One can say that the term “generational upgrade” can be applied to any flagship series smartphone but not so for the lower-end products as those are more likely to get the “trickled down” tech. So, with the Samsung Galaxy A family entering the 3rd generation in 2022, the new Galaxy A33 5G is what caught my eyes the most because on paper, it trails the Galaxy A53 5G very closely.
Despite being similar, the price gap is significant between the two. So, what’s the difference? Should you pick the 5 or just go for the 3? In this article, we’ll be highlighting what’s different between the Galaxy A33 and Galaxy A53.
Design & build quality
Let’s start with something that is easily perceivable – the overall design and build quality. For the Galaxy A33 5G, it runs the color palette as the Galaxy A53 whereas the one we have here is the Peach which is magnificent.
But the overall build quality immediately makes my eyebrows raise because the Galaxy A53 and A73 sports a shiny metallic frame but the A33, is a matte frame and by giving it a quick knock, no doubt it’s plastic.
Personally, I don’t mind if it’s plastic or not since I’m never using my phones naked anyway. In another way, the phone is technically lighter too since it’s using a plastic frame.
Now let’s look at the silicon brain itself. The Galaxy A33 comes with the Exynos 1280 chipset and 8GB of RAM – the same as the Galaxy A53.
From what I have tested, it is still a “work in progress” as I am sure many new updates will come to further optimize the performance of the phone. Running Genshin Impact on the Galaxy A33 and A53 – I got identical results, even in terms of thermals.
As many may know, the plastic or metal frame will matter in terms of heat distribution as it will be used as a heatsink to wick heat away from the SoC. However, in our test results, it is shown that it doesn’t matter if it’s plastic or metal – the performance and thermals are identical.
We were also testing the Galaxy A33 5G with the “alternate game performance management” mode turned on, by the way. This option is available in the Game Launcher and it boosts the phone’s power draw and thermal limit so that it is able to churn out more frames per second. However, I do think that there is a lot more potential to be squeezed out of the Exynos 1280 via software optimization.
As the one device that you might look at the most for a day, the display is the most crucial thing. Housing a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED screen with a resolution of 2400 x 1080, the Galaxy A33 5G only supports up to 90Hz instead of 120Hz found in the A53 and A73.
I personally don’t really care much about refresh rate – in fact, 90Hz refresh rate will definitely result in better battery life when compared to 120Hz. But, if you’re coming from the 120Hz then your entitled mindset would feel the 90Hz as a bit choppy. As for why the Infinity-U notch instead of the usual tiny round cutout – you have to ask Samsung for that.
Some of the things that I “accidentally” discovered is the removal of AOD, a.k.a. always-on display. This phone can’t play videos in HDR too. If you use these two features – then I’m sorry to say that the Galaxy A33 doesn’t have it.
Also, the bottom bezel is not symmetrical but I think it’s better this way since my thumb can reach the bottom of the screen easier. It just looks a bit “not nice” for the OCD gang. By the way, no factory-applied screen protector out of the box – so don’t scratch the screen!
But generally, the display is still a good one because one look at our colorimeter will show all of the technical data. With 100% sRGB and 98.97% DCI-P3 color gamuts covered while retaining a low Delta E number, you know this is a good one and Samsung still ensures the Galaxy A33 has great color accuracy.
However, the maximum average brightness is slightly below 400 nits of brightness which is fine indoors but the screen is not going to be readable on a sunny day.
With technological maturity, flagship camera configurations back in those days are just bread and butter for mid-range smartphones nowadays which is the case for the Galaxy A33 5G, sporting a total of 4 cameras. But the main guy – yes the main lens, is the biggest winner as it now has OIS! Finally!
So yeah, the main and ultrawide angle cameras can take quite a decent photos even on gloomy days. It is just very pleasant to use over the entire course of taking the pictures but the night shots are a little bit noisy – but it’s still a lot better than many other smartphones that are within this price range.
Yup, the Galaxy A33 5G comes with the full Samsung One UI experience and with the latest version of One UI 4.1, everything is in. You can use the same stuff as your buddies that might rock a Galaxy S22 or S21. Some real chad moves here Samsung.
Best of all – the Galaxy A33 5G will also get 4 generations of Android upgrades and 5 years of security patches (source: Samsung). It might be the longest period that a smartphone brand “promises” to deliver to a budget smartphone. Given their excellent track record for the past 3 years or so, I think Samsung can deliver on this prommise.
For the battery life, the 5,000mAh battery last about 11 and half hours for the Galaxy A33 5G thanks to the smaller size and lower power consumption contributed by the lower maximum refresh rate.
By the way, we’re testing the battery life on WiFi. I’m not sure how much the battery will be affected when 5G comes around.
A bit of bad news for newcomers, yes Samsung doesn’t throw in the power brick for the 2022 Galaxy A series products so we used our Ugreen 100W Gan charger and we got about 90 minutes of charge time for a 15% to 100% charge cycle – very similar to the Galaxy A53 and A73 at 25W wired fast charging.
Just some quick mentions – the Galaxy A33 5G still has a microSD card slot but the 3.5mm is now R.I.P but in exchange for that, an IP67 rating is given to it so have fun with it! (avoid saltwater, please).
So to wrap it up, I think out of all the 3 A series phones of this year – the A33, A53, and A73, the biggest winner of all is the Galaxy A33 5G thanks to the improvements in the main camera having OIS, IP67 rating, and the full software experience that is identical to its flagship counterparts.
Considering the Galaxy A33 5G as a full-package experience with the price tag of RM1,499 attached to it, I’d say it’s definitely worth it. If you’re one that doesn’t really mind how smooth you scroll your social media apps or care about how many megapixels you can get out of the sensor, the Galaxy A33 5G is truly the one you should look for. In many ways, it is on-par with the Galaxy A53 5G too – which is why I think the Galaxy A33 5G is a better choice.