Samsung Galaxy A53 vs. Pixel 5a: Which mid-range phone is best for you?

The mid-range phone race has really warmed up in recent years, with the best budget devices like the Samsung Galaxy A53 and Google Pixel 5a offering great experiences at a fraction of the price of flagship phones. Both of these phones are good in their own right, but not for the same reasons – and probably not for the same people.

Right now, we recommend waiting to buy one of these phones until more is known about Google’s upcoming Pixel 6a, which should offer a number of improvements over the 5a and may be officially unveiled very soon. But if you are looking for a new mid-range phone right now because you either can not or will not wait, the A53 and Pixel 5a should both be high on your list of options. This is how the two stand together.

telephone Samsung Galaxy A53 Google Pixel 5a
Chipset Samsung Exynos 1280 Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
ram 6 GB 6 GB
Storage 128 GB 128 GB
Screen 6.5 “1080p OLED, 120Hz 6.34 “1080p OLED, 60Hz
Battery 5,000 mAh, charges up to 25W cable 4,680 mAh, charges up to 18W cable
Rear cameras 64MP f / 1.8 primary; 12MP f / 2.2 ultra wide; 5MP f / 2.4 macro; 5 MP f / 2.4 depth 12.2 MP f / 1.7 primary; 16 MP f / 2.2 ultra wide
Front camera 32MP f / 2.2 8MP f / 2.2
Connection 5G, Up to Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth v5.1, NFC 5G, Up to Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth v5.0, NFC
Dimensions 159.6 x 74.8 x 8.1 mm, 189 g 154.9 x 73.7 x 7.6 mm, 183 g
Software One UI 4.1 / Android 12 Android 12
Colors Fantastic black Most black
Price $ 450 $ 449

Galaxy A53 vs. Pixel 5a: Updates

As a Pixel phone, made by Google, you can expect the Pixel 5a to carry the promise of long software support. Not so: While Pixel 6 and 6 Pro will enjoy Android updates until October 2024 and security updates until the same time in 2026, Pixel 5a is only guaranteed either until August 2024 – giving an update life of only three years.

The Galaxy A53, on the other hand, beats many of them. Samsung has not only guaranteed four years of OS updates for its latest mid-range – it should take it all the way to Android 16 – but also five years of security fixes ending in 2027. It’s unprecedented for mid-range Android phones, and it’s one of the best things about the A53. Hopefully Google can get its update together for the upcoming Pixel 6a.

Galaxy A53 vs. Pixel 5a: Screen

The Galaxy A53 and Pixel 5a each have a 1080p OLED screen, and each looks quite nice. Since they are OLED panels, they perfect both black and good viewing angles, and each has the always-on display functionality that cheaper LCD screens lack. However, the Galaxy A53’s screen has a higher refresh rate of 120Hz for Pixels 60. This means that the A53’s screen is updated about twice as many times per second as the Pixel 5a’s, which gives smoother animations.

If you are used to high-speed screens elsewhere in your life, be it on your current phone or on an advanced tablet, monitor or TV, the Pixel 5a’s screen will not look good on you – with fewer images per second it is easier to see individual images, giving a less convincing illusion of movement.

Long story short screens with high refresh rate feel better to use. The A53 has one, and the Pixel 5a does not – Samsung wins here.

Galaxy A53 vs. Pixel 5a: Performance and connectivity

The A53 smokes a Samsung-built Exynos 1280 chipset, while the 5a has Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765G. They each have six concerts RAM. Both are mid-range phones, and they both perform as good mid-range phones should – that is, they are fast enough for most tasks that your average user will never feel like either. slow. They can both handle web browsing, messaging and any game just fine.

While the A53 is perfectly competent in most situations, its performance often stumbles around the camera: the app can take too long to load, and the phone sometimes waits a stroke between when you press the shutter button and when it actually takes a picture .

While both phones have 5G, only the Galaxy A53 supports super-fast (and super-limited) mmWave connectivity. However, unless you know you already know how to use mmWave, Pixel 5a that does not support it should not influence your purchasing decision in one way or another. With extremely limited availability and a characteristically weak signal that can be blocked by virtually anything (walls, trees, windows, you name it), mmWave 5G is still useless to most people. Even if you have a phone that supports it, you will probably never get the chance to use it.

Galaxy A53 vs. Pixel 5a: Cameras

Pixel 5a has the same camera setup as Pixel 5. The hardware is dated now – Google has used the same 12-megapixel primary sensor in each of its phones since Pixel 3, which only breaks the pattern for last year’s Pixel 6 series. But Google’s reliance on (and skills in) computer photography means it can wring some really amazing images out of the sensors it’s supposed to work with in 5a.

Samsung’s Galaxy A53, on the other hand, has a 64-megapixel primary camera, plus a wide-angle camera and two additional cameras for macro photography and depth data collection (this is actually the same setup as in the A52 5G). Despite having more cameras with larger numbers, however, the A53 cannot compete with the Pixel 5a in photography.

Although both phones do a good job in ideal light, Pixel images are often sharper and show less noise, especially in challenging lighting. The A53’s camera app is also often slow, which can lead to lost photos. Google wins here, without a doubt.

Galaxy A53 vs. Pixel 5a: Battery life and charging speed

The Galaxy A53 has a 5,000 mAh battery; Pixel 5a comes with a slightly smaller battery of 4,680 milliampere-hours. In our test of each phone, they both went for several days on a single charge with little hassle (even if it was during relatively easy use – heavier workloads will of course result in shorter battery life). While the A53 has the larger battery on paper, it also has a slightly larger display with higher refresh rate that draws more power. However, most people will be happy with the battery life of both phones.

The Galaxy A53 edges beyond the Pixel 5a when it comes to charging speeds, but not much: the A53 supports wired charging up to 25 watts, while the 5a can take up to 18 watts. None of the phones support wireless charging.

Galaxy A53 vs. Pixel 5a: Prices and Availability

In the US, the Galaxy A53 and Pixel 5a each sell for $ 450. Which is the best deal depends on what you prioritize: If you are looking for a great screen and the longest possible update support you can get out of a mid-range Android phone, the A53 will be the best buy for you. If you’re more concerned about image quality but can live without a high refresh rate monitor (and do not mind upgrading again before August 2024, when the updates end), choose Pixel 5a.

Assuming you are able to go for the Pixel 5a, that is; the phone is only officially sold in the US and Japan. The Galaxy A53, on the other hand, is sold pretty much everywhere Samsung sells phones, including large markets not serviced by 5a. If you live in one of these markets, your decision is largely made: unless you are willing and able to handle imports, go for the A53 (which as a bonus is available in a range of fun colors internationally – in the US, is the only option black). Here we hope Google solves its distribution issues in time for Pixel 6a later this year.

If you are hoping to upgrade to one of these phones through your provider, the Galaxy A53 is probably your only choice. It is available unlocked directly from Samsung, as well as through Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, US Cellular and others. Pixel 5a, on the other hand, can only be purchased directly from Google, either in the Google Store or via Google Fi (A53 is also available on Fi).

Samsung Galaxy A53

Buy at Samsung Buy at Amazon

Google Pixel 5a

Buy from Google

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