The launch presentation for Samsung’s Galaxy A53 5G smartphone might go down as the company’s most ‘How do you do, fellow kids?’ moment to date. The entire event was filmed vertically. There were colours and influencer types everywhere. The music was thumpy and non-stop. You can almost smell the executives in the background, nodding sagely and saying, “The kids’ll watch this one, for sure.”
But at Stuff, it’s mostly the olds watching. While trying not to claw their eyes out. The only mercy was that the event was brief. Still, we got to take a look at Samsung’s Galaxy A53 and Galaxy A33 — both of which now sport 5G by default.
Exploring the Galaxy A53
Wanna know how hip the Galaxy A53 is? Even the company’s official lifestyle images are vertically oriented. It’s all about as subtle as a sledgehammer. But then, so are the phone’s specs. There’s a 6.5in Super AMOLED Infinity-O (which means it has a hole-punch) display. That runs at 120Hz, but Samsung hasn’t said if that’s dynamic or if you’ve got to switch between 60Hz and 120Hz manually.
RAM consists of either 6GB or 8GB, with 128GB and 256GB storage options. We’re expecting that South Africa will only receive the lower of these configurations when the phone launches in April. So… expect the handset to be a 6GB/128GB mid-ranger. There’s an as-yet-unnamed octa-core processor at its heart and a 5,000mAh battery running the thing.
The camera is the third prong of Samsung’s ‘appeal to the kids’ hardware strategy. Here, there’s a 32MP front-facer, and then a quad array at the back. The main sensor is a 64MP lens with optical image stabilisation, along with a 12MP ultra-wide, and two 5MP backups (for depth and macro shooting). IP67 seems to be a Samsung standard these days, and users can expect Android 12 and OneUI 4.0 out of the box.
Also out of the box? The charger. The new phone might support 25W fast charging, but you’ve got to supply the charger yourself. And, according to Samsung’s notation, you should only use official hardware.
Less edge to cut yourself on
The Samsung Galaxy A53 might be for all the cool kids, but the Galaxy A33 is for the kids who wanna be cool but don’t have the money for it. There are a few things in common here: the processor, the 5,000mAh battery, the IP67 rating, the RAM/storage configuration, and the fact that there’s no charger in the box, to name the important ones.
But there are also a few differences. The 6.4in AMOLED only runs at 90Hz and features an Infinity-U display. So there’s… a bite taken out of it? Sure, let’s go with that. The camera complement is also markedly different. Up front is a mere 13MP sensor, while around back, the main lens is a 48MP effort with optical image stabilisation. There’s an 8MP ultrawide, a 2MP depth camera, and then a 5MP macro lens to play with.
Also less worthy of the ‘cool’ designation is the Galaxy A73 5G. Samsung only mentioned this one in passing, so it must be for people old enough to go to university. They’re almost old, after all. Again, there are a few common threads to pluck. The processor, 5,000mAh battery, RAM/storage options, IP67 rating, OS, lack of charger… you get the idea.
The differences? The AMOLED display jumps back up to 120Hz, increases in size to 6.7in, and we’re using an Infinity-O again. The camera setup is also identical to that found in the Galaxy A53, with one exception. The 64MP sensor has been swapped out for a 108MP lens with… you guessed it, optical image stabilisation.
Of the three handsets, the Galaxy A53 will launch first. Internationally, it’s confirmed for 1 April, with the other two arriving in “select markets” from 22 April. Local launch date and pricing are still to be confirmed.