Samsung Galaxy A53 5G review: Protected, sensible, and a must-buy

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

MSRP $449.00

“While it is not an enormous upgrade to its predecessor, the Galaxy A53 5G is capable and pretty, comes with Samsung’s assurance of quality, and is accessible at an affordable price.”


  • Pretty design
  • IP67 water-resistance
  • Camera is great for social media
  • Vibrant screen
  • Two-day battery life


  • Performance might be sluggish
  • Not an upgrade to the A52 and A52S

The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G isn’t really all that different from the A52 and A51 that got here before it, with Samsung clearly feeling it didn’t must dramatically overhaul an already established (and thoroughly received) formula. But was it the correct decision, or has it resulted in stagnation for the favored A-Series mid-range device?

It’s most definitely the previous. Samsung has not only upgraded where vital, but it surely also knocked $50 off the old price and left the phone alone within the places that matter. Well, mostly, not less than. Let’s see if Samsung’s $449 Galaxy A53 5G continues to be one to purchase.


There’s almost nothing to separate the Galaxy A53 5G from the Galaxy A52 5G by way of design. For me, the déjù vu was jarring and immediate because I used to be sent a white version for review, similar to I used to be with the Galaxy A52 5G. There are some tiny differences in size — it’s 8.1mm thick, not 8.4mm thick just like the A52 5G — but the load stays the identical at 189 grams. It’s product of plastic with Gorilla Glass 5 over the screen, similar to the A52 and Galaxy A52S.

The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G leaning against a tree.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

So, Samsung’s design department has been pretty lazy, right? Perhaps, but I’m not going to carry it against them since the Galaxy A53 looks excellent. The back could also be product of plastic but it surely has a beautiful warm feel and a delightful texture that gives loads of grip. The white finish doesn’t show fingerprints or smudges unless you actually look hard, and the swooping, integrated camera module is stylish and doesn’t protrude much.

Samsung has removed the three.5mm headphone jack though, which doesn’t hassle me personally but may frustrate others. An IP67 water-resistance rating gives peace of mind and isn’t common on phones at this price. The Galaxy A53 is kind of a chunky thing, and I find one-handed use a challenge, which isn’t helped by the fingerprint sensor being set quite low on the screen.

Nevertheless, I’ll take the iffy ergonomics here, as Samsung has fixed every part that was terrible about it on the Galaxy A52. It’s not quite as fast because the absolute best fingerprint sensors available on phones just like the OnePlus 10 Pro, but it surely is reliable, and that’s what really matters. It hasn’t didn’t read my thumbprint once, and even though it takes a beat longer than I expect, the very fact it has unlocked the phone each time makes me glad. It’s an enormous improvement over the awful fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy A52.

The side of the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Making the fingerprint sensor higher is a big deal, because it was really the one major downside of the Galaxy A52. Has it set the Galaxy A53 on the trail to an ideal rating? Not quite, as one other internal change hasn’t worked out quite so well, but I’ll come back to that in a moment. Samsung was right not to alter the Galaxy A53’s stylish design and sturdy construct. It could be familiar, but it surely’s also excellent.


The Galaxy A53 5G has 4 cameras on the back: A 64-megapixel primary camera with an f/1.8 aperture and optical image stabilization (OIS), a 12MP wide-angle camera with a 123-degree field of view, and a pair of 5MP cameras for macro and depth. It’s the identical setup found on the Galaxy A52, and also you get the identical 32MP selfie camera mounted top-center within the screen, too. Features include Night mode and a Pro mode, Samsung’s Single Take mode, and video recording as much as 4K and 30fps or FHD at 60fps. Plus, there are numerous Snapchat Lenses built into the camera, and the augmented reality effects work very well.

The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G's camera module.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Not everyone seems to be going to love Samsung’s overly saturated photos, but there’s no denying the Galaxy A53 can really make some scenes pop off the screen. If the photo has some green, blue, or red in it and it’s a sunny day, you’ll be able to be certain the A53 goes to intensify them. Realism isn’t the goal here. As an alternative, it’s providing you with the proper social media photo without the necessity to edit.

Overall, the A53 takes good photos. Consistency between the primary and wide-angle cameras is appropriate, lowlight performance is decent without an excessive amount of noise in images, and the selfie camera captures skin tones and details effectively. Don’t expect it to fret the Galaxy S22 Ultra, though, as other than the oversaturated looks, it doesn’t like difficult lighting conditions. Overcast days or low sunlight produced poor photos. The 2x option can be a digital zoom and never an optical one, so quality drops considerably if you use it.

The photo editing suite is great and adds versatility to the camera system. The useful Object Eraser mode is present and seems to work in the identical way it does on costlier Galaxy smartphones. There’s also a Spot Color mode, and lots of filters, too. The Galaxy A53’s camera is great for casual, fun use. It’s not going to challenge the perfect camera phones, but when you must take good photos and share them online, it won’t disappoint.

Performance and screen

The Galaxy A53 has a Samsung Exynos 1280 octa-core processor inside, moderately than the Qualcomm Snapdragon 750 or Snapdragon 778 from the A52 series phones. It’s available with 6GB or 8GB RAM and 128GB or 256GB space for storing. The Galaxy A53 is certainly one of the few phones to return with space for a MicroSD card slot, so don’t immediately assume you will have to get the 256GB model. For reference, I’m using a UK-supplied phone with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage.

The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G's home screen.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

It’s here where the Galaxy A53 loses the points it gained with the improved fingerprint sensor. The phone isn’t at all times the speediest performer, with noticeable hesitations and sluggishness sometimes appearing throughout the software. None of them are deal-breakers, and none drastically affect the phone on a day by day basis, but you’ll notice them. For instance, starting the A53 takes a substantial period of time. Apps take a second longer than expected to open, the camera is just a little slow to take photos, and a few transitions and animations aren’t all that smooth.

This may occasionally not be right down to the Exynos 1280 processor entirely, as the problems are likely to be worse after waking the phone up after it has been left alone for some time — suggesting some aggressive power management could also be at work. None of this affects games, and once Asphalt 9: Legends was going, the hesitation disappeared and there was no evidence of harsh frame rate drops. The Galaxy A53 does get warm to the touch if you play for some time, indicating the Exynos processor is having to work pretty hard to maintain up. In case you’re an informal gamer, you’ll be glad with the A53, but it surely’s not a phone for the intense player.

Playing Asphalt 9: Legends on the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

All that is viewed on a 6.5-inch Super AMOLED screen with a 2400 x 1080 pixel resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. It’s the identical panel found on the Galaxy A52. In some ways, it echoes the pictures produced by the phone’s camera. Colours are so vibrant and brilliant, for instance, in Kawaguchi Yurina’s music video for Cherish, they threaten to leap out of the phone there’s a lot visual pop. Detail stays though, even within the city-at-night scenes in Woyshnis Media’s stunningly filmed Lamborghini Huracan vs. Audi R8 video.

Wide viewing angles, loud stereo sound, and that smooth 120Hz refresh rate make the Galaxy A53 a superb multimedia phone, ideal for anyone who usually watches video or listens to music but only has a passing interest in games.

Software and battery

My review Galaxy A53 has Android 12 with Samsung’s One UI 4.1 installed, together with Google’s May 1 security patch. It’s the identical software you’ll find on the Galaxy S22, the Galaxy S22 Ultra, and even the Galaxy Z Fold 3. Samsung guarantees 4 years of software updates and five years of security updates, which is the perfect long-term support you’ll get on any phone outside of Google’s Pixel series or an Apple iPhone. It’s especially welcome on a phone that doesn’t cost $1,000 or more.

The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G's charging port.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Samsung’s One UI suits most of my personal preferences for software on a smartphone. It’s sensibly designed and retains a variety of what makes Android 12 attractive, Google Discover is a swipe away from the Home screen, and there are many customizations. Since the default settings are reasonable, you aren’t immediately forced to alter much. The always-on screen is informative, notifications are reliable and interactive, and Google Pay is accessible if you happen to don’t need to use Samsung Wallet.

Samsung Wallet is a very good example of where One UI may irritate. Samsung installs a lot of its own apps for various different services — a wide range of likely unwanted third-party apps — plus it has an intrusive advice system for more apps it wants you to put in. Samsung’s keyboard isn’t as natural to make use of as Google’s Gboard, but it surely’s the default option. This implies you could have to do just a little clean-up and alter among the standard app settings before the phone seems like your personal.

The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G is a within your means, reliable, pretty, and capable on a regular basis smartphone.

The A53 has a 5,000mAh battery, which is able to last for 2 days if you happen to’re not a hardcore gamer. Moderate use — social, browsing, messaging, some video, and the camera — hasn’t seen the battery dip below 50% after a single day for me. Add in any power-hungry gaming and the A53 starts to gobble up the battery’s energy. It’ll still last a full day and into the second, unless you’re playing for hours, but a visit to the charger at the tip of day one will avoid any anxiety if you happen to’re pushing the phone hard.

Samsung has unpacked the charging block from the Galaxy A53’s box but has kept the USB Type-C cable. The phone supports 25W fast charging, which uses Qualcomm’s Power Delivery 3.0 standard. Samsung charges $35 for the official version, but cheaper PD 3.0 compatible chargers might be found from other manufacturers that may do the identical job. Charging takes around 80 minutes.

Regarding connectivity, I’ve had no issues with call quality or connecting to 4G and 5G networks, and pairing Bluetooth headphones — particularly Samsung’s models — is fast with a stable connection.

Price and availability

The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G costs $450 or 399 British kilos. It will possibly be purchased , through retailers including Amazon and Best Buy, and thru most networks with a contract too. One thing to notice is Verizon sells a version called the Galaxy A53 5G UW, which connects to its mmWave 5G network. It costs $500. All other carriers and the unlocked models support Sub-6 5G.

Our Take

The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G is a within your means, reliable, pretty, and capable on a regular basis smartphone, suited to anyone who isn’t going to be playing demanding games for hours every day and is principally excited about the camera for photos to share with friends online. The Galaxy A52’s major downside, the fingerprint sensor, has been fixed for the A53, however the strife it caused has been replaced by sluggish performance in some situations.

It’s not so bothersome you’ll hate the phone, though, and I’ve used it happily as my primary device without wanting to alter my SIM early. You’re getting Samsung’s overall quality, its highly livable software, and a screen built for great-looking video — all for less money than the predecessor cost. The Galaxy A53 5G is a advisable, and really sensible, purchase, but it surely’s barely disappointing it doesn’t look or feel like a step forward in comparison with the A52 or A52S.

Is there a greater alternative?

The Galaxy A53 5G has two natural alternatives, the Google Pixel 5a and the Apple iPhone SE (2022), each of which cost around the identical price. The Pixel 5a will likely be replaced soon by the Pixel 6a, but either will provide a superior camera experience. The iPhone is more powerful but may require you to change to iOS from Android and absorb among the costs this involves regarding apps and services. Your selections are more plentiful within the U.K., with the OnePlus Nord 2T a robust contender instead, together with the Realme GT 2.

In case you can stretch to just a little more cash, the Pixel 6 is price taking a look at with its great camera, stylish design, and clean Android software. The Galaxy S21 FE falls into the identical price bracket if you happen to desire a Samsung phone, and if you happen to’re glad to change and adopt Apple’s iOS, so does the usual iPhone 13. All are excellent purchases with long software support and much of ability. In case you own a Galaxy A52 or have just bought a Galaxy A52S, you’re not missing out by not having the Galaxy A53.

How long will it last?

You’re going to get not less than two years of use out of the Galaxy A53 5G before it even begins to look or feel just a little outdated. Samsung’s excellent software commitment means it should receive updates for an additional few years after this, so there won’t be any must rush to upgrade in case your usage stays the identical. The phone’s plastic back and chassis mean it’s not too fragile, and the IP67 water-resistance rating ensures it’s entirely protected against dust, particulates, and powerful jets of water.

Must you buy it?

Yes. The Galaxy A53 5G is a very good value considering its quality, ability, camera, and software.

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