5G supportThis phone will support 5G networks for faster download speeds in certain areas
Excellent screenFor the price, the 6.5-inch OLED display offers plenty of features including a 120Hz refresh rate for smooth scrolling, a decent brightness range and an in-display scanner
Nice designSmooth back panel, three colour options and an IP67 rating
The Samsung A Series isn’t as flashy as the specced-out Galaxy S range, but don’t underestimate how important the Galaxy A53 5G will be for Samsung this year.
This cheaper, more mid-range type of handset is a big seller, and will present a more varied Samsung portfolio to those who aren’t interested in phones that cost more than £700.
The Galaxy A53 5G will sell for £399, making it cheaper than the recently upgraded iPhone SE. Considering what’s on offer here, that sounds like a seriously good deal.
I spent an hour with the phone ahead of its unveiling and here are my early thoughts.
Design and Screen
Available in four colours: Peach, Blue, White and BlackIP67 rating and 120Hz displayDual stereo speakers
Samsung does a good job at retaining a general style across all of its phones, and while the A53 5G doesn’t use the same quality of materials as the Galaxy S22, this still feels like a Samsung phone.
The camera module on the phone’s rear certainly takes inspiration from the S22 and S22 Plus, blending nicely into the handset’s body, rather than feeling like a tacked-on eyesore. Its colour matches the rest of the phone, too, which again helps the camera to fuse seamlessly with the rest of the unit.
However, this is a £399 phone – and it does lack that high-end Samsung finish. Don’t get wrong, it’s well built; but it doesn’t have the heft of a metal and glass-backed device.
At 189g, it’s a light phone. This is especially true when you consider that it’s quite large as a result of the 6.5-inch display.
Nevertheless, the plastic rear does feel strong and durable, plus there’s IP67 water- and dust-resistance to provide protection against accidental drops and splashes. The latter is usually omitted at this price, so it’s great to see Samsung include it.
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Along the bottom you’ll find an USB-C port, and Gorilla Glass 5 covers the front display – again, a nice touch that’s often missing on sub-£400 devices. There’s also a slot for a microSD card.
The screen continues the positive theme of the A53 5G by including features I wasn’t expecting to see. The 6.5-inch panel uses OLED tech for more vivid colours and deeper blacks – and it looks excellent. The claimed 800 nits of brightness is impressive, too, with the screen doing well to combat the bright lights of the demo area.
Another trick of the screen is an adaptive refresh rate that can hit 120Hz, while ramping down to try to save battery life. Samsung wouldn’t confirm the range of the refresh rate, but having a display with these skills at £399 makes the A53 5G stand out. Especially when compared to the iPhone SE 2022, which isn’t only pricier but packs only a 60Hz LCD panel.
One of the few differences between the Galaxy A53 5G and the A33 5G is the type of front camera cutout the devices feature. In the A53 5G, the camera is housed within a small circular hole (Infinity-O, as Samsung calls it) rather than the larger notch on the A33 5G.
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Specs and Camera
Exynos 1280 chipset with 5G6GB of RAM, 129GB of storageFour rear cameras
At the heart of the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G sits an Exynos 1280 chipset, built on the very efficient 5nm architecture. This is a brand-new chip launching with these phones, so I’m a little unsure yet about how it will perform compared to the mid-range chips offered by Samsung and MediaTek.
Samsung talked up the prowess of this chip during a briefing ahead of the launch, and in my short time with the device it certainly felt quick. However, I wasn’t able to test any games nor put it through our usual set of benchmarks. Such testing will come with the full review, however.
One feature of the chip that Samsung talked much about was the upgraded neural processing unit (or NPU). This will power much of the phone’s AI skills, especially inside the camera. Benefits should come in the form of an improved Night mode, Portrait mode and Portrait lighting – again, I will need to spend more time with the phone to really see these benefits.
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The camera system itself consists of four distinct sensors on the rear and a 32-megapixel camera on the front.
Those rear cameras include a 12-megapixel fixed-focus ultra-wide and a 64-megapixel wide with OIS. These are paired with a 5-megapixel depth and 5-megapixel macro cameras. I wouldn’t expect too much from the latter two, since they feel more like window dressing; but the main cameras should be capable of taking some decent snaps.
Other specs include 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, 5G support and a 5000mAh battery. The A53 5G also comes with fast charging, with the device supporting 25W if you have the correct plug.
For the impressive price, the Galaxy A53 5G ticks a lot of boxes. The addition of an adaptive refresh rate and OIS over its predecessor are two welcome features, while the chipset should offer nippy performance.
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G specs
Here are all the most important specs for the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G.
First Reviewed Date
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
12MP + 64MP + 5MP + 5MP
74.7 x 8.1 x 159.9 MM
Peach, Blue, Black, White
A ‘hands on review’ is our first impression of a product only – it is not a full test and verdict. Our writer must have spent some time with the product to describe an early sense of what it’s like to use. We call these ‘hands on reviews’ to make them visible in search. However these are always unscored and don’t give recommendations. Read more about our reviews policy.
OLED and AMOLED
Types of displays that use self-lighting pixels to provide greater contrast and more vibrant colours than a typical LCD display, as well as sharper blacks.
Offering faster download and upload speeds when compared to 4G. Great for game streaming and HDR video playback. Not supported everywhere yet and speeds vary wildly.
The modern USB connector you’ll find on most Android phones, new laptops, cameras and games consoles. It’s reversible and used for charging along with data-transfer.