Samsung’s Galaxy A54 is a mid-range phone with premium features

May 16, 2023
2 mins read
Start
9/10

Summary

Samsung Galaxy A54 REVIEW

There’s no middle-of-range phone on earth that’s 100 percent premium in every way, but PAT PILCHER writes that A54 is better value than most.

From $799

Samsung’s Galaxy A series smartphones have long been my go-to recommendation for anyone looking for a decent phone on a budget. Their latest, the Samsung Galaxy A54, continues to get a big tick from me. It’s packed with features that make it a curious beast. It’s both budget-friendly and sufficiently performance and specification capable that you could easily confuse it with a flagship offering.

 

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Design-wise, you’d be hard-pressed to tell that the A54 is an affordable mid-range phone. Its sleek design has a glass front and back, sandwiching an aluminium frame. The use of glass might give it an upmarket feel, but a case is recommended. Its 6.4-inch OLED display sports a subtle bezel. At the same time, its rear cameras have three lenses in a protruding design similar to that used on the Galaxy S23 range. The Galaxy A54 5G has a similar design to its predecessor, the Galaxy A53 5G, which could be evidence that the if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it school of design was at play. Either way, it has a distinctly premium look and feel that belies its affordable sticker price.

The phone sports a 6.4-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with a 120 Hz variable refresh rate (and a 240 Hz touch sampling rate). The display is bright, with a peak brightness of 1,000 nits. As you’d expect from a Galaxy display, colours are super vivid. Everything looks crisp when combined with the contrast levels you get with an AMOLED panel. Samsung has also added a Vision Booster feature that tweaks direct sunlight visibility.

The A54 camera system uses a 50 MP f/1.8 main image sensor with OIS, a 12MP ultrawide sensor and a 5 MP macro sensor. The front-facing snapper uses a 32MP f/2.2 sensor, which is more than adequate for casual use, even if the front shooter struggles under low-light conditions.

Another standout is software support. Samsung is promising a whopping four major OS Android upgrades. As it runs Android 13 by default, it’ll get Android 17 in 2027. Even Google doesn’t offer that (mind, you can’t buy Pixel phones in NZ anyhow). This also translates into five years of security updates. So, the A54 will get new features, bug fixes, and security patches for five years instead of just one, as with many other similarly priced phones.

Under its hood, the engine powering the A54 is Samsung’s Exynos 1380 processor, which delivers solid stutter-free performance, even with demanding games. Considering its mid-range sticker price, the 6GB or 8GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of storage are generous. This is expandable to 1TB via a microSD card.

Whereas most mod-range phones and water are a combination that never ends well, the A54 has an IP67 rating, which means that while it can handle short periods of immersion, I wouldn’t take it swimming. Fast charging is also supported, which will see the A54 go from 0 battery to 50% charge in just under 30 minutes. It uses a large 5,000-mAh battery, easily delivering two full days with light use. Heavier use, however, can shorten that to just a single day. Speaking of charging, there’s no wireless charging support, and there’s no charging adapter bundled. Also, there’s no headphone jack.

Given its price, Samsung’s A54 is a solid mid-range phone with a surprising amount of value. While it isn’t perfect, its pros definitely outweigh its cons. All told it’s a solid performer that delivers the features most smartphone users want. Its display is a standout feature, and its camera performs well. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly phone that doesn’t skimp on performance, Samsung’s Galaxy A54 is a worthy contender.

https://www.samsung.com/nz/smartphones/galaxy-a/

 

Pat has been talking about tech on TV, radio and print for over 20 years, having served time as a TV tech guy and currently penning reviews for Witchdoctor. He loves nothing more than rolling his sleeves up and playing with shiny gadgets.

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