I don’t want to oversell it – it’s not a flagship phone. Yes, you’ll still see a stutter here and there when switching between apps. Maybe you have to force close an app every now and then. But for the most part, I had a really good experience using the A14 5G to not only follow Reddit and Twitter, but also instantly reply to emails, monitor work tasks, and even make phone calls.
This got me thinking about batteries. My sister lives in India, so we don’t have the chance to see each other very often. I spent four hours on a video call the other day and the battery only dropped to 50% – I thought it would be lower! That same day, I used my phone’s GPS while driving to a dog park in Manhattan and took lots of pictures of my delicious fried chicken sandwich at a local Irish restaurant called Bua. By bedtime (for me, uh, after midnight), the phone was at 11% with a whopping 9 hours of screen-on time. It’s been a very busy day. On days I don’t spend hours on video calls, I still have 30% left two full days One charge. It’s nice not to have to charge it every night.
Which brings me to the 50-megapixel main camera. It snaps photos very quickly, and it even has a night mode, which you can use to get reasonably bright and sharp images in low light (unlike the Moto G Play). Of course, your nighttime photos can be a bit blurry at times. Sometimes the processing is a bit too much, smoothing out certain features on faces and other details, plus some colors can be exaggerated. Still, I’m pretty happy with most of the results for a $200 phone. This includes selfies I took with the 13-megapixel front-facing camera (which also supports night mode). If you prefer, you can use a macro camera, which is good for extreme close-ups, but only if you have good light.
a star is born
My only major gripe with this phone in day-to-day use is the mono speaker. It’s just not too loud, doesn’t sound great, and easily jams in landscape mode when playing video games. The easy solution is to just use headphones — wireless or wired, because, yes, there’s a headphone jack.
There’s even a microSD card slot to expand the 64GB of internal storage (more than you’ll find on similarly priced devices), plus contactless payments using a near-field communication (NFC) sensor capacity so you can leave your wallet at home. I pretty much only pay with my phone these days when I’m out and about, so this is a huge win for me.
The Galaxy A14 5G also supports… 5G, which, as the name suggests, is another rarity at this price point, as most sub-$200 phones rely on 4G LTE. It’s supported by every major US carrier, from AT&T and T-Mobile to Verizon. On top of that, Samsung is promising two Android OS updates, meaning it will still get Android 15 in 2024 since it’s already running the latest Android 13. It’ll also get four years of security updates, which is almost unheard of for Android on such an inexpensive phone.
It’s almost impossible not to marvel at the value of the Galaxy A14. It can do pretty much anything for very little money, and that’s where we should be asking more of our gadgets.