Sorry Samsung, but when you invest in a €1500+ flagship Samsung S21+ Ultra you’d kind of expect it to last longer than 33 months!!

Yes, Samsung (Exertis Ireland) has a few issues, I have had some problems ordering directly from them over the years, including lost products, delays, and poor customer service… Then just as I’m planning my tech upgrades for 2024 my phone totally bricks itself, worse still, it’s a Bank Holiday weekend! No warning, just 5 minutes earlier I was answering a text message.

Huge disappointment, everything is (was) on the phone, everything!

Then there was the ‘value’ aspect, this flagship phone which had become an integral part of my life over the past 33 months cost north of €1500 (and was now outside warranty) and was just a beautiful-looking paperweight! Oh, and that works out at approximately €46 per month.

What to do?

Scrolling through endless similar cases on Google I was becoming hopeful that I might resolve the issue, then becoming crushed reading more and more, as the ‘solutions’ were not working and the phone still showed no signs of life regardless of the sequence of buttons pressed or held.

Do I fancy using Samsung Ireland after my last episode or do I go get a sim-free phone from a famous electrical retailer?

Umm, nope is the short and definitive answer, no way!

Why? Well, it was a Bank Holiday weekend and with the history I’d experienced I decided to deal with the problem as quickly as possible, I like everyone (well almost, everyone) needed a phone as quickly as possible… The only problem is I live in rural Ireland where do I go?

Options were, placing an order online or travelling an hour down the road to two giant electrical retailers… where are my car keys?

So, with no idea what or which phone to get – Google Pixel 8? or back to Samsung, S22, S23? or go left of the field and go, Sony? (Yes, Sony – I had a Sony Xperia a good few years ago)

Currys Sligo was a disappointment, with no one available to assist and only about 8 phones to choose from.

Out the door and down the car park to Harvey Norman reluctantly… but my preconceptions were misplaced on this occasion, with the assistant being super-helpful & knowledgable – and even down-sold which is a clever way to nail the sale!

We spoke about my sudden ‘bricking’, the various solutions, and then the options on the table, with the benefits and advantages of buying a new flagship, but then he turned to me and recommended the Samsung A54 5G – a mid-priced heavy hitter with specs just off the flagship phones but at least a third of the price!

Tech specs

  • Display 6.4″ FHD+ S.AMOLED Infinity-O (6.3″ Rounded Corner)
  • Storage 128GB ROM
  • Rear Camera 50MP + 12MP UW + 5MP Depth
  • Front Camera 32MP
  • Memory 6GB RAM
  • Battery 5000mAh
  • Dual SIM

More than sufficient as a stop-gap, while I weigh up my options for tech upgrades in 2024, but maybe now is the time to change from Samsung?

As someone who loves photography and capturing more natural and off-the-cuff moments, having a camera in my pocket that makes phone calls is a must… first major outing was a trip to the UK and a spot of Pink Floyd in the fashion of the very talented Australian Pink Floyd – No better way to test a camera than in low light!

Another good test is nature and the light & shade that brings… And as you can see, the A54 seems to be able to handle both quite well…

The battery life of the phone is good, I’m getting a good day out of the battery on most days and weekends a little bit better.

So if you’re looking for a reasonably priced phone with the clout of a flagship this phone is for you, but just remember it’s not a flagship! It does lack a little performance and it has crashed a few times.