Samsung launched the Galaxy M53 5G smartphone a couple of months back as the successor to last year’s Galaxy M52. The new model retains the 120Hz FHD+ AMOLED screen, and the 5000mAh battery, but replaces the 64MP camera with a 108MP camera and the Snapdragon 778G SoC is replaced by a MediaTek Dimensity 900 SoC. Is this a good phone for the price? Let us dive into the review to find out.
- Samsung Galaxy M53 5G smartphone 8GB RAM, 128GB storage version in Mystic Green colour
- USB Type-C to C Cable
- SIM ejector tool
- Quick Start Guide and Warranty information
The phone comes with a 6.7-inch Full HD+ Infinity-O Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1080×2400 pixels at about 392 PPI, aspect ratio of 20:9. The display looks bright, thanks to 420 nits brightness, offers good color reproduction and the sunlight legibility is good as well. Since it has an AMOLED panel, it offers true blacks. The screen is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5.
It has a 120Hz refresh rate screen that offers a fluid user experience with smoother animations, scrolling and gaming. Similar to the other Samsung phones, there is an Eye comfort shield that limit blue light emitted by the screen. There is also dark mode, which looks great on the AMOLED screen. You can choose from Vivid or Natural screen modes based on your preference, or set the white balance manually. The phone doesn’t have DC dimming or low brightness anti-flicker mode. However, I didn’t notice any screen flicker issues in low brightness on the phone.
It doesn’t have notification LED, but there is Always on display with tap to show option that shows the AOD screen for 10 seconds after you tap the screen. You can also set a schedule or set it to show always. There are a lot of options to choose from such as clocks, GIF or you can download any AOD from Themes section.
On the top, there is an 32-megapixel camera in the tiny punch-hole, and the earpiece is present on the top edge. The punch-hole is small and it is not intrusive.
Coming to the button placements and ports, there is no change compared to the predecessor. The power button that includes the fingerprint sensor and the volume rockers are present on the right side. The hybrid dual SIM slot is present on the left side. The secondary microphone is on the top. The primary microphone, USB Type-C port and the loudspeaker grill are on the bottom. It doesn’t have a 3.5mm audio jack. Since the sides have a plastic frame with a glossy finish, they attract fingerprints easily.
On the back, there is a quad camera module in a matrix arrangement. Even though the phone has a 6.7-inch screen, it is compact to hold. It is 7.4mm thick, same as the M52, but it weighs 176 grams, about 3 grams heavier. The phone has a plastic back with a matte finish that doesn’t attract fingerprints or smudges, but the plastic back is prone to scratches with day-to-day use, so you need to use a case, which is not provided in the box.
In addition to the Mystique Green colour variant that we have, the phone also comes in Deep Ocean Blue colour.
- 108MP rear camera with f/1.8 aperture,
- 8MP ultra-wide angle camera with f/2.2 aperture
- 2MP depth sensor with f/2.4 aperture
- 2MP macro cameras with f/2.4 aperture
- 32MP front camera with f/2.2 aperture
The camera UI is similar to other Samsung phones running Android 12 with OneUI 4.1. There is Pro mode, Pro video, single take, Night mode, Food mode, Panorama, Macro mode, Slow motion, super slow-mo and hyperlapse.
Coming to the image quality, daylight shots are good, and the camera captures a good amount of detail, creates well exposed photos with good dynamic range and detailing, and dynamic range can further be improved enabling HDR mode from the settings, which automatically turns on HDR when needed. Even though the phone has a 108-megapixel sensor, the final output has 12-megapixel resolution. Autofocus speeds are fast and accurate. Ultra-wide shots from the 8MP camera are good in daylight, but not the best in low-light.
There is a dedicated macro camera mode, which is just average. Live focus is decent in detecting the edges. Low-light performance is decent, but there is noise. This can be improved further with Night mode, but there is not much of a difference. 108-megapixel shots have good amount of details, but the colours are not vibrant. Images with flash is good and is not overpowering.
The 32-megapixel front camera is good. There is also a wide mode, similar to other Samsung phones. Software blur in the live focus mode has average edge detection.
Check out some camera samples.
It can record videos at maximum 4K resolution at 30 fps from both rear camera and 1080p 30 fps with front and ultra-wide cameras. You can switch between normal, ultra-wide and also between front and rear cameras when recording a video in a 1080p video. It can shoot slow motion at 720p and there is also super slow motion.
Software, UI and Apps
Coming to the software, the phone runs on Android 12, and it got May 2022 update recently. On the top of Android 12, it has the latest Samsung One UI 4.1, which brings several new features that include new theme options to configure home screens, icons, notifications, wallpapers and much more. There are also redesigned, upgraded widgets with deep customization, microphone and camera usage indicators and more. Samsung has confirmed 2 OS updates and 4 yeas of security updates for the phone.
The Device maintenance option lets you manage your device’s battery life, storage, RAM usage, and security all in one place. Out of 128GB storage in our unit, 105GB is free. Out of 6GB LPDDR4x RAM, about 5.2GB is usable and 3GB is free when default apps are running in the background. There is also a RAM Plus feature, which uses the internal memory of the phone to expand the RAM by an extra 6GB, in addition to the existing 6GB of RAM. This is enabled automatically. We got sequential read speeds of 861MB/s, so it should be UFS 2.2.
Apart from the usual set of utility apps and Google Apps, the smartphone comes with Amazon, Prime Video, Dailyhunt, Snapchat, Swiggy, PhonePe, BYJU’s, Truecaller, Netflix, and Microsoft Office, OneDrive, LinkedIn and Outlook apps. You get the option to install apps when you are setting up the phone, which you can choose not to. It also has Samsung Max, Samsung Pay mini, Secure Folder and Samsung Knox support. The phone doesn’t have ads, but shows notifications of new Samsung products occasionally.
Fingerprint sensor and Face unlock
The phone has a side-mounted fingerprint sensor that immediately unlocks the phone even when the phone is locked, even though it comes with an AMOLED screen. You can add up to 3 fingerprints, and adding fingerprint is easy. It has support for Face recognition, but we don’t recommend it. Both these are protected by Knox security.
Music Player and Multimedia
YouTube Music is the default music player. It has equalizer, Dolby Atmos, UHQ upscaler, and Adapt Sound that can be enabled from the settings. All these improve the audio when listening through earphones, and Dolby Atmos works only with earphones. It doesn’t have FM Radio support. That said, audio through earphones is good. Loudspeaker output from the mono speakers is decent.
The phone comes with Widevine L1 support out-of-the-box so that you can enjoy HD content on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar and other streaming apps. However, it doesn’t have HDR playback support on YouTube or Netflix.
Dual SIM and Connectivity
It has support for 5G SA with support for 12 5G Network Bands (N1,N3,N5,N7,N8,N20,N28,N66, N38,N40,N41,N78) in India. Other connectivity options include, Wi-Fi 802.11 ac (2.4GHz + 5GHz), Bluetooth v5.0 and GPS with GLONASS. It has support for USB OTG, but there is NFC support. It has 4G connectivity and has Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) and Wi-Fi Calling or Vo-Wi-Fi support for Reliance Jio, Airtel and more, and also has support for LTE-A or Carrier Aggregation.
The Galaxy M53’s 5G’s head SAR is at 1.31/Kg which is well under the limit in India which is 1.6 W/kg (over 1 g), but it’s a bit high compared to most other Samsung phones.
Performance and Benchmarks
It powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 900 6nm SoC, which was introduced last year. This has 2 x A78 CPUs clocked at up to 2.4GHz, 6x A55 CPUs clocked at up to 2GHz. It has Mali-G68 MC4 and up to 8GB LPDDR4X RAM.
The company doesn’t say if the phone has any kind of cooling. It gets a bit warm on intensive gaming and 4G data use, but it doesn’t get too hot to handle. We did not face any issues or frame drops in the graphic-intensive games like COD, BGMI and Genshin Impact. It reached maximum 42º in our testing indoors in Wi-Fi, but this might vary outdoors in 4G. That said, check out some synthetic benchmark scores below.
As you can see, Snapdragon 778G offers slightly better performance compared to Dimensity 900 powered Galaxy M53.
The Galaxy M53 retains the 5000mAh battery which lasts for the whole day even with heavy use. I got over 6 hours of screen on time with my daily use mostly on Wi-Fi and occasionally on 4G with 2 days of use in 120Hz refresh rate. Adaptive battery saving and other options will let you increase the battery life, but the performance might be affected.
Samsung doesn’t offer a charger in the box, but the phone supports 25W charging. With the official 25W fast charger, it takes about 1 and half hour for 0 to 100%, and 0 to 50% took about 40 minutes.
Overall, the Galaxy M53 5G is the decent mid-range 5G smartphone from Samsung in the M series, but this is not a value-for-money successor compared to the Galaxy M52. Even though this has the same 120Hz AMOLED display, and offers good battery life, the performance, especially the gaming performance of Dimenisty 900 is not on par with the 778G in the predecessor.
The POCO X4 Pro 5G is a good alternative in the price range, with a more powerful Snapdragon 870 SoC. The Samsung Galaxy M52, which is still selling at a discounted rate of Rs. 20,999 is a good alternative.
The Samsung Galaxy M53 5G is priced at Rs. 26,499 for 6GB+128GB and Rs. 28,499 for 8GB+128GB variant. You can get it from Samsung.com, retail stores and Amazon.in. Samsung provides a cashback worth Rs. 2500 with ICICI Bank Credit cards and offers 25W Travel Adapter worth Rs. 1299 at Rs. 299 when you buy it with the phone on its site.
- 120Hz AMOLED display is good
- Good cameras
- Good performance
- Good battery life
- Average low-light camera performance
- Lacks NFC and Wi-Fi 6 present in M52
- Not a powerful processor for gaming compared to M52