Pixel 6A vs. Samsung Galaxy A53 vs. Nothing Phone: Under-$500 Phones Compared

    Phones that price slightly below $500 are trying higher and higher as 2022 continues, with Samsung, Google and new contender Nothing all providing three telephones at just about equivalent $450 costs. All three of those telephones promise a slick and fulfilling expertise, even with their decrease costs.The Google Pixel 6A has already earned itself a glowing assessment, with CNET’s Lisa Eadicicco calling it “the best budget Pixel yet.” Meanwhile I personally was impressed with the Nothing Phone 1’s steadiness of value and efficiency — to not point out its flashing tail lamps. Then there’s the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G, which earned an incredible assessment rating because of its value, its show and its cameras. But which cellphone is definitely deserving of your hard-earned money? I acquired maintain of all three to place them by way of their paces. 
    Andrew Lanxon/CNET
    Price and availability: The Nothing Phone 1 is tough to getLet’s begin with a biggie. the Nothing Phone 1 is on sale within the UK and wider Europe however a rollout into the US is thus far unsure. While Nothing has stated it wish to launch its cellphone within the US, it wants a community companion to make it suitable with US 5G networks. As of the time of writing, there are not any plans for a correct US launch. People within the US can simply get the Pixel 6A and the Galaxy A53 5G, nonetheless.All three telephones begin at very related costs; $450 for the Pixel 6A, $450 for the Galaxy A53 and $472 for the Nothing Phone 1, based mostly on a conversion from its UK value. In the UK, all three telephones begin at £399. Simple.Design and show: Nothing’s flashing lights stand outWhile many telephones in recent times have been forgettable-looking slabs, all three of those midrangers have designs which are very a lot their very own. The A53 retains issues easy with a plastic again, raised digicam unit and metallic edging. The Pixel 6A maintains the distinctive digicam bar seen on its pricier siblings and whereas its again is technically plastic, you would be exhausting pressed to inform it other than the glass again of the 6 and 6 Pro. 
    Andrew Lanxon/CNET
    Between the 2, the Pixel 6A has a extra premium really feel, than the plasticky A53, but it surely’s the Nothing Phone 1 that stands out within the seems to be division. That’s resulting from its clear again panel, which not solely offers a novel view of its inside elements but additionally permits for its light-up LED “glyph” to pulse whenever you get notifications. It’s arguably a gimmick and one that you could be not care about in any respect, but it surely’s actually enjoyable and it is good to have one thing quirky at this value. The Pixel 6A is the smaller of the three, packing a 6.1-inch show towards the Nothing’s 6.55-inch and the A53’s 6.5-inch screens. That stated, the Pixel’s decision ends in a pixel density greater than its rivals, though all three are pin sharp with vibrant colours and excessive brightness ranges. The Nothing’s additional dimension would possibly make it the higher selection for cellular avid gamers amongst you, or these of you who watch numerous video on the transfer, however all of them do an excellent job of displaying vibrant content material and colourful video games.Power and efficiency: Pixel 6A packs a punchThe Nothing Phone 1 makes use of a Snapdragon 778G+ processor and 12GB of RAM (as reviewed), whereas the Galaxy A53 5G makes use of an Exynos 1280 chip and 6GB of RAM. The Pixel 6A in the meantime makes use of Google’s personal custom-built Tensor processor with 6GB of RAM.And that Tensor processor put in some glorious scores on our suite of benchmark checks, that put it persistently above the opposite two. The Nothing was a good second, whereas the A53 did considerably fall behind on each CPU and graphics benchmarks. 

    Performance comparability chart

    Geekbench 5 (Single core)
    Geekbench 5 (Multi-core)
    3DMark Slingshot Unlimited

    Longer bars equal higher efficiency

    Benchmarks alone aren’t an ideal indicator of real-world efficiency nonetheless and I discovered all three to be completely able to dealing with the necessities effectively. Navigating the interfaces was swift and lag-free on all fashions and all of them dealt with extra demanding gaming in Asphalt 9: Legends with none noticeable stuttering or slow-down. Video streaming was no downside on any cellphone and I might instantly bounce between open apps with the multitasking switcher. Over time I might count on the Pixel 6A to typically carry out higher because it’s already ranging from a extra highly effective place. It would possibly imply that as much more demanding video games arrive it is well-placed to deal with them in a means that maybe the A53 could not. Right now although, any of your on a regular basis emailing, Instagramming, Candy Crushing, WhatsApp group message avoiding enjoyable will likely be dealt with completely effectively by any of those telephones. Cameras: Pixel 6A strikes the best steadinessAll three telephones have a number of rear cameras, giving each commonplace views and ultrawide photographs. The A53 features a 5-megapixel macro digicam and a depth sensor for portrait pictures, but it surely’s the principle and huge cameras you may seemingly end up utilizing most frequently. Samsung’s cellphone cameras have typically had an inclination to look overly saturated and contrasty and that is completely the case with the A53. Galaxy A53 predominant digicam check.
    Andrew Lanxon/CNET
    Nothing Phone 1 predominant digicam check.
    Andrew Lanxon/CNET
    Pixel 6A predominant digicam check.
    Andrew Lanxon/CNET
    Its photographs are persistently punchy with the colours, to the purpose that they appear as if you’ve got slapped on some high-contrast filter on Instagram. The Nothing Phone 1 goes the opposite means, nonetheless, with steadily muted tones. It’s significantly noticeable whenever you swap to the Phone 1’s ultrawide lens, which produces drab-looking pictures that look nearly shameful towards the others. Galaxy A53 ultrawide digicam check.
    Andrew Lanxon/CNET
    Nothing Phone 1 ultrawide digicam check.
    Andrew Lanxon/CNET
    Pixel 6A ultrawide digicam check.
    Andrew Lanxon/CNET
    It’s the Pixel 6A that persistently produces probably the most balanced-looking pictures in each its commonplace and ultrawide views. The 6A’s colours are correct and vibrant, with out trying overly processed, and it typically captures a extra balanced publicity than the opposite two, protecting shiny skies underneath management effectively. Galaxy A53 predominant digicam check.
    Andrew Lanxon/CNET
    Nothing Phone 1 predominant digicam check.
    Andrew Lanxon/CNET
    Pixel 6A predominant digicam check.
    Andrew Lanxon/CNET
    All three telephones are completely able to taking respectable snaps at your subsequent household picnic, but when pictures prowess is essential to you then the Pixel 6A is the one to go for. Battery life: An in depth struggle however Pixel 6A takes the winWith an enormous 5,000-mAh battery stuffed inside I anticipated the Galaxy A53 to place in one of the best efficiency when it got here to battery life. It’s a extra capacious cell than the 4,410 mAh of the Pixel 6A or the 4,500 mAh of the Nothing Phone 1. On my checks, nonetheless, it was the Pixel that managed to edge out the competitors.After 1 hour of streaming a YouTube video on Wi-Fi, with the screens set to most brightness, the Pixel had dropped from full to 98% remaining. The Nothing Phone 1 dropped to 95% in the identical time, whereas the A53 dropped to 94%. After a second hour, the Pixel had dropped to 92%, with the Nothing cellphone coming in a detailed second at 90%, with the A53 having dropped to 89%. 
    Andrew Lanxon/CNET
    Sure, the Pixel technically did one of the best right here, however we’re actually solely speaking just a few share factors between them, which is not a giant deal. All three put in strong performances: Both right here and in on a regular basis use, the battery carry you’ll be able to count on to see will fluctuate relying on how a lot you demand of your cellphone. With cautious use you will not battle to get a full time out of any of the telephones, and all three will seemingly desire a full recharge each night time. Software and different options All three telephones run Android 12 at their core, however you will discover some notable variations within the expertise. The Pixel 6A runs a pure, Google-produced model of Android 12. It’s a clear and clutter-free expertise that I’ve loved utilizing for a while on the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. The Nothing Phone 1 has a visible pores and skin that features totally different colours, fonts and backgrounds, but it surely’s additionally neat and stripped-back, making it easy and easy to navigate.The A53 instantly aggravated me with quite a lot of prebundled apps, together with ones for, TikTok, Nextdoor and quite a lot of Samsung’s personal apps and shops. These apps make the cellphone really feel cluttered earlier than you’ve got even begun to put in your individual. There are two totally different messaging apps, for instance — Google’s and Samsung’s — so Android novices would possibly discover it extra sophisticated to familiarize yourself with. 
    Andrew Lanxon/CNET
    The A53 does have a killer characteristic not discovered on the opposite two although: expandable storage. While the Pixel 6A comes with 128GB of storage and the Nothing Phone 1 is offered with as much as 256GB, the Galaxy A53’s 128GB of storage could be expanded with microSD playing cards as much as 1TB in dimension. That makes it an incredible possibility should you take numerous pictures or movies or wish to save numerous media regionally to your cellphone to take pleasure in when you do not have an web connection. Which cellphone do you have to purchase? The Nothing Phone 1’s distinctive design actually offers it an edge over the others, however should you’re not bothered about these flashy lights, you like taking wide-angle pictures on trip — or should you stay within the US and might’t even purchase it — then it’s best to look towards the others. While the A53 5G carried out admirably in our checks, it was the Pixel 6A that persistently got here out on high. Its processor efficiency is healthier, it takes higher pictures from each its cameras, its pure Android interface is nicer to navigate and it even feels just like the extra premium machine whenever you maintain it. The A53 is bigger and its expandable storage offers it a particular one-up if you wish to retailer numerous media, however general it is the Pixel 6A that gives one of the best worth for cash. Pixel 6A vs. Nothing Phone 1 vs. Galaxy A53 5G specs comparability chart

    Google Pixel 6A

    Nothing Phone 1

    Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

    Display dimension, decision

    6.1-inch OLED; (1080 x 2400); 60Hz

    6.55-inch OLED show, 2,400 x1080 pixels;

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

    Pixel density

    429 ppi



    Dimensions (Inches)

    6.0 x 2.8 x 0.35 in

    6.28 x 2.94 x 0.32 in

    Dimensions (Millimeters)

    152.2 x 7.18 x 8.9 mm

    159.2 x 75.8 x 8.3 mm

    159.6 x 74.8 x 8.1 mm

    Weight (Ounces, Grams)

    6.3 oz; 178g


    6.67 oz; 189g

    Mobile software program

    Android 12

    Android 12

    Android 12


    12.2-megapixel (huge), 12-megapixel extremely huge)

    50-megapixel (predominant), 50-megapixel (ultrawide)

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

    Front-facing digicam




    Video seize


    4K at 60fps



    Google Tensor

    Snapdragon 778G+

    Exynos 1280


    6GB RAM/128GB storage

    8GB + 128GB, 8GB +256 GB, 12GB RAM + 256GB


    Expandable storage



    Up to 1TB


    4,410 mAh capability; 18-watt quick charging (adapter offered individually)

    4,500mAH (33W wired charging, 15W wi-fi charging, 5W reverse charging)

    5,000mAh (charger not included, doesn’t help wi-fi charging)

    Fingerprint sensor

    Under show




    USB C



    Headphone jack




    Special options

    5G-enabled, 18W quick charging, WiFi 6E, safety updates for 5 years, Android OS updates for 3 years, twin SIM, IP67 water resistance

    5G, IP53, Three years of Android updates, Dual Sim, 120Hz adaptive refresh charge

    5G-enabled; IP67 ranking; helps 25W wired quick charging, Samsung Pay

    Price off-contract (USD)


    $470 (transformed)


    Price (GBP)




    Price (AUD)


    AU$685 (transformed)


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