Galaxy A54 5G smartphone review

by Angus Jones

Almost 30 years ago, I worked for Optus as the Mobile handset product manager. Digital phones had just replaced analogue mobile phones. Back then, a vendor would have several models with different software features. The more software features, the higher the price. The outsides looked different, but inside, the electronics were almost identical.
Fast forward to today, and the software is all the same, other than Apple vs Google, and the hardware makes the difference. In this review, we look at the Samsung Galaxy A54 5G smartphone and ask whether you really need to buy the most expensive smartphone.

What is a Galaxy A54 5G smartphone?

The Galaxy A54 smartphone is a mid-tier 5G mobile phone from Samsung with a good screen, camera and battery life.

In Australia, Samsung and Apple make up 90% of the market, and depending on how you cut the numbers, each is as popular as the other. The battle comes down to Apple’s IOS versus Samsung using Google’s Android. IOS is a proprietary software with a reputation for simplicity and being cool. Android allows more user flexibility, and vendors such as Samsung can change the user interface to differentiate Samsung from its Android competitors.
In reality, users get used to either IOS or Android and tend to stay with that software. Both software sets do the same thing, and Apple and Google constantly copy each other’s features. After you buy a phone, both Samsung and Apple will provide you free software upgrades for several years.

All this is to explain to you as opposed to 30 years ago, the software is not the difference in today’s phones, but the hardware.

Australians love to buy something because it can do something, not because they actually need it to do that. We might buy a car because it has a V8 engine, sounds great, and can do 250km/hr. If you are stuck in city traffic doing 25km/hr or even on an expressway doing 110km/hr, why do you need a car capable of more?

Thus the Samsung A54 is a mid-tier phone with hardware features that will do everything the average consumer or small business owner would ever need a phone for. The key hardware features users consider are screen, camera, battery life, speed and storage.

WHY should you consider a Samsung A54?

To buy an A54 outright that is not bundled as part of a plan will cost you $699. The top-of-the-line Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra will cost you $2,649, and a Galaxy A23 5G will cost $399.

To understand and compare all the features, we suggest you read out guide on buying a mobile phone.

Considering the key hardware features we listed above, how does the A54 stack up?


The S23 has a bigger screen with higher resolution but is harder to fit in your pocket and uses more power. The A23 screen is slightly bigger but with cheaper screen technology. The A54 6.4-inch screen is a full high-definition Super AMOLED screen with 1080×2340 pixels that is easy to read and works well in bright sunlight. When you look at the A23 screen in comparison, you can see the improvement


A high-quality camera is a double-edged sword. The better the quality, the larger each individual picture file is. A larger file takes up more room, meaning you need more storage on your phone or in the cloud. Consider: Unless you pay extra, Google Photos reduce the resolution of your images when it stores your photos. So, how much storage do you need in your phone? Also, consider that most smartphones have 3 or more cameras. Each of those cameras has a different resolution, and do you consider that when taking a selfie, that camera has lower quality? Thus, do you want to pay more for a camera or a camera that does the job well?

The A54 has a 32MP (Megapixel – number of dots or resolution) front selfie camera. This rear 12MP ultra-wide camera will fit more of what you see into the image. A 50MP main camera which is the best quality, and a 5MP Macro camera for taking photos of things close up.

Battery Life

A bigger battery means a larger phone and more weight. A bigger battery might also mean more time between charges. So many factors affect battery life, including network coverage, usage, demand and processor type, so comparing phones is very hard. The ability to charge fast also means a quick top-up keeps you going longer. I will say the A54 with a 4,905mAh battery is on the large side, and Samsung quotes two days of life with lots of disclaimers.


Speed relates to the processor inside the smartphone and is the brains behind running all the amazing apps on your phone. The latest top-of-the-line smartphone will have the latest and fastest processor. The A54 has a 2.4GHz Octa Core processor, which is, as you would expect, a mid-tier processor for performance. Back to our V8 analogy, do you need a V8?


A common complaint is that I cannot load more apps or take more photos as my phone’s storage is full. The S23 Ultra mentioned above supports 1TB of data, or ten times as much as the 101GB on the A54. However, I think you will be fine with the ability to move photos to the cloud and add up to a 1TB MicroSD card to the A54.

What is in the A54 Box?

Not much. A phone, a sim removal tool and a USB charging cable are standard these days. The A54 measures 158x77x8 mm and weighs 202 grams.

Samsung indicates that this phone will receive 4 generations of OS upgrades which means the phone will receive the next 4 yearly versions of Android. They also state 5 years of security patches. Considering that after around 3 years, the battery will have deteriorated, and you will be eyeing new models, the phone’s software features will still be the latest for its life.

Speaking of a tough life, the phone is IP67, meaning it is water- and dust-resistant. Don’t take it for a swim but don’t stress if it splashed in the rain.

The sound playback through the inbuilt speakers is impressive. The phone supports Dolby Atoms, a technology that gives the impression that sound comes from multiple directions, not just left and right. I listened to a Dolby Atmos test track and was impressed by the results. You probably will not use this feature through the inbuilt speakers, though, and it will work through headphones.

Having 5G in its name indicates the phone supports 5G. Most people still do not have the use cases that take advantage of 5G, and 4G is fine for most of us. However, 5G does future-proof the phone.

Using the Galaxy A54 5G

I use an Android phone every day, a high-end phone that is 2 years old. Although a slightly different flavour of Android, I found the A54 pretty much the same as my old phone. The software features and apps are the same, and the hardware performance in the new A54 is about the same as my 2-year-old top-of-the-line phone. Do I want better hardware performance? No, I am happy with this level. My existing phone cost double what the A54 costs.

Our Take Galaxy A54 review

Do I want the latest top-of-the-line Samsung phone? Hell yes! Am I going to buy it? No.!
At $699, the A54 does everything and more I need out of a smartphone. It is durable, has the right features and has the same software as every Android phone.

A small business smartphone is really just a consumer smartphone. I recommend saving money by buying a mid-tier phone like the A54 and updating it every two years to have newer hardware and battery. You will still have money left over for something else.

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1 comment

Josephine Oliver October 11, 2023 - 5:58 PM

I have an A54 5G and I’m very happy with it. Actually a relative mistook it for an iPhone, and another relative commented about the quality of the photos, she said they were very good 😊


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