Samsung Galaxy A54 Review – Is This Stylish, Affordable and Feature-Packed Budget Phone The Right One For You?
A while back, we took a first look at the new Samsung Galaxy A54, the latest addition to their midrange smartphone line-up and what it had to offer. After taking it out in the field as a primary phone for the past couple of weeks, here’s our Samsung Galaxy A54 review where we share our findings of their workhorse wonder.
Samsung Galaxy A54 review – Performance and Benchmarks
Aesthetically speaking our Samsung Galaxy A54 review sample bears closer resemblance to the current Galaxy S23 than its predecessor with its individual camera housings on its backplate and its glossy finish. The older Galaxy A53 had all of its triple cameras housed in a squarish looking camera housing.
Compared to the older Galaxy A53, the newer Galaxy A54 is slightly wider and heavier while having a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED FHD+ 120Hz display that’s slightly smaller than its predecessor by 0.1 inches, features a refreshed chipset and has a different camera array on the rear while retaining the same front-facing selfie camera.
Bar the refresh to its aesthetics and chipset, the biggest noticeable difference is that the Galaxy A54 has a slab of Gorilla Glass 5 protecting its backplate in addition to its front display which adds quite a bit to its durability in regards to drop resistance compared to its predecessor which only had a polycarbonate back.
@hitechcentury We get a firsthand look at the all new Samsung Galaxy A54 5G! @Samsung Malaysia #galaxya54 #galaxya545g #hitechcentury ♬ In Love With You – BLVKSHP
This Gorilla Glass 5 glass sandwich does add a slightly more premium feel akin to a Galaxy S23 series phone though the plasticky sides give it away as a midrange Galaxy A series design.What elevates the Galaxy A54 from other midrange competitors is that it also has an IP67 dust and water resistance which enables it to shrug off dust and allow for it to survive in up to a metre of water for up to 30 minutes.
Under the hood, our Galaxy A54 review sample enjoys a generational upgrade to an Exynos 1380 processor that’s also built on the same 5nm process as the Galaxy A53’s Exynos 1280 chipset while enjoying a better Mali G68 MP5 graphics and improved single and multicore performance. Subtle but more important updates include support for WiFi 6 802.11ax connectivity for faster download and upload speeds along with Bluetooth 5.3 while retaining 5G connectivity. The phone runs the latest Android 13 paired with their OneUI 5.1 overlay with a guaranteed 4 years of Android updates, 5 years of security updates and a 2 year warranty. This ensures that the phone has an impressively long service life.
In Malaysia, Samsung is only issuing the Galaxy A54 in one RAM and storage configuration which is 8GB RAM and 256GB of expandable storage via a microSD card slot that can support cards up to 1TB.
This is in itself a substantial bonus indeed as having expandable storage is a feature that’s become vanishingly rare in flagship phones. Like many other midrange phones, our Galaxy A54 review sample also has the ability to assign additional virtual RAM off onboard storage in 2GB increments up to 8GB that Samsung has dubbed as RAM Plus.
Here’s how our Galaxy A54 review sample stacks up on paper:
|Display||6.4-inch Super AMOLED, 1080 x 2,340 pixels, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 120Hz refresh rate|
|Memory||8GB RAM/ 256GB + microSD card|
|Cameras||50MP F/1.8 w/ OIS + 12MP F/2.2 ultra wide angle camera + 5MP F2.4 [rear] / 32MP F/2.2 [front]|
|Battery||5,000mAh w/ 25W wired charging|
|Size/Weight||158.2 x 76.7 x 8.2mm /202g|
When subjected to synthetic benchmarks with the default 4GB of RAM Plus vRAM, our Samsung Galaxy A54 sample scored the following.
|3D Mark Wild Life||2,819|
|3D Mark Wild Life Unlimited||2,847|
|3D Mark Wild Life Extreme||814|
|3D Mark Wild Life Extreme ULTD||798|
|Geekbench 6 Single core||1004|
|Geekbench 6 Multi core||2,760|
|Geekbench 6 OpenCL||2,995|
|Geekbench 6 Vulkan||3,054|
|PC Mark Work 3.0||12,944|
|PC Mark Battery Life||13 hours 1 mins|
In terms of synthetic benchmarks, the Galaxy A54 manages to modestly outperform its cheaper sibling the Galaxy A34 with its Dimensity 1080 processor. While we didn’t have the Galaxy A53 available in our archives, the Galaxy A33 5G has an Exynos 1280 CPU with a similar 8GB RAM and smaller 128GB of storage was on hand to compare with and the Galaxy A54’s Exynos 1380 handily outperformed the older Exynos 1280 chipset.
Perhaps the only category where it fell short is in terms of battery life with PCMark score just above 13 hours with its cheaper sibling the Galaxy A34 lasting a good 50 minutes longer.
In practical usage, it’s more than enough to last a full day and a half with moderate use including light gaming, videos and social media though you’ll likely need a top-up come early noon the following day.
If you’re particularly frugal you’ll likely see two full days of use. Charging it with a compatible charger that supports 25W Power Delivery gets you a full charge in about an hour and 10 minutes from dead zero which is fair though other competitors exhibit faster charging standards from their own proprietary chargers.
On its own merits, the Galaxy A54’s Exynos 1380 is more than sufficient for casual gaming and day to day use. It’ll handle Call of Duty Mobile, PUBG and Genshin Impact in a smooth fashion on standard settings, web browsing as well as the usual emails aren’t an issue.
Even with sustained gaming in an hour long session, the phone didn’t cook off with the chassis remaining modestly warm to the touch. It won’t outgun a Galaxy S23 in terms of performance but maximises the potential of what a midrange Galaxy A series budget phone can offer.
Like the Galaxy S23, our Galaxy A54 review sample runs their latest OneUI 5.1 with the vast majority of its benefits. While it doesn’t have DeX mode, it does have a full panoply of modes and routines which are context and time sensitive macros that you can enact based on certain circumstances such as when you’re at work or in bed. OneUI 5.1 also has the same Edge panels and multitasking options too with split screen and an optional pop-up window on demand.
The provision of stereo speakers comes as a pleasant surprise especially seeing its price point as it’s a feature that’s scarcer than hen’s teeth on midrange phones with one downward pointing and one emplaced in the upper portion of the display next to the earpiece.
Oddly enough, the Galaxy A54 has a slightly smaller display than its predecessor the Galaxy A52 though it’s still of a uniformly high quality with a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED that has a 120Hz dynamic refresh rate and 1,080 x 2,340 pixels resolution as well as 1,000 nits peak brightness which is brighter than what the A53 could manage. The display also has support for HDR10 and HDR10+ content as well.
Under bright daylight, the Galaxy A54 did not disappoint with crisp and clear visuals though the display had to kick in maximum brightness via its adaptive brightness settings.
In otherwise normal indoors conditions, the Super AMOLED display served up vibrant colours and good detail along with smooth animations onscreen at up to 120Hz especially when scrolling through menus though you can dial this down to a fixed 60Hz in settings to save on battery life.
Samsung Galaxy A54 Review – Cameras
The Samsung Galaxy A54 features a rear triple camera array anchored by a primary 50MP camera with optical image stabilisation, supplemented by a 12MP ultra wide angle camera and a 5MP macro camera. This camera system is capable of shooting 12.5MP stills at 0.5X, 2X, and up to 10X digital zoom, as well as up to 4K@30fps video.
However, it’s worth noting that there’s no optical zoom available with this camera setup, and any zooming is accomplished by cropping in the main camera feed. The front-facing 32MP selfie camera is also capable of taking impressive photos, with the ability to capture 12MP stills and up to 4K@30fps video.
In well-lit conditions, the primary 50MP camera and 12MP ultra-wide angle camera produce great results, with good dynamic range and excellent detail retention. These shots often exhibit a slight bias towards more saturated blues and greens in keeping with Samsung’s customary aesthetic style. Zoomed-in stills at 10x magnification are viewable but somewhat soft, while shots at up to 2x zoom look great.
However, the 12MP ultra-wide angle camera doesn’t perform as well in low light conditions, with poorer detail rendition, more muted colours, and less dynamic range even with night mode activated. In contrast, the primary 50MP camera produces impressive results in low light settings, delivering shots with good colours and a decent amount of detail salvaged from shadows, although the results aren’t stellar beyond 2x zoom.
When it comes to video, the rear camera’s 4K footage lacks stabilisation, requiring a steady hand to capture usable footage for static shots though they’re quite usable. 1080p shots at 30fps are stabilised and are among the better ones available.
The 32MP selfie camera performs admirably in brightly lit scenarios, producing foreground and background separation for that desirable blurred background aesthetic and capturing fine details like hair with ease. Video quality for the selfie camera in 4K and smooth 1080p@30fps is also sufficient for video calls.
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy A54 cameras are more than sufficient for general use with just enough performance for a content creator on a budget to eke out usable video for social media though more serious content creators should gravitate towards the Samsung Galaxy S23 series phones.
Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy A54?
The Samsung Galaxy A54 is a refreshed upgrade to a proven design, integrating many of the most desired features in both midrange and flagship designs alike in a sub-RM1,900 design. You get a vibrant and bright 120Hz Super AMOLED display, solid performance compared to its peers, long battery life, stereo speakers and expandable storage in a sleek IP67-rated water resistant chassis.
While there’s not much on hand for owners of last year’s Galaxy A53, the Galaxy A54 is a delightful, value-oriented choice for those who haven’t upgraded their phone in the last couple of years.
Samsung Galaxy A54 review sample courtesy of Samsung Malaysia for more details visit https://www.samsung.com/my/smartphones/galaxy-a/galaxy-a54-5g-green-256gb-sm-a546elgdxme
Samsung Galaxy A54
Samsung Galaxy A54
The Samsung Galaxy A54 is a solidly designed midrange phone that features the customary performance upgrades with a nod to the aesthetics of the premium Galaxy S23 series. Long battery life, a good display, decent performance and an otherwise proven IP67 water resistant design make it a sound midrange choice though those looking for something cheaper can gravitate towards the more affordable Galaxy A34.
Bright 120Hz Super AMOLED display
MicroSD card slot
IP67 water and dust resistance
Decent rear camera with OIS
Long battery life
Finish is a fingerprint magnet