Which mid-range phone is best for you?

The mid-range phone race has really caught on 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 cost of flagship phones. Both phones are good in their own right, but not for the same reasons – and maybe not for the same people.

For now, we’d recommend waiting to buy any of these phones until more is known about Google’s upcoming Pixel 6a, which should bring a number of improvements over the 5a and could be officially revealed soon. But if you are looking for a new mid-range phone Immediately Since you can’t wait or don’t want to, both the A53 and the Pixel 5a should be at the top of your list of options. Here’s how the two stack up.

Telephone Samsung Galaxy A53 Google Pixel 5a
Slices Samsung Exynos 1280 Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
storage 128 GB 128 GB
an offer 6.5″ 1080p OLED, 120Hz 6.34″ 1080p OLED, 60Hz
battery 5000 mAh, Wired charging up to 25W 4680 mAh, wired charging up to 18 W
rear cameras 64 MP f / 1.8 primary; 12 MP f / 2.2 ultra-wide; 5 MP 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 32 MP f / 2.2 8 MP 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 grams 154.9 x 73.7 x 7.6 mm, 183 g
Programming One UI 4.1 / Android 12 Android 12
Colors gorgeous black Most of them are black
price $450 $449

Galaxy A53 vs Pixel 5a: Updates

Being a Pixel phone, made by Google, you might expect the Pixel 5a to hold the promise of software support for a long time. Not so: While the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro will enjoy Android updates until October 2024 and security updates until the same time in 2026, the Pixel 5a is only guaranteed until August 2024 — which makes the update lifespan just three years.

On the other hand, the Galaxy A53 outperforms a lot of them. Samsung has secured not only four years of operating system updates for its latest mid-ranger — it should take it to Android 16 — but also five years of security patches, ending in 2027. This is unprecedented for a mid-range Android phone, 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 both have a 1080p OLED display, and they both look very nice. Being OLED panels, both have perfect blacks and good viewing angles, and both have the always-on display functionality that cheaper LCD screens lack. The Galaxy A53’s display has a higher refresh rate, though, at 120Hz to 60p. This means that the A53’s screen refreshes about twice as many times per second as the Pixel 5a, making animations smoother.

If you’re used to displaying a high refresh rate anywhere else in your life, whether that’s on your current phone, tablet, monitor, or high-end TV, the Pixel 5a’s screen isn’t going to look great on you — with fewer frames per second, it’s a good idea. It is easier to see the individual frames, which makes the illusion of movement less convincing.

Long story short, higher refresh rate screens look nicer to use. The A53 has one and the Pixel 5a doesn’t – Samsung wins here.

Galaxy A53 vs Pixel 5a: Performance and connectivity

The A53 rocks the Samsung-built Exynos 1280 chipset while the 5a houses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765G processor. Each of them has six gigs of RAM. Both are mid-range phones, and they both perform like good mid-range phones – that is, they’re fast enough for most tasks that the average user would never feel like it. slow. Both can handle web browsing, messaging, and some gaming just fine.

While the A53 is quite efficient in most situations, its performance often falters around the camera: the app can take a long time to load, and the phone sometimes waits for a rhythm between pressing the shutter button and the actual time to take a picture.

While both phones have 5G, only the Galaxy A53 supports ultra-fast (and very limited) mmWave connectivity. Unless you know you already know how to use mmWave, though, the Pixel 5a not supporting it shouldn’t influence your buying decision one way or the other. With extremely limited availability and a characteristically weak signal that can obscure practically anything (walls, trees, windows, you name it), mmWave 5G is still useless for most people. Even if you have a phone that supports it, you probably won’t get a chance to use it.

Galaxy A53 vs Pixel 5a: Cameras

The Pixel 5a has the same camera setup as the Pixel 5. The hardware is dated so far — Google has used the same 12MP primary sensor in every one of its phones since the Pixel 3, only breaking the pattern of the Pixel 6 series last year. But Google’s dependence on (and proficiency) in computer photography means that it can extract some really great photos from the sensors it has to work with in the 5a.

The Samsung Galaxy A53, on the other hand, has a 64MP primary camera, as well as a wide-angle and two additional cameras for macro photography and depth data collection (it’s actually the same setup as on the A52 5G). Despite having more cameras in larger numbers, the A53 can’t compete with the Pixel 5a in photography.

While either phone does a good job in perfect lighting, Pixel images are often sharper and show less noise, especially in challenging lighting. The camera app on the A53 is often sluggish, which can result in missing shots. Google wins here, hand in hand.

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

The Galaxy A53 has a 5000 mAh battery; The Pixel 5a comes with a smaller 4,680mAh battery. In our testing of each phone, both went for days on a single charge with little difficulty (although that was under relatively light use—heavy workloads obviously will result in shorter battery life). While the A53 has a bigger battery on paper, it also has a slightly larger display and a higher refresh rate which draws in more power. However, most people will be satisfied with the battery life on any phone.

The Galaxy A53 beats the Pixel 5a when it comes to charging speeds, but not by much: The A53 supports wired charging up to 25W while the 5a can take up to 18W. Neither phone supports wireless charging.

Galaxy A53 vs Pixel 5a: Price and Availability

In the US, the Galaxy A53 and Pixel 5a sell for $450. The best deal depends on what you prioritize: If you’re looking for a great screen and the longest possible refresh support you can get from a mid-range Android phone, then the A53 is right for you. If you’re more concerned with image quality but can live without a high refresh rate screen (and don’t mind upgrading again before August 2024 when its updates expire), go with the Pixel 5a.

Assuming you’re able to go for the Pixel 5a, that is; The phone is only officially sold in the United States and Japan. On the other hand, the Galaxy A53 is sold out pretty much everywhere Samsung sells phones, including the big markets that the 5a doesn’t serve. If you live in one of those markets, your decision is largely made up: Unless you’re willing and able to handle the import, go with the A53 (which, as a bonus, is available in a number of interesting colors internationally – in the US, the only option is black) . Hopefully, Google will sort out the distribution issues in time for the Pixel 6a later this year.

If you want to upgrade to one of these phones through your carrier, the Galaxy A53 will probably be your only option. It’s available unlocked directly from Samsung, as well as through Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and more. The Pixel 5a, on the other hand, can only be purchased directly from Google, either from the Google Store or through Google Fi (the A53 is also available on Fi).

Samsung Galaxy A53

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Google Pixel 5a

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