iPhone SE vs. Galaxy A53 5G: Plenty of Value, Different Approaches

    Apple’s $429 iPhone SE and Samsung’s $450 Galaxy A53 5G each launched final month as extra inexpensive options to the Galaxy S22 and that iPhone 13. Although each characteristic 5G connectivity and an identical worth, they’ve little else in frequent, as the businesses take reverse paths to cheaper telephones. Samsung’s A53 brings higher-end options like a multilens digital camera and a show with a excessive refresh price to a extra inexpensive system. The iPhone SE, alternatively, has an old school design full of Apple’s newest cellular processor.Which one is best for you will largely depend upon whether or not you favor Android or iOS. But these gadgets additionally illustrate how otherwise Apple and Samsung strategy the marketplace for lower-priced telephones. Samsung cares about imitating its high-end telephones, whereas Apple prioritizes efficiency and drawing clients into its ecosystem of companies and equipment.Here’s a better have a look at how the 2 telephones examine.Samsung goes for a contemporary design; Apple sticks with its traditional constructThe Galaxy A53 5G
    Lisa Eadicicco/CNET
    Appearance is maybe the largest distinction between the Galaxy A53 and the iPhone SE. The Galaxy A53 might simply be mistaken for different Samsung gadgets equivalent to final yr’s Galaxy A52 5G and the Galaxy S21 FE. Like these telephones, the A53 has an almost borderless display screen with a gap punch-shaped cutout for the entrance digital camera. The again of the system has a matte end with an oblong module for the system’s digital camera. Samsung is clearly making an attempt to copy the final appear and feel of its Galaxy S telephones on the Galaxy A53, however with some compromises. For instance, the Galaxy A53 has a plastic development that does not really feel as luxe because the glass construct discovered on the iPhone SE and Samsung’s dearer Galaxy S22. The iPhone SE has a retro look that is distinctly totally different from the iPhone 13 and Apple’s different current telephones. It basically has the physique of an iPhone 8 full of the center of an iPhone 13. That means it has the identical thick bezels above and under the show as Apple’s older iPhones, together with its Touch ID house button. It’s the one iPhone Apple nonetheless sells that has the house button, which could make it the fitting alternative for these upgrading from an older telephone. But the iPhone SE’s traditional design and lower cost additionally means it is lacking Face ID. The Galaxy A53, by comparability, has a fingerprint sensor constructed into its show and in addition helps facial recognition for unlocking the gadgets. (However, Samsung cautions its facial recognition characteristic is taken into account much less safe than different lock sorts). The 2022 iPhone SE
    Chris Parker/CNET
    More importantly, each telephones even have drastically totally different display screen sizes. The Galaxy A53 has a 6.5-inch display screen that makes it across the similar measurement because the Galaxy S21 FE and Galaxy S22 Plus. Samsung’s telephone may also enhance its refresh price as much as 120Hz for smoother scrolling, a characteristic Apple solely provides on the pricier iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max. The iPhone SE’s 4.7-inch display screen is actually the identical because the one on Apple’s 2017-era iPhone 8, making it the smallest Phone Apple at the moment sells by way of show measurement. It’s excellent for individuals who choose smaller-sized telephones and are upgrading from an growing older system just like the iPhone 8 or iPhone 7. But it will actually really feel like a dramatic shift from telephones just like the iPhone X or iPhone XS, each of which have bigger 5.8-inch screens. Samsung’s digital camera has a number of lenses, however Apple’s nonetheless has good picture high qualityThe Galaxy A53’s digital camera has extra lenses and a important sensor with the next decision than the iPhone SE. But Apple’s digital camera nonetheless performs nicely for the worth. The Galaxy A53 technically has 4 lenses: a 64-megapixel important lens, 12-megapixel ultrawide lens, 5-megapixel macro lens and 5-megapixel depth lens, though it is actually the primary and ultrawide lens that matter most. The iPhone SE, alternatively, solely has one 12-megapixel important lens.Samsung’s telephone provides extra flexibility because it has devoted capturing modes for ultrawide, macro and night time pictures. If you usually end up taking crowded household photographs or sweeping panorama pictures, you may profit from the Galaxy A53′ wider discipline of view. The similar recommendation applies in case you ceaselessly take photographs in dim environments, equivalent to a candlelit bar or music venue, for the reason that iPhone SE lacks night time mode.Galaxy A53 5G A photograph taken with the Galaxy A53’s ultrawide digital camera. 
    Lisa Eadicicco/CNET
    iPhone SEThe iPhone SE lacks an ultrawide digital camera. 
    Lisa Eadicicco/CNET
    Galaxy A53 5GThis was taken on the Galaxy A53 utilizing night time mode.
    Lisa Eadicicco/CNET
    iPhone SEThis picture was taken on the iPhone SE, which does not have night time mode.
    Lisa Eadicicco/CNET
    But the iPhone SE’s single-lens digital camera additionally takes nice photographs which are colourful and sharp sufficient for informal customers. There had been even a few eventualities wherein I most popular the iPhone SE’s picture over the Galaxy A53’s, such because the picture of my cat under, though it was typically an in depth name between the 2. Galaxy A53 5GThis picture was taken on the Samsung Galaxy A53. 
    Lisa Eadicicco/CNET
    iPhone SEA picture taken on the iPhone SE.
    Lisa Eadicicco/CNET
    Image high quality may also rely in your desire. Some would possibly choose the bolder shade within the iPhone SE’s picture under, whereas others would possibly discover Samsung’s to be extra pure. Galaxy A53 5GA picture taken with the Galaxy A53 5G.
    Lisa Eadicicco/CNET
    iPhone SEA picture taken with the iPhone SE.
    Lisa Eadicicco/CNET
    The Galaxy A53 additionally takes higher selfies with brighter lighting than the iPhone SE in my expertise, contemplating it has a 32-megapixel selfie digital camera in comparison with Apple’s 7-megapixel entrance digital camera.Take a have a look at the distinction under.Galaxy A53 5GA picture taken with the Galaxy A53 5G’s selfie digital camera. 
    Lisa Eadicicco/CNET
    iPhone SEA picture taken with the iPhone SE’s selfie digital camera. 
    Lisa Eadicicco/CNET
    All advised, you are getting extra to your cash with the Galaxy A53. But the iPhone SE takes strong photographs regardless that its digital camera is extra restricted. And Apple’s telephone can report in 4K at as much as 60 frames per second, whereas the Galaxy A53 solely helps 4K video seize as much as 30fps. 

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    iPhone SE 2022 vs. Galaxy A53 5G: How These Affordable…


    Apple wins at efficiency, however Samsung has different additional perksThe iPhone SE could also be tiny, nevertheless it has the identical highly effective A15 Bionic processor because the iPhone 13. The Galaxy A53, in the meantime, runs on Samsung’s Exynos 1280 as a substitute of the sooner processor discovered within the Galaxy S22 sequence. You most likely will not discover the distinction more often than not. The Galaxy A53’s 120Hz refresh price additionally makes scrolling across the telephone’s house screens and settings menus really feel fluid. But there are moments when the Galaxy A53’s much less highly effective processor exhibits. There had been cases wherein the Galaxy A53’s keyboard would not present up as rapidly because it ought to, for instance. Sometimes I additionally needed to press the house button a number of instances to give up an app. It’s not disruptive sufficient to discourage me from recommending the telephone, nevertheless it was often noticeable.That’s one space the place the iPhone SE actually shines. Since it has the identical processor as Apple’s top-of-the-line iPhones, it performs similar to a flagship telephone. In his evaluation of the iPhone SE, my colleague Patrick Holland stated, “the SE flies and iOS animations look smooth.” My personal expertise with the iPhone SE has been comparable. Apps launch rapidly, the keyboard pops up immediately and search outcomes for native apps saved on the telephone seem instantly. Benchmark exams advised an identical story. The iPhone SE scored a lot increased on exams meant to judge normal processor and graphics efficiency in comparison with the Galaxy A53.

    Geekbench 5 Single Core

    Higher scores are higher.

    Geekbench 5 Multicore

    Higher scores are higher.

    3DMark Wild Life Extreme

    Higher scores are higher.

    Both telephones can present all-day battery life, though longevity will at all times differ relying on how you employ your system. I’m sometimes capable of get a few day and a half out of the Galaxy A53 earlier than plugging it in, even with the refresh price set to excessive. The iPhone SE, which has a decrease refresh price than the Galaxy A53, often had between 20% and 30% of battery left on the finish of the day, in accordance with CNET’s evaluation. But not like the Galaxy A53, the iPhone SE helps wi-fi charging. That’s not a deal-breaker, nevertheless it is likely to be one thing to contemplate if you have already got a charging pad. Yet Samsung’s telephone has a few different extras you will not discover on the iPhone SE, equivalent to 128GB of inside storage on the most cost effective mannequin, a microSD card slot for including as much as 1TB of additional area and help for each millimeter wave and sub-6 Ghz 5G. The iPhone SE begins with half the storage (64GB) and lacks a microSD card slot, which means you may have to purchase the $479 model to get 128GB of area. It additionally is not appropriate with millimeter wave 5G, though that may not matter a lot since that sooner variant of 5G is not broadly obtainable and solely operates at brief distances. Both telephones are rated for IP67 water resistance, which suggests they will endure being submerged in a single meter of water for as much as 30 minutes.You additionally should not have to fret about both telephone feeling outdated anytime quickly in terms of software program help. The Galaxy A53 is assured to get 4 generations of Android working system updates and 5 years of safety updates. Apple’s iOS 15 software program works on telephones as previous because the iPhone 6S from 2015, so it appears secure to say the brand new iPhone SE has an extended street forward of it.The backside lineThe iPhone SE (left) and Galaxy A53 5G (proper)
    Amy Kim/CNET
    The Galaxy A53 and that iPhone SE each present loads of worth for the worth, however in several methods. With lengthy battery life, a big show, an in-screen fingerprint sensor and a number of cameras, the Galaxy A53 looks like a lightweight model of Samsung’s pricier Galaxy S telephones. Just bear in mind: You could should take care of occasional lag. The iPhone SE, alternatively, has a retro design that makes it a robust alternative for individuals who could also be upgrading from an older iPhone. It would not have fashionable options like a multilens digital camera or a big, borderless display screen, nevertheless it’s as quick because the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro because of Apple’s A15 Bionic processor.But maybe most significantly, it is the most cost effective method into Apple’s companies and equipment. That would possibly make it interesting to longtime iPhone customers that do not wish to spend $500 or extra on a brand new telephone, but additionally aren’t keen to desert their AirPods or swap to Android. 

    Samsung Galaxy A53 5G vs. Apple iPhone SE (2022)

    Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

    Apple iPhone SE (2022)

    Display measurement, decision

    6.5-inch AMOLED (2,400×1,080 pixels); 120 Hz

    4.7-inch LCD; (1,334×750 pixels); 60 Hz

    Pixel density



    Dimensions (Inches)

    6.28 x 2.94 x 0.32 in

    5.45 x 2.65 x 0.29 in

    Dimensions (Millimeters)

    159.6 x 74.8 x 8.1 mm

    138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm

    Weight (Ounces, Grams)

    6.67 oz; 189g

    5.09 oz; 144g

    Mobile software program

    Android 12

    iOS 15


    64-megapixel (vast), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 5-megapixel (macro), 5-megapixel (depth)

    12-megapixel (vast)

    Front-facing digital camera



    Video seize




    Exynos 1280

    Apple A15 Bionic



    64GB, 128GB, 256GB




    Expandable storage

    Up to 1TB



    5,000mAh (charger not included)

    Undisclosed (charger not included)

    Fingerprint sensor


    Home button




    Headphone jack



    Special options

    5G-enabled; IP67 score; helps 25-watt quick charging, lacks wi-fi charging; Samsung Pay

    5G-enabled; Water resistant (IP67); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wi-fi charging

    Price off-contract (USD)


    $429 (64GB), $479 (128GB), $579 (256GB)

    Price (GBP)


    £419 (64GB), £469 (128GB), £569 (256GB)

    Price (AUD)


    AU$749 (64GB), AU$829 (128GB), AU$999 (256GB)

    Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

    New for 2022, the Galaxy A53 will get you a plethora of Samsung options and energy at a fraction of the S-series worth. It boasts a far bigger display screen and extra versatile digital camera cluster than the iPhone SE, although Apple’s finances mannequin delivers snappier efficiency. Still, Samsung followers will recognize what they’re getting right here contemplating the inexpensive worth. The Galaxy A53 5G has an ultrawide lens for taking photographs with a broader discipline of view and in addition helps night-mode images. Image high quality is not pretty much as good as what you’d get on a dearer Samsung telephone just like the Galaxy S21 FE or Galaxy S22, nevertheless it’s actually clear and colourful sufficient for fundamental pictures. Other highlights embody a long-lasting battery, 4 assured generations of Android working system updates and a microSD card slot for expandable storage.Overall, the Galaxy A53 5G is an acceptable alternative for individuals who prioritize having a big display screen and lengthy battery life for lower than $500. Just remember you may need to take care of some occasional lag, and the digital camera is not as superior as these discovered on pricier telephones. Read our Samsung Galaxy A53 5G evaluation.


    The long-awaited successor to the iPhone SE (2020) was introduced by Apple throughout its March 8 “Peek Performance” occasion. It options Apple’s A15 chip (which is similar one discovered within the iPhone 13 sequence), 5G and stronger glass, however the identical general design because the earlier technology.Pricing for the brand new iPhone SE begins at $429 and is on the market now.

    Read our iPhone SE (2022) evaluation.


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