Samsung Galaxy A15 LTE review


Introduction

Another day, another Galaxy review, and it still isn’t the S24 Ultra you’ve been expecting. We’d love nothing more than to get our hands on the S24 Series as soon as possible, but Samsung couldn’t arrange the units to arrive in time – to our office, at least. So, like it or not, the Galaxy A25 and Galaxy A15 are the first new Galaxy devices we get to enjoy in 2024.

Today we have the 4G version of the Galaxy A15, the first entry-level Samsung phone to get a Super AMOLED screen, one with a high refresh rate at that!

Indeed, the Galaxy A15 is what someone usually imagines for an affordable smartphone with basic specs, a device ideal for a company phone, or to serve as an introduction for a newcomer to the smartphone world. And it just got so much better!

Samsung Galaxy A15 review

The Galaxy A15 now comes with a 6.5-inch Super AMOLED screen of Full HD resolution and 90Hz refresh rate. It is powered by the Helio G99 chipset, and the basic model starts with 128GB of storage.

Even better, this Galaxy features a triple-camera on the back with a 50MP primary, a 5MP ultrawide and a 2MP macro imagers. There is also a 13MP selfie camera inside the U-shaped display notch.

Samsung Galaxy A15 review

The phone has a large 5,000mAh battery, and it now supports 25W fast charging. In fact, even the A05 phones now offer 25W charging, so we can officially declare the 15W Samsung chargers as retired!

Finally, the phone boots Android 14 with One UI 6. And while you will not find DeX support or Always-On Display, this is not a One UI Core version.

Samsung Galaxy A15 specs at a glance:

  • Body: 160.1×76.8×8.4mm, 200g; Glass front, plastic back, plastic frame.
  • Display: 6.50″ Super AMOLED, 90Hz, 800 nits (HBM), 1080x2340px resolution, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 396ppi.
  • Chipset: Mediatek Helio G99 (6nm): Octa-core (2×2.2 GHz Cortex-A76 & 6×2.0 GHz Cortex-A55); Mali-G57 MC2.
  • Memory: 128GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 6GB RAM, 128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM; microSDXC (uses shared SIM slot).
  • OS/Software: Android 14, One UI 6.
  • Rear camera: Wide (main): 50 MP, f/1.8, AF; Ultra wide angle: 5 MP, f/2.2; Macro: 2 MP, f/2.4.
  • Front camera: 13 MP, f/2.0, (wide).
  • Video capture: Rear camera: 1080p@30fps; Front camera: 1080p@30fps.
  • Battery: 5000mAh; 25W wired.
  • Connectivity: LTE; Hybrid Dual SIM; Wi-Fi 5; BT 5.3; NFC; 3.5mm jack, FM radio.
  • Misc: Fingerprint reader (side-mounted); Virtual proximity sensing.

We guess we are one or two years away from the Galaxy A1x phones also become water-resistant, and the lack of ingress protection, even a basic one, is the only thing we can think of an omission right now.

Unboxing the Galaxy A15

The Galaxy A15 comes packed inside one of those thin Samsung boxes that contain the phone itself and a USB-C cable. That’s it.

Samsung Galaxy A15 review

The A15 now supports 25W fast charging, and if you don’t have a compatible power adapter, you will need to shop for one.

Design, build quality and handling

The Galaxy A15 is a smartphone by the (Samsung’s) book – flat panels, flat frame, no huge camera housing. You can tell it’s a budget phone by its thickness, weight, and, most importantly – screen bezels and the old-school notch.

Samsung Galaxy A15 review

The phone has a tempered glass to keep the screen safe, while the back panel is made of plastic. We have the Blue Black model, which is exactly what the description suggests – a dark blue, almost black hue for the glass and the frame. There are also yellow and blue versions in existence across the EU market.

Samsung Galaxy A15 review

The frame has a matte finish and provides some grip when handling the phone. It has this atypical jut on the right, which accommodates the volume and power/lock key. We are not sure if this was made to spice up the design, or it has a practical explanation as well.

Samsung Galaxy A15 review

The Galaxy A15 has its fingerprint scanner on the surface of the mentioned power key, and it is nicely fast, accurate, and overall – very reliable.

Samsung Galaxy A15 review

The phone features all sorts of fan-favorite features like a microSD expansion slot, an audio jack, FM radio and even NFC. This is quite a rare combination these days. There are no stereo speakers, though.

The sides - Samsung Galaxy A15 review
The sides - Samsung Galaxy A15 review

The sides - Samsung Galaxy A15 review
The sides - Samsung Galaxy A15 review

The sides

We have no complaints about the Galaxy A15 from our time spent handling and using it. But if you get our Blue Black model, you should know that it is quite a smudge magnet.

Samsung Galaxy A15 review

Display

The new 6.5-inch Super AMOLED screen is the most notable upgrade for the entire Galaxy A1x series in a while. The new panel has 2,340 x 1,080 pixels or 396ppi and supports up to 90Hz refresh rate.

Samsung Galaxy A15 review

We do appreciate the new AMOLED screen, and it does feel like a proper upgrade over the LCD panels from before. It has a small droplet-shaped notch for the selfie camera, thick bezels and one even thicker bottom bar. There is no information on the make of the protective glass.

We have completed our display test, and the measurements are all right. The new OLED panel offers 372 nits of maximum brightness at the far right of the brightness scrubber – not exactly super bright, but not too low either. The boost from the Auto brightness is significant – up to 808 nits!

The minimum brightness at point white was 1.8nit.

We want to mention that while the screen has no color modes to choose from, the presentation is quite natural and without any obvious blue, red, yellow, or else tint. Nice!

Refresh rate

The AMOLED screen of the Galaxy A15 supports up to 90Hz refresh rate. There are two Motion Smoothness modes – High and Standard. Both offer fixed 90Hz and 60Hz refresh rate modes.

Samsung Galaxy A15 review

There is no refresh rate drop when using the 90Hz mode even for static picture. The only time we saw 60Hz change was in Camera and Google Maps, among other HRR incompatible apps.

Battery life

The Galaxy A15 has a large battery with 5,000mAh capacity and one energy-efficient chipset. So, we are hoping for some notably good battery life here.

And it did! The Galaxy A15 scored an excellent active user score of 15 hours and 28 minutes. It aced all of our tests and shines when it comes to web browsing and gaming times.

Charging speed

The Samsung Galaxy A15 supports up to 25W fast wired charging, which is a nice update for the entry-level series. It ships without a charger, as usual. You can use any 25W PD+PPS charger, as it will reach the max charging power supported by the phone.

We carried out our charging test with Samsung’s own 25W PD/PPS charger.

It recharged 25% of the Galaxy A15 battery in 15 minutes, while another 15 minutes will get you to 47%. A full charge requires 81 minutes. Those numbers are in line with Galaxy A25’s.

Speaker

The Galaxy A15 has a single, bottom-firing speaker. It scored a Very Good mark on our loudness test, and it does sound loud enough outside our tech lab, too.

Samsung Galaxy A15 review

The audio quality is subpar – the vocals are average, the bass is minimal, and the high frequencies are okay, but nothing impressive.

Android 14 and One UI 6 on top of Helio G99

The Galaxy A15 boots Android 14 with the latest One UI v.6.0. The phone is eligible for three major Android updates and an extra year of security patches via firmware upgrades.

Some of the notable One UI 6 novelties include a redesigned Quick Panel, better notification visualization, an improved and simplified camera app, and more powerful gallery and editing tools, among others.

Samsung Galaxy A15 review

The One UI 6 version on the Galaxy A15 is not a Core one, and it has almost all functions but Always-On Display and DeX support. The studio video editor is not present, either.

Everything else is typical One UI – lockscreen, homescreen, widgets and icons, theme handling, multi-tasking (available in both pop-up and split-screen state), default apps.

You can read more details about OneUI 6.0 in our Galaxy A25 review.

Samsung Galaxy A15 review

The Galaxy A15 supports FM radio, and it comes with a proprietary app. It requires 3.5mm headphones in the jack to use as an antenna, as usual.

The whole interface and system apps feel snappy enough and run well.

The Helio G99 chipset is what we’d consider a chipset with passable peformance for day-to-day tasks. It is a 6nm chip from MediaTek with a 2+6 core CPU configuration (2×2.2GHz Cortex-A76 and 2×2.0GHz Cortex-A55) and a Mali-G57 MC2 GPU.

The base storage version has 4GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 128GB of UFS 2.2 storage. There are also two other 128GB versions with 6GB RAM and 8GB RAM, and one with 256GB storage and 8GB RAM.

It is quite interesting to see that the Helio G99 uses the same cores and GPU as the Dimensity 6100+ chipset; it’s just the modem that is different to allow 5G connectivity.

The Helio G99 chip is the same as the Galaxy A24 from last year. In fact, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that the Galaxy A15 is a 99% identical copy to the Galaxy A24.

Samsung Galaxy A15 review

Anyway, it’s benchmarking time!

The Helio G99 chipset is on par with most othr hardware platforms in this price segment. It is only bested by the Snapdragon 7s Gen 2 as part of the Redmi Note 13 Pro – but it’s a higher-tier SoC inside a higher-tier phone.

It is a bit of a different story when it comes to graphics. The Galaxy A15 and its dual-core Mali-G57 are okay, but they are no match for the Mali-G68 inside the Galaxy A25 and the Adreno 710 inside the Redmi Note 13.

Finally, the AnTuTu tests put the Galaxy A15 around the bottom of the chart. It is not that behind the competition, obviously slower the Poco M6 Pro, Galaxy A24, A25 and the Redmi Note 13 Pro.

Of course, we did not forget the CPU and GPU stability tests, and the Galaxy A15 4G aced those. It scored 90% for CPU and 99% for GPU, which is great.

Overall, the Galaxy A15 has a good chipset that gets the job done rather well, and it can offer a good experience when it comes to casual gaming. Multi-tasking on the phone is possible and snappy, and overall, the UI is smooth and responsive even though it is not the fastest, nor should it be. The Galaxy A15 never got hot during our stress tests, just barely warm, and it never throttled as we established.

Three cameras on the back, one at the front

The Samsung Galaxy A15 camera is similar to most of Samsung’s camera kits on its other affordable phones. It is a triple camera with a 50MP primary, a 5MP ultrawide cam, and a 2MP macro shooter. The selfie cam is 13MP.

Samsung Galaxy A15 camera specs

  • Wide (main): 50 MP Hynix Hi5022Q f/1.8, 26mm, 1/2.8″, 0.64µm, PDAF; 1080p@30fps
  • Ultra wide angle: 5 MP SmartSense SC501CS, f/2.2, 17mm, 1/5″, 1.12µm, fixed focus; 1080p@30fps
  • Macro: 2 MP GalaxyCore GC02M1, f/2.4, fixed focus.
  • Front camera: 13 MP GalaxyCore GC013A, f/2.0, 26mm, 1/3.06″, 1.12µm, fixed focus; 1080p@30fps

Overall, you can tell that Samsung hasn’t changed the camera much. One new addition to the mix is gyro-EIS – a nice little bonus to have and previously unavailable in the Galaxy A24.

The camera app is the same as you’d find on every Samsung phone these days. You only get Pro mode and Night Mode on the main camera.

Samsung Galaxy A25 review

Photo quality

The main camera saves good 12.5MP photos. They offer lively color rendition, wide dynamic range, excellent noise reduction, and an overall pleasant look. They are average in detail and a bit over-sharpened, though.

Main camera - f/1.8, ISO 20, 1/1125s - Samsung Galaxy A15 review
Main camera - f/1.8, ISO 20, 1/756s - Samsung Galaxy A15 review
Main camera - f/1.8, ISO 20, 1/1385s - Samsung Galaxy A15 review

Main camera - f/1.8, ISO 20, 1/1385s - Samsung Galaxy A15 review
Main camera - f/1.8, ISO 20, 1/1209s - Samsung Galaxy A15 review
Main camera - f/1.8, ISO 20, 1/853s - Samsung Galaxy A15 review

Main camera - f/1.8, ISO 20, 1/537s - Samsung Galaxy A15 review
Main camera - f/1.8, ISO 80, 1/50s - Samsung Galaxy A15 review
Main camera - f/1.8, ISO 100, 1/50s - Samsung Galaxy A15 review

Main camera

There is a 2x zoom toggle, but it offers digital zoom only, and the photos are extremely soft and with poor detail.

Main camera, 2x zoom - f/1.8, ISO 20, 1/1125s - Samsung Galaxy A15 review
Main camera, 2x zoom - f/1.8, ISO 20, 1/976s - Samsung Galaxy A15 review
Main camera, 2x zoom - f/1.8, ISO 20, 1/1471s - Samsung Galaxy A15 review

Main camera, 2x zoom

The low-light photos from the main camera are all right – the colors are saturated enough, the dynamic range turned out wider than expected, and the noise is tolerable, low even. The resolved detail is below average, and the over-sharpening could still be seen in some cases.

Low-light, main camera - f/1.8, ISO 2000, 1/10s - Samsung Galaxy A15 review
Low-light, main camera - f/1.8, ISO 2500, 1/10s - Samsung Galaxy A15 review
Low-light, main camera - f/1.8, ISO 2500, 1/10s - Samsung Galaxy A15 review
Low-light, main camera - f/1.8, ISO 1600, 1/17s - Samsung Galaxy A15 review

Low-light, main camera

The main camera is the only one to offer Night Mode, and it’s well worth using! The photos taken with the help of this mode offer more detail, less noise, and a wider dynamic range.

Night Mode, main camera - f/1.8, ISO 2500, 1/10s - Samsung Galaxy A15 review
Night Mode, main camera - f/1.8, ISO 2500, 1/8s - Samsung Galaxy A15 review
Night Mode, main camera - f/1.8, ISO 2500, 1/9s - Samsung Galaxy A15 review
Night Mode, main camera - f/1.8, ISO 1600, 1/14s - Samsung Galaxy A15 review

Night Mode, main camera

The 5MP ultrawide photos are good – they are detailed enough, with good colors, wide dynamic range and low noise.

Ultrawide camera - f/2.2, ISO 50, 1/2137s - Samsung Galaxy A15 review
Ultrawide camera - f/2.2, ISO 50, 1/1577s - Samsung Galaxy A15 review
Ultrawide camera - f/2.2, ISO 50, 1/2717s - Samsung Galaxy A15 review
Ultrawide camera - f/2.2, ISO 50, 1/2304s - Samsung Galaxy A15 review

Ultrawide camera - f/2.2, ISO 50, 1/2137s - Samsung Galaxy A15 review
Ultrawide camera - f/2.2, ISO 50, 1/1873s - Samsung Galaxy A15 review
Ultrawide camera - f/2.2, ISO 50, 1/1199s - Samsung Galaxy A15 review

Ultrawide camera

The low-light ultrawide photos are barely usable – they are soft, overrun by noise, with desaturated colors and smudged detail.

Low-light, ultrawide camera - f/2.2, ISO 1600, 1/7s - Samsung Galaxy A15 review
Low-light, ultrawide camera - f/2.2, ISO 1600, 1/7s - Samsung Galaxy A15 review
Low-light, ultrawide camera - f/2.2, ISO 1600, 1/7s - Samsung Galaxy A15 review
Low-light, ultrawide camera - f/2.2, ISO 1250, 1/10s - Samsung Galaxy A15 review

Low-light, ultrawide camera

The macro camera captures mostly poor photos of low detail, narrow dynamic range, and average color rendition. And that is if you succeed in shooting a photo that is on focus.

Macro camera - Samsung Galaxy A15 review
Macro camera - Samsung Galaxy A15 review
Macro camera - Samsung Galaxy A15 review
Macro camera - Samsung Galaxy A15 review

Macro camera

The selfies are great – they offer a lot of resolved detail, tolerable noise, natural sharpness, good color presentation and good dynamic range. Not class-leading but still quite solid.

Selfies - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/459s - Samsung Galaxy A15 review
Selfies - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/154s - Samsung Galaxy A15 review
Selfies - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/290s - Samsung Galaxy A15 review
Selfies - f/2.0, ISO 160, 1/100s - Samsung Galaxy A15 review

Selfies

Video quality

The Galaxy A15 4G captures 1080p@30fps videos with its primary, ultrawide, and selfie cameras. There is no support for electronic stabilization.

The video bitrate is generous at 17Mbps in 1080p resolution. Audio is captured stereo with a 256Kbps bitrate, and the sound is good across all videos.

The videos from the main camera, both at 1x and 2x levels, are great. They have plenty of detail, good colors, wide dynamic range and an overall likable rendition.

The low-light footage looks a bit underexposed, but it is still solid as it has saturated colors and low noise.

The ultrawide camera indeed offers quite a wide field of view, and the clip has likable colors, a wide enough dynamic range, and good contrast. The resolved detail is average, and some noise could be visible.

The low-light videos from the ultrawide camera are extremely poor – dark, full of noise, and low on detail.

The selfie clip offers a well-exposed and detailed subject, even if the colors are a bit desaturated. The dynamic range is enough for the purposes of selfie videos. But the lack of stabilization makes those barely usable in most cases.

Video sample playlist

The competition

The first market to get the Galaxy A15 4G is Switzerland, and the model starts at €190, which is quite affordable. The A15 has many attractive features such as a 1080p 90Hz OLED screen, 128GB basic storage, triple-camera, large battery with fast charging.

Samsung Galaxy A15 review

The first offer that comes to mind is the 5G version of this phone, which has identical specs but adds a 5G modem. It is about €35 more expensive, but having 5G connectivity could boost your productivity online in certain cases.

The Redmi Note 13 4G is another affordable smartphone that is priced at about €190. It offers IP54-rated ingress protection, a larger and smoother 120Hz OLED, a 108MP OIS primary camera, stereo speakers, and faster charging, with the power adapter being part of the retail bundle. The only downside is that Xiaomi is shut about the number of updates coming to this phone.

Or maybe you want to consider the Poco M6 Pro, which uses the same chipset, but offers a 120Hz OLED, better cameras with an OIS primary, stereo speakers, and 67W fast charging. The price hovers around the €200 mark.

Tecno Pova 5 Pro, if available on your market, could be an interesting alternative to the Galaxy A15. First, it employs the same hardware but with a 5G modem. Then comes the more fluid 120Hz screen, even if it is LCD. And then – it will impress you with stereo speakers and 68W fast charging. Oh, and let’s not forget the notifications LEDs on its back.

Honor Play 8T
Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G
Xiaomi Poco M6 Pro
Tecno Pova 5 Pro

Honor Play 8T • Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G • Xiaomi Poco M6 Pro • Tecno Pova 5 Pro

Our verdict

The Galaxy A15 4G is an excellent offer for its asking price of €190. It comes with a bright and smooth 1080p AMOLED screen, a good chipset, camera that gets the job done, and great battery life. The phone runs on the latest Android version and One UI, too, and it will get 3 major Android updates.

Samsung Galaxy A15 review

It is hardly the best phone, that is for sure. There is no ingress protection, the speaker is so-so, the GPU performance is mediocre, and the cameras are no good at night. But even as is – the Galaxy A15 just make sense.

We had it rather easy with the Galaxy A15 – it is a good phone for the price, and we do recommend it if it fits your budget. We do suggest exploring its 5G version first, though.

Pros

  • Solid, no-nonsense design.
  • Bright 90Hz OLED, pleasing colors.
  • Excellent battery life, fast charging.
  • Android 14, One UI 6, 3 major Android updates incoming.
  • Dependable cameras in broad daylight.
  • microSD, 3.5mm jack, FM radio

Cons

  • No ingress protection.
  • So-so speaker.
  • No DeX or AOD.
  • No charger in the box.

Source

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