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Samsung Galaxy A53 5G vs Google Pixel 6a: Which should you buy?

Both are excellent phones, so how can you be expected to decide?

Published onApril 21, 2023

samsung galaxy a53 lock screen

It’s tougher than ever to decide on the best mid-range smartphone you can buy. Not for a lack of options, but rather because the options have become so good. Samsung followed its popular Galaxy A52 with a refined Galaxy A53, while Google’s Pixel 6a sports a whole new look. Both have their own claims to fame, but you can only put one in your pocket at any given time. Let’s stack the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G vs Google Pixel 6a to see which one is right for you.

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G vs Google Pixel 6a

Design and display

Google IO 2022 pixel 6a green front back

As far as overall design goes, these two phones couldn’t be more different. The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G is almost indistinguishable from the Galaxy A52 before it. It packs a corner-mounted camera array that fades into the matte plastic back panel, and a glossy plastic frame that’s meant to look like metal.

Google’s Pixel 6a, on the other hand, is easy to pick out as the smallest member of the Pixel 6 family. The large camera bar is its defining feature, and it splits the thermoformed composite back panel in two. Of course, that also means Google is back with two-toned finishes, but we’ll come back to those later. Google also holds a slight edge in the durability department, given that its affordable mid-ranger offers an aluminum frame rather than plastic.

The Galaxy A53 5G feels traditional, while the Pixel 6a embraces Google's bold design direction.

There are a few design traits that the Pixel 6a and Galaxy A53 5G share — some for the better, some for the worse. Both devices offer a reliable IP67 rating against water and dust, a feature that’s become common for the price point. Unfortunately, both Google and Samsung also decided it was time to ditch the headphone jack.

Moving around to the front of the phones, the Pixel 6a and Galaxy A53 5G could almost be considered twins. They sport Full HD+ OLED panels, both with 1,080 x 2,400 resolution. The phones also share 20:9 aspect ratios and centrally-mounted punch-hole selfie cameras. Samsung gets the edge in terms of size — 6.5 inches compared to Google’s 6.1 inches. The Galaxy A53 also offers a much smoother refresh rate at 120Hz instead of the Pixel’s 60Hz. One final difference to note is Samsung’s use of tougher Gorilla Glass 5 instead of the Gorilla Glass 3 on the Pixel 6a.

Hardware and cameras

samsung galaxy a53 cameras
Galaxy A53 5G rear cameras

Despite their differences, Google and Samsung seem to agree that the secret to processing is in-house. Both the Galaxy A53 5G and Pixel 6a feature first-party SoCs (systems on chip). Samsung brought its Exynos 1280 to the Galaxy A53, marking the first time we’ve seen an Exynos chip in the US in a few years. The Pixel 6a, however, packs the same premium Tensor chip that you’ll find on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. It also adds the Titan M2 security chip, another feature from the Pixel 6 line.

The 6a comes in a single configuration with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of fixed storage. It’s the same approach as the Pixel 5a before it, and not really a surprise. The Samsung Galaxy A53, conversely, offers more configurations than most people need. It ranges from 4GB of RAM up to 8GB, and you can pair it with up to 256GB of expandable storage. Unsurprisingly, the 6GB and 8GB configurations are the most readily available.

As the smaller of the two phones, it’s not shocking to see the Pixel 6a offer a smaller battery. It packs a 4,410mAh cell with 18W wired charging and USB Power Delivery 3.0. Samsung tapped a larger 5,000mAh cell to keep the lights on and offers quicker 25W wired charging. Neither device carries wireless charging capabilities, though that likely comes down to their plastic construction. You’ll get a USB-C charging cable with both devices, but don’t expect a charging adapter — it’s been axed from both boxes.

Samsung's beefy battery and quicker charging are built to last, but the Pixel 6a should sip power thanks to its smaller 60Hz display.

Let’s flip back to the cameras, seeing as they’re one of the biggest differences. The Galaxy A53 5G hasn’t switched from the powerful quad-camera setup of its predecessor. That means you’ll get a 64MP primary shooter that bins to 16MP by default, a 12MP ultrawide, and 5MP macro and depth sensors. It also offers a 32MP selfie camera that bins to 8MP out of the box.

Over on the Pixel 6a, you’re looking at a bit of a hybrid approach. It resurrects the 12.2MP wide camera that powered the Pixel 4, Pixel 5, and Pixel 5a, and pairs it with the upgraded 12MP ultrawide from the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. No, it might not be the most up-to-date tech, but it’s hard to argue against the results the older Pixels achieved with Google’s remarkable processing power. The Pixel 6a supports signature Pixel software features like Face Unblur, Real Tone, and Magic Eraser, though not Motion Mode, which highlights motion around a subject.

Price and colors

  • Samsung Galaxy A53 (6GB, 128GB): $449
  • Samsung Galaxy A53 (8GB, 256GB): $559
  • Google Pixel 6a (6GB, 128GB): $449

As mentioned, Google kept things pretty simple with its Pixel 6a configurations — there’s only one. You can put 6GB of RAM and 128GB of fixed storage in your pocket for just $449. You do have your choice of a few different colors this time, namely Sage, Chalk, and Charcoal.

Google’s Sage finish is a callback to the Pixel 5 with a little bit of Pixel 6 flare. It’s a two-toned look, rocking a lighter shade of green above the camera bar. Chalk and Charcoal are two-toned as well, with Chalk combining white and light gray while Charcoal blends black and dark gray, something like the Pixel 6’s Stormy Black.

Google IO 2022 pixel 6a colors

With the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G, you have a little more freedom to choose a phone that meets your needs. The most popular configurations are the 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage for $449 and the 8GB and 256GB version for $559. Either way, you also get expandable storage, which means you can boost your mid-range phone with up to 1TB of space.

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G Black
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
A well-rounded mid-ranger with plenty of support
Samsung's latest Galaxy A50 series phone is more of an evolution over the A52 5G rather than a revolution. The Galaxy A53 5G brings familiar features like a quad rear camera system, IP67 rating, and 25W charging. But you also get welcome upgrades like a 5,000mAh battery, Exynos 1280 SoC, four years of OS updates, and five years of security updates.
Google Pixel 6aGoogle Pixel 6a
AA Recommended
Google Pixel 6a
Powerful Tensor chip • Excellent cameras • Great software
MSRP: $449.00
The cameras and software make the Pixel 6a stand out
This affordable phone has everything most people need: A great design, fantastic cameras, an outstanding software experience, and a long-term update commitment.

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G vs Google Pixel 6a: Specs

Google Pixel 6aSamsung Galaxy A53 5G
Google Pixel 6a
6.1-inch OLED
20:9 aspect ratio
FHD+ resolution
1080 x 2400
60Hz refresh rate
HDR support
24-bit depth
Gorilla Glass 3
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
6.5-inch Super AMOLED
Flat display
20:9 aspect ratio
FHD+ resolution (2,400 x 1,080)
120Hz refresh rate
Google Pixel 6a
Google Tensor
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
Exynos 1280
Google Pixel 6a
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
6GB or 8GB
Internal storage
Google Pixel 6a
UFS 3.1
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
128GB or 256GB
MicroSD card support
Battery and power
Google Pixel 6a
18W fast charging
USB-C 3.1 gen 1
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
5,000mAh battery
25W wired charging
No charger in box
Google Pixel 6a
- 12.2 MP dual pixel wide camera, 1.4μm, ƒ/1.7, 77-degree FoV, 1/2.55-inch, OIS/EIS

- 12MP ultrawide, 1.25μm, ƒ/2.2 aperture, 114-degree FoV

- 8MP single, 1.12μm, ƒ/2.0, fixed focus, 84-degree FoV

Magic Eraser
Real Tone
Face Unblur
Night Sight
Super Res Zoom up to 7
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
- 64MP wide (0.8μm, ƒ1.8, 26mm)
- 12MP ultrawide (1.12μm, ƒ2.2, 123-degree FoV)
- 5MP macro (ƒ2.4)
- 5MP depth (ƒ2.4)

- 32MP wide (ƒ2.2, 26mm)
Google Pixel 6a
4K at 30/60FPS
1080p at 30/60FPS

1080p at 30FPS
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
- 4K at 30fps
- 1080p at 30/60fps

- 4K at 30fps
- 1080p at 30fps
Google Pixel 6a
Stereo speakers
Dual mics
Bluetooth 5.2
No 3.5mm port
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
Stereo speakers
Google Pixel 6a
In-display fingerprint
Titan M2 chip
5 years security updates
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
Optical under-display fingerprint sensor
Water resistance
Google Pixel 6a
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
Google Pixel 6a
Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
Wi-Fi 6E (6GHz)
Bluetooth 5.2
NFC support
Dual SIM (single nano-SIM and eSIM)
Google Cast
GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, BeiDou
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
5G (sub-6GHz)
Wi-Fi 5 (a/b/g/n/ac)
Bluetooth 5.1
NFC support
Google Pixel 6a
Android 12
Pixel UI
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
Android 12
One UI 4.1
Dimensions and weight
Google Pixel 6a
152.2 x 71.8 x 8.9mm
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
159.6 x 74.8 x 8.1mm
Google Pixel 6a
Sage, Chalk, Charcoal
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
Awesome Black, Awesome White, Awesome Blue, Awesome Peach
In-box contents
Google Pixel 6a
1-m USB-C to USB-C cable (USB 2.0)
Quick start guide
Quick Switch adaptor
SIM tool
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
1-m USB-C to USB-C cable
Start guide
SIM ejector tool

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G vs Google Pixel 6a: Which should you buy?

Google IO 2022 pixel 6a green

Both the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G and Google Pixel 6a offer impressive and well-rounded setups. There isn’t really a price gap, so you’ll have to look at other specifics when making a decision.

The Pixel 6a has the edge when it comes to processing power as well as imaging potential. The Tensor chip is right at home on flagship devices, while Samsung’s Exynos 1280 doesn’t always hold its ground. And while Samsung has packed more megapixels into its four sensors, things like Google’s Real Tone and Magic Eraser are tough to argue against. In fact, we’ve seen Google’s simpler camera setup deliver top-notch results over the last few years.

Samsung does have an easy advantage in terms of display size, refresh rate, battery size, and charging. If one or more of those things really matter to you, they could still tip the scales.

Both Google and Samsung have their advantages, but it's tough to land on a clear winner.

Ultimately, your decision might come down to which software experience you prefer. Google offers a somewhat vague commitment of five years of Pixel updates for the 6a. It doesn’t clarify whether this covers security patches and full version updates or only security patches. The Galaxy A53 5G, however, offers four years of Android version updates with five years of security patches. Google’s Pixel 6a also runs the light and customizable Pixel UI, while the Galaxy A53 5G arrives with One UI 4.1 and its extra features and creature comforts.

It would be unfair not to mention that the Google Pixel 6 is only a little more expensive than the Pixel 6a, especially now that the Pixel 7 is available. The Pixel 6 is a true flagship, with extra RAM and a 50MP primary camera for not that much more money, so it could be your best bet if you can afford it. But if the price range is a sticking point, the A53 5G is a great alternative to the Pixel 6a.

So, which way have you decided to go? Let us know who wins your Samsung Galaxy A53 5G vs Google Pixel 6a battle below.

Will you buy the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G or Google Pixel 6a?

1355 votes