Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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Samsung Galaxy F54 5G Review: The Marathon Runner

The sub-Rs. 30,000 smartphone segment in India seems to be the current sweet spot for many companies, and we’ve had some stand-out launches in the past couple of months. Another recent entry vying for your attention is the Samsung Galaxy F54 5G, which boasts of a big battery and a high-resolution main camera. Samsung’s F series has always been about delivering the best possible battery life and this time, the company claims to have upped its design quotient as well. There are a lot of good phones in this segment including the company’s own Galaxy A34 5G (Review), so can the new Galaxy F54 5G make its mark felt?

Samsung Galaxy F54 5G price in India

Samsung has launched just a single variant of the Galaxy F54 5G in India with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, priced at Rs. 29,999. However, if you happened to book it earlier during pre-launch promotions, then you probably would have gotten it at a discount.

Samsung Galaxy F54 5G design

From the back, the Samsung Galaxy F54 5G looks similar to its A-series sibling but comes in different colours — Meteor Blue and Stardust Silver. The design of the rear cameras mimics the style of Samsung’s more expensive S23 series. Unlike the Galaxy A34 5G, the Galaxy F54 5G has a more modern looking hole-punch cutout in the display. It’s also on the thicker side and you’l definitely feel the 199g of heft. While the frame is plastic, the front and back panels get Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for scratch and shatter protection.

The Samsung Galaxy F54 5G misses out on stereo speakers, which I think is a big omission in this day and age. There’s no official IP rating of any kind either. The power button is flat and includes a fingerprint sensor, which works very well. The phone also has expandable storage via the hybrid dual-SIM tray.

The display on the Samsung Galaxy F54 5G is bright and vivid. It’s a 6.7-inch AMOLED screen with a full-HD+ resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. The latter is not adaptive, which means the display always refreshes at either 120Hz or 60Hz, even on the Always-on lockscreen.

samsung galaxy F54 5g first look gadgets360 ww

The flashy Stardust Silver colour of the Samsung Galaxy F54 5G might not be for everyone

 

The overall ergonomics of the Samsung Galaxy F54 5G are very good. It’s comfortable to hold and use thanks to the rounded edges of the frame and the three rear camera bumps don’t protrude too much.

Samsung Galaxy F54 5G specifications and software

The Samsung Galaxy F54 5G features a relatively recent Exynos 1380 SoC and as we’ve mentioned in our first impressions article, it’s built on a 5nm process and supports a total of 10 5G bands. The phone also supports Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC, and a massive 6,000mAh battery. The latter can be charged up to 25W but you’ll need your own charger as Samsung doesn’t provide one in the box.

Samsung’s software game has gotten pretty strong of late and the Galaxy F54 5G has been promised four years of OS updates and five years of security updates, which is as good as it gets. The phone ships with One UI 5.1 based on Android 13 and this includes all the usual shortcuts, gestures and customisation options we’ve seen on recent Samsung phones. You can enable floating notifications, one-handed mode, experimental features in the Labs section, and various Edge panels. Preinstalled bloatware apps are present but most of these can be removed.

Samsung Galaxy F54 5G performance and battery life

The Samsung Galaxy F54 5G manages to get the basics right, by offering a relatively smooth and fluid Android experience. I did notice some minor stutter in certain animations, such as when exiting the Edge panel on the homescreen, but by and large, the phone copes well. The display gets sufficiently bright for outdoor use, touch response is good, and viewing media is a pleasant experience. The single speaker is the only downer here but for what it’s worth, it does get loud enough for alerts.

Samsung’s new Exynos SoC isn’t too bad and performs along the same lines as the MediaTek Dimensity 1080 SoC, found in the Galaxy A34 5G. As for benchmarks, the Galaxy F54 5G scored 4,52,104 points in AnTuTu (v10), while its Geekbench numbers were 1,018 and 2,838 for the single and multi-core tests, respectively. It’s no match for the more powerful SoCs found in the Motorola Edge 40 or even the Poco F5 5G which are available at around the same price, but it can handle mid-level gaming.

samsung galaxy F54 5g first look sides gadgets360 ww

The Samsung Galaxy F54 5G is a bit chunky and heavy

 

Asphalt 9 Legends and Honkai Impact 3rd ran well with good graphics, while Off Road 4×4 Driving Simulator also managed steady framerates at the highest visual settings. One thing worth noting is that the Galaxy F54 5G does get warm rather quickly when gaming and certain areas of the back panel can get hot to the touch.

Battery life is the main selling point of the Samsung Galaxy F54 5G. On average, one should easily be able to squeeze out almost two full days of use with one full charge; more if you use the phone frugally. It ran for 22 hours, 51 minutes in our HD video loop test, which is exceptionally good. Charging it fully from empty takes about an hour and a half or a bit more, depending on the charger being used.

Samsung Galaxy F54 5G cameras

The Samsung Galaxy F54 5G boasts of a primary 108-megapixel sensor with optical stabilisation (OIS). This is accompanied by an 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera and a 2-megapixel macro camera. For selfies, you get a 32-megapixel front-facing camera which supports up to 4K video recording.

Images captured by the main camera are pixel-binned down to 12-megapixel photos by default, although you do have the option to capture a full 108-megapixel image too. In daytime, landscape shots looked good with natural colours, pleasing HDR and good details. Close-ups were sharp with punchy colours, although the Scene Optimiser tended to boost the colours of certain things such as foliage, the sky, etc. Digital zoom is only up to 10X and the quality of photos at this level is weak. The macro camera can be useful for extreme close-ups but the colours it produces are a bit dull.

Samsung Galaxy F54 5G main camera sample (tap to see full size)

Samsung Galaxy F54 5G close-up samples (tap to see full size)

Samsung Galaxy F54 5G main camera samples in low light (tap to see full size)

 

In low light, the main camera is quite impressive as it manages good exposure and details. If you have Scene Optimiser enabled, Night mode is engaged automatically based on ambient lighting. I was surprised to find that Night mode worked even when shooting at the full 108-megapixel resolution.

Daylight shots from the ultra-wide camera were pretty decent. Barrel distortion was tackled well and images had a pleasing colour tone. You have to manually switch to Night mode if you need to use it for the ultra-wide camera, as it doesn’t automatically engage for some reason. There’s a big difference in exposures with and without Night mode, and details are overall much weaker compared to the main camera.

Samsung Galaxy F54 5G ultra-wide camera samples (tap to see full size)

 

The selfie camera pixel-bins images down to 12-megapixels too, and you can capture a full 32-megapixel image if needed. Image quality is decent in daylight with natural skin tones once you disable the face beautification filters. This camera isn’t the strongest in low light as selfies appear grainy, even when using Night mode.

collage samsung f54 selfie samples ww

Samsung Galaxy F54 5G selfie camera samples (tap to see full size)

 

The Samsung Galaxy F54 5G can record up to 4K resolution videos, but the catch is that there’s no stabilisation. This isn’t an issue if you’re stationary and recording, but the moment you walk about, the footage looks shaky. The quality is pretty decent even in low light. If you want stabilisation, then you’ll have to drop to 1080p 30fps. At this resolution, you can switch between the main and ultra-wide cameras even while recording. Video quality from the ultra-wide camera is quite average and isn’t very good in low light.

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy F54 5G is a decent all-rounder of a smartphone but finds itself in a rather sticky situation at the moment. Samsung’s very own Galaxy A34 5G is also available at roughly the same price and offers similar system and battery performance, along with stereo speakers, IP67 rating, and an in-display fingerprint sensor — all of which are missing on the Galaxy F54 5G. If you absolutely need the largest possible battery or a very high-resolution camera, then I can see the merit in going with the F54 5G. For everything else, I think the Galaxy A34 5G offers better value.

As I stated at the start of this review, there’s no shortage of good smartphones in this segment and you can check them all out here, in our latest smartphone guide.


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