Samsung’s Galaxy A54 has a bright 1,000-nit display and looks more like a flagship phone

The latest Galaxy A-series phone is still only $450.

Mat Smith / Engadget

It’s that quiet moment between Samsung launching its Galaxy S flagships and its, well, other flagships that just happen to fold. The perfect time, then, to update its midrange A series and add to the chaos. We’re going to focus on the Galaxy A54, but Samsung will also launch a similar, cheaper device, the Galaxy A34, in other regions like the UK.

While no major shakeups are coming from the Galaxy A53 to the A54, there are some notable changes, including a redesign more closely aligned to the premium Galaxy S family, with metal detail on the cameras, which now jut out from the back independently of each other.

Samsung Galaxy A53 hands-on
Looks familiar, right? (Mat Smith / Engadget)

The display is now slightly smaller at 6.4 inches (the predecessor had a 6.5-inch screen), but it keeps the same 2,400 x 1,080 resolution. This year, however, Samsung has boosted the maximum brightness to 1,000 nits. That should be noticeable in sunlight and the company is going further, adding Vision Booster to enhance visibility when your environment is a little too bright. The screen also reaches up to 120Hz, though the variable refresh rate helps to keep battery life in check. It’s another gorgeous screen from Samsung, which continues to shrink the gap between flagship and mid-range. It’s only the bezels that kinda give the game away here.

Samsung has also upgraded the A54’s processor, running on the 5nm octa-core Exynos 1380 – the company’s latest in-house chip. Samsung claims that this should offer 20 percent performance improvement on CPU tasks, and 26 percent improvement when it comes to GPU tasks. While it was hard to push the phone to its limits during hands-on time, we’re hoping the A54 is a little more capable than last year’s A53. Samsung has kept the battery the same size as last year, which is a good sign: two-day battery life was one of the stronger points when we reviewed the device.

Samsung Galaxy A54
The Galaxy A34 (left) has a few differences to the pricier Galaxy A54 (right). (Mat Smith / Engadget)

When it comes to imaging, It’s another triple-camera array for this year’s A-series. There’s a 50-megapixel main camera with optical image stabilization and an f/1.8 lens, which is flanked by a 12MP ultra-wide camera, and a 5MP macro camera. Samsung has also kept the 32-megapixel selfie camera for the 2023 refresh. The company says the changes to the camera system include larger pixels (more detail, less noise) and enhanced optical stabilization, from 0.95 degrees of stability up to 1.5 degrees – that’s a notable improvement, especially if you’re capturing a lot of video. Samsung has also embedded Snapchat filters into the native camera app, which you can see in the main image at the top of this story. It'll sync with your Snapchat account, giving you easy access to filters across all the cameras.

In the US, the Galaxy A54 arrives in two glossy color options: black and violet. Elsewhere, you’ll be able to choose white and lime colorways. A few of our images include the Galaxy A34, which has a notch selfie camera, a slightly larger screen and a hypnotic, familiar, pearlescent finish, which I think is actually nicer than the more expensive A54. However, only the A54 is heading to the US, which will be available to preorder on March 30th before launching on April 6th for $450 – the same price as last year’s model.

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