Monday, June 24, 2024
Smart Phones

Galaxy A55 vs Galaxy A54: how will Samsung improve its $450 mid-ranger?


Intro

Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S24 lineup might be the one making all of the noise and hype in the smartphone market, but the fact is that the company’s mid-range Galaxy A5x series is not that far behind in terms of popularity and units sold.

This year we are getting the Galaxy A55, replacing the Galaxy A54 from last year which brought a fresh new design, a more powerful chipset, and most importantly a new main camera. Now the question is how the A55 will improve on its predecessor. So far, it seems like it won’t be a major upgrade, but there are some intriguing tweaks that have the potential to be noteworthy. 

So, let’s see what you will be getting from the upcoming Galaxy A55 for the modest price of $450, that is, if Samsung does not decide to bump that price up to $500.

Galaxy A55 vs Galaxy A54 differences explained:

Design and Display Quality

A new design element that might prove controversial 
For the last few years, the Galaxy A5x series has had a design that is very similar to that of Samsung’s flagship lineup, with the latest example for this statement being the Galaxy A54 and Galaxy S23 series. This similarity made it a bit difficult to visually differentiate one from the other, but this year things will likely be different.

The Galaxy A55 is said to come with a new design element in the form of a small bump where the volume and power keys are, which is being addressed by leakers as the “Key Island.” Here is a leaked render showcasing this so-called Key Island on the A55.

You can probably tell that there is a sharp slope at the two ends of this Key Island, which blend into the rest of the aluminum frame.

Now take a look at the Galaxy A54 from 2023 and see if you can imagine looking at the same phone, but with a bump where the two buttons are.

We suspect this new look will create some mixed opinions from Samsung’s fans and others, but we appreciate the manufacturer’s attempt at breaking the formula, if at least a little bit.

That being said, the Galaxy A55 would not be the first Samsung phone to look like this. The more budget-friendly Galaxy A15 and Galaxy A25 were the first to rock the new Key Island. Given their much lower price, however, the seemingly controversial design choice did not make that big of a splash online, so let’s see how people react once it appears on the company’s popular mid-ranger.

The Galaxy A54 is IP67-rated and will endure submersion into water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes, and we expect the Galaxy A55 to keep the same level of water and dust resistance as its predecessor.

As for the displays, the A54 comes with a pretty big 6.4-inch one that has a screen refresh rate of 120Hz (meaning it is super smooth to slide around on), with support for HDR10+ content. The A55, on the other hand, is said to have an ever so slightly larger 6.5-inch display in comparison, and we also expect it to go noticeably brighter compared to the 1000 nits on the A54.

Lastly, the Galaxy A55 might come with a slightly better protection for its glass, rocking Gorilla Glass Victus vs the A54’s Gorilla Glass 5.

Performance and Software

Moving on to 4nm from 5nm

The Galaxy A54 came with Samsung’s in-house Exynos 1380 made on the 5nm process. One of the main, and so far one of the few upgrades that the A55 is said to bring is the next generation of that chipset, namely the Exynos 1480 that’s built in the 4nm process.

The Exynos 1480 is somewhere in the same ballpark as Qualcomm’s mid-range silicone, the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1, which can be found in phone such as the Motorola Razr 40, for example. Just how big of a jump in performance the new chip will bring is unclear yet.

No matter how much better the Exynos 1480 is, however, it will likely still be a mid-range processor that is not terribly impressive compared to the competition.

As for storage, both devices come with 128GB with the base version, which is a standard mid-range amount these days. We expect the A55 to come with slightly more RAM though, going to 8GB from the 6GB on the A54.

Camera

The macro camera persists

One of the most prominent rumors about Samsung’s upcoming A5x series is that it is still rocking a third macro camera, which means you will still have to go a step higher and buy at least a Galaxy S23FE to get a dedicated telephoto camera.

Other than that news, there hasn’t been any information to point at new camera hardware as of yet, so we expect to see the same 50MP main camera (which first arrived with the Galaxy A54 last year), and a 12MP ultra-wide, as well as a 12MP front-facing camera. All of those performed pretty well for the phone’s price range, but the new Exynos 1480 silicon might enable some improvements and new software features.

Audio Quality and Haptics

The Galaxy A54’s speakers and the audio quality they produced left us a bit disappointed in 2023, as they seemed to have very distorted low frequencies at higher volumes. And speaking of the volume, it didn’t go that high to begin with, with several other models from Samsung’s competition being much better in this segment.

We are hoping for some tweaks from Samsung on this end, so that the Galaxy A55 catches up to the likes for the OnePlus 12R that recently came out, or Google’s Pixel 7a and the upcoming Pixel 8a.

Haptic feedback was alright on the Galaxy A54, and we don’t foresee any changes to that part of the phone with the A55.

Battery Life and Charging

Keeping it solid

The Galaxy A54 came with solid battery life thanks to its massive 5,000mAh battery and the energy-efficient Exynos 1380. The Galaxy A55 is said to come with the same battery size, so the hope here is that the new 4nm Exynos 1480 is even more power-efficient and makes the Samsung mid-ranger last even longer.

For some context, the A54 lasted around 16 hours during our web browsing test, 7 hours and 45 minutes during our video streaming one, and 5 hours and 45 minutes for our gaming test.

Charging will probably remain the same as that of the Galaxy A54, which is to say 25W maximum speed via a cable. We don’t expect Samsung to introduce wireless charging to the A5x series.

Summary and Final Verdict

So, by the looks of things, the Galaxy A55 is shaping up to be a rather small upgrade over last year’s Galaxy a54, so if you are rocking that 2023 model there seems to be little potential reason for an upgrade.

Truth be told, it would be a bit disappointing if that is all there is to come with the Galaxy A55. What would really make the phone stand out and a bit more interesting is if some of the Galaxy S24‘s AI features trickle down to it. Of course, the possible 7 years of software updates are a pretty big win as well and can be a valid reason to choose the A55 over something like the OnePlus 12R, or even to upgrade from the A54.



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