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Samsung Galaxy A53 Hands-On Philippines: Straightforward Refresh

by Duey Guison  March 17, 2022

Initial Verdict: While the Galaxy A53 looks practically the same as the Galaxy A52S and A52 in the Philippines, there are big changes under the hood. The shift to an Exynos processor, bump in battery and a higher price tag are all things you can expect from this phone.

Pros

  • Bigger battery
  • IP67 rating on a mid-range phone

Cons

  • Externally the same as Galaxy A52S/A52
  • No headphone jack

Samsung Galaxy A53 Philippines Specs:

  • Exynos 1280 processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128GB/256GB storage, expandable via MicroSD
  • 6.5-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED Infinity-O Display, 120hz refresh rate
  • 64-megapixel f/1.8 main camera with PDAF and OIS, 12-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle camera, 5-megapixel f/2.4 macro camera, 5-megapixel f/2.4 depth sensor
  • 32-megapixel f/2.2 selfie camera
  • 4G, LTE, 5G
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, in-display fingerprint scanner
  • Stereo speakers, IP67 rating
  • 5000mAh battery
  • 25w charging
  • Android 12, OneUI 4.1

Samsung is officially unveiling its 2022 line of Galaxy A-series phones in the Philippines today, and the Galaxy A53 will be one of the first models that will be made available to the public. The phone looks identical to last year’s Galaxy A52/52S, though key internal components have been switched up and refreshed to convince buyers to pick up the new model. Will they though? Let’s take a look at the phone:

Design

Just like with the Galaxy S22 series, the Galaxy A53 practically uses the same design language as the Galaxy A52. This includes a glossy finish for the frame, a matte finish for the polycarbonate back panel, a camera module design that harkens back to the last Galaxy Note, as well as tonal branding at the bottom.

Samsung’s apparently a big believer in the old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. And honestly, who could blame them – the design’s durable matte finish and excellent ergonomics as well as an IP67 rating give this mid-range phone high-end feels.

The Galaxy A53 (blue, top left), A33 (peach, top middle), and A73 do not have a headphone jack.

 

The body of the A53 isn’t a complete carbon copy, as Samsung removed the headphone jack on the A53. We found that move to be strange–even the bigger Galaxy A73 and more affordable Galaxy A33 no longer have it, but our guess is that it’s a necessary move in order to fit in a bigger battery inside.

Display

The Galaxy A53 uses the same Super AMOLED panel used in its predecessor. You still get a Full HD+ resolution, 120hz refresh rate, an in-display fingerprint scanner, and a punch-hole for the 32-megapixel selfie shooter. Samsung has been equipping its premium mid-range Galaxy A-series phones with excellent Super AMOLED panels, and the one on the Galaxy A53 is just as good as the ones that we typically see on their more expensive offerings.

You still get stereo speakers on the A53, and the overall sound quality is just as good as the one on its predecessor. After all, there’s no need to tweak things if you know they deliver the goods.

Cameras

One of Samsung’s key moves for its 2022 Galaxy A-series line is having OIS made available across almost all models, and the Galaxy A53 is no exception. While it uses the same quad-rear camera setup and the same selfie snapper as its predecessor, we expect differences in post-processing due to its use of an Exynos processor instead of a Snapdragon processor.

Considering the bigger Galaxy A73 got a higher-resolution main camera as an upgrade, we wished that Samsung did something similar to the Galaxy A53–a basic telephoto camera could have been an ideal upgrade for the brand’s most popular model in the Galaxy A-series line.

Internals

The biggest change on the Galaxy A53 is its use of an Exynos 1280 processor. The new processor is a 5nm processor that Samsung claims offers significantly better performance compared to the Snapdragon 750G used on the Galaxy A52 5G. In its presentation, Samsung claims that the Exynos 1280 offers up to 43% better GPU performance than the Snapdragon 750G and up to 19% better single-core performance.

Considering the less than enthusiastic reception of buyers to Samsung’s Exynos processors as of late, we will be putting this new Exynos processor to the wringer to see how it fares against commonly-used mid-range 5G processors like the Dimensity 900 and Snapdragon 778G.

Keeping the lights on a slightly larger 5000mAh battery–which is made standard across the entire Galaxy A-series line for 2022, along with support for 25w wired charging. This time around, however, Samsung is not bundling a charger on the Galaxy A53, which marks a change in direction for the Korean brand to exclude charging bricks even on its mid-range line.

Wrap up and Initial Conclusions

Samsung is up for an interesting battle in the mid-range segment in the Philippines with the Galaxy A53. Save for a bump in battery capacity (at the expense of the headphone jack) and a new Exynos processor, Samsung chose to go for the tried-and-tested formula of the Galaxy A52/52S for its latest premium mid-range phone.

Samsung Galaxy A53 Price Philippines

The Galaxy A53 is priced at Php 25,490 for the 8GB/256GB model and Php 23,490 for the 8GB/128GB. Those who will pre-order the Galaxy A53 from March 18 to 25 will get a Php 3000 Samsung online store voucher and a Legendary Galaxy Gift that includes 3000 Diamonds for Mobile Legends.

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