Samsung Galaxy A14 5G review: an impressive sub-Rs 20,000 phone

Review Summary

Expert Rating
7.5/10

Design
★  
8.0
/10
Display
★  
7.5
/10
Software
★  
7.5
/10
Camera
★  
8.0
/10
Performance
★  
7.5
/10
Battery
★  
8.0
/10

Pros

  • Looks good
  • Smooth performance
  • Good main camera
  • Decent battery life

Cons

  • No charger in the box
  • Slow charging speeds
  • Mono speaker

Samsung’s new Galaxy A series smartphone is out to give its competitors a run for their money. I’m talking about the Samsung Galaxy A14, which is the most affordable 5G offering in the company’s A-series lineup yet. It is a decent smartphone that many users would like in this price range. I used the handset for well over a week and put it through its paces. Read on this Samsung Galaxy A14 5G review to find out how the smartphone, with its mid-range Exynos chipset, a 5,000mAh battery, 90Hz refresh rate screen, a 50MP primary camera, and more, performed in real-life.

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy A14 5G is a value-for-money smartphone. The handset gets most things right for the price, including the performance, cameras, and battery life. Only if the device had fast charging solution and slimmer bezels, the Galaxy A14 5G would have been the device to beat in the segment.

The lowdown

  • The Samsung Galaxy A14 5G looks good with its clean and minimalistic design approach. It doesn’t use a glass back or a huge camera module, which has become a norm in the industry. Instead, the handset sports a flat back, with a textured finish and three standalone camera rings. The design offers a couple of benefits. It helps the phone stand out among the sea of similar-looking smartphones, and ensures a smooth typing experience if you place the phone on a flat surface since the device doesn’t wobble much. Samsung uses a similar design language on its flagship Galaxy S23 series.
  • Apart from that, the Galaxy A14 5G has rounded edges for an easy grip. The phone is all plastic, of course, but it’s well put together and doesn’t creak or flex. The handset comes in three interesting colour choices: dark red, light green, and black. I was sent the dark red colour variant for review. The colour grows on you over time and does a decent job of hiding fingerprints and smudges. Coming to the I/O, the A14 5G packs a speaker grill, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a USB Type-C port at the bottom edge. The power button and volume rocker are on the right spine of the handset. As with many affordable phones, the fingerprint scanner is built on the power button. The scanner takes a fraction of a second to unlock the device, but the bottom line is that it is reliable. There is no IP rating on the phone so make sure it is nowhere close to water.
  • Moving on, the Samsung Galaxy A14 5G packs a 6.6-inch FHD+ display of the LCD variety with a 90Hz refresh rate and 440ppi (pixels per inch) density. The screen has a waterdrop notch for the selfie camera atop and some chunky bezels on the sides. Samsung has also added raised edges around the front to protect the screen from scratches when lying facedown on a flat surface. The raised surface will not bother you much while scrolling or playing games. As for the display, it is decent for what you are paying. The colours look vibrant, while the details are sharp and crisp. The 90Hz screen refresh rate works well across UI and supported apps. Outdoor visibility is also fine. I had no trouble reading messages, emails, and texts on the smartphone under direct sunlight. The handset is Widevine L1 certified as well, which means it can stream HD content from Netflix, Hotstar, and other streaming platforms. However, watching movies and web series for hours may not be fun for many as the smartphone weighs a tad on the heavier side – 201 grams, to be precise.
  • Coming to the meat of the matter, the performance. The Samsung Galaxy A14 5G has the in-house Exynos 1330 SoC ticking at its core. It is a mid-range 5G-capable chipset with a 5nm manufacturing process and 2.4GHz clock speed. The handset did not stutter or lag regardless of what was happening on-screen. I was comfortably able to play a game or two of Subway Surfer and switch between apps seamlessly. However, the phone’s performance can drop a bit under intense loads like running too many apps simultaneously. The CPU Throttle benchmark test can testify where the Galaxy A14’s performance throttles to 70 percent. Be that as it may, the handset’s AnTuTu and Geekbench scores are better than the Snapdragon 4 Gen 1-powered Redmi Note 12 (review) smartphone. The A14 scored 2,123 points on Geekbench’s multi-core test and 4,08,771 points on AnTuTu.
  • Alongside the chipset, the handset is equipped with 4GB RAM + 64GB storage, 6GB RAM + 128GB storage, or 8GB RAM + 128GB storage. Going with the 6GB RAM option would be a balanced approach, but of course, that will push up the price a little. The storage is further expandable using a microSD card in a dedicated slot. The phone also comes with a RAM Plus feature, which lets you add up to 8GB of virtual memory using the phone’s storage to keep more apps open in the background.  
  • The 50MP primary + 2MP depth + 2MP macro lens in the triple camera setup at the back will impress you with its daylight performance. The 50MP primary sensor clicks some crisp shots with good colour reproduction and ample details when the sun is out. The sensor is also quick to focus and process images. The 2MP depth sensor works in tandem with the primary shooter and gets nice portrait shots every time. There might be slight issues with edge detection, but for the price, you can let it pass. The camera viewfinder helps you focus on the subject and adjust the bokeh effect to your liking. The phone’s portrait mode also offers a ‘colourpoint’ filter that keeps the subject in colour and turns the background in a black and white colourway. Coming to the 2MP macro sensor, it captures okayish close-up shots. However, given its small sensor size, the images will have a slight loss in detail.
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  • Like many other mid-rangers, the lowlight performance of the Samsung Galaxy A14 is not that impressive. However, you can still get a decent shot from the handset’s primary camera with night mode. The latter does its best to capture the highlights and reduce graininess in the images. For selfies and video calling, the handset relies on a 13MP front camera, which outputs images with crisp details and accurate skin tones under natural light.
  • Software-wise, the Samsung Galaxy A14 5G comes with OneUI 5.0 atop Android 13 out of the box. The interface is clean and not all that different from the previous iteration of the software, but Android’s material UI design looks nice. There are now more colour palettes for the wallpaper than ever before and a new gradient colour scheme for calls. The phone also comes with some new features, such as stacked widgets, a customised call background option for different callers, multi-window gestures, and new watermarking tools. However, the software is not without bloatware. The Galaxy A14 5G has a bunch of pre-installed third-party apps, which you can get rid of, but it is a task. Be that as it may, the handset is future-proof with two years of major OS upgrades and four years of security updates.
  • The Samsung Galaxy A14 5G offers a solid battery life and can comfortably last at least a day. The 5,000mAh battery pack on the handset did not make me look for the charger before going to bed. I used the phone primarily for gaming, reading emails, checking slack, and streaming web series/ movies, and yet there would be 20-30 percent battery left in the tank by the end of the day. While Samsung claims the handset can last up to 2 days, it scored 13 hours and 8 minutes on the PC Mark battery test. The Galaxy A14 5G only supports a 15W charging solution, which takes a while to charge the battery from zero to 100 percent. Moreover, the handset doesn’t ship with a charger. The latter needs to be purchased separately, and while you are at it, make sure it is a Type-C charger. The regular USB Type-A adaptor will not work with the charging cable bundled with the smartphone, since it’s a Type-C to C cable. 
  • While I couldn’t test 5G on the Galaxy A14 due to network availability, the handset supports all the major bands except for the high-frequency n77 band. The latter is generally missing in budget/ affordable smartphones. Whatever the case may be, the A14 5G is compatible with both Airtel and Jio 5G sims.

Final verdict

Buyers are already spoiled for choice in the affordable segment, and now, there is the Samsung Galaxy A14 5G smartphone. Without beating around the bush, you shouldn’t buy the Samsung Galaxy A14 5G if fast charging and a good viewing experience are your priorities. Similarly-priced phones, including the Redmi Note 12 5G (review), Moto G62 5G (review), and Realme 10 Pro 5G (review), would do a better job with that. The handsets offer superior charging speeds and display quality with slim bezels than the Galaxy A14 5G. Additionally, they also come with a charger bundled.

So, who should buy the Samsung Galaxy A14 5G? Anyone looking for a performance-focused 5G smartphone, with good camera capabilities and battery life, under Rs 20,000 will find the handset right up their alley. The long software support also makes this smartphone a future-proof device. At the time of writing this review, the Samsung Galaxy A14 5G is priced in India at Rs 16,499 for the entry-level 4GB RAM + 64GB storage variant, while The 6GB + 128GB and 8GB + 128GB options are selling at Rs 18,999 and Rs 20,999, respectively.

Editor’s rating: 3.5 / 5

Pros

  • Looks good
  • Smooth performance
  • Good main camera
  • Decent battery life

Cons

  • No charger in the box
  • Slow charging speeds
  • Mono speaker

Key Specs

Samsung Galaxy A14 5G
RAM4 GB
ProcessorSamsung Exynos 1330
Rear Camera50 MP + 2 MP + 2 MP
Front Camera13 MP
Battery5000 mAh
Display6.6 inches (16.76 cm)
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Samsung Galaxy A14 5G Price
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Rs. 13,499.00
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Rs. 13,499.00
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