Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Smart Phones

Galaxy A55 vs OnePlus 12R: it doesn’t even feel close



Intro

Samsung is gearing up to introduce its latest mid-range phone, the Galaxy A55, but the rumors and leaks are so far pointing to just a few upgrades we can expect. Then there’s the OnePlus 12R which recently hit the markets, and is living up to the company’s OG moniker “the flagship killer.”

So, the question here is what can Samsung sprinkle into the A55’s portfolio to make it be a more even match to OnePlus’ equivalent? Well, there are a couple of benefits that the A55 might have over the 12R, but it is hard to say they would be enough.

Let’s get into the nitty gritty together, and see how these two phones could stack up against each other.

Galaxy A55 vs OnePlus 12R differences explained:

Design and Display Quality

A different look and feel
The Galaxy A55 is said to resemble Samsung’s flagship lineup, the Galaxy S24 series, just as it has in the last few years. This time around, however, the A5x series will stand out a bit more thanks to a new design feature that’s been named by leakers the Key Island.

The so-called “Key Island” is a newly introduced bump where the volume and power buttons are on the Galaxy A55, something that wasn’t there in the A54. Apart from this new element, the A55 will likely remain with the same boxy design, alongside the flat edges, display, and back panel, and curved corners.

On the other hand, we have the recently released OnePlus 12R, which takes a completely different approach as far as design goes. It comes with a curved display that nicely bends over the edges and joins the aluminum frame. The edges themselves are oval, making the phone arguably more pleasant to hold.

Of course, we can’t forget to mention the massive circular camera island on the back of the 12R, which is a rather questionable look, albeit unique. The A55 is said to keep the individually protruding three cameras, which we think is a cleaner and more stylish approach than what OnePlus opts for its phones.

In terms of size, we expect the 12R to be larger than the A55, and have a noticeably bigger display, with 6.78″ vs 6.5″ on the A55. Speaking of the display, both phones will be capable of a 120Hz screen refresh rate, but the OnePlus is rocking a special feature dubbed Aqua Touch, which keeps the display responsive even when it is extremely wet.

In terms of brightness, we expect the Galaxy A55 to catch up to the OnePlus 12R’s 1147 nits we measured during our display tests. That said, one difference between the two will be that the Samsung only supports the HDR10+ video format, whereas the 12R supports Dolby Vision as well.

As far as durability is concerned, the Samsung will win, as it will surely come with at least an IP67 water resistance rating, which means it can endure submersion into water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. The 12R comes with an IP64 rating, which means it is safe enough to withstand some weak jets of water, but nothing more.

We also expect the Galaxy to get improved glass durability with Gorilla Glass Victus, but that still won’t beat the Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on the OnePlus 12R. That said, the difference between these two generations is not that significant, so this can’t be considered a serious downside.

Performance and Software

The OnePlus’ flagship killer nature shows its teeth

The Exynos 1480 said to come with the Galaxy A55 and the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 powering the OnePlus 12R might both be built on the 4nm process, but boy will there be a difference in performance once we get to test these bad boys out.

The Exynos xx80 chipsets from Samsung have always been middle of the ground, rather average performers. They do the job and are good enough to give you an overall smooth user experience, but are definitely far from anything at the level of a flagship. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, on the other hand, powered phones like last year’s Samsung Galaxy S23 series, so it is up there with the big players, and blows anything you throw at it out of the water even if it is 1 year older now.

As for memory and storage, the two phones will likely be the same for the base models, with 8/128GB of RAM and internal storage. That being said, the upgraded version of the OnePlus 12R not only comes with a 16/256GB combo (for $100 more) but the storage goest from UFS 3.1 to UFS 4.0, which is twice as fast and much more power efficient.

One area where the Galaxy A55 might beat the 12R by a lot, however, is if Samsung makes its software update window span 7 years instead of 4, which is what OnePlus offers with the 12R.

Camera

An almost even match on paper

Both phones come with a triple camera setup, with a main, ultra-wide, and a macro camera at the back. The main cameras are both 50MP, with the ultra-wideс also matching in 12MP. The A55 will also likely keep its predecessor’s 5MP macro camera, whereas the 12R’s is 2MP. On the front, embedded in their displays, the A55 will likely come with a 32MP selfie shooter, which we will be comparing to the 16MP one on the OnePlus.

We expect an overall similar performance here, but it would be interesting to see how the two manufacturers differentiate in their approach to the camera app and image processing that goes behind the scenes.

Audio Quality and Haptics

The OnePlus 12R has an amazing pair of speakers which can go extremely loud without noticeable distortion. There is even some umph in the low-end frequencies, and overall audio quality is clear and rich. The Galaxy A55, however, needs to introduce something better than its predecessor, as the A54 produced distorted sound at higher volumes and sounded a bit tinny in general.

OnePlus’ haptics are top notch throughout the company’s more expensive options, and the 12R has adopted a similar quality vibration motor. The A55 should be pretty good in this regard too, but we expect the OnePlus to be better in comparison.

Battery Life and Charging

Much faster charging on the OnePlus 12R

The Galaxy A55 will probably rock the same 5,000mAh battery as the A54, and if the Exynos 1480 is at least as power efficient as the silicon of last year’s model, the A55 will have great battery life. Then there’s the 12R, which comes with a slightly larger 5,500mAh battery, but might be a bit more power hungry because of that flagship chipset. So, in other words, we expect somewhat similar results from our battery life tests.

Charging is a whole other matter though, with the OnePlus 12R’s 100W (80W in the USA) wired charging, which simply dwarfs the expected 25W on the Galaxy A55. Neither phone has wireless charging.

Summary and Final Verdict

So, for $50 more, the OnePlus 12R simple offers much more to the user. In fact, it almost feels like we are talking about two totally different weight classes here, as the 12R feels more like a flagship than a mid-range phone. The choice is even more easy if Samsung bumps the price of the A55 to match that of the 12R at $500.

Of course, Samsung might bring along some AI features that launched with the pricier Galaxy S24 series, and it might include 7 years of software updates vs the 4 years that OnePlus offers. But, truth be told, we don’t think any of those features would make the A55 more worth it, at least for most users.



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