Samsung Galaxy A54 5G vs Galaxy A53 5G

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Galaxy A54 5G vs Galaxy A53 5G

Intro


The Galaxy A54 5G brings a faster processor, new design style and an improved camera system, but are those changes as big and important as they sound? And is it worth upgrading from the last year's A53 5G to this new A54 5G?

The Galaxy A series are kind of a big deal. These phones are not the flashy top of the line models, but they are cheap, $450 cheap, which means that millions of people are buying them. In fact, the Galaxy A series is one of the best selling Android phones in the world. So even though the Galaxy A54 5G is not the most advanced phone out there, it is still a very important launch for Samsung.

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Galaxy A54 5G vs A53 5G in a nutshell:
  • Faster chip
  • 6.4" flat OLED screen on A54
  • Improved camera system
  • Glass back (vs plastic on A53 5G)
  • Same charging speeds, still no wireless charging
  • Still no dedicated zoom camera on either one
  • Both have IP67 water protection
  • A54 5G has improved haptics

Table of Contents:

Design and Display Quality

New design style and a more premium feel


The Galaxy A54 5G changes the all-plastic build of the A53 5G for a glass back and front, and this makes the new model feel much more premium. Yes, the mid-frame is still made of plastic, but that's not as noticeable.

We also like the new camera styling on the A54 5G where each individual lens has its own enclosure, just like the Galaxy S phones.

Size-wise, these are extremely similar, they are not too large, but not compact either, they are kind of a good middle ground.

We appreciate that despite being cheaper phones, both the A54 5G and A53 5G come with the same IP67 water and dust protection rating, and both also support a microSD card slot for expandable storage, which is a rarity nowadays.

You get flat screens on these two, the A54 5G has a slightly smaller 6.4-inch screen vs the 6.5-inch display on the previous model, but bezels are quite large on both of them, so that's one compromise.


The screens themselves look good, Super AMOLED, 1080p Full HD+ resolution and both supporting 120Hz fast refresh rate for smoother scrolling, these are all great things to see.

Display Measurements:




Notice how the new Galaxy gets much brigther, though, so this is a nice upgrade, which makes it much easier to use the phone outdoors.

Nothing seems to have changed when it comes to biometrics. Both rely mainly on a fingerprint scanner built inside the screen, it's an optical type one, not an ultrasonic like the flagship series. However, it worked well on the A53 and we expect a similarly good performance on the A54 5G.

Both phones also support face identification with a 2D image scan. This is not as secure as a fingerprint scanner, but it can be convenient and we're glad it is supported.

Performance and Software

New Exynos chip brings the goods


One of the bigger improvements in the Galaxy A54 5G is actually under the hood and it's the new chip. It's the Smasung-made Exynos 1380, a 5nm processor, that is an upgrade over the Exynos 1280 used in the A53.

Samsung knew that the biggest problem on the A53 5G was the stuttery, slowish performance, so this new chip gives you nearly 50% faster multi-core speeds and 20% faster GPU. But while this new chip is faster, we don't feel like it addresses the issue fully. We could still see a good amount of stutter, especially when multitasking on the A54.

Performance Benchmarks:


Geekbench 6
SingleHigher is better
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G994
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G621
Geekbench 6
MultiHigher is better
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G2765
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G1856
3DMark Extreme(High)Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G809
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G636
3DMark
Extreme(Low)Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G805
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G631
 
The A54 5G launches with One UI 5 on top of Android 13, and the Galaxy A53 received an update to the very same version just weeks before the A54 unveiling.

So this is the thing about Samsung phones: Samsung goes above other Android phone makers with 4 years of major software update support, but those updates actually arrived months after the Pixel series, so you have to wait a very long while to get them.

Camera

New main camera sensor makes a difference


When looking at the A54 5G and the A53 5G side by side, you immediately notice that there are fewer cameras on the newer phone.

Indeed, Samsung drops the depth sensor it used on the A53 5G, but don't lament that as this barely added anything to the experience.

What you are left with is the following camera setup: a 50MP main camera with OIS (compared to a 64MP older sensor on the previous model), an 8MP ultra-wide camera (vs an older 12MP sensor before) and a 5MP macro camera (similar on both).

Main Camera




We like the improved color capture on the A54 5G. Notice the yellow cast in photos on the previous generation A53, it looks a bit strange and unnatural, and the A54 5G is able to fix that. Colors are still very much exaggerated in the default shooting mode, but we guess that's not going away and is just part of the "Samsung" look.

Look closer and you'd also notice the higher sharpness (that many say is just a glorified clarity effect) on the A54 5G, this is a look that lends itself to viewing photos on a small screen, but becomes annoying if you open the same image on a bigger screen.



In low light, the A54 shoots brighter pictures with more detail in the shadows.

Ultra-wide Camera




The ultra-wide camera has not changed a great deal, but you can see a similar tweak in the color processing and sharpness of the images as with the main camera.

Front Camera




The front camera on the A54 5G now shoots more pleasing colors and better defined detail, so it feels like a good upgrade.

Video Quality


Video quality is a big step up from the previous model with better stabilization in 4K footage and also much more realistic colors, while the last year A53 model captured comically saturated tones that look unrealistic. In low light, the A54 5G captures a lot more light than its predecessor and records brighter footage, plus the older model occasionally struggles with focus.

Audio Quality and Haptics



Both phones have a pretty standard audio setup with a downward-facing main speaker and a secondary speaker located in the earpiece of the phone.

We found the speakers on last year's A53 5G okay for the price, but the A54 5G brings a slight but welcome improvement with noticeably boomier sound. It's still not perfect and not comparable with more expensive phones, but you do get more punch and a bit more definition.

One disadvantage of the A53 5G was its rather vague haptic feedback. It was not nearly as good as the sharp and precise feedback you get from the Taptic Engine on an iPhone, or some recent OnePlus phones. We are very happy that the A54 5G improves a good deal on the haptics which now feel tighter and more precise. Nice job, Samsung!

Battery Life and Charging

Not much has changed


Both the A54 5G and the A53 5G use a 5,000 mAh battery, which is definitely slightly above the average for the class.

Below, you can find our battery test benchmarks where we show you how the two phones actually compare:

PhoneArena Battery Test Results:


Web Browsing(hours)Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G16h 11 min
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G15h 45 min
Video Streaming(hours)Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G7h 44 min
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G7h 45 min
3D Gaming(hours)Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G5h 46 min
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G5h 28 min

As you can see, the improvement is tiny, but we did measure a slightly longer battery life on the Galaxy A54 5G, which is good news.

In terms of charging, however, there are no changes. First, you don't get a charger in the box with either of the phones, which has become the sad norm these days, and second, both support the same 25-watt charging speed.

Samsung is definitely playing it safe here as other rivals like OnePlus and Asus offer much faster charging, so it could do better. It could do worse too as for example the Pixel 6a actually charges at merely 18 watts.

There is unfortunately no wireless charging on either the A54 5G or A53 5G.

Specs Comparison


And here are the most important specs of the A54 5G and the A53 5G, check out the differences below:


Don't forget that we have an in-depth Galaxy A54 5G vs Galaxy A53 5G specs comparison here, where you can see specific 5G bands they support and a lot more detail.

Summary and Final Verdict



Samsung obviously realizes that the competition has come for its golden boy in the mid-range, the Galaxy A5X series, and has stepped it up with the Galaxy A54 5G.

It has a much faster chip, so it fares better than its stuttery predecessor, but better does not mean great and we still saw quite a bit of microlag. The improved camera system is very welcome as color rendition on the previous model was quite extreme.

We think that this is one of the bigger upgrades in the Galaxy A series, but with Samsung failing to address the stutter issue, we don't see a major reason for A53 5G users to upgrade. Still. if you want a safe choice with a pledge of long software updates, the Galaxy A54 5G is just that and its various improvements make it a worthy contender in the battle for the best budget phone around.

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