The Samsung Galaxy A14 5G (S$318) is one of the most affordable Galaxy phones from the South Korean tech giant. It's a slight upgrade over the previous (and still available) A13 5G. The new version has a higher-resolution display, and a better front camera. It's a good pick for a mainstream budget phone.
- 6.6-inch LCD screen (1,080 x 2,408 pixels, 90Hz)
- MediaTek Dimensity 700 with 6GB RAM, 128GB storage
- 5,000mAh battery, 15W charging
- Cameras: 50MP, 2MP depth, 2MP macro, 13MP front
Samsung has been edging towards a flatter design in the more recent iterations of its Galaxy phones. The A14 5G follows this trend. It has flatter sides than its predecessor, which makes the phone easier to hold. Its textured rear finish also helps with the grip, though it makes this annoying, scratchy sound if you run your fingernails over it. Despite the plastic build, the A14 feels solid in the hand. It's also not as light as you'd think at around 200g, likely because of its 5,000mAh battery. The screen retains the 90Hz refresh rate of its predecessor, but now comes with a 1080p (up from 720p) resolution. The display is decently bright, and usable outdoors — it can get reflective, though. Other features include a side-mounted fingerprint sensor, headphone jack, and NFC functionality.
The A14 5G has the same camera setup as its predecessor. You'll find a 50MP main camera with two 2MP secondary cameras (depth and macro). Photos were good for a budget phone. They were a tad more saturated than I would have liked, but they looked natural, and not too processed. However, dynamic range is predictably limited compared with more expensive smartphone cameras. The upgraded 13MP selfie camera captured the details of my face, blemishes, and all. There was also a nice blur with good edge detection. The digital zoom is usable at low levels, but the maximum 10x is a stretch. Low-light photography was where the A14, like most budget smartphone cameras without any image stabilisation, faltered. Even with the phone's long-exposure Night mode, images turned out smeary, and noisy, with heavy blooming from light sources.
Samsung chose to reuse the MediaTek Dimensity 700 processor from the previous model. The amount of memory (6GB) and storage (128GB) are unchanged, too. You can expand the latter with a microSD card (up to 1TB). Performance is good enough for a cheap phone. The A14 5G was neck-to-neck with the Oppo A78 5G, which uses the same chip. Both opened apps at around the same speed, which isn't as fast as flagship phones. The Samsung scored 526 (Single-core), and 1,641 (Multi-core) in Geekbench 5 compared with the Oppo (555, and 1,707 respectively). The A14 5G lasted a decent 10hr 23min in our video-loop battery test. But I have to admit I was expecting more, especially when the Oppo, which has the same battery capacity, managed 14 hours. Another minor complaint: Charging the A14 5G is slow at 15W, even compared to other budget phones.
The Samsung Galaxy A14 5G comes with the latest One UI 5 (based on Android 13), which adds some new features, including more colour palettes based on your wallpaper, and a revamped privacy and security dashboard. Samsung also promises two Android OS upgrades, and up to four years of security updates. Overall, the A14 5G is a good mainstream phone for its S$318 asking price. The performance and cameras are decent, while Samsung's user interface, and product support should also put it over the competition. It's available now from Samsung, Lazada, Shopee, and Amazon SG.
Note: Review unit provided by Samsung.
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