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Samsung Galaxy A55 5G review: Harder, better, faster, cheaper

Our Rating :
£439.00 from
Price when reviewed : £439
inc VAT

The design is a little outdated, but strong performance and a keen price make Samsung’s mid-range handset more appealing than ever


  • Powerful performer
  • Minor price drop
  • Solid battery life


  • No camera improvements
  • Relatively chunky and heavy

With the flagship product launches out of the way for the year, Samsung has turned its attention to the mid-range with the Galaxy A55 5G. It replaces the Galaxy A54 5G, which was our favourite sub-£500 Samsung handset last year, and presents a powerful and stylish alternative to those who don’t want to spend S-series prices.

Combining a handful of hardware upgrades with a slightly lower price, the Samsung Galaxy A55 5G ticks all the boxes as a decent follow-up to the A54 5G. As for how it stacks up to the best smartphones in this price range, let’s dig in.

Samsung Galaxy A55 5G review: What you need to know

The hardware changes start with the new Exynos 1480 processor, and this is paired with 8GB of RAM and your choice of 128 or 256GB of onboard storage. The MicroSD card slot remains, too, so you can add up to a further 1TB of storage. Also carrying over from the A54 5G is the 5,000mAh and the 25W charging support – you get a cable in the box, but once again no mains charger.

The AMOLED display has swelled to 6.6in (the previous model made do with 6.4in), but the resolution remains at 2,340 x 1,080 and the refresh rate is again 120Hz.

The cameras are near-enough identical to the A54 5G, too. Beneath the display is a 32MP selfie shooter, while the triple array on the rear comprises a 50MP main lens, 12MP ultrawide sensor and 5MP macro camera.

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Samsung Galaxy A55 5G review: Price and competition

As mentioned, the Galaxy A55 5G is slightly cheaper than the A54 5G was at launch: the 128GB model will cost you £439, or you can double the storage for £489. Both of those are £10 cheaper than their counterparts from last year.

Launching alongside the A55 5G is the Samsung Galaxy A35 5G. This is the cheaper of Samsung’s 2024 mid-range offerings – £339 for the 128GB variant, £389 for the 256GB – and has a slower processor and slightly weaker cameras but otherwise manages to keep up with the A55 5G across display quality and battery life.

Our favourite phone around this price is the Google Pixel 7a, which offers exceptional cameras, solid performance and decent battery life for £399. We also have the Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 Pro Plus 5G (£399) bringing a terrific display and speedy fast charging to the table and the Nothing Phone (2a), which manages better battery life than all of the above, for a lower asking price of £319.

Samsung Galaxy A55 5G review: Design and key features

With so much carrying over from the A54 5G, it will come as little surprise that the design has come along for the ride, too. We’ve got the same flat rear with three floating cameras in the top left, a large screen bordered by relatively chunky bezels and rounded corners on each edge. You can, however, take your pick from a new swatch of colourways, with the A55 5G coming in navy, ice blue, lilac and the lemon model reviewed here.

There are a few tweaks; the flat edges are now aluminium, rather than plastic, and the display has grown to 6.6in. Unsurprisingly, that larger display means that the phone’s dimensions have also increased slightly to 77 x 8.2 x 161 (WDH). The A55 5G is also marginally heavier than its predecessor, weighing 213g, up from 202g.

Between the extra width and the added weight, the Galaxy A55 5G is quite a handful. I won’t go so far as to say that it’s uncomfortable to use, but I’ve tested phones with bigger displays that don’t feel as clunky as this – the Nothing Phone (2a), for instance, has a 6.7in display but manages to be a millimetre thinner and is dramatically lighter, at 190g. It feels like a bag of air after handling the Galaxy A55 5G.

The weatherproofing is once again rated at IP67, but the protective layers of Gorilla Glass on the front and back have been improved to Victus Plus. Around the edges, we’ve got the power and volume buttons on the right, the USB-C port on the bottom and the SIM-tray on the top. The optical fingerprint sensor sits beneath the display and the selfie camera also supports face unlocking.

On the software front, the phone runs Android 14 out of the box, with Samsung’s own One UI 6.1 launcher over the top. Preinstalled apps are mercifully few, but there are still a couple of annoyances to contend with, such as Samsung’s browser being set as the default and the app drawer not being organised alphabetically. These minor inconveniences aside, however, the UI is straightforward enough to use and Samsung has pledged to four years of OS updates and five years of security patches.

Samsung Galaxy A55 5G review: Display

Spreading the same 2,340 x 1,080 resolution over a larger 6.6in display produces a lower pixel density than the A54 5G (390ppi, compared to 403ppi) but that drop isn’t dramatic enough to impact the quality of the screen. The AMOLED display provides essentially perfect black levels and contrast levels, and the 120Hz refresh rate keeps scrolling nice and smooth. Brightness is roughly the same as the A54 5G, topping out at 410cd/m2 on manual mode and pushing to 931cd/m2 on auto brightness with a torch shining on the light sensor.

It’s good to see that colour accuracy has improved. There are two profiles to choose from, with Vivid dialling up the colour saturation and Natural providing a more faithful rendition. With the Natural profile activated, I recorded an sRGB coverage of 97% and a volume of 99.7%. The average Delta E colour variance score of 1.82 is a tad on the high side (closer to 1 is better) but I didn’t notice any colours looking out of place and it’s still an improvement on the A54 5G’s 2.04 result.

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Samsung Galaxy A55 5G review: Performance and battery life

Samsung’s A-series phones tend to be good performers, and the A55 5G is no different. The new 2.75GHz Exynos 1480 chipset not only managed to outpace its predecessor but also the rest of the competition here. The A55 5G is about level with the second-best performer (the Google Pixel 7a) in the single-core benchmarks, but it pulled 17% ahead in the multi-core.

Geekbench 5 chart comparing the CPU performance of the Galaxy A55 5G with similarly priced rivals

Google replied in kind when we got to the GPU tests, however, with the Pixel 7a being the only handset to even come close to 60fps in either the on-screen or off-screen portion. The Galaxy A55 5G still puts in a solid showing, and handled the likes of Candy Crush well enough for me – I even had Genshin Impact running fairly smoothly with the graphics settings dialled right down.

GFXBench chart comparing the GPU performance of the Galaxy A55 5G with similarly priced rivals

The Galaxy A55 5G doesn’t quite match its predecessor for stamina, but this result of 24hrs and 6mins is still decent, putting it roughly in line with the Galaxy A35 5G and Pixel 7a.

Battery life chart comparing the stamina of the Galaxy A55 5G with similarly priced rivals

The 25W charging is a little on the weedy side, taking around 80 minutes to fill the battery from empty. That’s still better than the Pixel 7a’s 18W charging, but the Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 Pro Plus 5G more than makes up for its lacklustre battery life here with a blisteringly fast 120W charger bundled in the box.

Samsung Galaxy A55 5G review: Cameras

The hardware improvements come to an abrupt halt with the cameras, which remain the same as previously. The 50MP (f/1.8) main lens is hard to be disappointed with, though, as it produces bright and beautifully colourful images in decent lighting. The detail is most impressive, especially in the ripples on the water and the left-hand building’s windows.

A fast-running river with ducks grouped in the middle, buildings on either bank

Low-light performance is also reasonably good, with the night mode effectively brightening the scene and maintaining a decent level of detail. The colours are a little too overprocessed for my liking, and there’s quite a bit of visual noise in the sky, but it’s still on the better end of the night photography spectrum.

A marina at night, boats in the distance and the boardwalk reflected in the water

Ultrawide cameras rarely impress me, but I was struck by the retention of colour and contrast in this image. There’s naturally a loss of detail when compared to the main lens, but if you absolutely must have a wider angle, this 12MP (f/2.2) lens does a reasonably good job.

Wide-angle view of a large room covered in projections of butterflies, with many people milling around

The 5MP (f/2.4) macro lens was less impressive, struggling to capture all of the detail in the rock, no matter how close I got. The rest of the composition is solid enough, with strong lines around the subject and a decent background blur, but you’re almost always going to be better off using portrait mode with the main camera, instead.

Close up of a concrete block with another blurred in the background

Video offers the same shooting options as the Galaxy A54 5G, with 4K at 30fps or 1080p up to 60fps. Footage is more susceptible to visual swaying than I’d like but otherwise the recording is decent enough, shifting the exposure relatively smoothly when moving between different lighting while maintaining a reasonable level of detail.

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Samsung Galaxy A55 5G review: Verdict

Set against its most stylish rivals, the A55 5G’s chunky design is hard to get too excited about. Sensibly, though, Samsung has focused on more meaningful improvements: the new processor yields a decent uptick in performance, the display has got bigger and better and the body has been toughened with metal edges and stronger glass. It’s a shame that the cameras were left out of the upgrade party, but they remain perfectly capable shooters.

I still narrowly prefer the Pixel 7a overall, not least for its superior cameras, and I have a soft spot for the longer-lasting Nothing Phone (2a), but neither can match the Galaxy A55 5G for software support – both commit to fewer OS updates – and they lack the Samsung’s microSD slot, too. If expandable storage and software longevity are higher on your priority list, the Galaxy A55 5G will not disappoint; it’s a terrific all-rounder and the best-value Samsung handset you can get right now.

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