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Google Pixel 7a vs Samsung Galaxy A54 5G: Which is the best mid-range phone?

We pit the Pixel 7a against the Galaxy A54 5G to see which is the better phone in the sub-$500 price bracket.
By

Published onMay 7, 2024

Google Pixel 7a
MSRP: $499.00
Check price
Positives
The best sub-$500 camera phone
Solid performance and plenty of RAM
Neat size and design
Smooth, feature-rich software
Improved 90Hz display
Great upgrade commitment
Negatives
Slow wired charging, even slower wireless charging
Mediocre battery life
Tensor G2 runs hot
Pixel 7 and Pixel 6a are better value
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G
MSRP: $449.99
Check price
Positives
Galaxy S23-inspired design
Color-rich, fluid display
Strong primary camera
Solid everyday performance
Good battery life
Excellent update commitment
Negatives
Prone to extreme camera saturation
Cheap plastic frame
No wireless charging
No 4K/60fps video

The mid-range is one of the market’s most competitive and exciting segments, especially now that smartphone performance has plateaued. We see some strong contenders like the Samsung Galaxy A54 5G and the Google Pixel 7a, both attempting to win you over in the sub-$500 bracket. But which phone is the better pick? We explore how these two mid-range champions fare in this Pixel 7a vs Galaxy A54 5G comparison.

Google Pixel 7a vs Samsung Galaxy A54 5G: At a glance

Here's a quick look at the main differences between the two phones:

  • The Galaxy A54 5G has an arguably more premium design with its plastic/glass combination.
  • With its bigger and more impressive-looking display, the Galaxy A54 5G is better vs the Pixel 7a if you prefer larger phones.
  • The Galaxy A54 5G supports a microSD card, while the Pixel 7a does not.
  • Google's Tensor G2 SoC in the Pixel 7a is significantly faster than the Galaxy A54 5G's Exynos 1380.
  • The Pixel 7a has a smaller battery and slower charging than the Galaxy A54 5G.
  • The Pixel 7a has wireless charging, while the Galaxy A54 5G doesn't.

Google Pixel 7a vs Samsung Galaxy A54 5G: Specs

Google Pixel 7a
Samsung Galaxy A54
Display
Google Pixel 7a
6.1-inch OLED
FHD+ (2,400 x 1,080)
20:9 aspect ratio
90Hz refresh rate
HDR support
Gorilla Glass 3
Samsung Galaxy A54
6.4-inch Super AMOLED
FHD+ (2,340 x 1,080)
19.5:9 aspect ratio
120Hz dynamic refresh rate
HDR support
Gorilla Glass 5
Processor
Google Pixel 7a
Google Tensor G2
Samsung Galaxy A54
Samsung Exynos 1380
RAM
Google Pixel 7a
8GB LPDDR5
Samsung Galaxy A54
6GB
Storage
Google Pixel 7a
128GB UFS 3.1
No microSD card support
Samsung Galaxy A54
128GB UFS 3.1
MicroSD card support up to 1TB
Battery and charging
Google Pixel 7a
4,385mAh battery
18W wired charging
7.5W wireless charging
No charger in the box
Does not support reverse wireless charging
Samsung Galaxy A54
5,000mAh battery
25W wired charging
No wireless charging
No charger in the box
Does not support reverse wireless charging
Cameras
Google Pixel 7a
Rear:
- 64MP main
Sony IMX787
ƒ/1.89 aperture, 0.8μm pixels, 1/1.73-inch sensor, OIS
Super Res Zoom up to 8x
80-degree FoV

- 13MP ultrawide
Sony IMX712
ƒ/2.2 aperture, 1.12μm pixels
120-degree FoV

Front:
- 13MP
Sony IMX355
ƒ/2.2 aperture, 1.12μm pixels
95-degree FoV
Samsung Galaxy A54
Rear:
- 50MP main
ƒ/1.8 aperture, OIS

- 12MP ultrawide
ƒ/2.2 aperture, 123-degree FoV, 1.12μm

- 5MP macro
ƒ/2.2 aperture

Front:
- 32MP
ƒ/2.2 aperture, 1/2.8-inch, 0.8μm
Audio
Google Pixel 7a
Stereo speakers
Dual mics
No 3.5mm port
Samsung Galaxy A54
Stereo speakers
Dual mics
No 3.5mm port
Security
Google Pixel 7a
In-display fingerprint
Titan M2 chip
5 years of security updates
Samsung Galaxy A54
In-display fingerprint
Samsung Knox
5 years of security updates
Water resistance
Google Pixel 7a
IP67
Samsung Galaxy A54
IP67
Connectivity
Google Pixel 7a
Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
Wi-Fi 6E (6GHz) on version sold in the US, CA, UK, EU, AU, JP
Bluetooth 5.3
NFC support
Dual SIM (single nano-SIM and eSIM)
Google Cast
GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and QZSS on versions sold in the US
Samsung Galaxy A54
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.3
NFC support
GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou
Software
Google Pixel 7a
Pixel UI based on Android 13
Samsung Galaxy A54
One UI 5.1 based on Android 13
Materials
Google Pixel 7a
Gorilla Glass 3 on the front
Aluminum frame and visor
Polycarbonate back
Samsung Galaxy A54
Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back
Polycarbonate mid-frame
Dimensions and weight
Google Pixel 7a
152.4 x 72.9 x 9 mm
193.5g
Samsung Galaxy A54
158.2 x 76.7 x 8.2mm
202g
Colors
Google Pixel 7a
Charcoal
Snow
Sea
Coral (Google Store exclusive)
Samsung Galaxy A54
Awesome Graphite
Awesome Violet

The Pixel 7a and the Galaxy A54 5G are two very different smartphones. The Pixel 7a depends heavily on its flagship Tensor G2 SoC to power the rest of its smarts, while the Galaxy A54 5G aims for a well-rounded phone that is a complete package in its own right.

Starting from the front of the phones, the Pixel 7a looks much cleaner than the Galaxy A54 5G. But besides the bezel situation, the Galaxy A54 5G’s display is miles ahead of the Pixel 7a’s.

google pixel 7a vs samsung galaxy a54 app drawer
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The Galaxy A54 5G has prominent bezels all around, and they’re an eyesore. Thankfully, the display on the Galaxy A54 is brilliant and will capture all of your attention. You get a 6.4-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED display that refreshes up to 120Hz. The display also gets very bright, with a peak brightness of 1000 nits for HDR10+ content. It’s a joy to use, and you will appreciate it when watching movies or consuming other media.

The Pixel 7a has thinner bezels, adding a more premium look. The display on the Pixel 7a is good enough, but it pales in comparison to the eye candy you get on the Galaxy A54 5G. On the Pixel 7a, you get a 6.1-inch FHD+ OLED that refreshes up to 90Hz and supports HDR content. This is an upgrade over last year, but the Pixel 7a is playing catchup at this stage rather than leading the pack.

Moving on to the internals, the Tensor G2 SoC on the Pixel 7a is the same processor that also powers the flagship Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. It’s a great chip for average use cases, and you won’t notice any stuttering or lags. The chip is complemented by a healthy 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 128GB of UFS 3.1 storage, though there is no microSD expandability on board.

What you will notice on the Pixel 7a is the Tensor G2’s tendency to run hot, as Google is still some ways behind when it comes to thermal management. The Tensor G2 is not a good choice for gaming, as it heats up significantly on prolonged sessions.

Where the Tensor G2 does better is powering the AI-heavy software features on the Pixel 7a. There are a whole bunch of software features that Tensor G2 enables, like Magic Eraser and Real Tone.

The Pixel 7a depends heavily on the Tensor G2 to power the rest of its smart experience, while the Galaxy A54 5G is a better-rounded smartphone.

On the other hand, the Galaxy A54 5G is powered by the Samsung Exynos 1380 SoC, which is squarely a mid-range SoC. It’s good enough for the average user but isn’t as good overall as the Tensor G2. It does better with heat management, partially because it has a lower performance ceiling.

While the Galaxy A54 5G isn’t a strong recommendation as a gaming phone, it manages to hold its ground in gaming sessions with decent thermal performance. Samsung does not disclose the RAM type for the Galaxy A54 5G, but you get 6GB of it. You also get 128GB of UFS 3.1 storage, which you can expand by up to 1TB through the microSD card slot.

The software experience is also radically different on both phones. The Pixel 7a runs on Google’s Pixel UI on top of Android 13, while the Galaxy A54 runs on Samsung’s One UI 5.1 based on Android 13.

The Pixel 7a’s user experience is recognizable as the cleaner, closer-to-stock experience, with just a dash of extra software features that make life a little easier. On the other hand, the Galaxy A54 5G is packed with software features and customizations thanks to One UI, but some pre-installed bloatware apps may sour your experience.

The Galaxy A54 5G gets the lead for software support. Samsung is promising four years of Android updates and five years of security updates on the Galaxy A54 5G, which is class-leading among Android mid-range phones and even flagships. The Pixel 7a offers three years of Android updates and five years of security updates, though you get the Android updates practically on the first day of release.

Google Pixel 7a vs Samsung Galaxy A54 5G: Size comparison

google pixel 7a vs samsung galaxy a54 standing
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

There’s a noticeable difference in the size of both phones. The Pixel 7a measures 152.4 x 72.9 x 9mm and weighs 193.5g. The Galaxy A54 5G, on the other hand, measures 158.2 x 76.7 x 8.2mm and weighs 202g. As is evident, the Pixel 7a is the smaller phone, though it is thicker than the Galaxy A54 5G, and that’s without counting the thickness of the camera visor.

The Galaxy A54 5G weighs more than the Pixel 7a, and the difference is primarily because of its larger size, larger battery, and the use of glass on the back. Neither phone can be classified as “heavy” as they remain within the comfortable weight range.

The Pixel 7a is a more pocketable and one-hand-friendly phone than the Galaxy A54 5G.

If you’re looking for a pocketable phone or have small hands, the Pixel 7a is the more comfortable phone to hold. The Galaxy A54 5G isn’t particularly big either, but it’s a bit larger.

Google Pixel 7a vs Samsung Galaxy A54 5G: Design and build

google pixel 7a vs samsung galaxy a54 back
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The Galaxy A54 5G saw a major redesign this year compared to the Galaxy A53, bringing its design language in line with the Galaxy S23 series. The result is a phone that can pass for the Galaxy S23, or even the Galaxy S24, at a glance.

Google has typically kept its Pixel design language consistent across its budget and flagship offerings, and the Pixel 7a is no different. It adopts the camera visor and overall design language from the Pixel 7 series, looking closer to the Pixel 7 than it does to the Pixel 6a.

In other words, both mid-rangers look pretty similar to their flagship counterparts, and that’s great news for consumers as the flagships also look great.

google pixel 7a buttons
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The phones differ in their build quality fairly substantially. The Pixel 7a has a plastic back but swaps in metal for its protruding camera visor. The mid-frame is aluminum, while the display is protected with Gorilla Glass 3. The phone doesn’t feel cheap per se, but you do notice that this is one of those areas that help bring the price down. Even if the phone uses more affordable build materials, it’s best practice to grab a good case for your Pixel 7a.

The Galaxy A54 5G does better for its build materials. Samsung does opt for a polycarbonate mid-frame (aka plastic), but both the front and back are protected by Gorilla Glass 5. The glass back gives the A54 a comparatively more premium feel in hand, closer to its flagship siblings. Be careful not to drop it, though, as glass can break. Once again, we recommend picking up a good Galaxy A54 5G case for protection.

Samsung Galaxy A54 5G colorways 3
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The camera bar on the Pixel 7a is fairly iconic and a style statement by itself. You can immediately recognize the phone as a Pixel with that long and prominent camera visor. Since the camera hump stretches across the phone, the Pixel 7a does not rock side-to-side when placed on a table.

The back of the Galaxy A54 5G doesn’t quite have the same appeal, though. The setup with individual camera lenses looks very clean, but nothing there stands out with any recall value. However, some people are fans of this minimalistic look. The camera hump is slight, and the phone rocks a little when placed flat on a table.

Google Pixel 7a vs Samsung Galaxy A54 5G: Camera

google pixel 7a 4
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

A great camera has been the hallmark of the Pixel experience, and the Pixel 7a continues on the same path. Google has given the camera hardware on the A-series a much-needed upgrade from last year. The Pixel 7a has a 64MP primary camera outputting 0.8μm pixels and is paired with Google’s software magic.

Our Pixel 7a review notes excellent performance from the Pixel 7a’s primary camera, staying close to a lifelike color profile. It also does great with portraits, producing a soft bokeh with excellent edge detection.

Google Pixel 7a primary camera samples

For its primary camera, the Galaxy A54 5G has a 50MP sensor that outputs larger 1.0μm pixels. While it shoots great social-media-ready photos, it tends to oversaturate colors, and you don’t get an image that perfectly represents reality.

Depending on your preference, this tinge of oversaturation might be desirable. Samsung’s Portrait Mode also works well but has a few misses we don’t usually see on the Pixel 7a.

Samsung Galaxy A54 5G primary camera samples

The Pixel 7a takes the lead from the Galaxy A54 5G for photography through the primary camera.

The Pixel 7a's primary camera executes better than the Galaxy A54 5G's.

Regarding the secondary ultrawide camera, the matchup remains close in quality. The Pixel 7a’s 13MP shooter has a 120-degree FoV, while the Galaxy A54 5G’s 12MP shooter has a 123-degree FoV. With an ultrawide camera, you want to capture more of the landscape in front of you, in which case, the Galaxy A54 5G has the lead.

Google Pixel 7a ultrawide camera samples

Samsung Galaxy A54 5G ultrawide camera samples

The Galaxy A54 5G has a third camera on the back. This is a 5MP macro shooter, which isn’t the same stat-filler 2MP camera we are used to seeing on budget phones. This one works pretty well for its niche use cases. The Pixel 7a cannot compete here as it neither has dedicated macro hardware nor supports macro mode through the ultrawide camera.

Samsung Galaxy A54 5G macro camera samples

For the front, the Pixel 7a has a 13MP shooter that outputs pixels that are 1.12μm large, while the Galaxy A54 5G has a 32MP shooter that outputs 0.8μm large pixels. The Pixel 7a manages better portraits with sharper edge detection. At the same time, the Galaxy A54 5G displays a bit of the oversaturation prevalent on its other sensors while also being slightly less accurate for edge detection.

Google Pixel 7a front camera samples

Samsung Galaxy A54 5G front camera samples

Overall, the Pixel 7a manages to beat the Galaxy A54 5G regarding cameras, mainly because of the prevalent tendency of Samsung’s phone to oversaturate images. The Galaxy A54 5G has more versatility with that third camera, so users wanting to get close-up shots would appreciate the dedicated 5MP macro camera.

Google Pixel 7a vs Samsung Galaxy A54 5G: Battery and charging

google pixel 7a vs samsung galaxy a54 ports
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The Achilles’ heel for the Pixel 7a is its battery, which has been shrunk slightly to 4,385mAh from the 4,410mAh on the Pixel 6a. Google continues to promise more than 24 hours of battery life, but we struggled to hit that number without enabling Battery Saver during testing.

On typical workdays with social media, Spotify streaming, and some light gaming, we ended with about 20% charge left before bed. But if the workload gets any heavier, the Pixel 7a begins to struggle, and there’s a good chance the phone will die before the day ends. You will have to use the Battery Saver mode as a stop-gap solution for all-day battery life.

The Pixel 7a is slow to charge and quick to drain.

The Galaxy A54 5G performs considerably better regarding battery life. The large 5,000mAh battery has no issues keeping up with the larger display and the higher refresh rate. You can get about a day and a half with moderate phone usage and a comfortable day if you push the phone.

Samsung’s good streak continues with charging, offering 25W of wired charging on the Galaxy A54 5G. It takes about 85 minutes to fill the 5,000mAh battery using a compatible USB Power Delivery PPS charger. There’s no charger in the box, so you must pick up one of our recommended Galaxy A54 5G chargers.

The Pixel 7a is slow to charge. There’s no other way of putting it, as it maxes out at 18W. It takes about 120 minutes to fill the 4,385mAh battery using a compatible charger. There’s no charger in the box, so we recommend you purchase a good Pixel 7a charger.

Google Pixel 7a charging plug and wireless dock
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The only win that the Pixel 7a scores in this section is the presence of 7.5W wireless charging. You can use a Qi-compatible charger to top up your Pixel 7a wireless. But beware, it will take about four hours to charge a dead battery completely. Wireless charging is thus best used for overnight charging or sporadic top-ups.

Google Pixel 7a vs Samsung Galaxy A54 5G: Price

  • Google Pixel 7a (8GB/128GB): $499
  • Samsung Galaxy A54 5G (6GB/128GB): $449

The Pixel 7a launched with a price tag of $499, marking a $50 increase from the Pixel 6a. While there are plenty of upgrades that can help justify the price increase, the Pixel 7a also sits between the discounted Pixel 6a ($349) and the Pixel 7 ($599), which could lead to decision paralysis if you aren’t clear about your needs. The good news is you can sometimes find it on sale for as little as $444, a $55 discount over its retail price. Even better news is that Google will continue to sell the phone for less as the Pixel 8a takes its place at $499.

The Galaxy A54 5G is priced at $449, maintaining the pricing from its predecessor. The lower price tag makes the Galaxy A54 5G a sweeter deal. Samsung also has enough spacing in its US lineup not to cannibalize sibling product sales. What surprises us is that you can often spot the Galaxy A54 for as little as $315. That’s a great deal for the phone you are getting and considerably cheaper than the Pixel 7a.

See price at Samsung
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G
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Google Pixel 7a
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Google Pixel 7a vs Samsung Galaxy A54 5G: Which phone should you buy?

google pixel 7a vs samsung galaxy a54 buttons
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

We called the Pixel 7a and the Galaxy A54 5G mid-range champions at the beginning of this article, and we stand by it. Both of these phones are excellent choices. They have their pros and cons that suit specific needs, but both are also great phones to recommend to the average user.

In reality, if we considered alternatives, the Google Pixel 8a would be the phone to get instead of the 7a and, potentially, even the A54 5G. Google’s seven-year software update policy, the Tensor G3 SoC, and the upgraded screen are all valid reasons to snap up the new Pixel A model. However, let’s consider the Pixel 7a and Galaxy A54 5G in a vacuum momentarily.

The Pixel 7a is the smartphone to recommend to users who want to be wowed by software. Google knows how to squeeze the best possible outcome from limited hardware, and the Pixel A-series has always been at the forefront of this exercise. With the 7a, we see many of the same but with a higher ceiling for Google to touch in the future.

The Galaxy A54 5G is a phone that balances all the vitals needed to deliver a good smartphone experience. Samsung is not aiming for the stars here. Instead, it delivers a confident product that knows its place at the portfolio’s beginning. With extensive availability, the Galaxy A54 5G is on the right track to become a popular choice in the mid-range. To crown a winner between the Galaxy A54 5G and the Pixel 7a for your usage, you must be clear about what you want in a mid-range phone.

You should buy the Google Pixel 7a if:

  • You prioritize Google’s refined software experience over display size or extra features.
  • You want a confident camera setup that delivers close-to-real-life colors.
  • You need wireless charging.
  • You are okay with a phone that can run hot occasionally.
  • If you like both phones equally but find the Pixel 7a is one sale for than usual cheaper.

You should buy the Samsung Galaxy A54 5G if:

  • A big and beautiful display is at the top of your priority list.
  • You need a phone that lasts comfortably through the day.
  • You need a phone with a microSD card slot or a macro camera.
  • You are okay with a camera setup that delivers often oversaturated results.
  • If you like both phones equally but find the Galaxy A54 is on sale for than usual cheaper.

What would you prefer, the Google Pixel 7a or the Samsung Galaxy A54?

2882 votes

FAQs

It depends on what you’re looking for in a phone. The Pixel 7a boasts a better camera setup, includes wireless charging, and packs the latest Google has to offer with Android. However, the Galaxy A54 5G has the better display, includes a microSD card slot, and promises a year of additional software support.

The Pixel 7a launched at $499 in the US, but you can find it for less with the launch of the Pixel 8a.

The Galaxy A54 5G launched at $449, but it can often be found for less at big retailers.

The Galaxy A54 5G was launched in March 2023. This makes it just a few months older than the Pixel 7a.

The Galaxy A54 5G is water resistant at depths of up to one meter for half an hour, thanks to its IP67 rating.

The Pixel 7a features an IP67 water resistance rating.

The Pixel 7a will receive three major Android version updates and five years of software support.

Samsung promises four major Android updates for the Galaxy A54 5G, and five years of Android security updates.

No, the Samsung Galaxy A54 5G does not support wireless charging. However, it does support 25W wired charging.

Yes, the Pixel 7a supports Qi wireless charging at up to 7.5W. It also features 18W wired charging.

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