Samsung’s Galaxy A54 is a mid range phone that, in a few ways, pushes the boundary between a mid range device and a premium device. The large, smooth, 120Hz display, the glass panels on the front and back and the long-lasting battery are features normally reserved for more expensive phones.
But this is a mid range device, and with a price of only $800, you shouldn’t expect the very best of what the top-of-the-range offer. It doesn’t feel as nice to hold, it has a mundane design, and it doesn’t boast the same performance capabilities as its more expensive counterparts.
The most noticeable area where the A54 is lacking is the camera array. While it will allow you to take nice photos there isn’t anything fancy going on here. It struggles in some instances, particularly with moving objects, finer details and portrait photos, but the inclusion of Samsung’s nightography is a nice touch.
For $800, the A54 punches above its price range. If you want to take incredibly detailed photos or be able to perform 4K editing with it, the A54 isn’t for you. However, for everything else, the A54 is a solid option at a good price.
- Smooth 120Hz display
- Long-lasting battery
- Decent software support policy
- Camera array isn’t the best
- Performance can struggle at times
- Mundane design
The Samsung Galaxy A54 5G costs $800.
The Galaxy A54 5G is ordinary-looking and it doesn’t introduce any new exciting design changes. It’s not a bad-looking phone. It’s just a bit boring.
While the glass panels on the front and back are nice elements that aren’t often found in this price range, the frame is made of plastic instead of aluminium, and it instantly gives a midrange feel to the device.
The A54 boasts a respectable IP67 resistance rating meaning it’s waterproof and has a good amount of dust protection as well. And it comes in two colours, Awesome Graphite and Awesome White. Both of these look fine.
Somehow for our review sample, we were given a Violet version. However, that colour isn’t being released in New Zealand.
The display is one of the strongest attributes of the A54. At 6.4 inches, it’s large, vibrant and easy to use.
It’s a 1080p OLED display boasting a maximum 120Hz refresh rate and 1,000 nits of brightness.
This is a more than capable screen that starts to make the A54 feel more like a premium device.
It’s smooth to navigate; it’s bright, and scrolling through websites and social media feels excellent.
There’s nothing particularly special about the A54’s camera array. It allows you to take good social media-worthy photos, but so does almost any phone these days.
The A54 boasts a 50MP f/1.8 primary lens with optical stabilisation, a 12MP ultrawide and a 5MP macro lens. The selfie camera is a 32MP lens.
Don’t expect too much from this array. In good conditions, it will take good photos. However, in more challenging conditions you won’t get anywhere near the quality of a more expensive phone.
Photography with moving elements is a particular struggle and I also found it challenging to get the phone to focus correctly with macro images.
One of the worst areas was portrait photography. Without a dedicated telephoto lens or depth sensor, the A54 relies on software to create the bokeh effect of portrait images. The software struggled, and often the subject would be blurry, which wasn’t ideal.
I was impressed with the A54’s night-time photography capabilities, though. The A54 supports Samsung’s Nightography mode, which helps to eliminate blurriness and halo effects in darker scenes. It worked well.
The A54 supports video recording at up to 4K at 30 frames per second (fps), and if you need more stabilisation, you can turn on the extra stabilisation mode. However, that’s locked to 1080P at 30fps.
The A54 boasts an Exynos 1380 processor, and it’s pretty good. Don’t expect Apple M1, in which you can comfortably edit 4K videos, but for everything else, the 1380 is more than capable.
I was able to easily navigate several Chrome tabs, and I could play graphically demanding games like PUBG Mobile with only a minimal amount of stuttering.
The A54 comes with 8GB of RAM, so opening multiple windows was a breeze as well. I never saw many, if any, slowdowns.
The A54 achieved a single-core score of 1010 and a multi-core score of 2795. And, of course, it supports 5G.
Battery & Updates
The A54 has a 5,000mAh battery which is very good. When using it in a power-hungry fashion, playing graphically intensive games, listening to music, surfing the web, and with the always-on display turned on, it lasted a day.
With moderate usage, I had a lot more battery left by the end of the day. And I didn’t need to charge it until I went to bed.
It supports 25W charging, which is quite slow, especially when compared to the 80W capabilities of Oppo devices and frustratingly, as usual it doesn’t come with a charger. You’ll have to buy one.
The A54 comes with a very good software support policy. Samsung has promised four OS version updates and up to five years of security patches. This is a large amount and adds to the longevity of the device.
For only $800, the Samsung A54 is a midrange device that offers a lot. It has a more than capable 120Hz display, a decent battery and good enough performance to allow you to play graphically intensive games, scroll through social media and open multiple apps without issue.
In these areas, the A54 punches above its price range; however, don’t expect it to compete in all areas. The camera array is average, and the plasticky design feels cheap. And while the Exynos 1380 processor will allow you to perform normal day-to-day tasks, don’t expect to be able to do much more than that.
But the A54 is a well-priced phone. If you’re not looking to spend upwards of $1,000 for a device and you aren’t too interested in taking high-quality photos with it, the A54 is a great option. The display is crisp and smooth, and you can use it all day.