Samsung’s Galaxy A series has consistently dominated the Android phone market thanks to vibrant designs, frequent One UI updates, and diverse camera features. It has repeatedly surpassed the Galaxy S and other flagship series in sales, owing to Samsung’s credibility and uniform software across devices of all prices. This year, the Galaxy A14 5G carries on that legacy with a bumped-up display and a design that conforms with the best Samsung phones of 2023.
The Galaxy A14 is one of the most affordable 5G phones, while Samsung’s promising and frequent update cycle will keep your device up-to-date with new features and resistant to malware threats. If you account for the cameras, the software features Samsung brings to this entry-level device, and the striking textured back, the Galaxy A14 5G feels worthy of attention, especially if you are either limited by a budget or looking for a secondary phone.
- Affordable 5G
- Vibrant display with a 90Hz refresh rate
- Two day battery
- Surprisingly good rear camera for the price
Price and availability
The Samsung Galaxy A14 5G is available in the US for $199.99 at Samsung’s online store, Amazon, and Walmart, but only in Black. It is a little more expensive in the UK, with a retail price of £219, but you can choose between the Silver, Green, and Black color variants.
At its core, a MediaTek Dimensity 700 chipset drives the Galaxy A14 5G, a strictly entry-level chip also seen on other budget smartphones like the POCO M4. The chipset has enough chops to support essential functions, like calling, instant messaging, video-watching, and internet browsing, on the Galaxy A14 5G. This technology is much more powerful than the MediaTek Helio G80, which powers the Galaxy A14’s LTE variant.
The Galaxy A14 5G benefits from Samsung’s commitment to timely software updates. It currently runs on One UI Core 5.1 based on Android 13 and Google’s security patch from August 2023. Samsung also promises two Android version updates (i.e., to Android 15) and four years of security updates.
Notably, the Galaxy A14 5G’s Android skin is the “One UI Core” instead of “One UI,” which essentially symbolizes that some of the features may be lacking compared to more expensive phones from the brand. Samsung effectively eliminates additional background features such as “Smart Suggestion” or video calling and playback enhancements that may tense up the rudimentary hardware.
However, except for Samsung Pay, I didn’t find any vital features missing. Running the same generation of One UI (if not the same version) as Samsung’s flagships, the Galaxy A14 5G shares most software features, including productivity features such as floating windows, dual instances of messaging apps, Bixby Routines, etc.
The Galaxy A14 5G also gets a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, which is easy to reach with your right thumb. Above the fingerprint scanner lies the volume rocker, which feels secure and tactile. While a tad more depth would make the button feel more clicky, Samsung has presumably reduced the depth to keep it from getting wobbly.
For those still using wired headphones, there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack for audio alongside the USB-C port for charging and data transfer. Next to these ports lies the primary microphone and a speaker grille for mono audio.
Samsung furnishes the Galaxy A14 with a 50MP primary camera. On paper, the primary camera’s resolution seemingly sits alongside other Samsung phones, including the Galaxy A54 and even the vanilla Galaxy S23. However, the actual sensor inside varies greatly, as you might expect for the price. This 50MP sensor is physically much smaller — at 1/2.54 inches and is far less capable of capturing the same level of detail or sharpness as those expensive devices.
Still, in isolation, the Galaxy A14 5G’s camera is surprisingly high quality for its price. The colors are punchy, especially in daylight, and the images offer sufficient clarity for photos bound for social media. It sometimes struggles to focus, especially in low light, but gets the job done otherwise.
Using 4-in-1 pixel binning (merging four pixels into one), the Galaxy A14 clicks 12.5MP pictures and captures more light than 50 million pixels engaged separately. There is no option to click full-size 50MP images, perhaps due to the weak processor, or to capture photos with HDR. However, you may be able to better utilize the camera with the Pro mode, which lets you change the shutter speed, ISO, exposure, and white balance while allowing you to use manual focus.
At night, the images are devoid of the same sharpness or vibrance, but the Night Mode can salvage some clarity. The Night Mode captures multiple frames at different ISO levels and stitches them together for better contrast and more saturated colors.
Apart from the primary, Samsung omits an ultrawide camera from the Galaxy A14 5G altogether. Instead, you get a 2MP macro sensor for zooming close into the micro world. Other than its ability to focus from a shorter distance, this macro camera is no match for the primary camera in terms of colors or sharpness. You can’t trigger autofocus either since the lens has a fixed focal length.
Adding to the duo is a 2MP depth sensor. Besides allowing you to brag about three cameras on your phone, the sensor is practically worthless because the software adds a background blur, and portraits have a similar bokeh effect even with the depth sensor covered.
For selfies, you get a 13MP front-facing camera with ample clarity for a $200 phone. The colors are not as saturated as on the rear camera, but you get your money’s worth. Both the Night and Portrait modes also work on the front camera, making selfies more palatable.
The Samsung Galaxy follows the template Samsung design as most of its other phones from 2023. Looking at the curved side frame and the flat back, you can barely distinguish the Galaxy A14 5G from most other models from the Galaxy A and the Galaxy S series (save the Ultra). For some distinction, the A14 5G has an attractive light olive-green color. But if you prefer subtle finishes, you can also get the A14 in black and silver — unfortunately, you only get black if you’re in the US.
Unlike other more expensive models from the Galaxy A series, which incorporate a glass back with a metal or plastic frame, a unibody frame cloaks the Galaxy A14 5G. Despite the continuity of the material, the ridged back feels distinct from the curved side edges. The textured back looks interesting, but its ridges may accumulate grime and body soil with time. Because of its mediocre-grade plastic components, you also risk scuffing the back texture if you aren’t using a case with the phone.
Holding it in your hand, the Galaxy A14 5G feels massive and is about the same size as the Galaxy S23 Ultra or an iPhone 15 Plus or Pro Max. The flat back — and sharp transition to the sides — can feel bothersome to hold over prolonged usage.
Lastly, Samsung offers dual SIM support on the Galaxy A14 5G. Buyers in the UK get a triple-slot SIM tray for two SIM cards and a microSD card, while those in the US get a hybrid SIM tray that shares the secondary SIM slot with the microSD card.
The A14 has large bezels hemming the display. However, once you can summon enough patience to swallow the large bezels and the outdated notch design (compared to Chinese brands that already offer hole-punch displays at this price), you can appreciate the display.
The 6.6-inch Full HD+ LCD looks consistently sharp, even in bright scenarios, and lacks the characteristic blue tint of cheap LCDs. The color saturation is impressive, too, while the 90Hz refresh rate makes scrolling less daunting for the eyes.
Besides being reasonably bright during the day, the display is equally calming at night because of how dim it can get. The “Extra Dim” setting in Samsung’s One UI interface can reduce the brightness even further, allowing you to use the phone in the dark without fear of eye strain.
The Galaxy A14 5G has a large 5,000mAh backing up its day-to-day usage. While the battery capacity is standard on phones across different price brackets, the LCD and the non-intensive internals help boost the backup significantly. With regular usage comprising texting, web browsing, and occasionally watching videos, the Galaxy A14 5G can easily last for about two days.
Even when you use it as a gaming phone for sustained periods or binge-watching sessions, especially using mobile data instead of Wi-Fi, the battery can still last an entire day without a second charge. However, it’s still a good idea to plug the phone in at the end of the day because of the painfully long charging duration.
The Galaxy A14 5G limits charging speeds to 15W, and the phone can take over two hours to charge fully via the USB-C port. Making things worse, Samsung doesn’t include the charging brick and only supplies a USB-C to USB-C cable in the box. To ensure you can even charge the Galaxy A14 5G at the highest supported speeds, you need to use a charger that supports more than 15W of output and preferably USB-PD.
The Galaxy A15 5G performs surprisingly well for more than basic 2D or puzzle games like Mars Mars and Candy Crush. The chipset also delivers sufficient power to run heavier titles such as Unhappy Racoon or Pokemon Unite at passable frame rates. But if you’re looking to ace combat-type games such as PUBG Mobile or Call of Duty Mobile, prepare for low resolutions and poor graphics quality with frequent stuttering and frame drops, all of which worsen as the phone begins to heat up.
While the chipset feels adequate for the price point, the Galaxy A14’s limited RAM can feel like a bottleneck, causing frequent stutters even while scrolling through the UI. In competitive markets, including parts of Southeast Asia, you can buy 6GB or 8GB RAM variants with higher (128GB) storage. But in the US and the UK, Samsung only sells the Galaxy A14 5G with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage as the standard variant.
A defining feature of the chipset is its support for 5G, which makes the Galaxy A14 5G an attractive choice for anyone looking for faster browsing speeds. The phone can offer consistently reliable 5G speeds indoors and outdoors. MediaTek claims the modem supports Standalone (SA) 5G networks plus FDD and TDD modes in 5G NR (New Radio). That means support for a wide range of 5G bands across different transmission frequencies and a more reliable connection, even in congested areas.
Should you buy the Galaxy A14 5G?
The Samsung Galaxy A14 5G is far from a powerhouse but offers a surprisingly solid value for its price. Besides the obvious advantage of superfast 5G, the Galaxy A14 5G has a large 90Hz display, making it a noteworthy offering. The 50MP camera on the back can take some compelling pictures, while the feature-rich camera app gives you plenty of variations for your Instagram images.
Besides a decent display and camera at this price, the Galaxy A14 offers assurance in the form of two promised Android platform upgrades and software features shared with more expensive Samsung devices. The 5,000mAh further facilitates sustained usage for longer than a single day.
The Galaxy A14’s downsides include an inhibiting 4GB RAM, which can lead to frequent stutters while using the phone. The slow charging can also be irritating, especially if you forget to plug in the phone the previous night. Lastly, Samsung’s sneaky prompts about installing third-party apps can be annoying and slow down the phone.
Alternatives to the Samsung Galaxy A14 5G
If you’re still undecided about the Galaxy A14 5G after this review, we’ve got some alternative devices below you can check out.
OnePlus Nord N30
If you can stretch your budget by another $70, the OnePlus Nord N30 (sold as the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite in the UK) offers faster charging, a better display, and a higher-resolution camera. The OnePlus device also features a much better processor and can manage similarly fast network speeds thanks to 5G support.
While the user interface on OnePlus phones is more fluid than Samsung’s One UI, the bloatware problem may persist on the Nord N30. Nonetheless, the better hardware should make it a compelling bet if you spend the extra bucks.
POCO M4 Pro
You won’t find POCO (Xiaomi’s sister brand) selling in the US, but if you’re in the UK, you can have the M4 Pro with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage for £249. Like the OnePlus above, the POCO M4 Pro offers better performance, a more modern design, and faster charging (although only half as fast as the Nord N30).
With POCO, you might find a user interface akin to iOS and shoved with more pre-installed junk. But if that doesn’t concern you much, it can be an upgrade over the Galaxy A14 5G, especially if you have a tight budget.
Moto G 5G (2023)
If a clean interface is a necessity, the Moto G 5G brings you a better display, comparable cameras, and more storage for the same $199 pricing. The only concern with Moto G is Motorola’s unreliable update cycle, especially for budget phones.
The Samsung Galaxy A14 5G offers a decent camera and trusty 5G connectivity. Despite entry-level pricing, it gets the same software features as Samsung’s more expensive devices, with software updates promised to keep it running for the next few years — unless the limited RAM and storage dent your experience.