The Samsung Galaxy A54 marks Samsung’s latest attempt at a mid-range smartphone that balances both looks and features with a punchy price point.
Samsung’s A-range has always been about affordability rather than affluence and this year’s handsets hope to achieve the heights of what 2022’s Samsung Galaxy A53 and A33 managed.
In our 2022 Samsung Galaxy A53 review, we called the mid-range smartphone “one of the best cheap phones for point-and-shoot photography”. While I am yet to try out its camera capabilities in full, I have been among the lucky few to get hands on with the Samsung Galaxy A54 - here’s everything you need to know...
Samsung Galaxy A54: design and display
The Samsung Galaxy A54 is a smart-looking handset that has a 6.4-inch screen, 120Hz FHD+ AMOLED, which is bright and colourful. Samsung says that this is one area of the phone where improvements have been made, upping the brightness from 805 nits on its previous iteration to a decent 1,000 nits this time around.
Measuring 158.2 x 76.7 x 8.2mm, the phone weighs just 202g. The screen is flat and there is a thin bezel around it, which means you do get a slight black line between the screen and the body which is thicker at the bottom.
The front is punctuated by a 32MP selfie snapper which is situated in the top centre. This is different from the Galaxy A34 range which has a small u-shaped notch for its selfie camera. Samsung calls it an Infinity-O display, for obvious reasons, and I reckon it looks a lot neater than the Infinity-U display.
On the right side of the device are volume rockers and an on-off button. The left side has a microSD slot and the back is made from plastic but it feels well-made and not at all cheap.
Unlike the camera bump that was found on the A53 range, Samsung has taken a design flourish from its flagship S23 handsets, the floating camera array, and has used this for the A54 range.
This is much sleeker than having a camera bump and makes this one of the best-designed phone backs around. Add to this, Gorilla Glass 5 protecting the display and an IP67 rating, and this is one durable phone.
If you are looking for a headphone jack on the A54, though, then you are out of luck as this is a headset for Bluetooth headphone users only.
Colours-wise, Samsung has opted to keep the ‘awesome’ nomenclature from the A53 range but has tweaked the colours slightly. You get the option of: Awesome Lime, Awesome Violet and Awesome Graphite. These colours are all available for the Samsung Galaxy A34, too. Unique to the Galaxy A54 is the Awesome White colour, while the A34 gets an Awesome Silver colourway which is actually my favourite because it’s got a great-looking gradient which changes colour when you move it.
Samsung Galaxy A54: specs
The Samsung Galaxy A54 specs are decent, considering this is a phone that’s firmly aimed at the mid-range. I have already mentioned the screen but having 120Hz on there makes this a handset that’s great for Netflix and gaming.
Add to this 5G, GPS, Bluetooth 5.2, USB-C, a 5,000mAh battery and fast charging and there is a lot packed into this handset.
Storage wise, you have two options. There are 128GB or 256GB versions, both packing 8GB of RAM. You can also up the storage, thanks to the included MicroSD slot.
Interestingly, the processor inside the Samsung Galaxy A54 is Samsung’s Exynos 1380 processor. Given that Exynos was dropped for the S23 range, in favour of Snapdragon processors, this is an intriguing choice.
As for those, camera specs…
Samsung Galaxy A54: cameras
There are high hopes here as the Samsung Galaxy A53 did so well in the camera stakes, which means its successor has a lot to live up to. I didn’t manage to test the cameras as much as I would have liked in my short time with the Samsung Galaxy A54 but this is one powerful camera phone on paper at least.
The selfie cam is 32MP (f/2.2) and Samsung says that it has deep integration with Snapchat, meaning that some of the filters found on that social network are baked into the Galaxy A54 which is a really nice move.
The rear camera array is strong, with Samsung opting for a: new 50MP f/1.8 OIS main sensor, a 12MP ultra-wide f/2.2 and a 5MP f/2.4 Macro lens.
The sensor size on the main camera is larger which means that low light should be improved. And to add to this there is an automatic Night Mode that kicks in when things are getting dark and moody.
Optical Image Stabilization has also been improved and the digital variant of this has also been improved for video, making moving images a lot smoother than before.
Samsung Galaxy A54: performance and battery life
When it comes to performance, the device may not have the Snapdragon processor of the S23 but it was fast and responsive when we used the thing.
The 120Hz screen works well and swiping between apps, social networks and the like was smooth.
In the hand, the big screen isn’t as unwieldy as I thought it would be and the plastic back actually helps with the grip of the device. While I would have liked less of a bezel, it pretty much disappears when watching movies and shows on the thing.
Interestingly, when watching certain things on Netflix and Disney Plus, the tone of the image on screen is adapted automatically depending on your surroundings.
The Galaxy A54 also has eye comfort functionality which reduces blue light when reading and using the device.
I couldn’t test out the battery but Samsung talks a very good game here, saying that I will get at least two days out of the device and even then the 25W fast charging will mean I can charge up to 50% in super quick time. This is something I need to test but is impressive on a spec sheet at least.
Samsung Galaxy A54: Early Verdict
I like the look of the new Samsung Galaxy A54 range, especially the camera array on the back which is in-line, design-wise, with the Samsung Galaxy S23 range.
Sure, there are some features missing and I will have to test the phone in anger to see if that processor can give the performance I want from a mid-range smartphone, but I couldn’t help but be impressed by the camera specs and that bright screen.
Samsung has missed a trick with the colours, though. If you opt for the lesser-specced Samsung Galaxy A34 range, then you can get a fantastic gradient silver colour which is much more ‘awesome’ than the colours available on the A54.
But this is a small niggle compared to the better battery life and the promise of improved photography.
Price-wise, it’s not as desirable as last year’s models with the Samsung Galaxy A54 beginning at £449 - missing that all-important £400 price point. Availability is later this month.