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Samsung Galaxy A54 Hands-on: Samsung’s Most Premium Mid-Ranger Yet
April 19, 2023 Andrew Cheng

The Samsung Galaxy A54 could just be the Korean company’s most premium mid-range phone yet. While it is not exactly a replacement for the “FE” line of phones – which hasn’t seen any new additions since the Galaxy S21 FE – it does feel somewhat like a spiritual successor.

I’ve spent a good amount of time with the Galaxy A54 as my daily driver, and overall, it’s quite an impressive mid-ranger. While its value proposition isn’t the best in the segment, it’s certainly one of the more refined phones I’ve tried at this price point.

First, let’s start with the pricing of the Galaxy A54. For the Malaysian market, the sole 8GB + 256GB configuration goes for RM1,899, which is quite a bit higher for a mid-range phone. But for that kind of money, it does come with a number of features not typically found in this segment, including an IP67 dust and water resistance and pretty darn respectable camera performance.

Honestly, I’m surprised by the low light performance of the Galaxy A54’s triple camera system. It’s made up of a 50MP primary sensor, a 12MP ultra-wide angle shooter, and a 5MP macro lens. Collectively, both the 50MP main camera and 12MP ultra-wide sensor can take some good-looking nighttime shots.

Judge for yourself with these sample images:

Granted, the Galaxy A54’s camera interface doesn’t feel particularly responsive in low light conditions, and the shutter speed slows down too, which makes it a little tough to get blur-free images. Then again, in the context of a mid-range phone, I am certainly impressed with the overall performance of the camera.

Next, there’s the general performance of the Galaxy A54 courtesy of the Samsung Exynos 1380 chipset. It may not be a particularly well-known chip, but it’s more than fast enough in day-to-day use with little to no performance hiccup. That being said, it does struggle to run Genshin Impact smoothly at 60fps.

However, after tweaking the graphics settings accordingly, the game does run relatively well.

And then we have the 6.4-inch 1080p Super AMOLED display of the Galaxy A54. Not surprisingly, this panel offers vibrant, punchy colours with deep blacks and wide viewing angles; display qualities we’ve come to expect from a Samsung phone. The 120Hz refresh rate lends to very smooth-looking animations too.

Battery life of the Galaxy A54 is worth a mention as well. Packed with a 5,000mAh battery, I can get about five hours of screen on time with the phone so far. Not the best battery life I’ve seen on a phone at this price point or segment, but it’s definitely above average.

Design wise, I love how the Galaxy A54 looks in this Awesome Violet colourway. Not only is it quite an eye-catching colour, it also gives the phone a “fun” appeal. I appreciate the fact that the plastic frame matches the colour of the phone too.

Speaking of which, the Galaxy A54 still feels nice and premium in my hands despite the fact that its frame is made of plastic. Of course, the smooth glass back of the phone also helps in this regard, and I like the fact that I can (somewhat) comfortably use the A54 with just one hand, thanks to its relatively compact nature.

As much as I enjoy using the Samsung Galaxy A54, I can’t quite say for certain if it’s worth paying RM1,899 for the phone. After all, competition is tough in this segment, and there are plenty of other phones at this price point (or even lower, actually) that offers better value for money.

But the strength of the Galaxy A54 lies in its refinement and feature set. It looks sleek – though I do wish it had smaller bezels – it feels great in my hands, and it is a water-resistant mid-range phone. In a market where even flagship phones don’t have this feature, it’s a unique appeal for the A54.

Nonetheless, I’ll put the Galaxy A54 through its paces in the full review; we’ll know then if the RM1,899 price tag is justified. If you’re keen to get the A54, it is now available for purchase on Samsung’s online store in four colourways: the aforementioned Awesome Violet, Awesome Lime, Awesome Graphite, and Awesome White.

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