Galaxy A54 5G Review: Samsung’s Cheap Phone Struggles Against Google

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Samsung Galaxy A54 5G

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Like


  • Large, vibrant display screen

  • Expandable storage

  • Reasonably priced value

Do not like


  • Processor and digital camera efficiency lags behind cheaper Pixel 6A

Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S23 Extremely packs among the most potent specs and highly effective cameras round. Nevertheless it additionally comes with a whopping value $1,200 (£1,249, AU$1,949) tag that is merely out of the query for many people. Trying decrease down the vary does not imply struggling with sluggish, irritating {hardware}. As Samsung’s new $450 (£499, AU$699) Galaxy A54 5G proves, you may get a telephone with stable efficiency for a really cheap value. 

The Galaxy A54 packs a 6.4-inch show, an octa-core processor that gives sufficient energy for each day necessities (together with gentle gaming) and a digital camera that does an honest job of dealing with your out-and-about snaps. I even just like the design, significantly the lime inexperienced model I reviewed. Its 128GB of storage will probably be sufficient for most individuals, and people who want extra space can broaden it with microSD playing cards as much as 1TB in measurement. 

It is bought lots going for it contemplating its cheap $450 price ticket, but it surely’s usually on sale for even much less, with costs of $375 seen on Greatest Purchase and Amazon throughout my writing of this evaluate, though sadly not on the level of publishing. Even with that potential low cost, Google’s funds telephones outshine Samsung in key areas — significantly the digital camera. 

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The 6.4-inch show is shiny and vibrant.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

Galaxy A54 or Pixel 6A?

Even on the Galaxy A54’s aggressive value, the competitors is fierce, with Google’s very good $349 Pixel 6A and the most recent Pixel 7A priced at $499 — simply $50 greater than the A54’s regular retail value. We gave the Pixel 6A a CNET Editors’ Alternative award for its mixture of stable all-round efficiency and reasonably priced value, with it remaining among the finest funds telephones cash should buy. The brand new Pixel 7A additionally impressed us with its nice digital camera and easy efficiency, pushing CNET to advocate it over the Pixel 7 because it’s $100 cheaper. 

Up in opposition to the A54 5G, the Pixel 6A continues to be the telephone to go for. Its efficiency is a bit higher, its digital camera takes nicer photographs and Google’s plain model of Android is mostly nicer to make use of than Samsung’s One UI pores and skin. For those who’re prepared to pay $50 extra, the Pixel 7A additionally gives higher digital camera efficiency and wi-fi charging, which is lacking from the Galaxy A54 5G. Nonetheless, the A54 is barely bigger and gives microSD card storage enlargement, so it isn’t a complete victory for the Pixel. Here is what you need to know in regards to the telephone. 

Galaxy A54: Enjoyable design, vibrant show

The lime inexperienced model of my A54 5G is absolutely fairly fairly with its shiny glass again and metallic-looking edging (that is truly plastic). It feels good sufficient to carry, though it lacks the extra stable really feel of the Pixel 6A or 7A. It is IP67 rated for water resistance (as are the Pixel 6A and 7A) which can preserve it secure throughout telephone calls within the rain or round clumsy buddies carrying beer. 

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A fingerprint scanner is constructed into the show.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

At 6.4 inches, the show is bigger than the Pixel 6A’s 6.1-inch display screen, which is value conserving in thoughts should you spend numerous time taking part in cellular video games or watching movies and would profit from a bigger display screen. The Galaxy A54’s vibrant display screen is sort of a bit brighter than the Pixel 6A’s and 7A’s, making it extra simply readable outside underneath direct sunshine. 

Galaxy A54: Processor, software program and battery

The Galaxy A54 runs on an Exynos 1380 processor, backed up by 6GB of RAM. It produced truthful scores on benchmark assessments contemplating its low value, coming in a bit beneath the Pixel 6A. Nonetheless, there’s sufficient energy to make on a regular basis net searching, WhatsApp texting and emailing really feel swift. I managed to play each Genshin Affect and Asphalt 9: Legends at default settings with pretty easy gameplay.

Galaxy A54 vs. Pixel 6A vs. Pixel 7A efficiency comparability

Galaxy A54 1,006 2,780 812Pixel 6A 1,449 3,486 1,746Pixel 7A 1,342 3,042 1,728

  • Geekbench 6 (single core)
  • Geekbench 6 (multi core)
  • 3D Mark Wild Life Excessive
Observe: Longer bars equal higher efficiency

It runs on Android 13 at its core, over which Samsung has slapped its One UI software program. Whereas I benefit from the total look of this pores and skin, I do not like how a lot litter Samsung preloads onto the telephone. Apps like Disney Plus, Bolt, TikTok and Reserving.com got here already put in, together with a plethora of Samsung’s personal apps (together with its personal app retailer, a Galaxy Store app, SmartThings, Messages and numerous TV and media apps). There’s additionally a bunch of preinstalled Microsoft apps like Linkedin and OneNote. I purchased the telephone unlocked, immediately from Samsung within the UK, so it’s possible you’ll discover completely different apps on yours — doubtlessly much more carrier-specific apps should you purchased it from a community.

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I just like the One UI interface, however I do not like all of the preinstalled apps.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

Whilst you can uninstall many of those, the extraneous apps make the telephone really feel messy as quickly as you flip it on. In contrast, the Pixel 6A’s default interface is neat, clutter-free and has solely the fundamental Google necessities like Chrome, Gmail and Drive put in as customary, with no third celebration companies pressured on you from day one. 

Each Samsung and Google promise safety updates 5 years from launch to be able to preserve them safer to make use of for longer. Nonetheless that does imply that the Pixel 6A, having been launched final yr, is assured to obtain help till 2027, whereas the A54 ought to proceed to obtain updates till 2028. Samsung additionally gives an extra technology of Android OS updates in comparison with Google. It is not an enormous distinction, however value conserving in thoughts if you wish to squeeze each ounce of helpful life out of your system. 

The A54 is powered by a 5,000mAh battery which is bigger than the 4,410mAh battery within the Pixel 6A. Maybe because of the bigger display screen although, battery life was just about the identical on each telephones throughout my YouTube streaming drain take a look at and generally use all through the day. With cautious use you need to get a full day trip of both telephone, however both telephone will nonetheless want a full recharge in a single day. 

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It runs Android 13 at its core, with 4 years of Android technology updates promised by Samsung.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

The bottom Galaxy A54 has 128GB of storage, but it surely’s one of many final remaining telephones to help expandable storage by way of microSD playing cards as much as 1TB in measurement. That is an enormous tick in its favor because it means you’ll be able to safely go for the bottom storage mannequin and easily purchase an affordable 128GB card to double the storage, offering a great deal of room for photographs, music or apps. 

Galaxy A54: Three cameras for vibrant snaps

On the again of the telephone are three cameras; a 50 megapixel essential digital camera, 12 megapixel ultrawide and 5 megapixel macro digital camera. I discovered photographs from the principle digital camera to be usually respectable, though the software program optimizations usually lead to fairly oversaturated pictures which look fairly unnatural to my eye. Photos look crisp nevertheless and the 2x preset digital zoom (there isn’t any optical zoom right here) delivered sharp pictures.

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Taken with the principle lens, the digital camera has executed a very good job of balancing the intense sky and the extra shadowy buildings.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

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Colours are vibrant right here, however a bit chilly.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

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Switching to the ultra-wide lens, the shot appears lots hotter, which I choose.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

The tremendous extensive lens labored effectively, too, with respectable exposures and loads of element. I did usually discover fairly a noticeable colour shift between the principle and extensive lenses. The extensive lens usually produces barely hotter colours, which I principally choose in opposition to the customarily cool-looking pictures the principle digital camera captured. 

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Taken from the A54’s essential digital camera, this outside shot is effectively uncovered, however the colors are so over-saturated that they give the impression of being fairly unnatural.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

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The Pixel 6A’s shot has colours which are far more true-to-life.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

Low gentle pictures are respectable, with the principle lens capturing shiny, sharp photographs which are roughly on par with what we discovered from the Pixel 6A. 

The 5-megapixel macro lens permits you focus shut up in your topic. However as with most macro lenses on telephones we have seen earlier than from OnePlus and Samsung, it is fairly disappointing. The main target is typically off, and colours look extra drab in comparison with photographs taken with the principle digital camera. Personally, I might choose it had Samsung not tried to squeeze an additional digital camera in right here and easily lopped a little bit further off the asking value. 

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The macro lens allows you to get shut up in your topic, however the outcomes usually aren’t nice and I do discover the lens a little bit of a pointless addition.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

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There is a 32-megapixel selfie digital camera that does a very good job of capturing detailed, well-exposed selfies. 

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

Whereas the A54’s digital camera setup will not enchantment to photographers amongst you who need true-to-life pictures, it will do the job effectively should you simply need vibrant photographs of your youngsters in your subsequent seashore trip. However I do choose photographs from each the Pixel 6A and 7A, which produce much less over-saturated pictures with spot-on publicity. 

Must you purchase the Samsung Galaxy A54 5G?

The A54’s mixture of respectable efficiency, enjoyable design, vibrant cameras and low value make it a doubtlessly nice funds choice. Its shiny display screen, expandable storage and longer software program help are ticks in its favor over Google’s Pixel 6A, however the Pixel 6A wins in nearly each different respect. The software program is nicer to make use of, the cameras are higher and it is even cheaper. Between the 2, my cash would go on the Pixel 6A. 



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