Samsung Galaxy A33 5G is the cheapest 5G phone in the company’s 2022 lineup. I have been using the phone as my daily driver along with other similar mid-range phones. In this review, I will be discussing the pros and cons of the Samsung Galaxy A33 5G and how it compares against the other popular alternatives. Before we start the review, let’s quickly look at the official specifications of the Samsung Galaxy A33 5G Review.
Samsung Galaxy A33 5G Specifications:
- Dimensions: 159.7 x 74.0 x 8.1mm, 186g
- Display: 6.4-inch Super AMOLED, 90Hz refresh rate, Gorilla Glass 5
- Resolution: FHD+ (1080 x 2400 pixels), 20:9 aspect ratio
- Processor: Exynos 1280 (5nm)
- CPU: Quad-core– 2x Cortex-A78 (2.4 GHz)
– 6x Cortex-A55 (2.0 GHz)
- GPU: Mali-G68
- Memory: 6/8GB RAM, 128GB storage (expandable up to 1TB)
- Software: Android 12 based OneUI 4.1
- Rear Camera: Quad;
– 48MP f/1.8 primary
– 8MP f/2.2 ultrawide
– 5MP f/2.4 depth
– 2MP f/2.4 macro
- Front Camera: 13MP f/2.2 (Infinity-V notch)
- Audio: Stereo speakers, No headphone jack
- Battery: 5000mAh, 25W (No charger in Box)
- Security: In-display fingerprint sensor
- Connectivity: Dual-SIM (Nano), WiFi 5 (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 5.1, A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS, QZSS
- Price in Nepal: NPR 46,999 (8/128GB)
Samsung Galaxy A33 5G Review:
- Glass front, Plastic back/frames
- IP67 rating
Talking about the design, everything except for the front on the A33 5G is made from plastic. Still, there is not much to complain about the in-hand feel of the phone. What I like about the design is that Samsung has provided a matte finish on the back as well as the frames. This helps you get a firm grip on the phone, making it less slippery of a phone.
In addition, the phone even brings an official IP67 dust and splash resistance, which was missing from its predecessor. Thus, the phone can survive anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes in water of 1m depth. It is probably the cheapest phone on the market to offer this degree of ingress protection.
- 6.4-inch Super AMOLED
- 90Hz refresh rate
- Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection
Over on the front, you get a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED screen with a 90Hz refresh rate. Looking at Samsung’s 2022 smartphone lineup, it is the cheapest with a Super AMOLED panel. But, the AMOLED panel in this price range is not anything new. You can get phones with AMOLED screen and 120Hz refresh rate for even cheaper.
That begin said, I have always found the color optimization on Samsung’s panel to be superior to other brands. For this video, I compared the A33 5G with the Realme 9 Pro Plus. The two phones compete in the same price bracket and have almost the same display on paper, even down to the Gorilla Glass 5 protection.
However, having used the two phones, what I can tell you is that Galaxy A33 5G has a better display than that of Realme 9 Pro+, although marginally. I found it to have better details and slightly poppier colors. Likewise, both phones have Widevine L1 certification for playing HD content off streaming platforms like Netflix.
- Stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos
- In-display fingerprint scanner
Further enriching your multimedia experience with these phones are stereo speakers. In addition, you also get Dolby Atmos on both. In terms of the actual sound quality, Realme 9 Pro+ has a wider sound, though I prefer the clarity and punch of the A33 5G. However, it misses out on the good-old 3.5mm headphone jack that you get on the Realme 9 Pro+.
Keeping that aside, Realme 9 Pro+ 5G does look more modern with its left-aligned punch-hole cutout against Galaxy A33 5G’s infinity-U notch. Interestingly, A33 5G is also missing an Always On Display option.
Both phones offer in-display fingerprint scanners that other brands usually skip on their midrange offerings. Though the two perform quite similarly in terms of speed and accuracy, Realme 9 Pro+ goes a step further with heart rate monitoring.
- Quad camera setup at the back
- (48MP main, 8MP ultrawide, 5MP macro, 2MP depth)
- 16MP selfie camera (teardrop notch)
As for photography, you get a 50MP camera on the Realme 9 Pro while the A33 5G features a 48MP shooter. Both come with Optical Image Stabilization. However, there is a vast difference in how they process an image.
Normal and Ultrawide
As you can see in these images, photos from the Realme 9 Pro+ have more contrast. On the other hand, A33 5G clicks more real-to-life pictures. It even handles shadows better. Thus, photos from A33 5G are usually better.
Moving on, the ultrawide shots from both the phones are not anything to write home about. Still, if I have to choose one it would be A33 5G. As with the primary shots, the ultrawide shots are too dark for my liking.
Moving on, A33 5G clicks better portraits as well. The thing with Realme is that it struggles with maintaining exposure. As a result, most often you will end up an unnaturally bright subject. Likewise, the images look a little hazy in challenging light conditions. Overall, you will get better results with A33 5G on most conditions.
The differences are more subtle when it comes to selfies. While I like the skin tone and details of the A33 5G’s normal selfies, the edge detection on its portrait selfies is second to Realme 9 Pro+.
That being said, it is not a clean sweep victory for the A33 5G on the photography front. When it comes to low-light images, it simply can not match the exposure control of the 9 Pro+. Whether it is normal nighttime images or with the night mode enabled, Realme 9 Pro+ takes better photos, and that too by a fair margin.
In terms of video, both videos can record 4K videos at 30 fps. If you put the two videos side by side, you will notice that the one from the Realme 9 Pro+ has a better stability. However, it achieves it by cropping into the frame. Thus, you will see that its videos are more zoomed in than that of A33 5G.
If you can live with the little shaky videos, A33 5G produces better colors. As for 1080p videos, I didn’t find one phone to be superior to the other. They are neck to neck when it comes to details or even stability.
- Octa-core Exynos 1280 SoC (5nm)
- 6/8GB RAM, 128GB storage
On the performance, front, Samsung Galaxy A33 5G brings the Exynos 1280 chipset. It is the latest in-house chipset from Samsung with significant performance improvement over the Helio G80 on its predecessor. As powerful as the chip is, Samsung has not quite made the optimizations that are required for a smooth experience. It has already been more than a month since we have been using this phone and we are yet to see any Samsung addressing this issue.
Take gaming for example. Even in popular games like PUBG: Mobile, you cannot push higher than the High refresh rate even with the graphics set to Smooth.
Another aspect where Samsung Galaxy A53 5G falls flat is in gaming. Exynos 1280 is simply not optimized for games yet. In PUBG: Mobile you cannot go past the High Frame rate even with the graphics set to Smooth. Here, you can get stable 30fps gameplay. On the contrary, with the Realme 9 Pro+, you can get a constant 40fps even with the graphics set to HDR.
There is no Ultra Graphics setting in Mobile Legends: Bang Bang for the Galaxy A33 5G. Although you can get frames upwards of 50 fps with graphics and refresh rate both set to high.
Moving on, Galaxy A33 5G struggles to play Genshin Impact even at the lowest of settings. The frame fluctuates a lot and the phone also gets considerably warm. In comparison, you can get fairly stable fps in 30fps mode in the same game with the Realme 9 Pro+.
You can notice the lack of optimization on the Galaxy A33 5G even in day-to-day life usage. It is hard to notice at first, but when placed alongside the Relame 9 Pro+ you can see that the latter is snappier when it comes to opening apps and multitasking. In addition, haptics implementation is also marginally better.
- Android 12 with Samsung’s One UI 4.1 on top
- 3 years of Android & 4 years of security patches
As for software, both Realme 9 Pro+ and Samsung Galaxy A33 5G boot on Android 12 out of the box. However, the latter is guaranteed 3 years of Android and 4 years of security updates. Realme might get one or two major OS updates but as of now, the company has not officially committed to providing any.
Though you will find bloatwares on both One UI 4.1 and Realme UI, the number of apps pre-installed is significantly higher on the latter. However, you will be able to uninstall most of them.
Another thing to note here is that the proximity sensor on the A33 5G is a virtual one. Thus, it may not work as intended all the time. In addition, the South Asian version of the phone doesn’t have NFC even though it’s available in regions like the UK.
Battery and Charging
Oh, wait! I almost forgot to tell you about the battery. Theoretically, the 5nm process node of the Exynos 1280 should make the phone more power-efficient and last longer on batteries. But my experience has been quite the opposite.
On a full charge, A33 5G with its 5,000mAh battery struggled to even go through a day of normal usage. Likewise, the phone supports 25W fast charging and it can go from 1 to 100% in around an hour and a half. However, you would need a compatible charger that Samsung doesn’t include in the box.
Yes, you will have to spend a few extra bucks for a charger with the A33 5G, that is not the case with the Realme 9 Pro+ or any midrange offering from other brands. Realme 9 Pro+ even edges past the A33 5G both in terms of endurance even with a smaller 4,500mAh battery. On top, it even charges faster with the 65W power brick that Realme ships happily in the box.
Samsung Galaxy A33 5G Review: Conclusion
So, should you buy the Galaxy A33 5G over the Realme 9 Pro+? Well, it depends on what you intend to do with your phone. Galaxy A33 5G has batter cameras, and it is a better multimedia device, although marginally. Likewise, it even comes with an IP67 rating and 4 years of promised software updates. It even has 12 5G bands compared to Realme 9 Pro+’s 6 for future-proofing.
However, Exynos 1280 is not quite optimized and, at the moment, lags behind Realme 9 Pro+ is both in real-life usage and gaming. Realme 9 Pro+ also boasts better battery life and faster charging. It also doesn’t compromise on a 3.5mm headphone jack and proximity sensor.
Another potential alternative in this range is the OnePlus Nord CE 2. Even if you are fixed about getting a Samsung phone, you will be better off with last year’s A52s for a couple of extra bucks.
Samsung Galaxy A33 5G Review: Pros and Cons
- Vibrant sAMOLED display
- Impressive stereo speakers
- Decent camera for the price
- 3 years of promised Android updates
- Exynos 1280 requires optimization
- Cameras struggle at low-light
- Virtual Proximity sensor
- No charger in the box
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