Samsung’s Galaxy A series is a crowd-pleaser – it looks and feels a lot like the pricier Galaxy S models without costing nearly as much. Sure, the cameras aren’t as nice, performance is lower and so on, but the A series thrives on being “good enough”
That is why the arrival of the Galaxy A54 and A34 is such a big deal. Some of the previous entries managed to become fan favorites and are often brought up as recommendations in the comment sections. Can the 2023 generation live up to these expectations? We’ll let you be the judge, but first we need to address what has changed and what has not.
The Samsung Galaxy A34 is no longer just a cheaper version of the A5x model. This year it is larger with a 6.6” display (vs. 6.4”) and it matches it with a 120Hz refresh rate (the A33 only did 90Hz). Additionally, it has a completely different chipset, a Dimensity 1080.
Samsung Galaxy A34
The Samsung Galaxy A54 takes the display down a notch, down to 6.4” (the A53 had a 6.5” display). However, the new model isn’t smaller than its 2022 predecessor – it’s a millimeter shorter, sure, but it’s 2mm wider and it is 13g heavier. Both the A54 and A34 have 5,000mAh batteries with 25W wired only charging (same as their predecessors), both are rated IP67. The A54 uses a Samsung-designed Exynos 1380 chipset.
Samsung Galaxy A54
Compared to the Dimensity, it uses a different node (5nm Samsung vs. 6nm TSMC) and has double the number of Cortex-A78 cores (four), though the maximum clock speed is lower (2.4GHz vs. 2.6GHz). The GPUs are similar enough to make this an interesting fight – Mali-G68 MP5 for the Exynos and G68 MC4 for the Dimensity. These are just the raw numbers of course, more details on the performance will have to wait for the review.
Camera details: Samsung Galaxy A54 • Galaxy A34
Perhaps a more apt comparison is to the Galaxy A52s and its Snapdragon 778G, one of the fan-favorite phones we mentioned above. The 778G is old but still gives the Dimensity 1080 a run for its money, it remains to be seen how it compares against the Exynos 1380. The A52s had a big flaw, as limited availability (it just didn’t launch in some regions).
The Samsung Galaxy A54 and A34 are launching in select European and Southeast Asian markets this month. Below are the prices with a comparison to the launch prices of the A53 and A33.
|Samsung Galaxy A33||€370||–|
|Samsung Galaxy A34||€390||€460|
|Samsung Galaxy A53||€450||€510|
|Samsung Galaxy A54||€500||€550|
What else can you buy for €500? The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G has been in stores for over a year at this point and while the Snapdragon 888 has aged poorly, this is still a flagship class phone. The 6.4” FHD+ 120Hz display can be compared directly to the A54 panel, plus you get an 8MP 3x tele lens in addition to the 12MP main and 12MP ultra wide cameras, plus 15W wireless charging. You do lose some battery capacity (4,500mAh) and there is no microSD slot like on the A-phones.
The Xiaomi 13 Lite made the rare choice of using the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 chip. It also has a 6.55” 120Hz 12-bit AMOLED display and a 50+8+2MP camera, it is powered by a smaller but faster 4,500mAh battery with 67W wired charging.
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G • Xiaomi 13 Lite • OnePlus 11R • Google Pixel 7
What else? You can go larger with the OnePlus 11R and its 6.74” 120Hz display (1,240 x 2,772px), not to mention that this is powered by the capable Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. And the 5,000mAh battery supports 100W charging. The 11R is not available in Europe, however.
The Google Pixel 7 is available in Europe, at least in some countries. And it is smaller by a few millimeters than the Galaxy A54 while offering a 6.3” FHD+ 90Hz AMOLED display. The Tensor G2 isn’t the most efficient chip, though it does feature an X1 prime core. And the main 50MP camera has a large 1/1.31” sensor. The battery is small (4,355mAh) and slow to charge at 20W over a wire, but it also does 20W wirelessly. It’s not like the A54 is a speed demon when it comes to charging.
What is your take on the Samsung Galaxy A54? Is it a phone worth having or will you pass – vote below or using this page.
Let’s have a look at a few phones in the €400 segment as alternatives to the Galaxy A34. The Redmi Note 12 Pro uses the same Dimensity 1080 chipset and has a 6.67 FHD+ 120Hz AMOLED display. The 5,000mAh battery is fast to charge at 67W, while the 50+8+2MP camera is comparable to the Galaxy. This one lacks a microSD slot but it does have a 3.5mm jack.
Carl Pei is trying to capture lightning in a bottle again with the Nothing Phone (1). Its 6.55” 120Hz display and Snapdragon 778G+ chipset are comparable to what the Samsung has to offer (the chip even enables 15W wireless charging), plus there is a 50MP ultra wide camera, higher res than most phones on the market. The 4,500mAh battery does 33W charging. You may have to wait for the right discount to get the Phone (1) at €400, however (but we’ve seen that price a few times).
Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro • Nothing Phone (1) • vivo V27 • Google Pixel 6a
The vivo V27 goes even bigger with a 6.78” display (FHD+ 120Hz) and it uses MediaTek’s new mid-range chip, the Dimensity 7200. This phone is obsessed with selfies and has a 50MP 4K/60fps capable camera on the front, plus a 50+8+2MP trio on the back. The 4,600mAh battery charges at 66W.
If you want something smaller instead, the Google Pixel 6a is relatively compact and offers a decently high end experience, if you can get over the 60Hz display (6.1” FHD+ AMOLED). Which Android skin is your favorite – the Pixel Experience or One UI? MIUI or FuntouchOS or NothingOS? This might be a deciding factor, perhaps more so than even the hardware specifics.
Well, how about that Samsung Galaxy A34 – a swing and a miss or a potential best-seller? Vote below or using this page.