Samsung recently launched its new Galaxy A series devices, and following the launch, we got our hands on the Samsung Galaxy A34 5G.
While it’s usually the flagship Galaxy S lineup that gets a lot of attention, the Galaxy A series is actually a bigger seller for Samsung given their more affordable price points while still retaining premium features. Though the latest Galaxy A series is quite different.
Gone is the A7x phone, and now, the Galaxy A54 is the top-end model in the series. Complementing it is the Galaxy A34, a phone that promises to be an awesome partner for everyday use, all without the flagship-level price tag.
Of course, we still needed to test it before we can give it a recommendation. So, is the A34 a worthy mid-range option? Here’s what we think.
To start off our review, let’s take a look at the phone’s design. While many smartphone brands go for an eye-catching look with shiny finishes, Samsung went with something a bit simpler for the A34 as it has a plastic finish in various bright colors. While it seems like a matte finish, it does shine a bit when there’s some light.
This design style is something that Samsung also went with for the flagship Galaxy S series. But for some reason, while the flagship S line still looked sleek and premium, the A34 isn’t as eye-catching.
Make no mistake, the A34 doesn’t look or feel cheap, but it’s fair to say that it has more of a “fun” style than a premium and sleek one. Personally, I still rather like the look, though users who want a phone that will really stand out in the crowd may be a bit disappointed.
Moving to the front, we have the phone’s AMOLED display. Interestingly, the phone has a waterdrop notch at the top instead of a holepunch notch. This shouldn’t be an issue for most users, but it does make it look ever so slightly dated, especially as most mid-range phones today have holepunch notches.
That’s not much of an issue though. But what is a bit more glaring is the width of the bezels. While it still goes for an all-screen look, the bezels on the phone look noticeably thick, meaning it may seem like a phone that’s more of an affordable mid-ranger than a premium device. Again, this shouldn’t be an issue for most users, especially when it comes to actually using the phone. But for those who prioritize a smartphone’s looks, the design choices that Samsung went for with the Galaxy A34 isn’t ideal.
Speaking of its front, the phone has a 6.6-inch Super AMOLED display with an FHD+ resolution, a 120Hz refresh rate, and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection. It also gets incredibly bright with a max brightness of 1,000 nits.
Samsung phones are generally great when it comes to watching movies and shows, and the Galaxy A34 does not disappoint. Thanks to the AMOLED panel, the phone produces vibrant colors and deep blacks, making it excellent for binge-watching movies, TV series, and anime. Plus, even when you’re outside on a sunny day, the screen gets bright enough that you won’t have any problems watching videos.
As for audio, the phone has a dual speaker setup, giving you proper stereo sound; not to mention that even when gaming, you won’t be in danger of blocking the audio which is what happens with single-speaker devices.
Quality-wise, the phone’s speakers are impressive. Even at max volume, the audio is clear, not to mention that it has surprisingly good bass response. Of course, the speakers aren’t as good as Galaxy S devices, but it is a lot better than other phones at its price point.
The Galaxy A34 is powered by a Mediatek Dimensity 1080 processor that’s paired with 8GB of RAM. Samsung’s A series has been powered by different processors over the years. Though typically, Snapdragon-powered A-series phones are good while Exynos A-series devices are more of a mixed bag.
Thankfully, the Dimensity 1080 does not disappoint, especially when it comes to gaming performance.
For today’s popular games like Wild Rift or Call of Duty: Mobile, the Galaxy A34 performs well as it can play these games at the High graphics settings smoothly and with no issues. Even after playing for around an hour, the phone did not slow down.
What also helps is that the Dimensity 1080 is a 5G SoC, meaning users can take advantage of faster speeds and lower latency offered by 5G connections (if they live in a place with good 5G connectivity that is).
As for more demanding games, the Galaxy A34 has enough power to run them, albeit not at max settings. Take for example, Diablo Immortal ran with no issues at the Low graphics preset, though only at 30FPS.
As expected, its processor isn’t enough to max more demanding titles, but for those who don’t want to spend upwards of PHP 50k for a phone, the Galaxy A34’s performance should be more than adequate.
Geek Photoshoot Capabilities
For its shooters, Samsung equipped the Galaxy A34 with a 48MP main + 8MP ultra-wide + 5MP macro triple rear camera setup, as well as a 13 MP selfie shooter.
While the main camera having 48 megapixels may seem a bit odd given that many mid-range phones have 50-100, megapixels aren’t everything as the main shooter still delivers quality images.
In daytime, the phone’s main camera captures quality images with lots of detail and fairly accurate colors. Most users will likely not be disappointed by the main camera’s performance when there’s a lot of light.
At night, the camera can also take pretty good low light photos when using the Night Mode. Though you may want to manually activate the Night Mode though as it’s not consistent in deploying it when shooting in auto. Of course, Auto Mode shots are still good even at night, but the Night Mode photos retain a lot more detail.
Meanwhile, the ultrawide camera can capture nice photos in daytime, but at night, using the Night Mode is a must as the ultrawide can struggle when there’s not a lot of light.
Most phones today have 2MP macro cameras, but Samsung has a 5MP macro shooter. This means you can take brighter and clearer macro photos, even when indoors. For other phones, being outdoors is a must as 2MP shooters aren’t typically able to take good photos when only indoor lighting is used.
Finally, the 13MP selfie camera is reliable for getting good photos for social media sharing. Though you will have to take note about how you position yourself or the camera as the image processing isn’t flagship-level, meaning you can get blown-out selfies when taken against-the-light.
When it comes to everyday performance, the Galaxy A34 will not disappoint as it ran smoothly and snappily during our time with it. Even if you use it for some photo/video editing, the A34 won’t slow down.
The phone performing well is expected given the good gaming performance, but what is worth highlighting is the OS. While Samsung phones from nearly a decade ago had slow software (I wouldn’t want to go back to TouchWiz ever), Samsung’s One UI has quickly become one of our favorite phone OSes, and it also works well with the A34. Aside from looking good, One UI is easy to navigate and has a lot of helpful features. Not to mention that it doesn’t make the phone slow.
As a bonus, Samsung guarantees that the Galaxy A34 will get four major Android updates, meaning the phone won’t become obsolete even after years of use. This is definitely nice to have, especially considering other mid-range phones don’t get guaranteed updates past the two-year mark
Finally, the phone’s 5,000mAh battery delivers all-day use on a single charge, meaning you can leave your power bank behind when out and about. Though the phone’s fast charging could be, well, faster as it’s only 25W.
Final Geek Lifestyle Verdict
The Galaxy A34 5G is an interesting phone as it has some key areas where it excels, while others leave a bit to be desired. Specifically, the phone has a class-leading display, great performance, and everyday reliability. As a bonus, it also has four years of promised updates, which is a lot better than many phones that it competes with.
On the flip side, the A34’s design isn’t the most premium or eye-catching out there. Plus, its cameras don’t really have a killer feature. So, if these two are your priority, you’re going to have to weigh your options carefully.
But if you prioritize display, performance, and reliability, the Samsung Galaxy A34 is worth picking up even at its PHP 19,990 price tag. After all, the phone should be a great partner for years to come given its capable processor and generous update plan.
Samsung Galaxy A34 5G specs:
- Mediatek Dimensity 1080 octa-core processor
- 6/8GB RAM
- 6.6-inch Super AMOLED display, 120Hz
- 128/256GB storage (expandable up to 1TB via microSD)
- 48MP main + 8MP ultra-wide + 5MP macro triple rear cameras
- 12MP front camera
- 3G, LTE, 5G, WiFi, Bluetooth
- IP67 dust & water resistant
- Fingerprint scanner (under-display)
- 5000mAh battery with 25W fast charging
- Android 13 with One UI 5.1
- Price: PHP 19,990