Samsung Galaxy A54 Review - Taking on the Midrange market in 2024

Samsung Galaxy A54 Review – Taking on the Midrange market in 2024

The mid-range smartphone market has become intensely competitive in recent years, with offerings from companies like Xiaomi, Realme, and Motorola constantly upping the ante in terms of price to performance ratios. Not one to be left behind, Samsung has been making a concerted push in this segment with its Galaxy A series phones. The latest entrant – the Samsung Galaxy A54 – continues this trend with an extremely compelling overall package that should give its rivals sleepless nights. I recently spent over two weeks using the A54 as my daily driver, and here are my detailed thoughts.

Design – Understated Elegance Meets Durability

With dimensions of 158.2 x 76.7 x 8.2mm and weighing in at 202g, the Galaxy A54 hits the sweet spot between compact ergonomics and a sufficiently large display. The phone feels securely grippy in my hands thanks to the matte finish plastic frame, which also imparts a sense of durability. On the front and back, Gorilla Glass 5 gives you that premium glass sandwich design while keeping scratches and scuffs away.


Samsung Galaxy A54


Of course, being a mid-ranger, you won’t find a metal chassis like on the flagship S22 series, but I’m happy to trade that for the IP67 dust and water resistance offered here. Whether it’s getting caught in the rain, having a splash of coffee, or dropping the phone in a dusty environment, the A54 should emerge unscathed. Both the frame and glass panels have a subtly textured finish that makes fingerprints virtually invisible too.

My Lime Green review unit really stands out with its youthful character, but you can opt for more conventional Graphite, Violet, and White colors too. Overall, while it’s not flashy, the Galaxy A54 checks all the right boxes in terms of design and build quality at this price point.

Display – AMOLED Excellence Meets Buttery Smooth Scrolling

The highlight of the Galaxy A54’s front is undoubtedly its 6.4-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED display. With excellent brightness levels up to 1000 nits, vivid colors, and inky blacks, the panel makes viewing HDR10+ content an absolute delight. Everything from movies to social media feeds and games simply pop with clarity and vibrancy.

A key upgrade this generation is the faster 120Hz refresh rate, which makes scrolling and animations much smoother than the 60Hz A53. Whether I was browsing long websites or quickly flicking through my Twitter feed, the higher refresh rate lent a real sense of fluidity that I think is hard to go back from once you get used to it.

With slim uniform bezels all around and tiny punch-hole selfie camera, the display takes up an impressive 91.6% screen-to-body ratio for maximum immersion. Outdoor visibility is also excellent with enough brightness to combat glare in sunny conditions. All in all, this is easily among the finest displays I’ve come across in the mid-range category.


Samsung Galaxy A54 Review - Taking on the Midrange market in 2024


Performance and Battery Life – Lag-free Experience with All-Day Endurance

Under the hood, the Galaxy A54 is powered by Samsung’s own Exynos 1380 chipset fabricated on a 5nm process. The 8-core CPU mixture of performance Cortex-A78 cores and efficiency Cortex-A55 cores strikes a great balance in day-to-day usage. Apps open swiftly, multi-tasking is a breeze, and the Mali G68 GPU can handle casual gaming like Call of Duty Mobile just fine.

I had the 8GB RAM + 128GB storage variant which felt snappy throughout thanks to ample memory. You can also opt for a 6GB or 4GB RAM variant if your needs are more modest. Storage is expandable too via a hybrid microSD card slot. The latest One UI 5 software based on Android 13 felt smooth and responsive on the A54 with lots of UI customization and privacy options.

With its 5000mAh battery capacity and power-efficient hardware, the Galaxy A54 delivers exquisite battery life that never left me hunting for a charger during the day. I was easily able to push past 6 hours of screen-on-time even on heavy usage days. The included 25W fast charging is decently quick too, juicing up the big battery in around 1 hour 40 minutes.

For a mid-range phone in 2023, the A54 checks all the key boxes in terms of performance, software, and battery life. I never felt like I was missing out compared to pricier flagships when it came to mundane daily use.

Versatile Camera System with Impressive Night Mode

The Galaxy A54 sports a versatile triple camera array on the rear headlined by a 50MP f/1.8 main shooter. In daylight, images show good detail, accurate colors, and reliable autofocus thanks to PDAF. The pixel-binned 12.5MP shots retain plenty of resolving power for social media use. There’s also a 12MP f/2.2 123-degree ultra-wide camera that fits more into each frame.

A 5MP f/2.4 macro camera surprisingly produces quite usable close-up shots with a good amount of background blur for the segment. The 2x digital zoom from the main camera is decent though I wish Samsung included a telephoto lens. Video recording tops out at 4K 30fps across the cameras.

However, the star of the show is Night Mode, which leverages pixel-binning and multi-frame processing to deliver some of the best low-light shots I’ve seen in this price bracket. Nighttime shots have well-controlled noise, sufficient detail, and balanced lighting.

The 32MP f/2.2 front-facing camera also belies the A54’s mid-range status with excellent selfies that retain natural skin tones and crisp facial features even indoors. You can even shoot selfie portraits in Night Mode for dramatically lit low-light shots.

On the whole, the Galaxy A54 delivers extremely competitive camera performance for its class thanks to recent algorithm improvements. Shots in the day or night rival what phones costing twice as much managed just a couple of years ago.

All the Essentials – From Stereo Speakers to Type-C Charging

Moving beyond the primary pillars, the Galaxy A54 still checks most boxes when it comes to secondary features. It has a headphone jack unlike the A53, retaining wider compatibility with 3.5mm wired audio accessories. The stereo speakers provide decent volume and fidelity for multimedia enjoyment and speakerphone calls.

Connectivity standards are up to date with Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.3, and NFC. The USB Type-C port enables fast data transfer and supports OTG accessories. Disappointingly, there is no FM radio like on some competitors. Biometrics are handled quickly and securely by an optical in-display fingerprint reader and face unlock.

Samsung’s software support impresses too with 4 assured Android version updates and 5 years of security patches – not too far behind the S-series flagships. This level of future-proofing is highly welcome in the mid-range space.

Models and Pricing – Value for Money

The Galaxy A54 is affordably priced around the $299/?28,299 mark for the 128GB model. With dozens of carriers and retail partners across the globe, there are plenty of purchasing options:

  • Unlocked models like SM-A546U, SM-A546U1, and carrier variants such as SM-A546V for the US
  • International models including SM-A546B, SM-A546B/DS for Asia/Europe and SM-A546E, SM-A546E/DS for EMEA regions.

At this price, the Galaxy A54 provides a complete experience with very few compromises compared to premium $700-800 phones. Unless you’re a demanding power user, heavy mobile gamer or camera specialist, the A54 gets you 90% of that premium experience for half the cost.

Conclusion – New Mid-Range Maestro from Samsung

Summing up my lengthy testing period with the Galaxy A54, there’s very little not to like about this excellent mid-ranger. It nails the core pillars with a sleek durable design, vibrant 120Hz AMOLED display, lag-free performance, solid triple cameras with amazing night mode, and long-lasting battery life. You also get modern connectivity, biometrics, and the assurance of long software support.

Compared to its predecessor, the upgrades like the faster display, improved main camera, better low-light photography, and bigger battery make it a substantial upgrade for A53 owners seeking more. With its blend of style, polish, performance and value, the Samsung Galaxy A54 shines bright as one of the finest mid-range smartphones you can buy in 2024.