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Samsung Galaxy A14 5G
What we like
What we don't like
Samsung Galaxy A14 5G
Samsung’s budget-friendly Galaxy A series is as reliable as they come. It covers every price range, from the best budget phones to just below the flagship level, and you get specs that more than justify the price of entry. However, a handful of the more recent Galaxy A models I’ve tested started to stray from their affordable promise. As Samsung tried to staple 5G support onto cheaper and cheaper tiers of its Galaxy A devices, the price hikes slowly began to hit. Now, it’s trying to make up for those missteps with a firm return to the sub-$200 segment.
Has it paid off? With the Galaxy A14 5G, absolutely yes — this is one of Samsung’s best entry-level phones we’ve seen so far. Find out why in our Samsung Galaxy A14 5G review.
Samsung Galaxy A14 5G review: What you need to know
- Samsung Galaxy A14 5G (4GB/64GB): $199 / £219 / €229
Samsung introduced the Galaxy A14 5G at the start of January 2023 as part of CES. It succeeds the Galaxy A13 5G, sticking to a well-established formula rather than reinventing the budget wheel. While you might not be able to tell the two apart at first, the Galaxy A14 5G implements a few minor tweaks and a much-needed $50 price cut to entice budget buyers. In selected regions, Samsung also offers a 4G-only version of the Galaxy A14, which is slightly more affordable.
Samsung appears to be in the process of unifying the design language of all of its Android phones, a move that pays off nicely for the Galaxy A14 5G. It resembles the Galaxy S23 series — at least from behind — offering slightly rounded sides and a flat display and back panel. Of course, the Galaxy A14 5G drops the flagship aluminum build, instead offering a plastic back to keep the costs low. Samsung also doesn’t list any specific protection for the glass; we’ve asked and will update accordingly. That plastic frame houses a volume rocker and side-mounted fingerprint reader on the right, while a 3.5mm headphone jack and a single speaker flank the bottom-mounted USB-C port. The Galaxy A14 5G is slightly larger than the Galaxy A13 5G, expanding from a 6.5-inch LCD panel to a 6.6-inch one, and while it sticks with a 90Hz refresh rate, the display can now output at a much crisper Full HD+ resolution.
The Galaxy A14 5G looks a lot like its predecessor, but all the small tweaks go a long way.
Under the plastic facade, you’ll find the same MediaTek Dimensity 700 chipset that Samsung used on the Galaxy A13 5G. It doesn’t offer a performance boost, though the slightly older hardware means that Samsung can offer its budget device at a better price. The Dimensity 700 is paired up with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, the latter of which you can expand using the microSD slot on the left side of the device. Samsung also kept the same 5,000mAh battery and 15W wired charging, and there’s still no charger in the box. Check out our list of the best chargers if you’ll need one.
The Samsung Galaxy A14 5G unit I tested arrived with Android 13 and One UI right out of the box, and it benefits from Samsung’s generous update policies. The Galaxy A14 5G should see two full Android versions and four years of security patches before the end of its life.
As mentioned, there’s no charger included in the box with the Samsung Galaxy A14 5G, though you still get a USB-C cable, a SIM ejector tool, and a quick start guide to get you up and running.
You can pick up the Samsung Galaxy A14 5G either unlocked or through a carrier, with pricing starting at $199. This is a $50 cut over the Galaxy A13 5G, and you can typically find the device for even less through a trade-in deal. In the US, it comes in a single Black colorway.
What I like about the Galaxy A14 5G
It’s getting harder and harder to tell Samsung’s many phones apart. Whether they’re budget phones or flagships, at first glance, there are more similarities than differences. The Galaxy A14 5G’s camera design and slightly rounded sides are lifted directly from the Galaxy S23 series, and they make the phone feel much nicer in hand than its $200 price tag would suggest. The Galaxy A14 5G’s plastic back is also finished with a series of plastic ridges, making it easier to hold and easier on the eyes.
Samsung upgraded the Galaxy A14 5G’s display, expanding it a tenth of an inch and bumping it to a Full HD+ resolution. I found that it was slightly sharper when streaming videos when compared to the Galaxy A13 5G, and the sharper screen pairs nicely with the 90Hz refresh rate. You can lock the refresh rate to 60Hz to save some battery, but I didn’t feel the need to, given the large 5,000mAh cell and modest processing power. Finishing off the Galaxy A14 5G’s design, it’s nice to see a few features that flagship devices have abandoned. This is one of the few Samsung devices still carrying a headphone jack, and the microSD slot helps to make up for the modest 64GB of storage.
One UI is as good as ever on the Samsung Galaxy A14 5G, offering Android 13 right out of the box. It’s decked out with customization options to match your app icons to your wallpaper, and you can delete almost all of the bloatware, such as Netflix, Facebook, and various Microsoft apps. The Galaxy A14 5G also has a bright future of updates to look forward to, with two years of Android support and four years of regular security coverage. That’s a great update policy for such a cheap phone.
Very few budget phones will receive as much long-term support as the Galaxy A14 5G.
As usual, a 5,000mAh battery and a modest 5G-capable processor are a match made in heaven. Yes, the Dimensity 700 is the same 7nm chipset from the previous Galaxy A13 5G, which launched way back in 2020, but it has just enough power to skate through everyday activities like scrolling social media and loading up a few videos on YouTube. It made light work of streaming from Spotify to my local network of Google Nest Mini speakers, and I managed close to two days of use on a single charge.
I kept gaming to a minimum on the Galaxy A14 5G as it’s not equipped to handle more demanding games, but lightweight titles should run without issue. You might not want to risk Genshin Impact on its lowest setting, but simple action titles and puzzle games like Two Dots or Wordle — if you’re like my dad and still play it — will run just fine.
Finally, we can’t let the Samsung Galaxy A14 5G go without mentioning its price cut. We were sorely disappointed last year when the Galaxy A13 5G jumped to $249 in the name of its 5G processor, so it’s a relief to see a return to a sub-$200 price tag for the first time since the Galaxy A12.
What I don’t like about the Galaxy A14 5G
Unfortunately, there’s only so much you can cram into a $199 Android device. While the overall Galaxy A14 5G design is flagship inspired, its fit and finish leave something to be desired. The 6.6-inch display is made even taller with hefty top and bottom bezels, and the side bezels are almost as large. Samsung’s budget pick also has some trouble with brightness, at least in direct sunlight. I regularly had to shield the display from the sun to check images while testing the camera.
The Galaxy A14’s plastic construction is appropriate for the price tag — we wouldn’t expect an aluminum frame or top-end variants of Gorilla Glass on the display, but it already shows some durability concerns. Our unit has picked up a few fine scratches after just a few months, and I didn’t exactly put it through the wringer. I absolutely suggest you grab a good case. There’s also no durability rating for water or dust, a feature that’s begun trickling down to other budget options like the Moto G Play (2023) with its IP52 certification.
The Galaxy A14 5G might have flagship style, but it's let down by modest materials.
Also, as much as we praise a large battery when paired with a power-sipping processor, we’re going to be just as vocal about underwhelming charging. The Galaxy A14 5G still powers up at just 15W and you’ll pick up around 20% of the charge in half an hour, with full juice taking more than two hours. While not the slowest charging phone in its price range, some of its rivals do offer more power.
Samsung’s choice of side-mounted fingerprint readers has left me frustrated as well. It’s easy enough to find along the side rail, but it doesn’t push in very far, which leaves me thinking that I missed it more often than not. I’ve also had issues with accuracy, winding up locked out for 30-second cooldown periods multiple times per day. There are plenty of other ways to unlock the device, but Samsung is no stranger to side-mounted readers that perform far better, so I wasn’t expecting this level of trouble.
I can understand Samsung sticking with the Dimensity 700 processor for another year, especially if the move was to save on costs. That said, I noticed a fair amount of stuttering when pushing the Galaxy A14 5G too hard. Switching between camera lenses takes more than a second, and there was a similar amount of lag when I tried to open image previews. The 90Hz refresh rate screen is fluid enough to keep up with quickly scrolling through menus, though it usually outpaces YouTube and Spotify when loading long playlists.
Finally, although it’s nice to see a headphone jack on the Samsung Galaxy A14 5G, the speaker setup is underwhelming. It skips stereo sound, offering just one down-firing unit across from the headphone jack. I played through part of the new Boygenius record and couldn’t shake the fact that the sound felt unbalanced or that pitches both high and low lost some of their clarity at top volume.
Samsung Galaxy A14 5G review: Camera test
The Galaxy A14 5G’s triple camera setup is copied and pasted from the Galaxy S23 — at least aesthetically. Each lens lives in its own circular housing, ringed by a glossy ridge and accompanied by a single flash. However, the aesthetics are about all the two camera phones have in common. The Samsung Galaxy A14 5G packs a 50MP primary sensor, but it swaps the flagship’s ultrawide and telephoto shooters for 2MP macro and depth backups. As it turns out, the Galaxy A14 5G has one truly useful sensor and two friends that are along for the ride.
Unsurprisingly, I put that 50MP sensor through the bulk of the testing, making the most of a lovely spring day on the east coast. It bins to 12.5MP shots by default, and I was pleasantly surprised with the results, for the most part. I was ready to pan the setup at first, with most images looking pretty choppy in the viewfinder before I pressed the shutter button, but the Galaxy A14 5G’s post-processing does a good job. Some images deliver accurate color recreation, like the Easter eggs in the tree, while others opt for Samsung’s typical slightly oversaturated look, especially on reds and greens. The portrait mode image of the clock tower is a perfect example, with darker hues for the clock itself and the brick building. Samsung also darkened the blue of the sky, which was closer to that of the image on the left in real life.
While the Galaxy A14 5G’s primary sensor handles subjects and closer objects nicely, I’ve noticed that details get a bit soft in the background. The trees and leaves in the image to the bottom left tend to run together, and the same goes for the image of the yellow flag. The Galaxy A14 5G isn’t spot-on in portrait identification with complex subjects, either. The eggs in the tree are somewhat hit or miss, and it leaves a few crystal-clear sections of the background between the skinny branches. Of course, all of this is forgivable for a sub-$200 device, and the main shooter helps the Galaxy A14 5G easily compete with the best budget camera phones.
With no ultrawide camera and no telephoto lens, the Samsung Galaxy A14 5G is pretty limited in its zoom capabilities. You can bump from the standard 1x view up to 10x zoom, with quick camera toggles for 2x and 4x zoom. I don’t have any complaints about the first two images below, though there’s a noticeable color shift in the sky once you hit 4x zoom. It still shows decent detail and clarity, but both falter significantly at 10x zoom. The Galaxy A14 5G also skips stabilization, which makes it even tougher to get a clear shot past 4x zoom.
Rounding out the budget-friendly setup, we have the Galaxy A14 5G’s 2MP macro shooter. Dedicated macro lenses remain one of my least favorite picks for a smartphone, as they’re extremely limited in terms of overall usability. It’s tough to get reliably clear shots, and the low resolution means that some subjects still turn out soft, like the pink flower to the right.
Samsung didn’t give the Galaxy A14 5G much low-light love, either. Toggling the dedicated night mode comes with a six-second wait when you take a snap; I never managed to make it shorter. It’s almost impossible to hold the phone perfectly still for that long, and you end up with images that don’t look much better than snapping with night mode turned off. The Galaxy A14 5G is capable of some dramatic low-light shots, like that of the tower to the left. However, some details get soft as you zoom in on the stones. The image of the balloons in the window shows good clarity and color, while the American flag bench is soft all around.
Finally, we have the Samsung Galaxy A14 5G’s selfie camera. It packs a 13MP sensor housed in a small notch at the top of the display. I don’t have any issue with the detail or color on the standard selfie, at least when looking at myself. However, the Galaxy A14 5G tends to follow its rear lenses, getting a bit soft when it comes to the trees in the corners. As for the portrait shot, well, the wash-out speaks for itself. I’m not entirely sure how it ended up so much lighter than the standard image, though the Galaxy A14 5G did pick out the edges of my hair nicely. It missed a few spots between hairs, but the other option would have been to crop half of my hair.
If you have any intention of taking serious videos with your smartphone, you can probably skip the Galaxy A14 5G. It’s capped at 1080p resolution with 30fps on the primary lens and selfie shooter. I took a few samples while walking around my hometown, but the lack of stabilization left me with some shaky shots. This quality is in line with many budget phones, including the previous Samsung Galaxy A13 5G and the OnePlus Nord N300, but it still leaves something to be desired.
Samsung Galaxy A14 5G specs
|Samsung Galaxy A14 5G|
2,048 x 1,080 resolution (Full HD+)
90Hz refresh rate
MediaTek Dimensity 700
15W wired charging
No wireless charging
- 50MP wide, f/1.8, PDAF
- 2MP macro, f/2.4
- 2MP depth, f/2.4
- 13MP wide, f/2.0
3.5mm headphone jack
1080p video at 30fps
Plastic frame and back
Side-mounted fingerprint reader
Ports and switches
USB 2.0 via USB-C
One UI 5 based on Android 13
Dimensions and weight
167.7 x 78 x 9.1mm
Black, Dark Red, Light Green, Silver
In the box
Samsung Galaxy A14 5G
SIM ejector tool
Quick start guide
Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy A14 5G?
I can easily recommend the Samsung Galaxy A14 5G if you’re looking for your first smartphone. It rights one of our biggest complaints with the Galaxy A13 5G — the inflated price — and maintains an otherwise solid spec sheet. Samsung’s Full HD+, 90Hz display is quick enough and crisp enough to keep up, and the Galaxy A14 5G hangs onto creature comforts like the headphone jack and expandable storage. Factor in one of the best update commitments for the money, and it’s tough to pick a better smartphone for under $200.
Of course, the Galaxy A14 5G has its flaws, many of which can be tied back to the modest price. The surprisingly finicky side-mounted fingerprint reader is a sore spot, as are the sizable bezels surrounding the display, weak speakers, and slow charging, but none of these are enough to outweigh the Galaxy A14 5G’s value. You might also want to look elsewhere if you need a versatile camera setup, but the 50MP primary sensor that many people will use the most is plenty capable for portraits and everyday snaps.
The Samsung Galaxy A14 5G is a great starter smartphone with a price you don't have to stress over.
If you decide to reach beyond the Samsung Galaxy A14 5G, the closest competition could well be Motorola’s Moto G Power 5G (2023) ($279 at Amazon). It’s the first Moto G Power device to offer 5G speeds, and it bumps to 6GB of RAM with a more powerful Dimensity 930 processor under the hood. Motorola’s battery-centric phone is $100 more expensive, but it also adds an IP52 rating and 120Hz display to the mix. I’ll be testing it very soon and will update our recommendation here when we have a full review. Regardless, the Galaxy A14 5G is a better buy than the Moto G Play (2023) ($169.99 at Amazon), which makes way too many sacrifices for only a tiny saving.
OnePlus also offers the Nord N300 ($228 at T-Mobile). It’s exclusive to T-Mobile, which might limit potential buyers, but it bumps to 33W wired charging and matches the Galaxy A14 5G with a solid primary camera, even if the colors can be a bit wonky at times. I’d still favor the Galaxy A14 5G, however, as the higher resolution display and stronger update policy add genuine value.
Should you decide to increase your budget a bit further, Samsung’s Galaxy A54 5G ($374.99 at Amazon) is absolutely worth a look. It drops the budget model’s depth sensor in favor of an ultrawide lens, picks up Gorilla Glass 5 panels on both front and back, and bumps the wired charging speed to 25W. Sure, it will set you back more than twice the cost, but the Galaxy A54 5G figures to be one of the most enticing mid-range phones of early 2023, at least until the Google Pixel 7a rolls around. There’s also the Galaxy A23 5G ($299.99 at Samsung), but it suffers from many of the same issues as the Galaxy A14 5G, but without the super-cheap price tag.
Samsung Galaxy A14 5G review: Q&A
Samsung announced the Galaxy A14 5G on January 5, 2023, as part of CES 2023.
Samsung offers the Galaxy A14 both with and without 5G, though you’ll pay slightly more for the 5G version.
Samsung’s Galaxy A14 5G has a 6.6-inch display, and the phone weighs 202g.
The Samsung Galaxy A14 5G packs 4GB of RAM and 64GB of expandable storage.
The Samsung Galaxy A14 5G has a 5,000mAh battery with 15W charging.