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Samsung provides Google more competition in the affordable phone market with the recently announced $450 Galaxy A54 5G. Launching on April 6, the phone will be available for pre-order from March 30, representing Samsung’s latest effort to capture the mid-range smartphone market.
The Galaxy A54 5G has a lot in common with last year’s Galaxy A53 5G. That phone punched above its weight in many ways, aside from its sometimes laggy performance, as I wrote in my review. Both phones have a matching 5,000 mAh battery Galaxy S23 Ultra in capacity, a screen with a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate and 128GB of storage expandable up to 1TB. They also have very similar screen sizes, with the Galaxy A54’s measuring 6.4 inches, making it just slightly smaller than the Galaxy A53’s 6.5-inch screen. International prices were not immediately available. But the Galaxy A53 5G had the same US price at launch, listing for £399 and AU$699 in the UK and Australia respectively.
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The biggest changes Samsung has made to its new phone have to do with the camera. The Galaxy A54 5G has a 50-megapixel primary camera instead of the Galaxy A53’s 64-megapixel main sensor, although both phones have a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera and a 5-megapixel macro camera. Samsung instead seems to be focusing on night photography with the Galaxy A54 5G, although we won’t know how much of an improvement to expect until we’re able to try it out. The company also says that the pixels in the Galaxy A54 5G’s sensor are larger than those in the Galaxy A53 5G’s camera, and therefore requires fewer megapixels. Like its predecessor, the Galaxy A54 5G also has a 32-megapixel front-facing camera, but Samsung ditched the rear-facing 5-megapixel depth camera.
The Galaxy A54 5G will run on an Exynos 1380 processor, which sounds like it could be the successor to the Exynos 1280 chip in last year’s phone. I’m curious to see if this chip makes a difference, as performance was one of my few complaints about the Galaxy A53 5G. Like other recent Samsung phones, the Galaxy A54 5G will receive four generations of Android OS updates and five years of security updates.
Video: Galaxy A53 5G review: Samsung’s $450 phone feels more expensive than it is
Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S devices and its foldable phones may attract the most attention, but the company’s A-series devices have built a serious following. Two of Samsung’s A-series devices, the Galaxy A13 and Galaxy A03, made it into Counterpoint Research’s rankings of the best-selling phones of 2022, while the Galaxy S series was nowhere to be found.
The launch comes as Google has been competing more aggressively with Samsung on price in recent years. Google has its own A-series devices that offer some features from their flagship Pixel line at a more affordable price. The $450 Pixel 6A, for example, is one of the best-looking phones in its price range and inherits Google’s Tensor processor from the Pixel 6. It also offers a superior camera compared to the Galaxy A53 5G when taking photos in bright or low light. surroundings. Google launched the Pixel 6A last July after announcing it at its developer conference in May, so there’s a chance it could launch a successor in the coming months.
In addition to its A-series phones, Google is also selling its flagship Pixel phones for significantly less than the list price of Samsung’s new Galaxy S phones. For example, the Pixel 7 starts at $600, while the Galaxy S23 starts at $800 without a trade-in discount.
Still, Samsung dominates the US Android phone market, accounting for 20% of shipments in the fourth quarter of 2022, compared to Google’s 5%, according to Counterpoint Research.
The Galaxy A54 5G is also another sign that you no longer have to pay close to $1,000 to get features like a multi-lens camera and a display with a high refresh rate. It builds on a theme that has been prevalent throughout the industry in recent years, especially on Android devices, as once-premium features like 5G, bigger screens and advanced cameras have trickled down to cheaper devices.
And while Apple released a third generation of iPhone SE last year for $429, competing with Samsung and Google’s mid-range offerings, the company is not expected to update its cheaper iPhone in 2023. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that a fourth iPhone SE is under development, but it is not expected to arrive until 2024.