Budget Phone Comparison: Apple's iPhone SE vs. Samsung's Galaxy A53 5G

Apple in March came out with the updated 2022 iPhone SE, a budget iPhone that's equipped with 5G. Samsung also recently came out with its own budget 5G smartphone, the Galaxy A53 5G, so we thought we'd compare the two to see how they measure up. In short, the A53 5G is offering up a better feature set, but it can't match the iPhone SE in terms of lifespan and build quality.

On paper, the Galaxy A53 5G offers a wide suite of features that the iPhone can't match. When it comes to the display, for example, the Galaxy A53 5G has a more modern edge-to-edge 6.5-inch 1080p AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, while the iPhone SE is sporting a smaller 4.7-inch display with thick, outdated bezels. The display is bright, vibrant, and at 1080p, noticeably better than the iPhone SE display.

Samsung has also equipped its smartphone with an ultrasonic fingerprint reader that's under the display and facial recognition, while the iPhone SE is using a standard Touch ID Home button, but Samsung's ultrasonic fingerprint reader is slower and less accurate than Touch ID, and the facial recognition is not on the Face ID level. It can be used for unlocking the smartphone, but not for making payments or authenticating passwords. Touch ID is being phased out from the iPhone, but it's still quick, responsive, and simple to use.

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The Galaxy A53 5G is made from plastic, and it just feels cheaper than the iPhone SE, which is fully glass with aluminum siding. It's clearly made from better quality materials, and it has a more premium feel than the Galaxy A53 5G, which feels like your average budget Android device.

The A53 5G wins out when it comes to battery life because it offers almost double the capacity of the iPhone SE. The iPhone SE is, however, much, much faster than the A53 because it's using the same A15 chip that's in the iPhone 13. Samsung's smartphone is equipped with an Exynos 1280 chip that doesn't even come close to measuring up. Samsung does have the edge when it comes to storage, as the base model starts with 128GB and it can be expanded with an SD card slot (the iPhone SE starts at 64GB), plus it has more camera lenses.

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Apple's iPhone SE has a single-lens 12-megapixel wide-angle rear camera, while the Galaxy S53 5G has a 64-megapixel wide-angle camera, an ultra wide lens, and a depth and macro sensor. Of course, more megapixels and more lenses does not equal better quality, and the iPhone SE has texture, detail, and HDR features powered by the A15 that set it apart.

a53 vs iphone se 4
Both phones have 5G and are equal in that department, and as for pricing, the Galaxy A53 5G is technically priced at $449, but it's available for $349 right now. That's cheaper than the iPhone SE, which is priced starting at $429.

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Though the Galaxy A53 5G seems like the better phone right now, it's the A15 chip that makes the iPhone SE stand out. Apple will provide software updates, new features, and support for the iPhone SE for a good five to seven years, while Samsung is not going to support the A53 5G that long. The Galaxy A53 5G has a flashier set of features that may be immediately appealing, but those looking for a phone that's going to last for years to should check out the iPhone SE.

What do you think of the Galaxy A53 5G, do you prefer it to the iPhone SE? Let us know in the comments.

Related Roundup: iPhone SE
Tag: Samsung
Buyer's Guide: iPhone SE (Don't Buy)
Related Forum: iPhone

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Top Rated Comments

Spock Avatar
29 months ago
The Samsung makes the design of the iPhone SE look like an antique.
Score: 48 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Andres Cantu Avatar
29 months ago
I would argue that the budget consumer cares much more about a larger screen than about the latest chip.

Perhaps in the future once Apple releases an SE with the design of the XR, then it would be a much more interesting comparison.
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kraszim Avatar
29 months ago
One of the biggest factors in budget devices is for them to not look budget, and let's be honest SE fails here. It was really in for a redesign this year, and lack of it makes it a phone for a narrow niche.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jakewilk Avatar
29 months ago
Pretty embarrassing comparison. I think apple missed the mark with the SE: few price-conscious phone buyers want top-tier processor speed, fewer want 5g
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NT1440 Avatar
29 months ago

I would argue that the budget consumer cares much more about a larger screen than about the latest chip.

Perhaps in the future once Apple releases an SE with the design of the XR, then it would be a much more interesting comparison.
It seems to me the SE buyers (of which I have 7 family members of mine an friends) care more about retaining touchID than anything else.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Danoc Avatar
29 months ago
I think the SE 3 still looks good, with high end materials, and its ergonomics remain excellent.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)