Samsung Galaxy A54 5G review: possibly your next daily driver

Review Summary

Expert Rating
3.5/5

Design
★  
3.5
/5
Display
★  
3.5
/5
Software
★  
3.5
/5
Camera
★  
3.5
/5
Performance
★  
3.5
/5
Battery
★  
3.5
/5

Pros

  • Minimalistic and clean design
  • Good primary camera
  • IP67 rating
  • Competent display

Cons

  • Performance could be better
  • Macro sensor is average
  • Slow charging

The Galaxy A54 5G, launched as part of Samsung’s successful Galaxy A lineup, has been priced in India starting at Rs 38,999. Venturing into the flagship killer territory with its pricing, the A54 certainly does have a few specs to back its claim as a worthy contender. In this review, let’s find out if the smartphone can live up to the hype and deliver a top-notch user experience.

Verdict

Samsung’s Galaxy A54 5G is a handset with a premium feel, good camera capabilities, and a capable display with punchy colours. Although there are shortfalls with regard to lack of HDR certification, charging speeds, and performance, the device still has a lot to offer to interested buyers.

The lowdown

  • Looking at it from the outside, the Galaxy A54 resembles Samsung’s flagship S23 (review) quite closely. As an upgrade from previous iterations, the A54 has a Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back in an effort to impart a premium in-hand feel. The stand-alone triple camera rings, sans any housing, are reminiscent of the handset’s more premium siblings and it is a design choice that I appreciate. In terms of weight, the A54 is a reasonably light offering and tips the scales at 202g while having a thickness of about 8.2mm.
Galaxy A54 (L) vs Galaxy S23+ (R)
  • The Violet colour variant sent to me is a soothing shade that isn’t overly bright. I personally would’ve preferred a matte finish across the back instead of the glossy look. Samsung has also provided the A54 with an IP67 water and dust resistance rating. Apart from that you get the usual in terms of a USB Type-C port, a dual-speaker setup, and a nano-SIM slot. The Galaxy A54 can be considered a minimalistic yet suave offering, at least from its exterior appearance.
  • Samsung and a segment-leading display go hand-in-hand and it holds true even for the company’s mid-range series. The A54 packs in a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED panel that has FHD+ resolution and 120Hz refresh rate. Really the only thing against the viewing experience is the presence of rather chunky bezels on all sides. However, Samsung has left no stone unturned in an attempt to provide a nice visual experience via the A54’s display. The screen can get up to 1,000 nits in terms of peak brightness to make it easily legible in sunny outdoor conditions. The company also claims a marked reduction in blue light emissions – as low as 6.5 percent – which should lower the stress on your eyes.
  • As far as viewing content goes, the A54 has a knack for outputting punchy colours accentuated by the AMOLED panel’s deep blacks. However, the screen does not have any HDR certification and tops out at the standard WideVine L1 needed to view HD content. Consequently, OTT content will have rich contrasts and vibrancy along with great viewing angles but might lack the dynamic range to truly immerse the user.



    That being said, most consumers will be more than satisfied with the panel’s capability in general for social media or YouTube browsing.
  • Coming now to the cameras, the Galaxy A54 has a set of highly capable shooters that excel in taking shots in a variety of lighting conditions. The primary sensor is a 50MP lens with a 1µm pixel size for better light capture and detailing. I took some shots of the Anjuna beach in Goa and the shooter didn’t disappoint. The texture of the seawater, the sand, and the bright blue sky are captured in great detail and there’s plenty of dynamic range to play around with. I also like the snappy autofocus capabilities but the shutter speeds could do with some improvement. The OIS on the primary sensor really does help in stabilisation and even when my hands shook slightly, the camera managed to get sharp details. While all regular snaps are pixel-binned at 12.5MP resolution, you can take full 50MP images, but lose a bit on the dynamic range in what you gain with the crop-in area.
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  • For the ultra-wide sensor, which is a 12MP lens, the results are best in good lighting conditions. Warping at the edges is very minimal and the focus is spread across the frame and not just in the centre. The level of detail and exposure control are also top-notch. As for the 5MP macro shooter, there is little doubt in my mind that it’s more for camera padding than actual use. The shots generated are dull and lack detail to make them usable across social media platforms, in my opinion. Other than that there are several features to explore within the camera app such as Slow motion video, Pro mode, Hyperlapse, AR filters, and more.
  • I was quite impressed with how well the device churned out low-light images. In one particular shot of a beach shack in Calangute, the sign in the centre was slightly overblown but the details across the sand and the seating area were captured quite well. Even the less exposed trees on the top were given a bit of colour in the final shot. Occasionally there can be a bit of noise in the shot if there is a lack of ambient lighting. However, the night mode, which can turn on automatically at times, does help in this regard for the most part. The manual exposure slider is a big help when the viewfinder deems a scene to be overexposed. The selfie camera up front is a 32MP snapper that makes use of Samsung’s computational chops to deliver detailed and accurate selfies.
  • Let’s get on to performance on the A54 5G and here we see the comeback of Samsung’s Exynos SoC, specifically the Exynos 1380. It is an octa-core 5nm chipset with four Cortex A78 cores and four Cortex A55 cores. To cut a long story short: the A54’s processing capabilities are nothing out of the ordinary. At the handset’s price point, rivals are offering nearly flagship-grade performance which the Exynos 1380 does not. A look at the benchmarking numbers confirms this with Antutu V9 a score of 511,440 and Geekbench 6 scoring 2,692 on the multi-core test. The CPU Throttle test also doesn’t fill me with confidence as the device cuts down its peak performance to 76 percent.
  • In any case, consumers who don’t require the extra processing juice while performing daily tasks will not be disappointed with the A54. I could operate between my social media apps, Chrome, music streaming services, and OTT platforms without a hitch. There’s up to 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 256GB of UFS 2.1 storage, both of which can be considered adequate. You can also use a 1TB microSD card slot to extend your storage requirements. As for graphically-intensive tasks like gaming, it would help if you limited the settings to medium and kept the frame rate count at 45fps. There are no heating issues to report but if mobile gaming is your forte, some other options in the market could better suit your needs.
  • The Dolby Atmos-powered dual-speaker system on the phone is good for the usual media consumption if you’re in a quiet room. Otherwise, you’d need a pair of wireless earbuds/headphones on hand. Haptic feedback from the device is clean and not overdone while the fingerprint sensor works in a snappy fashion. 5G needs are taken care of by support for up to 12 sub-6-GHz bands including all the popular choices present in India’s 5G spectrum. I used Jio’s service in both Goa and Noida without facing any issues.

  • OneUI 5.1, which is based on Android 13, runs on the Galaxy A54 and the software experience on the device is no different than what you can find on the Galaxy S23. Apart from the DeX functionality, reserved only for the premium tier in Samsung’s stable, you get the same relatively refined and user-friendly interface on the A54. Among things that I think could be changed, is the vertical scrolling on the home page to get to your apps. Practically every other Android OEM has an app drawer and this is how most of us are used to browsing through our apps. But apart from that, OneUI has become more open in terms of customisation, which I like. Finally, Samsung is offering up to five years of security updates on the device as well.
  • In terms of the battery, there’s a 5,000mAh cell housed inside the phone and it can last you for a sizeable portion of the day. This is provided you do not stress out the SoC with heavy GPU activity or Google Maps navigation for a long duration. My regular usage churned out about six-seven hours of screen-on time, very common for phones with a 5,000mAh capacity battery. However, support for just 25W charging speeds leaves a bit to be desired. There is there no charger inside the box, but even with a high-output adapter, the phone will take about two hours to fully juice up.

Final verdict

The Galaxy A54 works more-or-less as advertised thanks to its elegant design, alluring display, and respectable optical capabilities. Even though the performance could be better and the charging speeds are not exactly the best, Samsung delivers in almost all other aspects of the smartphone experience. You can choose from a wide variety of other compelling options if you are a power user, but for regular users, the A54 will serve you just fine.

Editor’s rating: 3.5 / 5

Pros

  • Minimalistic and clean design
  • Good primary camera
  • IP67 rating
  • Competent display

Cons

  • Performance could be better
  • Macro sensor is average
  • Slow charging

Key Specs

Samsung Galaxy A54 5G
RAM8 GB
ProcessorSamsung Exynos 1380
Rear Camera50 MP + 12 MP + 5 MP
Front Camera32 MP
Battery5000 mAh
Display6.4 inches (16.26 cm)
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Samsung Galaxy A54 5G Price
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Rs. 27,999.00
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