The new king of the budget? – Phandroid
With the Pixel 6a just weeks away from making its presence felt in people’s hands, it’s inevitable that comparisons will be made to current mid-range competitors in the market, especially as buyers try to assess the pros and cons of going with different handsets and price ranges. An example would be Samsung’s “A” series devices, which have been one of the company’s most popular smartphones due to their generally affordable prices.
That said, the pixel 6a will arrive in a market populated by mid-rangers such as the Samsung Galaxy A53, which comes with cool features like a 120Hz AMOLED display, 5000mAh battery, and more. So for this one, let’s take a look at both devices, as we compare some key differences.
Design and screen
Let’s start with the outside – the Pixel 6a and the Galaxy A53 are two very different handsets. While they look similar from the front thanks to the centralized punch-hole camera and rectangular design, the rest of their external styling is rather different.
Samsung’s 2022 mid-range takes a similar design approach to the rest of the company’s Android phones, with a matte texture on the back panel, surrounded by a frame with a glossier polycarbonate surface and a camera module that closely resembles what we’ve seen on Samsung’s recent flagship devices. The phone is also available in blue, black, white and peach colors.
On the other hand, Google’s Pixel 6a carries over from the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro series and features a very similar design except for the somewhat slimmed-down camera bar on the back. While it features a glossy plastic rear, it also comes with a metal side railing that wraps around the edges of the phone and the camera window. The phone is available in sage, chalk and charcoal.
When it comes to display quality, the Galaxy A53 comes with a 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, which in terms of smoothness and fluidity outperforms the smaller 6-inch OLED panel. .1 inches of the Pixel 6a, which sadly only comes with 60Hz. standard on the small screen.
Additionally, the Galaxy A53 comes with Gorilla Glass 5 protection, which is a step up from the older Gorilla Glass 3 technology found on the Pixel 6a.
Processing power and software
Perhaps one area where the Pixel 6a trumps the Galaxy A53 is with its chipset. Both phones feature proprietary chipsets developed by their respective companies – the Pixel 6a comes with Google’s Tensor chip, while the Galaxy A53 features Samsung’s Exynos 1280. Both 5nm chipsets are relatively “new” so to speak, as the Tensor made its debut. end of 2021 on the Pixel 6 series, while the Exynos 1280 was first seen on the Galaxy A53 and A33 handsets. Additionally, both chipsets run on 6GB of RAM, which isn’t exactly a small amount of memory, so to speak.
Performance-wise, the Tensor chip outperforms the 1280, given that it was responsible for powering the Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. Although the Exynos 1280 in comparison isn’t very capable, it’s clearly designed for mid-range performance. If the Geekbench scores are anything to go by, it’s worth noting that the Google Tensor received a single-core score of 1045 and a multi-core score of 2869, which tops the single-core score of 1280 by 721 and multi-core. score of 1879, respectively.
Another factor to consider is the built-in software – the slower Exynos 1280 will have to power Samsung’s One UI, which isn’t exactly the cleanest, most bloat-free version of Android. Meanwhile, the Google Tensor chip will most likely squeeze through the Pixel’s cleaner UI, though it goes without saying that Google’s Pixel software still needs a bit of cleaning up of occasional bugs and glitches.
Software and user interface
Speaking of software, there are considerable differences when it comes to how Samsung and Google approach Android as an operating system. Simply put, Google’s Pixel phones run a “cleaner” Android interface – that means no additional third-party apps are available and all the software and features you get come directly from Google. As there is no bloatware, the phone performs well overall.
On the other hand, Samsung is putting its own spin on Android through its “One UI” user interface. While all the Google services needed to run Android are there in the background, the animations, colors, icons, and functionality, for example, are a bit different. Samsung essentially takes Android and its software features, and adds a signature “Samsung look” to them – everything from fonts to wallpapers has been tweaked.
For example, while you can take screenshots on the Pixel via the multitasking menu, Samsung will let you take a screenshot by swiping your hand to the side of the screen. It’s these subtle changes that give each phone its identity. Of course, this is all a subjective matter, and personal preference will no doubt be the biggest judge here.
In terms of battery capacity, the Galaxy A53 has an edge over the Pixel 6a with the large 5,000mAh capacity, compared to the latter’s 4,410mAh battery. Given the less powerful processing power, the battery should ideally be able to last quite a long time before needing to be recharged. However, there is also the fact that the phone comes with a 120Hz display, which tends to affect battery performance.
Interestingly enough, the Pixel 6a takes things the other way by offering a lower refresh rate display paired with a powerful processor. Pixel’s A-series phones are known for their battery efficiency, and after experiencing it first-hand, I’m really looking forward to seeing how the 6a fares in terms of battery longevity.
The Galaxy A53 also supports 25W fast charging, which is faster than the Pixel 6a’s 18W fast charging capability.
On a strict hardware basis, the Samsung Galaxy A53 has the beat of the Pixel 6a. The phone has a quad camera array on the rear, with a 64 MP, f/1.8 main sensor, 12 MP, f/2.2 ultra wide lens, 5 MP, f/2.4 macro lens and 5 MP, f/2.4 depth sensor. The front of the device meanwhile comes with a 32MP front camera for selfies and video calling.
If we were to base camera quality solely on megapixel count, then the Galaxy A53 is a very capable device. The four cameras certainly offer plenty of variety and versatility when it comes to mobile photography, and Samsung has proven that its camera quality has improved, especially with its newer devices – specifically, video footage on phones Samsung tend to be superb.
On the other hand, the Pixel 6a is content with a more “humble” hardware configuration. You get a dual-lens setup on the back, with a 12.2MP main camera and a 12MP ultra-wide lens, and an 8MP front camera embedded in a punch-hole display.
Don’t let that fool you, though. Google’s mastery of computational photography makes up for the lack of megapixels, as we’ve seen on previous Pixel A-series devices like the Pixel 3a, 4a, and more. Special photo modes such as Night Sight, Portrait mode, etc. provide a very user-friendly mobile photography experience, and you would be surprised how well the Pixel handles images despite the low megapixel count.
When it comes to cameras, it comes down to whether you’re looking for raw hardware specs or image processing capabilities.
Price and availability
The Pixel 6a and Galaxy A53 have the same retail price of $449 in the US. As we mentioned earlier in this article, many choices for these two devices will depend on personal needs and preferences, such as display quality, battery size, performance, and more.
Clearly both phones win out in some aspects, with their own strengths and weaknesses, and people looking to switch from Samsung to Google, or Google to Samsung, or an entirely different brand, will have to decide whether ‘they can leave behind what made them stick with their favorite brands in the first place.
What do you think? Is the Google Pixel 6a the mid-range one to get this year, or is the Galaxy A53 an overall better device? Let us know in the comments below.