Samsung Galaxy A54 5G vs Google Pixel 7a: Android's finest mid-range phones

7comments
We may earn a commission if you make a purchase from the links on this page.
Galaxy A54 5G vs Pixel 7a

Intro


If you are looking for a budget Android phone in 2023, these are two of the options that stand out the most: the $450 Samsung Galaxy A54 5G and the $500 Google Pixel 7a.

But what are the differences and which of these two is a better choice?

The Galaxy A series upgrades the processor, which was the big pain point previously and adds a premium glass-back design, improved cameras and the familiar Samsung user interface with the longest software support on a mid-range Android phone.

The Pixel, on the other hand, is even faster with a true flagship-grade processor, even more capable cameras, and a clean version of Android that many prefer.

Google Pixel 7a (128GB) at Amazon

One of the best budget phones is still available for purchase at Amazon. You can now get the Pixel 7a at its standard price. The Google phone is available in limited quantities at Amazon.

Google's Pixel 7a: save $100 with Activation

The 128GB Pixel 7a is also available as a fully unlocked device at Best Buy without any discounts. Alternatively, tie your phone to a carrier with Best Buy's help and save $100 on the Google phone.

Galaxy A54 is available on Amazon

The Galaxy A54 is also available at Amazon. Here, the smartphone sells at its standard price, but trade-ins can unlock up to $260 off in the form of Amazon Gift Card.

Let's explore these two in more detail!

Galaxy A54 5G vs Pixel 7a in a nutshell:
  • Galaxy has better screen
  • Galaxy a bit larger
  • Pixel has faster chip
  • Pixel cameras win
  • Galaxy has longer software support
  • Galaxy has faster charging speeds
  • Pixel has wireless charging

Table of Contents:

Design and Display Quality

The Pixel is made of plastic, while the Galaxy has a glass back


When it comes to design, the Galaxy A54 5G looks a lot like Samsung's flagship S series with those separate camera lenses on its back and it now features a glass back, an upgrade from previous generations that were made out of plastic.

The Pixel also has its own signature look with that camera bar on the back and we like that both phones have some character. We don't yet know much about the materials used on the Pixel, but the previous model had a plastic back and the new one might also have a plastic rear side.

Samsung Galaxy A54 5G
Dimensions

6.23 x 3.02 x 0.32 inches

158.2 x 76.7 x 8.2 mm

Weight

7.13 oz (202 g)

Google Pixel 7a
Dimensions

6 x 2.87 x 0.35 inches

152.4 x 72.9 x 9 mm

Weight

6.81 oz (193 g)

Samsung Galaxy A54 5G
Dimensions

6.23 x 3.02 x 0.32 inches

158.2 x 76.7 x 8.2 mm

Weight

7.13 oz (202 g)

Google Pixel 7a
Dimensions

6 x 2.87 x 0.35 inches

152.4 x 72.9 x 9 mm

Weight

6.81 oz (193 g)

See the full Samsung Galaxy A54 5G vs Google Pixel 7a size comparison or compare them to other phones using our Size Comparison tool.

The Pixel has IP67 water and dust protection rating, same as the Galaxy A54 5G, and both are just slightly less water resistant than IP68-rated flagships.

The Pixel comes in four color options: 
  • Charcoal
  • Snow
  • Sea
  • Coral


On the front, both have a screen with a discreet punch-hole selfie camera, but the borders around the screen are noticeably larger on the Galaxy and it also has a quite noticeable "chin". 

Display Measurements:



 
For biometrics, both rely on an optical type fingerprint scanner embedded in the display. We are hoping that the one on the Pixel 7a will be faster than in previous generations where it was sluggish and required a harder press to work.

Performance and Software

Pixel wins the performance battle thanks to Tensor G2


The Galaxy A54 5G is a step up from previous years with the new Samsung-made Exynos 1380 processor inside it, but it's still no match for the flagship grade Tensor G2 chip in the Pixel 7a.

In the US, the Galaxy A54 5G comes in only one version with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, while the Pixel 7a again looks better with 8GB of RAM and 128GB storage.

Performance Benchmarks:


Geekbench 6
SingleHigher is better
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G994
Google Pixel 7a1437
Geekbench 6
MultiHigher is better
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G2765
Google Pixel 7a3461
3DMark Extreme(High)Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G809
Google Pixel 7a1631
3DMark
Extreme(Low)Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G805
Google Pixel 7a1095
 
Keep in mind that the Galaxy A54 5G also has a microSD card slot for expandable storage, a feature missing on the Pixel 7a.

Another notable difference between these two is just in the software they run. The Galaxy sports Samsung's latest One UI 5.1 interface on top of Android 13, while the Pixel launches with a clean version of Android 13.

Both work similarly well and while there are a few exclusive features with the Samsung software, many people would actually prefer the cleaner and more refined look with the Pixel.

For software updates, Samsung deserves a lot of praise as it promises 4 years of major updates compared to just 3 years on the Pixel. The Pixel, however, will get those updates on day one, while you still have to wait for a few months until Samsung delivers its updates.

And as for connectivity, both phones have 5G with support for all major US carriers. Verizon being Verizon will launch a special mmWave version of the Pixel 7a at a higher, $550 price, though.

Camera

The Pixel 7a is the better camera


The Galaxy A54 5G comes with a triple camera system, while the Pixel 7a only features two rear cameras.

But don't let the number fool you: the third camera on the Galaxy is a macro camera that will see limited use, so effectively there are two cameras that you will be using most of the time on both phones.

The Pixel 7a jumps to a brand new 64MP Sony IMX787 sensor for the main camera, the first time we see this sensor on a Pixel. It uses quad pixel binning, so you effectively get 16MP photos out of it.

The Galaxy has the longer zoom range out of the two. You can take pictures at up to 10X zoom, while the Pixel maxes out at 8X zoom.

Main Camera



These two have a very different approach to colors and processing: the Pixel goes for a more realistic look while the Galaxy favors very vibrant and saturated colors, and also a brighter overall shot, even if that means burning out some of the white of the clouds. 


In the second shot, the difference in colors is not all that striking, but the skies definitely get a boost in saturation and the whole Galaxy image has that typical over-sharpened "smartphone look".


In this third shot, however, the Pixel goes for a slightly darker exposure than ideal, and we actually prefer the overall look of the Galaxy photo.


Both these phones do an excellent job capturing photos in low light with the main camera. The Galaxy favors a slightly colder tonalities, which we think are a bit more realistic and it has a good amount of detail, while the Pixel goes with slightly warmer colors. We did notice the Galaxy was a bit slower taking photos as the camera interface is just not as well thought out as on the Pixel, but in terms of pure quality, both do a great job.

Zoom Quality



Both phones do a good job with zoom quality considering they don't actually have a dedicated zoom lens.


At 2X however, we prefer the image out of the Pixel as both colors and detail look cleaner and more defined.

Ultra-Wide



We were surprised to see this picture captured on the ultra-wide Galaxy camera. It looks so different from the main camera! You definitely have that disconnect in colors and the ultra-wide camera on the Samsung phone is not nearly as good as the Pixel 7a ultra-wide shooter.


While night time photos with the main camera look similarly good on both phones, the ultra-wide camera on the Galaxy does not support night time mode so pictures on it come out practically useless and incredibly dark, while the ultra-wide camera on the Pixel does an admirable job in low light. That's one big difference!

Portrait Mode



For portrait mode, you have a 1X and 2X modes on the Pixel and only a 1X mode on the Galaxy.

The quality out of the Pixel is not great since it uses a digital crop and detail appears mushy and noisy, even during the day. However, the Galaxy uses a wider field of view that just doesn't look good for portraits! My face looks way too big and almost comical on this picture.

We'd call this round a tie, but both aren't great.

Selfies



The Pixel gets much wider for selfies which is useful when you have a group of people, and it also has a better dynamic range while the Galaxy goes for a bright shot with burned highlights.


For the individual selfie under less harsh light, it's a close call. Both photos look good, but the Galaxy is actually great as it has more nuance, detail and a more accurate skin color rendering.

Video Thumbnail

When it comes to video quality, both phones can record 4K video, but the Galaxy has really poor video stabilization which makes the Pixel a better phone for video.

In low light, footage from the main camera on the Galaxy actually has less noise than the Pixel, but the moment you move just a little bit you notice the lack of proper video stabilization and that is a huge distraction. You really need to stand still to avoid these issues, so despite the Pixel having more noise, it has by far better stabilization and also handles highlights better, so it gets the win.

Both have some limitations too. The Galaxy only supports 4K at 30 frames per second, while the Pixel can shoot 4K30 and 4K60. When switching to 4K60 video on the Pixel, however, you cannot use the ultra-wide camera (it's only available for 4K30 recordings).

The Galaxy, on the other hand, has longer zoom in video, reaching 10X, while the Pixel only goes to 5X video zoom.

Audio Quality and Haptics


Both phones rely on a main bottom firing speaker and a secondary speaker located in the earpiece for audio output.

Recommended Stories
However, the Pixel 7a has a lot more punch than the Galaxy! You have clear highs and a boomier sound profile, while the Galaxy sounds a bit quiet even at maximum volume. Pixel wins this round.

You will not find a 3.5mm headphone jack on either of these phones.

Battery Life and Charging

Galaxy has the theoretical advantage


The Galaxy A54 5G comes with a 5,000 mAh battery, slightly larger than the 4,385 mAh cell on the Pixel.

This gives the Galaxy a sizable advantage in battery life.

Web Browsing(hours)Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G16h 11 min
Google Pixel 7a15h 27 min
Video Streaming(hours)Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G7h 44 min
Google Pixel 7a9h 7 min
3D Gaming(hours)Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G5h 46 min
Google Pixel 7a4h 20 min

In our battery tests, the Galaxy comes on top with our lightest web browsing test, but the Pixel has the longer battery life while streaming YouTube videos and by a good margin.

For 3D Gaming, the Tensor G2 on the Pixel shows its weaker side as the phone scores merely 4 hours and 20 minutes, one of the lowest scores we have seen recently, so this phone is definitely not recommended for gamers.

Full Charge(hours)Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G1h 21 min
Google Pixel 7a1h 59 min

The Galaxy supports 25W charging speeds, while the Pixel is maxes out at just 18W, which definitely puts it at a disadvantage if you care about a fast top-up. It takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes to charge the Galaxy compared to nearly two hours on the Pixel.

In terms of wireless charging, the Galaxy simply doesn't have it, while the Pixel 7a does but at pretty slow speeds of merely 7.5 watts. Still useful for overnight charging, though.

Specs Comparison


Take a look at the main specs differences between the Galaxy A54 5G and the Pixel 7a laid out below:


Don't forget that we have an in-depth Samsung Galaxy A54 5G vs Google Pixel 7a specs comparison with more details about individual features like 5G band support, so check that out too.

Summary



At the end of the day, these two are clearly among the best budget phones to buy in 2023.

The Pixel 7a has the faster performance, better main camera quality and wireless charging support, while the Galaxy on the other hand has slightly longer battery life, faster wired charging speeds and should get one extra year of Android updates.

Don't forget about the difference in software too as the Galaxy comes with Samsung's custom One UI skin which is its own look, while the Pixel runs on a clean version of Android with a different styling.

So... which one would you go for?

Recommended Stories

Loading Comments...
FCC OKs Cingular\'s purchase of AT&T Wireless