Samsung Galaxy A34 Review – Is this featured-packed budget phone worth your money?
We previously had a firsthand look and took the Samsung Galaxy A34 for a quick whirl around the block. After putting it through its paces, here’s our Samsung Galaxy A34 review where we share how capable their latest midrange workhorse phone is in the field!
@hitechcentury Unboxing Samsung’s latest midrange workhorse phone the Galaxy A34 5G. With 5G connectivity, IP67 water resistance, an OIS stabilised camera, stereo speakers and 4 years of Android updates, it looks like awesome value indeed. Check the link for our Galaxy A34 5G first look feature! @Samsung Malaysia #galaxyA34 #fyp #samsung #beritaditiktok #tech #malaysia #unboxing ♬ Made You Look – Meghan Trainor
Samsung Galaxy A34 review – Performance and Benchmarks
Our Samsung Galaxy A34 review sample features a design closer to the Galaxy S23 series with its individual camera housings compared to its predecessor the Galaxy A33 that houses all of its cameras in an integrated, squarish looking housing.
Rear backplate aside, the Galaxy A34 is slightly heavier and larger than last year’s Galaxy A33 while having a slightly larger display with a higher refresh rate (120Hz vs 90Hz) and employs a slightly more powerful Dimensity 1080 processor though it’s made on a slightly less efficient 6nm process versus the A33’s Exynos 1280 5nm chipset .
Like its predecessor the Galaxy A33, the new Galaxy A34 uses Gorilla Glass 5 on the front though the rear is made of polycarbonate which works in its favour as it means that the phone is more resistant to nicks and drops while also retaining a robust IP67 dust and water resistance rating. Its larger sibling the Galaxy A54 keeps the same IP67 rating but ups the ante and its durability uby adding another slab of Gorilla Glass 5 on the backplate.
The newer Galaxy A34 also has a similarly sized 5,000mAh battery with the same 25W charging as the older Galaxy A33 but runs on newer firmware with the latest Android 13 overlaid with the latest OneUI 5.1 powering the Galaxy S23 series phones.
Factoring in Samsung’s commitment to longer service lives, the Galaxy A34 has a guaranteed 4 years of OS updates to Android 17, 5 years of security updates all the way to 2028 and a 2 year warranty. This is an impressive commitment on Samsung’s part and bumps up its value considerably as a budget phone. You can certainly buy a cheaper phone but you get what you pay for and it’ll likely have a shorter commitment to updates.
For Malaysia, Samsung is only issuing the Galaxy A34 in one RAM and storage configuration with four colourways to choose from. Here’s how our Galaxy A34 review sample stacks up on paper…
|Display||6.6-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED , 1080 x 2,340 pixels, 120Hz, 19.5:9 ratio|
|Processor||Mediatek Dimensity 1080 2.6GHz|
|OS||Android 13 + OneUI 5.1|
|Memory||8GB RAM + up to 8GB vRAM / 256GB + microSD card|
|Cameras||48MP F/1.8 w/ OIS + 8MP F/2.2 ultra wide angle + 5MP F/2.4 macro [rear] / 13MP F/2.2 [front]|
|Battery||5,000mAh w/ 25W wired charging|
|Size/Weight||161.3 x 78.1 x 8.2mm / 199g|
Our Samsung Galaxy A34 review sample features 5G connectivity and the latest Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity though the WiFi speeds aren’t the latest standard at a modest WiFi 5 802.11ac.
The MediaTek Dimensity 1080 processor also sees service on many other midrange phones from competing brands by Xiaomi and realme with the Galaxy A34 running on the latest Android 13. The inclusion of Samsung’s own OneUI 5.1 menu overlay confers many of the same features seen in the Galaxy S23 series in the Galaxy A34 with some minor differences.
Of note is the Galaxy A34’s access to virtual RAM or as Samsung refers to it, as RAM Plus with a maximum of 8GB assignable vRAM off the onboard storage in 2GB increments; the very same feature allocated to higher end Galaxy S23.
The Galaxy A series implementation of OneUI 5.1 does have a few interesting quirks though like a Samsung Max app that acts as a freemium VPN that optimises data usage and to act as a VPN in exchange for watching some ads or by paying a subscription fee. There is also a quaint ONE ESports app that aggregates gaming news for users. The app also preloads Lazada onto the phone but fortunately, all these apps are optional and can be uninstalled later.
Unfortunately, it also lacks DeX mode, a feature typically issued to flagship grade Galaxy S series phones that allows the phone to work as an ersatz desktop PC when casted or hooked up via HDMI to a monitor.
With its default 4GB of RAM Plus, our Galaxy A34 review sample scored the following benchmarks:
|3D Mark Wild Life||2,292|
|3D Mark Wild Life Unlimited||2,273|
|3D Mark Wild Life Extreme||637|
|3D Mark Wild Life Extreme ULTD||621|
|Geekbench 6 Single core||1,038|
|Geekbench 6 Multi core||2,516|
|Geekbench 6 OpenCL||2,391|
|Geekbench 6 Vulkan||2,427|
|PC Mark Work 3.0||11,576|
|PC Mark Battery Life||13 hours 51 mins|
Overall performance, at least for synthetic benchmarks is about par with its predecessor the A33 from a performance standpoint but what you get with the newer Galaxy A34 is the latest OneUI 5.1 and a newer update policy that will keep it updated until 2028 along with a better, higher refresh rate display and hardware improvements.
Our Samsung Galaxy A34 review sample ran smoothly without issue for day to day tasks from web browsing to moderate gaming on the usual staples like Call of Duty Mobile, PUBG and Genshin Impact on standard non-HD settings with the stereo speakers and smoother 120Hz Super AMOLED display proving their worth.
The provided stereo speakers are a rarity for a midrange phone and kicked up a fair amount of volume and detail without distortion even when cranked to maximum for gaming and movie watching duties while the Super AMOLED display remained bright and viewable even under daylight conditions though it has to maximise its brightness settings to remain visible at the cost of additional power drain.
The smooth 120Hz refresh rate is a delight, offering smooth animations especially when scrolling through menus though the benefits aren’t as apparent when gaming as it’s still dependent on if a game supports a higher refresh rate which isn’t the case for many of the more popular ones like CODM and PUBG. You can also dial down the refresh rate to a more conventional 60Hz to save on battery life.
In terms of battery life, the Galaxy A34 is a trooper with a whopping 13 hours and 51 minutes based on the PCMark battery life benchmark while practical usage with either data on or WiFi and average usage involving social media, phone calls and a few minutes of videos and TikTok easily lasting north of two days before the phone needed a recharge.
The provision of OneUI 5.1 means that the Galaxy A34 is capable of a modicum of multitasking with slide-in edge panels allowing you to pop up two apps simultaneously onscreen with an additional pop-up though you can’t pop up two instances of the same app at the same time. From a usability and performance perspective, the Galaxy A34 makes for a solid performing budget phone with a good display.
Samsung Galaxy A34 review – Cameras
On the imaging front, our Samsung Galaxy A34 review sample has a similar setup as its predecessor the Galaxy A33 with a primary 48MP camera that has optical image stabilisation, an ultra wide angle 8MP camera and a 5MP macro camera with enhancements to its imaging algorithm for improved low light performance.
The rear camera array allows for up to 4K@30fps video and stabilised 1080p@60fps video with 12.5MP stabilised stills that can be snapped at up to 2x lossless zoom by cropping the feed from the main camera and up to 10x digital zoom. The front facing 13MP camera also offers stills and up to 4K@30fps video and 1080p@30fps video.
Shots taken by the rear camera’s ultrawide and primary show consistent results with Samsung’s characteristic slight emphasis on saturated blues and greens which look appealing on social media. Dynamic range is retained well even in areas of bright light and dim shadow with good shots all the way out to 2x.
While 10x digitally zoomed shots are legible, they are noticeably soft. In dim light, ultrawide shots don’t fare as well with the primary camera with its F/1.8 aperture handling night shots better with brighter, more consistent retention of detail and hues.
Like daytime results, shots out to 2x in low light are highly usable with 10x shots being fuzzier than daytime shots though they’re still viable for the odd Facebook post or two. There is a selectable Night mode but results are similar to what you get on auto mode.
The front selfie camera does the job and has a modest amount of skin tone correction activated by default.
Videos on the main 48MP rear OIS-stabilised camera and offers the best results in bright light with good detail and vibrant hues though it does not fare as well in low light with softer looking footage and a loss of detail For what you pay for, the Galaxy A34’s cameras punch above its peers especially with its provision of OIS for its rear camera array.
Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy A34?
If you’re on a budget and are looking for a budget phone under RM1,599, the Samsung Galaxy A34 fits the bill. Its solid combination of features, performance, good rear camera, long battery life and potentially long service life thanks to its 5 years of upgrades means that it stands a notch above peers in its price range and makes for a sound budget phone.
Those who already own the prior Galaxy A33 may not find it a compelling upgrade but for others who have been holding off on getting a budget phone for the last couple of years, this makes for a solid proposition.
Samsung Galaxy A54 review sample courtesy of Samsung Malaysia. For more details please visit https://www.samsung.com/my/smartphones/galaxy-a/galaxy-a34-5g-awesome-violet-256gb-sm-a346elvexme/
Samsung Galaxy A34
Samsung Galaxy A34
The Samsung Galaxy A34 features a great 120Hz Super AMOLED display, an OIS-stabilised camera, stereo speakers,a huge battery and IP67 water resistance along with 4 years worth of Android updates, making it an exceptional value-packed budget smartphone with a wealth of features that typically are deployed piecemeal in cheaper phones. While the Galaxy A54 has slightly more durability and features along with a higher price tag, the Galaxy A34 stands on its own merits as one of the best budget phones in its price range.
Bright and vibrant 120Hz Super AMOLED display
MicroSD card slot
Runs the latest Android 13 and OneUI 5.1
Decent performance for price
Somewhat plasticky feeling chassis
No wireless charging