The entire Galaxy A series of mid-range smartphones from Samsung for 2023 echoes some of the design language used in the Galaxy S series of flagship smartphones. Consider the Samsung Galaxy A34 as an example. It looks sleeker than its predecessor thanks to its minimalist rear camera layout which is identical to the Samsung Galaxy A54 and resembles the layout used in the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus. The only downside is the outdated teardrop notch on the front. This quick review article lists and describes the pros and cons of this new mid-range Android device from Samsung.
Pros of Samsung Galaxy A34: Reasons Why You Should Buy
A MediaTek Dimensity 1080 chip powers this mid-range device. This chip is based on a 6nm process and has an 8-core central processing unit and a Mali-G68 MC4 graphics processor. This device is available in three configurations: a 128GB with 6GB of RAM model, a 128GB with 8GB of RAM model, and a 256GB with 8GB of RAM.
The Galaxy A34 has a triple-camera setup on the back which includes 48MP main camera, an 8MP ultra-wide camera, and a 5MP macro camera. The specifications are similar to the rear cameras of its predecessor with the exception of a 5MP depth sensor.
Other notable features of this device include 5G connectivity via Sub-6 5G networks and the usual LTE Advanced and HSPA connectivity. It also uses USB Type-C 2.0 with support for an on-the-go or OTG adapter and cable. The screen is a 6.6-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels.
Below are the specific selling points of this mid-range smartphone:
• Smooth Overall Performance: The MediaTek Dimensity 1080 chip might not be on par with upper-level mid-range chips but it is the most suitable hardware for a device at this price point. The overall performance of the Galaxy A34 is reasonable enough for average usage. It can handle most apps and even run mobile games albeit at lower graphics settings.
• Big and Bright OLED Screen: Display is another strength of this device. The Super AMOLED screen has a peak brightness of 1000 nits. This makes the entire smartphone usable in bright outdoors. The display also has a density of around 390 pixels per inch to provide a sharper graphical interface. It also supports a high refresh rate of 120Hz that can be dialed down to 60Hz.
• Significant Camera Improvement: This new device takes brighter and sharper photos than the previous Galaxy A33. Dynamic range and low-light photography via night mode are also arguably better. It also records videos that are sharper, richer in detail, and more vibrant colors. The overall camera capabilities are decent for an affordable mid-range smartphone.
• Native AI Image Enhancer Features: Newer Samsung smartphones now come with an AI image enhancer. This device is no exception. This software-based and hardware-driven feature pack comes with Photo Remaster for reducing blur and noise or increasing image resolution, and an Object Eraser that allows users to edit out unwanted objects or elements in an image.
• Reasonable Random Access Memory: Another selling point of this device is its RAM. The base model comes with 6GB of RAM while the higher-tier ones come with 8GB of RAM. The base model might be enough for most users because this device has an extended RAM feature which can provide an additional 8GB of RAM using the solid-state storage.
• Durable Screen and IP67 Rating: The Samsung Galaxy A33 also has main durability features. A Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protects the OLED display. This glass can withstand survive drops from up to 1.2 meters onto rough and hard surfaces with 2x better scratch resistance. The IP67 rating confers it with dust resistance and water resistance of up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.
• Remarkable Battery Performance: Powering this device is a 5000 mAh lithium polymer battery. It has the same battery specification as the Samsung Galaxy A54 but real-world tests and uses have revealed that it has a battery life that can last for 2 days on a single charge. The Dimensity 1080 chip seems more power efficient than the more advanced Exynos 1380 chip.
• Dual SIM and Expandable Storage: It is interesting to note that Samsung retains the dual SIM with dual standby feature in this mid-range smartphone. The hybrid SIM feature has many practical use cases for some people. The unused second SIM slot can also be used for expanding the storage via a microSDXC card with support for up to 1TB of external storage.
• Long-Term Upgrade and Support: Another notable advantage of the Galaxy A34 over other mid-range Android devices is its long-term software upgrade and security support. Samsung promises to provide this device with 4 years of major operating system updates and 5 years of security patches. This provides additional value for money as it assures device longevity and usability.
Cons of Samsung Galaxy A34: Reasons Why You Should Not Buy
Remember that the Samsung Galaxy A34 is a mid-range Android smartphone. It is specifically a low-tier mid-range device. This means that its performance will somewhat lag behind more premium mid-range devices such as its more expensive sibling and other Android mid-rangers including the Nothing Phone 1 and the Google Pixel 7A.
One should not expect this phone to handle the most demanding tasks or apps. This device is capable but not as powerful as more expensive flagship smartphones and even mid-range devices with dedicated capabilities or unique selling points.
The overall design looks premium at face value but it still sports outdated design elements found in Android devices from 3 to 4 years ago. Other notable issues of the Samsung Galaxy A34 are the absence and exclusion of certain value-adding features and functionalities that can be found in its predecessors and other mid-range Android smartphones.
Below are the issues and limitations of this mid-range smartphone:
• Hardware Performance Limitation: The MediaTek Dimensity 1080 is a capable chip for average usage but it is not as powerful as high-tier mid-range chips. The device will struggle to run resource-intensive tasks such as photo editing and video editing apps. Users will also experience significant performance issues when playing video games at high graphics settings.
• Refresh Rate is Not Adaptive: Another drawback of the Galaxy A34 is its refresh rate setting. The display can be set to run on a 120Hz refresh rate for a smoother graphical user experience but it is important to note that a high refresh rate consumes more power. The setting can be dialed down to 60Hz to save battery but this is done manually. The refresh rate is not adaptive.
• No Headphone Jack and Charger: Perhaps, compared to the previous generations and most mid-range smartphones, another disappointing fact about this device is the absence of a headphone jack. A user must contend with using an adapter or wireless headphones. Samsung has also decided to ship this smartphone without a charger as part of its commitment to reduce electronic waste.
• Still Retains the Tear-Drop Notch: Samsung seems not too keen on replacing the tear-drop notch that houses the front-facing camera with a punch-hole design. This decision may stem from the need to cut costs while also differentiating this device from the Samsung Galaxy A54. However, considering other mid-rangers, the notch is an outdated design used in entry-level devices.
Samsung Galaxy A34 Review Verdict: The Good and the Bad
The Samsung Galaxy A34 might not be on par with the Galaxy A54 but it works as one would expect for a device with its spec sheet and relatively lower price tag. It has some notable drawbacks such as the absence of a headphone jack and the exclusion of a charger but it is still a capable daily driver for average smartphone users.