Samsung Galaxy A53 review: Just right

Samsung's Galaxy A53 5G is a good phone for a good price.

Galaxy A53 5G
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
4 out of 5 stars
4
Processor
Exynos 1280
Display
6.5-inch Super AMOLED
Storage
128GB
Alex Choros
Reviews Editor, Reviews.org
Read More
May 15, 2022
3 min read
Quick verdict: Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

The Samsung Galaxy A53 is a solid budget handset that doesn't feel like too of a compromise - especially when you consider the $699 price-tag.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Lovely screen
Pro Bullet Great value
Pro Bullet Years of software updates
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Average low light photography
Con Bullet Smudgy back

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.

Galaxy A53 5G

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:

Store
Price
More info
eBay
From
$695.99
eBay
From
$697
The Good Guys
From
$698.99
Samsung
From
$699
Amazon
From
$689
JB Hi-Fi
From
$699
Kogan
From
$699

For comparison, here's full pricing for the Galaxy A family.

Model
RRP
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

Galaxy A53 5G

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.

Is the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G worth buying?

Galaxy A53 5G

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.

Specs
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
Samsung Galaxy A73 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G
Display6.5-inch Super AMOLED6.7-inch Super AMOLED6.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2x
Resolution1080p+ with 120Hz1080p+ with 120Hz1080p+ with 120Hz
Rear Cameras64MP + 12MP + 5MP + 5MP108MP + 12MP + 5MP + 5MP12MP + 8MP + 12MP
Front Camera32MP32MP32MP
ProcessorExynos 1280Qualcomm Snapdragon 778 5GQualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G
Storage128GB128GB128GB
RAM6GB6GB6GB
Water-ResistanceIP67IP67IP67
SIMSingleSingleSingle
Battery5,000mAh5,000mAh4500mAh
5GYesYesYes
Alex Choros
Written by
Alex Choros
Alex Choros is the Managing Editor of WhistleOut Australia and contributing Reviews Editor at Reviews.org. He's been writing about consumer technology for over six years and is an expert on the Australian telco sector, to the point where he knows far too many phone and internet plans by heart. He also contributes to Gizmodo, Lifehacker, and Pedestrian, and makes regular appearances on 2GB. On weekends, you'll find Alex at a wine bar, on a hike, or in the middle of a mosh pit.

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