I have recently experienced two Samsung phones - the A34 and A54 - that are well-positioned as mid-tier devices, both with a very similar range of features.
In terms of design, these two models are identical, and you wouldn't be able to tell them apart without looking at the About Phone page. They both have three camera lenses in the back and the same well-polished finish (including round frames) - except for a small detail: the A34 has a notch around the front camera, while the A54 has just a hole at the same location.
The size is very similar, with the A34 161.3 x 78.1 x 8.2) (measuring just a few millimetres more than the A54 (158.2 x 76.7 x 8.2), but weighing practically the same 200g.
Both have AMOLED displays at 1080 x 2340 (FHD+) resolution, but the A34 has a slightly larger 6.6" display compared to the A54's 6.4" display. Both displays support a 120 Hz refresh rate, making these very comfortable (you can set it to a lower refresh rate to save some battery).
They both have an IP67 rating, meaning they are dust and water-resistant - not waterproof, so don't let your phone fall in a bucket of water, but a few rain droplets shouldn't cause any headaches.
While the A34 has 6 GB RAM, the A54 distributed in New Zealand has 8 GB storage. Both support RAM Plus, an option to use some of the storage space (2 GB, 4 GB or 6 GB) as virtual memory, allowing you to have just a few more apps running simultaneously, preventing the OS from closing apps due to memory requirements.
Support for 5G is available in both models and again you will find both have dual-SIM card trays, with the second slot being available for either the second SIM or a microSD card. This microSD would be used in addition to the standard 128 GB storage. Neither device support eSIM.
The A34 supports Wi-Fi 5 (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac) and the A54 also supports the newer Wi-Fi 6 (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax) standard, meaning it is slightly better at wireless connectivity due to enhanced support to 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi, which has a better range than 5 GHz Wi-Fi. To take advantage of this, your phone must connect to Wi-Fi access points supporting the same Wi-Fi 6 standard or better.
Both phones have video stabilisation, but the cameras are just a bit better on the A54. While the A34 has a rear (main) camera with three sensors (48 megapixels, 8 megapixels and 5 megapixels), the A54 has slightly higher resolutions (50 megapixels, 12 megapixels and 5 megapixels) with both supporting multiple F numbers (F1.8 , F2.2 , F2.4).
The front camera, used for video calls and selfies is also a bit better on the A54, with the A34 having a 13-megapixel camera and the A54 sporting a higher 32-megapixel resolution.
Both devices have a 5,000 mAh battery, which is enough to get you going through the day with some app and video usage and even longer if you use the device for mostly music only. And both the A34 and A54 support fast charging.
Samsung promises five years of security updates and four OS updates for these phones (currently running One UI 5.1 and Android 13), which is yet to be seen. Based on the two devices I have here, updates are a bit slow - with the A34 showing a security update from December 2022 and the A54 showing a January 2023 security update.
Regarding security, you can rely on the usual PIN, fingerprint (both have under-the-screen fingerprint readers) and face recognition. Both are reliable and fast, with multiple lock screen options to automatically unlock the device based on these. You will also find NFC is available in both models so Google Pay is an option.
Ultimately these two devices are pretty similar with small differences. The main reason you'd select the A54 over the A34 is if you want to use the better camera and WiFi 6 options to create content and upload faster. Otherwise, you will be saving $ 150 if you choose to go with the A34 model.