As a lover of most things purple, the Samsung A54 5G is a drop-dead gorgeous device in its striking new violet color option. Not just a stunner, the new midrange Samsung device offers everything you look for in an Android phone, if not a little bit more, for a rather moderate asking price.
Succeeding the also-brilliant Samsung A53 5G, there are a few improvements in the line’s 2023 upgrade. The new mobile device is one of the sleekest midranges Samsung has ever put out, and it’s a riot of a time to toy with.
Straight out of the box, the Samsung A54 5G is a smooth and comfortable device to use. Despite being a midrange device, Samsung’s typical premium stylings are here in droves. The phone’s smooth glass back surrounded by a plastic, metallic-looking frame houses satisfying, clicky power and volume buttons as well as the device’s multi-camera setup.
As long as you can deal with Samsung’s still overly stylized One UI Android skin, the company’s latest is not so much a must-buy as it is an enjoyable alternative to direct competitors such as the Pixel 7a, Nothing Phone 2, or — on the iOS side — iPhone SE.
- A stunning phone for those who like to show off
- Super-smooth 120Hz AMOLED display
- An affordable, but well-performing device
- Samsung’s One UI is still a mixed bag
- Not designed for gaming
At the time of writing, the Samsung A54 5G is priced at an RRP of $449.99/£449.99 for 128GB of internal storage. For those who want double the storage, the more substantial phone only costs a little more. The device can also be found even cheaper through third-party stores.
|Battery capacity||5,000 mAh|
|Display||6.4-inch 120Hz Super AMOLED (1280 x 2340)|
|Cameras||Wide: 50MP f/1.8 with OIS
Ultrawide: 12MP f/2.2
Macro: 5MP f/2.4
|Dimensions:||6.23 x 3.02 x 0.32 in|
|Colors||Lime, graphite, violet, and white|
Out of everything that can be said about the Samsung A54 5G, the last word out of anyone’s mouth would be “ugly”. The device is still a typical glass sandwich with slim, almost non-existent bezels and Samsung’s favorite hole-punch selfie cam.
This year, Samsung has made some rather clever changes to the design of its A-Series devices. Gone is the typical ugly camera bump, replaced by three individual lenses and a single flash. Unfortunately, this does mean the loss of last year’s depth sensor, but most users won’t miss the add-on that much.
Samsung’s small redesigns make for a very enjoyable design. The smooth glass back combined with the annual refresh’s IP67-certified water and dust protection allows for an hour of one-meter submersion in freshwater, making for a strong and reliable smartphone as well as a piece of technological eye candy.
Samsung’s gorgeous chassis design encompasses a rather lovely Super AMOLED panel that gets more than sufficiently bright. Even in the bright summer heat, the screen’s 1000-nit brightness keeps everything surprisingly readable.
Additionally, the A54 5G’s screen refreshes at a buttery smooth 120Hz. Whether you’re on the home screen or playing a game, playback is effortless and input lag is unperceivable.
The A54’s panel is surrounded by Gorilla Corning Glass 5, allowing greater resistance to dangerous drops and falls but has the potential to scratch rather easily. While we didn’t experience any scratches during our testing, we would still suggest the use of a screen protector.
If you’re looking for a phone that guarantees an all-day battery, if not more, then the A54 5G is definitely for you. Packing a 5,000 mAh battery, Samsung’s midrange phone offers a battery size on par with the Galaxy S23 Ultra for half the price.
With less power-hungry internals than its bigger brother, the A54 5G lasts for days with very low use. Even when put through constant video playback, the device still almost lasted an entire day. It’s a remarkable phone, especially for those who aren’t planning to put the device through heavy gaming.
Playing intensive games like Genshin Impact or Honkai Star Rail will result in a drastic cut to battery life. While expected, constant gameplay can drain the phone’s massive battery in around 7 hours, which is still commendable for such a technologically demanding title.
Despite housing a massive battery, charging times are also rather speedy. Using a fast USB-C charger, the Samsung A54 5G reaches 100% capacity in just 90 minutes. It may not charge as fast as a OnePlus device, but it’s still very speedy.
In the past, Samsung devices have been criticized for poor Exynos performance compared to its Snapdragon contemporaries. However, this year’s 5nm Exynos 1380 is a great chip, providing fantastic performance in every intensive program we can chuck at it.
In Genshin Impact, performance is okay, averaging in the mid-40s in terms of framerate at max settings. Honkai Star Rail, another highly intensive game, runs much better with the game reaching 60fps and even above in some areas.
For more competitive gaming, Call of Duty: Mobile runs effortlessly at max settings, offering an incredibly smooth experience. While the game is unable to hit the display’s full 120fps playback, it’s still fast enough for the large majority of gamers to enjoy. It’s certainly not the best gaming phone on the market, but it will do most users quite nicely.
Samsung’s Exynos chips are not particularly designed for gaming, but the 1380 does perform admirably. However, the chip’s strong suit lies in multitasking, which keeps the phone’s One UI Android skin running as fluid as you’d need for daily use.
We did experience some slight chugging with numerous games open in the background, causing some noticeable stutters when swapping between multiple active games. Outside of this one hardware-straining issue, performance is rock solid.
Compared to last year’s A53 5G, Samsung has made some small cuts to the A54’s camera system. While still featuring three main cameras, the omission of last year’s depth sensor does come as a surprise.
However, at its core, the A54’s cameras are a slight improvement, even if the missing depth sensor makes macro shots and depth-of-field heavy portrait-mode photos harder to hit.
Nevertheless, Samsung’s history of great camera systems returns here. Photos won’t be as clear as, say, a Samsung S23 Ultra, and they do take more patience to properly focus in our testing, but you can get great photos from this device.
The A54’s 50-megapixel main sensor bins your snapped pics down to just 12.5-megapixels, combining multiple frames to produce clearer images. When you hit a shot, it can look crystal clear with vibrant colors that will look perfect on an Instagram page.
Unfortunately, Samsung’s budget cameras do suffer in low-light performance. Even under heavy shade outdoors, the A54’s camera can’t take clear snapshots of moving objects, and that’s with the device’s Pixel-esque Night Sight turned on. It’s still not completely useless, but it’s underwhelming.
Of course, whether or not you enjoy the photos coming out of the A54 5G depends on whether or not you enjoy Samsung’s heavy post-processing. Colors in images are tuned to be more saturated, not quite reflecting the real world, even if they still look very nice.
Samsung’s photo quality suffers most on the A54 due to its seemingly delayed shutter speed. Unlike faster Samsung phones, there does appear to be a slight delay between pressing the capture button and getting an image, resulting in a loss of focus for any shooting mode that isn’t the camera’s basic mode. Portrait mode and macro mode have a habit of losing focus with moving objects, and anyone with even slightly shaky hands will find themselves suffering.
Should you buy the Samsung A54 5G?
We think you should pick up the Samsung A54 5G if Samsung’s One UI skin doesn’t annoy you, if you’re looking for a mid-range phone that looks stunning, and if you want a device with multi-day battery life.
If the Samsung A54 5G isn’t for you
Here are some other options if this isn’t the device for you.
A solid midrange with an even more solid camera.
One of the best Jack-of-all-trades devices on the market, Google’s Pixel 7a Pro is nowhere near as flashy as the Samsung A54 5G, but it does make up for some of this device’s shortcomings.
In particular, Google’s infamous camera system churns out effortlessly gorgeous still photos, even in low-light scenarios. Furthermore, the photos generated by the device boast more accurate color science instead of the vibrancy and saturation of Samsung’s post-processing.
Unfortunately, the Pixel 7a does only come equipped with a 90Hz screen instead of the A54’s 120Hz panel, but for the same price, it’s a decent trade-off.
Nothing Phone 2
An even flashier midrange.
The Nothing Phone 2 is somehow even flashier than Samsung’s A54 if you can believe it. Offering similar performance on a simpler, closer-to-stock Android skin, the Nothing Phone 2 also boasts a number of cool features that helps it stick out.
At £699.99, this device is more expensive than the Samsung A54 5G, but that extra cost does result in even better performance for gaming and other intensive tasks. However, you will have to settle for a substantially smaller 4,700 mAh battery.
Samsung A54 review
Not quite King of the mid-range, the Samsung A54 5G is certainly a looker. Its strong internals, killer battery life, and gorgeously bright screen keep it a strong contender for the mid-range crown.