Reviews of Apple iPhone 14 Plus, price, technical specifications, design, screen, software, hardware, battery life and charging and other features of the new iPhone 14 Plus.
Reviews of iPhone 14 Plus, price and technical specifications
Get out of the iPhone mini , enter the iPhone Plus! Indeed, the rumors turned out to be true, and this year Apple released a larger non-Pro model instead of the Mini. We can only guess what Apple has in store for the mini model, but today’s review is about Apple’s newest addition to the iPhone lineup – the iPhone 14 Plus.
We thought the iPhone 13 would go down as the most trivial iPhone update in history, but the iPhone 14 stole that title. You see, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus are built on the same Apple A15 Bionic chipset as the iPhone 13 models, and even the screen specs remain the same – OLED with around 460ppi, 800 nits brightness and 60Hz refresh rate.
In fact, compared to the iPhone 13, there are only four notable upgrades in the iPhone 14 – a new main camera (carried over from the iPhone 13 Pro), an updated selfie camera with a new lens and AF, 2GB more RAM, and SOS Emergency via satellite feature.
The new iPhone 14 Plus adds a few extras – a bigger screen and a bigger battery. The Plus model brings a max-sized screen to the regular series – even if it’s only 60Hz.
The selfie camera, while retaining its 12-megapixel sensor, has a new lens with a brighter aperture with optical stabilization and autofocus. We’ve always wondered why Apple didn’t introduce autofocus capabilities sooner, as Face ID technology is there to give it a huge boost, but alas, it’s finally here.
Like all recent iPhones, the iPhone 14 Plus is waterproof – it can last 30 minutes in up to 6 meters of clean water. And it should be a desirable smartphone for its large screen and at the same time thin and light design. It’s also touted as the iPhone with the best battery life, and we’ll definitely put it to the test.
Check the specifications of Apple iPhone 14 Plus at a glance
Body: 160.8×78.1×7.8mm, 203g; Glass front (Corning glass), glass back (Corning glass), aluminum frame; IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 6 meters for 30 minutes), Apple Pay (Visa, MasterCard, AMEX certified).
Display: 6.70-inch Super Retina XDR OLED, HDR10, Dolby Vision, 800 nits (HBM), 1200 nits (peak), resolution 1284×2778 pixels, aspect ratio 19.47:9, 458ppi.
Chipset: Apple A15 Bionic (5nm): Hexa-core (2×3.23 GHz Avalanche + 4×1.82 GHz Blizzard); Apple GPU (5-core graphics).
Memory: 128GB 6GB RAM, 256GB 6GB RAM, 512GB 6GB RAM; NVMe.
OS/Software: iOS 16, upgradable to iOS 16.0.3.
Rear camera: Wide (primary): 12MP, f/1.5, 26mm, 1/1.7in, 1.9µm, dual-pixel PDAF, sensor-switching OIS; Ultra Wide Angle: 12MP, f/2.4, 13mm, 120°.
Front camera: Wide (main): 12MP, f/1.9, 23mm, 1/3.6in PDAF; Depth: SL 3D.
Video recording: Rear camera: 4K@24/25/30/60fps, 1080p@25/30/60/120/240fps, HDR, Dolby Vision HDR (up to 60fps), Cinema mode (4K@30fps), Stereo sound recording; Front camera: 4K@24/25/30/60fps, 1080p@25/30/60/120fps, gyro-EIS.
Battery: 4323mAh; Fast charging, 50% in 30 minutes (advertised), USB Power Delivery 2.0, MagSafe fast wireless charging 15W, Qi wireless charging 7.5W.
Other Features: Face ID, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity, Compass, Barometer. NFC; stereo speakers; Support ultra-wideband (UWB), emergency SOS via satellite (Send/Receive SMS).
You can also see materials about best affordable smartphones 2023, buying guide
Just like the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14, the iPhone 14 Plus has one glaring omission – support for high refresh rates. And the size of the notch is a problem you’ll apparently have to put up with for a few more years. At least, it feels mentally smaller on this big screen.
We’re happy that the non-Pro iPhones also have new software features like Action Mode for the video camera, improved Cinema Mode and satellite connectivity.
iPhone 14 Plus unboxing review
The eco-friendly iPhone box includes a USB-C-to-Lightning cable and iPhone 14 Plus. There’s also a SIM eject pin, some paper, and an Apple sticker.
Apple was one of the first manufacturers to remove headphones and chargers from their boxes.
If you have a USB-PD+ 20W power adapter with a USB-C port, then you definitely have the right box.
Checking the design and build quality of the iPhone 14 Plus
iPhones remain one of the most rugged non-rugged smartphones out there, and the new iPhone 14 Plus is no different. It was one of the last popular manufacturers to use the waterproof tool, and years later, it still retains the feature to protect against breakage and intrusion.
Thanks to its flat design, two Corning glass panels, aluminum frame, and proper insulation and sealing, the iPhone design still excels in protecting mainstream phones. In addition, Apple uses an oleophobic coating for less smudges on the glass, and finally the balanced weight throughout the body also helps.
While the exterior looks the same, there is a massive interior redesign. Apple has done some major redesigns this year, essentially changing the internals 180 degrees. In short, Apple’s engineers have gone to great lengths to make the iPhone 14 Plus just like the iPhone 14, which is much easier to repair than its predecessor. The back glass panel has been one of the most difficult parts to replace in several iPhone generations. On the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus, it’s no longer firmly attached to the interior and instead detaches as a separate piece like the screen (with a bit of heat and a bit of “push”). This makes it very easy to replace. You can check the breakdown on the iFixit website.
So, the iPhone 14 Plus looks like any pre-Dynamic island iPhone – flat panels, flat bezels and a big screen notch. Thanks to the new 6.7-inch OLED screen, it’s bigger, the same size as the iPhone Pro Max models. But unlike the Maxes, the iPhone Plus is very light for its size at 203 grams. This makes it lighter than the 14 Pro, let alone the 240g 14 Pro Max. It is also lighter than the Galaxy S22 Ultra and the Xiaomi 12S Ultra.
The front is covered with a piece of Apple’s ceramic protector – a glass that’s already proven to deliver on its shatterproof promises. The back panel is made by Corning and is marketed as the toughest smartphone glass, but we have to give Apple credit for that. And between these glass sheets is the matte-coated aluminum frame, the only part visible from the phone’s chassis.
Apple has not supported making the iPhone as water resistant as possible. The iPhone 14 Plus is IP68-rated for protection against dust and water, but it actually goes beyond that spec and can survive in 6 meters of water instead of the usual 1.5 meters.
And just like most other flat iPhones, the iPhone 14 Plus can stand on its own, in case you were wondering.
Now let’s take a closer look at the iPhone 14 Plus, not that you haven’t seen similar details in the past year or two.
The front is occupied by the new 6.7-inch Retina XDR OLED display. It has equally thin bezels and a wide notch, housing a new 12-megapixel selfie camera with OIS and AF, proximity and ambient light sensors, and a 3D Face ID scanner and IR emitter.
There’s a small headphone jack that’s actually a full-fledged speakerphone, and it’s quite loud and rich and deep when playing multimedia.
While Apple has moved the proximity sensor behind the glass, something other manufacturers have been doing for years, giving rise to the dynamic island on the Pro models, regular iPhones are stuck for another cycle with the infamous big notch.
The back is quite familiar – it’s made from a single piece of glossy Corning glass, with the Apple logo a tiny mirror amidst a sea of (in our case) purple.
The square camera island gently lifts off the back panel and the whole thing is actually one piece, even though the island itself has a different matte finish. There are two cameras on it with protruding metal rings – a 12-megapixel primary camera and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera, both of which are protected by a sapphire crystal lens cover. A dual-tone LED flash and a microphone for video recording are also around, placed in an almost symmetrical fashion.
We know we’ve written this before, but we’re still going to issue this warning – sapphire covers on cameras have these little corners that extend beyond the metal rings and scratch any glass on contact. So be careful and don’t put the iPhone 14 Plus on glass tables or worse, on top of another phone.
The case of the iPhone 14 Plus has a color matching the back panel, but it has a matte finish. It’s flat, outlasts the iPhone 12 series, and provides enough grip.
The upper part of the iPhone 14 Plus is completely bare.
The bottom has the Lightning port, the mouthpiece and the second stereo speaker.
The volume mute, volume keys and SIM card slot are all located on the left side of the frame.
The side key used to lock and turn on the iPhone 14 Plus is on the right side alone.
The iPhone 14 Plus is actually one of the lightest 6.7-inch phones we’ve ever worked with. It feels superior and is built to meet flagship standards. Even better, it provides enough grip for frameless use. We had no problems playing games, taking photos, browsing, or watching videos.
The oleophobic coating helps with fingerprints and smudges – they stick longer and then you can clean them with a tissue.
Overall, the iPhone 14 Plus scores very well across the board as far as design, build, and shipping are concerned.
Checking the screen of Apple iPhone 14 Plus
The iPhone 14 Plus model introduces a 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display, the same size as the 14 Pro Max and with the same resolution – 2778 x 1284 pixels or 458ppi.
It’s the big old notch in place of the dynamic island, and like all recent iPhones, it’s protected by a ceramic shield.
The panel supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision, wide color gamut, True Tone and is claimed to have a maximum brightness of 800 nits and a maximum brightness of 1200 nits. The only downside, just like the iPhone 14, is the fixed refresh rate at 60Hz.
We’ve completed our display test and the new panel lives up to Apple’s claims – we recorded 797 nits of maximum brightness. It’s on par with the iPhone 14 and close to the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
But unlike the Pro models, the 14 and 14 Plus don’t offer sunlight boost, and their maximum outdoor brightness remains at 800 nits. While this is still bright enough for good readability, it’s nowhere near the excellent performance that the Pro models can offer.
In terms of color accuracy, the iPhone 14 Plus targets the sRGB color space in most apps, including the one we used for testing purposes. And just like other iPhone panels, this panel has excellent color calibration. Even at the lowest possible brightness, i.e. only 1.2 nits, the color remains accurate!
The iPhone 14 Plus display has HDR10 and Dolby Vision certification. As you’d expect, the iPhone has all the necessary DRM certifications, allowing non-native services like Netflix or YouTube to offer HDR streams.
There’s one more thing worth noting – Apple handles its HDR video playback in a very flexible way, as the content doesn’t have to be full-screen for HDR to work. It can only work on the part of the screen where the video is playing, which is a bit of a surreal experience the first time you encounter it.
Check the battery life of Apple iPhone 14 Plus
The iPhone 14 Plus has one of the largest batteries Apple has ever put in an iPhone — it’s 4,323 mAh, the same as the 14 Pro Max. And while Apple has touted the Plus model as the best for battery life, the Pro Max model is actually listed as more durable on the official spec pages, likely due to the Pro Max’s more energy-efficient display.
We’ve completed our battery life test, and the results are pretty impressive for an iPhone. The Plus model achieved 102 hours of total endurance. It handled screen tests with ease – lasting 16 hours of web browsing and 19 hours of full-screen video playback. The duration of the conversation was nearly 24 hours.
The endurance rating could be better, but just like other iPhones, the 14 Plus has average standby performance (matching the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s 270-hour standby). It scored lower in the on-screen tests compared to the iPhone 13 Pro Max with the same battery, helped by the energy-efficient ProMotion panel.
Checking the charging speed of Apple iPhone 14 Plus
Apple’s iPhone 14 Plus comes without a charger. This phone supports USB-PD 2.0 fast charging with a maximum power of 20 watts. Any USB-PD 20W Plus charger should do the job for the iPhone, but we paired it with Apple’s original 20W power adapter for this test.
Apple advertises all iPhones, regardless of battery capacity, to charge up to 50% in 30 minutes with its 20W adapter. And the iPhone 14 Plus is no different. By connecting to Apple’s 20W charger, the iPhone 14 Plus battery went from 0% to 47% in half an hour. which corresponds to the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
A full hour with that charger gave us 80% charge and an hour and a half – 95%.
And typically for Apple, the last 5% takes another 30 minutes to recharge, making the full charge time 2 hours. It should be noted that this test was performed without optimal charging, which usually prolongs the charging process.
The iPhone 14 Plus supports wireless charging up to 7.5W with Qi-compatible charging pads, although the last iPhone listed on the WPC (Governing Body for Wireless Charging) is for the iPhone SE (2022) – there’s no entry to number. iPhone models after 11. By the way, starting with the 12th generation and including this 14 Plus model, iPhones have MagSafe wireless charging. They can draw up to 15W from the magnetically attached device, which you can buy separately for $39/€49 (you’ll need an adapter to power it, though, and it should be powerful enough).
On the software side, there’s an Optimized battery charging button in Settings that allows the iPhone to adapt its charging curves to your charging patterns (mostly related to nighttime charging and your sleep routine), thus minimizing battery time. delivered It charges 100% fast (well, iPhone fast) up to 80% and just finishes before it thinks you need the phone.
Checking the speakers of Apple iPhone 14 Plus
It has a hybrid stereo speaker system found in many iPhone models – a dedicated speaker on the bottom and an earpiece that acts as a second speaker. The top speaker is very loud. Its volume is about the same as the bottom one. This creates an outstanding balance.
The top speaker acts as the right channel when playing music in vertical orientation, while in horizontal orientation, the output adjusts according to the orientation of the phone. Either way, each speaker will still play some of the “opposite” channel, but at a much lower volume.
The iPhone 14 Plus, just like the 14 Pro Max, scored “Very Good” for loudness. And it delivers the same sound quality – great output with clean vocals, bass you can hear, and rich treble.
Review of software and performance of Apple iPhone 14 Plus
All new iPhones come with Apple’s iOS 16. As usual, this isn’t a groundbreaking update over iOS 15, but it does improve the lock screen, notification management, messaging app, and privacy options, among others. And in typical Apple fashion, some features are left for a later date.
Now let’s take a closer look at iPhone 14 Plus iOS 16. Its user interface is still based around home screens full of apps and widgets, an app library for your less important apps, and notification and control centers.
The lock screen in iOS 16 is the first to be overhauled, although it still follows the same logic – it’s the same screen as the notification center. It houses your notifications (privacy options available), plus shortcuts to the torch and camera. If you’ve selected secure unlock, you can bypass the lock screen via Face ID or PIN.
You can customize your lock screen by choosing some cool wallpapers and adding a row of widgets (up to four). There cannot be more than one row of widgets. The neat thing is that you can make multiple different lock screens and change them on the fly (tap and hold, then swipe). This way, you can easily change the appearance of the home screen/notification center depending on your mood or work.
Another change here is that notifications are now displayed from the bottom of the screen. Browsing them is easier. There are different options to display notifications such as stack, list or just a count.
You can also pair your home screen appearance with your lock screen and change both at the same time.
Your apps usually populate your home page(s) and widgets. There are two special pages – the leftmost page is the Today page, while the rightmost page is the App Library.
You can hide specific home screens – you might have a screen full of games and hide it while you’re working, or hide a screen of work/school apps when you’re on vacation. However, you cannot opt out of Today and App Library.
Apple iOS 16 has improved focus mode – now, you can assign a focus mode to any lock screen preset you create. And in addition to other ways to switch between focuses, switching between lock screens now also changes the focus mode.
Various focus modes such as work, personal, driving, gaming, do not disturb, among others, are highly customizable. And of course you can create and automate your own.
The new iOS 16 also introduces focus filters that can affect different apps, and a dedicated API is also available for developers. Using these filters, applications such as messaging and email clients can automatically filter their content as predefined by the user in focus mode.
Widgets can be placed on any of the home screens and the Today screen, and can coexist with app icons. Three widget sizes are supported by iOS – 2×2, 4×2, and 4×4. You can stack widgets of the same size, and they can rotate automatically if you want.
The app library is an app drawer that is always on the far right of your home screen. After installation, apps are automatically added to the app library. Sorting is also an automatic process and you cannot edit categories or move apps within different categories. The sorting of the app depends on the tags that the developer has used when uploading the apps from the App Store.
The page is still live today. You can place the same widgets and stacks as you can on your home screen. Here you can use old non-native widgets that are not yet optimized for new iOS versions. Of course, if you use new widgets, the old widgets will come immediately after the new widgets. Too bad this page can’t be disabled today, as we found it mostly useless.
The notification center is summoned with a swipe from the left horn or the tablet itself. This screen was integrated with the lock screen in iOS 11, which is why you can have different wallpapers on your home screen and notification center.
Control Center, which has customizable and (some) expandable toggles, is called up by swiping from the right horn. You can use touch to access additional controls. And here is the battery percentage.
Other key improvements coming with iOS 16 include an improved Mail app, options to edit and unsend messages in the Messages app, a completely redesigned Home app, and a fitness app for everyone, even those without an Apple Watch.
FaceTime is also improved with a better Hand-off feature across devices – now, it includes your wireless headphones.
The Photos app has an option to detect duplicate photos. Hidden and deleted albums now require Face ID/Touch ID.
The wallet app and functionality have been greatly expanded. In addition to the variety of keys you can store here, the app now supports detailed receipts and tracking information.
The functionality of digital keys and digital ID through the wallet has also been expanded. Various apps can now use basic information from here to verify your identity or that your age is known. It is also possible to share car and house keys between family members.
Finally, the Health app now supports medication tracking in addition to a variety of important medical and fitness information.
Multimedia is handled by default Apple apps – Photos, Music, TV.
The Photos app library has four different views – Year, Month, Day and All Photos. As usual, an AI-powered search option and powerful photo and video editing modes are available.
The TV app is part of iOS 16 and is your default video player for locally saved movies and shows you’ve added through iTunes. It’s also the digital store for movies and TV shows, and it’s also where you’ll find the Apple TV+ streaming service. A bit overwhelming, but eventually you get used to it.
Music is the default player and relies heavily on Apple Music. But even if you decide not to use the streaming service, if you have a few minutes to add your songs through iTunes, it can still do a great job.
Books are here for your documents, PDFs, and eBooks. Stock and news are available. Safari is your default web browser and Apple Maps is your default map client.
Finally, Visual Lookup has been a part of iOS for a year now, but it’s much improved in iOS 16. It now works on both photos and videos and supports advanced machine learning. It can easily recognize texts in photos and allows one to search them instantly. What’s more interesting is that you can now select an object from a photo/video, tap and hold on it, and then copy it or just drag it and use it wherever you like – Photo Editor , video editor, messages, emails, anything else.
And these are the basics of Apple iOS 16 running on the latest iPhone 14 series.
All new iPhone 14 models support this new feature called Emergency SOS via satellite. It required the design of completely new custom hardware and custom software to make it possible to send messages to the satellite without bulky antennas. The service is text-only and will be used mainly for emergencies, but it does support two-way communication, so you’ll be notified when help is on the way. Find My can also share your location with friends so they can track you.
You can write custom messages to explain your situation, but when speed saves your life, several built-in special questions let you send an accurate SOS in just a few taps. In places with a clear view of the sky, a message can be transmitted in about 15 seconds, but if there are treetops, it may take several minutes. The satellite service will launch in November for US and Canadian users, and iPhone 14 buyers will receive a free 2-year subscription.
Crash detection is also available on all iPhone 14 models thanks to a new accelerometer that can detect up to 256G. If such an emergency occurs, the phone will automatically call emergency services. This setting is in the Emergency SOS menu called Call After Serious Crash. You can turn it on or off. There are no other settings.
Checking the performance and benchmarks of Apple iPhone 14 Plus
iPhone 14 Plus uses Apple’s latest generation A15 Bionic chipset. Specifically, it’s a “top-tier” variant with five GPU cores, as found in the iPhone 13 Pro models. Therefore, we can probably expect a small increase in graphics performance compared to the iPhone 13 and its four graphics cores.
Another thing that distinguishes iPhone 14 and 14 Plus from iPhone 13 models is RAM. The new models have 6GB of RAM instead of 4GB, which means the internal storage should be somewhat similar to the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max.
And while we’re at it, it makes us wonder why new software features like the Photonic Engine and Action mode, available on the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus, aren’t on the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max. There is no nearly identical either. We guess Apple is Apple again.
Back to the A15, the 5nm A15 Bionic has a hexa-core processor (2 x 3.23 GHz Avalanche + 4 x 1.82 GHz Blizzard) – same as last year. And as we noted, it has an Apple 5-core GPU.
So, physically, the iPhone 14 Plus may be a copy of the iPhone 13, but internally it borrows from the iPhone 13 Pro/Max. While you’re not getting the latest and greatest A16 Bionic, it’s still a small bump in hardware.
Even though the A15 Bionic is a year older, it’s still an incredibly powerful chip. It excels in CPU tests, bested only by the newer A16 Bionic.
Apple’s 5-core GPU performs very well, and while it’s not at the top of the charts, it’s still among the best in class. Obviously, phones with HRR displays offer more on-screen frame rates, while the iPhone 14s is limited to a standard 60Hz refresh rate.
The more complex AnTuTu benchmark is also very favorable to the iPhone 14 Plus. It has the same performance as the iPhone 13 Pro Max and is superior to the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
We made sure to test the stability and heat shrink properties of the iPhone 14 Plus as well. The phone degrades performance with long loads, but it does so quite gradually without sudden drops, which is nice to see.
Thus, the iPhone 14 Plus maintained 81% of its maximum CPU performance when using all cores for up to 30 minutes. The 3D Mark stress test scored 67% stability, which isn’t bad.
In practice, the iPhone 14 Plus gets quite hot after long-term charging. And even then, the A15 Bionic still has enough to offer a smooth experience.
Overall, we had no issues with the performance of the iPhone 14 Plus. Its year-old chipset performs exceptionally well with a super-smooth general UX, and it also handles all the tasks we throw at the phone, from productivity to gaming. You should have no doubts about the performance of the iPhone 14 Plus.
Apple iPhone 14 Plus camera review
The iPhone 14 Plus has three cameras, just like the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14. There are two cameras on the back – a primary 12-megapixel wide-angle camera and a secondary 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera. There is also a 12-megapixel front-facing camera for selfies. And while nothing seems to have changed from the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13, the main and selfie cameras have been upgraded.
The main 12-megapixel camera has been removed from the iPhone 13 Pro. This means it now has a larger sensor compared to the iPhone 13 with 1.9µm pixels and a brighter f/1.5 aperture for the 26mm lens. This camera relies on sensor stabilization.
Then there is a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera with a 120-degree field of view and f/2.4 aperture. It appears to be the same as the ultrawide iPhone 12 and the vanilla iPhone 13, so we expect similar performance.
The 12-megapixel selfie camera is undoubtedly the biggest improvement over the vanilla iPhone’s camera setup, thanks to the addition of phase-detection autofocus and optical image stabilization. The 23mm lens has been improved with a new, brighter f/1.9 aperture.
Camera app and features
The viewfinder has remained mostly the same from iOS 13 and the iPhone 11 – you can see outside the viewfinder thanks to the precise calibration of the three cameras, which allows you to see what remains outside the frame in real time.
Apple’s image processing includes all the old features (Smart HDR, Night Mode and Deep Fusion), but the important thing is the Photonic Engine. It’s just a fancy name for Apple’s latest stacked HDR technology, and it promises a 2x improvement in medium to low light conditions.
Instead of Smart HDR and Night Mode, Deep Fusion is activated when the lighting conditions are not ideal, but it is not yet dark. Deep Fusion uses frames before you hit the shutter, once you do it uses more frames and a long exposure shot. The neural engine selects the best frames and creates a high-quality HDR photo that is more accurate, clear and natural. The neural processor’s machine learning process analyzes the captured image and processes them differently depending on what’s in the frame—for example, the sky, foliage, or skin tone. Meanwhile, the texture and color tone are based on the proportions obtained by the neural unit in Apple’s CPU.
The night mode icon will automatically appear when displaying a low-light scene, and you’ll see the suggested seconds next to the night mode icon. You can choose a longer exposure or disable night mode altogether.
As usual, all the cameras are connected to each other, so when you switch between them, they already know the correct exposure and tone mapping settings. This applies to both photos and videos.
The camera interface is mostly unchanged unless you count the new 2x shift between 1x and 3x. If you are close enough for such a shot, the macro key will appear automatically.
You can swipe between modes, and you have a few settings you can swipe up to open – flash, night mode, live photo, photo aspect, exposure compensation and filters. In video mode, you can change the resolution and frame rate from the viewfinder.
Portrait mode is available on the main, telephoto and selfie cameras.
There’s a feature called Photographic Styles that automatically edits a photo one element at a time (for example, applying different corrections to the subject and background). You can choose between standard, rich contrast, vibrant, warm and cool. You can customize any of these modes and set your favorite mode as the default. It’s like a filter but more permanent.
Cinema mode is available and now supports 4K HDR at 24 and 30 fps. The rack does auto focus, but the phone records a depth map alongside the video, so you can manually change the focus point after the fact. Editing of such videos is possible in iMovie and Clips programs.
Finally, there’s Action mode, which is intended for use with the ultra-wide camera at 2.8K@60fps, though you can use any rear camera at any resolution and frame rate. The camera makes heavy use of stabilized 4K footage to mimic action camera output.
The photos we took with the iPhone 14 Plus’ 12-megapixel primary camera are the same as those we took with the iPhone 14 Pro, as well as all iPhones after the iPhone 11 or later. There is plenty of detail, no noise, accurate white balance and color rendering, and high contrast.
Dynamic range is good in all scenes, but not excessive, as Apple’s camera tends to produce high-contrast photos. This means there will be underdeveloped highlights or shadows, but these are arguably more realistic.
And while the image quality is consistent regardless of the sensor used, this means that the unpleasantness is also inherited. Yes, we’re talking about over-processing complex details like foliage and people. While more detail is resolved from the sensor, over-sharpening everything is not the right approach.
Ultra-wide photos are impressively wide with expert distortion correction. Their resolution of detail is excellent for such a camera and lens, and noise is kept remarkably low. Processing is similar to the original camera – accurate if slightly unexciting colors, high contrast, and enough but not excessive dynamic range. Noise is also kept low.
Foliage and people issues are also present here, but less obvious due to the wider field of view. Foliage is still sometimes oversharpened or oil-like, but looks better.
12MP portrait shots from the main camera offer excellent subject resolution and lovely blur. One is well exposed, with natural colors and accurate colors. The contrast is excellent.
HDR often gets in the way and loses fine detail because subjects aren’t very sharp. But we’re glad the noise reduction is milder, because it could have been worse. But we’re not fans of an implementation that oversharpens or smudges random details like hair, eyebrows, and beards.
The main camera of the iPhone 14 Plus takes great photos with the help of automatic night mode, which usually selects 1s exposure. Photos have good exposure, great detail, clean of noise and excellent color saturation. Their contrast is high, just like daylight shots, and their dynamic range is reasonable, although there are highlights and low shadows.
Overall, good performance for the main camera and flagship-class photos that aren’t too bright as some competing night mode solutions offer.
You can opt out of night mode, which reduces color saturation and adds a bit more noise. Shadows also become slightly darker as the dynamic range decreases slightly. While low-light photo quality is still excellent, we’d definitely stick with the automatic night mode.
12-megapixel photos taken with the ultra-wide camera are usable with automatic night mode. Exposure is good, as is dynamic range, while color saturation is excellent. But all photos are soft and noisy, which makes them serviceable but not really anything special.
These last batch of photos were taken with the ultra-wide camera but without night mode. They’re pretty bad—soft, smeary, and noisy, with little detail, low dynamic range, and desaturated colors. You can hardly see what is on them.
You can also take a look at our photo comparison tool and see how Apple’s iPhone 14 Plus stacks up against other phones in the controlled environment of our test lab.
The selfie camera quartet on the iPhone 14 has received a huge upgrade over the iPhone 13 – it now supports autofocus and has a brighter lens with an aperture of f/1.9. However, the size of the sensor and the field of view of the lens remain the same.
The camera still offers two FoV settings in the viewfinder – a 7-megapixel low-zoom crop that equates to a 30mm field of view, and a full 12-megapixel mode that has a 23mm-equivalent FoV.
If you hold the phone vertically, selfies are cropped to 7MP for tighter framing, but turn the phone horizontally, and you’ll get more of the scene as the phone automatically switches to a wider 12MP mode. You can also switch between these two modes manually by tapping the arrows near the shutter button.
The 12MP selfies we took on the iPhone 14 Plus are excellent – there’s sharp detail, low noise, high resolution and impressive dynamic range. White balance with true colors is very clear. Contrast is high as usual.
Autofocus also works great, and we never had an out-of-focus shot.
Apple’s processing is once again in class-leading photo quality with over-sharpening of various facial features (hair, beard). And then comes the smoothing algorithm which may make some parts more smeary.
Don’t get me wrong, selfies are good, but we expected stronger processing.
Selfies are also great. The front camera is assisted by a 3D scanner with structured light. Thanks to the accurate depth map, subject separation and out-of-focus background are some of the best you can see in a selfie today. Photo quality is in line with regular selfies – very good, but not the best, as sometimes the processing is not enough.
Just like before, these portraits are shot at 7MP resolution, meaning the camera crops a portion of its available FoV to reveal a zoomed-in photo. Unfortunately, there is no option to shoot 23mm 12MP selfie portraits.
iPhone 14 Plus can record up to 4K60 video with all three cameras. 4K24 is also available across the board if you’re looking for a more cinematic look. All video is stabilized digitally (all three cameras) and optically (all but ultra-wide) – Apple calls this Cinematic Stabilization.
All modes, including 4K60, have wide dynamic range thanks to Smart HDR. The slow options are a maximum resolution of 1080p at 240 fps. There’s a new option called Enhanced stabilization that improves upon the default EIS and crops a bit more to deliver more stabilized footage. We took pictures with this new option and without it and honestly, we did not see any difference besides the promised low output. The new iPhone 14 Plus supports cinematic mode (focus rack) up to 4K at 30 frames per second. HDR is also an option.
There is a new mode called Action mode. It’s been around on many other phones for years, and it’s supposed to shoot 60fps with the ultra-wide camera. It’s a sharp departure from 4K footage (hence the 2K resolution) and delivers incredibly smooth and superbly stabilized video.
It’s available for all rear cameras and can shoot at any resolution and frame rate, but as we mentioned, the main hardware is the 2K@60fps ultra-wide camera. You can record HDR video directly in the Dolby Vision format up to the same maximum 4K60 (the previous generation was limited to 30 frames per second). You can edit these videos on the go on your phone, you can upload them to YouTube or any other popular platform or even send them to your friends. Dolby Vision information is stored outside of the video stream, so the video looks normal to any non-HDR player/screen and is color enhanced on any Dolby Vision compatible player and display.
You can also choose between H.265 HEVC and H.264 video encoders. The high-performance mode uses H.265 and is mandatory for 4K60 and HDR videos, while the more compatible mode (H.264) provides easier playback on different devices.
The iPhone 14 Plus, just like previous iPhones, records wide stereo sound for movies at 190 kbps.
iPhones are known for their class-leading video quality and stabilization capabilities, and the iPhone 14 Plus is no different. Even with the always-on electronic stabilization, which tends to soften other videos, the iPhones still deliver excellent video quality.
The main camera captures class-leading 4K30 videos with plenty of resolved detail and natural reflection without any effects of over-sharpening. Videos are noise-free, dynamic range is excellent, and so is contrast.
The colors in the clips remain vivid and true. Whether you decide to shoot at 24fps or 60fps – you’ll get the same quality. Due to the difference in the video bitrate, the size of the videos will be smaller or larger.
Videos from the main camera are also excellent in low light, with plenty of detail and natural sharpness. Exposure is good and noise is well low. We liked the vibrant color saturation and above-average contrast, while the dynamic range makes movies look realistic.
The iPhone’s ultrawide camera captures the best 4K videos, and that’s the case with the iPhone 14 Plus. It offers high definition detail, outstanding processing and color rendering.
Ultra-wide videos are noise-free and high-contrast. There’s also no visible distortion around the corners, and yet the field of view is impressively wide.
4K low-light videos from the ultra-wide camera are usable because they provide adequate exposure and color reproduction. However, detail is a bit lacking and noise is visible. The videos are rather dark but still usable.
Action mode works as promised, delivering lovely 60fps videos at 2816 x 1584 pixels resolution, great action-like stabilization and great fluidity. Details, colors, contrast and dynamic range are also commendable.
You can also shoot action videos with the main camera. And while it offers the same image and stabilization quality, the narrower field of view makes it look a little awkward.
Finally, the 4K videos from the improved selfie camera are great. The background is naturally out of focus thanks to the new f/1.9 aperture lens and, of course, autofocus. Subjects are sharp and well exposed, colors are superb, and so is contrast. The dynamic range is also quite normal.
Looking closely, subjects are still a little over-processed like in regular selfies, but that’s not an issue here, and videos are among the best you can get from a selfie camera today.
You can also take a look at our video comparison tool and see how the iPhone 14 Plus stacks up against other phones.
Review of competitors of Apple iPhone 14 Plus
The iPhone 14 Plus makes perfect sense in Apple’s grand design – the manufacturer has turned the SE model into a special edition iPhone mini, which is why the mini was forced out of the flagship series. In fact, the vanilla iPhone 14 is so compact and light you could say it’s been a mini all along.
Meanwhile, the lack of a larger iPhone for the masses has been stark for the past few years, and it was only about time Apple answered the call. And he did it in his own way.
iPhone 14 Plus is basically a big iPhone 14 and nothing else. What you get is a max-sized screen with non-professional quality and better battery life thanks to the larger battery.
Now, all those Apple users who want a large iPhone that doesn’t weigh too much and is “oh so premium” can get the iPhone 14 Plus.
But, if you’re still worried about this new Plus model, perhaps because of its €1,150 price tag, we can understand why you’d want to check out more options.
For example, you can get the iPhone 13 Pro Max, which is pretty much the same phone, but with an extra zoom camera, a better ultra-wide camera with autofocus, and a 120Hz ProMotion display. It can be bought for €1,200 – which is quite an offer to consider. Yes, it’s heavy due to the stainless steel frame and extras like LiDAR and telephoto, but that’s a tradeoff many make.
As we’ve noted, the iPhone 14 is the most compact iPhone around right now, and that’s pretty cool despite the 60Hz display. It has the same specifications as Plus. It’s just smaller and super pocket size. Oh, and it’s €150 cheaper.
Finally, Apple also sells the older iPhone 12, which is essentially an iPhone 13 and so on, starting at €800 for the 64GB model in the Apple Store or around €650 from third-party retailers. So, if you want the cheapest premium iPhone officially available, this is it.
Of course, there are cheaper deals you can consider for their big screens outside of Apple’s lineup. The €780 Xiaomi 12T Pro impressed us with its screen, charging speed, all-round performance and camera quality. The same goes for the Motorola Edge 30 Ultra – a phone with a 144Hz OLED display, one of the first 200MP shooters, a 60MP selfie camera and 125W fast charging. Finally, the Samsung Galaxy S22+ 5G has a large 120Hz OLED, one of the fastest Android chips and three great cameras on the back, including a zoom camera.
The iPhone 14 Plus is, as usual, one of the best iPhones Apple has ever made. It does exactly what it’s supposed to do – deliver a non-professional experience on a larger screen. A big plus of the new size is the larger battery capacity and hence – better battery life.
iPhone 14 Plus is one of the lightest 6.7-inch smartphones with flagship-level design, display, speakers, battery life, performance and video quality. Meanwhile, its new cameras, including the autofocus selfie camera, are as controversial as ever – as if their quality hasn’t changed in generations due to heavy processing and excessive resolution.
However, despite not having a high refresh rate screen or a zoom camera, the iPhone 14 Plus finds its way into people’s hearts and pockets. Many users will not be upset by this.
Its price tag might be too close to the Pro Max 13 for its own good, but last year’s flagship model is officially discontinued, so you’ll have to get it from an independent retailer, but it’s definitely the better of the two.
That doesn’t make the iPhone 14 Plus a bad smartphone, and it’s worth it if you don’t need the extra features that the Pro models offer.
Samsung Galaxy A54 review, specifications
Samsung Galaxy A54 review. Check the price, technical specifications, camera, hardware, software, battery, charging speed and other features of the Samsung Galaxy A54 phone.
Samsung Galaxy A54 review, specifications
People love Samsung Galaxy A5x series mid-range phones. In fact, each of its members has been the best-selling model for the Korean company for several years in a row. And of course, the newest of this family is the Galaxy A54. So it’s no surprise that this phone seems to be attracting a lot of fans as well. Based on our statistics, we can confirm that this is the mid-range phone that you are most interested in and have been since it was launched.
So what makes the Galaxy A54 so enticing? Definitely, the brand of this phone makes the buyer attracted to this phone. Maybe you can have a Samsung phone by buying this phone without spending your money on the Samsung S series phone. In 2023, the company has harmonized its designs more than ever before for its range of slab-style smartphones, so this phone is considered a Samsung phone for everyone.
But that can’t be the whole story, there’s certainly magic here, a rare set of features that most people would be willing to buy at the price of this phone. Well, that’s what we explore using the Galaxy A54 as our one and only smartphone for a long time. This long-term review describes our next impressions.
The Galaxy A54 is definitely a Samsung 2023. This phone is unmistakably Samsung in terms of design, and that can be seen as a good feature as well as a bad feature. For clarity, we are referring to the back of the phone here. You’d definitely mistake this phone for something like the S23+ from a distance, unless you’re well-versed in the positioning of the LED flash across Samsung’s lineup.
Obviously, this is a deliberate choice on the part of the Korean company. While Apple and Google keep a third camera sensor for their more expensive devices, creating a strong artificial distinction, Samsung puts three camera circles on the A54, three on the S23+, three on almost every device regardless of price. presents. They are almost in similar situations.
That said, we prefer separate camera circles to some of the monstrosities of an island that pop out of China from time to time. You, of course, may disagree, and that’s fine – you don’t look at the back of your phone much, do you?
On the front of the phone, things are different and the concert is a high pose. The bottom frame is so much bigger than the others that it shows the mid-range of this phone well. In a cheap, mid-range way. This feature certainly doesn’t trick anyone into thinking it’s more expensive than it is, and before you say that’s inevitable at these prices – it’s not. Ask nothing, ask Poco – frames that look symmetrical (even if they technically aren’t) are definitely achievable even in the middle of the price range.
So, again, not having them is a choice on Samsung’s part, which leaves us a little confused. This phone could be more expensive from the back, but it actually looks cheaper from the front. This is high level bipolar.
However, this phone is slippery. The glass back on our white model doesn’t seem to show fingerprints at all, which is great – but as you might know, that’s always at the cost of being more slippery than before. The plastic frame doesn’t help either. While it’s not as slippery as a matte metal case (it’s a few things, it’s still among the most slippery plastic cases we’ve used recently).
Handling is good for people with large hands, only good for those with medium hands, and terrible for those with small hands. The width of this phone is large. If you have large hands, you can experience good handling, but it definitely feels bigger than most of the regular devices on the market. We can say that they have an average hand with a good hand league.
The weight of the phone, like its width, can be a concern. It’s actually not a lot, but we suppose the extra 5 grams might have made the phone’s handling a bit worrisome (like an extra 2mm).
The box is almost empty – not exactly Sony-like, but unsurprisingly Samsung-like (hello, Apple). Inside the box, you get the phone and the cable. This is it. No frame, no charger, nothing else. Can you buy them separately? Of course. Do you have to? That’s a different conversation we don’t want to get into again. But we will point out that the Chinese competitors of this phone generally pack both a charger and a case in the box. Somehow it can be done in China, but not in Korea.
Turning to the design, the feeling is very very, general and generally safe Samsung. We’re willing to bet that you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who has complained about this phone in any way. So, it works, but it also has the real potential to feel incredibly boring to a lot of people. It will be a match made in Seoul (though to be honest more likely Vietnam or India). But if you want to be amazed every time you pick up your phone – simply put, look elsewhere.
It’s one of those things that “get out of your way and let you live your life”. You won’t notice it, you won’t admire it, you won’t even be able to describe it if you have to (now that’s us), you won’t remember it, it won’t make any impression – but you won’t regret it either. And this is also important.
The Galaxy A54’s speakers are dual which is great and they work. They’re definitely nowhere near the highest quality speakerphones we’ve tested, in fact they’re pretty average (or, as the guys say, mediocre ). But they’re there and they get the job done – just not in noisy places. There you have to hold the phone close to your ear to hear sounds even at maximum volume.
The fact that the top speaker only has one through-the-phone opening doesn’t help either. Xiaomi and its sub-brands have recently done this trick, where there is a separate second opening for that speaker at the top of the case, and so the sound simply sounds fuller, richer and most importantly louder. So, the Poco F5’s speakers are actually louder than these, but not by much. Just a little, though, unless you have these side by side for comparison, the A54 is unlikely to disappoint you. They won’t wow you in any way, in any way (and that seems to be the trend with this phone, at least so far).
Galaxy A54 has a vibration motor and it is good. It doesn’t wow you regularly (or ever, really), but it’s there and it gets the job done. For what it’s worth, it’s a lot better than the Poco F5 model we recently reviewed in the long run, but that’s too little to clear.
They’re similar in the sense you get of being 2D (the best ones are more like “3D”, for lack of a better explanation), but the Galaxy A54 feels more spacious. Not a lot of it, just a little more. If you’ve never used a phone with an awesome vibration engine, you’re probably wondering what we’re talking about here. But if you have, don’t expect this one to be anywhere near the same league.
However, we like how customizable the vibrations are – you get separate vibration intensity sliders for calls, notifications, system items, and media, which is more than most skins offer. Unfortunately, given how weak this engine is, we had to max them all out, but with better hardware, the customization feature would be very useful. And the same goes for the fact that you can enable or disable vibrations for touch interactions, dialing, charging, gesture navigation and camera feedback. We still wish there were more vibrations in One UI, but it’s definitely not the skin that lacks them the most.
The “vibrate sound for incoming calls” setting seems like Samsung admitting how weak the engine itself is, and giving you a band for a problem it’s caused itself – it’s really funny. So the engine is weak enough that you probably won’t feel it much – hey, here’s a setup that plays a vibrating sound through the speakers to help you out.
The Galaxy A54’s screen is probably the best thing about it, and by quite a bit. Battery life is the next best thing , but we’ll get to that in due course. For now, let’s applaud Samsung for not skimping on display quality here. The panel you get on the Galaxy A54 may not be top notch, but it’s excellent and incredibly detailed.
Samsung also has the best color settings on the market in our opinion. You get Natural, which is perfectly tuned to the sRGB color space, and Vivid, which is nicely tuned to DCI-P3, but it gets even better if you go for the warmest tone. You can also play with separate red, green and blue levels if you want. These are all the settings you need, and therefore all the settings you get. No complicated mess here (hear that Xiaomi?).
Now, when it comes to brightness, the Galaxy A54 plays at the high end in that mid-range “around 1000 nits” field. It’s not a record breaker by any means, even for the price, but it’s at least for most people to consider a panel that’s visible in all lighting conditions, even on a bright sunny day. It won’t be as easy to read in such conditions as the ones that go higher, but it will be , and at this price point, it’s important to note that. It’s also 150 nits brighter than its predecessor, which is noticeable and will definitely be noticeable side-by-side.
At the low end of the brightness scale, the Galaxy A54, like most smartphones these days, doesn’t really dim enough to make reading a book comfortable, especially if you’re viewing a lot of things with a white background in dark, dark environments. Fortunately, though, that doesn’t matter because unlike other companies, Samsung has implemented an Extra dim feature that does exactly what the name suggests. It has its own slider and makes the screen less than its lowest brightness setting.
We don’t know why Google had to come up with this solution for the obvious fact that the screen has been dimming lately, but we’re glad it did. We still think Extra dim should be integrated with the brightness slider and not as a completely separate feature, but it’s nice to have.
The auto-brightness algorithm on the Galaxy A54 is excellent. It’s not the best we’ve tested recently, but it’s definitely well above average. Manual adjustment was still required for the first two weeks of our use, but after that we barely touched the brightness slider, and we think that’s how it should be. The algorithm is better than many we’ve seen on much more expensive phones, so while we’re always striving for perfection, given the market’s current state of affairs, we were very pleased with it.
The Galaxy A54 has a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz and you should definitely use the Adaptive setting in Motion smoothness, which is what gets it there. That being said, don’t expect this 120Hz to feel like other 120Hz refresh rate modes on other phones. There’s so much clutter and lag throughout the UI, and the chipset seems to struggle with even basic scrolling in some apps, that it’s not going to be a smooth experience.
Still, it’s smoother than if you chose standard mode, so there’s that. We’ll talk more about the smoothness (or lack thereof) in the dedicated section of this review, don’t worry. As always, we just used the high refresh rate setting because the battery life was great anyway and there’s no other reason to go lower.
The screen is always on
One UI’s always-on display is highly customizable in terms of how it appears – with a tap, always, on a schedule, or just for new notifications. In fact, it may be the most customizable in the field. Less is more when it comes to what’s displayed on it – you get music playback information, notification icons and a few clock styles to choose from, as well as the option to use stickers, AR emoticons, Bitmoji or an image. Gallery, but that’s it.
There are more comprehensive options in other skins, but if you haven’t used one of them, we don’t think you’re missing out. The fact that AOD can use an auto-brightness algorithm to adapt itself to ambient light levels is great, although we’re not entirely sure why anyone would turn this off (it’s on by default, as it should be). After all, if you want, you can – “If you want, you can” could very well be the motto of One UI.
The blue light filter is called the Eye comfort shield, and it can automatically adjust the display’s colors based on the time of day – with slight adjustments during the day and much warmer colors at night. It’s a simple trick, but otherwise very simple, with a color temperature slider and the ability to program it to turn on at dusk and off at sunrise or at a custom interval. It definitely gets the job done, but maybe it could be a little more customizable, as customization is a big thing in One UI.
The Galaxy A54 has an in-display fingerprint scanner. Most of its competitors have peripheral sensors, and Samsung’s S-series devices have recently had the best under-display sensors built. So this one must be amazing too?
It is not like the flagship ultrasonic line. It’s the optics that aren’t a problem per se – we’ve managed some pretty good optical scanners over the past few years. They are not quite at the ultrasonic level, but they can come very close.
This is not one of them. It’s not just great, or outstanding, or amazing. It works, but it’s slower than most sensors we’ve used in the last year or so, and the accuracy, while not bad, is nowhere near top notch. We hit the first try about 90-92% of the time, which sounds like a lot but it’s not. 95% would be great, 97-99% is great in our book, especially for in-display sensors, and while there are ultrasonic sensors on the S series, this one isn’t.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s pretty clear that this is a cheaper part that wasn’t given much priority when building the bill of materials for this phone. It’s clear that Samsung thought the Galaxy A54 should have an in-display sensor so that it might feel more superior to its competitors with peripheral sensors, but then the company didn’t go out and make a great sensor and spend what it could. commented No more than a few dollars per unit.
Look, you can’t max out all the parts on any mid-range device, because then what you end up with isn’t mid-range anymore. But the fingerprint scanner is something you interact with dozens, if not hundreds, of times every day, and regardless, it doesn’t make the entire user experience feel like you’re getting more value than you paid for. In some ways, it cheapens it to a lower point. Of course, if you use fingerprint authentication.
If not, you’ll be more interested to know that there is also face unlock, and it works, and it’s not too fast either. It’s a lot faster than using a fingerprint sensor, but we’re not sure the 15-20% increase in unlock time is worth the security trade-off since it’s a camera-only factory-type thing. There’s a setting to not unlock if your eyes are closed, which is great and we’ve tested and it works as intended. That being said, don’t forget that such a basic face unlock is shown to be easily tricked by pictures or videos of the owner of the phone.
The Galaxy A54 is the laziest and slowest phone we’ve reviewed in a long time. It actually reminds us of a non-professional Redmi Note from a few years ago. Its chipset doesn’t seem to have been chosen for reasons related to performance, smoothness or the ability to handle a lot of things on a day-to-day basis.
Instead, Samsung seems to know that it’s cheaper to buy these off its own shelves than from Qualcomm or MediaTek, which is fine in principle, but the chip is a lot better than phones that cost half the price of the Galaxy A54. At such a price, we praise it. Given the A54’s price, this is its biggest weakness, and by a very narrow margin.
It’s not unusable, but it’s so much slower and shakier than the Poco F5, which we recently reviewed at length, that it’s hard to use two similarly priced devices. It works very differently in this context. Microscooters appear at the most random times, and if you try to multitask intensively, you’ll definitely notice how hard it is for the Exynos 1380.
Again, this chip is commendable in a device half the price of the Galaxy A54. But in this range, it’s not good enough, especially in late 2023, and especially considering that this is Samsung’s best-selling model.
That said, keep in mind that with the insane number of mid-range and entry-level phones out there, we only get to review a handful of them for any length of time each year, so we’re definitely not saying this one is the least flawed. Of all those on the market. Just from everything we tried in the long run.
With that very important caveat in mind, perhaps a comparison with the Poco F5 is in order, as the two are quite close in price. And in terms of performance and smoothness, no competition, the Poco wins by a mile. That being said, performance and smoothness aren’t everything, so in concluding this review, we’re going to compare things a little deeper.
Battery life, charging
Battery life on the Galaxy A54 has been fantastic. That’s the best battery life we’ve gotten from any phone we’ve reviewed recently, and while it’s not much better than many of the phones we’ve rated “excellent,” the difference It is still quite evident day by day. life so maybe this is one of the features of this chipset.
Based on our usage described below, we never needed a mid-day charge during our time with the A54. not once And when we finished our 12- to 16-hour day off the charger, we were generally left with a generous battery capacity still in the tank. Based on this, we can say that the maximum time we can theoretically achieve with the screen will be at least 8 hours, and 9 hours seems very achievable.
Now, the fact that the battery lasts so long mitigates the lack of fast charging to some extent. Sure, Samsung calls itself “fast,” but in this day and age, given what the A54’s competitors are capable of, that’s more laughable than accurate. The A54 isn’t terribly slow, mind you, just over an hour from zero to full, but it’s definitely not winning any awards. You’ll also need to get your own charger, as Samsung doesn’t provide one in the box.
Our usage mainly consisted of a Wi-Fi 6 connection, about an hour or so of 5G, Bluetooth and always-on location, about an hour or two of listening to music or podcasts through the TWS headphones, about an hour of phone calls also through the headphones. It is TWS. And about 30 minutes of GPS navigation through Waze. The usual caveats apply: if your usage is much heavier than ours, spending more time on mobile data, and especially in hotspot areas, then your screen time numbers will definitely be lower than ours.
One UI 5.1, update
At the time of writing, the Galaxy A54 is about to receive the Android 14-based One UI 6 update, but it’s not quite there yet. Depending on where you are in the world, this may have changed in the meantime, and if you buy an A54 now, you may have an update waiting for you when you take the phone out of the box. And even if it doesn’t happen right away, it will undoubtedly happen very soon – Samsung has been pretty good lately at delivering big Android updates to many of its devices in a very short period of time, once it’s been great. Speak up – and the ball is definitely already in motion.
One UI 6 isn’t that different from One UI 5.x, which itself wasn’t that different from its predecessor. At this point, One UI is pretty much a known quantity in the mobile world, and that’s probably a good thing for most casual users who might not enjoy big UI changes from year to year. On the other hand, if you’re more of an enthusiast and have had Samsung devices in the recent past, you might find it a little boring.
One thing that has definitely changed in the last year or two is the quality control for updates. During our long time with the Galaxy A54, we encountered absolutely no glitches. zero none And it’s something that many of Samsung’s competitors could definitely learn from (we’re thinking primarily of Xiaomi and Poco and Redmi, but in truth, even Google sometimes spoils things with an update or two does – the difference is that with Google everything is usually done with the next monthly update, while in Xiaomiland it’s sometimes several months and it’s very clear, unfortunately there are still glaring bugs).
We honestly can’t remember the last time a Samsung update introduced any bugs, and that’s commendable, especially since the A54 isn’t a top-of-the-line device, and for many companies it seems logical – the higher up. Due to the price, more care is taken with such things, while mid-range and especially low-end phones are usually left alone.
This isn’t a good strategy in our book, as many people will buy a cheaper model first and then, if they’re satisfied, eventually move on to something more expensive from the same brand – many of our friends have done this with Samsung phones.
But if the phone is cheap, they’ll just switch to another manufacturer — or in some cases, decide to buy an iPhone based on an “all Android phone” experience. Samsung seems to understand this well, at least when it comes to updates and bugs – it’s less concerned with the overall performance and smoothness of its mid-rangers, but we’ve already talked about that in the previous part of this review.
As for updates, Samsung actually releases monthly security patches on a monthly basis, which is still not something that happens across the entire mobile industry. Not only that, but they’re usually quite timely, and may even arrive at different points before Google sends the same update to its Pixels. That’s to be commended, as is generally the case with the speedy rollout of a major Android update, especially considering how many more devices Samsung updates compared to Google.
At the time of writing, our Galaxy A54 was on the October security patch level, which is perfectly acceptable given that we received a security update every month while using it – and in the right month, no less (so, Here’s the September update.End of October “Insults”. If One UI 6 hadn’t arrived, we’re sure we’d have received the November security patch in the first half of November as well.
One UI still has its quirks, but after so long in the market, we imagine most people are used to having two separate app stores, for example – not that it makes sense from a user experience point of view. View, of course, but Samsung wants to play the ecosystem game, and this is one way to do it, although it may be annoying for end users. It can’t get rid of the Play Store since then, but it can’t use Google apps, but it also wants its own duplicate built-in apps that are the default, so you’re not tied to its ecosystem.
We really wonder how well this has worked – how many people actually use Samsung’s default apps rather than Google’s existing apps. The first option means you have a significant incentive to switch to another Samsung phone, while the second option gives you the freedom to switch to any other Android device without a problem.
Of course, Samsung really wants you to buy their device, and that’s understandable, but do people actually do it? We can’t tell you for sure, our guess is that the more tech-savvy will use Google’s offerings precisely for the freedom of change it entails (and let’s not forget that these apps are often actually better), in Whereas normal people might just go with the defaults and never think about it.
After that, Samsung has been working more with Google in recent times – the Messages app is an odd mix of Google Messages and the Samsung app of the same name, and thankfully the two no longer come pre-installed. You also get RCS support, which is sure to be appreciated by up to a dozen people around the world – and the rest are probably fine using WhatsApp or Telegram or Signal or Facebook Messenger or whatever.
However, in the US, you’re kind of stuck with the Messages app because iPhone owners can’t shake their addiction to the iMessage bubble, so it’s nice that RCS gives them a decent set of features on top of SMS for chatting. They’re meeting people with other Android phones (and next year Apple will support RCS too, so while the green bubbles won’t go away, there will certainly be better feature interoperability).
As always, Samsung’s native apps are all updated through their own app store, and sometimes other non-native apps are updated a bit faster this way, but most are updated through the Play Store. Obviously, it’s not an ideal situation, but most of you are probably used to it by now, so we won’t whine about it any further.
The settings menu is as extensive as ever, with hundreds of things to tinker with, so if you enjoy doing that, you can spend hours going through each option and customizing it to your heart’s content. Customization has always been a huge issue with One UI, and that hasn’t changed at all. Of course, you don’t have to do that if you don’t want to, and just stick to all the defaults.
However, you’ll notice that the phone doesn’t display any notification content on the lock screen by default, something we’ve been encouraged by for years with One UI, and yet still has to allow settings and more. of the icon to show you a program. To visualize this, imagine One UI treating the lock screen like most other always-on display skins – you get an icon and that’s it. It’s not necessarily a better or worse way of doing things (it does increase privacy, after all), it’s just different for being different.
Speaking of which, by default long-pressing the power button still launches Bixby instead of presenting the power menu. This can also be easily fixed by going into the settings.
For us these were the only two defaults that definitely needed changing, but for you things may be different, so after you first boot your phone, spend at least half an hour fiddling with things like this (or definitely mostly if tinkering is your hobby).
Launcher, dark mode
The One UI launcher has been pretty much unchanged for years, which is great if you’re coming from an older Samsung. However, that means it has the same quirks about it – like the horizontally scrolling app drawer, and perhaps most importantly, the fact that said app drawer is, by default, sorted alphabetically. has not been Point one: folders in the app drawer. Why? We can’t tell you, we think all these “features” make it harder to find apps in the drawer, but maybe it makes sense to you.
Anyway, if that’s not the case, you can at least switch to alphabetical sorting, although there’s nothing you can do about navigation and folders (you can try removing all apps from each one, but that might also fix it. Time consuming and annoying – if so, we don’t judge you).
Interestingly, Samsung’s version of Google’s Discover feed is gone. Last time we saw it, it was called Samsung Free, and in our opinion it was a lesser alternative to the Google Discover feed, but it was the default. Now, it is simply gone, and we can only say: Done! This leaves the aforementioned Google Discover feed as the only option for your “-1” page – the one on the far left of the homepage. You can also, in the spirit of customization, turn it off if you don’t like it.
The recent apps screen scrolls horizontally, as most do these days, and this one has a neat feature we like to use – you get four “suggested apps” at the bottom. The software tries to predict exactly where you want to go, and it does so with incredible accuracy, at least for us. 85% of the time, the app we wanted to switch to was one of the four apps we thought were commendable.
There is a dark mode and it is completely empty. There aren’t any fancy customization options here, oddly enough, as there are plenty of them for many other features. You can turn it on and off, schedule it from dusk to dawn or with custom clocks, and if you go to the wallpaper and style section of the settings, you can also turn on “dim wallpaper when dark mode is on”. This is it.
Of course it works as intended, but as we said before – some additional customization options would definitely be appreciated.
Gesture navigation is of course present on the Galaxy A54, and generally works well, with one exception that we’ll detail below. We like the fact that you can hide the white tablet bar at the bottom, a “motion gesture” as it’s called, and still swipe up on the bottom of the screen to quickly switch apps. In some other recent skins, you can no longer do this, which is a shame.
You can also customize motion sensitivity, which we think is a welcome feature. You can choose a higher setting if you’re using a case and find the back movement difficult, or a lower setting if the movement is random.
While we didn’t encounter any bugs per se during our time with the A54, there is a certain amount of “performance” that baffles us. We’d preface it by saying that this behavior was common across all Samsung devices a few years ago, but now none of the flagships (be it the S series or the foldable) have it anymore, which makes us think it’s somehow the case. It has to do with how well the chipset can perform. And since the A54 SoC is anything but a great performer, this issue unfortunately reared its ugly head here.
We’re talking about how, when you swipe up from the bottom, a lot of times, the phone first interprets the gesture as scrolling, but then, about a second later, it realizes that you’re you really are It wanted to go home so what happens within a second is it scrolls through the app you’re currently in, then it goes home. Needless to say, when you return to said app, you won’t be “on top of the page” thanks to the navigation we just described.
This may not bother you at all, but it shouldn’t happen. Our unconfirmed theory, based on how other flagship devices don’t have this feature, is that it takes a lot of processing power just to interpret the gesture on Samsung’s phones, which aren’t very talented in the performance category, and it happens. It’s unfortunate, and if true, it means that One UI processes gestures differently than any other skin, because we’ve never, ever had this problem on any non-Samsung smartphone. Hopefully the company fixes this issue soon, because it’s not a great user experience to say the least.
The Galaxy A54 has three rear cameras, one of which is a macro camera, which as usual we’ll ignore for our long-term review. That said, if you want examples of that, our regular review will happily provide them for you. Suffice it to say, you won’t be surprised at all.
The other two are actually useful cameras, so let’s dive into what they can achieve. The main sensor here is a new 50-megapixel sensor, bringing the pixel to 12.5 megapixels, while the ultra-wide is 12 megapixels. Before we even see the samples, can we just say how happy we are to see a 12-megapixel camera at this price, rather than an ultra-wide 8-megapixel one?
The main camera takes good photos during the day with excellent detail, high contrast, wide dynamic range and accurate white balance. Of course, the colors are Samsung, but fortunately not so much that they look like cartoons. And the same theme of containment continues with sharpening – yes, there is, but not much, at least in our opinion. The images have a Samsung look that a lot of people seem to like, so it’s all good for now.
Moving on to ultra-wide, color matching isn’t great with the original sensor, but it’s better than what most of the A54’s competitors can do. Overall image quality is definitely better than what you’d get from that ubiquitous 8MP ultra-wide, but still a step down from what the main camera produces. If you compare these shots to the 1x shots, and especially to the 2x shots, there’s an overall softness – which we’ll get to later. They are also always darker or lower than 1x or 2x images.
Although there is no dedicated zoom camera, there is a 2x option in the viewfinder and of course we tried it. This gives you a center crop of the full-resolution 50MP images captured by the main camera. So the quality is a step down from the 12.5MP stock photos you get at 1x auto, but it’s still quite usable, although there are sometimes slight color differences that are a bit odd since we’re talking about the same sensor. Also, many times 2x images will be sharper than 1x, to the point where some of you might even call them too sharp.
Interestingly, the Galaxy A54, like most phones these days, has no manual setting for automatic night mode. There’s an automatic night mode, it’s on by default and you can’t turn it off permanently – just when the crescent icon appears in the viewfinder. It’s interesting that the Auto Night mode appears much less often than on many other devices – the ambient light threshold seems to be set lower here.
The auto mode photos you can see here were all as ‘auto’ as possible – we didn’t disable auto night mode when the crescent icon appeared. The resulting photos are good, with wide dynamic range and excellent detail levels. White balance is usually on point but sometimes misses, otherwise these are very serviceable, while admittedly nowhere near the quality that the top devices are producing these days.
In manual night mode, the differences are usually minor, especially if you compare automatic shooting with automatic night mode engaged with the same shot in manual night mode. In such a scenario, you will most likely struggle to see any changes. And yet, there are still some – usually the highlights are better. Also, the resolution seems to be increased quite a bit. When automatic night mode was not engaged, the differences were a bit more, but still not night and day (pardon the pun).
We usually like to suggest which mode is best for night photography for most people, but in this case it’s hard. In the end, the auto mode seems to be good enough for most settings, we just wish that the auto night mode would activate at a higher ambient light threshold than it currently does. As it is, when it’s not, there are still scenes where the manual night mode improves things, even if only slightly.
Faraway fights at night. Less than most 8MP ultra-wides in the mid-range space, but still not comparable for a main camera. Colors are washed out, dynamic range is reduced, and detail levels are anything but great. There is also no automatic night mode processing for this.
So using manual night mode is almost a must in low-light conditions, even if it costs a few seconds shot-by-shot. Night mode brightens up shadows and the overall look, but the quality still isn’t amazing. If you have to, you can use some of these.
2x night shots are very good, with decent detail levels. They’re a little worse overall and definitely a little sharper than what you get on the 1x, but still mostly usable.
Night mode makes things even sharper, which you might prefer over Auto Night mode, which otherwise improves photos somewhat but not by much. It also sometimes leans towards watercolor painting territory depending on the scene and the exact level of ambient light.
As usual, Samsung selfies come in two versions. You can take 12MP photos from the wider mode, or 8MP if you choose crop mode for a closer look. Wider shots are excellent, with good detail levels, accurate colors and very good dynamic range. Interestingly, though, colors are a bit less than we’d expect from a Samsung – the trademark ‘pop’ you get with the rear cameras isn’t quite as intense.
The crop option always results in slightly lower quality images, so keep that in mind. Portrait mode selfies look good, but they’re really nothing to write home about. From a distance, subject isolation looks decent enough, but when you look a little closer, you’ll see that it’s constantly missing stray hairs and the like. Also, the whole look of these is too artificial, for lack of a better description – that bokeh isn’t very natural, is it?
At night, you’ll need plenty of ambient light around to take some usable selfies, and of course use the screen flash function. If so, 9 times out of 10 you will have a usable photo. The lower the ambient light, the more the sensor will struggle, so keep that in mind.
Overall, the A54 has a very capable main camera that produces excellent results during the day and good results at night. Ultra-wide is a touch above the overused 8MP sensors we can still find in some competitors even at this price point. It manages good images during the day, but struggles at night, as do most ultra-wide images, except on really high-end phones. 2x zoom photos are surprisingly good during the day and generally usable at night, while selfies are pretty good during the day and decent in low light if not too low.
For the price, the Galaxy A54 has a great display and great cameras. Battery life is, in our book, fantastic at any price . And the same goes for software support: monthly updates are delivered every month as they should be, and major Android updates are released very quickly as soon as Samsung gets their hands on them, which is usually more than two months after release. The new Google won’t last.
These are the high points. Given that this is a mid-ranger, there are a lot of things that, understandably, are just average: we’re talking about handling for those who don’t have big hands (and if you have small hands, you probably want Stay away), fingerprint sensor, speakers and vibration motor.
A UI itself is a known value at this point, which can be positive or negative depending on your personal perspective. On the one hand, it is incredibly easy to start using this phone when it comes from another Samsung. On the other hand, every new version of One UI is incremental and it hasn’t been a big change for a while.
There’s nothing wrong with that, though — unless you count the weird behavior when doing the go home gesture, which almost always results in a bit of scrolling around within the app you’re in before you’re actually taken to your home screen. will be But that might be what bothers us more than you.
The skin-specific features that are already well known are still there: you get two app stores and two of the many built-in apps, one from Google, one from Samsung. The Korean company still wants to play ecosystem, and if you’re into that, then you’re in for a treat. We see a lot of pointless repetition, but for what it’s worth, it’s pretty easy to just ignore Samsung’s apps and rely solely on Google’s.
The main weakness of A54 is related to performance and especially its softness. It’s fairly lacking on the front end, which we can probably get past because it’s not trying to be a flagship, but the amount of minor stutters and lags during our use of it doesn’t make for a smooth phone by any means. In fact, it’s the least flawed phone we’ve reviewed long-term in two years. And yes, the A54 is cheaper than any top-shelf device, but so is the Poco F5, which runs circles around it in terms of smoothness.
As you might expect, the Poco has its downsides: the vibration motor and the cameras are worse, if not by much, but the difference is stark. Additionally, there are bugs that go unfixed for months, and the software updates that do come are fewer and farther between. The Poco has other positives too, like a much better fingerprint sensor, and the fact that it looks more expensive from the front – unfortunately, the A54 only gives off that illusion from the back. When you flip it over, it actually looks cheaper than it’s worth due to the overly thick bezels.
We’re doing these comparisons because the two phones are currently very close in price, but we can’t say which one is the best per se — if you want better software support, display, battery life, and camera. And it can live with a mediocre fingerprint sensor, a shaky engine and a general lack of smoothness, the Galaxy A54 should be your pick. Conversely, if performance and especially smoothness are your top priority, and you don’t mind small compromises in camera, battery life, and software support, you should probably go for the Poco F5.
The Galaxy A54 isn’t a bad phone , it’s a good phone that could have been much better if Samsung had paid more attention to competing with similarly priced devices from other brands. The company seems to feel it can do no wrong with the A5x line, that people will buy these no matter what, so since that’s the case why not maximize profits here and there, right?
This seems to be quite the theme for Samsung of late, as it’s safe to say that it’s headed down a similar path with its foldables. And it works until there is no clear, better alternative available internationally. But sometimes such alternatives pop up, like this year’s OnePlus Open, and then it quickly becomes clear how much Samsung is resting on its laurels.
It’s the same story at this particular point in the midrange. The A5x line seems like your best bet for most people, and it might be, but only if you look at Samsung’s lineup. The moment you compare it to phones from other brands, you get to the point where you really need to consider software support and a much better display and battery life to justify such a purchase. Of course, you can also just play the posing game, and want something that remotely resembles a high-end Samsung, and then all is well, the A54 delivers.
But it doesn’t deliver in all the areas it should, and that’s a huge missed opportunity in our book. Unlike many people, we have nothing against Exynos chipsets, but this chipset is simply not suitable for a device at this price, in 2023. And it’s no big surprise, it’s been obvious since the A54 was announced that this would be the case, but Samsung kept going.
Let’s put it this way: with a better chipset (Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2, for example) and a better fingerprint sensor (even if it’s side-mounted), this could easily be a “just go and buy it, thought Don’t “think about it twice” advice at this price. As it is, we definitely suggest that you give it a lot of thought and carefully weigh the pros and cons that we’ve laid out for you in this long-term review based on your specific needs and preferences.
Introducing the advanced features of Google Maps
Google Maps guides you from A-to-B, but has more advanced features. Here are the advanced features of Google Maps.
Introducing the advanced features of Google Maps
You can use Google Maps to check the local weather. According to Android Police, the feature is currently available for the iOS app and the web app, and it looks like Google is currently rolling it out (or at least testing it) for the Android app.
If you’re using iOS, open the Google Maps app and zoom in on a city or region. You should see a small tile below the search bar at the top of the screen that shows the current temperature and a weather icon.
As you move through the Google Maps app, the tile will update to show the local weather. If the tile doesn’t show up for you, tap any location in the current map view, then deselect it. This should return to the default view, including the weather tile.
If you’re using the Google Maps web app, you’ll need to click on a location to access weather information. This time, you will find weather details in the information panel next to the location name.
You can also click on the weather icon to get a more detailed forecast for the location you’re viewing.
Once you’ve chosen a place to visit, you’ll probably want to explore what to see and do while you’re there. Google Maps can help you navigate the hustle and bustle of new places by showing you how busy areas are and even the busiest times to visit attractions, restaurants, and other places.
As you zoom in on a city, the busiest areas are highlighted in yellow. So, if you prefer to stay outside the busiest parts of the city, you can use this information to help you choose the best place to stay. Likewise, if you want to avoid the crowds, you might want to visit the highlights early in the morning.
If you click on a landmark, cafe, or anywhere else you want to visit, Google Maps will show the busiest times, provided the location has enough traffic to provide this data. It shows you the busiest times to visit each day of the week and gives you live data, which shows whether places are less or more crowded than usual.
3. Walking routes of the live show
With Live View in Google Maps, you can use the platform’s Street View overlay to guide you on walking routes. To use this feature, your device must be compatible with ARKit (iOS) or ARCore (Android) tools for augmented reality experiences. You must also be in an area with a street view.
To access Live View when you’re away from home, follow these steps:
- Open Google Maps and select a location to navigate to.
- Drag down the location screen to reveal the Live View icon.
- Tap Live View.
- Point your phone camera at buildings and signs to pinpoint your location.
- Follow the red markers to reach your destination.
Hopefully it goes without saying, but Live View is only designed for navigation on foot, not in moving vehicles. You can also use this feature to navigate and make sure you’re on the right track. This can save your battery (and data!) if you have a long walk ahead of you.
4. Find the most optimal route before departure
If you rent a car on your travels, using fuel-efficient routes can help you cut costs and reduce your environmental impact. Google Maps will automatically recommend the most economical route if you’ve enabled the option to prefer fuel-efficient routes in the settings.
- Open Google Maps.
- Tap your account icon to the right of the search bar.
- Select Settings.
- Go to Navigation settings and tap on it.
- Scroll down to Route options.
- Activate Prefer fuel-efficient routes.
Now, to get the most fuel-efficient route for a road trip, use the Directions feature in Google Maps as usual:
- Enter your destination in the search bar.
- Click on Directions.
- Enter your starting point (or choose your location).
- Make sure the drive icon is selected below the search bars.
5. Save a route for later
You can save routes in Google Maps for later, allowing you to plan trips in advance without repeating the same steps when it’s time to hit the road. To save a route, all you have to do is tap the Pin button on the selected route tab. Once this is done, the button’s label will change to Pinned, indicating that the track has been saved for later.
You can also save routes for other modes of transportation: walking, public transit, etc. This means you can plan those routes to attractions, interesting restaurants, and anywhere else before your trip and quickly access them when you need them.
- Open the Google Maps application.
- Tap on Go in the menu at the bottom of the screen .
- Select the pinned track you want to access from the list.
When you select a route, you will receive updated travel information for estimated arrival times and any disruptions that may cause delays.
6. Download Maps For Overseas Travel
Google Maps is a great travel tool, but it doesn’t help much if you lose internet access on the road. Fortunately, you save maps for offline use before you travel, so you can still navigate without internet access.
- Open the Google Maps application.
- Search for a location (eg, San Francisco).
- Pull up the location tab in full screen mode.
- Tap the three dots icon at the top right of the screen.
- Select Download offline map.
You can still access driving directions using offline maps as long as the entire route is available on the saved map. Keep in mind that when using maps offline, you won’t get travel information or features such as alternate routes, most economical routes, etc.
7. Share your location to make solo travel safer
If you’re traveling alone, sharing your location with someone you trust is a safety travel essential. Whether you’re traveling solo abroad or hiking, sharing your location can help authorities intervene more quickly if there’s a problem.
- Open the Google Maps application.
- Tap your account icon to the right of the search bar.
- Select Share Location.
- Tap on Location sharing.
- Set the sharing time or select Until you turn this off.
- Select the contact(s) you want to share your location with.
- Tap Submit.
Traveling solo is a different experience and overcoming challenges like not knowing the language is all part of the fun. It’s possible that nothing serious will happen, but in the unlikely event that you need emergency help, location sharing can save your life.
Whether you’re planning your next trip or need help finding the best restaurants in a new city, Google Maps has you covered. With live information, you can choose the fastest or least expensive routes for road trips and see how crowded places are to avoid the crowds.
You also have the latest weather forecasts to help you choose the best days to travel and avoid getting caught in the rain. Saving routes for the future and downloading offline maps makes life easier after you’re on the move, and sharing your location can protect you and anyone you’re traveling with. With Google Maps, there’s no excuse for getting lost or running out of ideas for things to do on your trip.
The best student Chromebooks 2023, buying guide
The best student Chromebooks are affordable alternatives to the best Windows laptops and the best MacBooks for both students and those working in education.
The best student Chromebooks 2023, buying guide
In addition to affordability, strong battery life is another feature offered by most Chromebooks. This is useful for students, especially since a single charge can usually get you through a full day of school or college classes. Some even have touchscreens or the ability to fold the screen into a tablet, giving them more versatility.
And as mentioned above, Chromebooks are affordable. While even the most entry-level MacBooks sell for around $900, a mid-range Chromebook can cost up to $300. Plus, for high-income college students or even teachers, there are premium options in the $500-$700 range.
Below, we’ve listed some of the best student Chromebooks you can buy.
Read more: The best gaming PCs 2023, buying guide
The best student Chromebooks you can buy today
1. Samsung Chromebook 4
Reasons to buy
- Long battery life
- Thinner and lighter than competitors
- good performance
Reasons to avoid buying
- Dim the screen without touch
- Average voice
The best student Chromebook for those on a budget, the Samsung Chromebook 4 really impresses with its battery life. This laptop surfed the web for more than 10 and a half hours with a single charge. The chromebook 4’s aluminum finish makes it look like a much more expensive computer — though it has a plastic base. Performance is another highlight of this Chromebook, allowing for much faster multitasking than expected at this price point.
The Chromebook 4 is also lighter and slimmer than competing 11.6-inch Chromebooks, though we wish the display supported touch input. Its display offers acceptable performance, but don’t expect to see a lot of color or detail when watching movies or browsing YouTube. Speakers are fine, but you might want to bring your own headphones.
For students on a budget, this Chromebook offers a lot for a relatively small price. It’s ideal for learning at home, while also offering some features you can use after you’re done.
Price on Amazon: $104.88
Reasons to buy
- Long battery life
- Great screen for the price
- Affordable, plus keyboard included
Reasons to avoid buying
- The keyboard is best for small hands
- The hinge could be stronger
The second best student Chromebook option is the Lenovo Chromebook Duet. Sometimes, it’s surprising how much you can get for $300 or less. The Lenovo Chromebook Duet, for example, is a 2-in-1 Chromebook that offers something that Microsoft’s Surfaces and Apple’s iPads can’t: a built-in keyboard. Not only do you get this feature, but the Chromebook Duet’s tablet screen itself is excellent, with an amazing amount of color output and a crisp 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution. It’s great that it won the best budget laptop award at the 2021 Tom’s Guide Awards.
The Chromebook Duet’s keyboard is definitely a bit stiff, but at this price, any keyboard is amazing. Making things even better, the Chromebook Duet offers ChromeOS tablet optimizations that are long overdue to take advantage of all that screen real estate. On top of all this? In our battery test , it lasted 12 hours and 47 minutes, nearly 13 hours.
3. Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2
The third option of the best student Chromebooks is the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2. Removing the 4K display from the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook was probably the best thing Samsung could have done to popularize this Chromebook. It’s now even more affordable for students, but still has a great QLED display and longer battery life – 7 hours and 50 minutes compared to the previous generation’s 5 hours and 55 minutes. It’ll also sound great, plus its Core i3 configuration will provide plenty of speed for Chrome OS.
We weren’t happy with the vertical travel on its keyboard, which is a bit shallow. This creates a slight learning curve that you will adapt to over time. Plus, the Galaxy Chromebook 2 is a great value at $399 (Celeron) or $549 (Core i3). We love it so much that we awarded it Best Chromebook in the 2021 Tom’s Guide Awards .
Price on Amazon: $328.09
The fourth option is the Acer Chromebook Spin 713, the best student Chromebook. When shopping for a great student Chromebook, you should look for a device that is affordable, offers good performance, stylish design, and durability. The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 nails this combination.
That’s partly due to its Intel Core i5-10210U CPU, which provides plenty of speed for Chrome OS (anything more than that is overkill) and 8GB of RAM to handle all the Chrome tabs you can open. use it
In addition, its 2256 x 1504 pixel display provides bright and excellent image output. Additionally, it lasted 11 hours and 54 minutes in our web-based battery test. The only major issue you can have with the Spin 713 is that its size makes it less portable than other options. Admittedly, this is a problem for all 13-inch laptops.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 311’s excellent battery life and excellent keyboard help it stand out in a field of best student Chromebooks full of small, affordable options. It’s good enough to get a recommendation for the best budget laptop in the 2021 Tom’s Guide Awards . It’s currently only $199 on Amazon .
With a travel of 1.6mm, the Spin 311’s keys are surprisingly comfortable for long periods of typing, and the battery lasted 12 hours in our tests on hold mode, making it a great choice for students who want to type while working. he does. Move.
Just don’t expect a great screen, as the Acer Chromebook Spin 311’s 11.6-inch 768×1366 screen tends to make videos look clean and dim.
Why choose a Chromebook?
As we said above, Chromebooks make ideal laptops for students because of their versatility, ease of use, and affordability. That last point is especially important for those on a budget, as you can often find Chromebooks for less than $100.
The vast majority of Chromebooks have a similar set of features. All use Google’s Chrome OS, which is lighter and easier to use than Windows or macOS. Chromebooks aren’t as powerful as the competition, but they make up for it with their versatility. Thanks to Google Play Store integration, they can run a variety of apps and are ideal for those who are always online.
Almost everything you do on a Chromebook, outside of using non-native apps, happens in a Chrome window. So although they are not the right machines for heavy software users, they are very useful for research, writing and presentations.
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