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Samsung Galaxy A55 Review – Midrangers Getting Closer to Flagships
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Samsung Galaxy A55 Review – Midrangers Getting Closer to Flagships

by April 5, 2024
Overview
Warranty

1-year

Price

RM1,999

Positives

+ Solid CPU performance with practically no thermal throttling
+ Premium, sturdy build going from plastic to aluminum
+ Great display with Super AMOLED, 120Hz adaptive refresh rate and HDR10+ support
+ Great battery life
+ Reliable camera performance
+ Improved sound balance on stereo speakers
+ MicroSD slot
+ Knox Vault amps up the security
+ One UI 6.1 with 4 major OS upgrades guaranteed
+ Solid value proposition

Negatives

- Charging speed is painfully slow
- Bezels are thick
- Fingerprint scanner is rather finicky
- Virtual proximity sensor
- Macro camera is kind of pointless to use
- Expected a bit more from GPU performance

Pokde Scoreboard
Pokde Rating
Appearance
8.0
Efficiency
8.5
Features
8.0
Materials
8.5
Performance
6.8
Portability
7.5
User Experience
7.0
Value
8.0
Bottom Line

The Samsung Galaxy A55 5G is intended for those who want a premium, flagship-like experience without splurging too much. It looks and feels like one, but the biggest area it would lack compared to a conventional flagship is graphical performance.

7.8
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Samsung Galaxy A55 Unboxing

Samsung Galaxy A55 Unboxing and First Impressions

Samsung Galaxy A55 Review – Box

Kicking off our Samsung Galaxy A55 review with the unboxing, it comes in your standard, minimalist white box that looks pretty much the same as previous Galaxy A devices. Just like last year, the box is thin and at this point, practically everyone knows why. If not, you will find out in just a bit.

Samsung Galaxy A55 Unboxing and First Impressions

Samsung Galaxy A55 Review – Box content

Inside the box, you can find the following items:

  • Documentations
  • USB-C to USB-C cable
  • SIM ejector tool
  • The Samsung Galaxy A55 smartphone itself

Specifications

Processor Exynos 1480
4 x Cortex-A78 @ 2.75GHz + 4 x Cortex-A55 @ 2GHz
4nm
GPU Samsung Xclipse 530
RAM 8GB / 12GB
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax (2.4GHz and 5GHz)
Bluetooth 5.3, A2DP, LE
USB Type-C 2.0, OTG
GPS, Glonass, BDS, Galileo, QZSS
NFC
5G
Virtual Proximity Sensing
Storage 128GB / 256GB
Up to 1TB expandable storage (MicroSD)
Display 6.6″ FHD+ (2340 x 1080) Super AMOLED Infinity-O Display
Up to 120Hz Refresh Rate
1000nits (HBM)
Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+
Rear Camera 50MP f/1.8 wide angle camera, OIS, PDAF
12MP f/2.2 ultrawide camera, 123°
5MP f/2.4 macro, fixed focus
LED flash, panorama, 12-bit HDR, gyro-EIS
AI Image Signal Processing (ISP)
Selfie Camera 32MP f/2.2 wide-angle selfie cam, HDR
Battery 5000mAh
25W Fast Charging
OS One UI 6.1
Android 14
Ingress Protection IP67
Dimensions 161.1 x 77.4 x 8.2 mm, 213g
Colours Awesome IceBlue, Awesome Lilac, Awesome Navy

Performance

Samsung Galaxy A55 Review

Samsung Galaxy A55 Review – Antutu v10

On Antutu v10, the Samsung Galaxy A55 fared well enough with the new Exynos 1480, having a healthy boost in score compared to last year’s Exynos 1380. This is interesting as it uses the same CPU configuration with the exception of 350MHz higher clock speeds for four of its Cortex-A78 cores, and that the chip itself was fabricated through a 4nm process instead of the 1380’s 5nm process, making it more efficient. It’s not a huge difference, but still a notable one nonetheless.

Samsung Galaxy A55 Review

Samsung Galaxy A55 Review – Geekbench 6

A similar pattern can be seen in Geekbench 6, as the Exynos 1480 beat the 1380 in both single and multi core performance. Both are great midrange chips no matter how you spin it, especially since it’s not far off from last year’s flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, but the 1480 is clearly better.

Samsung Galaxy A55 Review

Samsung Galaxy A55 Review – 3DMark

It didn’t do particularly well in 3DMark, both in Wild Life and Wild Life Extreme benchmarks, but this shouldn’t be a surprise given that it’s quite a resource-intensive test for graphics. It can’t run Solar Bay as the chip lacks the ray tracing capabilities for it. What’s interesting here is that the AMD RDNA 2-based Xclipse 530 GPU on the Exynos 1480 shows better performance compared to the Mali-G68 MP5 GPU on the 1380. It’s not a significant difference, but it’s still an improvement nonetheless. There are no signs of thermal throttling as its efficiency rating was listed at 99.7% for the stress test, an excellent score as it indicates consistent performance throughout.

Samsung Galaxy A55 Review

Samsung Galaxy A55 Review – PCMark

Lastly on PCMark’s Work 3.0 benchmark, it’s interesting how the Galaxy A35 scored higher than the A55 despite the latter rocking a newer, slightly more beefed up chip, the difference here is negligible. In simpler terms, the performance of both smartphones as a daily driver should be practically identical, though you would have a better multitasking experience here given the additional 2GB RAM capacity.

Samsung Galaxy A55 Review

Samsung Galaxy A55 Review – Battery endurance test

In case you’re wondering about battery life, the Samsung Galaxy A55 performed admirably here as it lasted 11 hours and 50 minutes (710 minutes) in PCMark’s Work 3.0 endurance test before it died out. From my own usage, I can easily go a full day, even two days if my usage is on the lighter side, and that’s pretty good. What is disappointing however is the charging speed, the results of which I’ve posted right below here using a 100W GaN charger from 2% battery life:

  • 15 minutes = 29% battery life
  • 30 minutes = 55% battery life
  • 45 minutes = 78% battery life
  • 60 minutes = 91% battery life
  • 75 minutes = 97% battery life
  • 81 minutes = 100% battery life

It only supports up to 25W for charging, in case you’re wondering why it’s slow despite having a 100W charger to juice it up.

If you want to compare it to the Galaxy A54, click right here.

Camera

There’s definitely a lot to like with the camera system on the Samsung Galaxy A55 5G. The 50MP main camera gets some surprisingly pleasing results as I was expecting some grainy, bland looking photos at first but I believe the processing has improved over the years, resulting even a midrange device capable of taking excellent shots with a dynamic range that is punching above its price point. Shots with the ultrawide camera look nearly as good with the exception of the slight distortion, details being a little softer, colors being a little less vibrant.

Samsung Galaxy A55 Review -

Samsung Galaxy A55 Review – Triple camera setup

Then comes the macro camera, which I feel is pointless since you can make use of the main camera to take a similar shot with better results. If you stick to it, you tend to get grainier shots or shots that aren’t exposed well and likely not sharply focused since it doesn’t have autofocus. Lastly, the 32MP selfie camera isn’t actually bad but the software optimization isn’t tuned well for it. It always makes my face look a tad bit unnatural with softened and slightly whitened up skin, and I can’t seem to turn it off. Unlike the macro camera however, I would actually still use this.

The Good

Samsung Galaxy A55 Review -

Samsung Galaxy A55 Review – Display

There are a number of good reasons to consider getting the Samsung Galaxy A55 5G. For starters, it has the most premium build in a Galaxy A series thus far. After all, you get an aluminum chassis as opposed to the usual plastics, Gorilla Glass Victus+ on the display as well as the rear, and IP67 dust and water resistance rating. For me personally, the Key Island design adds a touch of class, maybe not to the eyes necessarily but to the touch as you hold it. You’d typically see sturdiness of this level in flagships, and this costs much lesser than one at just RM1,999.

Its display may not be the best since it’s just a Super AMOLED display but it did get bigger, now sitting at 6.6-inches, and comes with adaptive 120Hz refresh rate at Full HD+ resolution. It’s still good but we’ve been spoiled by Samsung’s Dynamic AMOLED 2x. One thing we were surprised is by how good its dual speaker setup performed. It seems that Samsung has improved the audio balance as the bottom-firing speaker, while still louder, isn’t overpowering the front-facing (earpiece) one. The highs do suffer a bit at near-max volumes but the mids are quite clean along with a smidgen of bass. If you want a multimedia powerhouse without excessive splurging, this is an ideal candidate.

Samsung Galaxy A55 Review -

Samsung Galaxy A55 Review – SIM card / microSD card tray

Speaking of multimedia powerhouse, one feature that I’m thrilled to see present here is expandable storage via microSD. 128GB isn’t big in this day and age and 256GB may be enough for a lot of people but for power users or people who like storing a lot of media in their phones or simply capturing a lot of photos / videos, you can add up to 1TB of storage into this. Furthermore, it can be more convenient for certain users to share / transfer data out with a microSD as opposed to direct USB connection, cloud sharing, or other similar methods.

Samsung Galaxy A55 Review -

Samsung Galaxy A55 Review – Knox Vault

One new thing for the Samsung Galaxy A55, along with other A series devices for this year, is Knox Vault. It’s a hardware-based security operating separately from the main system’s processor and memory, which (ideally) reduces the attack surfaces via exploits. To further strengthen the security, the optional Auto Blocker feature can block unknown apps, commands, as well as executions from USB connections. A lot of people won’t necessarily feel it but having such a strong security feature being made available for a wider variety of devices, not just flagships, is always a great move as it benefits even more people.

Lastly, One UI has come a long way and matured into a reliable, smooth Android user interface. Now at One UI 6.1, there are a number of features and ways to go about multitasking that makes the whole experience more efficient, and it’s generally user-friendly as well. Sure, there’s some level of bloatware still but it’s far lesser than before and it’s well worth what you’re getting out of the device. Furthermore, you can enjoy a healthy amount of support for it as it’s guaranteed to come with 4 major Android OS upgrades and 5 years of security updates, so long term use will not be an issue.

The Bad

Samsung Galaxy A55 Review -

Samsung Galaxy A55 Review – A55 and A35 have rather thick bezels for this day and age

As good as the Samsung Galaxy A55 is, it does have its share of drawbacks. For starters, while the display quality is pretty good since its Super AMOLED, I don’t like the thick bezels around it. It’s not entirely hideous but in this day and age, it certainly does look rather unpleasing to the eyes and a bit out of place. It feels like you would see this bezel on a standard flagship from 3, if not 4 years ago, making it look quite a bit outdated but hey, this is a midrange so it’s still forgivable.

Next up, and this is an issue we haven’t experienced in a Samsung device for a good number of years now, is the fingerprint scanner. For whatever reason, it seems that the reading is a bit inconsistent so it has trouble even when I was setting up for it. Just in case, I’ve washed my hands, wait for it to dry, and it’s still the same. Something tells me a software update might help but won’t fix it entirely so my suggestion is to stick to other methods of unlocking your device, either the good ol’ pattern / pin method or face recognition as these work well across all scenarios so far.

Samsung Galaxy A55 Review -

Samsung Galaxy A55 Review – Key Island

Lastly, and this is a minor annoyance in practice, is the lack of a hardware proximity sensor. The Samsung Galaxy A55 uses a virtual one, meaning that it uses its gyroscope and accelerometer to sense when the phone is raised to the ear. This results in an inconsistent experience when it comes to the screen turning on / off during calls, along with the occasional mistouch every now and then. It’s not a dealbreaker, at least for me, but one would think they’d go for a hardware one for this caliber at least. It’s certainly a measure implemented in order to keep costs low.

Samsung Galaxy A55 Verdict

Samsung Galaxy A55 Review -

Samsung Galaxy A55 Review

The Samsung Galaxy A55 5G is intended for those who want a premium, flagship-like experience without splurging too much. It looks and feels like one, but the biggest area it would lack compared to a conventional flagship is graphical performance. I’m still happy to see what the Exynos 1480 brings to the table and at the end of the day, it’s a midrange smartphone with a solid value proposition at RM1,999, even with all its drawbacks considered.

At the end of our Samsung Galaxy A55 review, I award this smartphone with our Silver Pokdeward.

Pokde-Silver

Big thanks to Samsung Malaysia for sending us this smartphone for this review.

About The Author
Aiman Maulana
Jack of all trades, master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one. YouTuber, video editor, tech head, and a wizard of gaming. What's up? :)