Samsung Galaxy A53 5G vs Samsung Galaxy S22: Which one’s the better purchase?

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G vs Samsung Galaxy S22: Which one’s the better purchase?

Samsung’s Galaxy A53 5G is one of those devices that offers a lot of bang for your buck. As we mentioned in our A53 5G hands-on piece, it’s one of the best mid-rangers to buy in the US right now. There’s a lot to like about this phone including its design, display, and its massive 5,000 mAh battery. The Galaxy A53 5G borrows a lot of tricks from the company’s flagship Galaxy S lineup but it makes a few compromises to hit the sweet spot of $450. We’ve already compared the Galaxy A53 5G to a lot of other phones out there including the Galaxy S21 from last year. Now, it’s time to see how the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G vs Samsung Galaxy S22 plays out to see which one’s better to buy in 2022 and why?

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The Galaxy S22 belongs to Samsung’s current crop of flagship phones. In our Galaxy S22 review, we explained how it’s a safe choice for most people in the Android space. It’s a reliable phone which you can hold on to for the next few years. That being said, it costs significantly more than the Galaxy A53 5G. So is it worth splurging on the new Galaxy S22? If yes, then what are the additional features that you get? Let’s find out.

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Specifications

Before we take a detailed look at the comparison, let’s jump into the specifications table to how they stack up against each other on paper:

Specification Samsung Galaxy A53 5G Samsung Galaxy S22
Build
  • Plastic body
  • Gorilla Glass 5 front panel
  • IP67 water/dust resistance
  • Aluminum mid-frame
  • Gorilla Glass Victus+ front and back
  • IP68 water resistance
Dimensions & Weight
  • 159.6 x 74.8 x 8.1mm
  • 189 g
  • 146 x 70.6 x 7.6mm
  • 167g for non-mmWave model
  • 168g for mmWave model
Display
  • 6.5-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • Infinity-O display
  • 6.1-inch AMOLED 2X
  • 2340 x 1080, 425 ppi
  • HDR10+ certified
  • 120Hz refresh rate
SoC
  • Samsung Exynos 1280
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (US, select other regions)
  • Samsung Exynos 2200 (most other countries)
RAM & Storage
  • 6GB/8GB RAM
  • 128GB/256GB internal storage
  • microSD card slot (up to 1TB)
  • 128/256GB internal storage
  • 8GB LPDDR5 RAM
Battery & Charging
  • 5,000mAh battery
  • 25W Super Fast Charging
  •  No charger in box
  • 3,700mAh battery
  • 25W USB PD 3.0 PPS wired charging
  • Fast Wireless Charging 2.0 (only available with Samsung Super Fast Wireless Charger and Super Fast Wireless Charger Duo)
  • Wireless PowerShare (reverse wireless charging)
Security Fingerprint sensor Ultrasonic Fingerprint sensor
Rear Camera(s)
  • 64MP f/1.8 Main (with OIS)
  • 12MP f/2.2 Ultra-wide
  • 5MP f/2.4 Depth sensor
  • 5MP f/2.4 Macro
  • 50MP main (F/1.8, 1.0μm, 85˚ FOV), binned
  • 12MP ultra-wide (F/2.2/1.4μm/120˚ FOV)
  • 10MP telephoto (F2.4/1.0μm/36˚ FOV)
Front Camera(s) 32MP f/2.2 10MP (F2.2/1.22μm/80˚ FOV)
Port(s)
  • USB Type-C
  • No headphone jack
  • USB Type-C
  • No headphone jack
  • No microSD card slot
Audio
  • Stereo speakers
  • Stereo speakers
  • Bluetooth Dual Audio
Connectivity
  • 5G
  • LTE
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4G+5GHz)
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • 5G: Non-Standalone (NSA), Standalone (SA), Sub6 / mmWave
  • LTE: Enhanced 4×4 MIMO, Up to 7CA, LTE Cat.20
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax (2.4/5/6GHz)
  • Bluetooth v5.2
  • NFC
  • GPS, Galileo, Glonass, BeiDou
Software One UI 4.1 (Android 12) Android 12 with One UI 4.1
Other Features
  • Four years of major OS upgrades
  • Five years of security updates
  • Four major Android OS updates promised
  • Five years of security patches

Design and build quality

The Galaxy S22, being the current flagship offering from Samsung, gets premium build materials for a more sophisticated build. The glass panel has returned after the Galaxy S21’s “glasstic” rear panel appearance, and the whole thing feels more solid now. Samsung is using Gorilla Glass Victus Plus for the back panel while the frame is made out of aluminum. For those of you who are wondering, the camera bump no longer blends into the rails seamlessly. Despite the use of glass for the back panel, the Galaxy S22 is still lighter than the Galaxy A53 5G.

Galaxy A53 cameras.

The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G, on the other hand, is made out of plastic for the most part. The phone uses plastic for the back panel as well as the frame. Samsung is using Gorilla Glass 5 on the front to protect the display. Design and build quality is usually an afterthought in the case of phones that costs as much as the Galaxy A53 5G does, but that’s thankfully not the case here. The Galaxy A53 5G looks and feels great in hand for the most part. It’s understated and a little less fancy with its toned-down approach, but there’s still a lot to like about its design and build quality. The camera modules at the back melt into the body of the phone, which looks different from many other devices out there.

If you are leaning towards buying a thinner and a lighter phone, though, then you’ve got to go with the Galaxy S22. It measures 7.6mm in thickness and weighs 168g. The Galaxy A53 5G, on the other hand, measures 8.1mm in thickness and weighs 189g. Notably, the Galaxy S22 also has a smaller footprint overall. In fact, it’s one of the few “compact” Android phones out there on the market right now.

The Galaxy S22 comes with an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance while the Galaxy A53 5G comes with an IP67 rating. It’s slightly more durable on paper thanks to the better IP rating, but it’s using glass panels for both the front and the back which means it’s more likely to break. We recommend using a high-quality Galaxy S22 case to save yourself a visit to the service center in case you drop it. The A53 5G features a plastic back panel but you might want to consider using a case for it too, so pick one up from our collection of the best Galaxy A53 5G cases.

Samsung Galaxy S22 in black leather case

Leather Case

Both phones in this comparison feature a USB Type-C port at the bottom along with the speaker grille. Neither of the two has a headphone jack, so keep that in mind while making a purchase decision. This means you will have to rely on either a USB Type-C to 3.5mm adapter or wireless earbuds for audio. The Galaxy S22 also lacks the microSD card slot, but at least you get to keep that with the Galaxy A53 5G.

It’s safe to say that both the Galaxy A53 5G and the Galaxy S22 look modern and have a good build quality overall. But if we were to pick one, then we’d go with the Galaxy S22 for its more premium build quality. It’s also more appealing to a lot of people due to its compact form factor, but your opinion might differ on this as many prefer using bigger phones with plastic backs. So we’ll leave this up to you to figure out which one you like the best based on the points that we’ve mentioned above.

Display

As for the display, both phones rock what Samsung calls an “Infinity-O” display. The entire front of the phone is occupied by the display with slim bezels and a punch-hole cutout for the selfie camera in the center towards the top. The bezels are noticeably bigger on the Galaxy A53 5G since it also has a slightly bigger chin at the bottom. This, however, isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker as long as you don’t compare the two devices side-by-side. The Galaxy A53 5G sports a 6.5-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED panel while the Galaxy S22 features a 6.1-inch AMOLED 2X display with an FHD+ resolution. The Galaxy S22’s display, being the smaller one out of the two with the same resolution, has a higher pixel-per-inch (PPI) count on paper. That being said, they should be virtually identical in terms of sharpness.

Galaxy A53 display.

Samsung is using an AMOLED 2X on the Galaxy S22 which means it covers the 48-120 Hz refresh rate range. The Galaxy A53 5G, however, doesn’t support a variable refresh rate and is hence fixed at 120Hz. The variable refresh rate feature adjusts the screen refresh rate based on the content that’s being viewed. It helps with the battery life, and we’ll talk a bit more about it in detail in the following sections. Both are AMOLED panels with support for HDR10+, so you can expect them to be on par with each other. Samsung is known for using high-quality displays for its smartphones and we expect nothing less for these devices too. Both phones in this comparison also have a flat display and a fairly reliable in-display fingerprint scanner, so keep that in mind too.

Internal hardware

The Galaxy S22 is superior when it comes to the internal hardware, although that shouldn’t come as a surprise since it’s a flagship phone. It’s powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, or the Exynos 2200, depending on the region. There’s not a lot of difference between the two but we recommend checking out our Galaxy S22 Ultra Snapdragon vs Exynos variant comparison to learn more. If you care about the benchmark numbers then the Galaxy A53 5G is probably not the one for you. That’s because it’s powered by the Exynos 1280 which is Samsung’s in-house mid-range chipset.

The Exynos 1280 may not be the fastest chipset around but it’ll definitely do enough to offer a smooth experience for your day-to-day usage. The Galaxy A53 5G also has a 120Hz display which means the user experience is going to be just as smooth and responsive as the Galaxy S22, provided you’re not pushing it to its limits. But if you’re leaning towards a no-compromise experience in terms of the performance, then we think you should stick with the expensive flagship.

The base variant of the Galaxy A53 5G comes with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage whereas the Galaxy S22 will get you 8GB of RAM on all the models. You can also pick up the 8GB + 256GB variant of each phone but only the Galaxy A53 5G supports expandable storage via a microSD card slot. You can add up to 1TB of additional storage to your Galaxy A53 5G, but that’s sadly not an option on the Galaxy S22. This could be a deal-breaker for many, especially for those who tend to use a lot of apps and games, capture lots of photos and record 4K videos on their phone. Being able to add a microSD card to the A53 5G, even if it comes at the cost of not being able to use the secondary SIM makes it a better option in the storage department.

Moving on to the battery, the Galaxy A53 5G is packed with a 5,000 mAh battery with support for up to 25W fast charging. The Galaxy S22’s 3,700 mAh battery feels downright petite in comparison, but it also gets fast charging as well as wireless charging support. Sure, the S22 has a relatively smaller display with support for variable refresh rates, but it’s still not going to last long as the Galaxy A53 5G’s battery will. Depending on your usage, there’s a good chance that you might be running for a charger before the end of the day with the Galaxy S22. The Galaxy A53 5G is a clear winner in this department, even though it might take longer to fully charge that phone. Since we’re on the topic of charging, we think this is a good time to remind you that neither of these phones comes bundled with a charger inside the box. You will have to buy a separate charger if you don’t have a spare.

Cameras

The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G comes with a quad rear camera setup, which includes a 64MP f/1.8 main camera, 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera, 5MP f/2.4 depth camera, and a 5MP f/2.4 macro camera. In comparison, the Galaxy S22 features a triple camera setup that includes a 50MP primary sensor (binned), and two 12MP sensors for ultra-wide and telephoto. The telephoto camera here is capable of doing 3x optical zoom. So the Galaxy A53 5G essentially trades the telephoto lens for the depth and macro sensors.

Galaxy A53

We haven’t had a chance to test the cameras of the Galaxy A53 5G and the Galaxy S22 side-by-side, but we’ll leave a few camera samples towards the end of this section for you to check out. The camera samples from both phones turn out sharp and detailed in well-lit conditions. The Galaxy A53 5G, however, struggles a little bit in low-light. The S22, on the other hand, is up to the task in all conditions, be it indoor, outdoor, low-light, etc. As we mentioned in our review of the Galaxy S22, its low-light camera performance is comparable to that of the Galaxy S22 Ultra. The 3x optical zoom on S22’s telephoto lens isn’t as good as what you get with the S22 Ultra, but at least it’s there as an option to use. The A53 5G has no telephoto camera, so you’re entirely missing out on those shots.

Overall, we think both phones have a pretty versatile set of cameras, but the S22 has what we’d call a slightly more advanced system. The telephoto camera is also practically more useful for day-to-day usage compared to the macro and the depth sensors. As for the selfies, you get a 32MP front camera on the Galaxy A53 5G and a 10MP shooter on the S22. On the video front, the Galaxy S22’s main camera can record videos at both [email protected] and [email protected] The Galaxy A53 5G is limited to just [email protected] video recording, so keep that in mind.

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G camera samples

Samsung Galaxy S22 camera samples

Which one should you buy?

The answer to this question is frankly quite simple. Both phones offer a very good experience in their respective segments. The Galaxy A53 5G may not beat the Galaxy S22 in all areas but we think it still offers an excellent value for money in the mid-range space. You get a good-looking phone with an IP67 rating and Gorilla Glass 5 on the front. It also has a fantastic display, a massive 5,000 mAh battery, decent internals for reliable performance, and a versatile set of cameras for the price too. There’s not a lot to complain about the Galaxy A53 5G but it lacks the finesse of the Galaxy S22 and misses out on a few key areas.

With the Galaxy S22, you get Samsung’s flagship experience with best-in-class design and build quality, an excellent display, a fantastic set of cameras, and more. It’s also both thinner and lighter compared to the A53 5G, and it gets the flagship-grade performance with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1/Exynos 2200 chipset. Both phones, however, have an equal footing on the software side as Samsung is promising four major Android OS updates and up to five years of security updates for them.

So it all boils down to the pricing and availability of these phones. Both the Galaxy A53 5G and the Galaxy S22 are readily available to purchase in the US and a lot of other regions. But the Galaxy S22 is obviously more expensive, being the flagship device. If you don’t mind splurging $800 on a smartphone right now then we think you should definitely go with the Galaxy S22. Keep in mind that it has a smaller form factor, so you should be comfortable using one or at least be willing to adjust to all the challenges that this brings. If not, then consider checking out the Galaxy S22 Plus.

But if you’re looking to fetch more value for money and don’t mind trading some features for an affordable price tag, then you won’t be disappointed with the Galaxy A53 5G. You may have some other mid-range options to consider over the Galaxy A53 5G in markets outside the US. But if you’re shopping for a phone in the States, then the Galaxy A53 5G offers a really good value for money.

Regardless of the one you buy, be sure to stop by our collection of the best Galaxy S22 deals and the best Galaxy A53 5G deals page to see if you can save some money on your purchase. You can use those savings to pick up a screen protector for the S22 or one of these accessories for the Galaxy A53 5G.

    The Samsung Galaxy S22 is the entry flagship for 2022, bringing over top of the line performance and camera capabilities in a form that fits many pockets and budgets.
    The Galaxy A53 offers a modern design, large screen and battery at an affordable price

About author

Karthik Iyer
Karthik Iyer

Karthik covers PC hardware for XDA Computing. When not at work, you will find him yelling at his monitors while playing video games.

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