Samsung Galaxy A53 5G vs Google Pixel 6a: Which should you buy?


samsung galaxy a53 lock screen

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

It’s tougher than ever to decide on the best $450 smartphone you can buy. Not for a lack of options, but rather because the options have become so good. Samsung followed its popular Galaxy A52 with a refined Galaxy A53, while Google’s upcoming Pixel 6a sports a whole new look. Both have their own claims to fame, but you can only put one in your pocket at any given time. Let’s stack the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G vs Google Pixel 6a to see which one is right for you.

Check out more affordable phones: The best budget Android phones to buy


Samsung Galaxy A53 5G vs Google Pixel 6a

Design and display

Google IO 2022 pixel 6a green front back

As far as the overall design goes, these two smartphones couldn’t be more different. The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G is almost indistinguishable from the Galaxy A52 before it. It packs a corner-mounted camera array that fades into the matte plastic back panel and a glossy plastic frame that’s meant to look like metal.

Google’s Pixel 6a, on the other hand, is easy to pick out as the smallest member of the Pixel 6 family. The large camera bar is its defining feature, and it splits the thermoformed composite back panel in two. Of course, that also means Google is back with two-toned finishes, but we’ll come back to those later. Google also holds a slight edge in the durability department, given that its affordable mid-ranger offers an aluminum frame rather than plastic.

The Galaxy A53 5G feels traditional, while the Pixel 6a embraces Google’s bold design direction.

There are also a few design features that the Google Pixel 6a and Samsung Galaxy A53 5G share — some for the better, some for the worse. Both devices offer a reliable IP67 rating against water and dust, a feature that’s become common for the price point. Unfortunately, both Google and Samsung also decided it was time to ditch the headphone jack.

Moving around to the front of the phones, the Pixel 6a and Galaxy A53 5G could almost be considered twins. They sport Full HD+ OLED panels (both with 1,080 x 2,400 resolutions). The phones also share 20:9 aspect ratios and central-mounted punch hole selfie cameras. However, Samsung gets the edge in terms of size — 6.5 inches compared to Google’s 6.1 inches. The Galaxy A53 also offers a much smoother refresh rate at 120Hz instead of the Pixel’s 60Hz rate. One final difference to note is Samsung’s use of tougher Gorilla Glass 5 instead of the Gorilla Glass 3 on the Pixel 6a.

Learn more: What to know about Gorilla Glass

Hardware and cameras

samsung galaxy a53 cameras

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Despite their differences, Google and Samsung seem to agree that the secret to processing is in-house. Both the Galaxy A53 5G and Pixel 6a feature first-party SoCs, but not all chipsets are created equal. Samsung brought its Exynos 1280 to the Galaxy A53, marking the first time we’ve seen an Exynos chip in the US in a few years. The Google Pixel 6a, however, packs the same premium Tensor chip that you’ll find on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. It also adds the Titan M2 security chip, another new feature from the Pixel 6 duo.

Google’s Pixel 6a comes in a single configuration with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of fixed storage. It’s the same approach as the Pixel 5a before it, and not really a surprise. The Samsung Galaxy A53, however, offers more configurations than most people need. It ranges from 4GB of RAM up to 8GB, and you can pair it with up to 256GB of expandable storage. Unsurprisingly, the 6GB and 8GB configurations are the most readily available.

As the smaller of the two phones, it’s not a surprise to see the Pixel 6a offer a smaller battery. It packs a 4,410mAh cell with 18W wired charging and USB Power Delivery 3.0. Samsung tapped a larger 5,000mAh cell to keep the lights on and offers quicker 25W wired charging. Neither device carries wireless charging capabilities, though that likely comes down to the plastic constructions. You’ll get a USB-C charging cable with both devices, but don’t expect a charging block — it’s been axed from both sides.

Samsung’s beefy battery and quicker charging are built to last, but the Pixel 6a should sip power thanks to its smaller 60Hz display.

Let’s flip back to the cameras, seeing as they’re one of the biggest differences between the Galaxy A53 and the Pixel 6a. The Galaxy A53 5G hasn’t switched from the powerful quad-camera setup of its predecessor. That means you’ll get a 64MP primary shooter that bins to 16MP by default, a 12MP ultrawide, and 5MP macro and depth sensors. It also offers a 32MP selfie camera that bins to 8MP out of the box.

Over on the Pixel 6a, you’re looking at a bit of a hybrid approach. It resurrects the 12.2MP wide camera that powered the Pixel 4, Pixel 5, and Pixel 5a, and pairs it with the upgraded 12MP ultrawide from the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. No, it might not be the most updated lens, but it’s hard to argue against the results the older Pixels achieved with Google’s remarkable processing power. We’ll have to wait and see how the camera pairing performs, but at least the Pixel 6a will support premium camera features like Face Unblur, Real Tone, and Magic Eraser.

See also: The best camera phones you can buy

Price and colors

  • Samsung Galaxy A53 (6GB, 128GB): $449
  • Samsung Galaxy A53 (8GB, 256GB): $559
  • Google Pixel 6a (6GB, 128GB): $449

Google kept things pretty simple with its Pixel 6a configurations — there’s only one. You can put 6GB of RAM and 128GB of fixed storage in your pocket for just $449. There’s no passing go, no collecting other options, but you do have your choice of a few different colors this time. The Pixel 6a will come in Sage, Chalk, and Charcoal once it’s available for pre-order.

Save some cash: The best Google Pixel deals | The best Samsung Galaxy deals

Google’s new Sage finish is a callback to the Pixel 5 with a little bit of Pixel 6 flare. It’s a two-toned finish, rocking a lighter shade of green above the camera bar. Chalk and Charcoal are two-toned as well, with Chalk combining white and light gray while Charcoal blends black and dark gray, something like the Pixel 6’s Stormy Black.

Google IO 2022 pixel 6a colors

The Google Pixel 6a will be available for pre-order on July 21, 2022, with wider availability on July 28. It will be available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, the UK, and the US. Google has also announced that the Pixel 6a will arrive in India later in 2022.

Over on the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G, you have a little more freedom to choose the phone to meet your needs. The most popular configurations are the 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage for $449 and the 8GB and 256GB version for $559. Either way, you also get expandable storage, which means you can boost your mid-range phone with up to 1TB of storage space.

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G Black

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

A well-rounded mid-ranger with plenty of support

Samsung’s latest Galaxy A50 series phone is more of an evolution over the A52 5G rather than a revolution. The Galaxy A53 5G brings familiar features like a quad rear camera system, IP67 rating, and 25W charging. But you also get welcome upgrades like a 5,000mAh battery, Exynos 1280 SoC, four years of OS updates, and five years of security updates.

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G vs Google Pixel 6a: Specs

Google Pixel 6a Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

Display

Google Pixel 6a

6.1-inch OLED
20:9 aspect ratio
FHD+ resolution
1080 x 2400
429ppi
60Hz refresh rate
HDR support
24-bit depth
Gorilla Glass 3

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

6.5-inch Super AMOLED
Flat display
20:9 aspect ratio
FHD+ resolution (2,400 x 1,080)
120Hz refresh rate

Processor

Google Pixel 6a

Google Tensor

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

Exynos 1280

RAM

Google Pixel 6a

6GB LPDDR5

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

6GB or 8GB

Internal storage

Google Pixel 6a

128GB
UFS 3.1

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

128GB or 256GB
MicroSD card support

Battery and power

Google Pixel 6a

4,410mAh
18W fast charging
USB-C 3.1 gen 1

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

5,000mAh battery
25W wired charging
No charger in box

Cameras

Google Pixel 6a

Rear:
– 12.2 MP dual pixel wide camera, 1.4μm, ƒ/1.7, 77-degree FoV, 1/2.55-inch, OIS/EIS

– 12MP ultrawide, 1.25μm, ƒ/2.2 aperture, 114-degree FoV

Front:
– 8MP single, 1.12μm, ƒ/2.0, fixed focus, 84-degree FoV

Magic Eraser
Real Tone
Face Unblur
Night Sight
Super Res Zoom up to 7

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

Rear:
– 64MP wide (0.8μm, ƒ1.8, 26mm)
– 12MP ultrawide (1.12μm, ƒ2.2, 123-degree FoV)
– 5MP macro (ƒ2.4)
– 5MP depth (ƒ2.4)

Front:
– 32MP wide (ƒ2.2, 26mm)

Video

Google Pixel 6a

Rear:
4K at 30/60FPS
1080p at 30/60FPS

Front:
1080p at 30FPS

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

Rear:
– 4K at 30fps
– 1080p at 30/60fps

Front:
– 4K at 30fps
– 1080p at 30fps

Audio

Google Pixel 6a

Stereo speakers
Dual mics
Bluetooth 5.2
No 3.5mm port

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

Stereo speakers

Security

Google Pixel 6a

In-display fingerprint
Titan M2 chip
5 years security updates

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

Optical under-display fingerprint sensor

Water resistance

Google Pixel 6a

IP67

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

IP67

Connectivity

Google Pixel 6a

Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
Wi-Fi 6E (6GHz)
Bluetooth 5.2
NFC support
Dual SIM (single nano-SIM and eSIM)
Google Cast
GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, BeiDou

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

5G (sub-6GHz)
Wi-Fi 5 (a/b/g/n/ac)
Bluetooth 5.1
NFC support

Software

Google Pixel 6a

Android 12
Pixel UI

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

Android 12
One UI 4.1

Dimensions and weight

Google Pixel 6a

152.2 x 71.8 x 8.9mm
178g

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

159.6 x 74.8 x 8.1mm
189g

Colors

Google Pixel 6a

Sage, Chalk, Charcoal

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

Awesome Black, Awesome White, Awesome Blue, Awesome Peach

In-box contents

Google Pixel 6a

1-m USB-C to USB-C cable (USB 2.0)
Quick start guide
Quick Switch adaptor
SIM tool

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

1-m USB-C to USB-C cable
Start guide
SIM ejector tool

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G vs Google Pixel 6a: Which should you buy?

Google IO 2022 pixel 6a green

We’ve established that you’re ready to drop $450 on your next phone, but now it’s time to decide which way you want to go. It’s a tougher choice than ever, given that both the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G and Google Pixel 6a offer impressive and well-rounded setups. We’ve already ruled out the price as a deciding factor, so you’ll have to look at the specifics when making a decision.

Google’s Pixel 6a has the edge when it comes to processing power as well as imaging potential. The Tensor chip is right at home on flagship devices, while Samsung’s Exynos 1280 doesn’t always bring a solid counterpunch. Samsung packed more megapixels in its four sensors, but Real Tone and Magic Eraser are tough to argue against. We’ve also seen Google’s simpler camera setup deliver top-notch results over the last few years. However, Samsung has an easy advantage in terms of display size, refresh rate, battery size, and charging.

Both Google and Samsung have their advantages, but it’s tough to land on a clear winner.

Ultimately, your decision might come down to which software experience you prefer. Google offers a somewhat vague commitment of five years of Pixel updates for the 6a. It doesn’t clarify whether this covers security patches and full version updates or only security patches. The Galaxy A53 5G, however, offers four years of Android version updates with five years of security patches. Google’s Pixel 6a also runs the light and customizable Pixel UI, while the Galaxy A53 5G arrives with One UI 4.1 and its extra features and creature comforts.

Do more research: Samsung Galaxy A buyer’s guide | Google Pixel 6a buyer’s guide

It would be unfair not to mention that the Google Pixel 6 sits just $150 above the Pixel 6a. The Pixel 6 is a true flagship, with extra RAM and a 50MP primary camera for not that much more money, so it could be your best bet if you can afford it.

So, which way have you decided to go? Let us know who wins your Samsung Galaxy A53 5G vs Google Pixel 6a battle below.

Will you buy the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G or Google Pixel 6a?

18 votes



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