It’s Google versus Samsung in a battle to be the best mid-range phone for affordability, but which one should you buy?
The all-new Google Pixel 6a is a natural competitor to the Samsung Galaxy A53, released in March. Both carry an RRP of £399, making them affordable, but with enough spec to pack a punch and deliver performance.
We’re going to take a closer look at some of these specs to see how these two phones compare and help you decide which one is right for you.
Buy Google Pixel 6a with Pixel Buds A-series for £399 at Currys
Buy the Samsung Galaxy A53 from £314 on Amazon
Google Pixel 6a vs Samsung Galaxy A53: specs and features
The Pixel 6a packs Google’s Tensor chip, which has impressed us in other Google handsets and delivers a particularly smooth user experience. It’s the exact same chip as 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 and well-tested mid-range option in our Samsung Galaxy A53 test, never threatening to be best-in-class.
Both phones pack 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, but the Samsung supports expandable storage, which will appeal to some potential buyers.
When it comes to cameras, the Pixel looks outdated on paper, with its 12.2MP and 12MP lenses lined up against Samsung’s 64MP, 12MP and 5MP – plus 5MP depth sensor – lenses. However, we’re hesitant to say it’s a clear win for the Samsung, as Google’s phone cameras have already excelled with low MP numbers. We’ll be testing these cameras more thoroughly before delivering a full verdict.
Elsewhere, both phones boast an IP67 dust and water resistance rating and run versions of Android 12. The Pixel 6 obviously offers outright Android 12, while the Samsung has its own UI of Samsung laid on top. This means the Google Phone can be a bit smoother.
Google Pixel 6a vs. Samsung Galaxy A53: Display
Samsung’s 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display boasts a 120Hz refresh rate and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5, which leaves the Pixel 6a a little overwhelmed by the display stakes.
Comparatively, the Pixel 6a offers a smaller 6.1-inch OLED display – although many users prefer this compact size – with less durable Corning Gorilla Glass 3.
So unless you’re particularly looking for a smaller phone and therefore a smaller screen, the Samsung wins in this department.
Google Pixel 6a vs. Samsung Galaxy A53: Design
Of course, that’s the more 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 design and overall looks, but the Pixel 6a looks like a more than £399 phone, which is certainly a knock on the designers. It’s a narrow win for the Pixel.
Google Pixel 6a vs Samsung Galaxy A53: UK price and how to buy
There are great deals to be had on both handsets at the time of writing, even though the Pixel 6a has only just been released.
The A53 is available for £314 at the time of writing, down from RRP £399, while the Pixel 6a retains its original price but comes with a free pair of Pixel Buds A-Series Wireless Earbuds.
Which of these offers is the best depends entirely on what you need. If you already have a pair of wireless headphones that you’re more than happy with, you’ll probably be tempted by the cheaper Samsung. Otherwise, the £399 Google plan is probably more tempting.
Buy Google Pixel 6a with Pixel Buds A-Series for £399 at Amazon
Buy Google Pixel 6a with Pixel Buds A-Series for £399 at Currys
Buy the Samsung Galaxy A53 from £379 at Currys
Buy the Samsung Galaxy A53 from £314 on Amazon
Google Pixel 6a vs Samsung Galaxy A53: which smartphone to buy?
These two are naturally close competitors and hence choosing between them is a very tough decision. Ultimately, it will come down to your preferences and what exactly you need from a new phone.
If you love streaming content to your phone, the A53’s better display will probably make you choose Samsung’s offering, but if you’re someone who loves a small pocket phone and prioritizes a user experience above all fluid, 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 this experience even smoother.
Either way, both phones are from reputable brands and come with great features and notable value. Take a look at some of the latest deals below.
Google Pixel 6a deals
Samsung Galaxy A53 Deals
For more smartphone recommendations, check out our list of the best budget smartphones or take a look at our Honor X8 review.