7.0
Score

Pros

  • Display, Camera - the same as predecessor
  • Nicer feeling Design in my opinion
  • The 4 Year Major Updates is a delightful addition

Cons

  • Questionable Price difference
  • The A52s 5G is a better alternative

Samsung’s A Series is catching up to be an appealing offer in the market for users to dip their toes into, and perhaps stay longer as it’s the only mid-tier lineup to promise longevity. That said, this year’s A Series shares more with its predecessor with minor updates and major price hike which is concerning as the territory it’s entering is almost “flagship” specification range. That said, let’s find out in this Samsung Galaxy A53 Review as to how well it fares off as being the middle-child.

Samsung Galaxy A53 Review

Initial Impressions Recap

Samsung Galaxy A53

There are things we have addressed in the initial impressions which we are not going to talk about here as we did get into it a little deeper than we expected. To summarize, the Samsung Galaxy A53 no longer comes with a charger in box for “eco-friendly” reasons but has a plastic wrap around the phone, has a same design language but a different contour cutout that gives it a shadowy illusion, doesn’t come with a screen protector, and no more headphone jack. You can read about it if you want to by clicking here.

Now moving on to more pressing matters, we have some interesting things to talk about this phone and starting off…

The Same…

…Beautiful Display

Samsung didn’t have to change the display from its predecessor, in fact there isn’t a reason to do so, as the brand has gone above and beyond to include a display that’s nice to look at and enjoy for all the multimedia task that you are going to throw at for a while now. The 6.5” FHD+ Super AMOLED Display is enough to meet everyone’s needs – from little bit of entertainment purpose and light gaming use case scenarios. It’s pretty good. It’s covered in Gorilla Glass 5, but I’d still recommend you pick up a screen protector for it.

…Camera as its Predecessor

On the back, you see the same configuration camera – a Quad Camera set up with 64MP Main sensor with OIS, followed by 12MP Ultrawide and a dual-5MP Depth and Macro camera. As always, we are going to negate the Depth and Macro camera as it brings no weight to the table. The 64MP and 12MP sensors are exactly what we saw with the A52s 5G which we reviewed. The colors are nice but in Samsung way, it’s a little more punchier, and has this crispness to it – it applies to both the sensors.

In lowlight conditions, while the camera can capture those images quite alright, it does struggle to keep up in the software department where there are a good few second delay from the shutter tap to the time it takes to capture the image. The pictures coming out of this camera is decent but for some it may not be appealing as it can be a bit too much.

Now with Exynos

Unlike the A52 Series where both the S and non-S Variants were powered by Qualcomm processors, the A53 takes another page out of Samsung’s playbook and powers their in-house processor, the Exynos 1280. While it is a relatively new processor that claims to perform just as well as the A52s, I beg to differ as the out of the box experience was just terrible.

Now, the phone was announced at the same time as Samsung admitted capping the performance on their smartphones, following releasing an update that will let users do whatever they want to do so. After the update, things did take a 180 turn, but the inconsistency was present albeit it was improved. Day-to-day task showed some delay in performing well and that was a bit of a bummer given that the older A52s handled tasks like a champ. But if you are in it for a light use case scenario, the phone is quite alright. Just don’t expect it to blow your mind in an intensive game, which it will but in a wrong way.

Battery Got a Bump and it’s an Endurance Champ

The phone did get a battery bump from its predecessor, and now shipping with a 5000mAh and the fact that it managed to put up a good show is impressive. During my time using it for socials, and some easy tasks, like calls, taking pictures and all that, the phone gave me a good approx. 17 hours of screen off time and screen on time was about 5 hours 36 minutes. Depending on my usage every day, things were different with the Screen off time being more – which is how it supposed to be.

The phone can support up to 25W of fast charging, which is unfortunate as the phone no longer included a power brick for you to use. That means you will have to fork out and get a new adapter – like the Innergie we reviewed. But that should give you the ability to charge the phone from noct to 100 in less than 2 hours.

Solid Software Promises

Samsung is back at it again with their software prowess, offering quite literally – what we call the flagship experience. Unlike any other mid-tier smartphone that has a short shelf life and even shorter life once you purchase with no updates for the phone to go the extra mile, the Samsung Galaxy A53 does not only bring its major yearly updates back but extends by another extra year – putting it at 4 years of major update and one extra year of security updates. This is something I can count on Samsung as their older series with promised updates has been putting up a good show.

The Price though…

The real issue that stops me from recommending this phone is the price tag. Unlike the states, where the phone is going cheaper by $50, Malaysia saw a price hike from its A52 5G which was priced at RM 1549 and it’s the same price as the A52s 5G but since its launch the A52s 5G has dropped tremendously that it now goes for as low as RM1500 or lower during certain occasions. Not forgetting, the A52s 5G is such a great phone that it does not disappoint anyone in any way as the performance is consistent, which can’t be said for the A53 5G.

Conclusion

This or the A52s 5G?

To be honest, it’s a tough recommendation and if you want to spend RM 1849 on the Samsung Galaxy A53, by all means but if you want to make a frugal choice and get not only, a better performing phone but save some money while you’re at it, get the Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G. We loved that phone when it was announced, and we still do love it today.