Among the many phones that we have reviewed last year, one of the more controversial ones is the Samsung Galaxy A54. It was the first A-series generation that has removed the A7x from existence, making the A54 the top-end variant for Samsung’s mid-range line in 2023.
The higher-end Galaxy A-series don’t get the same love as their S-series siblings, and the Galaxy A54 garnered a lot of hate with Samsung’s decision to use an Exynos 1380 processor–and that it allegedly felt overpriced when compared to the Galaxy A52s. The Galaxy A53 got a lot of flak for how the Exynos 1280 was a poor performer–but does it mean that the Galaxy A54 is a bad phone?
We decided to look back to our experience with the Galaxy A54, especially with Canalys’ latest report that it is the second best-selling Android phone globally for 2023–an impressive feat despite all the hate it received.
Let’s break down the Galaxy A54’s performance in general: starting with the controversial Exynos 1380, we found in our tests that it was a big improvement over the abysmal Exynos 1280. We noticed the Exynos 1380’s improvement with its thermal management, as temperatures peaked at 37 degrees Celsius after running 3DMark’s Wild Life Stress Test.
Comparing benchmark numbers with other chips, the Exynos 1380 is best described as being slightly better than the Snapdragon 778G and can match MediaTek’s Dimensity 7200. That is enough proof that Samsung has started to redeem itself from all of the Exynos-related problems with the Exynos 1380.
Still not convinced? We even used the Galaxy A54 to play Genshin Impact at the highest graphics settings, and it performed surprisingly well. Even more surprising is that the Galaxy A54’s Exynos 1380 was more stable than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 that was found on flagship devices like the OnePlus 10 Pro–which proved that Qualcomm also has its fair share of bad processors.
There’s also an argument about its cameras: granted that “only” the main camera got upgraded with a new 50-megapixel sensor, the Galaxy A54 led the mid-range segment in 2023 as one of the very few phones that can shoot 4K video with the ultra-wide and selfie cameras as well, making it well-rounded for those who are serious about content creation. The main camera took great shots and performed very well in low-light situations.
Does the Galaxy A54 deserve all the hate? We don’t think so. It’s Php 26,990 asking price for the 256GB model may be pricey for a phone that’s limited to 25w charging and has rather thick bezels–but the Galaxy A54 has its own advantages. Things that people tend to overlook is its better overall build that reminds us of the Galaxy S23 series, a solid software support of 4 major updates and 5 years of security updates, and an IP68 rating.