When Apple unveiled the updated iPhone SE last week, the response was… mixed. While some have praised Apple’s efforts to bring the latest A15 Bionic processor and 5G connectivity into the cheapest phone, others (myself included) have cited the outdated design and clunky display as cause for concern.
Luckily, Samsung is here to show Apple how it’s done. The company today unveiled new models in its affordable Galaxy A-series lineup, including the £399 A53 5G, which is a close competitor to Apple’s £419/$429 iPhone SE.
It hardly needs to be pointed out that all Android phones at this price point offer better looking designs and better screens than the iPhone SE, but what sets the Galaxy A53 apart is that it also plays to Apple’s traditional strengths by packing flagship luxuries like like stereo speakers. , IP67 waterproof and long-term software support.
In a sense, this is nothing new. Compare the Galaxy A53 5G to last year’s A52 5G and you won’t notice too many differences. The design has been changed to make the phone slightly thinner and include a curved camera module reminiscent of the much more expensive Oppo Find X5 Pro.
Not only does this camera itself offer an ultra wide-angle lens, but it also includes optical image stabilization (OIS) for the main lens, meaning the A53 could be a pretty decent camera for night photography. Since the iPhone SE lacks any sort of night mode, the camera comparison doesn’t even seem fair.
The A53 has a 6.5-inch 120Hz AMOLED display with FHD+ resolution. It beats the SE’s screen in every possible way, but thanks to the thin bezels, the phone itself is only slightly larger than what Apple offers.
There’s an upgraded chipset here in the form of Samsung’s own Exynos 1280. As it debuts in these new A series phones, and the fact that I only used the phone for 15 minutes, we don’t know too much. his possibilities. But it’s unlikely to match the A15 Bionic iPhone SE, the same chip used in the iPhone 13 series and certainly a big attraction.
Samsung has installed a larger battery than the A52. The 5,000 mAh battery promises two days of use for the A53 – far more than the measly 15 hours of video playback that Apple promises in its new SE. The 25W charging is much faster than Apple’s 20W speed, though Samsung hasn’t squeezed into the wireless charging that Apple has made room for.
At this point, Apple’s defenders are likely to point to the company’s trump card: software support. Apple can’t match here – while it doesn’t promise specific periods of support for its devices, it’s reported that the latest iOS 15.4 can be installed on the original iPhone SE, released back in March 2016, not to mention the iPhone 6s. and 6s Plus a few months before.
But Samsung is encroaching on Cupertino territory here too. Earlier this year, the company announced that its flagship devices, including the recent S22 series, will receive Android version updates for four years with security patches for the fifth year – a promise even Google can’t beat right now.
However, the company does it better by extending the same promise to the A53 and even the £329 Galaxy A33. This means that these phones will receive updates to Android 13, 14, 15 and – in theory – 16. They will still receive security patches in 2027.
So yes, if you want to keep using the same phone for six years or more, then Apple is still the way to go. But if you think that four or five years is long enough to use the same hardware, then Samsung’s offer is no worse now.
The curious thing about the Galaxy A53 vs. iPhone SE comparison is that the SE’s only real advantages are its more powerful processor and wireless charging support. But when you ask who the SE is for, perhaps the most common answer is that it’s for older users, those who don’t want to give up the Home button and learn new ways to use their phone.
But does your grandmother really need the fastest silicon in any smartphone right now? Does your grandfather have Qi chargers scattered around the house for wireless charging? Wouldn’t they benefit from a larger, higher resolution display that is easier to read? You know how in the A53 – or in any affordable Android phone on the market.
Leveraging Apple’s strengths – waterproofing, software support, camera features – Samsung has proven it can offer all of these features in an affordable phone without sacrificing design or display.
Just nine days after launch, Samsung has hammered the final nail in the iPhone SE 2022’s coffin, highlighting the fact that this is a phone that only an Apple obsessive could love.