Samsung Galaxy A15 vs Galaxy A14: Which is the better buy?on March 15, 2024 at 17:01 Tech Advisor

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When it comes to smartphones, Samsung is a prominent player at pretty much every price point.

Its more affordable devices tend to offer a great balance between performance, features and price.

And that’s certainly true of the Galaxy A15, which omits 5G but offers an impressively well-rounded experience for just £169. But how much of an upgrade is it compared to the Galaxy A14 from last year, which consistently ranked as one of the best budget phones around?

Here are the key similarities and differences you need to know, plus how to decide which is right for you.

Differences between Galaxy A15 and Galaxy A14

Both the Galaxy A15 and the Galaxy A14 are similar in terms of design, and both have a lot in common with the regular Galaxy S23.

The phones are made with a plastic chassis and back and glass front panel, though there’s no toughened Gorilla Glass on either.

The A15 is slightly smaller and lighter than the A14, measuring 160.1 x 76.8 x 8.4mm and weighing 200g, compared to 167.7 x 78.0 x 9.1mm and 201g.

Despite both featuring side-mounted fingerprint sensors integrated into the power button, those on the A15 are located on the ‘Key Island’ – a raised portion of the phone’s frame that should make these physical buttons easier to use.

However, the A15’s rear panel tends to attract dust, while the A14’s ribbed back minimises fingerprint smudges. Notably, both lack waterproofing and neither device includes a case or charger in the box, requiring separate purchases.

Hannah Cowton / Foundry

The Galaxy A15 boasts a high-quality 6.5-inch AMOLED display, offering vivid colours and brightness up to 570 nits. Its Full HD+ resolution ensures crisp visuals, complemented by a smooth 90Hz refresh rate for enhanced scrolling.

Despite occasional stuttering with image-heavy content, the display’s 84.3% screen-to-body ratio provides an immersive viewing experience. Audio is delivered through a single bottom speaker, offering impressive volume levels for spoken content but lacking depth and bass for music.

In contrast, the Galaxy A14 features a 6.6-inch Full HD LCD display with a good contrast, albeit insufficient brightness under direct sunlight.

Its 60Hz refresh rate may not match the Galaxy A15, but suffices for daily tasks. Audio quality from the single downward-firing speaker is sub-par, lacking depth and bass.

Martyn Casserly

The Galaxy A15 is equipped with a MediaTek Helio G99 processor which offers strong performance for everyday tasks. Despite potential occasional slowdowns due to the 4GB RAM, the device offers ample storage with a base of 128GB, expandable up to 1TB via a microSD card.

On the other hand, the Galaxy A14 features a MediaTek Helio G80 processor, paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Performance is typical for its price range, with slow boot-up and potential delays in loading demanding webpages. However, multitasking between apps remains smooth.

In our Geekbench 6 multi-core test, the Galaxy A15 scored 1890, well ahead of the Galaxy A14, which recorded 1321.

Connectivity features on both phones include Dual SIM support, Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.3, GPS, and NFC, enabling the likes of contactless payments, Bluetooth connections and navigation.

Hannah Cowton / Foundry

The Galaxy A15 and A14 both feature triple rear camera setups, with the same 50Mp wide, 5Mp ultrawide,2Mp macro lens and 13Mp selfie camera.

In well-lit conditions, the main cameras on both phones produce decent images, but the quality of the additional lenses is lacking. Over-sharpening is evident in the A15’s images, possibly compensating for softness, while the A14’s image processing tends to oversaturate colours.

Both cameras also struggle with high-contrast scenes, resulting in blown-out highlights. However, despite slight shutter lag, the main cameras perform adequately for everyday use. Special modes like Macro and Night aren’t the best on either, with the latter struggling with noise and over-processing.

Video recording is limited to 1080p/30fps on both devices, with occasional dropped frames and sub-par low-light performance. Selfie cameras on both phones are suitable for social media and video content, though not for anything more formal.

Martyn Casserly

Both the Galaxy A15 and the A14 feature a decent 5000mAh battery, ensuring at least a full day of usage for most people.

The A15, in particular, stands out with its ability to potentially last two days under regular usage, supported by impressive benchmark results of 15 hours and 15 minutes in the PCMark for Android benchmark. However, charging speeds for the A15 are relatively slow at 25W, taking over 1 hour and 30 minutes to reach a full charge.

Similarly, the A14 also boasts remarkable battery life, capable of lasting up to two days even under heavy usage. Benchmark tests confirm its endurance, clocking an impressive 13 hours and 28 seconds. However, the A14’s charging speed is limited to only 15W, taking around two hours for a full charge.

Additionally, both phones lack wireless charging, but that’s understandable given their budget-friendly prices.

Hannah Cowton / Foundry

The Galaxy A15 and the A14 both utilize One UI 6, delivering a familiar Samsung-focused user experiences over Android 14.

However, certain features like an always-on display, DeX or AI features aren’t available.

The A15 gets a very impressive four OS updates and five years of security updates from its 2024 launch – among the best of any budget phone. The A14 isn’t as good in that regard, with only two years of OS updates and four years of security updates from its 2023 launch.

Martyn Casserly

Price & availability

In the UK, the Galaxy A15 is priced at £169. It’s available from Samsung, but also via Amazon, Currys, and Very.

For US customers, the Galaxy A15 is not available in the 4G version. You’ll have to get the Galaxy A15 5G instead.

Samsung Galaxy A15 (4G)


Price When Reviewed:


£169

Best Prices Today:


£110.63 at Amazon |
£169 at Samsung

In the UK, the Galaxy A14 is available for £179 from Samsung, but also via Amazon and Currys.

In the US, the 4G version is exclusively sold via Amazon as an unlocked device for around $150.

Samsung Galaxy A14


Price When Reviewed:


£179

Verdict

In conclusion, both the Galaxy A15 and the Galaxy A14 are excellent budget phones that offer a compelling combination of features, performance and affordability.

However, if you’re considering only these two phones, the Galaxy A15 is the better buy. It offers better performance, camera quality and battery life at a lower price than the A14.

Martyn Casserly

Specs

Samsung Galaxy A15:

Android 14 with One UI 6

6.5-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display

90Hz refresh rate

2.2Ghz MediaTek Helio G99 processor

4GB RAM

128GB Storage (expandable up to 1TB via microSD)

50Mp f/1.8 main camera

5Mp f/2.2 Ultra-wide 

2Mp f/2.4 Macro

13Mp f/2.0 selfie camera

Single speaker

3.5mm headphone jack

Fingerprint sensor embedded in Power button

USB-C charging port

5000mAh battery

25W fast charging supported

160.1 x 76.8 x 8.4mm (6.30 x 3.02 x 0.33-inch)

200g/7.05oz

Samsung Galaxy A14:

Android 14 with One UI 6 

6.6in LCD, 1920 x 1080, 60Hz 

Mediatek MT6769 Helio G80 chipset 

4GB RAM 

64GB of storage (expandable via microSDXC) 

Cameras: 50Mp f/1.8 main camera, 5Mp f/2.2 ultrawide, 2Mp f/2.4 macro and 13Mp f/2.0 selfie camera 

Dual-SIM (separate microSDXC slot) 

One downward firing speaker 

NFC 

GPS 

Bluetooth 5.3 

Wi-Fi 5 

Side-mounted fingerprint sensor 

5000mAh battery 

15W wired charging 

USB-C charging port 

167.7 x 78.0 x 9.1mm 

201g 

Budget smartphones

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