Samsung Galaxy A34 first look front

Samsung Galaxy A34 first look – First impressions and what’s new for their hottest midrange workhorse phone

The new Galaxy A34 and Galaxy A54 are Samsung’s latest midrange phones for their Galaxy A series that will launch in Malaysia in the next few days. We managed to get our hands on both smartphones for an early first-hand look at its design, specifications and for a quick whirl around the block. 

Here’s our Samsung Galaxy A34 first look where we see what their latest midrange offering has to offer

@hitechcentury A quick hands-on of the new Galaxy A34 5G and Galaxy A54 5G that’s coming to Malaysia soon. The new midrange phones are IP67 dust and water resistant, have 5G connectivity, 120Hz Super AMOLED displays, microSD card slots and an OIS stabilised primary rear camera. They’re all coming soon to Malaysia! @samsungmalaysia #galaxyA54 #galaxya34 #samsung ♬ In Love With You – BLVKSHP

Samsung Galaxy A34 first look – What’s different from the Galaxy A33?

Officially designated as the Galaxy A34 5G to further emphasise the presence of a 5G modem , the Galaxy A34, as it is more popularly known, sits squarely between the entry level Galaxy A14 that was released a couple of weeks earlier and its fellow 5G-capable sibling the Galaxy A54 5G.

In terms of the official pecking order, Galaxy A series phones are midrange offerings that have a variety of features that are culled from the higher end Galaxy S series smartphones. In the case of the Galaxy A34, it pays homage to the Galaxy S23’s sleek minimalist aesthetics with a similar looking brushed pastel or matte finish as well as individually separated camera housings protected by chromed metal rings. 

Samsung Galaxy A34 first look rear

Compared to last year’s Galaxy A33 5G, the Galaxy A34 is slightly heavier and larger while featuring a slightly larger display by 0.2 inches with a higher refresh rate, a slightly improved processor and slightly improved cameras. On top of the obligatory improvements to processors, displays and camera performance, the Galaxy A34, at a glance, features a wealth of hardware belying its midrange status that would put other contenders in its category to shame.

Samsung Galaxy A34 first look – Design

Unlike a good many competing mid range phones that cut corners or rely on cropping the feed on the main camera sensor to achieve a semblance of electronic image stabilisation, the Galaxy A34 has actual physical optical image stabilisation (OIS) hardware for its primary 48MP F/1.8 camera. This is paired with an 8MP F/2.2 ultrawide angle camera and a tertiary 5MP F/2.4 macro camera. Combined, this setup allows for up to 4K@30fps video.

To the unpractised eye, the Galaxy A34 almost looks like a Galaxy S23 Plus though its lineage is apparent when you notice its teardrop shaped cut-out on the front Super AMOLED display. Its sibling, the Galaxy A54 from the rear also looks somewhat similar but has a more modern-looking punch hole for its front selfie camera. Our Galaxy A34 first look sample comes in a matte black shade of Awesome Graphite though it can also be acquired in three other colourways which are Awesome Lime, Awesome Silver and Awesome Violet.

The Awesome Graphite finish on the backplate offers fair resistance to fingerprints and while it does look like its made of glass or aluminium, it’s actually polycarbonate or as Samsung refers to it, as ‘Glasstic’, though the paint job does a good job of mimicking much pricier materials. The chassis is also IP67 dust and water resistant too which is quite an impressive feat for its midrange status.

Samsung Galaxy A34 and A54first look

The Samsung Galaxy A34 has a teardrop shaped camera cut-out while the Galaxy A54 as a punch hole shaped cut-out as well as a slightly smaller display

Fortunately, the front is protected by a slab of Gorilla Glass 5 glass that overlays a 6.6-inch Super AMOLED display which has an improved 120Hz refresh rate compared to its predecessor the Galaxy A33’s 90Hz refresh rate while maintaining a relatively similar FHD+ resolution at 1080 x 2,340 pixels.

The top of the display also features the aforementioned teardrop shaped cutout for the front-facing 13MP selfie camera that’s capable of up to 4K@30fps video should the need arise as well as up to 10x digital zoom. With a quick test, the primary camera holds up to casual snaps, retaining a good amount of dynamic range and detail even in a brightly lit overhead scenario festooned with shadows.

The bottom quadrant of the display also features an in-display fingerprint reader while the top features a tiny cutout for one of a matching pair of stereo speakers with the other one being a bottom firing unit.

The sides of our Galaxy A34 first look sample are all finished in the same matte black as the backplate though its unabashedly made of polycarbonate with the top featuring a triple card slot that allows for two nano SIM cards and – surprise – a microSD card slot that supports up to 1TB cards to vastly augment onboard storage.

Samsung Galaxy A34 first look triple sim

Samsung Galaxy A34 first look – The phone features a triple card slot with dual SIM card and a microSD card tray

On the base of the phone is a USB Type-C 2.0 port as well as a speaker grille for the downward firing half of the stereo speaker setup. Unfortunately, the phone lacks wireless charging and reverse wireless charging but it’s not typically a feature issued to Galaxy A series midrange phones.

Samsung Galaxy A34 first look base

Under the hood, our Galaxy A34 first look sample runs the latest Android 13 and One UI 5.1 on a MediaTek Dimensity 1080 processor  that also offers WiFi 5 connectivity and Bluetooth 5.3. This is paired with 8GB RAM and 256GB of expandable storage which is what Malaysia retail units will feature. While a lesser variant with 6GB RAM and 128GB of storage does exist in other regions, Malaysia will only feature the higher end 8GB RAM/256GB storage variant. 

Keeping the phone powered is a 5,000mAh battery with 25W fast charging support. Of note is that Samsung will offer 4 years of Android updates, 5 years of security updates and 2 years of warranty to the Galaxy A34 and its sibling the Galaxy A54 which lends the phones exceptional longevity.

Samsung Galaxy A34 first look rear

At a casual glance, the Galaxy A34 looks a good deal classier than its intended midrange price point and while it’s mostly made of polycarbonate, it is otherwise sturdy without any creaking or give.

Even at a casual glance, the Galaxy A34 has a wealth of features on top of 5G connectivity – you get stereo speakers, a 120Hz AMOLED display, an OIS stabilised primary rear camera , IP67 dust and water resistance and it even has a microSD card slot.

Most competing designs feature one or at most two of these features but the Galaxy A34 and its sibling the Galaxy A54 has it all which goes quite some way to justifying its price point though it’s not officially known as yet for the Malaysia market. Stay tuned for our full review! In the meantime, you can also keep an eye on Samsung’s official Galaxy A34 page here.

Samsung Galaxy A34 first look display