Samsung Galaxy A54 Review: A Midrange Device With Some Flagship Perks

  • A bright and beautiful display
  • Years of software support
  • Good day-to-day performance
  • Lasts all day on a single charge
  • It can get a bit warm
  • No wireless charging
  • Lots of preinstalled bloatware

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The Samsung Galaxy A54 is here and Samsung is looking to steal the best midrange crown from last year's champion, the Google Pixel 6a. In today's market, phones that sell for less than $500 offer a very compelling package if you are willing to compromise a little on flagship-level performance for a much lower price point. The thing is, you may not have to compromise as much as you would expect. Not when it comes to a device made by Samsung, anyway — so long as it has "Galaxy" in the title.

This $450 device is a capable performer with a lot to offer and sometimes punches far above what its price point may suggest. So cohesive is the experience with the Galaxy A54 that Google's upcoming Pixel 7a will have to be quite the device to knock Samsung off its perch. AT&T provided a Samsung Galaxy A54 for the purpose of this review. The most major difference between this device and an iteration purchased directly from Samsung is in its included apps — AT&T's apps are installed as system apps. 

Design and Hardware

Samsung has been unifying its overall phone design across its phone lineup and that trend continues with the Galaxy A54. Samsung's new midrange device looks so much like its Galaxy S23 devices that it can be difficult to tell them apart from a distance.

The Galaxy A54 features Gorilla Glass 5 on both the front and has a plastic matte frame. It's nice to see actual glass on the back of a device at this price, but it is quite slippery. This device would routinely try to slide off the arm of the couch or out of my lap. The back features a flat design with three raised camera lenses.

Along the top of the device, you will find a microphone and its dual-purpose SIM card/microSD card slot. The microSD slot can handle cards up to 1TB. The left side doesn't have anything, while the right side is where you can find the volume and power buttons. The bottom has a speaker and a USB-C charging port.

At 158.2 x 76.7 x 8.2mm and weighing 202g the Galaxy A54 feels fantastic in the hand. It's IP67 water resistant, so you don't have to worry about accidentally dropping it in water. In the United States, it is available in graphite and violet colorways. Outside of the States, the A54 can also be found in lime and white. Rounding out the hardware is an in-display fingerprint sensor, Bluetooth 5.3, and sub-6GHz 5G.

Display and Audio

The display is where the Galaxy A54 punches far above its midrange price would indicate. Samsung equipped the A54 with a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED 1080p (1080 x 2340) panel. The 120Hz refresh rate allowed for silky smooth scrolling and animations.

The display can reach 1000 nits of brightness and remains easy to see, even in direct sunlight. Being a Samsung panel, the colors are punchy and look beautiful. There is a bit of a bezel around the edges of the display, but it shouldn't cause much of a distraction. The display is a defining feature of any Galaxy phone and Samsung gave the A54 a flagship quality panel.

The Galaxy A54 has Dolby Atmos-tuned stereo speakers and they sound fantastic. Music was free from distortion and phone calls sounded great through the speakerphone. The speakers can also get quite loud, so you won't have to worry about listening to anything in a loud environment. Samsung removed the headphone jack from the A53 last year and that continues this year with the A54.

Performance and Battery

Samsung chose to power the A54 with an Exynos 1380 processor, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. The new processor has midrange power with its four Cortex-78 and four Cortex-A55 cores. There was some stuttering here and there, especially when first unlocking the device. Other than the occasional stutter, the device was more than up to handling typical daily usage scenarios.

Playing games, multitasking, and web surfing performed very well in everyday usage. The Pixel 6a and its Tensor chip feel a bit snappier than the Galaxy A54. That will only widen when the Pixel 7a is released as it's expected to have the Tensor 2 chip. Samsung's phone managed a single-core score of 1000 and a multi-core score of 2740 in Geekbench 6. In comparison, the Pixel 6a managed to get a single-core score of 1050 and a multi-core score of 2833.

The Galaxy A54 has a 5,000mAh battery and has great battery life. It wasn't uncommon to have more than six hours of screen time before the A54 needed to be charged. It's good that it can make a full day because charging is a bit slow. There is no wireless charging with the A54, so you are limited to 25W wired charging. Going from zero battery to fully charged takes a little over two hours.


The Samsung Galaxy A54 comes with an OIS-enabled 50MP f/1.8 main lens, a 12MP f/2.2 ultrawide lens, and a 5MP f/2.4 macro lens. It also comes with a 32MP f/2.2 front-facing selfie lens.

Images from the main camera in good lighting conditions were quite good. It was able to handle the dynamic range and supplied the usual pop of color that can be expected from a Samsung device.

Pictures from the main camera were also quick to focus and were free of any lag, so long as the photo was captured in ideal lighting conditions. Pressing the shutter button would instantly take a photo, usually resulting in a great photo.

When getting a bit closer to a subject, the Galaxy A54 was able to produce a nice bokeh effect while keeping the subject in focus.

The ultrawide lens is decent in good lighting conditions if you aren't pixel-peeping. If you're only photographing subjects for social media, you'll be set.

Where the Galaxy A54 begins to struggle is when the lighting begins to dim. Pictures become noisy and it is difficult to get a usable one. The Galaxy A54 has a night mode but is slow and clunky to use. There was a noticeable delay when trying to capture a picture at night. If your subject is moving, you can forget about using night mode as it will result in an unusable blurry photo.


The software Samsung uses on the Galaxy A54 is another highlight as long as you don't mind a bit of bloat. The Galaxy A54 runs Android 13 with One UI 5.1. Samsung has done a good job of optimizing the software to feel snappy on the Exynos 1380 chip. Android 13 feels snappy to use and its animations were smooth.

Samsung has set the standard in software support with its flagship products and that carries over to the A54. You get five years of support and can expect four major software updates as well as a fifth year of security updates.

What dings the software a bit is the amount of bloat included on the device. Samsung tends to have similar apps to Google's offerings and both are installed on the device out of the box. This results in having multiple apps that do the same things, such as two messaging apps and two web browsers. It wouldn't be as bad if you could remove them, but you can't. Some can be disabled, but your mileage varies depending on the app.

This AT&T version also comes with a variety of the carrier's specific apps which can't be removed entirely. They're installed as system apps, so they're here for the long haul. It also has a bunch of other apps installed, such as games, but luckily these can be removed.

Final Verdict

The midrange category can be difficult to get right for a lot of manufacturers. It forces companies to make tradeoffs to get the price down to an acceptable level. If those tradeoffs are done in the wrong areas, it can lead to a poor experience. Luckily, Samsung did its homework and kept the tradeoffs to a minimum.

The Samsung Galaxy A54 has a beautiful display, years of software support, and great battery life. Its chipset isn't the strongest on the midrange market but is serviceable and is more than up for the task of most everyday requirements.

The camera on the A54 can struggle a bit in low light and the Pixel 6a offers a more comprehensive camera setup. If taking pictures is your primary concern, then the Pixel 6a (soon to be 7a) should be your go-to in this price range. For everyone else, the Galaxy A54 is well-designed and a great device at this price point.

The Samsung Galaxy A54 can be found at Amazon, Samsung, and a variety of different carriers, including AT&T.