The Samsung Galaxy A34 5G has been launched as the company's new mid-range offering in India. It packs some value-for-money hardware such as a triple-camera setup, 120Hz AMOLED display, and a design that is synonymous with the flagship Samsung Galaxy S23 (Review) series. The Samsung Galaxy A34 5G takes on the likes of the Nothing Phone (1) (Review), Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G (Review), to name a few. With all that is on offer, should you consider buying the Samsung Galaxy A34 5G, or should you consider its alternatives? Here is our full review to help you find out.
Samsung Galaxy A34 5G price in India
The Samsung Galaxy A34 5G has been launched in two storage options in India. The variant that we have features 128GB of storage and is priced at Rs. 30,999. There is also a 256GB storage option priced at Rs. 32,999. Both configurations offer 8GB of RAM as standard.
Samsung Galaxy A34 5G design and display
The Samsung Galaxy A34 5G comes in multiple colour options. We have the Awesome Lime colour, which has shades of green and yellow with a frosted finish on the back. The bright colour helps hide fingerprints and smudges. Both, the rear panel and frame are made of plastic, which helps keep the weight at 199g. While the rear panel is flat, the curved edges of the frame offers a good in-hand feel.
The Samsung Galaxy A34 5G is perhaps the most affordable smartphone in the company's currently lineup with an official IP67 rating. This means that the phone should survive when submerged under 1 metre of water for about 30 minutes, which gives some assurance if you were to, say, use the phone outdoors on a rainy day.
Samsung Galaxy A34 5G's lime colour does not attract as many fingerprints and smudges.
The rear panel's array of three circular cutouts for the camera setup makes the Galaxy A34 5G look like the flagship Samsung Galaxy S23 5G. However, the waterdrop notch at the top of the display does give the phone a dated look. The screen is flat and has fairly narrow bezels around it.
What makes up for the notch is a bright 6.6-inch full-HD+ AMOLED display which offers vivid colours. The viewing angles are quite good and I did not experience any issues while consuming content outdoors. Unfortunately, there is no HDR10+ certification but you do get Widevine L1 DRM for streaming full-HD and above video content in apps such as Netflix.
The Samsung Galaxy A34 5G's display also offers a 120Hz refresh rate. There is no smart-switch option and you can either set the refresh rate at 60Hz or 120Hz, all the time. There is also an in-display fingerprint scanner, which is fairly quick at authentication.
Samsung Galaxy A34 5G specifications and software
The Samsung Galaxy A34 5G features a MediaTek Dimensity 1080 SoC which we have seen in the Realme 10 Pro+ 5G (Review) and Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G. The SoC is paired with 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of UFS 2.2 storage. There is also support for up to 8GB of virtual RAM, which Samsung calls RAM Plus. The device packs a 5,000mAh battery with 25W wired fast charging support. However, you do not get a charger in the box.
In terms of software, the Samsung Galaxy A34 5G boots One UI 5.1, which is based on Android 13. One UI has a reputation for being quite smooth and offers a good amount of features. One UI 5.1 offers support for Android's Material You design, which can match the system icon and UI colours to that of the wallpaper. It also gives users the option to adjust the font size and style.
Samsung Galaxy A34 5G will get five years of software support
During the review, there were times I noticed some stutter when switching between apps. Apps loaded quickly and RAM management was also quite good. Hopefully, the choppiness while switching between apps gets fixed in future software updates. Samsung has promised to provide four major Android updates and security support for five years, which is currently the best in the segment.
The Samsung Galaxy A34 5G comes preinstalled with a bunch of Samsung's native apps and Amazon. You can choose to uninstall the unwanted apps. Also, Glance comes preinstalled by default on the phone, however, this ad-heavy lock screen can be disabled too if needed.
Samsung Galaxy A34 5G performance and battery life
The Samsung Galaxy A34 5G features quite a capable SoC which can handle routine tasks easily. I also played games for about 30 minutes straight and the device did not heat up. Call of Duty: Mobile ran quite well at 'Max' frame rate and with 'Low' graphics quality. There were times when I noticed frame drops at hot-drop spots, so it's not the best for heavy gaming but does not choke when playing less-intensive games. For instance, Asphalt 9: Legends did not show any sign of lag or stutter.
Coming to benchmarks, the Samsung Galaxy A34 5G scored 4,72,767 points in AnTuTu. In comparison, the Nothing Phone (1) with a Snapdragon 778G+ SoC scored 6,05,375 points when we reviewed it. The Redmi Note 12 Pro+ and Realme 10 Pro+ scored 4,38,678 and 5,04,626 points, respectively.
Samsung Galaxy A34 5G has an optical fingerprint scanner
In Geekbench 6, the Galaxy A34 5G scored 1026 and 2456 points in the single-core and multi-core tests. The Realme 10 Pro+ scored 934 and 2615 points, whereas the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G scored 841 and 2241 points, respectively.
The Samsung Galaxy A34 5G can last a full day on a single charge. With a little bit of gaming and other routine tasks in the mix, the phone gave me an average screen-on time (SoT) of about 8 hours and 50 minutes over a week-long usage. The phone lasted for 20 hours and 2 minutes in our HD video battery loop test, which is quite impressive. The Galaxy A34 5G does not ship with a charger in the box. I used my MacBook Pro's 67W charger, with which, it took about 1 hour, 30 minutes on average to charge from zero to 100 percent.
Samsung Galaxy A34 5G cameras
The Samsung Galaxy A34 5G has a triple-camera setup. It features a 48-megapixel primary camera with support for optical image stabilisation (OIS), an 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera and a 5-megapixel macro camera sensor. For selfies, there is a 13-megapixel sensor.
The primary camera captures good details and well-exposed shots. However, the colours are a bit on the saturated side. If you have a taste for vibrant colours, the Galaxy A34 5G's camera could save you some editing time for your social media posts. In low light, the camera exposes the subject well but there is a loss of details around the edges and darker areas of the scene.
The main camera's portrait mode also offers a creamy background blur with good subject segmentation in most cases. However, human subjects tend to get a slightly fairer skin tone.
Samsung Galaxy A34 5G primary camera samples (Top to bottom: Photo Mode, Night Mode, Portrait Mode)
Images taken by the ultra-wide camera usually have distorted edges and boosted colours. Daylight images are good but in low light, details are soft and it introduces noise around the edges. The macro camera is quite good but you need to get a hang of the focusing distance, not to mention have very steady hands.
Samsung Galaxy A34 ultra-wide and macro camera samples
The selfie camera is not as consistent as the rear camera. At times, it gets the skin tone right but on occasion, photos had muted colours. Dynamic range performance is quite good though. In portrait mode, the front camera also blurs out the background quite accurately.
Samsung Galaxy A34 5G front camera samples (Photo mode, Portrait mode)
The Samsung Galaxy A34 5G supports up to 4K 30 fps video recording, but its Super Steady mode works only up to 1080p 30fps. The front camera can shoot at 1080p/ 4K 30fps. Video footage from both, the front and rear main camera, produce good details and dynamic range. When there's harsh light in the background, you'll have to compromise on the dynamic range a bit to get a well-exposed subject.
The Samsung Galaxy A34 5G is like any other classic Samsung mid-range phone — not very heavy on specifications, but offers a good experience overall. It even mimics its flagship cousin, the Galaxy S23, in terms of design. The phone also gets an IP67 rating, which is a rarity in sub-Rs. 30,000 smartphone. It also has a good display and performance unit that are capable enough to get most tasks done. Battery life is quite impressive. Colours in photos are often a subjective choice, but the Galaxy A34 5G manages decent performance in general.
The lack of a charger in the box is becoming standard across all Samsung smartphones and the Galaxy A34 5G is no different. While the software is feature-rich, a bit more work seems to be needed in order to make the UI experience more fluid.
If you are a gamer, the Poco F5 (First Impressions) could possibly be a better choice around this price thanks to the more powerful SoC. There is also the slightly old but still relevant Nothing Phone (1) (Review) which offers a unique design, reliable performance, and clean software.
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