We were able to spend an hour with the mid-range Samsung Galaxy A53 and A33. They both feature the same 5G SoC, the Exynos 1280. Here’s our hot review.
At Samsung we have, on the one hand, the S line, the epitome of the premium Korean giant, and the Galaxy A line, which is the more accessible face of the brand. The firm has just unveiled two latest additions to this popular lineup: they are called the Samsung Galaxy A33 and A53. As the name suggests, the A53 is slightly better equipped than its counterpart. We were able to see them a little before they were announced and get our hands on them quickly, that’s what we thought.
First important note: this year there are no complications between 4 or 5G models, there is only one version for each model, and they are in 5G, with dual SIM compatibility (knowing that we can only use one SIM card if we will install an SD card expandable up to 1TB). Both phones are based on the same 5G chip, a Samsung-designed chip called Exynos 1280. This octa-core SoC combines two Cortex A78 cores for heavy tasks at 2.40GHz and six Cortex A-55 cores at 2GHz. In terms of graphics, it is based on the Mali-G68 GPU. Both phones have 6GB of RAM, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage for the A53. The modem has built-in Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.1 and NFC.
A priori, with the same configuration, two phones should work the same way. Feeling a bit different in the hand. Let’s just say that the A33 is a little buggy, with some menu difficulties being displayed, a few micro-frosts here and there, while the A53 seemed to us much more comfortable and responsive. This may have yet to be confirmed during tests, but the upscaling between the two seems clear.
The fact that the A33 swears as soon as we get started reduces one of its important arguments a bit: Samsung promises four years of major updates and five years of security updates for the two terminals. They both start with Android 12, which is One UI 4.1 right out of the box. At first glance, we found every feature we knew when we started, except for DEX.
game 7 differences
If we take a moment to look at the shell of the two devices, at first glance, very few elements make it possible to distinguish between them. I urge you to say which is which on the back, as both basically follow the now classic Galaxy A design with a photoblock built directly into the body of the phone. They also display the same colors: white, black, blue, and peach (pastel pink).
The similarity is preserved in the level of protection of the two phones. They are both IP 67 certified and their screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 5. Please note that the A33’s screen was already scratched at the time of our short treatment, so using a screen protector won’t be useless.
In terms of dimensions and weight, it is also very close, the thickness of both models is 8.1 mm. But with a bit of focus, we end up seeing differences: The A53 has a bump for the selfie camera where the A33 has a notch. The chin and bezels of the A33 are also much thicker. The result is a somewhat dated A33 design where the A53 is more up to modern standards.
To complete the design, note that the slices are flat rather than rounded like their predecessors. A53 has a glossy color while A33 has a matte finish. Finishing seemed to us quite decent.
Screen A33 finally on the level
Of the two phones, the one that has improved the most from last year is clearly the A33. Compared to the A32 5G, we are moving from a 60Hz HD+ LCD screen to a 6.4-inch 90Hz Full HD+ Oled panel. In short, one needs to fix what the A32 4G already offered by adding a 5G dimension to the equation, as well as a second speaker (the two phones draw a line under the connector, which certainly won’t please fans of this pairing). A33. The Galaxy A53 adds 120Hz and expands to 6.5 inches. Note that in both cases this is not an adaptive cooling cooker.
At maximum brightness, the A53’s screen seemed to display slightly brighter colors than its counterpart, but also a higher maximum brightness. The two phones have different panels, and the A53 is HDR 10+ compatible.
The fact remains that at over 300 euros, many phones also offer an improved view with a slightly less outdated design. For example, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11, which costs about 200 euros, has the same screen configuration.
The arrival of portrait mode
The Galaxy A53 and A33 each offer four photosensors, an optically stabilized main at 64 and 48 megapixels respectively, an ultra-wide angle at 12 or 8 megapixels, a 5 megapixel macro for both, and a depth sensor for 5 and 2 megapixel portrait modes.
By the way, they both inherit the processing speed of night photos 2.1 times faster than previous versions, an improved portrait mode and a mode that allows you to apply small effects to its cliches. In the short time we spent with them, the two phones seemed pretty close in terms of photo quality, with better sharpness for the A53 and better edge management in portrait mode.
To wrap up this review, let’s talk about the presence of a 5,000mAh battery that Samsung promises two days of battery life, but brands are often optimistic about that, to say the least. Samsung commits, charging is slow, only 25W.
Galaxy A53 and Galaxy A33 price and release date
The Galaxy A53 will be available from April 1 for €459 with 6GB RAM + 128GB storage and €519 with 8GB. It’s available for pre-order from March 17 to March 31. With any pre-order, you get Buds Live and 50 euros in Google Play credit.
The Galaxy A33 will be available for €379, no date yet.