Samsung sent over this unit to TechTRP for review and I have been using it for more than a month. Let’s us take a look whether the Galaxy A54, the latest mid-range phone from the Korean company is worth your hard-earned money.
What’s in the box?
The slim black box contains the phone, displaying an image that represents the color of the phone inside. Samsung provided the Awesome White variant, which has 8GB RAM and 256GB storage capacity.
Upon opening the box, you’ll find a USB-C to USB-C cable, a SIM ejector tool, some reading materials, and nothing else. Samsung still does not include a charger with the phone, so you need to obtain one separately.
The Build Quality and Handling
The phone has some heft to it, it’s not slippery despite having a glass back, and it’s solidly built. While the frame of the phone is constructed from plastic, the front and back surfaces are safeguarded by Corning Gorilla Glass 5. This enhanced build quality contributes to a premium sensation when holding the phone.
Furthermore, due to its colour, fingerprints on the back are less conspicuous compared to darker hues. The design of the rear camera resembles that of the S23 series to such an extent that if one were unaware, they might mistake it for an S23 model.
The A54 has a 6.4-inch FHD 120Hz Super AMOLED display, but the thick bezel around the display is distracting. It reminded me of the early days when companies were still trying to make bezel-less displays. I feel like Samsung could have made the bezel thinner if they wanted to. The bottom bezel is also slightly thicker than the rest, making the display less uniform.
Under the display is an optical fingerprint scanner that works very well and unlocks quite quickly. However, the scanner was placed rather low; it would have been better if it was placed a bit higher.
The Super AMOLED display is gorgeous to look at, and it can get very bright. Samsung claims it can go up to 1,000 nits of brightness, and while I have no way of testing that, believe me when I say it will sear your eyes. However, when I tried playing HDR videos on YouTube, for some unknown reasons, I wasn’t seeing the HDR effect. It could be related to the app or the software.
For the refresh rate, in the Motion smoothness menu, you are presented with two choices: Adaptive and Standard. The Standard option keeps a consistent 60Hz refresh rate at all times. On the other hand, the Adaptive option ensures a refreshing rate of 120Hz while the phone detects touch input, and then automatically switches to 60Hz after a few seconds of inactivity.
The Galaxy A54 features a hybrid stereo speaker system with one speaker at the bottom and the earpiece serving as a second speaker. This setup provides a pleasing tonal balance with good timbre.
The bass is warm but lacks depth in the lower frequencies, while the midrange delivers an enjoyable listening experience. The treble, although slightly lacking in high-end extension, maintains a good overall quality.
The Charging Speed and Battery Performance
As Samsung didn’t provide any charger with this unit, I had to use my OnePlus 150W charger. From 0 to 100%, the phone took around 1 hour and 20 minutes to fully charge. It can be faster if you use Samsung 25W charger.
The Galaxy A54 offers a commendable battery life that can endure for over a day with moderate usage. I can get at least 6 hours of SOT on a regular basis with WiFi turned on all the time (because WFH), watching some YouTube videos, and using instant messaging apps.
The Software Experience
With this phone, Samsung is promising four major OS updates and five years of security patches. The software support for this phone is better than many phones out there that cost a lot more. Besides that, Samsung is still bundling this phone with bloats, it’s easily removable but not all of them.
The OneUI 5.1 based on Android 13 is well-optimised and most of the times, the phone runs smoothly, but occasionally, there was some lags and stutters. Some apps will load quite slow at times and don’t expect graphically demanding games such as Genshin Impact or Honkai: Star Rail to run well at max settings. If you are serious about mobile gaming, the Exynos 1380 is not the chip for it.
The camera of the Galaxy A54 excels at capturing exceptional photos in daylight, displaying vibrant colours, accurate white balance, high contrast, and a wide dynamic range.
In low-light conditions, the camera performs decently, capturing well-balanced exposures, providing a wide dynamic range and effectively developing both light and dark tones.
The macro camera captures acceptable 5MP close-up shots. Overall, the phone delivers good quality photos that will satisfy the majority of users, although the most discerning individuals may have higher expectations.
Is it Worth The Price?
The phone offers a well-rounded package, featuring a vibrant AMOLED screen, exceptional software updates and support, a commendable camera setup for a mid-range smartphone, IP67 rating, and a microSD card slot which is a rarity nowadays. But the performance offered by the Exynos chip is a bit of a let down.
For the same price, there are plenty of choices out there with better spec. For example, the recently launched Poco F5 present a compelling choice for those who prefer hardware prowess over software. If you want the S23, but it’s too expensive for you, get this and pretend it’s S23 lite.