Samsung’s new Galaxy A54 5G has quite a bit in widespread with its predecessor, however you would not guess that simply by it. The Galaxy A54 5G, which prices $450 (£499, roughly converts to AU$915) and launches on April 6, brings a contemporary design, new processor and up to date digital camera to Samsung’s extra wallet-friendly telephone.

Read extra: How to Preorder the New Samsung Galaxy A54

Based on the transient period of time I spent with it, the brand new design seems to be the most important change. That may not matter a lot if you happen to plan to place a case in your gadget. But it suggests Samsung is doing extra to shut the hole between its premium and finances gadgets. That could possibly be notably necessary if Samsung desires to catch as much as Google’s Pixel 6A, which I mentioned could be the best-looking telephone in its value vary in my evaluation.

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Galaxy A54 5G: Hands-on With Samsung’s New Budget Phone


The Galaxy A54 5G’s new look

Samsung's Galaxy A54 5G being held with the screen showing

Richard Peterson/CNET

The Galaxy A54 5G has a new glossy finish that makes it feel more premium than last year’s Galaxy A53. The shiny back panel and matte edges remind me of the iPhone 11, and that’s a good thing.

You’ll also notice the camera bump is absent from the Galaxy A54 5G. Samsung replaced it with a floating camera setup similar to the one found on the Galaxy S23 lineup, giving it a more clean and consistent aesthetic. Looks aren’t the most important aspect of a phone, but it’s still great to see a sub-$500 device that doesn’t feel cheap.

It almost feels like Samsung is taking a page from Google’s book in terms of design. The $450 Pixel 6A, which is essentially a less expensive version of the Pixel 6, also has a glossy finish. And like the Galaxy A54 5G, the Pixel 6A inherits a camera design that’s similar to its premium sibling.  

The Galaxy A54 5G has a 6.4-inch screen, making it smaller than the 6.5-inch Galaxy A53 5G. I’ve always felt this size makes for a great medium between the 6.1-inch Galaxy S23 and 6.6-inch Galaxy S23 Plus, and that remains true with the Galaxy A54. 

The Galaxy A53 5G (left) and the Galaxy A54 5G (right) being held up showing the back

Last year’s Galaxy A53 5G (left) with the new Galaxy A54 5G.

Richard Peterson/CNET

By putting more of a focus on the Galaxy A54’s looks, Samsung addressed one of my biggest complaints about the Galaxy A53. I specifically said there was nothing “new” or “interesting” about the Galaxy A53’s design, so I’m glad to see that’s changed this time around.

My other gripe about the Galaxy A53 was its sometimes sluggish performance. The Galaxy A54 5G runs on a newer processor called the Exynos 1380, which is likely the successor to the Exynos 1280 found inside the Galaxy A53. I haven’t spent enough time with the Galaxy A54 5G to know whether this new chip brings significant improvements. But in my brief time with the device, performance seemed just fine. Apps opened and closed quickly, the camera launched almost instantly and the keyboard popped up right away. 

Camera is the major difference between the Galaxy A54 and S23

The triple camera on Samsung's Galaxy A54 5G

The Galaxy A54 5G has a triple-camera unit.

Richard Peterson/CNET

There are many differences between Samsung’s A-series budget devices and its premium S-series phones. However, the camera system continues to be the biggest one. The Galaxy A54 5G has a 50-megapixel main camera, 12-megapixel ultrawide camera and 5-megapixel macro camera. There’s no telephoto camera, so the Galaxy A54 5G only has a 10x digital zoom. 

The Galaxy S23, on the other hand, has a 50-megapixel main camera, 12-megapixel ultrawide camera and 10-megapixel telephoto camera. While the main and ultrawide cameras may sound similar on paper, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some noticeable differences in image quality. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip inside the S23 lineup, which has been optimized for Samsung’s Galaxy phones, likely plays a notable role in the way photos are processed. 

Samsung's Galaxy A54 5G in black (left) and purple (right) sitting up on a couch

Richard Peterson/CNET

You can’t use Samsung’s Expert Raw app on the Galaxy A54 5G either, which might be important for photography enthusiasts to consider. That said, the Galaxy A54 5G’s camera setup is just what you would expect on a phone of this price. It even has much more to offer than the $429 iPhone SE, which only has one 12-megapixel main camera with a 5x digital zoom. 

Overall, the Galaxy A54 5G seems like a promising option for those seeking an Android phone that costs less than $500. But we’ll have to spend more time testing it before we know whether it’s worth recommending. 

Galaxy A54 5G vs. Galaxy A53 5G Specs

Galaxy A54 5G Galaxy A53 5G
Display 6.4-inch FHD+; Super AMOLED; 120Hz refresh rate 6.5-inch FHD+; Super AMOLED; 120Hz refresh rate
Dimensions 158.2 x 76.7 x 8.2 mm 74.8 x 159.6 x 8.1mm
Weight 202g 189g
Camera 50MP (main); 12MP (ultrawide); 5MP (macro) 64MP (main); 12MP (ultrawide); 5MP (depth); 5MP (macro)
Front Camera 32MP 32MP
Processor Exynos 1380 Exynos 1280
Memory and Storage 6GB RAM + 128GB 6GB RAM + 128GB
Expandable Storage Yes (up to 1TB) Yes (Up to 1TB)
Battery 5,000 mAh 5,000 mAh
Software (at launch) Android 13 Android 12

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