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Samsung may be best known for its flagship S-series and foldable devices, but it also has a range of phones to suit those with a more conservative budget.
There are several phones in the A-series, and the Samsung Galaxy A14 reviewed here is the entry-level device, clocking in at a very affordable $150/£179. There is also a 5G version of this phone which comes with slightly higher specs, though this does bump up the cost slightly.
But how does this smartphone compare to rival phones? Here’s my experience with the Samsung Galaxy A14.
Design & build
Three colour options
Room for two SIM cards and a micro-SD card
It may be made from plastic, but the Samsung Galaxy A14 is a good-looking phone that takes inspiration from the flagship Galaxy S23. I was a big fan of my light green review unit, which gives it a fresh and fun feel. If you prefer something more understated, it also comes in black and silver, as well as dark red in the 5G version.
The ribbed back panel means that it doesn’t pick up too many fingerprints, though it doesn’t feel quite as premium as other budget phones from the likes of Poco and Nokia. At 9.11mm thick, it isn’t the slimmest phone, but it’s still relatively lightweight at 201g.
The triple camera module sits on the left-hand side and is unobtrusive compared to the rest of the device. In fact, it’s extremely similar to the more expensive Galaxy A34.
Hannah Cowton / Foundry
The inclusion of a headphone jack is welcome – though I’d prefer if it were on the top of the A14, rather than the bottom next to the USB-C port for charging. It also has room for two SIM cards, as well as a micro-SD card.
It should come as no surprise that this device as no form of waterproofing, and Samsung doesn’t include a case in the box to protect it from any knocks or drops.
The fingerprint sensor is side-mounted on the power button. I did have a few hiccups with this after just washing my hands – but the face recognition worked well, even when wearing glasses.
Screen & speakers
6.6in FHD LCD display
60Hz refresh rate
One downward firing speaker
The Samsung Galaxy A14 has a 6.6in FHD LCD display. Whilst this is perfectly fine for using indoors, it is simply not bright enough if you use it under direct sunlight – you’ll encounter a lot of glare and struggle to see anything on the screen.
Otherwise, colours are bold and contrast well. The 60Hz refresh rate is not as smooth as on other phones’ 90Hz or 120Hz screens, but the device feels just fine for scrolling through social media and tapping around on various apps.
Hannah Cowton / Foundry
You’ll be able to do some basic mobile gaming with non-strenuous titles like Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. If you want to play something more demanding, I recommend either opting for a more powerful phone, or taking a step up to the A34 if you’re adamant on staying with Samsung.
The phone only comes equipped with one downward firing speaker, which leaves a lot to be desired. Music lacks depth and bass, and even having the volume cranked all the way up is not quite as loud as I would like.
Specs & performance
Mediatek Helio G80
4GB RAM/64GB storage
The version I tested comes with a Mediatek Helio G80, though some markets have the Samsung Exynos 850 instead. This is paired with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, though different countries have higher configurations.
This is not very much storage, but the micro-SD card slot also gives you 1TB more wiggle room for photos, videos and documents.
Overall, performance is about what you’d expect from a phone of this price. It is slow to boot up, and occasionally struggles to load demanding webpages. However, I could still multitask between videos and social media with ease.
It is a big improvement over the last generation phone, the Galaxy A13, but still behind some rivals such as the Moto G62 and the Realme 9i:
The phone only comes with 4G, and this is noticeable if you’re in a location that struggles with mobile data – I myself had issues at Comic-Con in London. If this is a dealbreaker, then you could opt for the 5G version of the phone.
Triple 50Mp rear camera
13Mp front-facing camera
No night mode support
The Galaxy A14 has a triple rear camera set-up. This is led by a main 50Mp lens with a f/1.8 aperture and complimented by a 5Mp ultra-wide with a f/2.2 aperture and a 2Mp f/2.4 macro lens.
If you’re using the main camera in bright daylight, then the A14 works surprisingly well for the price. It captures a decent amount of detail in textures and the environment, and has enough background blur on portrait shots.
The image processing seems to overcompensate a lot, whacking up the brightness of colours to the point that it looks like you have a filter on. For example, when I took a photo underneath an orange parasol, the whole image got a very warm tinge to it that wasn’t true to life.
For close-up shots, I wouldn’t recommend using anything more than x2 zoom. This is decent for landscape photos, but anything past that (the A14 can do all the way up to x10 zoom) produces a lot of blur and noise.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the wide-angle lens seems to give everything more of a pale tone. However, whilst some details are not as crisp on this mode, it is still better than what I’ve seen from other smartphone cameras at this price range.
I wouldn’t recommend using the A14 in extremely low light conditions. Firstly, there isn’t a dedicated night mode. Therefore, the camera will either massively blow out colours if artificial lighting is present (making the night sky an unnatural shade of blue), or will pick up hardly any details at all if little light is present.
I also wouldn’t bother with the macro mode – it’s extremely hard to get a decent shot with the amount of wobbling during focus.
Hannah Cowton / Foundry
I was pleasantly surprised by the front-facing 13Mp camera. This picks up a good amount of skin details, and the bokeh blur in portrait mode is quite good at not smudging rogue strands of hair into the background.
Video is capped at 30fps at 1080p on both the front and rear cameras. This is fine for capturing casual footage, but don’t be expecting high-quality results.
Battery life & charging
Two-day battery life
No brick included
As with many other budget phones, one of the best things about the A14 is its long battery life.
The phone is packed with a 5000mAh cell, and due to its undemanding processor, it lasts around two days on average – even with me watching Twitch streams and taking photos. This was also reflected in the benchmarking test, where the phone achieved an impressive 13 hours and 28 seconds.
Hannah Cowton / Foundry
The trade-off is that charging is extremely slow at 15W via USB-C. For one thing, the phone doesn’t include a charging brick in the box – only the cable. Whilst this is better for the environment, it may come as an annoyance if you don’t have a spare charger lying around the house. You can buy one from Samsung in the UK, though this costs an extra £16.
Using my own charging brick, I only managed to juice it to a measly 21% in half an hour, so you’re looking at a few hours to get it from full to flat. Several other rivals pack in fast charging with budget devices, so this is a letdown for the A14.
Software & apps
One UI 5.1
One of the biggest advantages of opting for a Samsung over other budget devices is its user-friendly OS. Whilst it isn’t stock Android, One UI 5.1 (based on Android 13) is simple and doesn’t include a lot of bloatware like Xiaomi and Realme phones do.
That’s not to say it doesn’t come without pre-installed apps – Netflix, Spotify, and LinkedIn were on the device out of the box, and Samsung also asks if you’d like some ‘recommended’ apps when you set up the phone. I would decline this, as it suggests a lot of obscure games that will most likely gather digital dust.
Hannah Cowton / Foundry
These can all be uninstalled, thankfully. Otherwise, there is little to complain about. You can access the quick settings by swiping down from the top twice, which includes shortcuts for media control and Samsung SmartThings.
9to5Google reported that the 5G version of the A14 will come with two years of Android updates and four years of security updates, so it is likely that the 4G version will have the same. We have reached out to Samsung for clarification, but have not heard back at the time of writing. It comes with a two-year warranty in the UK.
Price & availability
The Samsung Galaxy A14 retails for $150/£179. In the US, the 4G version is only available via Amazon as an unlocked device.
UK buyers can get it from Samsung, Amazon and Currys. You can also see the best contract deals available in the UK below:
If you want to opt for the 5G version, then this is currently priced at $199.99/£219.99. Once again, you can buy it from Samsung, Amazon and Currys in the UK.
If you’re choosing between the two models, then there are a few differences besides the obvious 4G/5G connectivity that may seal the deal. Firstly, the 5G version replaces the wide-angle lens with a 2Mp depth sensor. So, you’ll be trading big group shots for slightly better main camera photos.
The 5G version also runs on the slightly more powerful MediaTek Dimensity 700 chipset in the UK, so performance should be marginally better, and the 90Hz refresh rate will make for a smoother visual experience.
Ultimately, you’re looking at a $50/£50 price difference between these two phones. If you’d prefer to save money, you won’t lose out on much by going for the 4G version. You could also consider the Moto G62, or current favourite budget phone, or the nicely designed Realme C35.
If ‘A’ in the Galaxy A series stands for ‘Awesome’, then its safe to say that the the Galaxy A14 lives up to that label. It offers the Samsung phone experience without the hefty price tag.
As is the case with many budget phones, there are some compromises. Whilst performance is a marked improvement over the A13, it is not quite as impressive as rivals – the same goes for the display. The camera also has issues with ramping up the colours and cannot adjust for nighttime photography.
If you can overlook those flaws, then you’ll still get a nice-looking phone with an impressive battery life and a simple OS for a very affordable price.
Android 13 with One UI 5.1
6.6in LCD, 1920 x 1080, 60Hz
Mediatek MT6769 Helio G80 chipset
64GB of storage (expandable via microSDXC)
Cameras: 50Mp f/1.8 main camera, 5Mp f/2.2 ultrawide, 2Mp f/2.4 macro and 13Mp f/2.0 selfie camera
Hannah Cowton is a Senior Entertainment Writer at Tech Advisor and Macworld, working across entertainment, consumer technology and lifestyle. Her interests and specialities lie in streaming services, film and television reviews and rumours, gaming, wearables and smart home products. She's also the creator of The London Geek, a geek culture and lifestyle blog.