Samsung Galaxy A55 vs. Galaxy A54 — here's the biggest upgrades

Samsung Galaxy A55 vs Galaxy A54
(Image credit: Samsung / Tom's Guide)

The Galaxy A55 announced by Samsung earlier this week has a high bar to clear. Last year's version, the Galaxy A54, was one of the best cheap phones available, delivering midrange specs at an affordable price. So a Samsung Galaxy A55 vs. Galaxy A54 comparison is especially vital if we want to see what's changed year over year.

Along with the usual chipset upgrade, the Galaxy A55 offers some key design changes from the Galaxy A54. Other aspects of the two phones appear very similar, though, from camera setup to battery size. Further testing may reveal additional differences, but for now, all we can do is look at Galaxy A55 and Galaxy A54 specs to see how the new phones measure up.

Here's what we've found out so far about Samsung Galaxy A55 vs. Galaxy A54 differences.

Samsung Galaxy A55 vs. Galaxy A54: Specifications

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Galaxy A55Galaxy A54
Starting price£439 / AU$699$449 / £449 / AU$699
Display6.6-inch AMOLED (2340 x 1080)6.4-inch AMOLED (2340 x 1080)
Refresh rate120Hz120Hz
CPUExynos 1480Exynos 1380
Storage128GB, 256GB128GB, 256GB
Rear cameras50MP main (f/1.8), 12MP ultrawide (f/2.2), 5MP macro (f/2.4)50MP main (f/1.8), 12MP ultrawide (f/2.2), 5MP macro (f/2.4)
Front camera32MP (f/2.2) selfie32MP (f/2.2) selfie
Battery5,000 mAh5,000 mAh
Charging25W wired25W wired
Size6.34 x 3.05 x 0.32 inches6.23 x 3.02 x 0.32 inches
Weight7.5 ounces7.1 ounces
ColorsAwesome Ice Blue, Awesome Yellow, Awesome Lilac, Awesome NavyAwesome Graphite, Awesome White, Awesome Lime, Awesome Violet

Samsung Galaxy A55 vs. Galaxy A54: Price and availability

Samsung announced a starting price of £439 for Galaxy A55 in the UK. That's actually lower than the Galaxy A54's £449 starting price, so you'd expect a U.S. price for the Galaxy A55 to at least match the $449 Samsung charges for the Galaxy A54 and maybe even come in a little cheaper, especially with the iPhone SE starting at $429.

We're speculating on U.S. pricing for the Galaxy A55, though, because Samsung hasn't set a U.S. price yet. And it may never happen as reports suggest the Galaxy A55 may not ship in this country, with the Galaxy A35 replacing it as Samsung's midrange option. That would be a significant change from how Samsung handled the Galaxy A54 — and a bit of a disappointment for U.S. smartphone shoppers who've come to appreciate the quality of Samsung's Galaxy A5x phones in recent years.

Samsung Galaxy A55 vs. Galaxy A54: Design and display

Samsung Galaxy A55 in yellow

Galaxy A55 (Image credit: Samsung)

The Galaxy A55 and A54 are just about the same size — the A55 is 0.1-inches taller and fractionally wider, though not noticeably so. The extra height allows the A55 to offer a slightly larger display at 6.6-inches, compared to the A54's 6.4-inch panel. Both phones offer a 120Hz refresh rate and a maximum brightness of 1,000 nits.

The real differences start to materialize when you look more closely at the way the two phones are designed. You'll find a Key Island on the Galaxy A55, with the raised side rail containing the power and volume buttons. Samsung also has made the rail out of metal after using matte plastic for the A54's frame.

Galaxy A54 smart phone

Galaxy A54 (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

That's not the only change in materials. After using Gorilla Glass 5 for the Galaxy A54, Samsung has turned to the more premium Gorilla Glass Victus Plus for the A55's display. That should make the newer phone more durable.

While Samsung kept the naming convention for the colors on its Galaxy A5x phones, available color options have shifted. Instead of the A54's Awesome Graphite, Awesome White, Awesome Lime and Awesome Violet options, you can choose from Awesome Ice Blue, Awesome Lemon, Awesome Lilac or Awesome Navy with the Galaxy A55.

Samsung Galaxy A55 vs. Galaxy A54: Cameras

Galaxy A54 smart phone

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Galaxy A54 took a big leap forward last year by adapting the 50MP main camera from the Galaxy S23 flagship as its own primary shooter. That meant high quality photos from a more modestly priced phone, which is a primary reason we hold the A54 in such high regard.

The Galaxy A55 doesn't make any changes from that, using the same cameras found on the Galaxy A54. That not only includes the 50MP main camera, but the 12MP ultrawide and 5MP macro lenses as well. Even the 32MP selfie cam is the same on both phones.

We found the Galaxy A54 to be an excellent camera phone, particularly in low light settings, so we're eager to see if the Galaxy A55 matches up with that performance.

Samsung Galaxy A55 vs. Galaxy A54: Performance

Galaxy A54 smart phone

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

For this year's model, Samsung has turned to an Exynos 1480 system-on-chip, which we'll assume is an upgrade over the Exynos 1380 silicon found in the Galaxy A54. The base model of the Galaxy A55 includes 8GB of RAM, compared to 6GB in the A54 that we tested a year ago. That should make switching between apps a little more smooth.

While we'd expect some performance gains by the Galaxy A55 over the Galaxy A54, we're not sure if that's going to address one of the biggest issues we've run into with Samsung's Galaxy A phones — they really have a hard time keeping up with other devices in this price range. The Galaxy A54 lagged behind the Pixel 7a, which is no speed demon in its own right. Maybe the Galaxy A55 closes that gap, but it's hard to imagine Samsung's latest phone keeping pace with the Pixel 8a when that phone makes its debut later this year. Further testing will tell the tale, though.

Samsung Galaxy A55 vs. Galaxy A54: Battery life

Samsung Galaxy A55 display and gaming performance.

(Image credit: Samsung)

There's also no change on the battery front, with the Galaxy A55 featuring the same 5,000 mAh cell as the Galaxy A54. That's not really a concern, though, as the Galaxy A54 posted a better-than-average time on our battery test with the 120Hz refresh rate on its display enabled. Turning off that feature helped the Galaxy A54 last even longer on a charge. At the very worst, we'd expect comparable numbers — and it's possible the Exynos 1480 silicon has better power-management features to help the A55 eke out more battery life.

Charging speeds are also the same, with the Galaxy A55 offering the same 25W wired charging support found on the A54. There's still no support for wireless charging.

Samsung Galaxy A55 vs. Galaxy A54: Software

Like the Galaxy A54, the Galaxy A54 will get four years of Android updates, starting with Android 15 later this year. Samsung includes an additional year of security support. That's not as extensive as the seven years of support provided to the new Galaxy S24 models, but the Galaxy A55 is also around $300 less than the cheapest Samsung flagship.

Samsung Galaxy A55 vs. Galaxy A54: Outlook

On the surface, it seems like not much has changed from the Galaxy A54 to the Galaxy A55. That's actually good news, since it means the A55 is likely to follow in its predecessor's footsteps by bringing some premium features to a more affordable handset.

One of the biggest differences, though — the apparent lack of U.S. availability — is a big step back for U.S. smartphone shoppers. Yes, Samsung will allegedly offer the Galaxy A35 as a lower-cost option, but we're less familiar with that phone since the A34 didn't ship here. A rumored Galaxy S24 FE will likely arrive later this year, but it probably will cost more than the A55 if past FE pricing is anything to go by.

Perhaps it all works out, with either the Galaxy A55 enjoying a wider release or the Galaxy A35 turning out to be a worthy substitute for U.S. bargain hunters. At the moment, though, that apparent Galaxy A55 vs. Galaxy A54 change is hard to swallow, even with the design improvements Samsung made.

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Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.