Samsung Galaxy A55 Review: Good, but not great

Samsung Galaxy A55 (Image: Alex Kidman)

The Samsung Galaxy A55 does everything a mid-range phone should do well, but it’s hard to overlook the fact that you can get better phones for this price.

Pros Cons
4 years of OS upgrades Similar phones are faster
Dual SIM plus eSIM Camera barely changed from the A54
Good battery life Screen bezels may be problematic for some

Score: 3.5/5

Buy The Samsung Galaxy A55! Buy On Amazon

Samsung’s Galaxy A series phones sit as its affordable range, going from the entry level $299 Galaxy A05s, the $349 Galaxy A15, the $499 Galaxy A25, the $549 A35 and finally the top of Samsung’s middle-range tier, the $699 Galaxy A55.

Sitting at the top of the range usually means you get the best features, but being in the middle range means that Samsung doesn’t want to cannibalise its higher tier Galaxy S sales either… so you get compromises.

Also read:
Samsung Galaxy A05s review
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra review

The end result is a phone that’s not bad value by most metrics, but also one that’s not quite the best you can get for $699.

In this review:



Samsung Galaxy A55 (Image: Alex Kidman)

The Galaxy A55 is the successor to the 2023’s Galaxy A54, and it’s quite clear that there’s only a gentle evolution in design styles from that prior model.

Also read:
Samsung Galaxy A54 Review

The Galaxy A55 measures in at 161.1 x 77.4 x 8.2mm, marginally larger than the A54 was, thanks primarily to the inclusion of a 6.6 inch Super AMOLED 120Hz display where the A54 packed in a 6.4 inch screen. Still, both phones are largely meant to evoke thoughts of the pricier premium Galaxy S phones with glossy glass backs and metallic frames.

I noted in my review of the Galaxy A54 that the use of glass made it a slippery little number, and the same is broadly true of the Galaxy A55. I’ve found it slipping in my hand less, and maybe that’s a function of its larger size fitting my hands a little better, but regardless, I’d suggest anyone buying the Galaxy A55 invest in a case, pronto.

Samsung Galaxy A55 (Image: Alex Kidman)

The Galaxy A55 plays it risky on the edge of a bench without a case. Buy it one.
(Image: Alex Kidman)

In terms of controls, the Galaxy A55 puts them on the right hand side, with a small groove beneath the power button making it easier to locate via pure muscle memory. Above the power button you’ll find the volume controls, while the top of the phone houses a dual SIM card slot with a typical secondary nano-SIM or microSD expansion choice to make. There’s no headphone jack, just a USB-C power and data socket at the bottom.

In Australia, the Galaxy A55 will only be available in two different colours. “Awesome Navy” and “Awesome Lilac”. It’s the latter that Samsung’s loaned me. I won’t say that light pink is my favourite colour, but it certainly is eye catching. It’s worth noting that Samsung internationally appears to produce the Galaxy A55 in two additional colours, “Ice Blue” and “Lemon”. If you wanted those down under, you’d have to import.

One notable detail – at least according to the mass of feedback I got from my video hands-on with the Galaxy A55 and Galaxy A35 – are the bezels around the screen of the A55.

Honestly, while I noticed them I did feel like I’ve seen way worse, but there’s clearly still a large segment of the market out there that finds any kind of screen bezel a real issue. If that’s you, then the Galaxy A55 might set off something in your head that way. Or maybe it’s just the Internet being the Internet, it’s hard to tell.


Samsung Galaxy A55 (Image: Alex Kidman)

The Samsung Galaxy A55 is the successor to the Galaxy A54, a phone that featured a wide 50MP f/1.8 sensor, ultra-wide 12MP f/2.2, 5MP f/2.4 macro lens and 32MP f/2.2 selfie sensor.

The Galaxy A55 is a newer phone, so you might figure it might bump up those specifications somewhat.

Its specifications read like a serious case of deju vu, with a wide 50MP f/1.8 sensor, ultra-wide 12MP f/2.2, 5MP f/2.4 macro lens and 32MP f/2.2 selfie sensor. I can’t help but feel I’ve heard those specifications somewhere else recently…

Samsung’s big claim here is that the A55 is better suited to low light photography than its predecessor was, but honestly, I’m not seeing that from my own tests.

Low light shooting for the Galaxy A55 sat where nearly every mid-range phone that isn’t a Pixel sits, which is to say that it loses detail very quickly if the light even approaches dim settings.

Samsung Galaxy A55 Low Light Sample Photo (Image: Alex Kidman)

There are some bricks here... just. (Image: Alex Kidman)

The one saving grace here is low light selfies, but here that’s nothing to do with the camera sensor or fancy AI-led post processing, and everything to do with the camera app lighting up your face with an onscreen glowing disc before taking the shot. It’s a flash substitute, plain and simple.

Samsung Galaxy A55 Low Light Sample Selfie (Image: Alex Kidman)

Some bald jerk late at night. (Image: Alex Kidman)

While you do get macro capability, it’s very much your typical story of fighting to get a decent macro shot from it, with more failures than successes in my testing.

Samsung Galaxy A55 Macro Shot (Image: Alex Kidman)

My own arachnophobia didn't help with camera stabilisation here much either
(Image: Alex Kidman)

I genuinely would have preferred to see a proper telephoto lens in its place, though this is also highly uncommon at this price point. Instead you get digital cropping from that primary 50MP sensor at defaults of 2x, 4x and 10x zoom. So how does that look?

Here’s a downwards looking shot near Chatswood library, taken with the ultrawide lens, and all is fine.

Samsung Galaxy A55 UltraWide Shot (Image: Alex Kidman)

Is it meant to be a metal paper plane? Discuss below. (Image: Alex Kidman)

Likewise, the standard wide lens does a fine job, though the difference in colour post-processing from the ultra-wide shot is quite noticeable.

Galaxy A55 Wide Shot (Image: Alex Kidman)

2x zoom is OK, but then that’s just a very basic crop.

Samsung Galaxy A55 2x Zoom Shot (Image: Alex Kidman)

Pointy! (Image: Alex Kidman)

4x is starting to crack, but you could do something decent at this kind of range.

Samsung Galaxy A55 4x Zoom Shot (Image: Alex Kidman)

Starting to lose some detail in the frame here (Image: Alex Kidman)

Full length is 10x, and here you really do start to see the cropping suffer a lot.

Samsung Galaxy A55 10x Zoom Shot (Image: Alex Kidman)

The loss of detail is all too apparent. (Image: Alex Kidman)

Samsung does make it easy to take generally good photos in reasonable light with the Galaxy A55, with its own predictable tendency towards oversaturated colours.

Galaxy A55 Sample Photo (Image: Alex Kidman)

Santa is quite red. Also quite a hard sell IN MARCH. Weird. (Image: Alex Kidman)

Samsung Galaxy A55 Sample Photo (Image: Alex Kidman)

This is what happens when you let Willy Wonka design your lifts. (Image: Alex Kidman)

I 100% get that this is a very popular photographic style that many people do like, but it can lend itself towards some rather artificial looking photos.

The issue here is that at its $699 price point, the A55 is perilously close to the bottom level of premium tier phones, as well as slightly more capable handsets such as the Google Pixel 7a.

Galaxy A55 Sample Photo (Image: Alex Kidman)

The Galaxy A55 isn't a bad camera phone -- but it's not the best you can get at this price.
(Image: Alex Kidman)

It’s not a bad camera for everyday photo shooting needs, and I do like the way that Samsung makes a wide array of shooting modes evident even to novices… but I can’t help but feel that you can do better at this price.


Samsung Galaxy A55 (Image: Alex Kidman)

Samsung’s mid-range phones have for a long while relied on the company’s own Exynos processors rather than anything from Qualcomm’s Snapdragon family or MediaTek’s typically lower-cost Dimensity range.

For the Galaxy A55, that’s the Exynos 1480, bolstered with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage. That’s an update over last year’s Galaxy A54, although only a slight one, jumping up from the Exynos 1380 (which now powers the Galaxy A55’s sibling, the Galaxy A35) and only 6GB of RAM. There does appear to be a higher-spec 256GB model with either 8GB or 12GB of RAM in some markets, but Australia is not one of them.

The only place you’ll find Exynos-branded processors are in Samsung phones, so I had no other CPU frame of reference to work from here, which means it’s time to jump into comparative benchmarks. Here’s how that Exynos 1480 compares against similarly priced mid-range phones using Geekbench 6’s CPU test:

That’s not great for the Galaxy A55 on the face of it, though it’s certainly competitive in this space and nicely improved over the A54 at the very least.

It’s a less flattering picture if we look at GPU performance, using 3DMark’s Wild Life benchmark:

What that equates to in day to day usage is a phone that’s still reasonable to use for everyday tasks, but not quite the best even at this mid-range price. Apps launch with reasonable speed, Samsung's OneUI launcher is quite capable, and you do also get Samsung's Knox security built in -- though I lack the tools and hacker mentality to put that to a specific test.

Where it gets more complex for the Galaxy A55 is when you consider its $699 price point. The current generation Galaxy S24 phones all sit solidly above that price for sure, creating a price barrier, but that’s not entirely true for slightly older Samsung phones.

Shop around, and it’s not always hard to find cheap models of, say, the Galaxy S23 FE or even a refurbished Galaxy S23  for around this price point – and those are more capable phones.

There may well be some Oppo phones around this price point as well, but as the company lacks the conviction to provide me even with specifications, let alone review products, I’m actually unable to comment on whether they’re good value. Though I will say that if they’re not willing to have them independently reviewed, what does that say about them?

That being said, the Galaxy A55 does still have a few extra selling points. For a start, it’s the beneficiary of Samsung’s push to provide longer-term value for Android phone buyers, with the promise of 4 years of OS upgrades and 5 years of security updates, taking it through to Android 18 at the very least.

Samsung Galaxy A55 (Image: Alex Kidman)

The four year promise of OS upgrades is a big plus (Image: Alex Kidman)

That’s not something you’ll see on some other makes, and it’s a big plus in my view – though it will be interesting to see where Google jumps with the expected launch of the Pixel 8a in May.

Then there’s network connectivity. It’s predictably only a sub-6Ghz 5G phone here in Australia, and I wasn’t (sigh) expecting anything else there, but it is also eSIM compatible, which is still a rarity here at this price point.

5G speeds on sub-6Ghz in my testing sat within the predictable average of around 200-400Mbps, but that’s more a reflection of network coverage than phone capability in most cases.


Samsung Galaxy A55 (Image: Alex Kidman)

Like so many of its ilk (and its immediate predecessor), the Samsung Galaxy A55 runs off a 5,000mAh sealed battery, charged via USB-C.

The model that Samsung Australia loaned me for review wasn’t packaged, so I’ve no way to determine if there’s a charger in the retail box, but given that the A54 omitted one, it doesn’t take too much crystal ball gazing to suggest that it won’t.

One of the advantages that Exynos processors have tended to show in my own testing over the years is improved battery life compared to their concurrent Snapdragon alternatives. That makes logical sense; if you’re going to churn fewer numbers, it will take less power to do so, right?

Here, the Galaxy A55 punched upwards in a comparative sense, though it still wasn’t the best in the mid-range space. Here’s how it compared using my YouTube 1 hour battery test. What I look for here is battery performance above 90% -- below that is problematic for all day battery life – with every percentage point above 90% being a big plus.

Here’s how the Samsung Galaxy A55 compared:

That is a solid figure right there; both an upgrade over the Galaxy A54 and a decent score that has translated well to real-world battery life during my review period. It's quite easy to get a single day's usage out of the Galaxy A55 in most normal circumstances, though predictably if you hammer it, you can send it flat if you really want to.

Samsung Galaxy A55: Alex’s Verdict

Samsung Galaxy A55 (Image: Alex Kidman)

The Galaxy A55 is a good mid-range phone with a couple of standout features that make it a little different to everything else in the market right now.

If you want the security of long-term operating system upgrades and need a phone with eSIM capabilities, it’s a good option.

However, I can’t ignore the fact that it’s a good option in a very crowded market segment right now, and it’s outperformed by a number of other handsets at this price point.

The $699 price of the Galaxy A55 is also a tricky one, because it’s not all that far from the kinds of prices you can get older actual premium flagships for – and those, again, are much more powerful and capable handsets.

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Samsung Galaxy A55: Pricing and availability

The Samsung Galaxy A55 retails in Australia for $699 outright.

Buy The Samsung Galaxy A55! Buy On Amazon

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