What’s the best phone under $500?

A massive price drop puts the Motorola Edge (2021) in the same price bracket as the Galaxy A53 5G, but will that be enough to sway buyers?

the Galaxy A53 5G is one of the best mid-range smartphones available to buy in the United States, although there are a few contenders in the same price range, such as the Pixel 5a 5G on the Android side and the iPhone SE 3 for those who want an iPhone. Another option to consider is the Motorola Edge (2021), which previously wasn’t in the same price bracket but is now worth considering, thanks to a price drop.

The Motorola Edge family is large, with several models, some of which have the same name in different markets but have different specifications. Still, some models have different names in different markets but have the same specifications. An example is the flagship Motorola Edge 30 Pro sold in the US as Motorola Edge+ (2022).


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When Motorola announced the Edge (2021) in August 2021, it carried a price tag of $699. Less than a year later, Motorola slashed it to $449, the same amount Samsung is charging for the Galaxy A53 5G. The two phones differ in appearance. The Motorola Edge (2021) has a triple camera array protruding from its plastic back. It doesn’t hide a fingerprint scanner underneath despite the familiar Motorola Batwing logo on the back. Gorilla Glass protects the screen on the front and the phone has an IP52 rating, which means it will survive use in the rain but not total submersion in water. The Galaxy A53 5G, on the other hand, has a quad rear camera setup arranged on a rectangular island. It also has a plastic back but an IP67 rating (will survive up to 1m in water for 30 minutes). Samsung US is selling the Galaxy A53 5G in black even though it was launched in four colors, while users can buy the Motorola Edge (2021) in Nebula Blue.

The Motorola Edge (2021) has a refresh rate of 144Hz

The Motorola Edge (2021) has a refresh rate of 144Hz

The display is the first striking difference between the two phones. The Motorola Edge rocks a massive 6.8-inch FHD+ LCD display with a centered punch-hole for a 32MP selfie camera. Plus, it has a 144Hz refresh rate and HDR10 support. The Galaxy A53 5G, on the other hand, has a smaller 6.5-inch display, but it’s an AMOLED panel, which means colors should be better. It also has a 32MP camera in its notch, 120Hz refresh rate, and HDR10 support. Also, under the hood of the Galaxy A53 5G is the 5nm Exynos 1280 (with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage) which isn’t as powerful as the 6nm Snapdragon 778G that Motorola has released. inside his phone. On top of that, Edge has more RAM and storage – 8GB and 256GB, respectively – but lacks a MicroSD card slot found on the Galaxy A53 5G.

For the rear cameras, the Motorola Edge has a 108 MP main sensor without optical image stabilization (OIS), an 8 MP 119° ultra wide-angle camera that can also take macro photos and a 2 MP depth sensor. The Galaxy A53 5G has a lower resolution 64MP main camera, but it has OIS. It also has a sharper 12MP ultra-wide-angle camera, a dedicated 5MP camera for macro shooting, and a 5MP depth camera. Both phones have a fingerprint scanner, but it sits below the Galaxy A53 5G display, while the Motorola Edge has its on the right side, acting as the power button. Neither phone has an audio jack, but the Galaxy A53 5G has stereo speakers, while the Motorola Edge 2021 only has one. There’s also NFC, Bluetooth 5.2 (5.1 on the Samsung), dual-band Wi-Fi (Wi-Fi 6E on the Motorola Edge), and a single SIM slot for the US model.

It’s not uncommon to find large batteries on mid-range phones, and the Galaxy A53 5G and Motorola Edge (2021) are no exception as both have a battery capacity of 5000mAh. However, Samsung’s phone supports 25W fast charging and does not come with a charger, while Motorola’s device supports 30W fast charging and comes with a power bank. 30W in the box. On the software side, Samsung is getting the Edge, shipping its phone with Android 12 and promising 4 OS upgrades and five years of security updates. In contrast, the Motorola (Edge 2021) launched with Android 11 with a promise of two OS upgrades and three years of security updates. Motorola has released Android 12, so the Android 13 upgrade will be the last.

People who prefer a clean UI will find Motorola’s Android-like My UX meets that need. Even more interesting is the ‘Ready For feature, which has several functions, one of which is a desktop interface when connected to an external display such as a monitor. Additionally, Samsung sells the Galaxy A53 5G with a free pair of Galaxy Buds Live headphones worth over $100, plus other freebies.

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Source: Motorola, Samsung

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