Samsung Galaxy A34 Hands-on: Solid, Water-Resistant RM1,599 Mid-Ranger
April 3, 2023 Andrew Cheng

The Samsung Galaxy A34, compared to last year’s Galaxy A33, brings a number of improvements. Not only does it feature a faster, bigger 120Hz Super AMOLED display now, it also comes with a sleeker-looking design while retaining many of its predecessor’s winning qualities.

One of which is the Galaxy A34’s IP67 rating, which is not something you typically see in a mid-range smartphone; even the majority of flagship-class devices today still don’t have this rating. If you’re looking to get a refined mid-ranger – that’s also water-resistant – the A34 is worth a look.

Priced at RM1,599, the Galaxy A34 is powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 1080 chip paired with 8GB RAM and 256GB expandable storage. This is quite a departure from the previous model’s Samsung Exynos 1280 processor, and from what I can tell, the MediaTek chip can deliver a reasonably good user experience.

In day-to-day use, the A34 feels more than fast enough. I can juggle between different apps without any major slowdown, and the fast 120Hz display gives the impression of an even faster device. Granted, the Dimensity 1080 does show its limits when I fire up Genshin Impact. The A34 can’t quite offer a smooth gameplay experience, though I’ll test the gaming performance of the phone more thoroughly in the full review.

Let’s come back to the Galaxy A34’s 120Hz display. The 6.6-inch 1080p Super AMOLED panel is a tad bigger than the A33’s 6.4-inch screen, and in terms of image quality, this is a pretty darn good display. It has a peak brightness of 1,000 nits, wide viewing angles, and vibrant, punchy colours for a pleasant viewing experience.

In the camera department, the A34 features a 13MP selfie camera, along with a triple camera system on the back. It’s made up of a 48MP main shooter, an 8MP ultra-wide angle lens, and a 5MP macro sensor. I managed to take some shots with the A34, and while it’s not the best camera I’ve tested on a mid-range phone, it’s more than serviceable.

At least, that’s the case with the 48MP primary camera. The 8MP ultra-wide shooter leaves much to be desired, and I’ll be sure to put it through its paces throughout the review period.

On a more positive note, the Galaxy A34 offers really good battery life. Packed with a generous 5,000mAh battery, the phone can comfortably last me through a typical workday. So far, I’m getting between five to six hours of screen on time on a single charge; that’s quite respectable.

Last but not least is the design of the Galaxy A34, which I’m quite a fan of (for the most part). While its frame and back panel are made of plastic – with a nice matte finish – the phone doesn’t feel cheap by any means. I also like how the back cover of this “Awesome Lime” colourway has a nice sheen to it when it’s reflecting light.

Depending on which colour you get, the frame of the A34 will also match the chosen shade. I like that the colour of the frame is also visible from the front, which really fits the “fun” theme of the phone, in my opinion. The arrangement of the three camera sensors is aesthetically pleasing to me too.

That being said, the Galaxy A34’s U-shaped notch and the size of its surrounding bezels – especially the bottom one – don’t look particularly great. These design elements lend to a…well, dated-looking phone, and as a result, the A34 looks better from the back than it does from the front.

Nonetheless, priced at RM1,599, the Samsung Galaxy A34 offers a reasonably compelling package. While it doesn’t offer the best performance for the money, its other qualities make up for this. After all, it has IP67 water and dust resistance, not to mention a great-looking display and respectable battery life.

If you’re keen to get the Galaxy A34, it is now available for pre-order in Malaysia; early birds who place their orders by 6 April this Thursday will even get a Samsung Galaxy Buds Live wireless earbuds worth RM549 for free. You can also use our code AMGA34545G to get a complimentary 35W PD Power Adapter Duo worth RM99 from Samsung’s online store.

As for colour options, the A34 is available in the Awesome Lime shade you see in this article, alongside Awesome Graphite, Awesome Violet, and Awesome Silver.