Samsung’s Galaxy A14 5G has been a highly anticipated release, touted as the cheapest 5G phone the company currently sells. With an attractive design and marketing claims of affordability, it’s no wonder this phone has been the talk of the town. However, as I discovered after purchasing it for myself, the Galaxy A14 5G is easily one of the worst budget phones you can get right now. In this review, I will explain why I was so utterly disappointed in this phone and why you should not waste your hard-earned money on it.
The base variant of the Galaxy A14 comes with only 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, which is simply not enough for Samsung’s One UI in 2023. A minimum requirement of 6GB RAM and 128GB storage is necessary for a decent smartphone experience in the first place. Additionally, Samsung does not even offer some basic accessories like a power adapter, pre-applied screen protector, and clear case inside the box. All of these add-ons contribute to the final cost, ultimately washing away Samsung’s cheap 5G phone under 15,000 Indian rupees marketing claims.
Let’s start with the design. The Galaxy A14 5G takes visual cues from Samsung’s flagship S23 series and combines them with ridges to create a cool-looking phone, especially in the light green option. The side frames are slightly curved, making the fingerprint scanner more accessible and improving the grip. However, when you flip the phone 180 degrees, the thick bezels and water drop notch look outdated, even for a budget phone in 2023. Additionally, the display is nothing impressive at this price point. While an AMOLED screen is quite common, you only get a PLS screen here, which is Samsung’s equivalent of an IPS panel. Although the colors and viewing angles are quite good for an LCD screen, it’s nowhere near an AMOLED panel.
Another downside of the Galaxy A14 is its single bottom-firing speaker, which means that the device lacks a rich stereo output for music and movies.
The Galaxy A14 5G’s performance is a bit trickier. The Exynos 1330 chip powering this phone looks capable on paper, as powerful as the Exynos 1280 found on last year’s premium mid-range phones like the Galaxy A53 and A33. However, raw power is essentially useless if the processor has not been optimized enough to make the most out of it. This lack of optimization is something I have experienced in many Samsung phones before, including the Galaxy A33 and A53, and unfortunately, I got to relive all that on the Galaxy A14. While it’s good enough for small lightweight tasks like phone calls, messages, and web browsing, pushing it a little further by bringing some multitasking into the mix is when the phone starts showing its true colors. The phone occasionally starts trying to switch between different apps, and it would also take a bit longer to open big apps and games. The lack of proper optimization continues in the gaming arena too. For instance, PUBG Mobile maxes out at just 30 FPS, even at the lowest graphics option. Out of all the games tested, only Call of Duty played nicely with this latest Exynos chip, and the A14’s cooling solution is not that effective either, which means the phone cannot stay in the same level of performance for longer sessions.
On the software side, the Galaxy A14 ships with the new One UI 5 Core, and although Samsung promises two years of Android and four years of security updates for this phone, its base variant is not going to age as well as you would imagine. Its base 4GB RAM and 64GB storage configuration is pretty much useless unless you plan to use this phone for just calls and texts. Out of the 64GB storage, the system takes around 15 GB, and the remaining 50 GB is not going to be enough given how resource-hungry modern apps have become.
Let’s talk about the cameras. The Galaxy A14 sports a triple camera setup at the back consisting of a 50-megapixel primary, a 2-megapixel depth, and a 2-megapixel macro sensor. However, there is no ultrawide lens, which is a significant omission at this price point. The camera performance, the Galaxy A14 does a decent job, although it struggles in low light conditions. The portraits from this phone look better than the competition as the subject’s natural skin tone is retained. The 13-megapixel sensor produces decent selfies that come off quite slightly. However, the videography aspect is Half Baked, and the phone is limited to just 1080p 30 FPS videos from both the front and back cameras.
On the bright side, the battery life on the Galaxy A14 is quite good, with moderate usage lasting for a full day. However, the phone only supports 15-watt charging, which takes around two and a half hours for a full refill.
In conclusion, the Galaxy A14 5G is simply not an attractive value-for-money deal. While it has decent camera performance and battery life, it falls short in other critical aspects. There are better alternatives available at similar or lower price points, making it difficult to recommend the Galaxy A14.
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