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Galaxy A54 5G Hands-On: Samsung’s Budget Phone Gets a Makeover

The $450 phone now has a more upscale appearance thanks to its revised design.

Although you wouldn’t know it by looking at it, Samsung’s new Galaxy A54 5G shares several characteristics with its predecessor. The Galaxy A54 5G, which goes on sale on April 6 and costs $450 (approx. conversion: £499 to AU$915), updates Samsung’s more affordable phone with a new design, a faster processor, and a better camera.

The new design seems to be the biggest modification based on the limited time I had with it. If you intend to use a case with your device, this might not be a big deal. Yet, it shows that Samsung is working harder to reduce the gap between its high-end and low-cost products. That would be especially crucial if Samsung wants to catch up to Google’s Pixel 6A, which I claimed in my review might be the most attractive phone in its price range.

The Galaxy A54 5G’s new look

Compared to the Galaxy A53 from the previous year, the Galaxy A54 5G boasts a new glossy surface that gives it a more premium feel. I like that the shiny rear panel and matte edges are reminiscent of the iPhone 11.

The Galaxy A54 5G does not have a camera bump, as you will also note. In its stead, Samsung installed a floating camera arrangement resembling the one on the Galaxy S23 series, giving it a cleaner and more unified appearance. Even while a phone’s appearance isn’t the most crucial factor, it’s still amazing to see a smartphone under $500 that doesn’t feel cheap.

It nearly seems as though Samsung is modelling its design after Google’s. A less costly counterpart of the Pixel 6, the $450 Pixel 6A likewise features a glossy exterior. The Pixel 6A also has similarities with the Galaxy A54 5G in terms of its camera design.

With a 6.4-inch screen, the Galaxy A54 5G is a little smaller than the 6.5-inch Galaxy A53 5G. With the Galaxy A54, I continue to think that this size is a perfect middle ground between the 6.1-inch Galaxy S23 and the 6.6-inch Galaxy S23 Plus.

Samsung has addressed one of my main issues with the Galaxy A53 by emphasizing the design of the Galaxy A54. I expressly stated that the design of the Galaxy A53 was neither “fresh” nor “interesting,” therefore I’m happy to see that has changed this time around.

My other complaint with the Galaxy A53 was that it occasionally performed slowly. The Exynos 1380, a more modern processor featured within the Galaxy A54 5G, is most likely the Exynos 1280’s replacement. I haven’t used the Galaxy A54 5G for long enough to know whether the new chip makes a noticeable difference. Nonetheless, throughout the limited time I had with the device, the performance looked to be fine. The camera started almost immediately, the apps opened and closed quickly, and the keyboard immediately appeared.

Camera is the major difference between the Galaxy A54 and S23

Between Samsung’s affordable A-series phones and its high-end S-series phones, there are a lot of differences. The camera system, though, is still the largest. A 50-megapixel primary camera, a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera, and a 5-megapixel macro camera are all featured on the Galaxy A54 5G. The Galaxy A54 5G only offers a 10x digital zoom because it lacks a telephoto camera.

In contrast, the Galaxy S23 features three cameras: a 12-megapixel ultrawide-angle camera, a 10-megapixel telephoto camera, and a 50-megapixel primary camera. Although the primary and ultrawide cameras may appear to be similar on paper, I wouldn’t be shocked to see some discernible image quality disparities. The S23 lineup’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 CPU, which has been specially designed for Samsung’s Galaxy phones, probably has a significant impact on how images are handled.

Also, you cannot utilise Samsung’s Expert Raw software on the Galaxy A54 5G, which can be significant for those who enjoy taking pictures. Yet, the Galaxy A54 5G’s camera configuration is exactly what you would anticipate on a device at this pricing point. Even the $429 iPhone SE, which only has one 12-megapixel main camera with a 5x digital zoom, has far more to offer.

For those looking for an Android phone that costs less than $500, the Galaxy A54 5G appears to be a decent option overall. However, it will need more testing before we can decide whether or not to suggest it.

Galaxy A54 5G vs. Galaxy A53 5G Specs

Galaxy A54 5GGalaxy A53 5G
Display6.4-inch FHD+; Super AMOLED; 120Hz refresh rate6.5-inch FHD+; Super AMOLED; 120Hz refresh rate
Dimensions158.2 x 76.7 x 8.2 mm74.8 x 159.6 x 8.1mm
Camera50MP (main); 12MP (ultrawide); 5MP (macro)64MP (main); 12MP (ultrawide); 5MP (depth); 5MP (macro)
Front Camera32MP32MP
ProcessorExynos 1380Exynos 1280
Memory and Storage6GB RAM + 128GB6GB RAM + 128GB
Expandable StorageYes (up to 1TB)Yes (Up to 1TB)
Battery5,000 mAh5,000 mAh
Software (at launch)Android 13Android 12