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Samsung Galaxy A14 5G review: a $200 phone shouldn’t be this good

Samsung Galaxy A14 5G in a bush showing off the back of phone
Samsung Galaxy A14 5G
MSRP $200.00
“For just $200, the Galaxy A14 5G offers a lot of bang for your buck. With a great display, long battery life, and guaranteed software updates, it's an impressive package.”
Pros
  • Only $200
  • Large display with a 90Hz refresh rate
  • 5,000mAh battery
  • 50MP rear camera, 13MP selfie camera
  • Respectable performance
  • Unique, textured back
Cons
  • Secondary cameras aren't impressive
  • No water or dust resistance
  • Fast charging up to 15W only

When you look at the smartphone market, it seems to be dominated by big-name players and high-end flagship devices. But as great as those are, there’s no doubt about it — they can be expensive. As excellent as phones like the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and iPhone 14 Pro Max are, for some people, they’re completely out of reach.

But there are budget phones out there too, and Samsung makes the much more affordable Galaxy A-Series as well, which is regularly among the best-selling smartphones on the planet. For $200, the latest Galaxy A14 5G gives you a lot of bang for your buck — a large and crisp display with a 90Hz refresh rate, a 50-megapixel camera, long-lasting battery life, and even a headphone jack (remember those?). Of course, since it’s still a $200 phone, you can definitely see where Samsung had to make some sacrifices, but for the most part, this is a very respectable phone for the price of admission.

Samsung Galaxy A14 5G: design

Samsung Galaxy A14 5G held in hand
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

The Galaxy A14 5G has a somewhat boxy design that reminds me a bit of the iPhone 12. However, the edges have a slight curve to them, so they’re not completely flat — you won’t be able to stand it upright on its own. The screen is raised ever so slightly from the plastic frame, and it’s completely flat with no curves. Of course, this is to be expected from a budget phone.

Samsung made the body of the Galaxy A14 5G plastic, which is not surprising, all things considered. You won’t get a metal frame here, nor is there a glass back. Instead, the back has a unique texture to it, which makes it stand out and also helps with grip since it’s not slippery glass. The texture is reminiscent of motion cards that use lenticular printing — like those cards with images that change depending on the angle you’re viewing them at. If you run your finger back and forth on the textured back, it’ll make a “zipping” sound. This unique texture also keeps fingerprints to a minimum.

The design for the Galaxy A14 5G is simple, lightweight, and unique.

The back of the phone is also where you will find the triple-lens camera array, though you really only have a 50MP main camera — the other two lenses are 2MP macro and depth sensors. They’re arranged in a floating, single-column design like the Samsung Galaxy S23 lineup. On the right edge, you’ll find the power button (which also doubles as a fingerprint sensor) and single volume rocker, while the SIM card tray is on the top of the left edge. The bottom has a headphone jack, microphone, USB-C charging port, and a single speaker (mono) grill. The phone does come with a USB-C cable, but doesn’t include a charging brick — hopefully, you already have one at home.

Samsung Galaxy A14 5G laying flat on concrete pillar angled slightly to side showing off ports
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

If you’re planning to use the Galaxy A14 5G a lot for gaming, watching media, listening to music, or anything to do with audio, you may find the mono speaker disappointing. Most phones these days have two stereo speakers, so mono audio is already a bit of a letdown, even for a budget phone. It’s also easy to cover the speaker up as you hold the phone in landscape orientation too, which is highly likely if you’re playing games or watching movies.

Even though the Galaxy A14 5G is quite large (clocking in at 167.7 by 78 by 9.1mm with a 6.6-inch display and weighing 204g), it honestly doesn’t feel all that heavy. This is thanks to the plastic body, of course. And since this is plastic, it’s much more durable than a lot of other smartphones with glass backs. You could accidentally drop this and not have to have your heart sink each time, but it doesn’t hurt to snag a case for it, either.

Samsung Galaxy A14 5G leaning against lamppost
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Overall, the design for the Galaxy A14 5G is simple, lightweight, and unique with that textured back. It only comes in a black color for the U.S., but in other countries, you will find three additional colors: light green, dark red, and silver.

However, one thing that is absent from the Galaxy A14 5G is an IP rating. That means that while this phone is pretty durable, it is not dust or water-resistant. It’s a phone that you’ll want to be extra careful with around beaches, pools, or — in my case of extremely annoying California weather lately — the rain.

Samsung Galaxy A14 5G: screen

Samsung Galaxy A14 5G Home screen
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

The Galaxy A14 5G comes with a 6.6-inch LCD display and a 1080p resolution. Considering the price, the display actually looks quite good, and everything looks pretty crisp with bright colors, which is typical of Samsung displays. However, I did have a bit of trouble with the brightness when outdoors in direct sunlight — it doesn’t feel like it gets bright enough. It’s still usable, but definitely not optimal.

Unfortunately, as you’d probably expect with a budget device, the Galaxy A14 5G comes with some thicker bezels around the screen, compared to higher-end phones. They’re thinner on the left and right sides, but the top and bottom are pretty thick compared to what you’d find on other smartphones. And the top has a small “U” shaped dip to account for the front-facing camera.

Samsung Galaxy A14 5G display screenshots
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

One important thing to note about the Galaxy A14 5G display is the fact that it has a 90Hz refresh rate. This is quite impressive for the $200 price tag, considering that even Apple’s $800 iPhone 14 still has a measly 60Hz refresh rate.

With the 90Hz refresh rate, scrolling on the Galaxy A14 5G is good enough, but I still notice some stutter and rough motions when scrolling through all of my social media and email. When you are coming from a higher-end device, such as the Samsung Galaxy S23 or iPhone 14 Pro, it’s pretty noticeable. But for a $200 device, the Galaxy A14 5G’s 90Hz refresh rate is good for what it’s worth — this is a budget device, after all.

The overall responsiveness of the Galaxy A14 5G display is fair. Apps open right away when I tap on them, and the gesture-based navigation I went with works when I need it to. However, due to the huge size of the device and my smaller hands, it feels like the screen is a little too sensitive at times — I’m often accidentally activating things because my hands are touching the edges of the display. Still, for such an affordable device, the Galaxy A14 5G display is nothing to scoff at.

Samsung Galaxy A14 5G: performance & software

Samsung Galaxy A14 5G showing Google news on a park bench
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Since the Samsung Galaxy A14 5G is a $200 budget phone, you’re definitely going to notice a bit of a hit in performance if you’re used to more expensive phones. The Galaxy A14 5G comes with 4GB RAM and a MediaTek MT6833 Dimensity 700 chip, which hasn’t changed from its predecessor. It also only comes with 64GB of storage, but you can expand that up to 1TB with a microSD card.

As I said earlier, I do notice a tiny bit of stutter when I’m just navigating the phone interface, and apps don’t seem to scroll through as nicely as other devices I’ve used. After extended daily use, there may be a slight second delay with opening apps, so it’s always a good idea to go in and clear out your memory every so often by closing apps you’re not using.

Samsung Galaxy A14 5G software screenshots
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Still, even though you get a few hiccups here and there with the Galaxy A14 5G, the overall performance is actually great for the price. It’s certainly better than other budget Android phones I’ve tried.

The Galaxy A14 5G comes with Android 13 installed and One UI 5. Samsung has promised two major Android software upgrades and four years of security patches. This means that the Galaxy A14 5G will be able to get up to Android 15 and should be safe from vulnerabilities through 2027.

With this in mind, it’s great that — despite being a lower-end device — the Galaxy A14 5G is futureproof for a few years, especially since it’s also 5G-compatible.

Samsung Galaxy A14 5G: cameras

Samsung Galaxy A14 5G rear camera array and closeup of unique textured back
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

The camera system on the Galaxy A14 5G is one of the most impressive aspects of the phone, especially for its price range. You get a 50MP rear camera, which is accompanied by a 2MP depth sensor and 2MP macro lens. On the front, you have a 13MP selfie camera, which even has a group photo setting with a wider field of view to fit everyone in a photo.

I’ve tested out the camera on the Galaxy A14 5G for this review, and I’m actually quite impressed with the results. Even though I mentioned that the phone has some performance struggles, those don’t really show up when you’re taking photos. I was able to quickly capture decent stills with my very active toddler, including portrait mode photos, and they look great, all things considered. Colors are bright with crisp details, and nothing looks too overly processed. I even tried out some night mode pictures, and the results were bright and sharp, though there is a bit of noise if you zoom in. Still, it looks good enough to post on social media, if that’s what you’re concerned about.

I’m actually quite impressed with the Galaxy A14 5G’s camera.

Again, the Galaxy A14 5G is a budget phone with some impressive cameras that will take good photos, and even video if you need to. The macro lens isn’t very impressive though, so don’t expect great close-ups like you could get with an iPhone 14 Pro. But if all you’re worried about is the main camera, you should be happy with the results.

Samsung Galaxy A14 5G: battery & charging

Samsung Galaxy A14 5G device care screenshots
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

The Galaxy A14 5G comes with a 5,000mAh battery, which is pretty common to find in the low and mid-range smartphone market. I used the Galaxy A14 5G to check my personal and work email, access Microsoft Teams, browse my social networks, take a lot of photos of my very active toddler daughter and upload them to a family sharing album app, play some games, and watch streaming video. With this usage, the battery lasted at least two full days. It’s nice not to have to worry about charging up the phone at the end of a single day.

Samsung does not provide a power adapter with the Galaxy A14 5G, but it does come with a USB-C charging cable. The Galaxy A14 5G has fast charging up at 15W speeds, which isn’t particularly fast compared to the competition. It takes a little over two hours to get the phone from zero to 100%. In 30 minutes, you’ll get less than 50%. So if you need to fully charge the Galaxy A14 5G, it’s best to do it overnight. There is no wireless charging, unfortunately.

Still, with a 5,000mAh battery that lasts at least two days, you won’t need to plug the Galaxy A14 5G in too often.

Samsung Galaxy A14 5G: price & availability

Different colors of the Samsung Galaxy A14 5G
Samsung

You can find the Samsung Galaxy A14 5G for a retail price of $200, though it seems you can get it for less when it’s on sale. It’s available direct from Samsung, or you can get one at major retailers like Best Buy, Amazon, and Target. The phone is also available from all of the major carriers in the U.S., though the States only get the very plain black color.

But if you’re in India, there are some different colors for the Galaxy A14 5G: light green and dark red. Saudi Arabia also seems to have a silver option available, instead of dark red. The European version of the Galaxy A14 5G also does not have a MediaTek Dimensity 700 as the U.S. version; instead, Europe gets a slightly better processor with the Exynos 1330.

Samsung Galaxy A14 5G: verdict

Samsung Galaxy A14 5G held in hand to take photos
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Though I prefer higher-end smartphones, the Galaxy A14 5G is a fantastic value for what you get in this price range: a simple and sleek design with a large 6.6-inch LCD display with a 90Hz refresh rate, decent performance, long-lasting battery life, and great cameras. Plus, with two years of software upgrades and four years of security patches, this phone is going to last a few years (the 64GB storage may fill up, but you can go up to 1TB with a microSD card).

Other affordable options include the OnePlus Nord N300 5G, which costs around $228. This phone is similar to the Galaxy A14 5G in that it has a 48MP camera with a 2MP depth sensor, 90Hz refresh rate LCD display, 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, and a long-lasting 5,000mAh battery. However, the camera on the Nord N300 isn’t quite as good as the Galaxy A14 5G, but it does have faster charging at 33W. OnePlus will only be updating the Nord N300 to Android 13 (it ships with Android 12), and that’s it, so the Galaxy A14 5G is better for longevity.

The green and purple Galaxy A54's camera modules.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Another good budget-friendly option from Samsung is the Galaxy A54, which also has the looks of the flagship Galaxy S23. It’s slightly more than the A14 at $450, but you’re going to get a lot more bang for your buck — including some awesome colors. You’ll have a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, and the brightness peaks at 1,000 nits. It comes with a newer Exynos 1380 processor, and an impressive triple lens camera array with 48MP main camera with OIS, 12MP ultra-wide camera, and 5MP macro camera. The selfie camera is 32MP, which is a big bump from what you have on the Galaxy A14 5G. The Galaxy A54 also has either 6GB or 8GB RAM, Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, an IP67 water resistance rating, a fingerprint sensor under the screen, and its 5,000mAh battery charges at 25W. While you could get a Galaxy A14 5G right now, the Galaxy A54 won’t be available until April 6.

I do wish that the U.S. variant of the Galaxy A14 5G came in other colors besides black, and there are very minor stutters due to the chip used. But overall, the Galaxy A14 5G is definitely one of the better phones on the lower end of the price spectrum if that’s what you’re in the market for.

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Christine Romero-Chan
Christine Romero-Chan has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade. She graduated from California…
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