Samsung continues its two-pronged strategy to attack the mid-range smartphone market using the Galaxy A and Galaxy M lineups. After releasing the Galaxy A54 5G, Samsung quickly unveiled the Galaxy M54 5G for select markets. They are similar in some ways and very different in others, and one is cheaper, literally and figuratively.
While Samsung refined the Galaxy A54 in many ways, from the exterior design to software support and features, it also kept the Galaxy M54 in its lane, where firmware support and build quality got downgraded in favor of a lower price and a few raw hardware improvements.
If Samsung gave you the option of buying either of the two models in your market but are unsure which one to pick, here's what you need to know about how the Galaxy A54 and Galaxy M54 compare.
These Samsung phones both are and aren't alike
The Galaxy A54 and Galaxy M54 are the perfect examples of what happens when two Samsung smartphones that should be similar are born out of different philosophies. In the end, they're nothing alike.
Both phones have individual, circular camera cutouts without a prominent contour, but otherwise, the Galaxy M54 doesn't follow the same design cues as the A54. It doesn't have a completely flat back or front panel, and its frame is narrower and rounder. The M54 looks slightly outdated as a result, despite Samsung's efforts to modernize the camera design.
The Galaxy M54's screen has chamfered edges, and the bezels have different proportions. And while the Galaxy A54 5G has Gorilla Glass 5 at the front and back (for better or for worse), the Galaxy M54 has Gorilla Glass screen protection and a plastic back panel.
Furthermore, the Galaxy A54 has an under-display fingerprint sensor, whereas the Galaxy M54 embeds it in the physical side button.
As far as similar specs go, the Galaxy A54 and M54 use the Exynos 1380 chipset and have 128GB or 256GB of storage and a maximum of 8GB of RAM. They seem to be using the same 32MP selfie camera and connectivity features, including USB Type-C, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6, and Bluetooth 5.3. And they also have expandable storage while lacking 3.5mm audio ports.
The Galaxy A54 and M54 focus on different aspects of the user experience
Unsurprisingly, the Galaxy M54 5G tries to impress through bigger numbers. It has a 108MP primary camera instead of a 50MP sensor, a more generous 6.7-inch Super AMOLED panel rather than a 6.4-inch one, and a beefier 6,000mAh battery, which should compensate for the relatively lackluster battery life offered by the Galaxy A54's 5,000mAh unit. Check out our Galaxy A54 review for more info on that.
On the other hand, the Galaxy A54 has dust and water resistance, stereo speakers that have deeper bass and Dolby Atmos, Vision Booster display technology similar to the Galaxy S23, an HDR10+ display, and most likely offers better image processing despite the lower-resolution 50MP primary camera. The A54 also has higher resolution 12MP ultra-wide and 5MP macro shooters versus the Galaxy M54's 8MP and 2MP units respectively.
And to top it all off, the Galaxy A54 will receive four major OS upgrades, whereas Samsung hasn't said anything about firmware support for the Galaxy M54. Generally, the Galaxy M series doesn't benefit from as many (or timely) firmware updates as Galaxy A devices. And over time, the Galaxy M54 will surely lag behind the Galaxy A54.
The Galaxy M54 is a cheaper phone than the A54, literally and figuratively
Quite obviously, the Galaxy M54 is figuratively cheaper than the Galaxy A54. It doesn't offer the same build quality with IP67 dust and water resistance or the A54's refined exterior design. And if you want your phone in a brighter color, like lime green or violet, then the Galaxy A54 is the only choice that matters.
The M54 also lacks the A54's clever features meant to enhance the multimedia experience through improved audio-visuals and mobile photography, and it can't take advantage of solid flagship-grade firmware support.
However, the Galaxy M54 does offer a bigger battery, a larger screen, and a higher-resolution camera — even though the latter might not work in its favor, given that the A-series usually has more advanced camera post-processing capabilities than Galaxy M phones.
And because the M-branded device is not as fancy as the Galaxy A54 in various areas of the user experience, it's also cheaper literally. Not just figuratively. Price-wise, it sits between the Galaxy A34 and Galaxy A54. As of this writing, Samsung hasn't revealed the M54's price outside of Brazil, where phones are more expensive compared to most other markets.
But, given all the information available, the Galaxy M54 in most markets may be priced closer to the Galaxy A34 than the A54. And that may or may not be a bargain, depending on how much you care about the M54's bigger screen and battery and how easily you can look past the many refinements it lacks.