Samsung Galaxy A35 and A55: Hands-On with Samsung’s latest budget phones

Samsung Galaxy A35 and Galaxy A55 phones

Samsung’s newest Galaxy A series phones are the Galaxy A35 and Galaxy A55. Here’s what you need to know about them, and my early impressions.

Samsung’s Galaxy A series phones have long sat in the “affordable” space in the Samsung phone family, offering most of what you need in a smartphone, but without all that many of the frills that you’d find in a full-fat premium Galaxy S phone.

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The two latest entrants in the family are the Galaxy A35 and Galaxy A55 phones. Ahead of their reveal, I had a very brief hands-on session with both phones — and I got to walk away with a loan Galaxy A55, so look forward to a review of that one quite soon.

Galaxy A35/Galaxy A55 key specifications

Those are the spec sheets as per Samsung Australia, though (not shockingly) they have rather more detailed specs on their official local site.

How much do the Galaxy A35 and Galaxy A55 cost in Australia?

The Galaxy A35 will run you $549, while the slightly more premium Galaxy A55 will cost you $699 outright. As yet there's no word on them being carried by any telcos on contract terms.

They will both be available to buy from the 25th of March 2024.

Alex's Take: What's interesting about the Galaxy A35 and Galaxy A55?

While I'm still testing out the A55 -- and waiting on an A35 to test -- there's a few details that aren't in that spec sheet (as provided by Samsung Australia) that jump out at me.

The processors not being listed, for a start, though the Galaxy A35 runs off an Exynos 1380 and the A55 is powered by an Exynos 1480 as per what Samsung Australia told me during the hands-on session.

My experiences with Exynos systems have been mixed over the years; while they're not always the most powerful of devices in processing terms, they're often counterbalanced with superior battery life as a result.

The big upside for me is that both phones will come with Android 14 and 4 years of OS upgrades and five years of security upgrades. Samsung's seriously upped its game when it comes to promising Android updates, and it's great to see that commitment jump into the mid-range phone space as well. No, I couldn't really do "hands on" testing of that, because I left my time machine at home.

It's also interesting to see support for eSIM onboard. There's an increasing number of telcos -- not just the big three networks - offering eSIM support, but it's not common to see it as an available option in mid-range handsets like these.

I couldn't really test out the phone's camera's in situ to compare the A35 and A55 -- though I have started testing the A55 independently -- but on paper, they seem to be reasonably provisioned.

Samsung's making big promises around the low light "nightography" features of these phones, but I'll hold my judgement there until I can properly stress test them in that environment.

It's a small thing, but I also like the colour choices on offer. While "Awesome Navy" (which looks more like a black phone in most lighting situations) is available across both, only the A35 gets "Awesome Ice Blue". The A55's singular colour is "Awesome Lilac", and it's what I'm testing right now. Typically pink phones aren't my jam, but I rather like it.

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