Last spring, Samsung announced a trio of Galaxy A-series phones, all of which were destined for the shelves of American retailers. This year, it promises only one new model for US customers: the Galaxy A53 5G. It offers some modest upgrades, which is fine because the A52 5G was a really good phone. But the best new feature is a lower price tag of $50, which at $449 for 128 GB storage is juuuuust below Apple’s $479 iPhone SE with 128 GB. Maybe that’s a coincidence! Probably not!
The most notable hardware change of the A53 5G is the switch to Samsung’s new Exynos 1280 5nm processor. The version of the A52 5G sold in the US featured a Qualcomm processor, so using the private label chip represents a shift in strategy, perhaps to accommodate for a lower price. Or maybe it’s the whole chip shortage situation. In any case, it’s paired with 6GB of RAM, which is a healthy amount of storage for a mid-range phone.
There’s also a larger battery on the A53 5G – up to 5,000 mAh from 4,500 mAh in the previous model. Battery performance was already good in the A52, so Samsung’s claim of two full days on a single charge in the new model seems plausible.
Just about everything else about the phone has been carried over from the previous generation, starting with 5G, of course – probably just low- and mid-band, though oddly I couldn’t get Samsung to confirm this before the embargo was lifted. There’s also the same 6.5-inch OLED 120Hz panel, IP67 water resistance, a stabilized 64-megapixel main camera with a 12-megapixel ultrawide and 25W fast wired charging (there’s still no wireless charging). These were all very good specs for a midrange phone last year and they continue to stand out in the 2022 model.
There is also another improvement that you will not find on the spec sheet. For select devices, Samsung has promised four years of OS updates and five years of security updates, and the A53 5G will ship with it. That’s one of the best support policies for Android flagship phones and certainly one of the best you can find for a mid-range phone. It’s just short of Apple’s track record of supporting six or seven-year-old phones with new software versions, but for many people those five years may be just enough.