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Samsung Galaxy A54 hands-on review: flagship powers and microSD card slot at a cheap price
I tested the new Samsung Galaxy A54, on sale starting today, and at just $450, it's a cheaper alternative to the standard Samsung Galaxy S23
✅ 💰The best Galaxy A-series phone at just $450
✅ 🗃️ MicroSD card slot on the back of the SIM tray!
✅ 🔋 5,000 mAh battery bests the S23 and S23 Plus
❌ 📸 No telephoto camera
❌ ⚡ No wireless charging or reverse wireless charging
❌ ⚙️ Chipset has yet to be tested
Samsung Galaxy A54 pre-orders launched today, and I got some hands-on time with the new affordable Android phone before its official April 6 release date, and yes, it comes with the microSD card slot everyone wants in their device. The early verdict: if the higher-specced flagship Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is way out of your budget, then this well-priced $450 alternative is worth a look.
The 6.4-inch screen size of the Galaxy A54 fits in between the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus and the battery capacity of 5,000mAh bests them both (and ties the Galaxy S23 Ultra). It doesn’t have Samsung’s wireless power-sharing feature to reverse wirelessly charge your Samsung buds or wireless charging whatsoever. The wired charging option tops out at 25W, though no charger comes in the box – just a UBS-C-to-USB-C cable and an ejection pin to access the nanoSIM + microSD card tray.
Samsung Galaxy A54 specs
🛍️ Release date: Thursday, April 6, 2023
📆 Pre-order date: Thursday, March 30, 2023
💰 Price: $450
📺 Screen size: 6.4-inch
🖥️ Resolution: 1080p Super AMOLED
💡 Brightness: 1,000 nits
⏩ Refresh rate: 120Hz
🪨 Protection: Corning Gorilla Glass 5
📸 Main camera: 50MP (f/1.8) OIS
📸 Ultrawide camera: 12MP (f/2.2, 123° field of view), 1.12 microns
📸 Macro camera: 5MP, f/2.4
🤳 Selfie camera: 32MP
📹 Video recording: 4K@30fps, Slo-motion 240fps@1080p
⚙️ Chipset: Exynos 1380
🐏 RAM: 6GB
🗄️ Storage: 128GB / 256GB versions + microSD card slot
🗃️ Expandable storage: microSD card slot (up to 1TB)
🔋 Battery: 5,000mAh
📶 Connectivity: 5G + WiFi 6
🔒 Biometrics: In-screen fingerprint sensor
🔌 Charging: 25W charging
🙅♂️ Wireless charging: No wireless charging
💦 Waterproof: IP67
📐 Dimensions: 158.2 x 76.7 x 8.2mm
⚖️ Weight: 202g
🌈 Colors: Violet, Graphite
🤖 OS: Android 13 with OneUI 5.1
The A54 matches the 120Hz adaptive refresh date and Full HD resolution of the S23 and S23 Plus, but at 1,000nits, the screen of this A-series phone is shy of the 1,750-nit peak brightness of its pricier cousins. As I mentioned in my Samsung QN95C review, the company makes some of the best TV displays around, and it translates into some of the best smartphone displays, too. Even at 1080p, this one shines.
I wasn’t able to fully test the 50MP camera, hence why this isn’t a full Samsung Galaxy A54 review yet, but from what I can tell from the limited indoor photos I took, this phone is able to take fine photos. Samsung is also emphasizing nightography, a fancy marketing way of saying this phone takes decent night photos. Just don’t expect the telephoto capabilities or AI-boosted moonshots of the S23 series. Instead, the A54 has a 12MP ultra-wide camera, 5MP macro camera and 32MP selfie camera. With the Galaxy S23, you’re paying for the zoom camera.
I’m also curious about the performance of the Samsung A54’s Exynos 1380 chipset and 6GB of RAM – something I’ll test in my full review. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 with 8GB of RAM is the Android leader among chipsets and one of the reasons the S23 series has done so well. But the fact that the A54 includes a microSD card slot is going to sell a lot of people at its $450 starting price (before trade-in offers).
The Galaxy A54 comes in two colors today – violet and graphite – and it’s enveloped in sturdy Gorilla Glass 5 with an IP67 dust and waterproof rating. You may not need a Samsung Galaxy A54 case if you’re the careful type. The triple-lens camera module is flush with the back of the phone, creating a neat look at the 6.4-inch screen felt like the right size in my hand – it’s a big screen without being obnoxious or wishing I could fold it like a Galaxy Z Fold 4.
There’s more to be tested on the Galaxy A54, but I can already tell that this is a step up for Samsung A-series of phones that often go without a review. There’s a good reason I’m covering this one ahead of launch. It’s shouldn't sway you from pouncing on a good Galaxy S23 trade-in offer – that will remain the better phone, I can already tell you from experience. But for people who don’t have an older device for an S23 trade-in and are on a limited budget, Samsung has positioned the Galaxy A54 to be the Galaxy S10e sequel that hasn’t had a spiritual successor until now.