In this article, we will be reviewing Samsung’s Galaxy A34 5G. The A34 is an absolute bargain, offering a mid-range mobile experience with a punchy AMOLED screen, stereo speakers, a powerful chipset, and a large battery, all encased in a fully water-resistant frame. Let’s divi in read the specs.
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So, inside the box, you get one Galaxy A34 5G, a Type-C to Type-C USB cable, a SIM ejector pin, and, as usual, that’s it. No power adapters are included, so you will have to provide your own.
Samsung Galaxy A34 Design
I’ve been using the Samsung Galaxy A34 and I have no real issues with the way the A34 looks and feels. It looks suitably smart and well put together. One of the only real indicators that this is a more budget-friendly smartphone is the fact that you’ve got notch up top, which is exceedingly rare in 2023. Often, the selfie cams are housed in a little floating orifice thing. we’ve got fairly bezels surrounding that display, but no worse than the Google Pixel 7a, which costs $496.
The A34 is a 6.6-inch beast, especially with those bezels adding some extra girth, but it still feels comfortable to hold thanks to the rounded edges and corners. It’s not too chunky, as you can see. The frame is made of plastic, and if we flip it around, the back is constructed from glass. It’s kind of a weird glass-plastic hybrid that feels rather plasticky, but it has a smudge-resistant matte finish, unlike the shiny A54. So, I think I prefer this one. Seriously, you can touch a34 all day long, and it does occasionally get a bit smudgy, especially if you’ve had chicken wings for lunch or something. But a quick buffing, and it’s back to looking smart and neat.
This right in this review is the Violet model, which is pretty bold and in your face. You can also get the Samsung A34 in Silver, Graphite, and Lime. that Lime model is pretty tasty as well, but I already covered the Galaxy A54 Lime version, so I thought I’d mix it up a bit. And I do like how the color stays consistent, extending from the back end around to that frame.
Touch wood, the Galaxy A34 seems pretty sturdy as well. After a full week of use, there are no scratches or nicks on the back end or the frame, and nothing on that screen either. Though, as always, I’d recommend putting on a screen protector just to be sure. And I do love Samsung’s dedication to water resistance as well. The A34 is IP67 rated, so you can drop it into a sink or a bath, and it’ll be just fine.
Features and OneUI 5
So, the software won’t be surprising or shocking at all to Samsung smartphone fans. It’s Android 13 with Sumizo, not One UI 5.1 launcher slapped on top, like a great big splodge of whipped cream on top of a custard tart. Some people might really like that extra whipped cream, while others might think the custard tart was already tasty and sugary enough without it. I’m kind of somewhere in between.
There are some usual Samsung shenanigans that I’m not a fan of, such as the fact that they seem to have replicated every single Android service and app. So, Samsung has its own smart or map, NFC contactless payment service, health tracking app, store, AI assistant stuff that Android already does perfectly well. And of course, you might prefer the Samsung version, and that’s perfectly fine. Personally, I just think it’s redundant. But you can thankfully get rid of most of these Samsung apps if you don’t use them, with the exception of Bixby, which refuses to bugger off.
On the flip side, Samsung doesn’t mess with Android too much, so you still have the likes of the Google Discover feed and your apps tray, albeit in a slightly Samsung chunky format. You also have additional security and privacy tools on top of the already solid Android foundations, and I have no real complaints when it comes to that in-display fingerprint sensor. It’s not the fastest acting around, that’s for sure. Occasionally, it takes a couple of taps if you don’t quite get the pressure right. But like 19 times out of 20, you’ll tap your finger, and you’ll be into your desktop suddenly. If your fingers are wet or grubby, then you may have some real issues. Additionally, you have a reasonably dependable bit of Face Unlock to back up that fingerprint sensor. If you are wearing gloves or your hands are mucky, it tends to work alright, as long as you’re not in chunky light.
Speaking of wonky, I have noticed a little bit of jank here and there on the Samsung’s A34 in my first week with it. Nothing that has given me heart palpitations or anything, but for instance, I’ll go to turn off Do Not Disturb, and instead, the A34 will bring up the Bluetooth menu for some reason or just completely have a fit and crash on me. And I wouldn’t exactly say that One UI runs super fluidly either, but more on that when I talk about performance. But most of the time, the Samsung A34 has been behaving itself, and I’m sure some of these little bugs and quirks will be wiped out in future updates.
Speaking of which, Samsung is still one of the best manufacturers around when it comes to promising OS and security updates. You’re getting years of coverage from this thing, just like you would with a Google smartphone. There’s no worries there at all. And as I said, if you’re a fan of Samsung phones, you know what you’re getting here, all of the usual Samsung apps and services, just like you would if you were spending money on a Samsung flagship.
Samsung Galaxy A34 Display
If you happen to enjoy services like Disney+, Crunchyroll, and others, well, great news! The Samsung Galaxy A34 sports a gorgeous 6.6-inch Super AMOLED display. All the tech has become increasingly common at this mid-range price point, which is great to see. You can expect vibrant colors, deep blacks, and sharp contrast. Sadly, the A34 doesn’t seem to support HDR streaming, certainly not on platforms like Netflix. However, I still found the visuals to be pleasingly lifelike with sharp contrast and natural-looking colors when streaming content on platforms like Netflix and Disney+. The phone offers a Full HD+ resolution as well, ensuring that every photo and frame of every video is packed with fine detail.
Moreover, the brightness has been boosted compared to the previous generation, reaching around a thousand nits at maximum. I had no issues seeing the screen clearly even when using the phone outdoors with the sun shining directly on its shiny surface. This panel also supports a 120Hz refresh rate, making supported apps look exceptionally smooth, as long as the performance can keep up. It’s a bit odd having that nipple notch at the top, but thankfully, it doesn’t intrude too much into the content when watching in full-screen mode. However, it’s definitely not on par with the notch design of iPhones.
The Samsung Galaxy A34 also features a stereo speaker setup, which is quite impressive for this mid-range price point. The speakers are beefy and can keep you entertained wherever you go. And no, I’m not talking about the contents of my pants; I’m referring to the phone’s audio capabilities. When I was cooking in the kitchen with ventilation fans and other noises, I rarely had to resort to using headphones because the speakers on the Galaxy A34 are pretty loud and clear. The audio output remains respectable, with a reasonable balance between the top and bottom speakers, although the bottom speaker delivers slightly more sound. Unfortunately, the A34 doesn’t have a headphone jack, so it’s Bluetooth all the way. However, I had absolutely no issues streaming wirelessly to headphones or speakers from the smartphone. Additionally, you get full Dolby Atmos support, including an equalizer for adjusting the settings if desired.
Storage and Connectivity
Samsung offers models with either 128 or 256 gigabytes of storage, depending on your choice. I’ve been clearing some space by transferring my photos and videos taken with the Galaxy A34. However, a significant portion of the storage is occupied by the infamous game Genshin Impact, as usual. The great news is that the Samsung A34 allows you to insert a microSD memory card in the second SIM slot to expand the storage capacity up to one terabyte. Unfortunately, the Galaxy A34 does not support eSIM, unlike the slightly pricier A54 model.
Samsung Galaxy A34 Performance and Gaming
Now, running the show on Samsung’s Galaxy A34 is MediaTek’s Dimensity 1080 chipset, supported by 8 gigabytes of RAM. This chipset, previously seen in smartphones like the Realme 10 Pro Plus and Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus, delivers a reasonably smooth performance on the Samsung A34. However, I have noticed occasional instances of slight lag during everyday use, particularly when switching between apps or accessing the Google Discover feed. It can feel a bit sluggish at times, with a slight delay in response. It’s not a major issue, but the A34 isn’t as smooth as some competitors like the Pixel 7 or other phones in a similar price range.
For mobile gaming enthusiasts, the Galaxy A34 handles popular games like PUBG and Call of Duty with ease. Surprisingly, it can even handle Genshin Impact, although you’ll need to set the graphics to the lowest possible settings. Even then, you may experience occasional frame rate drops or jitteriness. However, gameplay remains perfectly playable. The touch responsiveness is commendable, and the A34 doesn’t heat up even during extended gaming sessions, such as playing Genshin Impact for over an hour. You won’t experience any performance throttling or overheating issues.
The Galaxy A34 also features a gaming mode, which is a typical Samsung feature. It offers limited functionality, allowing you to take screenshots, record gameplay footage, and activate priority mode, ensuring that the game receives most of the system resources and blocks notifications. It’s worth enabling when you’re gaming to enhance your gaming experience.
When it comes to battery life, Samsung claims that the Galaxy A34 can provide two full days of usage with its 5,000 milliamp-hour battery capacity. Unsurprisingly, that claim is a load of nonsense, unless you’re only sporadically checking emails and spend the rest of the time keeping the phone idle. However, the battery life on the A34 is truly exceptional. From a full charge in the morning, I’ve never struggled to make it through even the longest and most demanding days until I’m ready to go to bed. I consistently get at least seven hours of screen-on time, which includes activities like Skype calls, extensive camera usage, video streaming, and other tasks that keep the phone active. Most days, I still have about a quarter of the battery remaining when the day ends.
Unfortunately, recharging the Galaxy A34 isn’t the fastest. It supports 25-watt wired charging, which takes well over an hour to fully recharge the device. Additionally, the A34 doesn’t offer wireless charging support.
Samsung Galaxy A34 5G Cameras
Now, of course, Samsung smartphones are well-known for their optics, and the A34 sports a triple-lens setup, just like the S23. However, we’re talking about very different hardware here. The primary sensor is a 48-megapixel one with optical image stabilization, accompanied by a basic 8-megapixel ultrawide-angle shooter and a pointless 5-megapixel macro lens.
The shutter speed on the Samsung A34 is reasonably fast. It doesn’t take long to focus on a face or another subject. The main issue lies with the processing speed, especially when shooting portrait shots. They tend to take a little longer to process. So, if you’re trying to capture multiple portrait shots in quick succession, you’ll find yourself waiting a few seconds between each shot. This can be quite frustrating when photographing pets or small children. However, with more still subjects, like Veronica here, you can achieve a lovely bokeh effect, which can be adjusted during post-processing.
I found that when using the photo mode on the Galaxy A34, my photos generally came out well, as long as the lighting conditions weren’t too challenging. The A34 can handle some contrast and bright backdrops, for instance, in ambient light. However, in low-light situations, I noticed that many of my photos were softer, with a considerable amount of noise and grain. While there is a Night Mode that automatically activates to brighten up your shots, it can only do so much. As always, Samsung smartphones offer plenty of other bonus modes to play around with, including fun filters and effects, although some of them may be a bit eccentric or surreal.
Other bonus modes include the obligatory food mode, a dedicated Pro mode for manual adjustments such as ISO levels, white balance, and focus, and the ability to quickly switch to the ultra-wide-angle shooter for a more dramatic perspective or to fit more into the frame. The More section is also where you’ll find the macro mode for using the third and final lens. Personally, I prefer taking a regular shot with the primary sensor and then cropping in, but it’s a matter of personal preference. If you’re into shooting videos, you can switch to the video mode, where you can shoot 4K resolution footage at 30 frames per second. Unfortunately, there’s no option for 60 frames per second unless you switch to full HD resolution. Samsung phones are usually reliable when it comes to capturing videos, and while the A34 is more limited compared to its more expensive counterparts, it still does a decent job. The 4K resolution mode offers crisper visuals, and the image stabilization is decent, allowing you to move and shoot without issues. The audio capture is strong in all directions. However, the quality does suffer in lower light conditions, so it’s best to stick to well-lit environments.
Turning our attention to the camera housed in the nipple notch at the top, you’ll find a 13-megapixel selfie shooter. It follows a similar story to the rear camera. With good lighting conditions, you can expect respectable-looking snaps with plenty of detail, perhaps even a bit too much. However, in low-light situations, the results can be grainy unless you use the built-in screen flash feature. Surprisingly, you can even shoot 4K Ultra HD footage using the front-facing camera, which is quite rare at this price point. The audio capture is fine, thanks to the Samsung A34’s excellent built-in microphones, making it suitable for vlogging or capturing video content.
Here’s my full unboxing and review of Samsung’s Galaxy A34 5G. Overall, it has been a very enjoyable experience, despite some performance jankiness. If you’re someone who values strong performance and does a lot of gaming on your smartphone, I would suggest considering an upgrade to the Galaxy A54 instead. There are also formidable rivals out there, like the Pixel 7 with its impressive camera technology. However, if you’re a Samsung fan looking for a more affordable handset, the A34 will get the job done. That’s my opinion, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Galaxy A34. If you’ve been using it, please share your feedback below. For more latest updates about phone, laptops, and also tech gadgets follow me on Instagram.
Here's my full unboxing and review of Samsung's Galaxy A34 5G. Overall, it has been a very enjoyable experience, despite some performance jankiness. If you're someone who values strong performance and does a lot of gaming on your smartphone, I would suggest considering an upgrade to the Galaxy A54 instead. There are also formidable rivals out there, like the Pixel 7 with its impressive camera technology. However, if you're a Samsung fan looking for a more affordable handset, the A34 will get the job done.
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