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Samsung Galaxy A34: What’s lit & what needs the extra spark

As flashy and advanced as the Samsung Galaxy S series is, the true bread and butter of the company is the Galaxy A series. Phones like the Samsung Galaxy A34 are the ones that not only get attention but also draw in money for the company. And so, Samsung tries to pack as much value as possible into these devices.

The most obvious way that Samsung does this is by bringing in a design that has been a hit with its flagship devices. While it maintains a more vibrant color palette than its more premium siblings, the floating camera design on the S23 series is also now available in the A series. And I wanted to talk more about this aspect of the phone and what makes this device great, a.k.a. What makes it lit and what needs that extra spark! Let’s dive right into this!

What’s lit: Samsung Galaxy A34’s design

I have seen comments on our stories and videos about their unhappiness with Samsung’s decision to bring the S series’ signature look into the A series. Mainly, because they had to pay more for the same design. But if you are within the price bracket that can only afford the A series, you’re getting a great deal. Because honestly, it’s so hard to tell these phones apart.


Replying to @2097lb Guessing game: Which one is the Samsung Galaxy A54, A34, S23+, and S23? #SamsungGalaxyA54 #SamsungGalaxyS23Plus #SamsungGalaxyA34 #SamsungGalaxyS23 #littmedia #techtok

♬ Time Off – starRo & Kyle Dion

But there are definite differences between these phones. The Samsung Galaxy A34 doesn’t get the glass back like its more expensive Galaxy A54 sibling. Instead, you get a plastic back and frame, and its 6.6-inch display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5. The feel in the hand of the A series phones is different from the S series. But I’m more fond of the iridescent finish that the A34 has than even what I see on the S23. Then again, this is more of a personal preference you might not agree with, but I am more partial to the more vibrant colors of this line.

What needs the extra spark: Samsung Galaxy A34’s design

The Samsung Galaxy A34 is also bulky. But since it’s made with plastic, it doesn’t seem as heavy as the S23 series. I’m also reminded that this is a non-premium Samsung phone because it still sports a waterdrop notch and thicker bezels around the display. These features aren’t going to detract from your day-to-day use, but they are reminders of what phone components manufacturers think certain segments should get. It makes the Galaxy A34 look a bit dated, which we don’t want from a smartphone in 2023.

One modern-day addition is its lack of a headphone jack. It joins that long line of current smartphones that are doing away with this essential port. Thankfully, it gets a stereo speaker setup so you can still enjoy your music or your content louder than your typical mono-speaker-toting smartphone. But if you are reliant on wired headphones or earbuds, unfortunately, you can’t use that here.

What’s lit: Vibrant display & power efficiency

I’m not particularly picky about display quality but you are pretty much guaranteed a good visual experience on the Samsung Galaxy A34. You get an FHD+ Super AMOLED screen that now supports a 120Hz refresh rate. And it reaches a pretty good 1000 nits maximum brightness. This is more than enough for many smartphone users. I can turn it up really bright if I need to use the phone on a bright, sunny day, and then it can also go really low. So, if I’m trying to sneak a peek at my phone at night, I can see what’s on the screen without blinding my eyeballs.

Our smartphone experiences are going to be vastly different, so I can’t say if you will be able to replicate the results I got. But I was able to comfortably get around a day and a half or more with the Galaxy A34. That typically includes a lot of content consumption, social media browsing, and very light gaming sometimes. This could be attributed to both the processor (MediaTek Dimensity 1080) and the work Samsung has done to improve the 5,000mAh battery. Samsung claims it got up to 21 hours of video playback when compared to the 18 hours of its predecessor.

What needs the extra spark: Letting go of essential accessories

I’m not pleased that Samsung has brought its idea of not including a charger into its midrange segment. I know Samsung talks to us about this through the lenses of being eco-friendly and sustainable move. But I’m still of the belief that you should give your consumers an option if they want to get a free adapter instead of using it as an opportunity to sell them a charger separately.

What’s lit: Camera basics + extras

It’s not my favorite Samsung device to use for photography, given I’ve been spoiled by the quality produced by the S23 series. But if you’re a bit more patient and love to get creative, you can still get a lot out of this. It helps that you get some signature features here Samsung typically reserves for its more expensive phones (like its photo remastering tool and object eraser).

The Samsung Galaxy A34 drops its depth sensor but keeps the same rear camera setup as the A33 (48-megapixel main, 8-megapixel ultra-wide, and 5-megapixel macro cameras) along with a 13-megapixel selfie camera.

Samsung focuses on improved video digital image stabilization (VDIS) for less shaky videos, better night photography skills, and upgraded AI capabilities. That last one is especially obvious when you check out the picture you just took. The photos produced by this phone still carry that typical Samsung look of them being slightly oversaturated. If you’ve seen photos taken on a Samsung phone before, you’d know what to expect.

I like that Samsung keeps to the basics in its Camera app for the most part. But I do love the little edition of fun features (like built-in Snapchat filters and custom stickers) that would certainly appeal to the younger crowd or the young and silly at heart.

What (sort of) needs the extra spark: Low-light photography & object eraser

While night photography is a focus of the Samsung Galaxy A34, it’s admittedly not my favorite implementation given some other phones I’ve seen perform within its price bracket. But when it gets it right, it does turn out great. (I feel like it does videos in low light better, especially since it can produce pretty stable videos even handheld!) This phone encourages you to experiment with the different camera modes to get those low-light shots that you want.

As for the object eraser tool, this feature won’t replace photo editing suites just yet. It’s not going to come out looking natural in busy backgrounds, but it’s also another feature that comes in handy if your background is more neutral. The upside of this software feature is it can be updated to get better. And I hope Samsung continues to develop it.

Samsung Galaxy A34: Price and availability

Samsung isn’t increasing the price for the Galaxy A34 (compared to last year’s Galaxy A33 5G), so here’s how much it’ll cost:

  • 8GB + 256GB – PHP 21,990 (around USD 401)
  • 8GB + 128GB – PHP 19,990 (around USD 365)

The phone is available in Awesome Graphite, Awesome Purple, and Awesome Lime. We were told that the lime option will be coming later as an exclusive online offer.

Samsung Galaxy A34: Final thoughts

If you want a long-lasting phone that looks more expensive than it is, the Samsung Galaxy A34 is vying for your attention. On top of that, it’s one you can use to enjoy your favorite content or get work done. It’s not my first choice for camera capabilities at its price point, but if you are a loyal Samsung user, you’ll get the signature camera features and a bit more thanks to that S series connection.

What do you think of the new Samsung Galaxy A34? Let us know on social media!