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Samsung Galaxy A33 5G hands-on review: Why spend more, when you can spend less?

The A33 5G might not be as flashy as the S22, but it’s pretty darn close

At a time when the latest handset could potentially withdraw well over £1,000 from your bank account, the Samsung Galaxy A33 5G – and to a lesser extent the A53 5G – is a welcome breath of fresh air.

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Launched during Samsung’s “Awesome Galaxy A” event on 17 March, the brand-new A33 5G could be your next smartphone without a flagship-sized investment. And with equally lavish specifications, there’s a good chance that this is the affordable handset to beat as 2022 finds its footing.

Samsung Galaxy A33 5G review: Key specifications, UK price and release date

  • 6.4in, 90Hz FHD+ Super AMOLED display
  • Octa-core 2.4GHz Samsung Exynos 1280 processor
  • 6GB of RAM
  • 128GB (expandable via microSD up to 1TB)
  • Quad rear camera: 48MP (f/1.8), 8MP (f/2.2) ultra-wide, 2MP (f/2.4) depth, 5MP (f/2.4) macro
  • Selfie camera: 13MP (f/2.2)
  • 5,000mAh battery
  • IP67-rated waterproofing
  • 160 x 74 x 8.1mm
  • 186g
  • Awesome Black, Awesome White, Awesome Blue, Awesome Peach
  • UK release date: 22 April
  • UK price: £329

Samsung Galaxy A33 5G review: Design, key features and first impressions

At first glance, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything to fault with the A33 5G. Speaking from a strictly design viewpoint, it looks just as good as any phone that costs twice the price, with its bold colour palette – the phone comes in Awesome Black, White, Blue and Peach – rounded rear camera housing and silver-tinted edges. It might be made of plastic, but there’s not even a faint whiff of cheapness here.

Despite the price, the A33 5G has an IP67 rating, which means it’s protected against water and dust ingress, and a layer of Gorilla Glass 5 should protect the screen against scratches and scrapes. Sadly, there’s no 3.5mm headphone jack, but you do get a pair of Dolby Atmos-certified stereo speakers – the A32 had only a single mono speaker.

A 6.4in Super AMOLED display sits on the front, with an FHD+ resolution and a maximum adaptive refresh rate of 90Hz (the A53 5G’s screen is 120Hz). Samsung says that the display has a maximum brightness of 800 nits, and there’s an in-screen fingerprint sensor, too. A teardrop notch is located in the top-middle of the screen, incorporating a 13MP (f/2.2) selfie camera.

Inside, Samsung’s own Exynos 1280 powers things, which is on an octa-core chipset clocked at 2.8GHz that also happens to be the first 5nm CPU to make an appearance in an A-series handset. According to Samsung, the A33 5G is 19% faster in single-core processing than its predecessor and up to 50% faster in graphics processing.

The Exynos 1280 is backed by 6GB of RAM and 128GB of expandable storage, with a large 5,000mAh battery and 25W wired charging. This is quoted as going from empty to 50% charge in just 30 minutes, with a two-day battery life. The phone also comes with Android 12 out of the box, albeit with Samsung’s own OneUI 4.1 software launcher.

Finally, the A33 5G has a quad-camera array on the rear, which includes a main 48MP unit, 8MP ultrawide, 2MP depth and a 2MP macro sensor. A new multi-frame AI image processing system combines 12 images into one, and there are a handful of new bokeh and portrait lighting modes to tinker with as well.

Samsung Galaxy A33 5G review: Early verdict

The Galaxy A33 5G is looking to be a bit of a bargain. Costing just £329, you can buy two of these for the price of just one Galaxy S22, with a little bit of change left over, too. It might not be the flashiest of handsets, but following my brief hands-on session, there’s a lot to like here.

The Galaxy A33 5G is due for release on 22 April, and I’ll be delivering my final verdict shortly.

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