- The Samsung Galaxy M53 5G is powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 900 SoC.
- The smartphone comes with a 108MP main camera and a 5,000mAh battery.
- It flaunts a sAMOLED+ display with a 120Hz refresh rate.
Samsung revamped its affordable and mid-range smartphone portfolio by launching the Galaxy A-series and M-series in 2019 as an answer to rising competition from Chinese smartphone brands. The M-series smartphones are available via online-only channels in India. Battery capacity as a differentiator with “Monster” as a tagline, and multi-band 5G support on the latest smartphones, the M-series has been quite popular among consumers. Since its launch in 2019, Samsung has shipped over 40 million Galaxy M-series smartphones, according to our Monthly Model Shipment Tracker.
The recently launched Samsung Galaxy M53 5G brings some key improvements over its predecessor, the Galaxy M52 5G. It is the first smartphone in the segment to come with a 108MP primary camera sensor. The smartphone also supports 12 5G bands, and Auto Data switching among other features. Offered in two variants, both offering base storage of 128GB, the 6GB RAM variant is priced at around $330, whereas the 8GB RAM variant is priced at around $360.
Unlike competitors in this segment, Samsung is not offering crazy fast charging speeds or even bundling a fast charger in the box. So, does multi-band 5G support and a 108MP main camera, among other features make the Samsung Galaxy M53 5G a good challenger?
Below is our detailed analysis after using the smartphone for over two months.
Design and Finish: Lightweight and Sturdy
The Galaxy M53 5G comes with a very basic design, featuring a polycarbonate shell and plastic back. The back has a gradient finish, and it shines as light falls on it from different angles. Though, it would have been better if Samsung had focused on offering an even more attractive CMF to stand out from the competition. One good thing about the Galaxy M53 5G is that Samsung has offered a matte finish at the back, which prevents fingerprint smudges and makes the device less slippery in hand.
The Galaxy M53 5G weighs only 176 grams, which is good considering its 5,000mAh battery. Competitors having similar battery capacity weigh above 190 grams. Even Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge 5G with a 4,500mAh battery and polycarbonate shell weighs more than 200 grams.
Construction-wise, the device is solid and feels good in the hand. The volume rocker and power button (which also integrates a fingerprint sensor) are on the right. If you are right-handed the power button is easily accessible and within the thumb’s reach. But volume buttons are a little bit of a struggle to reach. Also, if you are left-handed, you’ll need to register one of your fingers to unlock the smartphone or rely on the face unlock feature, which is also quite fast in unlocking.
Display: Multimedia Entertainer
The smartphone comes with a 6.7-inch display featuring full HD+ resolution. It is a Super AMOLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate which does a good job of producing vivid colors, deep blacks, and bright whites. The 120Hz refresh rate option is set by default and there is an option to switch to 60Hz for battery-saving purposes. However, there is no option for an adaptive refresh rate, which is something that Samsung can focus on providing in the M53 successor.
Streaming TV shows on OTT platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video offers a good viewing experience. I watched popular shows like Stranger Things, and I was happy with the picture quality. While the display quality is good for content consumption, readability under bright sunlight could have been better with slightly higher nits for brightness levels. Features like the Eye comfort Shield to limit blue light and use warm colors are a good addition. It causes less strain to the eyes, especially now when we consume more content.
One UI with Android 12: Smooth and Functional
Software and security updates are key areas where Samsung is trying to differentiate itself from the competition. Samsung is promising two years of major Android software updates and four years of security updates, which is a good thing considering the long-term usability of the device. It also puts Samsung ahead of the competition in its price range.
The Galaxy M53 5G ships with Android 12 and Samsung’s One UI 4.1 out of the box. It comes preloaded with some bloatware apps such as PhonePe, BYJU’s, Swiggy, and DailyHunt among others showcasing Samsung’s content and commerce partnerships to make them available to the masses and in the process earn some revenues. The good part is that these apps can be uninstalled if you want.
In terms of usage, Samsung seems to have worked hard in optimizing the software and hardware which is powered by MediaTek Dimensity 900 5G SoC. Scrolling through the interface, social media apps, and even multitasking is a smooth experience without any noticeable lag. Samsung has also included features like a pop-up view where the app can run in a floating window above the interface. You can even minimize this pop-up window based on your needs. It is a handy feature for certain use cases and very helpful for power users who want to multitask.
Samsung has also included the RAM Plus feature where you can allocate between 2GB to 6GB of internal storage space as virtual RAM to ensure you get smoother performance even when running multiple apps.
Besides, users also get to experience the continuity experience between Android smartphones and Windows 10 PC, thanks to Microsoft integration. With Link to Windows, users can access their text messages, and answer phone calls right on the PC without having to pick up the phone. With supported apps such as Samsung Notes and Samsung Internet, you can pick up where you left from one Samsung device to the other. Photo in the Gallery app and be synced with OneDrive, and Samsung Notes can be synced across Microsoft OneNote. Premium features like these from the flagship Galaxy S and Fold series on M and A series differentiate it from the competition.
Calls and connectivity
The audio on both voice calls and even in-app calls like WhatsApp are satisfactory in terms of quality and loudness. The Voice Focus feature helps deliver decent quality audio in a noisy ambient environment. Support for 12 5G bands makes it ready for future 5G connectivity. There is a feature called Auto Data Switching that automatically switches between SIM cards if one of them is not available to make data transfers and calls, a very small feature but helps in seamless connectivity.
Camera: Not all 108MP Camera Sensors are Equal
The Galaxy M53 5G comes with a quad camera setup boasting a 108MP primary camera. With this smartphone, Samsung is bringing the premium photography experience to the masses at lower price points. However, this 108MP (ISOCELL HM6) isn’t the same sensor as on the premium Galaxy S22 Ultra (ISOCELL HM3). There are key differences are in the sensor and pixel size. The premium HM3 has a pixel size of 0.8μm vs 0.64μm on the HM6 sensor. Similarly, the sensor size of HM3 is 1/1.33″ compared to 1/1.67″ on the HM6. With a big sensor and bigger pixel size, the premium HM3 performs better. Here, a lot also depends on the chipset and ISP processing capabilities, and the AI algorithms as well.
Talking about quality, daylight photos look good enough producing natural colors with good dynamic range. As you can see in the below image, the clouds, blue sky, mud, and the building color is all captured well. The photos also have enough details when you zoom in.
We compared 108MP photos taken on the Galaxy M53 and S22 Ultra. Below, we are sharing the full res photo (which takes about 38MP disk space) and a quick comparison.
As you can see in the above photos at max zoom, the text on the photo taken with Galaxy M53 is a little sharper, but in terms of overall details and structure like the bricks, the excavator, and the mud, the S22 Ultra does a better job. Though, what the Galaxy M53’s 108MP sensor achieves is commendable at this price point.
The main camera works well in the night mode too. As you can see in the below image, the camera has captured different elements of the picture very nicely. You can see the shadow on the grass, neon lights, details, and the structure of the fountain structure. The lens flare on the street light is visible too, but that is fine considering the device’s price point.
There is also an 8MP ultrawide camera, and two 2MP cameras – one for macro, and one for depth sensing. Ultrawide camera also captures good photos with very little distortion around the edges. However, if you observe the below photos closely, purple fringing is noticeable between the branches and the sky.
Macros are decent but could have been sharper and more detailed if the camera resolution was a little higher at 5MP instead of 2MP. Lastly, the edge detection of the depth-sensing camera is also decent. Portrait mode photos have a good separation of background and foreground.
Lastly, the 32MP front camera does its job well in offering detailed selfies with good skin tone and color balance. Under well-lit conditions, portrait selfies are good too, but AI processing in ambient and low-light conditions can be improved with software updates.
Dependable Battery Life
The 5,000mAh battery on the Galaxy M53 5G easily lasts a typical workday. With usage mostly on Wi-Fi, some phone calls, browsing through social media apps, and light gaming, the battery is still around 30% around the end of the day.
While Samsung does support up to 25W fast charging, it does not bundle a charging adapter in the box. Consumers have to buy the charger separately which costs about $15. This is where competitors have an advantage both in terms of bundling the charger in the box and also offering fast charging speeds up to 60W and even more in some cases.
The Samsung Galaxy M53 5G delivers what it promises. It offers decent photography and a good multimedia experience along with reliable battery life. The guaranteed Android OS and security update promise give Samsung an edge over the competition. Also, Microsoft’s app integration within One UI and other features like pop-up view and auto-data switching add-on the overall user experience. Slightly faster-charging speeds, the inclusion of a charging adapter in the box, and a better overall camera experience would have been an added benefit. These are the things Samsung can focus on in the M53 5G’s successor.
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