Samsung Galaxy A54 review

GSMArena Team, 30 March 2023.

Android 13 and One UI 5.1 is a nice combo

The Galaxy A54 runs Android 13, augmented by Samsung's One UI, in its latest 5.1 incarnation. Samsung promises "up to" 4 years of OS upgrades and 5 years of security patches. That's more or less the flagship treatment - the S23s run the same combo and gets the same update policy.

Samsung Galaxy A54 review

In any case, you'd be getting the same looks as higher-end Galaxy models, minus some of the more niche features. The list of proprietary Samsung features that the S series have and the A54 doesn't is shorter than on the A14 - essentially, only DeX is missing.

You can choose between a few clock styles of the Always-on Display or opt for an Image Clock. Music info is also supported. The AoD can be always-off, always-on, scheduled, shown only when new notifications are available, or you can opt for tap-to-show for 10s.

Always-on Display - Samsung Galaxy A54 review Always-on Display - Samsung Galaxy A54 review Always-on Display - Samsung Galaxy A54 review Always-on Display - Samsung Galaxy A54 review
Always-on Display

The under-display fingerprint reader will likely be the primary method of unlocking for most, but you can still use face unlock either instead of or alongside it. It can be more convenient in certain situations, but it generally is less secure since it's just using the selfie camera. You can have the fingerprint icon displayed on the AoD or not, and you can have the reader itself always on or only available after you wake up the screen.

Security options - Samsung Galaxy A54 review Biometrics - Samsung Galaxy A54 review Fingerprint settings - Samsung Galaxy A54 review Fingerprint settings - Samsung Galaxy A54 review Fingerprint enrollment - Samsung Galaxy A54 review
Security options • Biometrics • Fingerprint settings • Fingerprint settings • Fingerprint enrollment

The experience when dealing with the fundamentals is straightforward and familiar. The app drawer, notification shade, recent apps, lock screen and home screen, are all business as usual, as is the general Settings menu.

The accent color palette is automatically generated based on your wallpaper, and the system gives you a wide choice of color combinations and that palette can also be applied to app icons.

One UI 5.1 basics: Lockscreen - Samsung Galaxy A54 review One UI 5.1 basics: Homescreen - Samsung Galaxy A54 review One UI 5.1 basics: App drawer - Samsung Galaxy A54 review One UI 5.1 basics: Notifications - Samsung Galaxy A54 review One UI 5.1 basics: Quick settings - Samsung Galaxy A54 review One UI 5.1 basics: Task switcher - Samsung Galaxy A54 review
One UI 5.1 basics: Lockscreen • Homescreen • App drawer • Notifications • Quick settings • Task switcher

Widgets can now be stacked, and you can switch between stacked widgets with a simple swipe. Keep in mind that not all widgets support stacking, so app developers might have to get around that pretty soon.

Stacked widgets - Samsung Galaxy A54 review Stacked widgets - Samsung Galaxy A54 review Stacked widgets - Samsung Galaxy A54 review Stacked widgets - Samsung Galaxy A54 review Stacked widgets - Samsung Galaxy A54 review
Stacked widgets

Modes and routines, a feature similar to Apple's Focus, is present on the Galaxy A14 5G's Core build too. You can choose a mode based on what you are doing right now and execute certain actions, change sound profiles, display settings, notifications, etc. For instance, the driving Routines profile can be set up to turn on DnD mode and launch Spotify automatically, for example. You can even trigger certain Routines with actions of your choice, such as turning on the hotspot or airplane mode.

Modes and routines - Samsung Galaxy A54 review Modes and routines - Samsung Galaxy A54 review Modes and routines - Samsung Galaxy A54 review Modes and routines - Samsung Galaxy A54 review Modes and routines - Samsung Galaxy A54 review Modes and routines - Samsung Galaxy A54 review
Modes and routines

Familiar proprietary Samsung features include the Edge panels - the panes that show up when you swipe in from the side and provide tools and shortcuts to apps and contacts. Game launcher, the hub for all your games, also provides options for limiting distraction when gaming is here to stay as well. An in-house Gallery app and a proprietary file manager are both present, as well as Samsung's Internet web browser. Split-screen multitasking is also an option.

Edge panel - Samsung Galaxy A54 review Game Launcher - Samsung Galaxy A54 review Gallery - Samsung Galaxy A54 review File manager - Samsung Galaxy A54 review Split-screen - Samsung Galaxy A54 review
Edge panel • Game Launcher • Gallery • File manager • Split-screen

Performance and benchmarks

One of the more significant upgrades the Galaxy A54 brings is the chipset. Samsung's in-house Exynos 1380, manufactured on a 5nm process, comes with a more powerful CPU and GPU compared to the Exynos 1280 that powered the A53. A case could be made that the A54 simply returns things to the baseline set by the A52s (Snapdragon 778G), which the A53 downgraded from, but if we put a one-year limit on our memory, the A54 is a step up.

Samsung Galaxy A54 review

So the CPU here has a two-cluster arrangement with 4x Cortex-A78 cores clocked at up to 2.4GHz and another 4x Cortex-A55 rated at up to 2.0GHz. The E1280's CPU has the same types of cores, ticking at the same frequencies, only it's a 2+6 setup - so multi-core CPU-intense tasks should benefit from the new chipset. For reference, the SD778G in the A52s has a 1+3+4 core setup, with 4 A78s and 4 A55s, with altogether slightly lower frequencies.

The GPU that's part of the E1380 is a Mali-G68 MP5 - that's 1 more MP than the A1280's GPU, indicating an extra core.

Memory configurations start from 128GB of storage and 6GB of RAM, and top out at 256GB/8GB. Our review unit is the medium option - 128GB/8GB.

Samsung Galaxy A54 review

Indeed, it takes a quick look at the GeekBench results to notice that the A54 is more or less on par with the A52s, both ahead of the A53. The Galaxy is bested by the Nothing Phone (1) and the Xiaomi 13 Lite in both single-core and multi-core testing, and such is the case with the Pixel 6 ('a' or otherwise) too, with the Google phones having a substantial advantage under single-core load. The Galaxy does beat both lower-end Motorolas though, the Moto G82 and the Edge 30 Neo.

GeekBench 5 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Motorola Edge 30 Fusion
    1073
  • Google Pixel 6a
    1047
  • Google Pixel 6
    1030
  • Xiaomi 12T
    925
  • Realme 10 Pro+
    842
  • Nothing Phone (1)
    820
  • Xiaomi 13 Lite
    795
  • Galaxy A34
    781
  • Galaxy A52s 5G
    771
  • Galaxy A54
    770
  • Galaxy A53 5G
    743
  • Moto G82
    671
  • Motorola Edge 30 Neo
    670
  • Nokia X30
    663
  • OnePlus Nord 2T
    491

GeekBench 5 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi 12T
    3756
  • Motorola Edge 30 Fusion
    3458
  • Nothing Phone (1)
    3024
  • Xiaomi 13 Lite
    2936
  • Google Pixel 6
    2899
  • Google Pixel 6a
    2876
  • Galaxy A52s 5G
    2801
  • OnePlus Nord 2T
    2790
  • Galaxy A54
    2703
  • Realme 10 Pro+
    2371
  • Galaxy A34
    2316
  • Moto G82
    1977
  • Motorola Edge 30 Neo
    1964
  • Nokia X30
    1920
  • Galaxy A53 5G
    1891

GeekBench 6 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • OnePlus Nord 2T
    1107
  • Galaxy A34
    1034
  • Galaxy A54
    1008
  • Galaxy A53 5G
    947
  • Xiaomi 13 Lite
    938

GeekBench 6 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • OnePlus Nord 2T
    3350
  • Galaxy A54
    2797
  • Galaxy A34
    2518
  • Xiaomi 13 Lite
    2434
  • Galaxy A53 5G
    1941

The generational relationship between the last three A5x phones remains the same in Antutu, where the A54 is essentially tied with the A52s, while the A53 is trailing. The Xiaomi, Nothing, and Google phones are ahead of the A54 by various margins, though the Edge 30 Neo and Moto G82 are still behind the Galaxy.

AnTuTu 9

Higher is better

  • Motorola Edge 30 Fusion
    827929
  • Xiaomi 12T
    780204
  • Google Pixel 6a
    712092
  • Google Pixel 6
    676831
  • OnePlus Nord 2T
    604467
  • Nothing Phone (1)
    592789
  • Xiaomi 13 Lite
    534143
  • Realme 10 Pro+
    522376
  • Galaxy A54
    506678
  • Galaxy A52s 5G
    506432
  • Galaxy A34
    472126
  • Nokia X30
    403732
  • Motorola Edge 30 Neo
    380818
  • Moto G82
    380812
  • Galaxy A53 5G
    379313

The advantage of an extra GPU core over the predecessor shows in graphics benchmarks, where the A54 results correlate essentially precisely to the number of GPU cores - the A54's numbers are 25% higher. It's somewhat amusing that the A52s still has a slight edge, two year's later. Similarly to the other tests, the Galaxy proves more powerful than the Motos but not as good as the Phone (1), the Xiaomi 13 Lite, or the Pixels.

GFX Aztek ES 3.1 High (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Google Pixel 6a
    47
  • Google Pixel 6
    46
  • Motorola Edge 30 Fusion
    43
  • OnePlus Nord 2T
    31
  • Nothing Phone (1)
    23
  • Xiaomi 13 Lite
    23
  • Galaxy A54
    19
  • Galaxy A52s 5G
    19
  • Galaxy A34
    17
  • Realme 10 Pro+
    16
  • Galaxy A53 5G
    15
  • Moto G82
    12
  • Motorola Edge 30 Neo
    12
  • Nokia X30
    12

GFX Aztek ES 3.1 High (offscreen 1440p)

Higher is better

  • Google Pixel 6
    30
  • Google Pixel 6a
    29
  • Motorola Edge 30 Fusion
    26
  • OnePlus Nord 2T
    22
  • Nothing Phone (1)
    15
  • Xiaomi 13 Lite
    15
  • Galaxy A54
    13
  • Galaxy A52s 5G
    13
  • Realme 10 Pro+
    11
  • Galaxy A34
    11
  • Galaxy A53 5G
    10
  • Moto G82
    7.9
  • Nokia X30
    7.9
  • Motorola Edge 30 Neo
    7.8

GFX Aztek Vulkan High (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Google Pixel 6
    43
  • Google Pixel 6a
    39
  • Motorola Edge 30 Fusion
    35
  • OnePlus Nord 2T
    29
  • Nothing Phone (1)
    23
  • Xiaomi 13 Lite
    23
  • Galaxy A52s 5G
    20
  • Galaxy A54
    19
  • Galaxy A34
    16
  • Realme 10 Pro+
    15
  • Galaxy A53 5G
    15
  • Moto G82
    13
  • Motorola Edge 30 Neo
    12
  • Nokia X30
    12

GFX Aztek Vulkan High (offscreen 1440p)

Higher is better

  • Google Pixel 6a
    32
  • Google Pixel 6
    30
  • Motorola Edge 30 Fusion
    23
  • OnePlus Nord 2T
    20
  • Xiaomi 13 Lite
    17
  • Nothing Phone (1)
    16
  • Galaxy A52s 5G
    14
  • Galaxy A54
    13
  • Realme 10 Pro+
    10
  • Galaxy A53 5G
    10
  • Galaxy A34
    10
  • Moto G82
    8.2
  • Motorola Edge 30 Neo
    8.2
  • Nokia X30
    8.2

GFX Car Chase ES 3.1 (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Motorola Edge 30 Fusion
    62
  • Google Pixel 6
    57
  • Google Pixel 6a
    51
  • OnePlus Nord 2T
    40
  • Nothing Phone (1)
    33
  • Xiaomi 13 Lite
    33
  • Galaxy A52s 5G
    28
  • Galaxy A54
    25
  • Galaxy A34
    23
  • Realme 10 Pro+
    21
  • Galaxy A53 5G
    19
  • Nokia X30
    17
  • Moto G82
    16
  • Motorola Edge 30 Neo
    16

GFX Car Chase ES 3.1 (offscreen 1080p)

Higher is better

  • Google Pixel 6
    66
  • Google Pixel 6a
    66
  • Motorola Edge 30 Fusion
    63
  • OnePlus Nord 2T
    50
  • Xiaomi 13 Lite
    39
  • Nothing Phone (1)
    37
  • Galaxy A52s 5G
    33
  • Galaxy A54
    31
  • Realme 10 Pro+
    27
  • Galaxy A34
    26
  • Galaxy A53 5G
    23
  • Moto G82
    21
  • Motorola Edge 30 Neo
    20
  • Nokia X30
    20

GFX Manhattan ES 3.1 (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Google Pixel 6
    90
  • Motorola Edge 30 Fusion
    82
  • Google Pixel 6a
    60
  • Xiaomi 13 Lite
    59
  • Nothing Phone (1)
    58
  • OnePlus Nord 2T
    56
  • Galaxy A52s 5G
    49
  • Galaxy A54
    46
  • Galaxy A34
    41
  • Realme 10 Pro+
    38
  • Galaxy A53 5G
    35
  • Moto G82
    30
  • Nokia X30
    30
  • Motorola Edge 30 Neo
    29

GFX Manhattan ES 3.1 (offscreen 1080p)

Higher is better

  • Google Pixel 6
    117
  • Google Pixel 6a
    116
  • Motorola Edge 30 Fusion
    81
  • OnePlus Nord 2T
    80
  • Nothing Phone (1)
    65
  • Xiaomi 13 Lite
    64
  • Galaxy A52s 5G
    56
  • Galaxy A54
    52
  • Realme 10 Pro+
    45
  • Galaxy A34
    44
  • Galaxy A53 5G
    38
  • Motorola Edge 30 Neo
    35
  • Nokia X30
    35
  • Moto G82
    34

3DMark Wild Life Vulkan 1.1 (offscreen 1440p)

Higher is better

  • Google Pixel 6
    6832
  • Google Pixel 6a
    6066
  • Motorola Edge 30 Fusion
    5797
  • OnePlus Nord 2T
    4577
  • Xiaomi 13 Lite
    2969
  • Nothing Phone (1)
    2921
  • Galaxy A54
    2818
  • Galaxy A52s 5G
    2491
  • Galaxy A34
    2313
  • Galaxy A53 5G
    2292
  • Realme 10 Pro+
    2252
  • Nokia X30
    1214
  • Moto G82
    1211
  • Motorola Edge 30 Neo
    1201

The A54 was also very consistent under sustained GPU load, with both the Wild Life and Wild Life Extreme stress test returning essentially constant results for the entirety of the 20-minute runs.

The phone wasn't quite as rock-solid under prolonged load on the CPU, however. The choppy graph in the CPU Throttling test isn't pretty to look at and suggests potentially inconsistent performance, while the dip to 54% of the maximum result is among the lowest ones we've seen.

CPU Throttling test - Samsung Galaxy A54 review 3DMark Wild Life stress test - Samsung Galaxy A54 review 3DMark Wild Life stress test - Samsung Galaxy A54 review
CPU Throttling test • 3DMark Wild Life stress test

Reader comments

Bought about 1week ago and updated to one uib6.0 right away, everything works fine, no serious hating except playing high graphic games for prolonged...

  • BorsaSincabi
  • 07 Feb 2024
  • a4C

Yes, its better than One UI 5.

Not found a problem with the camera better than all the others I have had to put up with