Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Smart Phones

Samsung Galaxy A35 5G vs Galaxy A15 5G: It is worth the extra money if you have it


Intro

Samsung’s mid-range phone lineup, known as the “A” series, includes some of the company’s most popular handsets, and some of the best mid-range phones in general. The latest entry-level model is called the Galaxy 15 5G (there is a non-5G model too), but at a starting price of $369 you can grab the substantially better equipped Galaxy A35 5G.

As it usually is with phones, the two main areas of improvement in this comparison are the camera and chipset performance, and boy are they much more impressive on the A35 5G than the A15 5G. But there are also some other upgrades sprinkled in that make the extra $170 more and more worth it to give. Let’s dive in!

Galaxy A35 5G vs Galaxy A15 5G differences explained:

Table of Contents:

Design and Display Quality

SUBHEADING

There are a few major differentiating factors that set the Galaxy A35 5G apart from Samsung’s entry-level Galaxy A15 5G in terms of design.

Both phones share Samsung’s unified clean look at the back, with three protruding cameras, but the A15 5G is all made out of plastic, featuring a frosted back panel. But the A35 5G comes with a reflective glass back panel. Now, the reflective glass of the A35 5G shows more fingerprints, but it definitely makes the phone feel more premium in the hand (that is if you don’t us a case).

Despite its glass back, however, the A35 5G manages to remain rather light, being only 9g heavier compared to the 200g-heavy Galaxy A15 5G. Size wize, they are also not too different, with the A35 being 161.7 x 78 x 8.2 mm vs the 160.1 x 76.8 x 8.4 mm measurements of the A15 5G.

The next big difference is not as visible, but it is crucial. The A35 5G comes with quite a high for its class IP67 water and dust resistance rating, which means that it can even withstand bing submerged in shallow water for a short period of time. The A15 5G, on other hand, has no certification at all, meaning you better be careful even around rain with it.

Both phones come with a design element that makes them stand out from the rest of the Galaxy phones on the market, namely the bump on their right side housing the power and volume keys. Thankfully, this bump is not as protruding in real life as it looks on photos. Rather, it has a more subtle look and feel to it and can even help you find these buttons more easily.

Both the A35 5G and the A15 5G displays come with a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels, or otherwise called 1080p resolution. That said, this is the only thing they have in common in terms of specs.

For starters, you get a 120Hz variable refresh rate on the A35 5G, meaning it can automatically go down to 60Hz to preserve energy. The A15 not only goes to a less smooth 90Hz, but does not have the ability to swap between different refresh rates either.

Next, we have Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+ protecting the A35’s display, a very durable type of glass that offers resistance to scratches and drops. Samsung has not specified what the A15 has to protect its display, but we would venture to guess it is not very durable if the manufacturer decided not to label it.

And, of course, the most visible difference of them all, the bezel size. The A15 5G comes with thick side bezels, a drop-cutout for the selfie camera, and a massive chin for the lower bezel. In contrast, the A35 has a punch-hole cutout for the front camera and overall thin bezels all throughout, giving it a much more premium look, and making it more enjoyable to watch content on.

Our display lab tests show us some great news—the display quality of the more affordable Galaxy A15 5G is very similar to that of the pricier Galaxy A35 5G, meaning that you get similar color accuracy, and plenty of brightness to enjoy content in bright conditions. Yes, the A35 gets a bit brighter, but the difference is not that big in real life.

Performance and Software

The A35 5G tramples over the A15

One of the main benefits you get from upgrading to a pricier phone is typically a more capable chipset and therefore a significant jump in performance. Well, the Exynos 1380 inside the A35 5G simply is in a different league compared to the Mediatek Dimensity 6100+ in the Galaxy A15 5G.

We are talking vast improvements in processing speed, and even higher graphical performance, all while keeping a similar power-efficiency. Not to mention that the Exynos 1380 built on the 5nm process compared to the Dimensity 6100+, which is built on the 6nm process.

As for software support, both phones will get 4 years Android updates and 5 years of security patches. Keep in mind, though, that the A15 5G launched in 2023 with Android 13, so the A35 5G will go further down the line as far as Android and Samsung’s One UI software goes.

Let’s look at some benchmark results:

Performance Benchmarks:

We noticed lots of lag with the A15 5G, whereas it was very rare to notice any on the A35 5G during our time with it. What’s more, gaming was somewhat cumbersome on the more affordable “A” series, with only lighter titles being playable, unlike the A35 which handled something like League of Legends Wild Rift perfectly at 60fps and medium settings. 

Storage-wise, both phones start at 128GB, with the option to buy them with 256GB of storage. The good news is no matter which one you go for you will have a microSD card slot that can take an SD card with up to 1TB of storage.

Camera

The Galaxy A35 5G shows its higher status

Despite its much lower price tag, the Galaxy A15 5G comes with a set of three cameras, just like the Galaxy A35 5G. In terms of megapixels, the two match each other only when it comes to the main camera, coming in at 50MP.

However, the pricier A35 comes with an 8MP ultra-wide camera and a 5MP macro, compared to a 5MP ultra-wide and a 2MP macro (which is basically unusable) on the A15 5G.

It is crucial to note here that the Galaxy A15 5G’s main camera can record video footage only at 1080p 30fps, which is kind of the bare minimum nowadays. The Galaxy A35 5G, on the other hand, can shoot at a maximum of 4K 30fps, with an impressive level of image quality at that!

These differences in video recording capability also factor in with the selfie cameras. Even though both phones’ front snappers come with 13MP, the image coming out of the A35 looks significantly better during video calls compared to the A15 5G.

But enough numbers, let’s look at some samples.

Main Camera

The first thing we noticed when comparing the photos coming out of the main camera on these two phones is that the A35 is much better at producing true-to-life colors, whereas the A15 5G throws in a green shade into the mix. Not to mention that the A15 5G’s image seems overly saturated a bit, whereas the A35 appears more natural.

The A15 5G’s shot is also a bit overexposed, meaning that it is brighter than it should be. In comparison, the A35 has produced a more balanced level of contrast, keeping the shadows as dark as they should be and avoiding an overbrightned sky.

Lastly, even though both phones are rocking a 50MP camera, the A35’s image appears to have more detail and better sharpness, which is probably thanks to the significantly more powerful processor inside of it. 

It is safe to say that the Galaxy A35 5G is leagues away from the A15 5G when it comes to low-light photography with the main camera, offering much more detail in the darker areas. Light sources, such as the ones in balconies or the lamps on the street, are not blown out either, making them more visible. Lastly, there is generally more detail throughout the whole image, with finer objects being significantly more easy to pick out.

Zoom Quality

Neither of these phones has a telephoto camera, after all, they are both meant to be budget friendly, and a telephoto camera is still considered a luxury. That being said, the Galaxy A35 5G appears to produce a higher quality 2X digital zoom compared to the A15 5G.

Ultra-wide Camera

At first glance the A15 5G might seem the better one here, especially if you are looking at the image on a smaller screen. The truth of the matter is that the images are oversharpened, probably to compensate for the lower resolution. On a closer inspection you will see that the A35 5G is the one with more “real” sharpness, and with the better HDR performance.

Selfies

The selfie situation is not that different from the rest of the camera comparison between the A35 and A15 5G. The latter shoots images that make you look almost like a cartoon character, with overly smoothed out skin, darker shadows, and much less detail. It is a bit creepy to be honest.

The front-facing camera of the A35, on the other hand, shoots photos with realistic colors and plenty of detail. We really have nothing to complain about there.

Audio Quality and Haptics

Unlike the Galaxy A35 5G, the Galaxy A15 5G comes with only a single-firing speaker at the bottom. It has quite decent volume, but the quality of the audio is pretty bad, as it can sound “tinny” and lacks any kind of richness and depth.

The A35’s audio is vastly superiors, and not only because it has dual speakers for that stereo experience, but simply in terms of audio quality. Our unit sounded a bit muffled throughout the volume range, but in general it covered a much wider spectrum of frequencies and we could easily enjoy YouTube videos and podcasts with it, which is something we cannot say about the A15.

Haptics are alright enough to be left turned on with the A35, but we recommend shutting them down immediately with the A15.

Battery Life and Charging

Both can be trusted to last you throughout the day and more

Neither of these phones will leave you wanting for more battery, as both come with large 5,000mAh battery capacity and power-efficient chipsets. Although there is something to be said about how good the A35’s battery life is given its significantly faster chipset. The ratio between power and power-efficiency there is much better, so we would argue that it takes the cake in this segment too.

PhoneArena Battery Test Results:

As you can see for yourself, things balance out between our multiple battery tests. Where the A35 wins against the A15 5G in the web browsing test, it loses when it comes to video streaming. Gaming seems to drain the batteries equally fast with both phones.

PhoneArena Charging Test Results:

Both phones have the same charging speed and same battery size, so the charging time to get them from 0-100% is pretty similar. That said, the two are tweaked somewhat differently, with the A35 being slower to charge to 30%, but quicker to go up to the 50% and 100% marks.

Specs Comparison

Which one should you buy?

The Galaxy A35 5G is undoubtedly one of the best mid-range phones in the market so far in 2024, and we can easily describe it as a well-rounded product that offers the user a level of quality that is even better than what you pay for in some cases.

The Galaxy A15 5G is not a bad entry-level phone, and it can be a great first phone for your kid until you decide they are ready for something more expensive. In most other cases, however, we would recommend making that jump if possible, and going for the A35 5G instead, as it will leave you much more satisfied throughout your experience with it.



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