I won’t lie… Trying to understand the mid-range phone market in 2023 might be the hardest part of writing about smartphones.
Some mid-range phones try to give you as much as possible. others give you just enough to keep you happy, and then there’s the Samsung Galaxy A54 that tries to strike a balance. What’s unique here, though, is that unlike Google and Nothing, for example, Samsung has more to gain and (you guessed it) more to lose. What makes it even more difficult is that the Galaxy maker makes a ton of phones every year. Including, of course, the Galaxy “S” series, which must be taken into account when making the Galaxy “A” series – if the mid-range phones are “too good”, users have fewer reasons to buy a flagship. It’s a balancing act that Samsung has been performing for ages.
In fact, sales of the company’s cheaper phones (particularly those cheaper than the Galaxy A54) tell us that the South Korean brand is doing a better job in the budget segment – a bittersweet victory considering the “S” series flagships are bringing them would have higher profit margins but are struggling to move as many units as Samsung would like.
But to complicate things further, new mid-range Galaxy phones also have to be better than their predecessors and competing mid-range phones from other brands. And here the new Galaxy A54 could find itself in a small existential crisis. Let’s take a look…
Shockingly, the Galaxy A54 looks older than the four-year-old Galaxy A51 – Samsung has some explaining to do…
The 2019 Galaxy A51 on the left, the 2021 Galaxy A52 in the middle and the brand new Galaxy A54 on the right. We’re seeing a trend towards thicker bezels on the newer phones.
Well, before you tell me about the iPhone SE in the comments below (and you certainly can) and how old Apple’s mid-ranger looks, I’ll go ahead and tell you that this story is about Samsung. But to get straight to the point, as old as the iPhone SE looks in 2023, it looks at least as old as its predecessor.
I mention this to make a point. Certainly a new version of a phone shouldn’t look older than the old one. Are you with me? But that’s not the case with the Galaxy A54. To give Samsung some credit, unlike the Galaxy A53, which used plastic, it looks like the back of the A54 is glass, which is nice if you want a premium feel (not so nice if you’re using your phone drop it and break it). , but this is another story).
But then you flip the Galaxy A54 and you see a display situation that tells a slightly different story. Again, the new Galaxy A54’s screen is said to be a bit brighter compared to its predecessor (that’s great), but then your eyes catch those big, black, beautiful… bezels.
Despite a larger screen, the 2019 Galaxy A51 is more compact, looks more modern and is 30g lighter than the Galaxy A54.
Sure, you’d expect the bezels on the Galaxy A54 to look thicker than those on the flagship Galaxy S23, but what surprised me was that they make Samsung’s 2019 Galaxy A51 look like a phone from the future. Seriously, if Samsung launched the Galaxy A55 next year and it looked like the Galaxy A51 of 2019. that would be… an upgrade!
While I would argue that most people choose a new phone by looking/holding it, aesthetic design isn’t all that matters when it comes to a phone. And if you’re expecting things to improve for the Galaxy A54, then you might be surprised.
The cheaper Galaxy A34 with MediaTek chip beats the Galaxy A54 with Samsung’s Exynos in an early real-world speed test
In a recent real-world speed test, the $300 Galaxy A34 was faster than the Galaxy A54 when opening apps. bottom line? 9-20
Design aside, there’s another potential problem with the Galaxy A54…
Sure, benchmarks of Samsung’s new Exynos 1380 are now available, and they’re just as unconvincing as expected – Samsung went with another mid-range Exynos, and that’s it. But what’s particularly surprising here is the early real world speed test I stumbled upon, which (once again) tells a different story. Another story where the Galaxy A54 doesn’t seem to come out on top compared to a cheaper Samsung phone.
As you can see in the Galaxy A54 vs Galaxy A34 speed test conducted by Vy Vo Xuan on YouTube, the new $300 Galaxy A34 seems to open apps faster than the more expensive Galaxy A54. Why is that? • Now that both phones run the exact same software and come with the same amount of RAM (6/8GB), the processor must be the obvious differentiator.
Although the MediaTek Dimensity 1080 in the Galaxy A34 and the Exynos 1380 in the Galaxy A54 are roughly on par according to benchmarks, the cheaper phone seems to be faster.
Anyhow, the real question we should be asking isn’t why the Galaxy A34 seems faster than the Galaxy A54, but rather why the performance between two phones in a fairly different price bracket is even that similar.
Of course, this wouldn’t really matter to people in the US, as the Galaxy A34 isn’t expected to launch there at all – but that can’t be an excuse. The Galaxy A54 is pretty much the only Samsung mid-range phone sold in the US, which should only be one reason it’s as good as can be. To the right?
Galaxy A54 – a very good $450 bundle, but Google’s Pixel flagships will eat Samsung’s phone for breakfast (Pixel 7a is almost here now)
Would you buy a Pixel instead of the Galaxy A54?
So, yes… The Galaxy A54 remains one of the most attractive mid-range phones on the global scene, but unlike in previous years (I’m specifically referring to the Snapdragon-powered Galaxy A52s), a big part of the appeal is that the A54 will Sold in more regions of the world compared to competing devices – availability matters. Apart from this:
Galaxy A54 promises a brighter display than the Galaxy A53Galaxy A54 brings a new, larger primary camera sensor to help with photos and videos at nightGalaxy A54 offers 4 years of Android updates and 5 years of security patches, which is a valid reason to go for it about a Chinese phone with better specifications
And yet, if the availability stars match for you, the Galaxy A54 is poised to face some of the toughest competition Samsung has ever seen in the mid-range phone segment.
Not only is the flagship Pixel 7 currently just $70 more expensive than the Galaxy A54, but Google’s flagship phones for 2021 are cheaper (!) than Samsung’s new mid-range smartphone. You can currently find a refreshed Google Pixel 6 for just over $200 on Amazon, while the amazing Google Pixel 6 Pro can cost less than $350.
Even if you don’t have an extra $70 to spare, or buying a refurbished device isn’t your thing, waiting can be your best friend and Samsung’s worst enemy. That’s because the Google Pixel 7a (which is now leaking everywhere) is knocking on the door. With a flagship-quality Tensor G2 chip, rumored wireless charging, and Google’s pro camera magic, the Pixel 7a is shaping up to be everything the Galaxy A54 wants to be but can’t.
Everything everywhere Suddenly things are going wrong with Samsung’s mid-range cell phones: How far (back) is Samsung going?
It’s becoming increasingly difficult for Samsung to make “the perfect mid-range phone” as the company also makes the flagship Galaxy S23 and wants people to buy more of it. It’s a tricky balancing act in which Samsung has a lot to lose. Unlike Google, which doesn’t even rely on selling phones to make money. It’s what you would call “the perfect storm.”
I don’t know if it’s because of the financial crisis or because of a simple lack of willpower, but something got hold of Samsung. They don’t make your new phones look worse than their predecessors for no reason. And since this is an editorial article where I can share my thoughts, I feel like Samsung was caught off guard. By a number of factors… The global chip shortage The global financial crisis and inflation Google’s ultra-low-priced Pixel phones Apple’s incredible ability to sell old/refurbished iPhones And most importantly, the high bar Samsung set for itself some time ago in 2019
Of course, Samsung doesn’t want to make worse phones. However, it seems that the Galaxy A54 is the result of bad timing. If the A54 had been released in (say) 2019 it would have been a hit – well, we don’t know that for sure, but it would have been far more impressive at the very least. Instead, Samsung released a great-looking mid-range phone four years ago that now makes the cost-cutting 2023 version of this phone look like a downgrade (aesthetically).
Aggressive competition in the mid-range segment from Google, OnePlus, Xiaomi and even Nothing doesn’t help Samsung. And despite all that, if you’re looking for a good mid-range Samsung phone, the A54 might still be the best (and maybe even the only) option for some of you! If you look at it in isolation, it’s still… you know – a great package.
is it good enough for you I would wait for our full review to find out. Stay tuned!