Samsung Galaxy A33 5G Review cover

Midrange smartphones are typically concessions between performance and cost but the new Samsung Galaxy A 2022 range of phones punch above their weight class with features that only typically see service in flagship grade phones twice its intended price point. 

While it may be the smallest of their 5G capable line-up the Galaxy A33 5G is an impressive example of engineering that packs in a remarkable amount of performance and features for under RM1,500.

Samsung Galaxy A33 5G Review angled

We previously took a look and gave our Galaxy A33 5G first impressions and unboxed it too. After taking it for a whirl for the past couple of weeks, here’s our Galaxy A33 5G review where we put it to the test!

Samsung Galaxy A33 5G review – Specifications and Benchmarks

For Malaysia, the Samsung Galaxy A33 5G comes in only one RAM and storage configuration though you have the choice of four colourways – Awesome Blue, Awesome Black, Awesome White and Awesome Peach to suit your tastes. 

Our Samsung Galaxy A33 5G review sample came in Awesome White with 8GB RAM and 128GB of expandable storage. Unlike many flagship phones and a good deal of midrange ones, the phone has the notable advantage of having a hybrid SIM card slot with support for microSD cards up to 1TB in size which means memory limitations aren’t an issue with the phone for the foreseeable future.

Here’s how the Samsung Galaxy A33 5G for Malaysia stacks up on paper:

Price RM1,499
Display 6.4-inch Super AMOLED Infinity-U, 1080 x 2,400 pixels, 90Hz, 20:9 aspect ratio, 411ppi
Processor Exynos 1280
Memory 8GB RAM + up to 8GB vRAM / 128GB storage + microSD card
OS Android 12 w/ One UI 4.1
Camera 48MP F/1.8 w/ PDAF and OIS 8MP ultrawide angle + 5MP macro + 2MP depth sensor [rear] / 13MP F/2.2 [front]
Battery 5,000mAh, 25W fast charging
Size/Weight 159.7 x 74 x 8.1mm /186g
Samsung Galaxy A33 5G Review – Specifications

For the Malaysia market, the Galaxy A33 5G has the same Exynos 1280 CPU as the slightly larger Galaxy A53 5G, runs the same Android 12 OS with their latest One UI 4.1 user interface and benefits from the same 4 years of OS upgrades and 5 years of security upgrades. This means that it’ll keep ticking all the way until it gets Android 16 which is an update policy that few among the competition have yet to match.

The phone even benefits from several One UI settings that are typically the province of Samsung tablets like the ability to cap charging at 85% to ensure battery longevity though it alas still doesn’t have DeX mode. One UI mainstays like Samsung Pay, Bixby Routines and their new Link to Windows feature are all present as well, making the phone immensely well featured for an entry-level workhorse.

The Galaxy A33 5G also enjoys the ability to allocate up to 8GB of virtual RAM from existing storage as needed in 2GB increments; a feature that’s limited or often unavailable in other phones in its price range.

3D Mark Wild Life   2,274
3D Mark Wild Life Unlimited 2,251
3D Mark Wild Life Extreme 632
3D Mark Wild Life Extreme Ultd 621
Geekbench 5 Single Core 745
Geekbench 5 Multi Core 1,930
Geekbench 5 OpenCL 2,555
Geekbench 5 Vulkan 2,582
PCMark Work 3.0 11,859
PCMark Battery Life 13 hours 24 minutes
Samsung Galaxy A33 5G Review – Benchmarks

Overall performance is smooth for day to day tasks and the Exynos 1280 is a competent midrange octacore CPU that acquits itself in all but the most demanding applications. Even with sustained workloads like heavy gaming for extended periods of time, temperatures were kept to a modest 38°C without any major heat spikes.

Samsung Galaxy A33 5G Review gaming

It ran Call of Duty Mobile comfortably at Medium graphics quality and High frame rate settings and Genshin Impact at low settings with both games running in a playable fashion.

While Samsung has released a Game Performance management toggle to bypass the performance throttling for faster, smoother frame rates and performance in games, it doesn’t make a significant difference after puttering around in either game that we tested. For what you pay for, you’re getting decent performance that punches above its weight class.

Few can match Samsung’s mastery of AMOLED panel quality and the 6.4-inch Super AMOLED Infinity-U display here served up excellent visuals.

Samsung Galaxy A33 5G Review front display

While the 90Hz refresh rate is lower than that of the A53 and A73, it’s not all that apparent with in day to day use and you’d have to be already familiar with the silky smoothness of a 120Hz display and have a trained eye to even notice the infinitesimally minor frame rate stuttering. Outdoors screen brightness is fair and the display is still readable if you dial brightness all the way up.

On the audio front, the Galaxy A33 5G is one of the few sub- RM1,500 phones to pack stereo speakers and while they aren’t the loudest or most detailed, they lend a richer dimension to movies and gaming that are hard to find in this price range which are predominated by phones with only mono speakers.

In terms of endurance, our Galaxy A33 5G review sample and its large 5,000mAh battery can easily last an entire day and a bit beyond the next morning.

When subjected to PCMark’s Work benchmark, it lasted a whopping 13 hours and 24 minutes, helped in part by the efficient processor and modest size of the display compared to the larger A53 and A73 5G. As a concession to cost, the Galaxy A33 5G lacks wireless and reverse wireless charging but has a fast 25W wired charging via USB Power Delivery. 

Unfortunately, the phone lacks a wired charger with the box. To test its charging capabilities, I used the trusty UGreen 100W GaN fast charger and it worked like a charm, juicing it to full in about an hour and 30 minutes which is on par for its ilk

Samsung Galaxy A33 5G Review – Cameras

When compared to the larger Galaxy A53 and A73, the Galaxy A33 5G’s camera array seems like the most modest of all but this has to be measured at how much you’re paying for it and for RM1,499, you’re getting a very solid set of cameras.

Samsung Galaxy A33 5G Review rear cameras

Our Galaxy A33 5G review sample features a quad camera array built around a primary 48MP camera, an 8MP ultra wide angle camera, a 5MP macro camera and a 2MP depth sensor. While it sounds pedestrian as camera arrays go, the primary camera has optical image stabilisation which is a decidedly rare feature for most phones in this price range. The front has a more standard 13MP fixed focus selfie camera. 

Samsung Galaxy A33 5G review close up

Samsung Galaxy A33 5G review – Mouth watering shots off the primary rear camera

Samsung Galaxy A33 5G review colours

Both the front selfie camera and the rear camera array are capable of up to 4K@30fps video though only 1080p@30fps enjoys AI stabilisation for judder free footage. Stills captured from the rear main 48MP camera benefit from the aforementioned OIS with up to 10x digital zoom by cropping an image off the main camera sensor.

Samsung Galaxy A33 5G review 1x

Samsung Galaxy A33 5G review – Primary rear camera at 1x

Samsung Galaxy A33 5G review 10x zoom

Samsung Galaxy A33 5G review – 10x digital zoom off the rear camera

While it certainly can’t outgun a flagship phone, our Galaxy A33 5G review sample was capable of some surprisingly decent snaps helped in part by the inclusion of OIS that makes it a lot easier to get good shots off the cuff.

Samsung Galaxy A33 5G review dawn

Samsung Galaxy A33 5G review – Shot taken at early dawn [nowis] on Auto

In daylight, shots in ultrawide mode all the way to 2x magnification off the rear camera are sufficiently detailed and with good colour accuracy for social media use though shots at 10x digital zoom are understandably grainy and soft.

Low light shots are fair but you’ll need Night mode to achieve best results. Selfies are decent as well and you’ll be able to get a decent TikTok or two and finagle a clear video call for work or school.

Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy A33 5G?

For RM1,499, you’re getting a great 90Hz AMOLED display, stereo speakers, IP67 water resistance, a solid performance to price ratio, 5G connectivity, expandable storage, an OIS-stabilised rear camera and great battery life. Most important of all, you’re getting a whopping 4 years of OS updates and 5 years of security updates. 

Hitech Century Gold Award

At the end of the day, the Samsung Galaxy A33 5G is a very well rounded budget smartphone with a set of features that allow it to punch above its weight class and trump almost anything in its price range. This is an excellent choice for casual users seeking a well balanced budget phone.

Samsung Galaxy A33 5G review front

Samsung Galaxy A33 5G review  sample courtesy of Samsung Malaysia. To purchase please visit the online Samsung store at https://www.samsung.com/my/smartphones/galaxy-a/galaxy-a33-5g-awesome-blue-128gb-sm-a336elbhxme/buy/

Samsung Galaxy A33 5G
4.2
  • Display
  • Performance
  • Cameras
  • Battery Life
  • Value

Samsung Galaxy A33 5G

 The Samsung Galaxy A33 is a triumph of design that brings some of the best qualities in their higher end flagships to a sub RM1.5K price point. You get IP67 water resistance, a large battery, a great display and an OIS-stabilised rear quad camera with expandable storage too. Add in 4 years of OS updates and the A33 becomes a sound investment indeed.

Pros

Bright and vibrant AMOLED display

Optical image stabilisation on main rear camera

Expandable storage

IP67 water resistance

Good battery life

Stereo speakers

Cons

No wireless charging or reverse wireless charging options

Plasticky chassis

No 3.5mm jack