Pixel 6A vs. Samsung Galaxy A53 vs. Nothing Telephone: Which Is the Midrange Star?

You needn’t spend $1,000 on an iPhone 13 Professional or Samsung Galaxy S22 Extremely to get a fantastic cellphone expertise. The mid vary value level is shortly turning into one of many hottest areas of telephones, with Samsung, Google and new contender Nothing all providing three telephones at just about similar $450 costs, with all three promising a slick and pleasant expertise. 

The Google Pixel 6A has already earned itself a glowing evaluation, with CNET’s Lisa Eadicicco calling it “the most effective finances Pixel but”. In the meantime I actually was impressed with the Nothing Telephone 1‘s steadiness of value and efficiency — to not point out its flashing taillights. Then there’s the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G, which earned a fantastic evaluation rating due to its value, its show and its cameras. 

However which cellphone is definitely deserving of your hard-earned money? I received maintain of all three to place them by means of their paces. 

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

Value and availability: The Nothing Telephone 1 is difficult to get

Let’s begin with a biggie. the Nothing Telephone 1 is on sale within the UK and wider Europe however a rollout into the US is to date unsure. Whereas Nothing has stated it want to launch its cellphone within the US, it wants a community companion to make it suitable with US 5G networks. As of the time of writing, there are not any plans for a correct US launch. Folks within the US can simply get the Pixel 6A and the Galaxy A53 5G, nonetheless.

All three telephones begin at very related costs; $450 for the Pixel 6A, $450 for the Galaxy A53 and $472 for the Nothing Telephone 1, primarily based on a conversion from its UK value. Within the UK, all three telephones begin at £399. Easy.

Design and show: Nothing’s flashing lights stand out

Whereas many telephones lately have been forgettable-looking slabs, all three of those midrangers have designs which are very a lot their very own. The A53 retains issues easy with a plastic again, raised digital camera unit and metallic edging. The Pixel 6A maintains the distinctive digital camera bar seen on its pricier siblings and whereas its again is technically plastic, you would be onerous pressed to inform it aside from the glass again of the 6 and 6 Professional. 

Three phones laying flat on a table

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

Between the 2, the Pixel 6A has a extra premium really feel, than the plasticky A53, however it’s the Nothing Telephone 1 that stands out within the appears to be like division. That is as a result of its clear again panel, which not solely supplies a novel view of its inside parts but in addition permits for its light-up LED “glyph” to pulse if you get notifications. It is arguably a gimmick and one that you could be not care about in any respect, however it’s actually enjoyable and it is good to have one thing quirky at this value. 

The Pixel 6A is the smaller of the three, packing a 6.1-inch show in opposition to the Nothing’s 6.55-inch and the A53’s 6.5-inch screens. That stated, the Pixel’s decision leads to a pixel density larger than its opponents, though all three are pin sharp with vibrant colours and excessive brightness ranges. The Nothing’s additional dimension would possibly make it the higher selection for cellular avid gamers amongst you, or these of you who watch plenty of video on the transfer, however all of them do a superb job of displaying vibrant content material and colourful video games.

Energy and efficiency: Pixel 6A packs a punch

The Nothing Telephone 1 makes use of a Snapdragon 778G+ processor and 12GB of RAM (as reviewed), whereas the Galaxy A53 5G makes use of an Exynos 1280 chip and 6GB of RAM. The Pixel 6A in the meantime makes use of Google’s personal custom-built Tensor processor with 6GB of RAM.

And that Tensor processor put in some wonderful scores on our suite of benchmark checks, that put it constantly above the opposite two. The Nothing was a good second, whereas the A53 did considerably fall behind on each CPU and graphics benchmarks. 

Efficiency comparability chart


Geekbench 5 (Single core)

Geekbench 5 (Multi-core)

3DMark Slingshot Limitless


Longer bars equal higher efficiency

Benchmarks alone aren’t an ideal indicator of real-world efficiency nonetheless and I discovered all three to be completely able to dealing with the necessities nicely. Navigating the interfaces was swift and lag-free on all fashions and all of them dealt with extra demanding gaming in Asphalt 9: Legends with none noticeable stuttering or slow-down. Video streaming was no downside on any cellphone and I might instantly leap between open apps with the multitasking switcher. 

Over time I’d anticipate the Pixel 6A to typically carry out higher because it’s already ranging from a extra highly effective place. It’d imply that as much more demanding video games arrive it is well-placed to deal with them in a method that maybe the A53 could not. Proper now although, any of your on a regular basis emailing, Instagramming, Sweet Crushing, WhatsApp group message avoiding enjoyable shall be dealt with completely nicely by any of those telephones. 

Cameras: Pixel 6A strikes the precise steadiness

All three telephones have a number of rear cameras, giving each customary views and ultrawide pictures. The A53 features a 5-megapixel macro digital camera and a depth sensor for portrait photographs, however it’s the primary and extensive cameras you may doubtless end up utilizing most frequently. Samsung’s cellphone cameras have typically had a bent to look overly saturated and contrasty and that is completely the case with the A53. 


Galaxy A53 essential digital camera take a look at.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET


Nothing Telephone 1 essential digital camera take a look at.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET


Pixel 6A essential digital camera take a look at.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

Its pictures are constantly punchy with the colours, to the purpose that they appear as if you’ve got slapped on some high-contrast filter on Instagram. The Nothing Telephone 1 goes the opposite method, nonetheless, with continuously muted tones. It is significantly noticeable if you swap to the Telephone 1’s ultrawide lens, which produces drab-looking photographs that look virtually shameful in opposition to the others. 


Galaxy A53 ultrawide digital camera take a look at.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET


Nothing Telephone 1 ultrawide digital camera take a look at.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET


Pixel 6A ultrawide digital camera take a look at.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

It is the Pixel 6A that constantly produces probably the most balanced-looking photographs in each its customary and ultrawide views. The 6A’s colours are correct and vibrant, with out trying overly processed, and it typically captures a extra balanced publicity than the opposite two, maintaining brilliant skies below management nicely. 


Galaxy A53 essential digital camera take a look at.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET


Nothing Telephone 1 essential digital camera take a look at.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET


Pixel 6A essential digital camera take a look at.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

All three telephones are completely able to taking first rate snaps at your subsequent household picnic, but when pictures prowess is essential to you then the Pixel 6A is the one to go for. 

Battery life: A detailed combat however Pixel 6A takes the win

With an enormous 5,000-mAh battery stuffed inside I anticipated the Galaxy A53 to place in the most effective efficiency when it got here to battery life. It is a extra capacious cell than the 4,410 mAh of the Pixel 6A or the 4,500 mAh of the Nothing Telephone 1. On my checks, nonetheless, it was the Pixel that managed to edge out the competitors.

After 1 hour of streaming a YouTube video on Wi-Fi, with the screens set to most brightness, the Pixel had dropped from full to 98% remaining. The Nothing Telephone 1 dropped to 95% in the identical time, whereas the A53 dropped to 94%. After a second hour, the Pixel had dropped to 92%, with the Nothing cellphone coming in a detailed second at 90%, with the A53 having dropped to 89%. 

Three phones laying flat on a table

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

Certain, the Pixel technically did the most effective right here, however we’re actually solely speaking a number of share factors between them, which is not a giant deal. All three put in stable performances: Each right here and in on a regular basis use, the battery elevate you possibly can anticipate to see will differ relying on how a lot you demand of your cellphone. 

With cautious use you will not battle to get a full day trip of any of the telephones, and all three will doubtless need a full recharge each night time. 

Software program and different options 

All three telephones run Android 12 at their core, however you can find some notable variations within the expertise. The Pixel 6A runs a pure, Google-produced model of Android 12. It is a clear and clutter-free expertise that I’ve loved utilizing for a while on the Pixel 6 and 6 Professional. The Nothing Telephone 1 has a visible pores and skin that features totally different colours, fonts and backgrounds, however it’s additionally neat and stripped-back, making it easy and easy to navigate.

The A53 instantly irritated me with quite a lot of prebundled apps, together with ones for Reserving.com, TikTok, Nextdoor and quite a lot of Samsung’s personal apps and shops. These apps make the cellphone really feel cluttered earlier than you’ve got even begun to put in your personal. There are two totally different messaging apps, for instance — Google’s and Samsung’s — so Android novices would possibly discover it extra sophisticated to familiarize yourself with. 

Close up on details of two phones

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

The A53 does have a killer function not discovered on the opposite two although: expandable storage. Whereas the Pixel 6A comes with 128GB of storage and the Nothing Telephone 1 is offered with as much as 256GB, the Galaxy A53’s 128GB of storage might be expanded with microSD playing cards as much as 1TB in dimension. That makes it a fantastic choice in the event you take plenty of photographs or movies or wish to save plenty of media domestically to your cellphone to take pleasure in when you do not have an web connection. 

Which cellphone do you have to purchase? 

The Nothing Telephone 1’s distinctive design actually provides it an edge over the others, however in the event you’re not bothered about these flashy lights, you like taking wide-angle photographs on trip — or in the event you dwell within the US and might’t even purchase it — then it’s best to look towards the others. 

Whereas the A53 5G carried out admirably in our checks, it was the Pixel 6A that constantly got here out on prime. Its processor efficiency is best, it takes higher photographs from each its cameras, its pure Android interface is nicer to navigate and it even feels just like the extra premium gadget if you maintain it. 

The A53 is bigger and its expandable storage provides it a particular one-up if you wish to retailer plenty of media, however general it is the Pixel 6A that provides the most effective worth for cash. 

Pixel 6A vs. Nothing Telephone 1 vs. Galaxy A53 5G specs comparability chart

Google Pixel 6A Nothing Telephone 1 Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
Show dimension, decision 6.1-inch OLED; (1080 x 2400); 60Hz 6.55-inch OLED show, 2,400 x1080 pixels; 6.5-inch AMOLED (2,400×1,080 pixels); 120 Hz
Pixel density 429 ppi 402ppi 405ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 6.0 x 2.8 x 0.35 in 6.28 x 2.94 x 0.32 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 152.2 x 7.18 x 8.9 mm 159.2 x 75.8 x 8.3 mm 159.6 x 74.8 x 8.1 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 6.3 oz; 178g 193.5g 6.67 oz; 189g
Cell software program Android 12 Android 12 Android 12
Digital camera 12.2-megapixel (extensive), 12-megapixel extremely extensive) 50-megapixel (essential), 50-megapixel (ultrawide) 64-megapixel (extensive), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 5-megapixel (macro), 5-megapixel (depth)
Entrance-facing digital camera 8-megapixel 16-megapixel 32-megapixel
Video seize 4K 4K at 60fps 4K
Processor Google Tensor Snapdragon 778G+ Exynos 1280
RAM/Storage 6GB RAM/128GB storage 8GB + 128GB, 8GB +256 GB, 12GB RAM + 256GB 6GB/128GB
Expandable storage None None As much as 1TB
Battery/Charger 4,410 mAh capability; 18-watt quick charging (adapter bought individually) 4,500mAH (33W wired charging, 15W wi-fi charging, 5W reverse charging) 5,000mAh (charger not included, doesn’t assist wi-fi charging)
Fingerprint sensor Underneath show In-display In-display
Connector USB C USB-C USB-C
Headphone jack None None None
Particular options 5G-enabled, 18W quick charging, WiFi 6E, safety updates for five years, Android OS updates for 3 years, twin SIM, IP67 water resistance 5G, IP53, Three years of Android updates, Twin Sim, 120Hz adaptive refresh fee 5G-enabled; IP67 score; helps 25W wired quick charging, Samsung Pay
Value off-contract (USD) $449 $470 (transformed) $450
Value (GBP) £399 £399 £399
Value (AUD) A$749 AU$685 (transformed) AU$699

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