Review: Samsung's Galaxy A54 5G is a great mid-range smartphone

Samsung's Galaxy A54 5G was released in Aotearoa earlier this month.
Samsung's Galaxy A54 5G was released in Aotearoa earlier this month. Photo credit: Newshub.

Samsung recently launched its latest A-series range of phones in New Zealand, which is cheaper than its flagship S-range and offers less impressive features.

The A54 5G is the best offering of the new mid-range devices and has launched at $799 for its single local option of 128GB of storage.

In New Zealand its primary competitors are the latest iPhone SE model, which starts at $849 for the 64GB version, along with the Oppo Reno8 5G, which costs $899 and packs 256GB.

This suggests the A54 is undercutting its competition - the opposite of what Samsung did with its top-end S23 range, which was released with higher prices earlier this year.

Recently I used an A54 for a couple of weeks and, perhaps unsurprisingly, it felt very much like a budget version of the S23 Ultra. But considering the Ultra launched at $2300, the A54 feels better to use than the price difference indicates it might. It certainly has less of a premium feel, doesn't run demanding apps as well and is lacking the cutting-edge camera trickery of that flagship device, but I had to look to find most differences.

The Samsung Galaxy A54 5G.
Photo credit: Newshub.

In general, the A54 is smooth, fast and reliable. It's able to comfortably perform all the normal day-to-day things you want your smartphone to do thanks to its Exynos 1380 chip and 8GB RAM. When you get into the more intense games it slows down, but didn't feel laggy when doing the standard jumping between the camera app, social media apps, or messages.

Camera-wise, there is a primary setup of three on the back - 50 MP wide, 12 MP ultrawide and 5MP macro - along with the 32MP selfie camera. It can shoot 4K video at 30fps or HD at 60fps.

The photos and videos this thing takes look absolutely fine for most people - not stunning in the way a $2000 phone will deliver, but not terrible and certainly good enough for social media posts.

While the shell isn't as luxe as the S23 range, it won't look very different to other people when you're holding it. Like almost all of the A-series phones - even the $399 A-14 5G - you still get the distinctive three lens camera array on the back, meaning it doesn't have a cheap look.

The Samsung Galaxy A54 5G.
Photo credit: Newshub.

As the device's name suggests, it offers the fast speeds of 5G - but also Wi-Fi 6, which is good if you like streaming high-quality videos over Wi-Fi to your phone.

Speaking of which, the 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display offers 120Hz viewing, but this is one area I found noticeably different from more premium devices. Perhaps it's the lower brightness or the lower pixel density, I'm not sure - but it just doesn't look as good and lacks the wow factor.

The A54 also offers IP67 protection and a 5000 mAh battery, which should mean at least all-day use.

It's a solid package and should be a strong contender for anyone looking at a mid-range phone, especially if they favour Samsung smartphones in general.

Newshub was supplied a Samsung A54 5G for this review.