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Samsung Galaxy A34 Review: Flagship Looks with Mid-range Smarts

NextPit Samsung Galaxy A34 Test
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Like clockwork, Samsung delivered its 2023 refresh for the upper Galaxy A phones in Q1. While we wait for the popular Galaxy A54, NextPit had the opportunity to put the intermediate A34 to the test. Keep reading to see if the Galaxy A34 has what it takes to beat the Chinese rivals in the price range.

Samsung Galaxy A34


  • Smooth AMOLED display
  • Good everyday performance
  • Best-in-class software support
  • Decent camera


  • Slow wired charging
  • No charger in the box
  • No headphone jack
  • Lots of preinstalled apps
Samsung Galaxy A34
Samsung Galaxy A34
Samsung Galaxy A34: All deals

Samsung Galaxy A34 in a nutshell

With the Galaxy A74 apparently cancelled, the Galaxy A34 took the place of the big-screened mid-range Samsung. Speaking with Samsung’s representatives, bigger display devices are particularly popular in emerging markets, so the 2023 A34 was designed to be bigger than the more expensive A54.

Other differences from the A54 are the “U” notch housing the selfie camera, and curiously, the MediaTek Dimensity 1080 processor instead of the in-house Exynos 1380 powering the Galaxy A54.

Galaxy A34
The Galaxy A34's design is very similar to the Galaxy S23 series'. / © NextPit

As with the Galaxy A33, the A34 is not scheduled to be sold in the US, but should be available in most European and Asian markets. For this review, NextPit assessed a European-spec version of the A34.

Samsung Galaxy A34 design and build quality

As my colleague Carsten Drees mentioned in his A54 vs A34 comparison, the 2023 Galaxy A family looks almost like its more expensive siblings on the Galaxy S23 family. With the Galaxy A34 adopting a triple camera setup, it looks almost indistinguishable from the Galaxy S23+.


  • Nice-looking design.
  • IP67 certification.
  • Bright AMOLED display.


  • Slightly thick bezels.
  • No 3.5 mm headphone jack.

The Galaxy A34 has, as expected, a plastic build, with a finish that changes colors slightly depending on the angle you look at it , a similar effect found in some Oppo and Realme phones. Personally, I found the new look not only better looking than the previous A33, but also the S23+.

The AMOLED display on the Galaxy A34 is a considerable improvement over the previous generation, with a 120 Hz refresh rate instead of 90 Hz for smoother animations on the screen. What did not change is the fact the refresh rate is not adaptive, being either 120 Hz or 60 Hz.

Galaxy A34 display
The Galaxy A34 packs a smooth 120 Hz AMOLED panel. / © NextPit

As usual with past Galaxy devices, the AMOLED panel offers a good brightness level, crisp colors, and high contrast. And the bigger screen on the A34 improves media consumption, making the cheaper model an interesting alternative to the 6.4-inch A54.

Software and performance

Samsung’s mid-range lineup is increasingly adopting MediaTek’s processors, and the Galaxy A34 is the latest one to jump from the Exynos (mother) ship. The 2023 intermediate is equipped with the MediaTek Dimensity 1080, which offers a competitive performance compared to equivalent chips from Qualcomm or Samsung.


  • Good, stable performance.
  • Long software support.


  • Bloated software.

Galaxy A34 side view
Not shown in the picture above: Lots of preinstalled apps! / © NextPit

Despite the SoC change, One UI 5.1 works as expected on the A34, with smooth animations, good overall performance when opening or swapping apps, and applying image filters.

In games, the Dimensity 1080 performs in between the Exynos 1280 and the Snapdragon 778G, with competent performance in games such as Call of Duty Mobile, as long as you don’t pick higher-quality settings.

  Galaxy A34
(Dimensity 1080)
Galaxy A33
(Exynos 1280)
Redmi Note 12 Pro+
(Dimensity 1080) 
Galaxy XCover 6 Pro
(Snapdragon 778)
3DMark Wild Life
  • 2300
  • 2269
  • 2259
  • 2453
3DMark Wild Life Stress Test
  • Best loop: 2279
  • Worst loop: 2265
  • Best loop: 2268
  • Worst loop: 2252
  • Best loop: 2274
  • Worst loop: 2262
  • Best loop: 2434
  • Worst loop: 2465
  • GeekBench 6
  • Single: 1035
  • Multi: 2505
  • GeekBench 5
  • Single: 735
  • Multi: 1819
  • GeekBench 6
  • Single: 953
  • Multi: 2415
  • GeekBench 6
  • Single: 1009
  • Multi: 2876

In synthetic benchmarks, the A34 returns scores very close to the A33 on the 3DMark tests, and the productivity-oriented GeekBench 6 closer to the more expensive Snapdragon 778 phones, leaving behind previous generations' mid-rangers.

What sets the Galaxy A34 apart from most of its competitors in the mid-range market is definitely Samsung’s update policy. With four promised Android updates, and five years of security patches just like the flagship Galaxy S series, only the cheaper (and higher performing) Pixel 6a offers a comparable policy.

Galaxy A34 software
The One UI installation on the Galaxy A34 is a little bloated. / © NextPit

On the other hand, the default installation on the Galaxy A34 follows the same practice we find (and criticize) on the rival Xiaomi Redmi Notes: bloatware. Even though it is not on the same level as the Chinese brand, the Samsung mid-ranger included a considerable amount of preinstalled apps. That was particularly noticeable, especially after reviewing (and praising) the Galaxy XCover 6 Pro lack of bloatware...

Samsung Galaxy A34 camera

In a rather unexpected (but welcome) move, Samsung equipped the Galaxy A34 with a triple camera, instead of the quad-camera kit on the A33. Gone is the useless 2 MP depth sensor, with the remaining sensors intact: 48 MP main camera, 8 MP ultra-wide, and 5 MP macro.


  • Nice photos in daytime.
  • Decent selfies.
  • No useless 2 MP sensor.


  • Basically the same kit found on the A33.
  • Ultrawide shots at night were almost useless.

Having mentioned the Pixel 6a in the previous category puts the Galaxy A34 in a tough situation, but the same applies to every single smartphone in this price range. The Samsung mid-ranger offers good pictures from the main camera, especially in daylight, just don’t count on zooming in subjects.

Galaxy A34 camera module
The A34 camera module abandoned the useless 2 MP depth sensor (finally!), making it very similar to the S23+ / © NextPit

The 8 MP ultra-wide also performed OK during the day, with some slight color differences from the main snapper. At night, though, the A34 could not hide the small area dedicated to the ultrawide camera.

The main camera, on the other hand, returned decent shots during the night, but turning on the Night mode seemed to only overexpose light sources (e.g. streetlamps).

Lastly, the 5-megapixel macro camera doesn’t offer exciting results, but keep your expectations in check and you won’t be disappointed either, with better results than rival models packing a 2 MP macro lens.

When it comes to selfies, the weather didn’t really help, but the results were fine, with the default settings offering realistic results, without excessive “beauty” effects (which I may need to activate next time…). The portrait mode on the selfie camera was also good, with only some thin strands of hair posing a challenge to the blurring effect.

Samsung Galaxy A34 battery

With a 5000 mAh battery pack and a frugal processor onboard, the Galaxy A34 offers a good battery life, despite adopting a 120 Hz refresh rate. Moderate usage could comfortably reach two days of autonomy. Just don’t expect to find fast recharging speeds.


  • Good battery life.


  • No included charger.
  • Lower charging speeds than competitors.

Charging Galaxy A34 Redmi 12 Pro+ Galaxy XCover 6 Pro Galaxy A53
5 minutes
  • 9%
  • 9%
  • 7%
  • 5%
30 minutes
  • 51%
  • 98%
1 hour
  • 85%
  • 69~72%
  • 57%
Full charge
  • 1h24
  • 32 min
  • < 2h
  • < 2h
PC Mark Battery test
  • 11h53
  • 10h57 (120fps)
  • 17h05 (60fps | adaptive battery | airplane mode)
  • 13h19

On paper, the Galaxy A34 offers the same specifications as in the A33: the same battery capacity, and wired recharging speeds of up to 25 watts. Besides the lower charging power than Chinese phones, the A34 does not include a charger in the box, so take that into account when buying it.

As usual for the market segment, the Galaxy A34 does not offer wireless charging. But one often not advertised feature is reverse wired charging, to top up other devices using the A34’s charge.

Galaxy A34 bottom view
The A34 does not come with a charger and doesn't offer a headphone jack. / © NextPit

One final note regarding recharging, as my colleague Matt Zellmer wrote a few days ago, using Samsung's TP-TA800 45 watts charger resulted in charging times 20 to 30% faster than using my daily Anker USB-PD charger that offers output options for 12, 27, and 45 watts. That makes the lack of a charging adapter in the box even more noteworthy.

Samsung Galaxy A34 technical specifications

Image Samsung Galaxy A34
  • Front: Gorilla Glass 5
  • Back: Plastic
  • IP67 water/dust resistant
  • 6.6-inch AMOLED
  • FHD+ (1080 x 2340)
    120 Hz refresh rate
  • 6 / 8 GB RAM
  • 128 / 256 GB ROM
  • Up to 1 TB microSD
  • MediaTek Dimensity 1080
  • TSMC N6 ("6 nm")
  • Adreno 642L GPU
  • Main: 48 MP | f/1.8
  • Ultrawide: 8 MP | f/2.2
  • Macro: 5 MP | f/2.2
  • Selfie: 13 MP | f/2.2
  • 1080p at 30 FPS
  • One UI 5.1 based on Android 13
  • 4 Android updates + 5 years of security updates
  • 5000 mAh
  • 25 W wired charging
  • Reverse wired charging
  • Charger not included
  • no headphone audio jack
Dimensions & Weight
  • 6.35 x 3.07 x 0.32 in | 7.02 oz
  • 161.3 x 78.1 x 8.2 mm | 199 g
  • 5G | Wi-Fi 6E | Bluetooth 5.3 | NFC

Other points that may interest the NextPit community:

  • The Galaxy A34 includes NFC support and is compatible with Google Pay for contactless payments.
  • The review unit packaging included a USB-C to USB-C charging cable and a SIM card tray tool.
  • The software version during the test was A346BOXM1AWB9 (February 2023 security patch).
  • After resetting the updated handset, the operating system indicated 29.06 GB of used space.

Conclusion: Small evolution

To put it bluntly: A33 owners won’t get much by upgrading to the 2023 model. However, those with the A32 will appreciate the upgrades on the display, performance, and even charging speeds.

The Samsung Galaxy A34 is a competent mid-ranger phone, especially if you consider Samsung’s unrivaled software support. However, more than the usual Chinese brands, Google offers an almost irresistible alternative in the Google Pixel 6a (review) with its frequent sales.

Galaxy A34 display top
The "U" notched selfie camera is one of the most evident differences between the A34 (above) and the A54. / © NextPit

If your priority is performance and camera, the Pixel 6a is an unbeatable deal. However, if good battery life, silky smooth screen, and microSD expansion matter to you, the Galaxy A34 is a solid option in the mid-range price segment.

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Rubens Eishima

Rubens Eishima

Having written about technology since 2008 for a number of websites in Brazil, Spain, Denmark, and Germany, I specialize in the mobile ecosystem, including various models, components, and apps. I tend to not only value performance and specifications, but also things like repairability, durability, and manufacturer support. I tend to prioritize the end-user's point of view whenever possible.

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