy A53 5G is a good phone for a good price.
Samsung's Galaxy A53 5G is a sort of Goldilocks phone, in that it could be just right for value conscious customers. It's a big step up from a budget option, but at $699 outright, is less than half of what you'd pay for many flagships. And while it's clearly not going toe-to-toe with the best, Samsung has done an admirable job of making the Galaxy A53 5G not feel like a compromise.
How much does the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G cost in Australia?
Outright, you'll pay $699 for the Galaxy A53 5G. You can also get it on a plan from Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, Woolworths Mobile, and Southern Phone:
Here's how outright pricing compares across retailers:
For comparison, here's full pricing for the Galaxy A family.
|Samsung Galaxy A13 4G||$329|
|Samsung Galaxy A23 4G||$399|
|Samsung Galaxy A33 5G||$599|
|Samsung Galaxy A53 5G||$699|
|Samsung Galaxy A73 5G||$799|
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G design and cameras
Samsung is known for its screens, and it doesn't disappoint with the Galaxy A53 5G. You get a bright, vibrant screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, making it all but flagship grade. The predominantly plastic build hampers the high-end feeling, but you still get an aluminium frame and Gorilla Glass 5 protection. The Galaxy A53 5G also benefits from IP67 water-resistance, which is still far from a given on a mid-tier phones. You don't get wireless charging, however.
One of the best things about the Galaxy A53 5G is its long software life. Samsung's generous new update policy means the Galaxy A53 5G will get four major operating system updates and five years of security updates. You can't beat that when it comes to Android devices. For comparison, even Google only promises three years of major operating system updates. You may not even get two on most phones - especially cheaper devices. Apple is the only manufacturer that currently outclasses Samsung on software support. As a rule, iPhones tend to get at least six major operating system updates.
While the Galaxy A53 5G's software support is flagship grade, the same can't be said for it's cameras. Naturally, a cheaper phone isn't going to achieve the same kind of photographic results as a high-end one, but the Galaxy A53 5G still managed to feel like it wasn't too much of a compromise.
The primary lens managed to take a good photo most of the time, but it did feel like I was actively fighting against the camera app. The app can be a little unresponsive and slow to shoot, which can cause motion blur when trying to photograph moving subjects - although less than I expected.
There's a clear step down in quality when it comes to night time photography, with images becoming noticeably noisy. The results still aren't bad, however, and at $699, it's hard to complain.
The ultra-wide lens and macro lens represent yet another step down, to the point where it feels like Samsung has included them for the sake of pumping camera numbers. Ultra-wide shots can still look okay, but the macro mode isn't worth using.
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G battery and perfromance
The Galaxy A53 5G delivers solid battery life; you can expect between four and five hours of screen time per charge, with 5G on. That translates to a full day of moderate usage with a reasonably comfortable buffer. While not outstanding, it's still quite good for a 5G phone. Many other 5G devices fail to even hit four hours of screen time consistently. Samsung's Galaxy S22 suffers from this problem, for example.
Disabling 5G improves battery life, taking you to around seven hours of screen time per charge. That's about a day-and-a-half per charge. Maybe even two, for less demanding users.
Day-to-day performance is mostly smooth with the odd hitch here and there, but nothing that represented a serious red flag. The Galaxy A53 5G is also able to hold its own when it comes to more demanding games like Apex Legends.
The Galaxy A53 5G is a reliable Android handset that won't break the bank. It's an easy pick if you're looking for a mid-tier phone. If you can spend $100 more, it's also worth considering the Galaxy A73 5G if you'd like a bigger screen, slightly better camera, and a bit more grunt. But even if you don't want to fork out any extra, Samsung has still managed to pack a whole lot of value into the Galaxy A53 5G.
How does the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G compare?
For those unable to afford Samsung's pricey premium smartphones, there are a few other options worth considering alongside the Galaxy A53 5G. Check out the table below for a sense of how this device's specs compare to that of the Galaxy A73 5G and the Galaxy S21 FE.
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
Samsung Galaxy A73 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G
|Display||6.5-inch Super AMOLED||6.7-inch Super AMOLED||6.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2x|
|Resolution||1080p+ with 120Hz||1080p+ with 120Hz||1080p+ with 120Hz|
|Rear Cameras||64MP + 12MP + 5MP + 5MP||108MP + 12MP + 5MP + 5MP||12MP + 8MP + 12MP|
|Processor||Exynos 1280||Qualcomm Snapdragon 778 5G||Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G|