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Samsung Galaxy F54 review: It’s all about that big battery

The Samsung Galaxy F54 is a good mid-range device that features an excellent display, software and top-of-the-line battery life

The recently launched Samsung Galaxy F54 is priced at an introductory offer of  <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>27,999.
The recently launched Samsung Galaxy F54 is priced at an introductory offer of 27,999. (Photo by Sahil Bhalla)

Looks can be deceiving. That’s what I experienced with the recently launched Galaxy F54 mid-range device from Samsung. The Galaxy F series, in my opinion, has typically been the weakest in Samsung’s lineup. As I unboxed the device, I was ready to make a snap judgement and reconfirm that statement. I’m not a fan of shiny and glossy phones (which are fingerprint magnets) and hence I was ready to ‘judge a book by its cover’ and give it a negative rating.

Over 15 days later, I’d say that the Galaxy F54 has proven me wrong. Samsung’s most premium Galaxy F series device is here to slay (as a mid-range battery champion).

It’s all about 5G in 2023 and Samsung is pushing several smartphones, at different price points, to give consumers the maximum amount of options. It was first the turn of the Galaxy A series phones (Galaxy A34 and Galaxy A54) and now it is the Galaxy F54. The Galaxy F54 is priced at 27,999 (an introductory offer) and is pushing the boundaries of a Galaxy F series device while also somewhat blurring the lines between Samsung smartphones.

With all that said, I think Samsung has done the right thing by pushing out a Galaxy F series smartphone just shy of 30,000. This gives the consumers the choice of something premium, yet affordable, with features borrowed from its more expensive cousins.The Galaxy F54 is aimed at a younger audience. It’s all about performance.

The Galaxy F54 in a nutshell

- Powered by the Exynos 1380 chip (borrowed from the Galaxy A54).

- A 6.7-inch Super AMOLED display (with a 120Hz refresh rate, 1080x2400 pixel resolution and a 20:9 aspect ratio).

- A mega 6,000mAh battery.

- Runs Android 13 (with OneUI 5.1).

- Up to 8GB RAM and 256GB of storage.

- 25W wired charging.

- Weighs 199 grams and is 8.4mm thick.

- The triple-camera setup on the back consists of a 108MP primary sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide camera and a 2MP macro sensor.

- There’s a 32MP selfie camera on the front.

- Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the front.

It’s all about that big battery

Imagine this: You’re on an overnight trip to Jaipur and you’ve left your charger at home. You’re dreading at the thought of your phone’s battery emptying out and you having no access to GPS and Instagram. Fret not. With a mixed usage of calls, WhatsApp, checking and replying to emails, constant checking of GPS, small photography sessions, browsing Instagram and Chrome tabs, and one round of Call of Duty: Mobile, the Galaxy F54 was able to last for a day and a half before it went blank.

It’s not a 6,000mAh battery champion, but it’s up there. I routinely got about seven hours of screen-on-time, and sometimes even more. Charging the phone though, is slow, as is the case with most Samsung smartphones. It takes over two hours to fully charge from 0-100 percent.

The reason I say that the Galaxy F54 isn’t a battery champion is because of the chipset. While the Exynos 1380 chipset performs far better than its predecessors, it’s still lacking in one area: efficiency. Hence it’s not extracting the most out of the 6,000mAh battery as it should.

Nonetheless, the Galaxy F54 exceeded my expectations in terms of performance. It came as a surprise. Samsung has done some excellent work in optimising the device. I experienced close to zero lag while navigating through the user interface and multitasking between apps. With the 120Hz refresh rate, it was smooth sailing while flipping between one Instagram Reel to another.

It’s been a pleasant experience playing games on the Galaxy F54. With the right optimisation of the Exynos 1380, the Galaxy F54 is able to handle many games at 90 fps frame rate. The smartphone does tend to heat up during extended gaming sessions or when clicking hundreds of photos in a short span of time.

The Galaxy F54 comes with Samsung’s OneUI 5.1 (based on Android 13) software and has all the bells and whistles one can ask for.
The Galaxy F54 comes with Samsung’s OneUI 5.1 (based on Android 13) software and has all the bells and whistles one can ask for. (Photo by Sahil Bhalla)

An excellent display, a surprisingly decent mono speaker, and more

Samsung has been at the forefront of smartphone displays on the Android side for quite some time. The Galaxy F54 is no exception. The 6.7-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED display is quite good. It has punchy colours, great black levels, 800 nits of peak brightness, great viewing angles and Gorilla Glass 5 protection.

Despite featuring a mono speaker, the Galaxy F54 outperforms in the audio department. The speaker gets plenty loud, has clear vocals, and has a nice punch to it. Yes, I did miss the stereo speaker setup that I’ve become accustomed to in many other phones, but I wouldn’t say I was disappointed. It just gets the job done. Sadly though, there’s no 3.5mm headphone jack for the audiophiles.

The Galaxy F54 comes with Samsung’s OneUI 5.1 (based on Android 13) software and has all the bells and whistles one can ask for. There’s just one omission, but that’s fine given the price: DeX support. It’s a fluid Android skin and works just as intended.

Samsung has promised four major OS upgrades on the Galaxy F54. It’s the first Galaxy F series smartphone to be eligible for Samsung’s software update policy.

Call quality is good, both on the earpiece and the loudspeaker. Connection to mobile networks also wasn’t a problem for the Galaxy F54.

Where I was disappointed: the camera

The Galaxy F54 isn’t the first Samsung mid-range phone with a 108MP primary sensor. By now, Samsung should have learnt how to optimise this sensor.

In good daylight scenarios, the phone produced detailed shots with good dynamic range and accurate and punchy colours. It’s just that, in most other conditions, the camera fails to live up to the market. In the past few years, the competition in the camera department has been fiercely fought by smartphone manufacturers. Samsung has fallen a little behind here with the Nothing Phone (1), Google Pixel 6a, and other smartphones available for under 30,000 coming with much better camera setups.

The ultra-wide camera was just about useable. In daylight conditions, it’s good and sometimes beats the competition, but in low-light conditions, it falls way behind. The 2MP macro camera was of no use, as the picture quality was terrible and it was hard to get a close-up of any subject despite dozens of attempts. Samsung might as well have not included it here. To be fair, most macro cameras are pretty terrible.

The Galaxy F54 borrows a lot of camera tricks from its more expensive cousins. There’s the Fun mode (you can use Snapchat stickers in Samsung’s Camera app), Pro photo and Pro video modes, Single Take, Super slow-mo and even Astro hyperlapse.

While the rear camera setup is nothing to write home about, I was surprised by the 32MP front-facing selfie camera. The resulting selfies were great for sharing on social media. They came out clean and without any noise.

Verdict: Pleasantly surprised

All-in-all, the Galaxy F54 is a good mid-range device from Samsung. It’s a good 5G smartphone for the average consumer. It’s got an excellent display, an optimised chipset, great user experience, and top-of-the-line battery life.

Yes, the POCO F5 and some other competitors’ smartphones may have better specifications and perform better in real-life usage, but they don’t match up to the experience that Samsung provides with its OneUI Android skin. Samsung is going great with software, and constantly improves them with updates at fast intervals.

The absence of fast charging, stereo speakers and an IP rating make this smartphone a tricky recommendation outright. But at 27,999, the Galaxy F54 is deserving of being a serious option in your shopping basket.

Sahil Bhalla is a Delhi-based journalist

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