Samsung Galaxy A55 is official, with some specs that beat the Galaxy S24

Samsung Galaxy A55 in yellow
(Image credit: Samsung)

A big cheap phones shake-up is imminent as Samsung has announced the Galaxy A55 and Galaxy A35 — a pair of budget-friendly phones that once again impress with some flagship-grade hardware. Hardware that even beats the Galaxy S24 in some areas.

We'll go into the pricing, specs and so on below, but our initial impression is this is a pair of phones that could easily be among the best cheap phones of the year. We've already had an impressive contender in the form of the OnePlus 12R, and we're expecting another — the Google Pixel 8a — in a few months' time. But given how much we liked the Galaxy A54 last year, we have high hopes for these new Galaxy A devices when we get our hands on them for testing.

Check back with us soon for a review of these phones, but for now let's check out what these phones are packing under the hood.

Samsung Galaxy A55 and Galaxy A35 specs

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 Galaxy A55Galaxy A35
Starting price£439 / AU$699£339 / AU$549
Display6.6-inch FHD AMOLED6.6-inch FHD AMOLED
Refresh rate120Hz120Hz
Rear cameras50MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 5MP macro50MP main, 8MP ultrawide, 5MP macro
Front camera32MP selfie13MP selfie
RAM8GB, 12GB6GB, 8GB
Storage128GB, 256GB128GB, 256GB
Battery5,000 mAh5,000 mAh
Charging25W wired25W wired
SoftwareAndroid 14 with One UI 6.1Android 14 with One UI 6.1
ColorsAwesome Ice Blue, Awesome Yellow, Awesome Lilac, Awesome NavyAwesome Ice Blue, Awesome Yellow, Awesome Lilac, Awesome Navy

Samsung Galaxy A55 and Galaxy A35 price and availability

Samsung will put the Galaxy A55 and Galaxy A35 up for sale on Wednesday, March 20 in the U.K and Monday, March 25 in Australia. The two phones will cost you £439 / AU$699 or £339 / AU$549 respectively with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage, or £489 and £389 if you want 256GB instead (U.K. only). 

These prices are actually a whole £10 cheaper than the equivalent Galaxy A54 or A34 cost last year, a rare sight in today's smartphone market and one potential buyers will definitely appreciate.

Some regions also offer a higher-spec Galaxy A55 model with a shocking 12GB RAM - more than some Galaxy S24 models — and a cheaper Galaxy A35 with 6GB RAM. We don't have prices for these just yet, though.

Sticking with the default models' U.K. pricing, we see it matches the Google Pixel 7a (which starts at £449), and is significantly cheaper than the £649 OnePlus 12R, at least in the U.K. because of limited model availability. The newly announced Nothing Phone 2a is significantly cheaper at £319 though.

Check back later for U.S. pricing and further comparisons with rival phones.

Samsung Galaxy A55 and Galaxy A35 design and display

There are a lot of similarities between this year's Galaxy A phones and last year's Galaxy A54. However, one major visual change is the Key Island, a raised portion of the side rail where the power and volume buttons live. That side rail's also metal for the first time in the Galaxy A55's case. 

A hidden change is the display and back panel material. The A55 and A35 are both clad in Gorilla Glass Victus Plus, which is a fairly premium material to find on phones of this price.

Both phones get the same color options too, with those being Awesome Ice Blue, Awesome Lemon, Awesome Lilac and Awesome Navy.

The Samsung Galaxy A55 in Ice Blue

(Image credit: Samsung)

The Galaxy A55 uses the same 6.6-inch OLED display as the Galaxy A35, making for a slight size increase from the 6.4-inch Galaxy A54 that puts both phones well above the size of the 6.1-inch Galaxy S24, and just a little behind the 6.7-inch Galaxy S24 Plus. Both of the new phones feature punch-hole camera cutouts too, a notable upgrade for the A30 series, which until now had been stuck with an old-fashioned water-drop notch. Both screens are capable of up to 120Hz refresh rates, and offer an FHD resolution, but the Galaxy A55 offers an adaptive refresh rate for greater efficiency like the Galaxy S24 series.

Samsung Galaxy A55 and Galaxy A35 cameras

This is the area where the Galaxy A55 differs most greatly from the cheaper A35. Both phones use 50MP main cameras, and 5MP macro cameras, but split from there. The Galaxy A55 boasts a 12MP ultrawide camera and a 32MP front selfie camera, while the Galaxy A35 gets an 8MP ultrawide/13MP selfie combo instead.

Samsung also announced that the Galaxy A55 has improved low-light photography, including with portraits thanks to a Night Portrait mode, and 12-bit HDR video support.

Samsung Galaxy A55 and Galaxy A35 performance

We don't know what chipset powers either the Galaxy A55 or Galaxy A35, although it was leaked before launch that they'd use mid-range Exynos 1480 and Exynos 1380 chips respectively. We can't be certain what that means for benchmark results or real-life performance, but chances are, like previous Galaxy A-series phones, that they'll provide decent power but not quite as much as phones like the Pixel 7a, which uses a flagship-grade chipset.

Samsung has announced the RAM and storage capacities for these phones though. Both the Galaxy A55 and Galaxy A35 come in 8GB RAM/128GB storage and 8GB RAM/256GB storage combinations, with the Galaxy A55 also offering a 12GB/256GB option, and the Galaxy A35 a 6GB/128GB option.

As for the battery the two phones have this in common too. Both handsets are fitted with 5,000 mAh cells, and feature 25W charging support.

Samsung Galaxy A55 and Galaxy A35 software and special features

The A55 and A35 will ship with Android 14 and One UI 6.1, and will both receive four years of full Android updates and five years of security updates. Not quite on par with the Galaxy S24 series' seven years of full updates, but still plenty of time to enjoy new features

As well as all the benefits that the latest software offers, Samsung's also introduced Knox Vault to these two phones. Knox Vault is a secure software/hardware environment, kept separate from the rest of the phones' chips, for enhanced security and protection of all the important data you likely keep on your device, like passwords and PINs. This used to be a Samsung flagship phone-exclusive feature, so it's good to see it move to the more affordable phones in Samsung's line-up.

Samsung's also promoting the Auto Blocker system, which debuted with a One UI update last fall, for the new Galaxy A series phones. This is an optional system that can prevent the sideloading of apps and unauthorized access via USB, and scan your phone for malware, a helpful addition for most users, but an easily removable barrier for power users who want the additional freedom to install and use apps from outside of the Galaxy Store or Google Play Store.

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Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.