I reviewed Samsung’s $400 price range cellphone, and I’m impressed

A person holding the Samsung Galaxy A35, showing the back of the phone.
Samsung Galaxy A35
MSRP $400.00

“The Samsung Galaxy A35 delivers great value with its decent performance, up-to-date software, fun main camera, and chunky modern look.”

  • Light and cozy to carry
  • IP67 ranking makes it sturdy
  • Main digital camera takes enjoyable pictures
  • Long software program replace dedication
  • Battery would not final two days
  • No wi-fi or quick charging

Is the Galaxy A35 the Samsung cellphone for you in the event you don’t need to pay the excessive worth for a dearer S-series cellphone? Samsung isn’t supplying you with a lot of a alternative, because the Galaxy A55 — the subsequent step up on the A-series ladder — isn’t being launched within the U.S. So, it’s both this Galaxy A35 or the ready arms of the competitors.

I’ve been utilizing the Galaxy A35 as my principal cellphone to seek out out if the newest low cost Samsung is the only option. Here’s what I’ve discovered.

Samsung Galaxy A35: design

A person holding the Samsung Galaxy A35, showing the screen.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

If you’re frightened the Galaxy A35 will really feel low cost compared to the dearer Galaxy A55 with its steel chassis, don’t be. It’s really not all that different. What’s extra is that the plastic chassis is definitely an enchancment over the Galaxy A55 in a very powerful space: in-hand really feel. The approach the plastic chassis meets the glass is much less sharp, and there’s no discomfort in any respect when holding it for lengthy intervals, which isn’t the case with the Galaxy A55. I’ll take a extra snug cellphone over the negligible attraction (at this worth) of a steel chassis each time.

There’s little to decide on between them stylistically, both. The Galaxy A35’s matte chassis appears to be like a bit like steel from a distance. The quantity and energy key are set in a raised part on the facet of the cellphone, giving it some character, and it is available in numerous colours, too. The one in our pictures is probably the most muted tone, known as Awesome Navy, however brighter colours can be found if you wish to have some enjoyable. It’s a flat-sided cellphone with a chunky look, making it fashionable and fascinating.

The side of the Samsung Galaxy A35.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

It’s not all that heavy at 209 grams and skinny sufficient at 8.2mm to be slipped into your pocket. And whereas the display is greater than that of the Galaxy A34, it’s much less noticeable to hold round than you’d count on a 6.6-inch cellphone to be.

It has Gorilla Glass Victus+ over the display and an IP67 water and mud resistance ranking, so it ought to show sturdy, nevertheless it has common glass on the rear in comparison with the Gorilla Glass on the Galaxy A55. You gained’t discover simply by holding them, and neither will get extra smudgy than the opposite, however the A55 could have barely extra drop safety. This could also be a very good factor, because the Galaxy A35 slips round on many surfaces.

For as soon as, extra luxurious supplies aren’t a promoting level. Having used the A35 and A55 back-to-back, I’ve most popular holding the Galaxy A35 and haven’t missed the cooler steel of the A55’s chassis towards my palm as soon as. Seeing because the design is in any other case the identical, I’d select the Galaxy A35 to make use of on a regular basis and simply watch out to not check the power of its rear glass.

Samsung Galaxy A35: digital camera

The Samsung Galaxy A35's camera module.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

There are three cameras on the again of the Galaxy A35, however you’ll actually solely be curious about one among them. The principal 50-megapixel digital camera with optical picture stabilization (OIS) is identical one you get with the Galaxy A55, however right here it’s joined by an 8MP wide-angle digital camera and a set focus 5MP macro digital camera. On the entrance is a 13MP selfie digital camera.

Photos taken with the principle digital camera are vibrant, colourful, and vibrant. Although the digital camera typically amplifies the first colours just a little an excessive amount of, it’s higher than the boring, washed-out look from the wide-angle digital camera. If you need to share pictures on-line and with buddies, the Galaxy A35’s principal digital camera will probably be very best. Plus, the enhancing suite within the Gallery app offers loads of easy-to-use instruments so you possibly can rapidly change the look.

The 8MP wide-angle digital camera doesn’t take detail-filled pictures and is ineffective in lowlight, so mixed with the lackluster colours, it’s not price greater than occasional use. The Galaxy A55’s 12MP wide-angle digital camera didn’t take inspiring pictures both, so it’s hardly a step up in the event you’re caught on whether or not to purchase one or the opposite. I just like the tone and colours from the selfie digital camera, and there’s an honest degree of element, however not sufficient to crop the photographs down.

Provided you don’t count on something a lot past the principle and selfie cameras, the Galaxy A35 is greater than satisfactory for informal, enjoyable use. I got here to the identical conclusion with the Galaxy A55, so it actually shouldn’t be thought-about a step down regardless of being a less expensive cellphone.

Samsung Galaxy A35: display, media, and efficiency

A person playing a game on the Samsung Galaxy A35.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Inside the Galaxy A35 is identical processor Samsung used within the Galaxy A54, its personal Exynos 1380 chip, and it comes with 6GB of RAM at least. The 6.6-inch Super AMOLED display has a 120Hz refresh fee, a most brightness of 1,000 nits, and a 2340 x 1080 pixel decision. The solely spec I can see that separates the Galaxy A55 from the cheaper A35 is HDR10+ certification, which can be a consideration in the event you stream loads of appropriate movies.

How is the cellphone’s efficiency with the “old” processor? It has an honest tempo, however is just not a record-breaking sprinter, and it’s positively not as snappy and immediate because the Galaxy A55 with the brand new Exynos 1480 chip. However, it has all the ability you want for regular, on a regular basis use — it simply can’t match any high-performance cellphone for instantaneous reactions. It performs Asphalt 9: Legends on its High Quality visible setting with none pauses or stutters and minimal warmth buildup, so supplied you’re real looking in expectations, it’ll be superb.

The Samsung Galaxy A35's screen.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The display is equally acceptable, however requires the brightness to be maxed out if you wish to actually take pleasure in a video. There are noticeable bezels across the 6.6-inch display, however they’re not intrusive when you’re used to seeing them. Sound is delivered by means of stereo audio system, and so they’re harsh and unsightly at something close to most quantity. Keep it beneath about 60%, and also you gained’t discover, plus you’ll keep away from making your ears bleed.

Samsung Galaxy A35: connectivity and software program

It’s uncommon when we have to broaden the connectivity part past a sentence or two, as most telephones are extraordinarily dependable on this space, however the Galaxy A35 did trigger a difficulty over the primary few days. After I set the cellphone up for the primary time, it will randomly change the Wi-Fi connection off, leaving the cellphone to make use of a cell connection. It would occur whereas the cellphone was on standby, on cost, and even when it was getting used, however not each time.

It was very irritating, so I reset the cellphone and set it up once more, then reset the Wi-Fi connection by itself, and turned off the Intelligent Wi-Fi – however the issue endured. I alerted Samsung of the issue in case it was a difficulty with the {hardware}. However, a couple of days afterward, the Wi-Fi downside disappeared by itself. I haven’t seen a software program replace, and I haven’t modified anything on the cellphone. It appears to have cured itself, however I’m cautious that it might return sooner or later. Otherwise, the Galaxy A35 has pulled in a 4G and a 5G cell sign and not using a downside, and calls sound nice.

The Galaxy A35 is a fairly priced cellphone that may keep present for years, and that’s an excellent factor.

The cellphone has Android 14 with Samsung’s One UI 6.1 put in, and out of doors of the numerous preinstalled apps (starting from LinkedIn and Netflix to a number of Samsung apps) and a have to do some in depth personalization after organising the cellphone, it runs easily sufficient on final yr’s processor. Just don’t count on it to be a high-performance cellphone. It’s satisfactory for regular use, nevertheless it doesn’t encourage you to push the software program onerous with multitasking and swift app and display adjustments. It’s just a little too ponderous for that sort of therapy, which is right down to the Exynos 1380 reasonably than One UI.

The excellent news is that Samsung guarantees to offer 4 main Android working system updates and 5 years of safety updates for the Galaxy A35. The cheaper telephones get, the shorter the replace help typically turns into. Although the A35 will most likely really feel each little bit of its 5 years previous when the replace coverage involves an finish, you’ll have gotten loads of use out of it resulting from this dedication. The Galaxy A35 is a fairly priced cellphone that may keep present for years, and that’s an excellent factor. Seeing because the Wi-Fi bug has stopped being an issue, I’m not going to carry it towards the A35 because it’s the primary time I’ve ever skilled one thing like this with a Samsung cellphone.

Samsung Galaxy A35: battery and charging

The Samsung Galaxy A35's charging port.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Samsung has at all times pushed two-day battery life as a advantage of the A-series telephones, and the 5,000mAh battery contained in the Galaxy A35 does ship this — however solely simply, and solely supplied you don’t use it too onerous. It carefully mimics the efficiency of the Galaxy A54, which shares the identical processor and battery capability, and I’ve anticipated a day-and-a-half from the Galaxy A35 with mixed-use. The cellphone isn’t as environment friendly because the Galaxy A55 with the newest processor, although, and half-hour of Asphalt 9: Legends takes the cost down by 9%, whereas a 30-minute YouTube video eats 6% of the battery.

When it’s time to recharge, Samsung doesn’t offer you a charger within the field, so that you’ll have to produce your personal. The cellphone helps the USB Power Delivery 3.0 customary at a most of 25 watts, however any charger will work in the event you don’t care about reaching the quickest doable charging pace. I used the Anker 313 GaN charger with a appropriate USB-C cable, and the battery went from virtually flat to full in an hour and 25 minutes after reaching 50% in about half-hour, matching the Galaxy A55’s charging pace.

Putting the Samsung Galaxy A35 on charge.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The sluggish charging pace and lack of wi-fi charging are larger issues for the Galaxy A55 than they’re with the cheaper Galaxy A35. The cause is value, because the Galaxy A35 is loads much less cash than the faster-charging OnePlus 12R, for instance, whereas the Galaxy A55 edges a lot nearer. Samsung lags behind the competitors relating to quick charging throughout its complete vary, however in the event you solely cost your cellphone in a single day, it might not be a giant concern.

Samsung Galaxy A35: worth and availability

The back of the Samsung Galaxy A35.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The Samsung Galaxy A35 prices $400 by means of Samsung’s on-line retailer, however can be accessible by means of T-Mobile and AT&T. This worth provides you the 6GB/128GB mannequin. The similar mannequin within the U.Ok. prices 340 British kilos. While we’re upset the Galaxy A55 isn’t being launched within the U.S. for the time being, it might turn into a masterstroke by Samsung, because the A35’s $400 worth level is much less hotly contested.

Most of the Galaxy A35’s principal competitors is sort of much more costly, with the OnePlus 12R, the Google Pixel 7a (and certain Google Pixel 8a), and the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE costing $500 or extra. What’s fascinating is that they’re additionally the telephones you’d think about in the event you have been shopping for the Samsung Galaxy A55 (which prices round $540 whenever you convert its U.Ok. worth to USD).

A video playing on the Samsung Galaxy A35.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

At $400 or much less, the growing old OnePlus Nord N30 is an possibility. Otherwise, you’re disappointing telephones just like the Motorola Moto G Power (2024). The Nothing Phone 2a is a real various to the Galaxy A35, as is the Redmi Note 13 Pro+, however neither are available within the U.S.

It means the Galaxy A35 fills a niche within the U.S. market much more ably than the Galaxy A55 does, and is extra prone to turn into a straightforward suggestion, given Samsung’s high quality and popularity. Not releasing the Galaxy A55 seemed like an annoyance, however the extra carefully you take a look at the Galaxy A35, the extra it seems to be a very good determination for all concerned.

Samsung Galaxy A35: verdict

A person holding the Samsung Galaxy A35.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The Galaxy A35’s stable efficiency in our evaluation has stopped us grumbling in regards to the Galaxy A55’s no-show within the U.S. because it’s a very good, moderately priced cellphone. In the areas the place you should buy one or the opposite, which do you have to get? The Galaxy A35 is the higher cellphone to carry resulting from its design, and it’ll return greater than sufficient efficiency for common use until you play loads of video games. If you don’t care about video games or reaching the top of day two with some battery life remaining, you should buy the Galaxy A35 as a substitute of the Galaxy A55 with confidence.

While the Galaxy A35 isn’t a standout smartphone you’ll lust after, it is rather near the Galaxy A54 in its efficiency and talent. However, it doesn’t fairly have the fascinating snappy response we would like from a contemporary cellphone, which the Galaxy A55 is healthier at delivering. While the A35 has carried out all I’ve requested (together with being paired with a smartwatch for the final week), you need to take your time with issues just like the fingerprint sensor (it gained’t be rushed) and count on a beat longer than you’d hope for some animations and app responses.

The Samsung Galaxy A35's bezels around the screen.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Finally, we get to the fee and the competitors across the A35. You must pay $500 or extra for a cellphone that’s a real step above the Galaxy A35, which illustrates each the extent of worth right here and the shortage of different nice telephones for $400 or much less. I’d select the Galaxy A35 over the Galaxy A55 for the design alone and would then decide the OnePlus 12R over the A55, which, by means of elimination, means the Galaxy A35 is a budget Samsung cellphone to purchase for the time being.

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