Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
+ Vibrant and fast 120Hz display
- No 3.5mm headphone jack
+ Long battery life
- No charger included
+ Expandable storage
+ Good camera performance
Samsung has recently released its Galaxy A series in Malaysia, which includes the Galaxy A73 5G, the Galaxy A33 5G, and the Galaxy A53 5G in the middle. After unboxing the A53, we've spent some time testing it so, let's check out how it's doing!
If you have seen a Galaxy A52, you'd find the A53 with a design mirroring that of its predecessor. While both models look the same, the A53 comes in a paler hue of blue (our review unit) despite having the same Awesome Blue name. Purely subjective, I personally love the current blue better as it looks more premium than the previous one.
The matte back feels nice to touch as ever keeping messy fingerprints from sticking onto the surface. One minor thing that's changed from the predecessor is a smoothened camera bump on the back. The solid island is replaced with some sort of a slope that rises to meet the individual camera units, giving it a very clean look.
On the bottom edge, there's the SIM tray, a microphone, the USB-C charging port, and a speaker grille. The volume rocker and power button are located on the right. Another microphone is on the top and the left is clean.
Display and Audio
The 6.5" Infinity-O display features the same FHD+ AMOLED panel as last year's A52 but with a higher and smoother 120Hz refresh rate. Coupled with a tiny punch hole notch, the display is a feast for the eyes as you binge through your favorite dramas or movies. Viewing the screen outdoors is also satisfying with a peak brightness of 800 nits.
Apart from the basics, you can tweak the color balance of the screen to your liking, customize the always-on display mode, and schedule the dark mode. There's a vivid and natural screen mode you can choose from, as well as white balance and RGB levels that you can adjust to suit your taste.
When the eye comfort shield feature is enabled, you can either set it to adaptive mode where it will automatically adjust the screen's colors based on the time of the day, or custom your preferred color temperature and schedule a time to apply the change.
In terms of audio, you get a decent stereo sound, and watching videos in landscape is enjoyable as the sound output is passed through both the speaker at the bottom and the earpiece on the top. Unfortunately, the thinner A53 chassis doesn't include a 3.5mm headphone jack so maybe it's time for TWS earbuds if you still don't own a pair?
For a more immersive experience, while you're watching videos or listening to music, or gaming, you can enable the Dolby Atmos or the Dolby Atmos for gaming modes in the settings.
The Galaxy A53 packs a 64MP main camera with OIS, a 12MP ultra wide camera, a 5MP depth camera, and a 5MP macro camera on the back, as well as a 32MP camera at the front.
The camera interface is still very familiar if you have used a Galaxy device. You get various easily accessible shooting modes on the UI and settings like HDR, timer, and others.
In daylight situations, the main camera does an impressive job in delivering images with great dynamic range, color vibrancy, and contrast. You'll notice minimal noise present and the AI image enhancer automatically enhances your photos so they look oversaturated.
The night mode also didn't disappoint at all in capturing details in dark scenes while adding a decent amount of light.
As for macro, while the camera is quick to focus on the subject, I think it could deliver more details. But since I seldom use the macro camera, it doesn't bother me as much.
Selfies taken by the front camera look crisp too.
Sitting in its helm is an Exynos 1280 chipset, which includes two Cortex A78 cores at 2.4GHz and six Cortex A55 cores at 2.0GHz, along with a Mali-G68 for graphics. It is equipped with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. It runs on One UI 4.1 based on Android 12. I'm glad to see both the memory and storage are expandable with up to 8GB of virtual RAM and up to 1TB of storage via a microSD card.
In the real world, the A53 stands on its own for daily tasks, such as Chrome browsing, social media, and casual games. Despite its high 120Hz display, it feels like the Exynos 1280 could not keep up as I noticed occasional lags when launching or closing apps.
As for gaming, we're able to run Mobile Legends at high graphics and high refresh settings. Note that the Exynos 1280 is not built for intensive gaming so that means you'll get a very low-quality visual of Yae Miko if you insist on playing Genshin Impact and it will still lag sometimes.
The 5000mAh battery in the device allows you to walk around without a power bank for a whole day even with heavy use and the refresh rate set high. Remember that the A53 doesn't ship with a charger anymore, which is why the box packaging is slim like the S series. Anyway, it supports 25W wired fast charging, which took us more than 80 minutes to fully charge it.
Buy or no buy
The Galaxy A53 5G may not be too much of a difference from the A52 or the A52 5G but it gets some important upgrades like a better Exynos 1280 (if not significantly faster) and a 5000mAh unit with long battery life. You're also getting a vibrant 120Hz AMOLED screen, good cameras, and also IP67 dust and water resistance.
However, it is not without drawbacks. There's no 3.5mm headphone jack and it doesn't come with a screen protector too. Also, the absence of a charging brick means you'll need to spend extra bucks to get a separate charger if you don't already have a suitable one. Despite its pros and cons, the Galaxy A53 5G is still an all-rounder mid-range phone with 5G support.