HTC has surprised everyone with the release of a new mid-ranger dubbed the HTC U23 Pro, but how does it compare to one of the most popular mid-rangers around, the Samsung Galaxy A54 5G?
The £499 HTC U23 Pro has a lot going for it including a base storage of 256GB, 12GB of RAM, a 108MP main camera and 30W fast charging, but it has its work cut out for it compared to the Galaxy A54 and its glass rear, Super AMOLED display, Exynos 1380 chipset and cheaper starting price at £449.
Here are five key differences between the HTC U23 Pro and Samsung Galaxy A54 5G to help you decide which is best for your needs.
The Samsung Galaxy A54 5G has a more premium build
The HTC U23 Pro and Samsung Galaxy A54 might both be mid-range options, but the Galaxy A54 stands out with its selection of rather premium materials – especially considering the £449 price tag.
That includes the use of a Gorilla Glass 5-protected glass rear cover, instantly making the Galaxy A54 feel more premium than most mid-range alternatives in the hand. In fact, in our review, we were surprised at just how similar it looked and felt compared to the standard Galaxy S23.
Though the HTC U23 Pro also offers IP67 water resistance, it’s let down by the mostly plastic build present on most mid-rangers. It’s also both slightly thicker (8.5mm) and heavier (205g) than Samsung’s alternative, and is only available in relatively muted Snow White and Coffee Black shades too.
The only saving grace of the U23 Pro is the display protection, which comes in the form of the upgraded Gorilla Glass Victus compared to the Gorilla Glass 5 of the Galaxy A54 – but more on that display in just a sec.
The HTC U23 Pro has a larger display
The two mid-rangers have fairly similar displays, though the HTC U23 Pro measures in slightly larger at 6.7 inches compared to 6.4 inches from Samsung’s option. That should make the U23 Pro marginally better for watching content full-screen and playing games, but we’ll have to confirm once we go hands-on.
Size aside, the two displays share the same 120Hz refresh rate and support for HDR content, though the U23 Pro uses standard OLED tech while the Samsung uses Samsung’s Super AMOLED technology.
They’re even fairly matched in the resolution department at 1080 x 2400 and 1080 x 2340 respectively, though the larger display of the U23 Pro means pixel density is slightly less at 393ppi, compared to the A54’s 403ppi.
For what it’s worth, we thought the Samsung Galaxy A54 delivered a great display experience with vibrant colours and inky blacks synonymous with the AMOLED tech on offer, and though it’s smaller than some alternatives, it made the phone slightly easier to use one-handed.
Snapdragon vs Exynos
When it comes down to processing power, it’s a clash of the titans: Qualcomm vs Samsung.
The HTC U23 Pro sports Qualcomm’s mid-range Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 and 12GB of RAM, though that chipset is a year old and has been recently replaced by the Snapdragon 7 Plus Gen 2 found in similarly priced models like the Poco F5.
While we’ve not benchmarked the U23 Pro in particular, we’ve tested other 7 Gen 1-equipped phones like the Xiaomi 13 Lite and it paints a fairly decent picture with adequate gaming performance and relatively smooth everyday use, but we’ll have to confirm that’s also the case with the U23 Pro once we go hands-on.
The Samsung Galaxy A54, on the other hand, sports Samsung’s own Exynos 1380 chipset which was announced just prior to the phone’s reveal, along with 8GB of RAM.
We found the Exynos chipset delivered decent everyday performance but noted that certain tasks, like transitioning from the lock to home screen, could sometimes take a second or two, and framerates suffered over longer periods of gameplay. It’ll certainly be interesting to see how the U23 Pro compares, especially with ample RAM.
The HTC U23 Pro has a Viverse tie-in
It should come as no surprise that the company behind the HTC Vive VR headset has launched a smartphone with a Viverse tie-in – though it’s seemingly more focused on the metaverse than using one of the various Vive headsets with the phone.
Via the Viverse mobile app you’ll be able to “create your avatars, explore virtual worlds and socialise from any device” according to HTC. There’s also an AR space that allows you to create custom AR messages, along with a marketplace to buy NFTs because, well of course there is.
If you’re a crypto-bro into NFTs and the early metaverse, this could be a tempting option, but for everyone else, it seems like a bit of a gimmick.
The Samsung Galaxy A54 5G is slightly more affordable
The Samsung Galaxy A54 is the slightly more affordable option of the two starting at £449, though it’s worth noting that the price is for the 128GB model whereas the HTC U23 Pro starts with 256GB of storage for £499 – the same price as the A54’s 256GB option. That’s great news if you don’t need 256GB of storage as you can potentially save yourself £50.