In the budget smartphone market, there are several options available, with multiple brands competing for a place in your pocket. Realme, OPPO, Vivo, and Xiaomi are known for offering the best devices in this category. However, when it comes to North America, these brands have a limited presence, leaving budget-conscious buyers with fewer options from established brands. Samsung and Apple are two of the few brands that fill this gap with reliable devices, albeit with different approaches. In this article, we will compare the $450 Samsung Galaxy A53 and the $429 iPhone SE (2022), focusing on their design, display, processors, camera hardware, and battery life.
Design and Display
When comparing the design of the iPhone SE (2022) and the Galaxy A53, it is clear that both phones have designs that signify they are from different eras of smartphones. The Galaxy A53 features a design similar to current-generation devices, with thin bezels and a hole punch for the front camera. On the other hand, the iPhone SE continues with the blueprint set by the iPhone 8, which follows along the line of the iPhone 6. In terms of build materials, the Galaxy A53 uses a plastic frame and back panel with a matte finish, while the iPhone SE maintains Apple's quality standards with its glass and aluminum sandwich build.
Focusing on the displays, the Galaxy A53 boasts a 6.5-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. This device offers deep blacks and a contrasty look, which makes it stand out compared to the lower-resolution 4.7-inch LCD display of the iPhone SE. The Galaxy A53's display holds its own even when compared to flagship or $700 smartphones.
While the Galaxy A53 outshines the iPhone SE in most departments, the processor housed inside the devices is an area where they differ significantly. The iPhone SE features the same A15 Bionic chip found in the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini, giving it a performance advantage that the mid-range Exynos 1280 in the Galaxy A53 cannot match. The Exynos chipset in the Galaxy A53 brings some marginal improvements over the previous generation, but it still falls short of the A15 Bionic's capabilities. If you prioritize a device that handles multitasking with ease and won't slow down over years of use, the iPhone SE is the better pick.
The camera hardware is an essential aspect to consider when choosing between the Samsung Galaxy A53 and the iPhone SE. The Galaxy A53 comes with a quad-camera array, including a 64MP wide sensor and a 12MP ultra-wide unit. It also features a 5MP depth sensor and a 5MP macro camera, which offer additional versatility. On the front, it has a 32MP sensor for selfies. The iPhone SE, on the other hand, has a simpler setup with a single 12MP wide camera on the back and a 7MP front-facing camera. While both devices perform well for their price range, the Galaxy A53's feature-rich camera system, including a capable Night Mode, makes it the better choice for photography enthusiasts. However, the iPhone SE offers some new camera features enabled by the flagship A15 Bionic chip, such as Photographic Styles and Smart HDR 4.
In terms of battery life, the Galaxy A53 stands out due to its larger size and a 5000mAh battery. This device is designed to last through an entire day of use, thanks to its power-efficient processor and decent-sized FHD+ screen. On the other hand, the iPhone SE comes with a 2018mAh battery, which is an improvement over its predecessor but may only be sufficient for light users. Users who extensively use their devices may find the iPhone SE's battery life to be less impressive compared to the Galaxy A53.
In conclusion, the Samsung Galaxy A53 and the iPhone SE (2022) offer different strengths and cater to different user preferences. The Galaxy A53 is a device that modernizes the budget segment, offering a combination of hardware that aims to strike a balance between price and specifications. It features a decent display, a set of capable cameras, and a battery that can last through a day of use. However, it compromises on the processor front and may not offer the same long-term usability as the iPhone SE. We recommend the Galaxy A53 for those who are looking for a device that will be put through rigorous use for a couple of years before being replaced with a successor or better alternative.
On the other hand, the iPhone SE is the device to choose if you need a phone that fits seamlessly into the Apple ecosystem. It serves as a reliable tool for making calls, staying in touch with family, and taking occasional photos. The iPhone SE's design appeals to those who prefer the classic iPhone look and feel, and its performance advantage with the A15 Bionic chip ensures smooth multitasking. It is the perfect upgrade for individuals who are not accustomed to the all-screen design introduced with the iPhone X and seek a device that will last for years without needing frequent replacements.
Here are the technical specifications of the Samsung Galaxy A53 and the iPhone SE (2022) for a quick comparison:
Samsung Galaxy A53:
- Operating System: One UI 4.1 based on Android 12
- Dimensions: 159.6 x 74.8 x 8.1mm
- Weight: 189g
- Display: 6.5-inch, FHD+ (1080 x 2400) Super AMOLED Display, 120Hz
- Processor: Exynos 1280
- RAM & ROM: 6GB RAM with 128GB
- Expandable Storage: Yes (up to 1TB)
- Rear Cameras: 64MP wide, 12MP ultra-wide, 5MP depth, 5MP macro
- Front Camera: 32MP
- Security: Optical Fingerprint Scanner
- Connectivity: 5G, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.1
- Ports: USB-C
- Battery: 5000mAh with 25W wired charging
- Water Resistance: IP67
- Colors: Black, Blue, Peach, White
- Price: $449.99
iPhone SE (2022):
- Operating System: iOS 15
- Dimensions: 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3mm
- Weight: 144g
- Display: 4.7-inch, Retina HD (750 x 1334) LCD, 60Hz
- Processor: A15 Bionic
- RAM & ROM: 4GB RAM with 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB
- Expandable Storage: No
- Rear Camera: 12MP wide
- Front Camera: 7MP
- Security: Fingerprint Scanner
- Connectivity: 5G, Wi‑Fi 6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.0
- Ports: Lightning Connector
- Battery: 2018mAh with 50% charge in up to 30 minutes using a 20W USB-C adapter or higher, Qi wireless charging
- Water Resistance: IP67
- Colors: Black, Starlight, Midnight
- Price: $429 (64GB), $479 (128GB), $579 (256GB)
In conclusion, both the Samsung Galaxy A53 and the iPhone SE (2022) offer compelling features and cater to different user preferences. Consider your priorities, such as design, display, camera capabilities, processor performance, and battery life, to make the right choice that suits your needs and budget.