April 25, 2024
South Korean electronics giant Samsung recently refreshed its Galaxy A-series smartphone portfolio by launching the Galaxy A55. Priced from Rs 39,999, the smartphone boasts a large 6.6-inch Super AMOLED display of a 120Hz refresh rate, a durable metal frame, a 50-megapixel main camera with optical image stabilisation, and a long-lasting 5000mAh battery. While it offers the essentials, Samsung seems to have put some extra thought into the A55’s design. But is it the standout option in the mid-range segment? Let us find out.


Design


The Galaxy A55 resembles its predecessor, but with a welcome upgrade to a metal frame instead of plastic. However, the frame has a rough texture and sharp edges that may take some getting used to. Additionally, the glossy glass back is a fingerprint magnet and requires frequent cleaning. The bezels around the display are also quite substantial and asymmetrical, detracting from the phone’s visual appeal.


Despite its shortcomings in aesthetics, the Galaxy A55 retains Samsung’s reputation for premium build quality. Both the front and back are protected by Gorilla Glass Victus+, and the metal frame enhances durability. It also boasts an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, exceeding most competitors in this price range.


Display and Audio


The Galaxy A55 features a vibrant 6.6-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED display with a smooth 120Hz refresh rate. The display remains bright and readable even in direct sunlight. By default, it displays punchy colours with high contrast and saturation, which complements the phone’s personality. However, you can adjust the settings for a more natural look if that suits your preference.


The display operates at its peak refresh rate in most scenarios, ensuring a smooth user experience. However, during gameplay, the refresh rate is locked at 60Hz. While this isn’t a dealbreaker, some competitors offer high refresh rate gaming even for titles that don’t natively support it. Similarly, video streaming is a mixed bag. While HDR10+ is supported, Dolby Vision is absent. Additionally, fast-paced content can appear jittery due to the lack of frame interpolation to fully utilise the high refresh rate display.


Complementing the display are loud and clear stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos technology. This delivers a wide soundstage, particularly beneficial when watching compatible multimedia content. There’s also a dedicated option to enable Dolby Atmos for gaming, ensuring a consistently good audio experience.


Camera


The Galaxy A55 carries over the same triple-lens rear camera system from its predecessor: a 50-megapixel main sensor with optical image stabilisation, a 12-megapixel ultrawide sensor, and a 5-megapixel macro sensor. While the hardware may seem familiar, there is a noticeable improvement in image quality. The main sensor performs well under various lighting conditions, holding its own against competitors in its class. Low-light performance, especially in portraits, is a key area where the A55 shows improvement.


However, the ultrawide and macro sensors remain unchanged from the previous model. The ultrawide sensor delivers good results in daylight but struggles in low light. The macro sensor is decent in daylight but not ideal in low-light scenarios. The camera app also includes a “Fun mode” that integrates Snapchat lenses, but requires an internet connection.


The 32-megapixel front camera is adequate in daylight but struggles in low-light situations. Video recording capabilities include 4K resolution capture at 30 frames per second from all sensors except the macro. As expected, the primary sensor delivers the best video results.


Performance


The Galaxy A55 is powered by Samsung’s Exynos 1480 processor, paired with up to 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. While it handles everyday tasks with ease, its performance falls short when dealing with demanding applications. Gaming performance is also mediocre, with high-end titles like Genshin Impact only playable on low graphics settings.


Equally disappointing is the user experience with OneUI 6.1, Samsung’s custom interface built on top of Android 14. Unlike its premium offerings, the A55’s interface is cluttered with pre-loaded bloatware, some of which cannot be uninstalled. Additionally, there are intrusive third-party integrations like the “Glance” screen, “AppCloud” service, and “IronSource” apps that bombard users with users with notifications unless allowed access during setup. The setup process even encourages the installation of “recommended apps.”


In summary, the Samsung Galaxy A55 is a decent but unexciting phone. Here is a breakdown of the key points:


What is good


  • Solid build quality with metal body, IP67 water resistance, and Gorilla Glass Victus+ protection

  • Good display and battery life


What is not so good


  • Average performance

  • Lacks any standout features

  • Relatively expensive

  • Ships without charging adaptor


Overall, it seems like you might be better off looking at other options in this price range or consider a discounted model from the previous generation Samsung Galaxy S series.


 


 


 

First Published: Apr 01 2024 | 11:45 AM IST