Every time I check out a new Galaxy A series phone, I am always impressed with how Samsung is able to make them so good that there’s almost no reason to consider buying an expensive flagship, and it might probably make you regret spending that much of money on a flagship.
This time, the Galaxy A54 5G continues to impress me after one month of daily driving it, and interestingly, I have been using it alongside other similar class phones, and here’s why I think it is still among the best choice compared to the rest.
Compared to the previous model, the Galaxy A54 has some interesting design changes, Samsung has finally done away with a plastic back and you get a Gorilla Glass 5 back that makes it feel more premium, the frame is however still plastic but to be honest the matte metallic paint job doesn’t make it feel cheap.
Despite the improved build quality, the Galaxy A54 gets a smaller 6.4-inch display compared to 6.5-inch on the previous model, it is absolutely dwarfed by the competition as most of them come with much larger displays, but to be honest I really don’t find it an issue as this is one of the best AMOLED displays that can reach a peak 1000 nits brightness and refreshes at 120Hz, and having a small display size makes it easier to hold with one hand.
On top of that, the Galaxy A54 continues to be IP67 dust and water resistant, which is an important lifestyle feature that its competition still doesn’t offer.
What the Galaxy A54 might disappoint some is its hardware specifications, as it remains identical to its predecessor and is powered by an Exynos 1380 chipset paired with 8GB RAM and comes with double of its predecessor’s storage at 256GB, storage is still expandable over a MicroSD card.
Although there’s no major change in hardware specifications, it doesn’t mean that the phone couldn’t deliver great everyday performance and power efficiency, as I still managed to run graphics demanding games on my unit without any issues and it passed our 3DMark Wild Life Extreme Stress Test with a consistent score.
Samsung could have probably used a more recent chipset like the Snapdragon 782G or Mediatek Dimensity 7200 to justify its value over the previous model, but there’s probably no reason to do so for the sake of cost savings and the current hardware still works very well, you shouldn’t have issues with it if you are doing regular stuff like texting, social media browsing and gaming.
Like the Galaxy S23 series, the Galaxy A54 ships with One UI 5.1 running on top of Android 13, which gives you access to a suite of customisations in Samsung Good Lock and run some automations on your phone with the Modes and Routines feature. My unit has been updated to the April 2023 security patch at this time of shooting and Samsung promises up to 4 years of major Android OS upgrades and 5 years of monthly security patches, this is the biggest selling point of this phone compared to the rest and in a way guarantees your phone’s value throughout the ownership.
Galaxy A54 Camera Samples
The Galaxy A54 comes with a triple camera array that sees a resolution drop on the main sensor from 64-megapixels to an optically stabilized 50-megapixel camera, it is complemented by the same 12-megapixel ultra-wide and 5-megapixel macro camera from the Galaxy A53. In terms of image quality, the main camera produces decent outdoor and low light images, I’m glad that colours are naturally saturated, while details is retained well in low light with low noise levels, the ultrawide camera is also one of the best I have seen on phones this year with a really wide field of view and works decent too in low light conditions.
For selfies, the same 32-megapixel camera from the Galaxy A53 takes on the job, which I generally have no issues with the image quality since it can naturally beautify my imperfect facial features without making me look like a K-Pop star.
The main and ultrawide cameras are capable of taking 4K videos at 30 fps and you can switch between them when shooting, this is one thing that none of the Galaxy A54’s competition can do, video quality is decent for an upper mid-range phone where I find it very reliable as vlogging camera. Also, the front camera supports the same video resolution as the rear, it totally shames some expensive flagships that only shoots 1080p at 60 fps.
Despite the stereotype about Exynos powered Samsung phones being power inefficient, I have never find that an issue with the Galaxy A54, as the 5,000mAh battery was able to offer me up to a full day of usage when I am connected to 5G networks with a 5-hour screen on time, it goes up to two days effortlessly if I’m not having a busy week, the only bummer about it is the 25W charging input, which honestly feels really slow when I have gotten so used to charging speeds that’s four times the wattage, but exercise some patience, this Galaxy A54’s battery will be fully charged in less than 90 minutes from a dead battery.
Overall, the Galaxy A54 is an excellent device with very little compromises and I daresay the experience is very close to the Galaxy S23 in several aspects, it retails for RM1,899 and cost slightly more than the Galaxy A53’s launch price, which I think is totally worth getting over its predecessor for its better build quality and improved main camera, and compared to its competition, Samsung’s commitment to longer and regular software updates is a big win.