Samsung Galaxy A53 vs iPhone SE 3: Sorry Apple fans, it’s not soon

Samsung Galaxy A53 and Apple iPhone SE
Apple and Samsung have rolled out mid-range updates to their smartphone lineup over the past two weeks, iPhone SE and Galaxy A53/A33, respectively. Looking closely at the MSRPs (and ignoring any promotions), the entry cost is similar across the board. This raises the question, is there a better value proposition there should be? The answer is yes, and it’s not even close – Samsung brought in its own A-game and Apple, well, did what Apple does (it’s skimped on).

Before iOS believers bust out their rusty pitchforks and fuel-fuelled flamethrowers, you have to understand that this is a comparison of the specs and what each phone has to offer for the money. And if he looked Just On the spec sheet, it’s clear that the Galaxy A53 and even the Galaxy A33 bring a lot more to the mid-range phone market than the latest generation iPhone SE.

lets take alook…

Apple iPhone SE, Galaxy A53 and Galaxy A33 specification table

Note that the above chart compares the basic configuration. The iPhone SE is also available in 128GB ($479) and 256GB ($579) configurations, while the Galaxy A53 and A33 can both be purchased with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Additionally, Samsung only announced UK pricing for the Galaxy A33, so it remains to be seen if it will ship in the US.

Those compromises out of the way, the iPhone SE and A33 are roughly tied to pricing at the cost of the entry point, while the Galaxy A53 is a bit higher at $449.

Comparison of Display and Cameras

Samsung Galaxy A53 cameras

Starting with the screen, the iPhone SE has the smallest of the bunch with a 4.7-inch IPS screen, 1334 x 750 resolution and 90Hz refresh rate. The Galaxy A53 and A33 are significantly larger at 6.5 inches and 6.4 inches respectively, and both feature an OLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate.

Whether you’ll actually notice a difference between 90Hz and 120Hz on a smartphone is debatable, but there’s no doubt that Samsung uses an overall superior panel for its mid-range phones. The extra volume also translates to higher resolutions on Galaxy phones.

This is a win for Samsung, although I should note that there are people who prefer the smaller form factor. The iPhone SE is a compact phone, and if that’s what you’re after, the Galaxy phones’ features might not matter much.

The same can’t be said of the camera arrangement, though. Samsung beats Apple on both the front and back with a 32MP (Galaxy A53) and 13MP (Galaxy A33) selfie camera compared to the 7MP on the iPhone SE, and the quad-camera arrangement on the back versus the 12MP shooter on the iPhone SE. Taking photos would tell the whole story, but we’d be amazed if both Galaxy phones didn’t produce better photos in a variety of environments.

Processor, RAM, Storage and Battery

Apple iPhone SE
The only place where the iPhone SE has the advantage of clear specs is in the processor. The A15 Bionic (also found in the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro) is a powerful processor and, more often than not, will beat the Exynos 1280 SoC inside the Galaxy A53 and A33.

Outside of the processor, though, the Galaxy A53 and A33 pick up the slack with more RAM (6GB to 8GB versus 4GB) and storage (128GB to 256GB versus 64GB). As much as I like my iPhone models (currently clinging to my old iPhone XS Max), I’ve always regretted Apple skipping RAM, especially when I’m running multiple programs open – iPhone apps sometimes get to a point where they’ll update themselves completely when toggling back and forth because they have been deleted from RAM. This is annoying.

The same goes for trivial storage. This is 2022 and having only 64GB of onboard storage is disappointing. This would be excused for a budget phone, and while the iPhone SE is the least expensive iPhone model in Apple’s lineup, it requires mid-range bucks. The starting point should be really 128GB.

Samsung got the memo, because both the Galaxy A53 and Galaxy A33 start with 128GB of storage. It’s also expandable, via a microSD card slot.

Then there is battery life. We’ll need to do some testing, but Samsung promises two days of battery life on the Galaxy A53 and Galaxy A33. However, it is not clear in which scenario users might see this kind of longevity. Apple is more transparent in its claims about battery life, saying that the iPhone SE will last up to 15 hours of video playback (or 10 hours in the case of streaming) and up to 50 hours (two days) of audio playback.

So what is the bottom line? From a pure value standpoint (bang for buck), there’s no reason to consider the iPhone SE over the Galaxy A53 or, if you can get your hands on it, the Galaxy A33. Samsung’s latest mid-range phones simply offer more for the same money – an OLED display, a faster refresh rate, more RAM, more storage, expandable storage, and a more powerful camera setup.

Of course, in reality, it does not necessarily have to be cut and dried. If you invest in the iOS ecosystem or prefer it to Android, there is value to this preference. Same goes for someone in the market for a small phone – 6.5 inches and 6.4 inches, and the Galaxy A53 and Galaxy A33 are quite large. So despite our potentially inflammatory headline, buy what works for you and don’t worry about what people say online.