Galaxy A34 review

Galaxy A34 5G review

Galaxy A34 5G Intro

The lower mid-range segment in the phone market is packed with tons of choices, but throughout the last couple of years Samsung has delivered one of the best options to consider, and this year that option is the Galaxy A34 5G. It starts at 399 EUR in Europe or 349 GBN in the UK, and it launched alongside the more expensive Galaxy A54 5G, but just might be the better bang-for-your-buck choice between the two.


  • 120Hz display refresh rate
  • Flagship-like design
  • Main camera is very capable, with great 2x digital zoom
  • 4 years of software support and 5 years of security patches
  • Loud and well-sounding speakers
  • Tight haptics
  • Highest peak brightness for its price


  • Slow fingerprint reader
  • Does not come with a charger
  • Slow charging speeds

This year, Samsung focused on all the right spots, once again positioning the Galaxy A34 as a prime contender for the best budget phones of 2023, much like with its predecessor from last year. What makes it stand out is how well balanced it is when it comes to the user experience, with arguably one of the best well-rounded spec sheets for this price.

Here is what's new about the Galaxy A34 5G:
  • Better display in almost every aspect
  • Elegant flagship-like design
  • Slightly better battery life
  • Higher base RAM
  • Bluetooth 5.3

Galaxy A34 5G Unboxing

Unboxing the Galaxy A34 is quite underwhelming. Not because there is nothing inside the box besides the phone and some documents, but more because it feels weird for a mid-range phone to not come with a charger.

Here's all you get inside the Galaxy A34 box:
  • A Galaxy A34 5G
  • A USB-C to USB-C cable
  • Sim ejector tool
  • Documentation

Galaxy A34 5G Specs

Perfect bang for your buck example

As already mentioned, Samsung has upgraded all the right hardware to make the Galaxy A34 a more well-rounded phone. It has also removed some unnecessary things such as the depth camera and kept other aspects that were already very good, to begin with, like the camera system.

You can find more information in our detailed Galaxy A34 specs page.

Galaxy A34 5G Design & Colors

Simple and beautiful, or simply beautiful

Given that Samsung decided to make the Galaxy A34 resemble its flagship phones as much as possible, it should go without saying how beautiful and clean it looks for a mid-range handset. It has a back panel that even though is made out of plastic and ever so slightly bends when you press it in the middle, is undeniably good-looking with that matte-like appearance.

The frame of the A34 is also made out of plastic, but it blends so nicely both color and shape-wise that it doesn't strike you as cheap in any way. Samsung has made all sides of the phone square with a small curve on the edges to make it more pleasant to hold while maintaining a firm grip. It also helps that the A34 is very light for its size.

As for durability, Samsung has kept the IP67 rating from the previous model, as well as the Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for the screen.

Galaxy A34 5G colors:
  • Awesome Graphite
  • Awesome Lime
  • Awesome Silver
  • Awesome Violet

As cheesy and over-the-top naming Samsung has given to these color options, they do look great. We would say they even look better in real life than in a photo.

Galaxy A34 5G Display

The Galaxy A34 comes with an absolutely amazing display, especially for its price. It is arguably the phone's most significant upgrade over the previous generation, finally going to a resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels, but also increasing the maximum refresh rate to 120Hz. But wait, there's more!

Samsung has implemented its Vision Booster technology, which makes the A34 capable of reaching 1,000 nits of peak brightness, which is an achievement expected from much more expensive phones and literally unmatched in the mid-range segment.

Vision Booster, according to Samsung, also helps maintain a higher level of color accuracy across the brightness curve. Or in other words, the colors remain accurate throughout the different levels of brightness. Unfortunately, our tests gave us results that were not exactly perfect.

Despite that, I had the phone in its "Natural" color setting during my time with it and the colors looked alright to me. It's worth noting, though, that the A34's display does not support HDR10+, unlike some of its competitors. Even with its cons, I still enjoyed staring at the A34's screen, especially with its almost identical bezels.

Display Measurements:

One of the more disappointing aspects I encountered with the Galaxy A34 was its fingerprint reader. In contrast to how smooth and fluid everything else feels with this phone, its optical fingerprint reader is noticeably slow to scan your finger. Once it does read it though, it is accurate and quick to unlock the phone. That said, the whole process is kind of sluggish.

Galaxy A34 5G Camera

Great camera system with some expected hiccups

Between the camera system on the Galaxy A34 and Galaxy A33 from last year there is almost no difference. That means you get a main 48MP shooter with an aperture of f/1.8, an 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide, and a 5 MP f/2.4 macro snapper. On the front, there is the 13MP selfie camera with an aperture of f/2.2, again from last year's model.

The only difference here is the lack of a depth camera, which honestly didn't do much and had a debatable usefulness anyway, so it shall not be missed. Samsung did a good job to discard it and save a bit of that manufacturing cost.

The main camera spits out some good images for a phone of this caliber. They are sharp enough, and the dynamic range seems alright. Of course, you get Samsung's typical oversaturated colors and a pinch of extra contrast. Then again, that's perfect, as people buying the Galaxy A34 5G probably want the phone to quickly capture a pleasing photo that's ready to be shown.

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The ultra-wide shooter is not as good when it comes to sharpness, and it tends to make the colors even more saturated than the main camera. That being said, it does the job and it works for quick wide-angle snapshots for social media.

The Galaxy A34's camera app also gives you a 2x zoom option, which seems to crop on the main camera's 48MP sensor and produces surprisingly good results.

Needless to say, this camera won't get you far if you want to take photos with limited light. There is tons of noise and reduced sharpness, to the point where the photos become unusable.

The 5MP macro camera on the Galaxy A34 has enough image quality for social media purposes, as long as you are not trying to shoot any serious macro photography.

Selfies made with the Galaxy A34 are perfectly fine and so is the Portrait Mode that simulates a blurred-out background. I was left with an especially good impression from the colors that photos taken with the 13MP front-facing camera have.

Video Thumbnail

Video shooting is not exactly the Galaxy A34's strong suit. You will get the best quality possible in the 1080p 30fps mode which you see an example of above. You can swap between the ultra-wide and main cameras but the transition is anything but smooth and a bit jarring. Going from the main camera to the 2x zoom, however, is much more seamless. This is also the only mode in which you get image stabilization.

Video Thumbnail

As you can probably tell from the sample above, once you start shooting in 1080p 60fps the image stabilization evaporates so much that the end result is barely usable. You can still use this mode if you are not moving or the phone is placed on a stable surface.

Video Thumbnail

Videos shot in 4K 30fps surprisingly keep up with the rest, made even better thanks to the increased resolution. Unfortunately, image stabilization is abysmal just like in the 1080p 60fps mode, if not worse. Usable, as long as the phone is not moving or shaking.

Galaxy A34 5G Performance & Benchmarks

Smooth and satisfying

It was mostly smooth sailing when it came to the Galaxy A34's performance. Absolutely no issues while navigating the UI or browsing the web. The phone seems to handle mobile gaming quite well too. I started off with a bit of VampireSurvivors and it had zero issues there. Then I went to some more demanding titles like Apex Legends and Riot's Wild Rift.

Admittedly, the Mediatek Dimensity 1080 chipset the A34 comes with had a bit of trouble with the more intensive games, which resulted in some frame drops with Apex Legends and an overall lower refresh rate with Wild Rift. Both games were running plenty well enough to have an enjoyable time though (and take two big wins in both games... hehe). Plus, you can always adjust the graphics to get your desired outcome.

Also, it undoubtedly helps that the entry-level Galaxy A34 5G comes with 6GB of RAM, which you can increase to 8GB if you are okay with paying a bit more.

Performance Benchmarks:

Geekbench 6
SingleHigher is better
Samsung Galaxy A341021
Samsung Galaxy A33 5G930
Nothing Phone(1)1035
Geekbench 6
MultiHigher is better
Samsung Galaxy A342480
Samsung Galaxy A33 5G1960
Nothing Phone(1)2933
3DMark Extreme(High)Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy A34641
Samsung Galaxy A33 5G635
Nothing Phone(1)769
OnePlus Nord 2T1325
Extreme(Low)Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy A34638
Samsung Galaxy A33 5G632
Nothing Phone(1)761
OnePlus Nord 2T804

The benchmarks are showing that the Galaxy A34 is a noticeable improvement over its predecessor, at least when it comes to processing power. For some reason, however, 3DMark Extreme is showing similar graphical performance between the two, which is unexpected. The Dimensity 1080 should be doing much better in this segment too, but the benchmark is not showing it. The numbers should be much closer to those we are seeing on the Nothing Phone (1) and OnePlus Nord 2T.

As for the available storage, the Galaxy A34 5G comes in two variants: 128GB and 256GB. The good news is that you can use the microSD card slot (shared with the 2nd SIM slot) to increase that storage even more.

Galaxy A34 5G Android version and software support

The Galaxy A34 5G is one of the most budget-friendly Samsung phones to come with the latest major Android software update (Android 13) and Samsung's skin over it — One UI 5.1. Samsung's One UI 5.1 software update comes with many aesthetic improvements like lock screen customization and a refreshed Settings app. Additionally, some practical improvements give easier control over Wi-Fi speakers, improve AI-based photo capabilities of the camera, add new Modes and Routines, and more.

Something that would make many potential buyers happy is that Samsung is offering the same dedicated software support it provides with its flagship series. In other words, we are talking about four years of Android OS upgrades and five years of security patches. That means the Galaxy A34 5G will go to Android 16.

Galaxy A34 5G Battery and Charging

More than enough

The Galaxy A34 5G comes, as it is standard for most of Samsung's phones these days, a 5000mAh battery. Coupled with its power-efficient chipset, it is needless to say that his big boy can easily go for two straight days with regular use. In fact, it can go for more if you use your phone somewhat sparingly.

PhoneArena Battery Test Results:

Video Streaming(hours)Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy A3410h 11 min
Samsung Galaxy A33 5G8h 18 min
Nothing Phone(1)10h 13 min
OnePlus Nord 2T10h
Web Browsing(hours)Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy A3416h 25 min
Samsung Galaxy A33 5G15h 26 min
Nothing Phone(1)12h 28 min
3D Gaming(hours)Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy A346h 50 min
Samsung Galaxy A33 5G7h
Nothing Phone(1)3h 58 min

Galaxy A34 5G Charging Speeds

The bad news, however, is that it supports a maximum charging speed of 25W. With a battery this large it takes a good few hours to charge it from 0-100% at these speeds. You will have no issue with this as long as you usually charge your phone during the night, but you won't be able to get those big and quick top-ups like you can with phones like the OnePlus Nord CE 2.

Making matters even less appealing is the lack of a charger. You only get a USB-C to USB-C cable and that's it, so you better have a 25W charger laying somewhere around.

Honestly though, at the end of the day, I had absolutely no issues with the battery, as I just charged during the night while I was sleeping, even though I usually had a little more than 50% left.

Quick note — there is no wireless charging whatsoever.

Galaxy A34 5G Audio Quality and Haptics

The dual speakers on the Galaxy A34 get very loud and mostly hold up a really good level of audio quality throughout the different volume levels. You can definitely have a good time watching something on that big bold display while listening to it via the phone's speakers.

Something that was very pleasantly surprising was the phone's haptic feedback, which was good enough for me not to feel the need to turn it off. It was strong and precise.

Galaxy A34 5G Competitors

OnePlus Nord 2T

The OnePlus Nord 2T is probably the closest we have to a direct competitor here. It costs just 30 euros more than the Galaxy A34 5Gt. OnePlus' "flagship killer" comes with the more powerful MediaTek Dimensity 1300 chipset inside as well as more RAM with the entry-level model (8GB), and the option to increase it to 12GB.

The battery size here is smaller, maxing out at 4,500mAh, but the OnePlus Nord 2T comes with a charger in the box that can juice it up much faster at 80W.

If you tend to shoot more with the main camera and neglect the rest on your phone, then the OnePlus might be more up your alley as it comes with an arguably better 50MP main camera. That said, its other shooters — including the selfie camera — are not as good as those on the A34.

The Galaxy A34 5G also has a much better display as it comes with a 120Hz refresh rate and higher peak brightness compared to the OnePlus. Probably the biggest advantage the Samsung mid-ranger has, however, is its 4 years of major Android OS updates and 5 years of security patches. The Nord 2T has only a ratio of two/three respectively.

Nothing Phone (1)

The first phone from the company Nothing is a better mid-ranger compared to the Galaxy A34 5G in almost every way. It has two rather than three cameras, but both deliver significantly higher-quality images and video. It also comes with the much more capable Snapdragon 778G Plus chipset from Qualcomm, which will get you better performance while gaming.

The pros go even further if we take into account the faster 33W wired charging, but also the 15W wireless and 5W reverse-wireless charging. Keep in mind, though, that the Nothing Phone (1) is about 70 euros or 50 British pounds sterling.

Not to mention that, if you value longevity, the Galaxy A34 5G is still better as it is newer and comes with longer software support.

Pixel 7a

The Pixel 7a might not be out yet, but Google is expected to announce it very soon at its next Google I/O event in May. As long as the price remains the same as the Pixel 6a when it launched, (459 euros) then it will probably be the strongest competition the Galaxy A34 — or even the Galaxy A54 — will have to face.

Galaxy A34 5G Summary and Final Verdict

The Galaxy A34 5G is a meaningful upgrade over its predecessor that cuts unnecessary parts and improves in just the right areas to transform into a well-rounded phone for its price range. Its strongest characteristics are without a doubt the amazingly long battery life and the long software support, which is not standard for the mid-range market. In other words, if you are searching for a phone that would not break the bank and nevertheless last you for 3 or 4 years, this is a great option.

That being said, there are other potential options out there, like the OnePlus Nord 2T and the upcoming Pixel 7a that cost just a little more but offer so much more in all other aspects that make up a good phone. In the end, it boils down to your budget ceiling and how much longevity matters to you when deciding whether to buy or not the Galaxy A34.

 *Disclaimer: You may notice review scores have changed on PhoneArena! Since September 20th, we have started using a new scoring system. Learn more about the new PhoneArena Smartphone Review Rating system here.


  • 120Hz display refresh rate
  • Flagship-like design
  • Main camera is very capable, with great 2x digital zoom
  • 4 years of software support and 5 years of security patches
  • Loud and well-sounding speakers
  • Tight haptics
  • Highest peak brightness for its price


  • Slow fingerprint reader
  • Does not come with a charger
  • Slow charging speeds

PhoneArena Rating:


User Rating:

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