When it comes to buying a mid-range smartphone, you usually want to spend between £300 and around £600. Anything less than that falls into the budget range, while anything else starts encroaching on the top flagship.
Two of the premium mid-range phones for 2022 so far are the Apple iPhone SE 3rd Gen and Samsung A53 5G, both of which are priced around £400 (RRP) in the UK. The Apple iPhone SE 3rd Gen starts at £419 and the Samsung A53 starts at £399 (RRP).
The cost may be the same but the phones are completely different — at least because the iPhone SE runs iOS and the A53 is Android. So which one is more suitable for you? Let’s dive into this question – compare specs, features, pricing, and more.
For more phones at this price point, read our guide to the best mid-range phone of 2022 so far. Decide you want to save some cash? Here’s a full breakdown of this year’s best budget smartphone, as well as our full Samsung A53 5G review.
Apple iPhone SE 3rd Gen vs Samsung Galaxy A53 5G: A Quick Look at the Key Differences
- Aside from the design and size, the biggest difference is that the iPhone SE 3rd Gen runs Apple’s iOS 15, while Samsung’s runs Android 12.
- The iPhone SE is smaller, with a 4.7-inch screen compared to the A53’s 6.5-inch (6.3-inch using the rounded corners).
- To stay on screen technology, the iPhone SE has a maximum refresh rate of 60Hz, but the Samsung A53 offers an additional option of 120Hz (but it’s not quite as adaptive).
- The iPhone SE has one 12MP camera, while the Samsung A53 has four: a 64MP main camera, 12MP ultra-wide, 5MP depth, and 5MP macro.
- The Apple SE has a physical home button and larger bezels. The Samsung A53 5G does not have front buttons, using an on-screen fingerprint sensor.
Apple iPhone SE 3rd Gen vs Samsung Galaxy A53 5G: Design
Let’s just say that you will be able to distinguish the two phones. iPhone SE 3rd Gen has Apple’s “classic” (i.e. old) aesthetic – with large bezels that surround the display and a Home button that holds the Touch ID sensor. It’s vintage and takes a lot of inspiration from the iPhone 8 of 2017. It’s definitely an acquired taste of 2022.
The Samsung A53 5G is more modern thanks to a larger overall size, a full screen with an in-display fingerprint sensor, and much smaller bezels. There are more cameras on the rear unit and a punch-hole lens on the front.
Here is the third generation iPhone SE family of phones:
And here is the Samsung A53 series of phones:
Apple iPhone SE 3rd Gen vs Samsung Galaxy A53 5G: Specifications and Features
When it comes to choosing software, iPhone SE 3rd Gen uses iOS App Store while Samsung A53 5G uses Google Play Store. Your Android phone is a bit unlocked, and you will need an Apple ID to download via the Apple Store.
The processors inside each phone are also different. The iPhone SE 3rd Gen uses the A15 Bionic chip – which is very impressive because it’s the same line as the more expensive iPhone 13 series. The A53 has an Exynos 1280 (5nm) processor from this year. It’s a mid-range segment but it’s definitely not a slouch.
Sticking with performance, the iPhone SE display has a locked 60Hz refresh rate, while the A53 has the option to boost it to 120Hz. This may drain the battery faster but results in a smoother scrolling experience when using the screen.
Both devices are rated IP67 for water and dust resistance – which means they can (theoretically) survive up to one meter of liquid for up to 30 minutes. We do not recommend testing this, but it is useful if you are using it for exercise.
Apple iPhone SE 3rd Gen vs Samsung Galaxy A53 5G: Price
Pricing is one of the main reasons to compare these two phones. If you have around £400 and don’t care about iOS or Android, you’ll probably consider these phones. With that said, here’s a full UK price breakdown:
Apple iPhone SE 3rd Gen
Samsung A53 5G:
Apple iPhone SE 3rd Gen vs Samsung Galaxy A53 5G: Storage
The iPhone SE 3rd Gen has more storage options: 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB, with the cost going up depending on how much internal space you get. The Samsung A53 has two options, 128GB and 256GB, but it has the added advantage that it supports a microSD card with a capacity of up to 1TB. The Apple phone doesn’t support expandable card storage at all, so Samsung is your best bet if needed.
Apple iPhone SE 3rd Gen vs Samsung Galaxy A53 5G: Battery life
If you were to compare based on the spec sheet alone, you would think the A53 will easily outperform the iPhone SE 3rd Gen because Samsung has a 5,000mAh battery while the Apple model has a 2018 mAh battery. But this is not the full story.
Due to the tight integration with the iPhone and the A15 chip, the ages are similar. For moderate use – a general mix of calls, streaming, Internet use, messaging, and emails – both devices should be able to operate for 1-2 days before needing to be recharged.
The iPhone SE offers up to 15 hours of video playback, while the A53 has up to 18 hours of video playback. The iPhone SE provides up to 50 hours of audio playback, while the A53 gives you approximately 60 hours. This is never an exact science, and how much power you have will always depend on usage.
One factor to note is that only the iPhone SE offers Qi wireless charging. With a 20W adapter (not included), you can get up to 50% charge in 30 minutes. The A53 comes with fast charging up to 25W, and this adapter is also sold separately.
Apple iPhone SE 3rd Gen vs Samsung Galaxy A53 5G: Camera
Both setups are very capable of taking great photos, with multiple shooting modes for photo and 4K video. However, there are some obvious differences.
The Apple iPhone SE 3rd Gen has a single 12MP camera setup that relies more on AI running in the background. It has a dedicated portrait mode, up to 5x digital zoom and optical image stabilization. The selfie camera has a resolution of 7 megapixels.
The Samsung A53 5G has a quad-camera setup, with a main camera of 64MP, 12MP ultra-wide, 5MP ultra-wide and 5MP depth. The phone offers you up to 10x digital zoom and optical image stabilization as well. The A53 “selfie” camera lens has a resolution of 32 megapixels.
Apple iPhone SE 3rd Gen vs Samsung Galaxy A53 5G: Display
You’ll notice it right away if the two phones are placed side by side. The screens are very different sizes, and the iPhone definitely looks more comfortable.
The iPhone SE has a 4.7-inch LCD screen with a maximum brightness of about 625 nits while the A53 has a larger 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display (FHD+) with a brightness of 800 nits. The iPhone has thicker bezels, which are the borders around the screen, with the Samsung experience much more full-screen.
Apple iPhone SE 3rd Gen vs Samsung Galaxy A53 5G: Connectivity
Both phones support 5G, which means they will be able to take advantage of faster internet and download speeds on the new networks that are being rolled out now.
Like previous models, the iPhone SE 3rd Gen uses Apple’s Lightning connector for charging, while the Samsung A53 uses the more popular USB Type-C port. Pairing with wireless headphones? SE 3 has Bluetooth v5.0, Samsung has Bluetooth v5.1.
What should you buy: Apple or Samsung?
There is no doubt that the Samsung A53 is a more modern smartphone, thanks in large part to its larger screen size, 120Hz refresh rate, expandable storage and a full screen design that is very much in line with what many people expect a smartphone to look like. . 2022. If you prefer Android, choose this.
The iPhone SE may look dated, but the Apple A15 Bionic chipset is a big plus, and it has one main audience: anyone who wants iOS on a budget.
So this is the pointAs always, your purchase question may be quickly answered by choosing whether you want to be on iOS or Android. So if you’re in the Apple ecosystem — with a MacBook and Apple Watch, for example — you should probably stick with the iPhone SE 3rd Gen. But if you want to avoid an older design and don’t mind moving to Android, the Samsung A53 is a very good alternative. The phone has more storage options, smaller bezels and is slightly less expensive.