Samsung Galaxy A55 and A35: Eye-Catching Design Meets Solid Performance
Posted on May 30, 2024
Samsung Galaxy A55 and A35: Eye-Catching Design Meets Solid Performance

Samsung A55 and A35: Samsung's Galaxy A series consistently delivers premium features at a mid-range price point. Earlier this year, they launched the Galaxy A55 and A35, aiming to bridge the gap between affordability and high-end functionalities. But how do these smartphones fare against the competition in the bustling market? We've spent some time with both devices, and here's a comprehensive breakdown to help you decide if they're the right fit for you.


Sleek Design and Premium Feel


The first thing that strikes you about the Galaxy A55 and A35 is their design. Both phones boast a near-identical aesthetic, featuring a flat display, flat edges, and a flat rear panel – a clear nod to the flagship Galaxy S24. The glossy rear finish (available in Ice Blue and Navy for the A55, and Ice Blue, Lilac, and Navy for the A35) is surprisingly resistant to fingerprints, a major plus for everyday use.
On the front, a large and vibrant Super AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate takes centre stage. While the bezels are slightly thicker compared to some competitors, the overall viewing experience is excellent, with crisp visuals and smooth scrolling. The Galaxy A55 goes a step further with brushed aluminium edges, while the A35 opts for a matte finish. Both phones lack a pre-installed TPU case, so you'll need to factor that into the cost if you're accident-prone.


Software Packed with Potential


The Galaxy A55 and A35 run on One UI 6.1 based on Android 14, offering a clean and intuitive user experience. Samsung shines with its commitment to software updates, promising four OS upgrades and an additional year of security updates – meaning these phones will be supported until 2028. This puts them ahead of the curve in the mid-range segment.
One UI provides a good user experience with features like Samsung Wallet for contactless payments, advanced Link to Windows integration for seamless PC connectivity, and Good Lock for extensive customization options. Object Eraser, a fun feature that utilizes machine learning to remove unwanted objects from photos, is another highlight.
While the software experience is generally smooth, there are a few minor annoyances. Pre-installed apps like Spotify can be uninstalled, but bloatware like Candy Crush Saga (downloaded via the pre-installed AppCloud service) can be intrusive. Additionally, prompts to enable Glance lock screen features after every software update can be repetitive.


Capable Performance for Everyday Use


The Galaxy A55 is powered by a 4nm Exynos 1480 chip with up to 12GB of RAM, while the Galaxy A35 utilizes a 5nm Exynos 1380 processor with 8GB of RAM. Both chipsets offer sufficient performance for everyday tasks like browsing the web, social media usage, and light gaming. You'll have no trouble running most games on these phones, with titles like Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) and Asphalt 9 running smoothly.
However, if you're a hardcore gamer who demands top-tier performance, the Galaxy A55 and A35 might not be the ideal choice. Games like Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile exhibit noticeable lag, and even the A55 struggles with graphically demanding titles like Genshin Impact.


Long-Lasting Battery and Fast Charging (with a caveat)


A major strength of the Galaxy A55 and A35 is their battery life. Both devices pack a 5,000mAh battery, offering exceptional endurance. In our HD video loop battery playback test, the A55 clocked an impressive 28 hours and 14 minutes, while the A35 lasted a very respectable 26 hours and 34 minutes. This translates to real-world usage of over a day on a single charge with moderate use.
However, a major caveat is the lack of a charger included in the box. Samsung only offers 25W fast charging support, which feels outdated compared to some competitors offering much faster charging speeds. Additionally, purchasing a compatible charger adds to the overall cost.

Camera System: Hits and Misses


The camera setup on the Galaxy A55 and A35 is a mixed bag. Both phones feature a 50-megapixel primary sensor with an f/1.8 aperture, a 5-megapixel macro camera, and an ultrawide sensor with varying resolutions – 12-megapixel on the A55 and 8-megapixel on the A35. The front-facing camera boasts a significant difference as well, with the A55 sporting a high-resolution 32-megapixel sensor compared to the A35's 13-megapixel option.
Both phones share the same camera interface as the Galaxy S series, offering a familiar layout with various shooting modes and a Pro mode for granular control. Super Steady video stabilization, Slow Mo, and Super Slow Mo options cater to creative videographers.


Strengths: Daytime Captures and Portrait Mode


In good lighting conditions, the primary sensor on both the A55 and A35 shines. They capture detailed images with vibrant, punchy colours that are characteristic of Samsung's processing. The 2x in-sensor zoom allows you to get closer to your subjects without sacrificing too much quality. Portrait mode excels in natural light, producing pleasing results with a good separation between the subject and the background.


Struggles: Low-Light Performance and Uneven Sensors


Low-light photography exposes the limitations of the A55 and A35. While Samsung's camera app employs Night Mode for brighter images, it comes at the cost of some detail and introduces smoothening to reduce noise. Both phones lack a dedicated telephoto lens, making long-range photography a challenge.


The ultrawide cameras on both phones are noticeably weaker than the primary sensor. They struggle in low-light scenarios and exhibit warping around the edges of images. Colour accuracy is also less reliable compared to the primary sensor. The A55's 12-megapixel ultrawide sensor offers a slight edge over the A35's 8-megapixel option, but the difference might be negligible for casual users.


The 5-megapixel macro camera on both devices is decent at capturing close-up shots, but only with ample natural light. Focusing can be finicky, requiring multiple attempts to ensure sharp images. The disparity between the high-resolution 32-megapixel front camera on the A55 and the 13-megapixel option on the A35 is evident in selfies. The A55 captures noticeably sharper and more detailed selfies, making it a better choice for social media enthusiasts.


Video Recording: A Capable Option


Both the Galaxy A55 and A35 offer video recording at 4K resolution at 30fps or 1080p at 30fps and 60fps. The Super Steady mode with gyroscope stabilization delivers impressive results in most lighting conditions, minimizing camera shake and ensuring smooth footage. The A55 takes the lead here by offering 1080p video recording at 60fps from the front-facing camera, making it more suitable for vloggers.


The Verdict: A Compelling Option, But Consider the Alternatives


The Samsung Galaxy A55 and A35 offer a compelling package for users in the market seeking a stylish mid-range phone with a long-lasting battery and a capable camera system for everyday use. The commitment to four years of OS updates and an additional year of security updates is a significant advantage, future-proofing your purchase.


Who should buy the Samsung Galaxy A55 and A35?


•    Users who prioritize software updates and battery life.
•    Users who appreciate Samsung's design aesthetics and One UI software experience.
•    Casual photographers who primarily capture images in good lighting conditions.


Who should look elsewhere?


•    Gamers seeking top-tier performance for graphically demanding titles.
•    Users on a tight budget who prioritize raw processing power over brand name.
•    Serious mobile photographers who require exceptional low-light performance and a versatile camera system with a telephoto lens.


Alternatives in the Market


Here's a quick comparison of the Galaxy A55 and A35 against some key competitors in the market to help you make an informed decision:


•    Camera Focus: If capturing stunning low-light photos is your priority, consider the Google Pixel 7a, renowned for its exceptional camera performance, or the Samsung Galaxy S23, which offers a more versatile camera system with a telephoto lens.
•    Raw Performance: For users demanding the most processing power for gaming and multitasking, iPhone 12 or Samsung Galaxy S21 fe might be better options, boasting flagship-level chipsets at competitive price points.
•    Budget-Friendly Alternatives: If you're on a tighter budget, the Refurbished iPhone 11 offers a compelling combination of decent performance, a smooth display, and a capable camera system at a lower price point.

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In Conclusion 


The Samsung Galaxy A55 and A35 carve a niche in the mid-range smartphone market, offering a blend of premium design, long-lasting battery life, and a software experience backed by Samsung's commitment to updates. However, they come with certain trade-offs that potential buyers should consider.


Aesthetics and Durability


Both phones boast a sleek and eye-catching design that closely resembles the flagship Galaxy S24. The glossy finish, available in multiple colours, adds a touch of sophistication. The flat display and aluminium edges (on the A55) provide a modern look and feel. While the lack of a pre-installed case might be a concern for some users, the Gorilla Glass Victus+ protection on the display offers some peace of mind against scratches and minor drops.


Display Quality


The large Super AMOLED displays with a 120Hz refresh rate are a highlight of both phones. They deliver vibrant colours, deep blacks, and excellent viewing angles. While some competitors might boast even thinner bezels, the overall display experience on the A55 and A35 is undeniably smooth and immersive.


Software Experience


Samsung's One UI 6.1 interface continues to mature, offering a clean and user-friendly experience. Features like Samsung Wallet, Link to Windows integration, and Good Lock for customization cater to users who appreciate a feature-rich ecosystem. The promise of four OS upgrades and an additional year of security updates surpasses most competitors in the mid-range segment, ensuring your phone stays protected and up-to-date for years to come.


Performance Benchmarks


While the Exynos 1480 and 1380 processors on the A55 and A35, respectively, are capable of handling everyday tasks smoothly, benchmark tests reveal they fall behind some competitors in raw processing power. If you're a power user or a mobile gamer who demands top-tier performance, the A55 and A35 might not be the most ideal choice.


Battery Life and Charging


The 5,000mAh battery on both phones is a clear winner. It delivers exceptional endurance, lasting well over a day on a single charge with moderate usage. However, the lack of a charger included in the box and the limitation to 25W fast charging are drawbacks compared to some competitors offering much faster charging speeds and bundled chargers.


Camera Capabilities


The camera system on the A55 and A35 presents a mixed bag. The primary sensor performs well in good lighting, capturing detailed images with vibrant colours. The 2x in-sensor zoom offers some versatility, and portrait mode excels in natural light. However, low-light performance suffers, and the lack of a dedicated telephoto lens limits zoom capabilities. The ultrawide cameras are noticeably weaker, exhibiting warping and inconsistency in colour accuracy. The A55 has a slight edge with its 12-megapixel ultrawide sensor compared to the A35's 8-megapixel option, but the difference might be negligible for casual users. The macro camera is decent for close-up shots in good light, but focusing can be finicky. Video recording is a capable option with Super Steady stabilization, and the A55 takes the lead with 1080p/60fps recording from the front-facing camera.


The Competition


Several compelling alternatives exist in the market, catering to different user priorities:


•    Camera-Centric Users: For exceptional low-light photography and a versatile camera system, consider the Google Pixel 7a or the Samsung Galaxy S23.
•    Performance Seekers: If raw processing power for gaming and multitasking is your top priority, the iPhone 12 or Samsung Galaxy S21 fe offer flagship-level chipsets at competitive prices.
•    Budget-Conscious Buyers: The Refurbished iPhone 11 provides a good balance between decent performance, a smooth display, and a capable camera system at a more affordable price point.


The Final Word


The Samsung Galaxy A55 and A35 are well-rounded mid-range smartphones with a lot to offer. They cater to users who prioritize design, a long-lasting battery, a clean software experience with guaranteed updates, and a capable camera system for everyday use. However, the lack of a bundled charger, slower 25W fast charging, and limitations in low-light photography and raw processing power compared to some competitors are factors to consider. By carefully evaluating your needs and preferences, you can determine if the A55 or A35 is the right fit for you, or if a competitor might better suit your requirements within the vibrant smartphone market.

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