Samsung Galaxy A55 review: still on its A game?

The mid-level Galaxy returns with a bigger screen – but greater competition too

Samsung Galaxy A55 review
(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)
T3 Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy A55 is a solid mid-range phone that upsizes the display to 6.6-inches for this series, giving the people what they want, but does come up against stiff competition in the Nothing Phone (2a) and presents some graphical stutters when gaming – which holds it back a mite.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Metal build yet cost-effective

  • +

    Large 6.6-inch OLED display

  • +

    Strong battery life

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Processor sees some performance stutters

  • -

    Cameras not up to usual Galaxy levels

  • -

    Nothing Phone (2a) competition

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The best Android phones landscape is as wide-ranging and competitive as ever in 2024. With Samsung's top-tier Galaxy S24 Ultra being a showcase for all that's possible at the high-end, it's the Galaxy A55 on review here that sits in a far more affordable position of appeal.

That might sound like a shoo-in for the top spot in the best affordable phones already, but the competition is now even more significant. I moved into the Galaxy A55 from the excellent Nothing Phone (2a) – its most obvious competitor – and have been using the Samsung as my own full-time personal device for over a week to see if it can hold its own.

The Galaxy A55 is certainly bigger and bolder than its A54 predecessor, thanks to a 6.6-inch display, but with other similar handsets at close price points, such as the Galaxy S23 FE (the 'Fan Edition' of the flagship), and Nothing successfully squaring up to the Korean giant, is that and its higher-quality metal build enough to make it an out-and-out winner?

Samsung Galaxy A55: Price & Availability

The Galaxy A55 is on sale and priced at £449 for the version with 128GB storage. That increases to £499 if you want double the space to 256GB. 

Interestingly there's no USA availability for the device, but Australian readers can buy the handset from AU$699. You'll find it in other regions, too, from Europe to Singapore.

Samsung Galaxy A55 review: What's New?

Samsung Galaxy A55 review

(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)

At a glance the Galaxy A55 looks like an echo of the wider Galaxy range: visually it's akin to the Galaxy S23 FE, with a trio of exposed cameras on the rear, except this cheaper handset is slightly larger. It has increased the display size from 6.4-inches of the Galaxy A54 to 6.6-inches, meaning a marginally larger frame to accommodate. 

Compared to the outgoing A54, the A55 also ramps up the processor to the latest mid-level Exynos 1480, while 8GB RAM minimum further cements its uprated position. Other small tweaks – Gorilla Glass Victus+ instead of Gorilla Glass 5 – round out a package that's otherwise the same in terms of battery capacity (5000mAh) and camera setup (triple rear: 50-megapixel main, 12MP wide, 5MP macro). 

Perhaps most significant of all, however, is that the build is now metal-framed – which is a big step up. That's married with a new colour palette, which Samsung boldly describes as 'awesome'. Four options are available: Awesome Lemon (as shown in my review pictures), Awesome Iceblue, Awesome Lilac, and Awesome Navy. Whether you think they all look awesome or not is a whole other matter though.

Samsung Galaxy A55 review: Design & Display

Samsung Galaxy A55 review

(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)

When I first pulled the Galaxy A55 from its svelte box – it's small as there's no power charger included (as is typical these days) – and caught a glimpse of that 'Awesome Lemon' rear, I quickly decided it was not awesome at all. There's an off-yellow look about it; a rainbow sheen that's just a bit garish for my personal taste. But each to their own. Opt for one of the other colours and I'd wager it'll match up with the metal frame in a more premium-looking way. 

To hold the Galaxy A55 is a little sharper-edged than some devices given its flat display and metal-edge frame. It's not uncomfortable, just less 'soft' than the rounded, plastic frame of the Nothing Phone (2a). But that's also where Samsung nets an obvious early win: the metal and greater quality of materials used here means its rear doesn't catch fingerprint smears that dominate Nothing's competitor. Visually, ignoring the colourway, I'd say the A55 has nods of flagship build quality.

The A55's display, at 6.6-inches, isn't the largest Samsung utilises in its Galaxy range, but it's a good size. I think this shows the trend towards generally larger screens: this is knocking on the door of the Galaxy S24 Plus's 6.7-inch panel, it's upscale over the Galaxy S23 FE's 6.4-inch panel, and it's larger than the previous Galaxy A54's also 6.4-inch panel. It's really a case of giving the people what they want. 

It's a generally decent display, too, carrying the same high-definition resolution as its predecessor (1080 x 2340 pixels) and a fluid 120Hz refresh rate. I found it sometimes lacked a little brightness when outside in sunlight – unexpected, given the 1000 nits peak brightness quoted – but there is a kind of 'overdrive' mode that kicks in to assist with pumping everything up and visible. 

Samsung Galaxy A55 review: Performance & Battery

Samsung Galaxy A55 review

(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)

As someone whose job it is to review the best phones, week in, week out, it's easy to get a little spoiled in expecting the best of the best at all times. The Galaxy A55 is more about balance than it is about possessing superpowers. That's just to be expected at this level and price point.

How the Galaxy A55 experience will come across in use is largely going to depend on what you're doing with it. If you're mainly into calls, emails and simple apps then the Exynos 1480 on board here will slice through all that with ease. The 8GB RAM also means running multiple apps and multitasking is no stress either, it's just a little slower to jump between them than you'd find from a flagship product. 

Where I've found the A55 to fall down a peg or two, however, is with graphics handling. There are clear stutters in a game I've recently started to dabble in, called Match Factory. It's not game-breaking by any means, but it's handled better by the Nothing Phone (2a) which, on reflection, makes me feel I was a little harsh in addressing that competitor phone's overall power stance.

Samsung Galaxy A55 review

(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)

Samsung using its own chipsets is far more common in its recent releases, and that pairing theoretically means better power management. There are some overzealous app sleep modes and the phone will take a day or two after initial setup to 'settle in', but what's been consistently good here is the longevity per charge. However, I'd like faster-charging than the 25W, and wireless charging wouldn't go amiss either.

With a 5,000mAh battery on board, the Galaxy A55 has plenty of juice to keep it going. And as that processor is mid-level, it can do so for a long time. This is another area where it wins out over the Nothing Phone (2a): despite both having the same battery capacities, I've been getting over 17 hours of use without hitting the red zone. But, as I say, the Nothing handset performs better from a graphics perspective.

Software is another major part of the Samsung puzzle, here in One UI version 6.1 (an update that's also rolled out across the previous Galaxy S23 range, offering consistency). For me, it's the stability that's most welcome here. With, say, a Nothing or Oppo or Honor handset, the additional layers of software can sometimes get in the way. Saying that, however, Samsung does now prompt bloatware installation upon setup, of which I'm no major fan.

Samsung Galaxy A55 review: Cameras

Samsung Galaxy A55 review

(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)

On the cameras front (or, rather, rear) the triple lens setup is the same in the A55 as it was in the A54. That means a 50-megapixel main, a 12-megapixel wide-angle, and a 5-megapixel macro camera – the last of which is entirely unnecessary in my opinion. I'd much rather have a zoom lens, but at this price that's just no expectation – a 2x digital zoom is easy to use within the Camera app though. 

In terms of operation the Samsung Camera app opens much quicker than the Nothing Camera app on Phone (2a), which also puts it a step ahead there. But I've not found this Samsung triple lens arrangement to be the very best – oddly enough, I don't see the results as being typical of 'Galaxy' due to ultra-high contrast, some peculiar colour balancing, and a lean towards overexposure more than expected. 

If you look at my gallery of images on this page – shot during an American road trip from Portland, Oregon, to San Francisco, California – some of the contrast in shadow areas is to excess. I also found on-phone that colours during shooting looked off-key, but better once viewed on a different screen. There's not the same artificial intelligence management going on here as you'll get from the Galaxy S24 Ultra, for example, and I feel that shows in the results and sometimes the capture.

But that's not to say it's bad. It's just not to flagship levels. Which, really, is precisely the point of the Galaxy A55. It'll deliver ample resolution and detail, that's for sure, while modes for nighttime shooting (Night) and background blur (Portrait) are very enabling in your capturing of shots in all manner of conditions. Like with the overall software, the Camera app feels very at home and easy to use – and that ease is a further part of the appeal. 

Samsung Galaxy A55 review: Verdict

Samsung Galaxy A55 review

(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)

The Samsung Galaxy A55 is a solid mid-range phone that upsizes the display to 6.6-inches for this series, giving the people what they want, but does come up against stiff competition in the Nothing Phone (2a) – a cheaper device that offers a better gaming performance overall.

On balance, I've found the use of materials and the battery longevity in the Samsung to outpace its rival, though, so if you want a faster-loading Camera app and fewer fingerprint smears on the design then the Galaxy A55 hits its stride in multiple areas. 

However, the Galaxy is no longer the de-facto mid-range purchase, especially as the Galaxy S23 FE is a viable alternative. But as a cost-effective Android option the Samsung Galaxy A55 is well worth considering if core build quality is a must, but flagship pricing is a must-not. 

Also consider

As mentioned throughout this review, the most obvious competitor that one-ups the Samsung from a performance perspective is the Nothing Phone (2a). It's more eagerly priced, adds the quirk of Glyph lighting, but isn't as nicely built. 

If you're fixed on Samsung being your go-to brand option, however, then the Galaxy S23 FE is also worth considering for its extra power. It's pricier still, but when you take into consideration discounts you may find it's not by too much. 

Mike Lowe
Tech Editor

Mike is the Tech Editor and AV Editor at He's been writing about consumer technology for 15 and, as a phones expert, has seen hundreds of handsets over the years – swathes of Android devices, a smattering of iPhones, and a batch of Windows Phone products (remember those?). But that's not all, as a tech aficionado his beat for T3 also covers tablets, laptops, gaming, home cinema, TVs, speakers and more – there's barely a stone unturned that he's not had a hand on. Previously the Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint for a 10 years, he's also provided work for publications such as Wired, The Guardian, Metro, and more. In addition to his tech knowledge, Mike is also a flights and travel expert, having travelled the globe extensively. You'll likely find him setting up a new mobile phone, critiquing the next MacBook, all while planning his next getaway... or cycling somewhere.