Flagship phones are expensive, even on contract, but there are less expensive options that are just as good. The Galaxy A34 from Samsung is a great example of this. It looks very similar to the flagship S23, especially in the Awesome Lime colour reviewed here, but it costs less than half the price at INR 35,599.
Many people find that the A34 is all they need because it has a great screen, a long battery life, good performance, as well as taking perfectly decent photos. Since it’s a Samsung, the phone will receive software and security updates for years to come.
Price and Availability
The Galaxy A34 costs INR 35,599 direct from Samsung, as well as from Amazon, Argos, and Currys. You can also pay an extra 5k for a 256GB model, though only Samsung appears to offer the larger-capacity model in all colours. The Galaxy A34 is not yet available, but its bigger brother, the Galaxy A54, is. It costs INR 36,900 from Samsung or INR 36,900 from carriers such as AT&T, Verizon, T Mobile, and US Cellular.
|Chipset||MediaTek Dimensity 1080 MT 6877V|
|No of cores||8 (octa core)|
|Resolution||1080 x 2340 pixels|
|Display Type||Super AMOLED|
|Colour Reproduction||16M Colours|
|TouchScreen||Yes, Capacitive, Multi-Touch|
|Rear camera setup||Triple|
|Rear Camera||48MP(Primary), 8MP(Secondary), 5MP(Tertiary)|
|Front camera||13 MP Resolution|
|Flash||LED Rear flash|
|Video Resolution||3840×2160 @ 30 fps|
|Camera Features||Auto FlashAuto FocusFace detectionTouch to focus|
|Battery Type and capacity||Li-ion, 5000 mAh|
|Fast Charging||Yes, 25W|
|Internal memory type||128 GB|
|Operating System||Android v13|
|Custom UI||Samsung One UI|
|SIM Configuration||Dual SIM|
|GPS||Yes with A-GPS|
|Fingerprint sensor||Yes, On-screen|
|Other Sensor||Light SensorProximity SensorAccelerometerCompassGyroscope|
Build and Design
The A34 is a large phone, which seems to be the norm for most mid-range phones these days. It measures 161.3 x 78.1 x 8.2mm and weighs just under 200g, which is slightly larger than the Galaxy A54.
Despite the plastic, it feels great in the hand and appears much more expensive than it is. Much of its allure stems from its resemblance to the S23, and most people will assume you have Samsung’s latest and greatest model at first glance. The black bezel around the screen is almost the same thickness on all sides, and the selfie camera is centred symmetrically. Even after its curved profile, the frame’s edges are a little sharp.
Although it is becoming more common, a few years ago you would not have been able to expect a screen this good on a mid-range phone. It has a 6.6in AMOLED display with a refresh rate of 120Hz. This means that scrolling is extremely smooth and colours are vibrant and it’s also very bright. Samsung claims it can reach 1000 nits of brightness, and it’s certainly easier to see outside than many phones, especially at this price.
Although it does not have the highest resolution available, Full HD+ is enough to make everything look sharp and detailed.
The Galaxy A34 also has stereo speakers, one of which is almost invisible at the top of the phone. However, they are well balanced and loud at full volume, making them ideal for watching videos or listening to podcasts, but not so much for music with little bass.
Specs and Performance
In an unusual move, Samsung chose a MediaTek processor over one of its own Exynos chipsets for the Galaxy A34. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since the Dimensity 1080 provides plenty of power and makes the A34 feel quick and responsive generally. There is no stuttering when swiping between home screens or navigating menus. And, like the A54, it supports 5G. It’s not a gaming powerhouse, but it has enough grunt for most games, even if you have to lower the detail levels slightly to get smooth frame rates.
A dual-SIM tray is located on the top edge. One of the slots can also be used to increase the 128GB (or 256GB) storage capacity by up to 1TB. If you want to use two SIM cards, make sure they both support 5G.
The A34’s triple lenses resemble those on the Galaxy S23, they cover a less impressive set of sensors than Samsung’s flagship.
Unsurprisingly, the main camera produces the best images. Photos taken outside in bright light are detailed and sharp. Indoors, the sharpness fades, and subjects, such as children and pets, must remain still if they are not to become blurred.
When it comes to low-light photography, the A34’s cameras are not as good as the best phones. The selfie camera has a noticeable beautifying effect by default, but you can turn it off if you prefer a more natural appearance. The 13Mp camera doesn’t produce a lot of detail, but it will help you hide some wrinkles.
The video mode is set to 1080p at 30fps by default, and videos shot in this mode are fine, with good stabilisation and reasonable audio quality.Changing these settings is risky: 1080p at 60fps footage lacks stabilisation, and the situation gets worse when you switch to 4K.
The battery in the Galaxy A34 is 5000mAh, which is standard for most Samsung phones. Due to the Dimensity chipset consuming little power, this is a phone that can last two days if not heavily used. PCMark for Android reported a battery life that was nearly identical to the Galaxy A54 at 10 hours 59 minutes. The phone will “fast charge” if you have a 25W charger and the supplied cable. Expect a 15-20% charge in about 15 minutes, a third in about 30 minutes, and a full charge in about two hours.
The Galaxy A34 is an excellent mid-range phone, especially if you want a Samsung at a lower price than an S-series model. You could always get last year’s flagship at a steep discount by purchasing a refurbished phone, or you could look at our roundup of the best mid-range phones to see what Chinese manufacturers have to offer at a comparable price. For the same or less money, you can get a phone with a faster processor, a charger (also faster), and a case.