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Do Not Sleep on the Samsung A54 5G

In our first impression piece of the Samsung Galaxy A54 5G smartphone, we summarized the Samsung middle child as “punching well above its weight” when it comes to the overall package once factoring in its retail price.

A further two weeks on, that sentiment not only remained, but is also bolstered by the fact that this year’s Samsung mid-tier offering not only gives its more illustrious siblings – the S series phones – a run for their money, but also other brands who more often than not, operate within the same price range.

Retailing at RM1,899.00, the Samsung Galaxy A54 5G sits in the “Goldilocks zone” of Samsung smartphone models released in 2023: being “just right”. A step lower than the flagship-tier S series, the A series is considered the ‘mid tier’ of Samsung releases but don’t let labels deceive you. What comes out of the box is a competent device which performs spectacularly in all departments, constrained only by build cost.

To compare it with the market-leading S23 Ultra for example would be unfair. It is akin to comparing MMA fighting’s Islam Makhachev to Jon Jones. Two brilliant UFC fighters, champions of their respective divisions but in totally different weight classes. However, pound-for-pound (or in this case, by the dollar), the A54 5G more than hold its own to the heavyweights.

For a start, the looks. Carrying an identical silhouette to its pricier, non-Ultra S23 siblings, one would have to either be a staunch Samsung fan or an actual Sales Assistant at a Samsung store to be able to tell apart the A54 5G from the S23 at first glance. Despite using different materials for its construction – Gorilla Glass 5 and plastic frame vs Gorilla Victus 2 and aluminum frame – you’d be hard-pressed to discern one from the other. As mentioned in our first impression piece, this is a blessing for those who want to sport the premium look without the need of splashing the money. Although, we have to attest that once in hand, you can instantly recognize the difference in build quality compared to the S series devices. The glossy finish at the back didn’t help either as without the case, can look jarring due to unavoidable fingerprint marks and scuffs.

The A series phones have always been marketed as the go-to model for the budget-savvy crowd. This entices both returning and new consumers alike and perhaps down the road, encourage them to upgrade to the more premium yet familiar S series. It can also be a low-risk, low-commitment switch for folks porting from iPhones; sort of a middle ground to trial the Android landscape before fully committing with the more premium offerings.

Beauty is only skin-deep or with the A54 5G, 8.2mm thick. Under the hood lies respectable processing power. A step up from last year’s model it is replacing, the A54 5G is powered by an Exynos 1380 chip, 8GB RAM and 256GB of expandable storage. You heard right: expandable storage. That’s a lot of wins in our books.

These specs combined with the 50MP main, 12MP ultrawide and 5MP macro cameras make the A54 5G a competent point-and-shoot smartphone.

Performance-wise, the phone runs smoothly, is super responsive and is boosted with the ever-improving proprietary Samsung One U.I. Since Goodlock is now officially available in Malaysia, users can further customize the look of their phone which takes the experience several notches higher. Security-wise, on top of the standard pin code, the A54 5G also comes with biometric security features such as facial recognition and an under-screen fingerprint scanner. Like on the S23 Ultra, it was as if Samsung have increased either the sensitivity, the sensor size or both when it comes to fingerprints detection.

While true, the photography results are not on par with its S23 Ultra brethren or other flagship models, snaps taken on the A54 5G is more than adequate for the average consumer who mostly sticks with the Auto mode.  Capturing photos of family, action figures and even pets are a breeze and uploading them to your social media platform of choice is made easier with the robust, in-built photo editor.

However, the A54 5G doesn’t perform as well when it comes to recording videos. The videos are still crisp and clear but dip in quality once you start moving. Still, the phone will serve well as a secondary camera when recording on a tripod – just refrain from solely relying on it for action shots while on the move.

A highly underrated and oft-overlooked feature of the A54 5G is its battery capacity. With 5000mAh battery capacity, your days of daily charging your phone are well behind you, unless you’re the heaviest of power users out there. One downside would be the lack of wireless charging, a relatively slow charging speed and the lack of a charging adapter out of the box.

Unlike most flagship-tier phones which induce nervousness – the fear of dropping them whenever handled, the A54 5G feels firm when held in hand. Even users with smaller hands would find it easy to wrap their fingers around the slightly curved edges of the phone, while the flat screen gives out a premium vibe. The protruding camera bumps on the rear of the phone prevent it from laying flat on the table. Not an issue for us, but may be a tad annoying for some although this can be easily remedied with a case.

IP67-rated, the phone is able to withstand all but the most brutal of environments although we always recommend slapping a case on. This is handy considering Samsung Malaysia is tossing in a silicone cover worth RM119 with each purchase of the A54 5G via their official channel. The A54 5G comes in four ‘Awesome’ colours – white, violet, graphite and lime – with white being our favourite of the bunch.

The A54 5G is proof that one does not need to splash the cash in order to walk the talk. A smart consumer knows very well what they require and an even smarter consumer is able to see the real value of a product underneath all the preconceived notions due to price and labels. Be it for your kids, brand-savvy teenagers, or parents, as your daily driver or even as your backup, the A54 5G excels in all conditions.



  • Pound for pound (or ringgit by ringgit) one of the most capable phones within its price range.
  • Sleek new look.
  • Fast and snappy operation.
  • Looks more expensive than its actual retail price.
  • Comes with expandable memory.



  • Build may feel cheap to some.


Final Score: 90/100

Vital Statistics

Platform: Android 12, One UI 5.1
Body: 158.2 x 76.7 x 8.2 mm (6.23 x 3.02 x 0.32 in), ~202g
Frame: Glass front (Gorilla Glass 5), glass back (Gorilla Glass 5), plastic frame with IP67 dust/water resistance
Chipset: Exynos 1380 (5 nm)
CPU: Octa-core (4×2.4 GHz Cortex-A78 & 4×2.0 GHz Cortex-A55)
GPU: Mali-G68 MP5
Display: Super AMOLED, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1000 nits (HBM), 6.4 inches
Memory (Internal): 256GB 8GB RAM
Main Camera: 50 MP, f/1.8, (wide); 12 MP, f/2.2, 123? (ultrawide); 5 MP, f/2.4, (macro)
Video: 4K@30fps, 1080p@30/60fps, 720p@480fps1,899
Sound: Stereo speakers, no jacks given
Battery: Li-Ion 5000 mAh, non-removable
Price: Starts from RM 1,899

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