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Samsung Galaxy A53 vs. Galaxy A33: What's the difference?

Samsung galaxy a53 vs. galaxy a33
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

A Samsung Galaxy A53 vs. Galaxy A33 comparison is more difficult than you might think. Samsung didn't leave a lot of daylight between its two new midrange phones, making it hard to figure out which one is the better buy for your needs.

Though the two phones have different prices — the Galaxy A33 is the less expensive option compared to the Galaxy A53 — they share a lot of key specs. Both run on the same chipset, feature four rear cameras and use OLED panels for their displays. Even battery sizes are the same between the two phones.

Yet, Samsung Galaxy A53 vs. Galaxy A33 differences do exist, and pinpointing what those are can help you determine which phone you should get. Here's a closer look at where Samsung's latest phones differ and what they have in common.

Samsung Galaxy A53 vs. Galaxy A33 specs

Galaxy A53Galaxy A33
Price$449/€449/£399€369/£329
Screen size6.5-inch AMOLED (2400 x 1080))6.4-inch AMOLED (2400 x 1080)
Refresh rate120Hz90Hz
CPUExynos 1280Exynos 1280
RAM6GB6GB
Storage128GB128GB
microSD?Yes, up to 1TBYes, up to 1TB
Rear cameras64MP main (f/1.8), 12MP ultrawide (f/2.2), 5MP macro (f/2.4), 5MP depth (f/2.4)48MP main (f/1.8), 8MP ultrawide (f/2.2), 5MP macro (f/2.4), 2MP depth (f/2.4)
Front camera32MP (f/2.2)13MP (f/2.2)
Battery size5,000 mAh5,000 mAh
Charging speed25W wired25W wired
Size6.3 x 2.9 x 0.32 inches6.3 x 2.9 x 0.32 inches
Weight6.7 ounces6.6 ounces

Samsung Galaxy A53 vs. Galaxy A33: All the differences

Glancing at the specs table and seeing the Galaxy A53 and Galaxy A33 side-by-side, a few major differences stand out, as well as some minor ways in which the phones distinguish themselves.

Price and availability: The Galaxy A53 launches in the U.S. for $449 on April 1, though Verizon and T-Mobile will be selling the phone a day early on March 31. The A53 costs £399 in the U.K. and €449 in Europe. 

Meanwhile, the Galaxy A33 won't arrive until April 22, with the phone shipping only in the U.K. and Europe for now. The Galaxy A33 will cost £329 in the UK  (or £70 less than the A53) and €369 in Europe. 

Samsung Galaxy A53 vs. Galaxy A33 backs of phones

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

That's not to say the Galaxy A33 will skip the U.S. entirely, but Samsung told us it has nothing to say about U.S. plans for that device at this time. Obviously, the lack of U.S. availability means there's not really much of a debate as to which phone to get — you're either getting the Galaxy A53 in the U.S. or something else entirely at this point.

Display refresh rate: So what does the extra money for the Galaxy A53 buy you? One thing is a faster refresh rate — the 6.5-inch display on the A53 can be set to refresh at 120Hz. That means smoother scrolling when you're browsing the web and more immersive gaming on apps that support faster refresh rates.

The Samsung Galaxy A33

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Galaxy A33 can switch to a 90Hz refresh rate — not as fast as the Galaxy A53, but better than a lot of phones in this price range, including the iPhone SE 2022

One other minor difference: the Galaxy A33 display is 6.4 inches, making it fractionally smaller than the A53's screen. But while its predecessor used an LCD panel, Samsung has turned to OLED for the Galaxy A33. So that's something the two phones now share in common.

Camera specs: The other big difference between the two phones comes down to their respective cameras. The Galaxy A53 and Galaxy A33 offer the same number and type of rear lenses. There's a main camera, augmented by an ultrawide angle lens plus macro and depth sensors. The difference lies in the megapixel rating for the respective cameras.

The Samsung Galaxy A53

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

With the Galaxy A53, you get a 64MP shooter, compared to the 48MP main camera on the Galaxy A33. In theory, that should mean more detailed shots from the A53, especially if you take advantage of the feature to capture photos at full resolution.

The ultrawide angle lens has a higher resolution on the Galaxy A53 as well — 12MP vs. 8MP — and the A53 features a 5MP depth sensor to the A33's 2MP sensor. The macro lens on both phones is the same.

The changes continue up front, where Galaxy A53 owners will be able to take selfies with a 32MP camera. The front cam on the Galaxy A33 uses a 13MP sensor.

Design: One more thing about the selfie cam — on the Galaxy A33, it's housed in a teardrop-style notch that dips down into the display. The Galaxy A53, in contrast, has a punch-hole cutout in its display for the front camera.

The Samsung Galaxy A33

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Apart from that — and some thicker bezels on the Galaxy A33 — the two phones essentially sport the same design, right down to the sloping camera bump that houses the rear lens. The phones also come in the same black, white, pastel blue and peach color options with Gorilla Glass 5 safeguarding their front. The Galaxy A53 is marginally wider to accommodate a larger display, but these phones are roughly the same size, too.

Samsung Galaxy A53 vs. Galaxy A33: What's the same

We've already talked about similarities in design as well as the camera setup and use of AMOLED panels. But that's not the end of the features that the Galaxy A53 and Galaxy A33 have in common. Here's the other specs the two phones share.

Chipset: You'll find Samsung's own Exynos 1280 silicon powering both the Galaxy A53 and A33. That's significant because based on Samsung's Galaxy A launch event, there's a lot of AI-powered features that the phones' cameras can take advantage of — everything from adjusting frame rates when capturing video in low light to editing unwanted people out of the background of photos. By featuring the same chipset in either phone, those features are available to you, regardless of whether you opt for the Galaxy A53 or the Galaxy A33.

Galaxy A53 camera taking a picture

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Battery size and charging speed: Samsung equipped each phone with a 5,000 mAh battery, which is great news since the A52 and A32 predecessors already lasted a long time on a charge. Throw in a bigger battery (in the case of the A53) and the power efficiency of the 5nm Exynos 1280, and we wouldn't be surprised if both the Galaxy A53 and Galaxy A33 wound up on our best phone battery life list. Of course, we'll have to test the two devices first.

Battery size isn't the only power feature the two phones share. You can also charge each one at 25W, though it sounds as if you'll need to provide your own charge to do it. 

Water-resistance: Regardless of whether you pay up for the Galaxy A53 or turn to the Galaxy A33 (assuming the phone is available in your area), you can expect the same level of protection against unexpected dips. Both phones have an IP67 water- and dust-resistance rating. That means the phones can take a dip in up to 3 feet of water for 30 minutes and they still should be able to work.

Samsung Galaxy A53 vs. Galaxy A33 outlook

Availability will play a big part in which new midrange Galaxy A phone you can buy. But all things being equal, the Galaxy A33 offers a less expensive device where the screen doesn't refresh as quickly and the cameras can't take pictures at as high a resolution. Apart from those differences and a few minor design flourishes, the Galaxy A53 and Galaxy A33 look pretty similar.

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.