The Samsung Galaxy A series has always been a popular choice among consumers who don’t have to make the most out of their smartphones. But the new Samsung Galaxy A53 and A33 face stiff competition from an unexpected source: their predecessors.
This is an abbreviated version of a file Full review From the Samsung Galaxy A33 5G and A53 5G on Tweakers.
In recent years, Samsung has taken a consistent approach when it comes to the A Series: no frills, good camera. The A52 from 2021 was a real success for sure. The device has stereo speakers, a relatively luxurious camera system, a good OLED display, good software, and even an IP67 rating for water resistance. This device was followed up a few months later by the A52s, which had a slightly faster chipset. According to BestGetest, the A52s are equal Best cheap smartphone†
So the A53 has a reputation for keeping it, and Samsung is sticking with the same positives: a waterproof casing, 64MP camera, 120Hz OLED display and the promise of years of updates. The device appeared two months ago at an introductory price of 450 euros, but it is now available for 250 euros.
The A53 is not the only “heir” to the A52 series. The cheaper Galaxy A33 will also launch this spring, and it’s a phone with the same chipset and waterproof casing as the more expensive model. On paper, the camera and screen will sacrifice quality, but the A33 is still better equipped than some competitors. Also important: the device is available for less than 300 euros. The reason we put the A53 and A33 together on the shelf.
Beautiful pictures and strange colors
Both phones have four cameras on the back and one on the front. This sounds impressive, but keep in mind that these types of mid-range devices often come with all kinds of extra cameras that aren’t much use in practice. The Galaxy A53 and A33 are also guilty of this: the fourth camera is a depth sensor that contributes little with a 2MP depth sensor.
What Samsung does is optical image stabilization. There are a few other phones under $400 that allow you to automatically remove shocks from your video recordings or use a longer shutdown time at night without the slightest movement that guarantees a blurry picture.
Across the board, the A33’s camera setup is a bit lower than the A53’s, but the quality is still very well deserved. The main camera’s variable image processing produces nicer night photos, but we can’t say enough about the overly saturated colors in the photos we took during the day. Samsung phone cameras often have a saturated color tablet, but the Galaxy A53 makes the sky a bright blue and the grass so green that it reminds us of Teletubbie scenes.
Difference is not always better
Camera color quality isn’t the only questionable change Samsung made to the Galaxy A53 and A33. Another big difference is the switch from Snapdragon chips, like the Snapdragon 778G in the A52s, to Samsung’s own Exynos chips. Both the A53 and the A33 have an Exynos 1280, which means that the A33 came out just as fast as the A53 in our tests. This is a clear improvement of the A33 over the A32, but this new device has a downside. The Exynos 1280 is certainly not faster than the Snapdragon socs, so the performance of the A53 is worse than its predecessors.
We also think it’s a shame that the Galaxy A33 no longer has a 3.5mm headphone jack, something that can still be found in the A32. The fact that both phones are delivered without a charger does not deserve a beauty award.
This brings us to the A53 and A33’s biggest bump, which is the competition from our own angle. Right now, the Galaxy A53 costs only a few dozen more than the older Galaxy A52s, and it’s a phone that’s still a step ahead of the latest A53 and A33 with a faster processor.
The Galaxy A33, in particular, is struggling to step out of the shadow of the A52s. The A33 is currently the more expensive model, but all A52s have a more advanced camera and with the A52 5G or the A52s, you also get a better screen and faster processor.
Compared to other phone brands, Samsung has done well with the Galaxy A53 and A33. Both devices have an excellent screen, a nice no-nonsense design, a good above average camera and, in the case of the Galaxy A53, also have a relatively long battery life. Add to that a waterproof case, optical image stabilization, and the option to shoot in 4K, and you’ve got a great device at an affordable price.
However, we can’t categorize these phones as recommended, at least not as long as previous Samsung models are still readily available. This may change in the future: prices for new devices will undoubtedly fall even more, while the A52 series will be sold out once. But for now, Samsung is losing it with these phones.