Galaxy A55 5G vs OnePlus 12R: it doesn’t even feel close

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Intro

Throughout the board, the 12R seems to be the phone that is more worth giving your hard-earned cash for, from a flagship-level chip, to an awesome display and fast charging. But let us get into the nitty gritty and check out the details of this comparison before we reach any conclusions.

Unfortunately, Samsung has chosen not to release the Galaxy A55 5G in the U.S. this year (unlike the last four generations of the 5x series), leaving the Galaxy A35 5G as the sole mid-range option in the “A” series lineup. Of course this means the OnePlus 12R has an obvious advantage stateside.

* = unofficial information

Table of Contents:

Design and Size

A different look and feel

Size-wize, the Galaxy A55 5G is not too different from the OnePlus 12R, although the latter is noticeably thicker. The A55 measures at 161.1 x 77.4 x 8.2 mm and the 12R’s dimensions are 163.3 x 75.3 x 8.8 mm. Despite being thinner and shorter, however, the A55 is heavier in comparison, weighing in at 213g vs the OnePlus’ 207g.

One of the more visible changes with the new Galaxy A55 5G is its somewhat different design, with the most obvious aspect of it being the new Key Island. This so-called Key Island houses the volume and power buttons, protruding from the phone’s frame. The design choice undoubtedly makes the A55 stand out from its competition, including the OnePlus 12R.

The two phones look nothing alike. For starters, the Galaxy A55 5G has a more blocky design with flat sides, screen, and back panel, resembling its more expensive flagship siblings from the Galaxy S24 series.

The OnePlus 12R, on the other hand, has a more round shape to it, mostly thanks to the curved display that bleeds over the left and right edges of the phone. Despite its non-flat sides, however, the 12R remains thicker than the A55 5G.

The back panels of these two phones are also quite different from one another. The Galaxy A55 5G has a more simplistic, minimal look with just the three protruding cameras, whereas the OnePlus 12R has a more bold design in the shape of a large circular camera island.

Looking at the front sides of these phones, it is also visible that the 12R has much thinner bezels, including the top and bottom one, which is one of the reasons for its larger display.

There are also some differences as far as durability is concerned, with the A55 5G being more resistant towards water as shown by its IP67 certification. This means the phone is protected against temporary immersion under water. The IP65 certification on the 12R means that the phone can withstand weak jets of water, so good enough for a rainy day, for example.

As for the color options you get to choose from, Samsung certainly gives you a larger variety with four hues vs just the two the OnePlus 12R comes in. Here they are:

Galaxy A55 5G colors:

  • Awesome Blue
  • Awesome Black
  • Awesome Pink
  • Awesome Yellow

OnePlus 12R colors:

Lastly, you can expect a very different unboxing experience with these two phones. Samsung is following the minimalistic trend of including just the phone, a charging cable, and the necessary documentation.

In contrast, in typical OnePlus fashion, the 12R comes with a powerful 100W (80W for the USA) charger in the box, a cable, a transparent silicone case, a pre-installed screen protector, and a thank you note. You definitely feel more spoiled when unboxing a OnePlus than a Samsung.

Display Differences

Samsung has some of the best (if not the best) phone displays on the market. And that is still the case even when we are discussing the company’s more affordable handsets such as the Galaxy A55 5G. That said, OnePlus is no slouch on this front either, especially with the OnePlus 12R.

The A55 5G comes with a 1080 x 2340 pixels 6.6-inch display with a smooth 120Hz refresh rate and support for HDR10+ content. It also comes with something Samsung calls Vision Booster, which the company explains is helps the display look clear and bright in a range of light conditions (whatever that means is not explained).

The OnePlus 12R also has quite the display, with a higher resolution of 1264 x 2780 pixels and a larger size of 6.78 inches. It can also go to 120Hz, which makes animation just as smooth as those on the Galaxy, but is more power efficient as it’s rocking the latest LTPO4 technology. Brightness is also some of the best we have measured here at PhoneArena, so visibility in tough conditions is more than good enough.

Besides the perks already mentioned, the 12R’s display also comes with a feature that OnePlus debuted this year called Aqua Touch. This feature allows the display to continue working accurately even when it is extremely wet.

Some other points that should be mentioned is that the Galaxy A55 5G has thicker bezels around the display. The bottom and upper bezel size is more than noticeable when the two phones are placed next to each other. That said, the curved glass of the 12R does create some reflections from the sides of the phone though, so it is a matter of personal preference here.

We have two displays that scream absolute perfection here, especially at this price point. The only small difference is the maximum brightness we measured on the OnePlus 12R, so if outdoor visibility is important to you that might be an important detail. Other than that though, you can’t go wrong here!

Performance and Software

The A55 5G is no match

Even before you get to see our performance tests, there is little doubt that the OnePlus 12R is much more powerful compared to the Galaxy A55 5G. The simple reason is that the former is equipped with a flagship-level chipset (Snapdragon 8 Gen 2), whereas the latter is equipped with a rather unimpressive mid-range one (Exynos 1480).

This doesn’t mean that the A55 5G is laggy or that it offers a bad user experience. It just means that the OnePlus 12R can handle more intensive tasks and demanding games in comparison. The chipset also affects some other aspects, of course, such as camera performance, so we expect to see differences there too during our camera comparison.

Memory and storage combos are also a bit in favor of the 12R. Here are all available options for both models:

Galaxy A55 5G RAM/storage options:

OnePlus 12R RAM/storage options:

Not that we expected to see anything too different from the benchmark results above, but the OnePlus 12R absolutely demolishes the Galaxy A55 in terms of performance, no matter how you look at it. It is safe to say that if you are looking for a phone that will last you longer in terms of capability and raw horsepower, the 12R should be your choice.

As for software updates, both phones come with 4 years of Android updates and 5 years of security patches the, so you get the same level of future proofing no matter which one you go for. That said, however, Samsung is more reliable when it comes to how punctual it is with said updates, so you should take that into account if it is important to you.

Camera

The Galaxy A55 5G and the OnePlus 12R come with triple camera systems at the back. Sadly, that third camera is mostly for marketing purposes, as it is a rather unused by most macro snapper. Here are all the cameras featured on the Galaxy A55 5G and OnePlus 12R with their respective specs:

Galaxy A55 5G cameras:

  • Wide (main) — 50MP, f/1.8, AF, OIS
  • Ultra-wide — 12MP, f/2.2
  • Macro — 5MP, f/2.4
  • Front (selfie) — 32MP, f/2.2

OnePlus 12R cameras:

  • Wide (main) — 50MP, f/1.8, AF, OIS
  • Ultra-wide — 8MP, f/2.2
  • Macro — 2MP, f/2.4
  • Front (selfie) — 16MP, f/2.4

The OnePlus 12R’s set of cameras performed quite well during our review of the phone, and we were left generally happy with the results. The question is, how will it compare with the A55 5G’s camera system?

Well, as you will see for yourself from our sample images below, the OnePlus 12R seems to be visibly better in more than one regard. Now, that might be because of various factors, such as the image sensor sitting behind those lenses, the software that’s behind each image, or the phone’s chipset that is powering the whole process. It could all three even. We can’t know for sure, but what really matters are the results, so here they are.

Main Camera

The only thing that the Galaxy A55 5G has going for it here is its better HDR performance. Compared to the OnePlus, the A55 retains more details in the dark and bright areas of the image. That being said, the 12R is noticeably sharper in comparison, and it even produces colors that are more true to life, whereas the Galaxy makes things a bit warmer.

Samsung’s Galaxy phones are one of the best in the game as far as low-light camera performance goes, and the same proves to be true for the Galaxy A55 5G. There is simply much more that is visible in the photo taken by the Samsung in this case, compared to the one taken by the OnePlus 12R, which is very dark.

Zoom Quality

Unfortunately, neither of the two phones comes with a dedicated telephoto camera, so the results you see above are simply what these phone’s software can do to make a digital zoom look good. Well, by the looks of it, the OnePlus 12R takes this one, and not by any small margin at that. In the 10X zoom shot, and more so in the 5X one, the 12R’s image is considerably sharper.

Ultra-wide Camera

The main camera on the OnePlus 12R might be the better one in this comparison, but the Galaxy A55 5G wins in our book when it comes to the ultra-wide snappers. For starters, the A55 has a much wider field of view, capturing more in a single shot, which, after all, is the purpose of an ultra-wide camera. But that wouldn’t have mattered much if it produced potato image quality.

Thankfully, sharpness is about on par with the 12R, but what makes it stand out and helps it go one level higher is the better dynamic range, which you can immediately notice by looking at the shadows. Compared to the OnePlus, the A55 5G shows much detail in those shadows, making for a more balanced photo.

Selfies

In terms of sharpness, the OnePlus 12R’s front camera appears to be the better one here, but not by too much. It also has a wider depth of field, which means that everything behind you (the subject) is less blurry. Now, that could be a pro or a con depending on the situation and the photo you want to snap. In this case, it helps show the person behind more clearly compared, but the shallower depth of field of the A55 can come in handy when you want to separate yourself more from the background that’s behind you.

One small thing to keep in mind is that the OnePlus throws in yellowish tint, making the skin tones look a weird (sickly even), whereas the Galaxy seems to be more on point with the color representation.

Lastly, the A55’s more comprehensive HDR performance continues here too, showing more of the dark clothes. The OnePlus 12R’s image, on the other hand, has a higher contrast, losing some of the information in those darker areas.

Audio Quality and Haptics

We expect the A55 5G to come with pleasing audio quality coming out of its dual-firing speakers, but nothing astonishing by any stretch. That’s at least what we got with the Galaxy A54 5G, which had some distortion issues at max volume, especially with more bass heavy music and sounds. Then again, Samsung might surprise us with some improvements that weren’t mentioned during the announcement.

As for the OnePlus 12R, it comes with a set of speakers that are truly impressive, especially at this price point. We had a blast during our time with the phone, which produces rich and balanced audio that’s perfect for watching speech-filled media, and even listening to music.

We also expect the 12R to have noticeably better haptic feedback, as OnePlus appears to have equipped it with a quality vibration motor. Samsung’s mid-range series is not bad on this front either, but it typically hovers around the mediocre ballpark so we don’t expect anything out too good or too bad here.

Battery Life and Charging

The 12R takes the cake with its faster charging

Both the Galaxy A55 5G and the OnePlus 12R come with massive batteries. The A55 5G has a 5,000mAh and the 12R has 5,500mAh capacity. We expect the two to have an overall similar battery life, both easily lasting you a day or even a little more than that.

PhoneArena Battery Test Results:

Despite the fact that its chipset is far from being as powerful as that of the 12R, the Galaxy A55 5G seems to also have trouble beating the OnePlus in the battery life segment. Even with the 500mAh that the 12R has on top of the A55, the results still shouldn’t be this different. Still, neither of the phones will leave you hanging before the day is over.

The charging situation is different though, with the A55 maxing out at 25W of wired charging whereas the 12R goes as high as 100W (80W in the U.S.). One thing they share is that neither comes with wireless charging, you will have to increase your budget and look for the pricier models if want that feature.

Specs Comparison

Summary

OnePlus really outdid itself with the release of the OnePlus 12R. There is simply too much power and flagship spirit in that mid-ranger for the Galaxy A55 5G to beat. The sheer difference of performance can be enough of a reason for some buyers to go for the 12R, not to mention that it even did generally better in our battery life tests compared to the A55.

What the Galaxy has going for it is its higher water resistance rating and the better HDR and low-light performance of its camera system. In fact, the camera performance is probably the only area where we can say that the A55 5G has a more clear win over the OnePlus 12R.

So, if you are looking for the best image quality in this price range, then the Galaxy A55 5G should be the better choice for you. In almost all other regards, however, we would recommend the OnePlus 12R as the better bang for your buck phone.


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