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Samsung Galaxy A54 review

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9Expert Score
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G review: An impressive mid-tier device

The A54 5G is a tremendous option for a more affordable device, with strong performance, great battery and a decent camera, all at a remarkable price point. It’s not the best phone on the market, but it will get the job done and save you money at the same time.

Design
8.5
Performance
9.5
Pros
  • Battery life can last a couple of days
  • Plenty of power for gaming and work
  • Stunning OLED display
Cons
  • No wireless charging
  • No RAW shooting modes
  • Camera performance isn't as good as Samsung can do

The Samsung Galaxy A54 is not a phone that you expect to get excited by. It’s a mid-range device, an affordable phone that takes last year’s specs and packages them into an attractive handset for this year.

And yet the A54 is a pretty exciting phone. It somehow manages to balance an attractive price with powerful performance. The end result is a phone that easily competes with today’s mid range phones as well as some of the cheaper flagships from the major manufacturers.

The cameras don’t quite live up to the performance you expect from the flagship, Galaxy S range, but given the price it’s a sacrifice many will be willing to make.

Design

Samsung has long had its galaxy S range pushing its smartphone design philosophy forwards. For years, Galaxy S phones have offered sleek bodies and curved edges, with stunning screens and increasingly impressive cameras. 

More recently, it’s foldable phones have pushed the envelope of what a smart phone can look like and do.

The Galaxy A series, meanwhile, doesn’t have the same approach to design. It feels like a case of function over form. The A54 feels somewhat chunky in the hand, with squareish edges surrounding the 6.4-inch display.

Samsung Galaxy A54 review

You get the standard volume rocker and power button on the right hand side, with a USB-C port on the bottom and the SIM-card slot on top. There’s no wireless charging, either, which helps keep the cost down.

Both the front and back of the phone are glass, with the three camera lenses protruding substantially from the back of the device. In other words, you are never going to have this phone lie flat on its back.

A stunning display

So with all the talk about this being a bit of a dull-looking phone, why did I say it was an exciting device in the intro? 

Well, it begins with the screen.

Samsung Galaxy A54 on the carpet browsing BTTR.com.au

The 6.4-inch 1080p OLED panel is gorgeous. From the first moment you power on the phone, colours vibrantly pop while blacks are as dark as a politician’s soul.

The pinhole front-facing camera barely distracts from the screen’s presence, while the bezel surrounding the screen is remarkably thin.

But it’s when you start scrolling that the display really shines. With up to a 120Hz refresh rate, the A54 feels so smooth to use, scrolling is flawless, and things really start to shine when watching video or playing games.

I spent some time playing PUBG mobile on the A54, and it looked great. The frame rate was stable, and the motion was smooth. 

Despite playing using the touch controls and getting regularly distracted, I still managed to get to the top 20 without any dramas, which I think is a testament to the phone’s performance rather than my own ability.

Performance

Using the Galaxy A54 for a couple of weeks, there was never a moment that I noticed it falter under the weight of my demands.

If we take a quick look at the Geekbench 6 CPU benchmark scores, you can see that the A54 sits pretty close to the Google Pixel 6a in terms of those benchmarks.

For the single-core test, the A54 scored 1009, where the must-core score came to 2856.

You can see how that compares to the other recently tested devices on BTTR below:

Single-core:

Samsung Galaxy A54 5G
1009
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
1967
Google Pixel 7
1038
Google Pixel 6a
1063
Apple iPhone 14
1738

Multi-core:

Samsung Galaxy A54 5G
2856
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
5088
Google Pixel 7
3172
Google Pixel 6a
2968
Apple iPhone 14
4741

Vulkan Compute:

Samsung Galaxy A54 5G
3059
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
3568
Google Pixel 7
4528
Google Pixel 6a
7550
Apple iPhone 14
12507

It’s worth pointing out that the single and multi-core scores don’t come close to the Galaxy S23 Ultra, but that’s to be expected. This is a mid range device targeting a much more approachable price point. 

But what these benchmarks do show is a strong performer, and a device that is capable of holding its own against last year’s flagship models at a fraction of the price.

Camera performance

The A54 in camera mode

Samsung has been delivering exceptional camera quality on its smartphones for a number of years now, so it’s not a surprise to discover that the A54’s cameras do a great job.

The triple lens system includes a 50MP f/1.8 lens, a 12MP wide-angle lens with an f/2.2 aperture and a 123˚ field of view and a 5MP f/2.4 macro camera.

In good light, you can get some great shots out of this phone. Samsung phones typically tend to oversaturate colours a bit, and the A54 does this too. But you can’t deny that the image pops, particularly when viewing the shots on the phone’s OLED display.

Photographers should be warned that the camera doesn’t support RAW mode, which means you don’t get to adjust those saturation levels to suit your own tastes.

For me, I was impressed by the “best shot” mode, which intelligently suggested framing and focus points for you to help you take a better photo. It’s subtle and convenient, and actively results in better photos.

Samsung Galaxy A54 5G sample shots:

There are also Snapchat filters built directly into the camera app, so you can add a bit of “fun” to your images. That’s not really my scene, but if you’re buying this phone for your teenager, they’ll probably love it.

The dedicated macro lens seems like a bit of an odd inclusion here, though. It’s not natural to use, as you either need to select the macro mode manually, or opt to switch to the macro lens if you get really close to a subject.

It also doesn’t really give an indication of when the shot is in focus, so you are relying on your own eyesight. If you’re taking a shot of a flower or something that may be moving in the breeze for example, it can be a challenge to get a great macro shot.

In low light, things struggle a bit. Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Ultra did a great job in low light conditions when we reviewed it, and Google has invested heavily in its night shot mode. But here the A54 seems to fall behind.

I would argue that night shots are far from a dealbreaker for this phone. But your needs may differ, so be aware of that limitation.

Battery life

With a large 5,000mAh battery on board, the Galaxy A54 does a good job of getting you through the day.

With moderate use, you’ll comfortably get from sunrise to sunset without needing to plug in your phone. Heavy users may need to plug in during the day though, while you could almost stretch it to two days if your usage is light.

As mentioned above, there’s no wireless charging with the A54, though it does support 25W fast charging if you have a compatible charger. At that rate, your phone will be 100% ready to go from flat within about 90 minutes.

Verdict

The A54's triple camera array

The Samsung Galaxy A54 is currently sitting just outside the top models in our list of the best Android phones in Australia. As more reviews trickle through, I expect it will end up on that page thanks to its solid performance and $699 RRP.

It is already a fantastic option for anyone after a great cheap phone. When compared directly against last year’s Google Pixel 6a, the phone feels like it delivers a similar level of performance.

While Google’s pure Android OS interface may appeal to some people, if you like Samsung’s One UI, but aren’t keen on spending $1000 plus on a Galaxy S flagship, then this could be a great option for you.

Buy the Samsung Galaxy A54 online

AU $616.55
AU $649.00
+ Delivery *
Mydeal.com.au
AU $629.99
AU $699.00
Free delivery
AU $668.25
+ Delivery *
Mydeal.com.au
AU $704.48
Free delivery
* Delivery cost shown at checkout.
AU $598.00
+ Delivery *
AU $616.55
AU $649.00
+ Delivery *
Mydeal.com.au
AU $649.00
Free delivery
AU $699.00
Free delivery
* Delivery cost shown at checkout.
Product disclosure

Samsung provided the product for this review.

Get a new SIM for your Galaxy A54 5G

Author

  • Nick Broughall

    Nick is the founder and editor of BTTR. He is an award winning product reviewer, who has spent the last 20 years writing, editing and publishing technology and consumer content for brands like Finder, Gizmodo and TechRadar.

    View all posts
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