Samsung has once again extended its Galaxy A series, a lineup that has consistently offered a balance of performance and price. The Samsung Galaxy A15 5G, officially launched in the global markets, is an intriguing addition to this series. The Galaxy A15 5G emerges as a noteworthy contender, especially in the budget-friendly segment.
So will delve into the myriad of features and specifications for this phone, dissecting each aspect to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of what this device offers. The A15 5G is positioned as a successor to the Galaxy A14, and it’s crucial to evaluate how it stacks up, not just in terms of upgrades but also in addressing the shortcomings of its predecessor.
With its promise of enhanced durability, a refined design, and the introduction of an OLED display, the A15 seems to be charting a course towards redefining what a budget smartphone can offer. Additionally, its camera improvements, including the introduction of an ultra-wide sensor, position it as a potentially attractive option for photography enthusiasts on a budget. Also, stands out with its Mediatek Dimensity 6100+ chipset, and a robust 5000 mAh battery, all packaged within a price tag that is gentle on the wallet.
This review will guide you through the design elements, display quality, camera capabilities, performance metrics, and much more. Whether you’re considering an upgrade from a previous model or venturing into the Samsung ecosystem for the first time, this article aims to provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision about the Samsung Galaxy A15 5G. Let’s dive into this phone and discover what makes it a contender worth considering in the affordable smartphone arena.
Samsung Galaxy A15 5G Features
- Elegant Design & Durable Build
- Side-Mounted Fingerprint Sensor
- Mediatek Dimensity 6100+ Processor
- 6.5″ Super AMOLED Display, 90Hz Refresh Rate
- FullHD+ & 800 nits
- 50MP Main Camera & 13MP Front Camera
- Up to 128GB Internal Storage & 8GB RAM
- 5,000mAh Battery & 25W Fast Charging
- Android 14 with One UI 6
- 5G Support, NFC, BT 5.3
Design and Build Quality
At first glance, the A15 5G retains the sleek and modern design language characteristic of Samsung’s Galaxy series. Mirroring the design ethos of the Samsung Galaxy A24, the A15 5G features flattened sides that add to its sleek appearance. This design choice not only enhances the visual appeal but also improves the grip, making the device comfortable to hold for extended periods. One notable aspect of the A15’s design is the subtle bump around the power button and volume rocker.
The Samsung Galaxy A15 5G features a 6.5-inch AMOLED display, marking a significant improvement in screen real estate and visual clarity compared to its predecessors. The bezels around the display are modest, with a slightly thicker bottom bezel, but they still achieve an impressive 84.3% screen-to-body ratio. This design ensures that the front of the device is dominated by the screen. The front camera is housed in a notch at the top of the display. This 13MP front-facing camera is designed to be unobtrusive, blending seamlessly with the overall aesthetics of the screen. The placement of the camera does not significantly impede the viewing area, ensuring that the notch is more of a subtle feature.
Moving to the back, the triple camera setup of the A15 5G is neatly arranged, keeping in line with the overall minimalist design. Although the device bears a close resemblance to the new Samsung Galaxy A25, it lacks the distinctive design pattern found on the A25’s back. However, this doesn’t detract from the A15’s appeal; the clean and uncluttered rear design is both elegant and timeless. In size, the A15 is marginally smaller than the A25. This subtle difference in dimensions means that in a case, distinguishing between the two models might be challenging. The A15’s compact size, however, might be more appealing to users who prefer a phone that easily fits in the palm of their hand.
In terms of build quality, the Galaxy A15 5G stands out in its category. Despite its affordable price tag, the device doesn’t feel cheap. It strikes a fine balance between durability and aesthetics. While Samsung has traditionally relied on plastic bodies for its A-series, the A15 seems to up the ante. The use of higher-grade polymers lends a more premium feel to the device, while also enhancing its durability. This shift addresses a common concern with the A14, where the build quality was considered adequate but not exceptional.
Despite these improvements, Samsung seems to have made a conscious decision to avoid overly premium materials like metal. This choice likely stems from a desire to keep the phone affordable while also maintaining a balance between aesthetics and practicality. The absence of metal components also keeps the phone’s weight in check, ensuring it remains comfortable to hold and use over extended periods.
Samsung continues its trend of integrating the fingerprint sensor into the power button. While not the fastest in the market, the sensor is reliably secure. The dual SIM card tray, located on the side, is a nod to practicality.
At the bottom, the A15 is equipped with a headphone jack, a Type-C port, a speaker grill, and a microphone. The inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack is a welcome feature, especially for users who prefer traditional wired headphones.
The Samsung Galaxy A15 5G boasts an impressive display that is a standout feature in its category. One of the most striking improvements over its predecessor, the A14, is the adoption of OLED technology. The device is equipped with a 6.5-inch AMOLED panel, offering a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels. This results in a crisp and clear visual experience with vibrant colors and deep blacks that AMOLED displays are renowned for, this display ensures that every image is rich and lifelike. The contrast ratio is significantly higher than that of traditional LCD screens, bringing out subtleties in dark scenes and maintaining crisp details in bright images.
Samsung has always been known for its excellent display technology, and the Galaxy A15 is no exception. The viewing angles are wide, with minimal color shift, ensuring that the display looks consistent and accurate from various angles. This quality is particularly beneficial when sharing content on the screen with others or when viewing the phone from off-center positions.
One of the significant advantages of the Galaxy A15’s display is its brightness, reaching up to 800 nits. This high brightness level ensures that the screen remains legible and clear even in direct sunlight, a crucial feature for users who frequently use their phones outdoors. The color reproduction is vivid and lively, making the viewing experience enjoyable for various multimedia content.
The 90 Hz refresh rate of the Galaxy A15’s display is another highlight. While it may not be as smooth as the 120 Hz panels seen in higher-end models, it’s a significant step up from the standard 60 Hz screens. This increased refresh rate contributes to a smoother scrolling experience and more fluid transitions, enhancing the overall user interaction with the device. For users upgrading from a 60 Hz display, the difference is pleasantly noticeable, making the Galaxy A15 5G feel more responsive and agile.
The Galaxy A15 features the Infinity-U display, with a U-shaped notch at the top. This design choice might feel a bit dated to some users, especially when compared to the punch-hole or notch-less displays prevalent in the market. However, this does not significantly detract from the overall experience, as the notch is relatively unobtrusive and the bezels, although noticeable, are not excessively thick.
Multimedia and Audio Experience
For multimedia consumption, the Galaxy A15 5G excels. Whether it’s watching videos on YouTube, streaming movies, or browsing through photos, the AMOLED panel brings content to life with its excellent contrast ratio and color vibrancy. The 1080p resolution ensures that HD content is displayed with clarity and detail, making it a great device for entertainment purposes. Samsung has thoughtfully designed the A15’s display with user comfort in mind. Features like the blue light filter help reduce eye strain, especially during prolonged use.
The Samsung Galaxy A15, like many budget smartphones, delivers an audio experience that caters to basic needs rather than high-fidelity demands. The device is equipped with a single bottom-firing speaker, which, while not offering the richness of a stereo setup, provides an adequate output for casual listening. You can expect a clear sound at moderate volumes, suitable for personal media consumption or hands-free calls. However, at higher volumes, there might be a noticeable distortion or lack of depth in the sound quality.
One notable feature of the Galaxy A15 is the retention of the 3.5mm headphone jack. This inclusion is significant, especially for users who prefer traditional wired headphones or earbuds. The audio output through the headphone jack is generally decent, offering a more private and potentially higher-quality listening experience than the built-in speaker.
Processor and General Performance
MediaTek and Qualcomm are the big dogs when it comes to smartphone chips, and they tend to have pretty comparable offerings. The Samsung Galaxy A15 5G packs MediaTek’s Dimensity 6100+ chip, which features two performance cores, six efficiency cores, and an ARM G57 MC2 GPU. It’s not the speediest processor out there, but it runs smooth and cool for the price point. Day-to-day use is mostly jitter-free, scrolling is fine, and apps open quickly.
The Dimensity 6100+ is also a fairly stable chipset as you will notice in the screenshot below. In Geekbench 6’s single-core and multi-core tests, the Galaxy A15 5G (top variant with 256GB storage and 8GB RAM) scored 698 and 1903 points, respectively. In AnTuTu, a comprehensive benchmark that tests various aspects of performance including CPU, GPU, memory, and UX, the phone score is around 380,000 to 400,000 points.
Talking about real-world performance, the handset didn’t show even the slightest hesitation while handling regular day-to-day tasks. The phone is also proficient at multitasking; however, this necessitates keeping the number of background apps in check, as excess apps could lead to occasional lags.
Samsung offers two variants of the A15 5G: one with 128 GB of internal storage paired with 4 GB of RAM, and a higher-end model with 256 GB of storage and 8 GB of RAM. For most users, the 128GB/4GB variant will strike a good balance between cost and functionality. However, if you’re a heavy user and anticipate keeping your phone for several years, investing in the 256GB/8GB model could be worthwhile for its added responsiveness and future-proofing.
The Galaxy A15 5G’s big focus is taking 5G connectivity to the masses. I tested 5G speeds, and the performance was fantastic. In most areas (home and office) I was getting at least 200Mbps speeds, which is still better than my home Wi-Fi. Do note speeds will differ based on the coverage.
Gaming Capabilities and Limitations
To evaluate its gaming capability, the Galaxy A15 5G was subjected to tests with popular games such as Mobile Legends, PUBG Mobile, Car X Street, COD Mobile, Modern Warship, and Genshin Impact. These games were chosen for their popularity and graphical intensity, offering a comprehensive overview of the device’s performance across various genres. The settings were maximized for each game to push the device to its limits, with consistent Wi-Fi connectivity, full brightness, and sound, along with a 90 Hz refresh rate. The battery was fully charged to 100% at the beginning of each test to assess battery drain during intense gaming.
While the A15 may not be aimed at the high-end gaming market, its hardware configuration should be competent enough to run most modern games in medium settings. However, for extremely demanding games or applications, there might be limitations.
In Mobile Legends, the Galaxy A15 5G shone brightly, delivering gameplay at Ultra settings with a superframe rate. The game ran seamlessly, with a high average FPS of 83.9, though there were dips to around 50 FPS in certain intense moments. The device managed to keep its cool, maintaining a stable temperature of around 40 degrees Celsius. Battery efficiency was notable, with a mere 4% drop after a 16-minute gaming session.
PUBG Mobile, known for its demanding graphics, was next. The Galaxy A15 5G adeptly handled the game with balanced graphics with an Ultra frame rate, achieving an average FPS of 38.8. The gyroscope sensor’s addition improved the gameplay experience, providing accurate and responsive controls. The phone’s temperature rose slightly under this load, but the battery continued to impress with minimal drainage.
Car X Street:
Car X Street tested the phone’s ability to manage high graphic demands. Initially, the gameplay was choppy at high settings, with an average FPS of 16.2. However, lowering the graphics to a minimum significantly enhanced the performance, demonstrating the phone’s versatility in adapting to different gaming requirements.
COD Mobile presented a smooth experience when played in medium settings with a high frame rate. The game was fluid and engaging, with an average FPS of 57.3. However, there were compromises evident, with the frames per second (fps) dropping to 30-40 under maximum load. Switching to medium graphics resulted in notable improvement, sustaining a respectable 60fps consistently. Although not groundbreaking figures, these rates are more than sufficient to rival more advanced gaming-focused smartphones.
Modern Warship and Genshin Impact:
Modern Warship and Genshin Impact further tested the Galaxy A15 5G’s limits. With medium settings in Modern Warship, the phone achieved an average FPS of 61.5, while Genshin Impact, set at the lowest graphics, recorded an FPS of 43. However, the smartphone exhibited discernible lag while rendering the expansive open-world environment. Adjusting to lower graphic settings rectified this issue. However, I did observe the device warming up slightly after the gaming session.
Another aspect critical to performance is how well the device manages heat. Prolonged usage or running high-performance applications can cause many phones to overheat, leading to throttled performance. It will be interesting to see how the Galaxy A15 handles thermal management under stress.
Software and User Interface
The Samsung Galaxy A15 5G comes preloaded with Android 14, augmented by Samsung’s custom One UI 6. This combination offers a user-friendly experience with a clean and intuitive interface. One UI is known for its streamlined navigation and thoughtful design, which enhances usability. The software is packed with useful features, including gestures for quick access and a side panel for added functionality. However, it’s worth noting that the A15 lacks the in-built screen recording feature found in its sibling, the Galaxy A25.
While it omits some of the advanced features found in higher-end models, it doesn’t skimp on providing a substantial set of tools and customizations. The interface is notably clean and intuitive, ensuring that navigation and multitasking are smooth and hassle-free. You can dive into a plethora of customization options, tweaking themes, icons, widgets, and home screen settings to their taste.
Samsung packs a range of exclusive features into the Galaxy A15, including Samsung Pay, Samsung Health, and a secure folder for private data. Bixby, Samsung’s voice assistant, is integrated into the A15, providing voice control options and intelligent assistance. While it might not be as widely used as Google Assistant or Siri, Bixby offers unique functionalities like Bixby Routines, which automates tasks based on user habits and preferences.
With access to the Google Play Store and Samsung’s Galaxy Store, users have a vast selection of apps and services at their fingertips. The Galaxy Store offers exclusive content and deals for Samsung users, enhancing the overall app experience.
Samsung’s commitment to software support is evident in the A15 5G, which is slated to receive four years of OS updates and five years of security updates. This longevity in software support is a significant plus, ensuring that the device stays current with the latest Android features and security patches over an extended period.
At the heart of the Samsung Galaxy A15 5G’s photography prowess lies its advanced camera system. It’s equipped with a triple rear camera setup, prominently featuring a 50 MP main camera with an f/1.8 aperture. Accompanying it is a 5 MP ultra-wide lens with an f/2.2 aperture. Completing the rear camera setup is a 2 MP macro sensor with an f/2.4 aperture. On the front, the device sports a 13 MP selfie camera with an f/2.0 aperture.
The primary highlight of the Galaxy A15 5G camera system is the 50-megapixel main sensor. It’s a significant leap in resolution that brings high-quality, detailed photography to the table. Daylight shots taken with this camera are vibrant in detail, showcasing a dynamic range that is commendable for a phone in this price bracket by adeptly handling the challenges posed by bright highlights and dark shadows, thus preserving details across the spectrum.
Low-light photography remains one of the most challenging arenas for mid-range smartphones, and the Galaxy A15 5G is no exception. The main camera’s performance in dim lighting is commendable, managing to capture images with reasonable clarity and minimal noise. The night mode attempts to enhance visibility in darker scenes but at the expense of introducing some digital noise. While the images are serviceable, they may lack the crispness and detail of daylight shots.
The user experience of the camera app on the Galaxy A15 5G is straightforward and user-friendly. Samsung offers a variety of modes and settings, allowing even novice photographers to capture great shots. The device handles color reproduction and exposure well, although some images might appear slightly over-saturated, which is often a subjective area in smartphone photography.
Ultra-Wide and Macro
Moving to the ultra-wide lens, the 5-megapixel sensor extends the frame significantly. It’s perfect for capturing vast landscapes or large group photos. While it doesn’t match the sharpness and clarity of the main sensor, it’s a valuable addition for its versatility. However, users might notice some edge distortion and a slight drop in image quality.
On the other hand, the 2 MP macro sensor, while a welcome feature, shows its limitations. It struggles to capture the finer details with the same clarity as the primary sensor, leading to images that, while acceptable for casual use, might not satisfy the discerning eye.
In portrait mode, the Galaxy A15 5G manages to strike a delicate balance between natural skin tone reproduction and the desired bokeh effect. The camera software effectively differentiates between the subject and the background, creating a pleasing blur that accentuates the subject. However, edge detection, while generally reliable, can occasionally falter around complex outlines such as hair strands, leading to minor imperfections in the bokeh effect.
The Galaxy A15 5G’s video recording capabilities are stable and reliable, thanks to its electronic image stabilization. It can record 1080p videos at 30 FPS, resulting in smooth footage suitable for casual videography. However, the absence of 4K recording is felt, as many users now seek higher resolution options for their video content.
The front-facing camera of the Galaxy A15 packs a 13-megapixel sensor, ensuring decent selfies. In well-lit environments, it produces good color accuracy and skin tones. The portrait mode offers a background blur effect, but it sometimes struggles with accurately detecting edges. The performance in low-light conditions is average, a common trait in budget smartphones.
Battery Life and Charging
The Samsung Galaxy A15 5G comes equipped with a substantial 5,000 mAh battery, a hallmark of dependability in the smartphone’s endurance category. This battery size is well-suited to meet the demands of daily usage, comfortably supporting a full day’s worth of activities, including web browsing, social media scrolling, video streaming, and basic communication needs. The phone’s power efficiency is further augmented by the MediaTek chipset, which is designed to optimize battery consumption, can expect the phone to last the entire day without needing to reach for the charger.
While the Galaxy A15 5G doesn’t boast the ultra-fast charging capabilities seen in some high-end models, its 25-watt charging speed is respectable for its price range, mirroring the charging capabilities found in its sibling, the Samsung Galaxy A25. A full charge from zero to hundred percent can be expected in approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes, a reasonably quick turnaround that ensures the phone is ready to go when needed.
Despite its commendable fast charging feature, it’s important to note that the Galaxy A15 5G does not come with a charger in the box. This omission could be a slight inconvenience for users who don’t already own a compatible charger, necessitating an additional purchase. However, for those with access to a 25W charger, the fast charging capability will undoubtedly be a valuable feature, offering rapid power replenishment and ensuring the phone remains operational throughout the day.
In the market of budget smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy A15 5G emerges as a notable contender, especially when it comes to the delicate balance between price and features. Priced at approximately $175, the A15 finds itself comfortably nestled in the affordable range of Samsung’s diverse smartphone lineup. But what does this mean for those looking to get the most bang for their buck?
At first glance, the A15’s pricing strategy might raise a few eyebrows, especially when placed side-by-side with budget champions like Xiaomi and Realme. These brands have carved a niche in offering high-spec devices at cut-throat prices, setting a high bar in the value-for-money segment. Samsung’s slightly higher price point could be seen as a drawback in this fiercely competitive market. However, it’s imperative to delve deeper into what the A15 5G brings to the table at this price.
The Galaxy A15 5G doesn’t shy away from packing a punch with its impressive specs. Start with the design and build quality of the A15 are commendable, following the footsteps of its sibling, the Galaxy A24, with flattened sides and a sleek overall appearance. With a MediaTek processor at its heart, a robust 50MP main camera, and a substantial 5,000 mAh battery coupled with 25W fast charging, the device checks essential boxes for a typical smartphone user. The inclusion of a 6.5-inch AMOLED display is a pleasant surprise, offering a visual treat not commonly found in this price range. Moreover, the device steps up the game with a 90Hz refresh rate, a feature that’s gradually becoming a norm but is still a rarity in budget models.
Also, the overall software experience with One UI 6 and Android 14 is user-friendly and up-to-date. An often overlooked but crucial aspect of the A15’s long-term value is Samsung’s commitment to software support. The promise of four years of OS updates and five years of security updates is a testament to the device’s longevity.
While the pricing may seem a tad ambitious, especially for budget-conscious consumers, it’s somewhat offset by the brand’s reliability and reputation for quality. Samsung’s after-sales service and the assurance of regular software updates often justify the extra spend for many. However, for those driven by price alone, there might be alternatives that offer more for less. All in all, the Galaxy A15 5G emerges as a solid choice in its price category, particularly for loyalists of the brand and newcomers to the smartphone world looking for a blend of functionality and affordability.