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Samsung Galaxy A55 review: Easy fix

Samsung's $699 handset makes the right improvements and doesn't rock the boat.

Samsung Galaxy A55
Samsung Galaxy A55
4 out of 5 stars
4
Display
6.6-inch AMOLED 2X
Processor
Exynos 1480
RRP
Starts at $699
Fergus Halliday
Mar 21, 2024
Icon Time To Read5 min read

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Quick verdict: Samsung Galaxy A55

Thanks to a few key under-the-hood improvements, this year's Galaxy A55 is easier to recommend for those who like everything about Samsung's flagship phones bar the price.

pro
Pros
pro Glitzy design
pro Long battery life
pro Better processor and camera
con
Cons
con Only have access to a handful of AI features
con No wireless charging

It used to be the case that If you put one of Samsung's budget-friendly A-series devices and its flagship S-series handsets side-by-side, the differences would be easy to spot. Nowadays, things are a little different and the compromises that come with going cheaper aren't what they once were.

Samsung's steady gains in the mid-range segment haven't grabbed headlines like Google's Pixel A devices have but they're still one of the better options if you're after a smartphone that's nice enough to get by with, good enough to last you a few years and cheap enough that it won't break the bank.

The Galaxy A55 doesn't have the latest features. Fortunately, it doesn't need them to meet that budget-friendly brief. 

How much does the Samsung Galaxy A55 cost in Australia?

Starts at $699

In Australia, the Samsung Galaxy A55 starts at a recommended retail price of $699. That's about $150 more than the next model down and about half the asking price of a Galaxy S24, but only a little cheaper than Google's Pixel 7a.

That said, you might be able to find a good deal on the device if you look around. Here's a complete round-up of the best price and deals for Galaxy A55 in Australia. 

Store
Price
More info
Deals

If you pick up the Samsung Galaxy A55 through a participating retailer between 23 March 2024 and 15 April 2024, you'll score yourself a free set of Galaxy Buds FE. Those who buy the budget-friendly handset through Samsung and trade in an old phone can also score $100 of additional trade-in credit for doing so.

Samsung Galaxy A55 - Design and Features

Slicker edges and sharper snaps
Samsung Galaxy A55 on table

The screen on any smartphone nor tablet is a load-bearing part of the experience. Fortunately, the one on the Galaxy A55 is up to the task. Thanks to a 6.60-inch FHD Super AMOLED display with Samsung's Vision Booster and a 120Hz refresh rate, Samsung's more-expensive-but-still-cheap Galaxy smartphone still looks plenty sharp.

Even if this screen is the same one found on the cheaper Galaxy A35, the experience it offers is hard to fault. Courtesy of the Gorilla Glass Victus protection, the display on the Galaxy A55 is also built to take a hit in a way that much of its mid-range competitors can't match.

These strengths are then compounded by a feel factor that's a little more premium. The sides of the Galaxy A55 made from aluminum rather than plastic. Even if it sometimes comes across as a little too industrial for my liking, this little touch goes a long way towards making the humble hardware feel more expensive than it is.

Better build quality isn't the only premium perk here, though it is one of the more tangible ones. The Galaxy A55 also boasts IP67 water resistance, eSIM, 5G connectivity, 25W fast-charging and an in-display fingerprint sensor. The one omission here continues to be wireless charging, which isn't a deal-breaker but stands out given that its turning up in more and more mid-rangers nowadays.

The differences between this year's Galaxy A55 and the Galaxy A35 tell you a lot about who the foremost of the two handsets is aimed at. Aside from the aforementioned aluminum sides, the main selling point that this handset has over the likes of the Galaxy A35 (and last year's Galaxy A54) has to do with the camera.

The front of the Galaxy A55 is home to a single (and singularly unsurprising) 32MP selfie camera. Meanwhile, the back houses a triple lens setup that combines the talents and technical prowess of a 50MP main sensor, a 12MP ultrawide lens and a 5MP macro lens. This setup comes accompanied by the introduction of a select handful of the Galaxy AI software features found in this year's Galaxy S24, Galaxy S24 Plus and Galaxy S24 Ultra.

This list of AI-adjacent image features isn't a long one. It mostly boils down to the quick and easy removal of unwanted people, reflections and noise. In other words, you'll still have to shell out if you want more involved or advanced features like AI-powered transcription, translation or instant slow-mo.

 For a sense of what the camera on the Samsung Galaxy A55 can do fresh out of the box, check out the image gallery below.

All told, the camera setup on the back of the Galaxy A55 isn't likely to sate those who hunger for additional zoom or are big on content creation. That said, there's just enough fidelity and flexibility here for it to handle most of my everyday needs. Most of the time, it met the moment. It's not going to cut it as a camera if you're looking for more professional-grade results but it's a solid improvement on last year's device.

Samsung Galaxy A55 - Performance

Shifting gears for the better
Samsung Galaxy A55 on table

A slightly too sluggish processor was another biggest drawbacks of last year's Galaxy A54, so it's nice to see 2024's equivalent arrive armed with an update on that front.

Under the hood, the Samsung Galaxy A55 runs on Android 14 (spliced with the latest version of Samsung's One UI), a 5000mAh battery, an Exynos 1480 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage. That layout is a solid upgrade on last year's model, and the difference in performance was something that quickly stood out to me as someone who had spend a decent amount of time with both devices.

The software experience isn't quite so snappy as a flagship-grade one offered by the likes of the Galaxy S24 Ultra but its a definite improvement. Apps loaded fast and games like Dune Imperium and Diablo Immortal ran pretty well. Even if the Galaxy A55 isn't the fastest handset I've ever used, it was still more-or-less fast enough for my needs most of the time.

The chunky 5000mAh battery in the Galaxy A55 proved to be a natural complement to these strengths. I never found myself worrying about running out of battery during a long day and could usually make it through a second one without breaking a sweat. Sometimes, I could even make it pretty far into a third.

Burned down from 100% to zero using video streamed over WiFi, the Samsung Galaxy A55 lasted 20 hours and 35 minutes. For comparison, the Galaxy S24 Plus lasted just shy of 25 hours. The difference in battery life between these two devices is interesting to note given that the more expensive of the two features a smaller battery.

Chip manufacturers like Qualcomm and Samsung have talked a big game when it comes to power efficiency improvements in its latest top-of-the-line mobile processors in recent years so it's noteworthy to see that dynamic expressed here. Midrangers like the Galaxy A55 might be closing the gap when it comes to performance and design, but the upsides of going cheap when it comes to battery life may be a casualty of that trend.

Samsung Galaxy A55 versus Galaxy A35

Same screen, plenty of differences.

The Galaxy A55 isn't that much more expensive than the Galaxy A35. However, that premium scores you a larger 12MP ultrawide lens, a beefier 5MP macro lens and a significantly better 32MP selfie camera. Under the hood, this handset is also powered by the more powerful Exynos 1480 processor and 8GB of RAM.

The Samsung Galaxy A35 might be the place you'll want to start your search for an affordable Galaxy handset with want water resistance and a nicer feel-factor, but if you care about having a better camera, a faster processor or more RAM then the Galaxy A55 is going to be worth the extra money.

Is the Samsung Galaxy A55 worth buying?

The right kind of refresh
Samsung Galaxy A55 on table

The Samsung Galaxy A55 is a classy but consistent midrange handset that doesn't miss a step when it comes to ticking the boxes that its predecessor left empty. It's faster, feels nicer to use, takes better photos and doesn't cost a cent more. It's too early in the year to say whether it'll hold its own as the best budget smartphone that 2024 has to offer, but right now it can probably rest easy on the throne.

The Samsung Galaxy A55 doesn't reinvent the wheel for budget phones but it does fill in the right gaps in it. If last year's budget-friendly alternative to the Galaxy S23 didn't win you over, this just might.

How does the Samsung Galaxy A55 compare?

Product
Our score
Price
Processor
Screen size
More info
4 out of 5 stars
4
From
$699
Exynos 14806.6-inches
4 out of 5 stars
4
From
$1399
Exynos 24006.2-inches
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
From
$1649
Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor6.8-inches
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
From
$1649
A16 Bionic6.7-inches
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
From
$2199
Snapdragon 8 Gen 26.8-inches
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
From
$1399
A15 Bionic6.1-inches
4 out of 5 stars
4
From
$1499
Snapdragon 8+ Gen 16.7-inches
4 out of 5 stars
4
From
$1399
Snapdragon 8886.55-inches
4 out of 5 stars
4
From
$1249
Snapdragon 8 Gen 16.1-inch
Fergus Halliday
Written by
Fergus Halliday
Fergus Halliday is a journalist and editor for Reviews.org. He’s written about technology, telecommunications, gaming and more for over a decade. He got his start writing in high school and began his full-time career as the Editor of PC World Australia. Fergus has made the MCV 30 Under 30 list, been a finalist for seven categories at the IT Journalism Awards and won Most Controversial Writer at the 2022 Consensus Awards. He has been published in Gizmodo, Kotaku, GamesHub, Press Start, Screen Rant, Superjump, Nestegg and more.

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