I don’t want to overestimate it – it’s not a flagship phone. Yes, you will still see stuttering here and there when switching between applications. You may need to force quit the app from time to time. But for the most part, I had a perfectly good experience using the A14 5G, not only for chatting on Reddit and Twitter, but also for quickly answering emails, monitoring work tasks, and even making calls.
This brings me to the battery. My sister lives in India, so we don’t often get the opportunity to catch up. I spent four hours on a video call the other day and the battery only dropped to 50 percent – I expected it to be lower! On the same day, I used my phone’s GPS when I went to a dog park in Manhattan and took many photos of my delicious fried chicken sandwich at a local Irish eatery called Bua. Before bed (which for me is, er, past midnight), the phone was at 11 percent with a fantastic 9 hours of screen time. It was an unnaturally busy day. On days I don’t spend hours on video calls, I have 30 percent left after two full days on one charge. It is convenient that you do not need to charge every night.
This brings me to the 50MP main camera. It takes photos pretty quickly, and there’s even a night mode that you can use to get reasonably bright and clear images in low light (unlike the Moto G Play). Naturally, your night photos will be a little blurry from time to time. Sometimes there is too much processing, smoothing out certain facial features and other details, plus some colors can be exaggerated. That said, I was still quite happy with most of the results for a $200 phone. This includes selfies I took with the 13MP front camera (which also supports night mode). There’s a macro camera if you like it, and it works well for extreme close-up shots, but only in good light.
A star is born
The only major issue I have with day to day use of this phone is the mono speaker. It just doesn’t get too loud, it doesn’t sound great, and it’s easy to get locked into landscape mode when you’re playing video games. An easy solution is to just use headphones – wireless or wired, because there is a headphone jack.
There’s even a microSD card slot for 64GB of internal storage expansion (which is more than similarly priced peers), as well as the ability to make contactless payments using a Near Field Communication (NFC) sensor. you can leave your wallet at home. Lately, I almost always pay with my phone when I leave the house, so this is a huge win for me.
The Galaxy A14 5G also supports… 5G, as the name suggests, which is another rarity at this price since most sub-$200 phones rely on 4G LTE. It is supported by all major US carriers, from AT&T and T Mobile to Verizon. Best of all, Samsung is promising two Android OS updates, meaning that since it’s already running the latest Android 13, it’ll still get Android 15 in 2024. It will also receive four years of security updates, which is almost unheard of for such a cheap phone.
It’s almost impossible not to marvel at the value of the Galaxy A14. It does just about everything so well for such a small amount, and that’s exactly what we should expect from our gadgets.