This is the Samsung Galaxy A14, it looks a lot like the Galaxy S23 and maybe that’s a good thing as this year, Samsung has decided to unify their design across the board, so whether you buy an A series or S series phone, you get the signature flagship look.
But looks are not everything, and the Samsung Galaxy A14 has quite a few surprises. You might want to sit down for this one. For starters, let’s commend Samsung on the direction they’re taking with design. I like the fact that you can hold a budget for a series phone and unless it’s seen up close, it can easily be mistaken for a flagship.
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Samsung Galaxy A14 Review
Though I’ve seen a few people complain about the lack of proper distinction in the design language, probably because they prefer that there almost a thousand-dollar phone should stand out. While that will make for an interesting conversation, let’s focus on why we’re here.
The Galaxy A14 is a successor to the Galaxy A13 which was a top-selling smartphone of last year, and looking at the A14, it might just follow suit. Not because it’s an exceptional device from its predecessor, but because of Samsung’s smart design decision.
There are 3 variations of this device. There are the US and Indian versions which are both 5G enabled and powered by The Mediatek Dimensity 700 and Exynos 1330 respectively. The 4G version which is what we have in Nigeria, is powered by the Exynos 850. The same one as its predecessor.
From the look of things, India got the more powerful one as the Exynos 1330 is a 5nm processor. But it’s hard to complain seeing that the A14 in Nigeria is the more affordable of the lot.
Samsung Galaxy A14 Price
Speaking of affordability, the Galaxy A14 comes at a starting price of N116,900 which is equivalent to $150 for the base version with 4GB RAM and 64GB of storage. It’s a good thing it doesn’t cost more than the current A13 but I think I know just why it’s more affordable and I’ll explain in a bit.
The first thing that might surprise you about the A14 is the absence of a charger in the box as evident from its slim packaging. You get it with just a USB C to C cable. Meaning if you don’t already have a charger you might need to buy a new one and that will cost you extra, at least N7000 upwards for an original one. But your old 15W Samsung fast charger should work. This doesn’t support more than 15w charging.
Design & Build Quality
We still get to keep the headphone jack. It accepts dual Nano SIM cards and can accept SD cards if you need more storage. The refreshed design of the A14 doesn’t only look good but is also nice to hold in the hand’s thanks to its boxier shape. It comes in a couple of interesting colors, I have light green and black with me. I think I prefer black though. There’s a vertical striped pattern on the rear and it has a nice texture.
Turning to the display, you’re greeted with the all too familiar infinity V design with chunky bezels. It sports a 1080p PLS LCD display which is pretty much the same display quality as its predecessor except that there’s a downgrade in the display protection. This does not bring forward the Gorilla Glass 5 on the A13, we have a regular glass display.
Another area Samsung has reduced cost and possibly why it comes cheaper. Depending on how you look at it though it could be a good thing as it won’t cost much to fix and you don’t require Samsung Care Plus. It will cost just N16,000 to fix the screen if it gets bad. The A14 still retains a 60hz refresh rate display, only the 5G versions get 90hz.
Sofware & UI
On software, we have the more refined One UI 5.1 core version. It’s a nearly full version of One UI, looks great, works as is expected for this price point, and if you used the A13 you’d notice some improvements to the UI experience. It however still lacks features like a default screen recorder, edge panel, smart view, Bixby, and a couple of others reserved for the higher Samsung devices.
A major advantage Samsung continues to have over other brands in this segment is the level of support they provide even to their very budget phones. The A14 will get at least 2 major OS upgrades and extra security patches.
Processor & Gaming Performance
For performance we see the Exynos 850 powering the A14, so you can expect basically the same performance as with the A13. A decent 8nm processor for a budget phone for basic tasks, but not one you want to throw heavy stuff at, and definitely not one for heavy gaming. It will however handle basic gaming at low graphics without heating up abnormally. If you crave something more powerful you either wait to see the A24 or pick up the A23.
It sports a Li-Po 5000 mAh battery, the performance of the battery remains impressive and should last you upwards of 7 hours of screen on time, totaling at least a day of average use on a full charge. Depending on how you use your phone it should actually last at least a day and a half.
In the Camera department, we see a 50MP triple rear setup with the extra cameras being a 5MP Ultra-wide and a 2MP macro camera. The selfie camera has been upgraded to 13MP. The Galaxy A14 takes photos quite impressive for its price, arguably the best overall camera performance for smartphones around this price. Used older flagships excluded of course.
Selfies look good and it’s HDR processing is impressive both on regular and portrait shots You don’t get night mode here so have no expectations if you like taking photos at night. Video performance is as expected, 1080p at 30 frames per second. You’ll get a good video as long as the lighting conditions are favorable.
Handling the Galaxy A14 in the first few hours, it felt familiar and that’s because it really isn’t an upgrade from its predecessor but more of a refinement in design.
The Samsung Galaxy A14 is a good choice if you’re on a tight budget but want a good Samsung device that looks classy, gives you a good One UI experience, has great battery life, and has decent cameras. Should you upgrade from the A13 to this?
I don’t think so unless you just want a new phone that looks better. It however would be quite interesting if Samsung were to bring the 5G version with the Exynos 1330. I mean we already have 5G, nothing wrong with giving us the budget 5G devices. That’s all from me on the Samsung Galaxy A14.