Well, it’s happened: Samsung’s Galaxy A5x line of smartphones is now priced similarly to Samsung’s entry-level phones rather than falling somewhere in the middle. Samsung’s Galaxy A54 5G is the most expensive A5x phone thus far.
Since the release of the Galaxy A50 in 2019, prices have steadily increased, and the Galaxy A54 5G is priced similarly to devices in a market where numerous Chinese and Samsung-made “flagship killers” can be found.
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G Design
The first moment you hold the phone in your hand, you’ll immediately be able to tell that Samsung has made improvements to justify the extra price. With its front and back made of scratch- and shatter-resistant Gorilla Glass 5, the Galaxy A54 5G looks and feels as high-end as a Galaxy S22 or S23.
The verdict is yet out on whether or not a glass back is something most people want, but Samsung has been under fire in recent years for allegedly employing plastic screens on its mid-range Galaxy phones, which are more expensive than competitive Chinese phones in areas like India. Samsung did the right thing by addressing that criticism, especially considering how much the Galaxy A54 5G costs in most markets.
Despite being IP67 rated for water and dust resistance and sporting a rear design that’s strikingly similar to that of the Samsung Galaxy S23 series, not everything has been improved. Standard for such phones is a 6.4-inch display with a circle cutout in the center for the selfie camera, but the large bezels surrounding the screen serve as a reminder that this is a mid-range handset, which may turn off some consumers.
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G Display and Sound
No one will have any issues with the Galaxy A54 5G’s screen. As you’d expect from a Super AMOLED panel, it features vibrant colors, deep blacks, and wide viewing angles. However, with the introduction of the Vision Booster function on the Galaxy S22 series, Samsung has also increased the brightness levels in bright lighting circumstances. With Vision Booster, the Galaxy A54 5G can reach 1000 nits of brightness, while the A53 5G could only reach 800 nits.
Even though the A53 5G’s screen was legible in both dim and bright settings, it’s always nice to have a boost to the brightness levels. This is a 120Hz display, just like the A53’s, so transitions and animations are smooth—at least, they are when the Exynos 1380 processor isn’t stuttering (more details of that in the performance section below). Last but not least, the A54 5G can cut blue light emission to as little as 6.5%, roughly twice as effective as the A53 5G at reducing blue light levels (which may be reduced to 12.5%).
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G Camera
One of the best improvements of the Galaxy A54 5G over its predecessors is the main camera’s capacity to employ all pixels for focusing on the subject/scene, resulting in rapid autofocus in all lighting circumstances.
Taking grainy or unsteady photos or videos is less of a problem now that the main camera includes optical image stabilization. The camera capabilities have obviously been upgraded significantly from the Galaxy S23, and the Galaxy A54 5G offers a wider OIS angle to steady a larger portion of the scene or subject you are photographing.
Yet, there appears to be little difference between the A53 and the A54 in terms of image quality. Image quality has not changed all that much, especially during the daytime when both the old and new phone do great, but the A54 takes slightly brighter and sharper nighttime pics when using Night mode (even automatic photo mode will use a longer exposure if it’s dark enough, so you don’t have to manually switch to Night mode).
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G Software
Like modern Samsung smartphones in general, the Galaxy A54 5G’s strongest suit is its software. Excluding a few premium features like Samsung DeX, the A54 5G is identical to the Galaxy S23 in terms of hardware and software (Android 13 and One UI 5.1, respectively).
The Galaxy A54 5G will be supported for a long time, with Samsung promising four major OS upgrades and five years of security patches.
Those who like to keep their phones for several years rather than upgrading every year or two will welcome Samsung’s offering, even if it won’t acquire every new feature from new versions of Android and One UI in the latter half of that support term.
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G Performance and Connectivity
After using the Galaxy A54, I have come to the firm conclusion that Samsung’s Exynos brand is not to be trusted, regardless of whether we’re talking about mid-range or premium processors.
On theory, the Exynos 1380 is superior to the Exynos 1280 found in the A53, but in practice, this improvement doesn’t appear to justify the premium. That is, Samsung’s inability to maximize the performance of its own semiconductor processors remains a problem.
There is noticeable latency and stutter when using the Galaxy A54 5G, just as there was with the Galaxy A53 5G. This is especially noticeable when scrolling through the interface or during animations as when moving between apps.
The performance problems of the Galaxy A53 5G were largely resolved by software upgrades, and I have little doubt that the A54 5G will also improve over time. The real mystery is what causes these problems in the first place.
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G Battery Life and Charging
The Galaxy A54 5G’s battery life is exactly as lackluster as its performance. Samsung advertises this phone as having a battery life of two days or more, however I have not found this to be the case.
The A54 5G, like most of the company’s other mid-range devices, has a day’s worth of battery life even when used for power-draining activities like web surfing, photography, and gaming. Nevertheless, two days? Unless you rarely use your phone, probably not.
Some may counter that the phone’s battery life will improve with time, but I don’t think it’s a very convincing argument. While a phone’s battery life does change over time as it learns your habits and optimizes itself accordingly, most current phones tell you roughly how long a charge will last right away. And in my experience using the Galaxy A54 5G as my primary phone, it fell short of Samsung’s claims.
A few of years ago, with the Galaxy A52, Samsung established a high bar in the mid-range category, and it has continued to improve it each year, albeit with only slight refinements, to keep ahead of the competition.
Following in the footsteps of last year’s Galaxy A53 5G, this year’s Galaxy A54 5G features more than just a minor upgrade in hardware. Design, optics, and the screen are all slightly changed from the predecessor, breaking Samsung’s first rule of never repairing what isn’t broken.