A month after Samsung unveiled its Galaxy S23 series comes the Galaxy A34 and A54. Yes, there’s no A7x series this time around, and both the Galaxy A54 and A34 get a makeover to make them look similar to their more expensive Galaxy S23 siblings. Despite being just mid-range offerings, Samsung packed a few flagship features to the Galaxy A34 and A54 to make them competitive in their respective price segments in the Philippines.
We were given a day to try out both phones ahead of their global launch, and we’re curious about Samsung streamlining the design lineup of its 2023 phones–on top of giving them a good set of features.
How do they look and feel?
Unless you look up close, both the Galaxy A34 and A54 look like the Galaxy S23 and S23+ from the back. Samsung has retired the hump on the previous models and went for individual camera bumps instead. Upon closer inspection, the Galaxy A54 has thicker camera bumps because of the physically larger sensors used for the main camera–more on that later.
While the Galaxy A34 retained the same polycarbonate back panel with a frosted finish, the Galaxy A54 now has a glossy glass back–which is something we haven’t seen on a Galaxy A-series phone in a while. To distinguish them from their more premium S23 siblings, both the Galaxy A34 and A54 feature color-matched anodized aluminum frames.
Both phones have the same button and port layout, so you have the SIM tray on top, USB-C at the bottom, and all of the buttons on the right side. There’s no headphone jack to be found, but you do get a 5000mAh battery inside–which we think is a fair compromise. Regardless of their overall build, you still get an IP67 rating on both the Galaxy A34 and A54, which should make you comfortable using them even under the rain.
Do they have awesome displays?
They are bright AMOLED displays–though people might be turned off by the Galaxy A34’s notch and the rather thick bezels both phones have. They’re good AMOLED panels, both featuring a 120hz adaptive refresh rate, in-display fingeprint scanner, and a Full HD+ resolution.
The Galaxy A34 has a physically bigger display at 6.6-inches, while the A54 has a more compact look at 6.4-inches. The symmetrical bezels on the Galaxy A54 reminds us of the Nothing Phone (1). While Samsung usually reserves its best AMOLED panels for the Galaxy S and Z series, the ones used on the Galaxy A34 and A54 have more vibrant colors and brighter displays.
Tell us more about their cameras.
Samsung streamlined the rear cameras on both phones, omitting the depth sensor. While the Galaxy A34 has practically the same setup as last year’s A33, the A54 gets a big upgrade for the main camera with its 50-megapixel shooter. Don’t be fooled by the lower megapixel count: the Galaxy A54 uses the same sensor found on the Galaxy S23 and S23+.
While we only had limited time to take sample photos, we noticed that the Galaxy A54’s main camera takes more detailed shots compared to the 64-megapixel sensor used on the previous two Galaxy A5x phones. Low-light shots have better dynamic range, and the main camera handles backlit lighting conditions well.
On the Galaxy A34, the photos look good, and the ultra-wide camera has better colors compared to the competition despite using a familiar 8-megapixel sensor. The camera hardware of the Galaxy A34 is similar to last year’s A33, though the former feels snappier, and we can credit that to its use of a Dimensity 1080 processor.
The ultra-wide camera’s performance barely changed since Samsung used the same sensors for both the Galaxy A54 and A34. Both phones have OIS on the main camera and can shoot 4K video at 30FPS. The Galaxy A54 does have a more versatile ultra-wide camera, as it can shoot 4K30 and Full HD at 60FPS. That particular feature should make the Galaxy A54 stand out, as we only encounted a few upper mid-range phones that can shoot 4K video on the ultra-wide camera.
What’s under the hood?
Instead of equipping both phones with Exynos processors, Samsung only used its new Exynos 1380 on the Galaxy A54–the Galaxy A34 instead settles for a Dimensity 1080. Like their predecessors, both come with 8GB RAM and up to 256GB storage.
People will most likely be skeptical of Samsung’s decision to still use an Exynos processor on the Galaxy A54, but we were surprised with the initial benchmarks that we got. Aside from having benchmark numbers that are higher than the Dimensity 1080 used on the Galaxy A34, the Exynos 1380 slots in between the Dimensity 8100 and the Snapdragon 778G.
That’s very promising on paper, considering last year’s Exynos 1280 felt lackluster, trailing behind the Dimensity 920 based on our tests. While we can confirm the synthetic benchmark numbers, we will do more tests–specifically gaming and battery life–to determine if Samsung has redeemed itself with the Exynos 1380.
Both phones do have a 5000mAh battery inside, along with 25w wired charging. It may not be the fastest charging speed on an upper mid-range phone, but 25w should be fine for casual users. Do note, however, that Samsung will not include the charger in the box–unless you buy either phone during the pre-order period.
Should you consider the Galaxy A34 and A54?
We’re honestly excited about the 2023 Galaxy A line. Both phones embody the premium look of the Galaxy S23 series (along with a few flagship features), and the A54 looks very promising with the initial results we got from the Exynos 1380.
Making both phones interesting too is the fact that the price bump is not as big as we initially expected–considering all of the upgrades both phones get. That being said, the direction for both the Galaxy A34 and A54 makes us feel that the FE line no longer has a place in Samsung’s more streamlined lineup.
How much are the Galaxy A34 and A54 in the Philippines?
In the Philippines, the Galaxy A34 is priced at Php 19,990 for the 128GB model and Php 21,990 for the 256GB model, while the Galaxy A54 is priced at Php 24,990 for the 128GB model and Php 26,990 for the 256GB model. Those who will pre-order either phone until March 30 will get a free storage upgrade to 256GB, along with a 25w travel adapter. In addition, they will get a 50% discount on the Galaxy Buds2 Pro and 30% off on the Galaxy Watch5 Series.
The Galaxy A54 and A34 5G are available for pre-order through samsung.com, Samsung Experience Stores, Authorized Samsung Stores, Lazada, Shopee, Abenson.com, and MemoXpress Online.