Compared to the first half a decade or so after Samsung first started making Android phones, the company's mid-range phones have come a long way in terms of the features they offer and how they perform in day-to-day use. Well, when it comes to the latter, even flagship Galaxy phones were rather embarrassing for the first few years, but like its mid-range phones, Samsung's flagship phones today are far better off in fluidity and speed.
However, while Samsung has pretty much perfected performance on flagship phones with the Galaxy S23 series, the company still has a long way to go with its mid-range phones. Its mid-range phones still have the kind of stutter and lag you would expect not to see nearly 14 years after Samsung's first Android phone was released, and even devices priced as high as the Galaxy A54 are affected.
But perhaps what's even worse is that Samsung seems to fail to optimize phones that use its in-house Exynos chips. For example, the Galaxy A54's Exynos 1380 is quite poweful on paper, but the Galaxy A34, which is considerably cheaper and uses a MediaTek chip, has fewer performance hiccups. What's more, Samsung even fails to offer consistent performance across phones that are powered by the same processor.
Mid-range Galaxy phones don't perform as well as one would expect
It's something we saw last year with the Galaxy A33 and Galaxy A53. Both phones were powered by the Exynos 1280 chip, but the A33 was more optimized out of the box. With a few updates, the Galaxy A53 eventually reached the level of polish that we expected from it on day one after seeing how well the Galaxy A52, Galaxy A52 5G, and Galaxy A52s performed, and the Galaxy A54 has also seen improvements with the few updates it has received since launch.
But the fact that Samsung's most popular mid-range phone series (the Galaxy A5x line) requires updates after launch to run as well as possible is where I have an issue. That and how there's no guarantee that two phones powered by the same hardware will actually perform the same and how Samsung can't even make sure that it's at the very least the costlier device that is more optimized!
Those are two reasons why I currently find it hard to recommend Samsung's mid-range Android phones to those who ask for my opinion on which phone they should buy. You get some excellent features on these mid-range phones, like water resistance, solid camera, support for four OS upgrades, fantastic battery life, and Samsung's beautiful AMOLED displays, now with higher refresh rates.
But the speed and fluidity of the user experience leave a lot to be desired, and it's high time Samsung did something about it. Samsung has shown it can optimize software extremely well with the Galaxy S23 series. Here's hoping similar optimization will make its way to the company's non-flagship phones in the near future, especially as the company continues to ask higher and higher prices for these devices every year.