Samsung has unveiled the latest affordable Android phones in the guise of the Galaxy A33 5G and Galaxy A53 5G. Just what is different between the duo and do you miss out on anything on the cheaper model? Let’s find out.

As direct follow-ups to similarly impressive Galaxy A32 5G and Galaxy A52 5G released last year, there are bound to be high hopes for these latest releases. Samsung has increased the A-series over the past few years and it is becoming a compelling way to get Galaxy-specific features, design and more all without a high price tag.

Video — Galaxy A33 5G vs. Galaxy A53 5G: Budget battle!

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Design and hardware

At first glance, it’s actually really hard to tell the Galaxy A33 and Galaxy A53 apart. Samsung has worked hard to keep the differences to a minimum with the hardware and the Korean tech giant has done a fantastic job. Unlike last year, both phones come in what is practically the same chassis. The result is indistinguishable external frames and similar weight distribution when handled.

Galaxy A33 5G Galaxy A53 5G
Size 6.4-inches 6.5-inches
Display 90Hz / Flat FHD+ / Gorilla Glass 5 / 412ppi 120Hz / Flat FHD+ / Gorilla Glass 5 / 407ppi
Chipset Exynos 1280 (5nm) Exynos 1280 (5nm)
RAM 6/8GB 6/8GB
Storage 128GB + 1TB via microSD 128GB + 1TB via microSD
Battery 5,000mAh 5,000mAh
Rear camera 48MP wide / 8MP ultra-wide / 5MP macro / 2MP depth sensor 64MP wide / 12MP ultra-wide / 5MP macro / 5MP depth sensor
Front-facing camera 13MP 32MP
Biometrics Optical in-display fingerprint scanner Optical in-display fingerprint scanner
Colors Black / White / Blue / Pink Black / White / Blue / Pink

Look closely and you can see some minor changes including to the side rails, which are polished on the Galaxy A53 but matte on the Galaxy A33. There’s also a distinct advantage to the Galaxy A53 5G in terms of the screen on offer.

While both AMOLEDs are FHD+ rated, the A33 packs a 90Hz panel with a dewdrop notch, while the A53 comes with a 120Hz screen and a central punch-hole. The bezels are also notably smaller on the A53, which is a major benefit of the better display.

In the hand, the Galaxy A53 5G comes in at 189g whereas the Galaxy A33 5G weighs in at 186g. The difference is so small that you’d never notice as both phones are lightweight thanks to polycarbonate builds but that doesn’t mean either phone feels “cheap” or “hollow.” There is certainly a well-packed feel which in combination with the pastel colors is an awfully attractive design.

Everywhere else the two devices stack up well against one another with the same Exynos 1280 5-nanometer chipset, RAM, storage, battery configurations, and even colors. Not many affordable Android devices are able to offer any water and dust protection but there is even an IP67 rating on the Galaxy A33 and A53 here too. It’s a sound package no matter which device you have set your sights upon.

Samsung has packed in sizeable 5,000mAh batteries to the Galaxy A33 and A53. We haven’t been able to test these phones in the real world but this could mean up to two-day lifespans. Sadly, wireless charging is not included on either phone but 25W wired charging is supported but there is reportedly no charger in the box. Another blow is the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack on both smartphones, which is something that might cause fan frustration.

Software

One UI 4.1 comes as standard on the duo, which is the latest version of Android 12 from Samsung. That’s the same build found on the recent Galaxy S22 series with all the new features intact.

Most importantly this includes the RAM Plus feature that allows you to use a portion of onboard storage a virtual RAM and, hopefully, improve device performance and longevity. Also aiding that is the 5-year update promise, which includes regular monthly patches for up to 5 years with 4 full OS upgrades also guaranteed.

Galaxy A33 5G Galaxy A53 5G
Software Ships with Android 12 and One UI 4.1 Ships with Android 12 and One UI 4.1
Features RAM Plus
Samsung Knox
Samsung Pay
5G connectivity
IP67 rating
In-display fingerprint scanner
RAM Plus
Samsung Knox
Samsung Pay
5G connectivity
IP67 rating
In-display fingerprint scanner

An under-display fingerprint scanner is also included for biometric security. Unlike the flagship Galaxy phones with the ultrasonic reader, it’s an optical scanner. Samsung Knox is also packed in for added security and making the duo a solid option for workplace deployment.

Cameras

It’s the camera layouts where the Galaxy A33 and Galaxy A53 5G differ the most despite having visually similar camera quad-camera layouts. The Galaxy A33 comes with a 48-megapixel main sensor, while the A53 has a slightly larger 64-megapixel sensor.

The ultra-wide sensor also is marginally higher resolution with the 8-megapixel sensor on the A33 5G usurped by the 12-megapixel sensor on the A53 5G. This continues with an improved depth sensor used for portrait mode which is 2-megapixels versus 5-megapixels.

Galaxy A33 5G Galaxy A53 5G
Main sensor 48MP
f1.8 aperture / OIS
64MP
f1.8 aperture / OIS
Ultra-wide sensor 8MP
f2.2 aperture
12MP
f2.2 aperture
Depth sensor 2MP
f2.4 aperture
5MP
f2.4 aperture
Macro sensor 5MP
f2.4 aperture
5MP
f2.4 aperture
Front-facing sensor 13MP
f2.2 aperture
32MP
f2.2 aperture

Elsewhere the selfie camera is almost 3 times higher resolution on the Galaxy A53 5G here too. This should mean cleaner, sharper selfies for the slightly more expensive handset.

Galaxy A33 or Galaxy A53: Which should you choose?

Galaxy A33 5G and Galaxy A53 5G in Awesome Blue colorway

About upgrading: 9to5Google often gives specific product recommendations. Sometimes, we may suggest not upgrading, due to various reasons including, but not limited to: increased device cost, negligible performance gains, or environmental impact. Whether to upgrade is always your call, but our aim is to help you make as informed a decision as possible.

If you live in the US, the decision about which device you should choose has already been made for you as the Galaxy A33 5G is not expected to launch in North America. You’re getting an excellent package that even stacks up well against the recent Galaxy S21 FE and the base model Galaxy S22 at almost half the price.

With 5 years of software support included, decent internals, and attractive design there are few affordable smartphones going to offer quite as much for under $450. Initially, the Galaxy A53 5G might be a better buy given the screen and camera improvements but the Galaxy A33 5G still stacks up well and has no major downgrades – plus a cheaper entry price.

The Galaxy A53 5G goes on sale from April 1, 2022 at multiple retailers including direct from Samsung.com. Meanwhile, the Galaxy A33 5G will go on sale from April 22 at selected global retailers.

We’ll have a full review of the duo coming so stay tuned for our full verdict coming very soon. Let us know what you think of the Galaxy A33 5G and Galaxy A53 5G down in the comments section below.

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About the Author

Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter: @iamdamienwilde. Email: damien@9to5mac.com

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