Google Pixel 6a vs Samsung Galaxy A53: Which affordable mid-range phone is best?
We're taking an in-depth look at these two affordable mid-range phones to help you decide which to buy.
It's Google versus Samsung in a battle to be the best mid-range phone when it comes to affordability, but which one should you buy?
The newly-launched Google Pixel 6a is a natural competitor to the Samsung Galaxy A53, which was released back in March. Both carry a £399 RRP, making them temptingly affordable, but with enough specs to pack a punch and deliver some performance.
We're going to take a closer look at some of those specs to see how these two phones compare and help you decide which suits you.
Looking for more on Samsung's new products? Take a look at our Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 release date and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 release date pages. Or see how they compare in our Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 vs Z Flip 4 guide.
- Google Pixel 6a vs Samsung Galaxy A53: Specs and features
- Google Pixel 6a vs Samsung Galaxy A53: Display
- Google Pixel 6a vs Samsung Galaxy A53: Design
- Google Pixel 6a vs Samsung Galaxy A53: UK price
- Google Pixel 6a vs Samsung Galaxy A53: Which smartphone should you buy?
The Pixel 6a packs Google's Tensor chip, which has impressed us in other Google handsets and offers a notably smooth user experience. It's exactly the same chip that's in the standard Google Pixel 6, which is a real bonus for 6a buyers. By comparison, the Samsung uses the Exynos 1280 chipset, which is a very solid mid-range option and tested well during our Samsung Galaxy A53 review, without ever threatening to be best in class.
Both phones pack 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, but the Samsung is compatible with expandable storage, which will please some would-be buyers.
When it comes to cameras the Pixel looks out-gunned on paper, with its 12.2MP and 12MP lenses lining up against the 64MP, 12MP and 5MP lenses — plus 5MP depth sensor — of the Samsung. However, we're hesitant to say this is a clear win for the Samsung because Google phone cameras have excelled with small MP numbers before. We'll be testing these cameras in more depth before rendering a full verdict.
Elsewhere both phones boast an IP67 dust and water resistance rating and run versions of Android 12. The Pixel 6 offers pure straight-forward Android 12, obviously, while the Samsung has Samsung's own UI laid over the top. This means the Google phone can be a little slicker.
The Samsung's 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display offers a 120Hz refresh rate and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5, which leaves the Pixel 6a a little out-gunned in the display stakes.
Comparably, the Pixel 6a offers a smaller 6.1-inch OLED display — though many users will prefer this compact sizing — with less durable Corning Gorilla Glass 3.
As a result, unless you're particularly looking for a smaller phone and hence a smaller display, the Samsung takes the win in this department.
Of course, this is the most subjective area of comparison and we actively like the design of both phones, but for our money the Google Pixel 6a has a slightly more premium look and feel.
We liked the simple matte finish of the Samsung A53, and it's solid in terms of its design and overall look, but the Pixel 6a looks like more than £399-worth of phone, which is definitely a coup for the designers. This is a narrow win for the Pixel.
There are good deals to be had on both handsets at time of writing, even though the Pixel 6a has only just been released.
The A53 is available for £314 at time of writing, down from that £399 RRP, while the Pixel 6a still keeps its original price but comes with a free pair of Pixel Buds A-Series wireless earbuds.
Which one of these deals is better completely depends on what you need. If you've already got a pair of wireless earbuds that you're more than happy with, then you're likely to be tempted by the cheaper Samsung. If not, then the £399 Google bundle is probably more tempting.
These two are naturally close competitors and as a result choosing between them is a very tough call. Ultimately, it's going to come down to your preferences and what exactly you need from a new phone.
If you love streaming content on your phone, then the better display on the A53 will likely tempt you to choose Samsung's offering, but if you're someone who likes a small, pocketable phone and prioritises a smooth user experience above all else, then the Pixel 6a will suit you best. The fact that the 6a uses the same Tensor chip from the Pixel 6 really stands out and will make that smooth experience even smoother.
Either way, both phones come from reputable brands and are stacked with great features and notable value. Take a look at some of the latest deals below.