Samsung Galaxy A55 Hands-on: The Mid-Range Benchmark, Upsized
March 22, 2024 Andrew Cheng

The Samsung Galaxy A55, compared to its predecessor, brings quite a number of differences. Not only is it quite a bit bigger now with a 6.6-inch display – upsized from 6.4-inch – it also has a more powerful Samsung Exynos 1480 chipset along with support for Knox Vault.

For the most part, the Galaxy A55 shows a lot of promises, even though there are some issues with the phone that concern me quite a bit. Nonetheless, let’s get to the hands-on of this mid-range benchmark, which is now – for the most part – bigger and better.

First, specifications. While the Galaxy A55 looks to retain the Galaxy A’s design language, the phone now has a metal frame instead of plastic that lends to more solid build quality. It also has a 6.6-inch 2340 x 1080 FHD+ Super AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, the aforementioned Samsung Exynos 1480 chipset, a triple camera system (50MP main + 12MP ultra-wide + 5MP macro), a 32MP selfie camera, a 5,000mAh battery, and an IP67 rating.

Aside from that, the Galaxy A55 also supports Samsung Knox Vault now; the Korean company says this is the first time the security feature is offered on the Galaxy A series. Basically, Knox Vault protects the phone against software and hardware attacks, and this is accomplished by “constructing a secure execution environment that is physically isolated from the system’s main processor and memory,” as Samsung puts it.

While some users may not pay much attention to Samsung Knox, keeping user data safe and secure is always a good thing in my book. So yes, I’d say this is a good feature to have on the Galaxy A55.

Pricing wise, the Galaxy A55 is priced at RM1,999 in Malaysia, which is a RM100 price increase compared to its predecessor. But for that kind of money, you do get a larger, faster device with more RAM at 12GB, though the internal storage is maintained at 256GB.

So how is it like using the Galaxy A55? Well, pretty darn good. Though Samsung’s own chips are not particularly popular compared to Qualcomm’s offerings, the Exynos 1480 is really quite a good mid-range chip. Not only does it feel reasonably fast in day-to-day use, it can run games quite well too.

However, therein lies my first concern with the Galaxy A55: it can’t seem to run Honkai: Star Rail. Not because the game is too demanding for the chip, but rather…the game simply wouldn’t run without crashing in the first 10 seconds of gameplay.

Now, I suspect this is merely a software issue with the Exynos 1480 chip, as I have absolutely no issue running the game on previous Samsung phones powered by Qualcomm chipsets. Rest assured, I will pay close attention to this issue for the full review of the Galaxy A55, and it’ll be interesting to see if there are any other games that suffer from the same issue.

Chipset aside, the Galaxy A55 has a fairly good display. The 6.6-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED display offers vibrant colours, deep blacks, and wide viewing angles. That being said, this is mostly the case indoors. Under bright outdoor lighting, the screen looks to struggle a bit to deliver an adequate brightness level.

Again, much like the issue I faced with Star Rail, I’ll see if this particular oddity is consistent with the overall user experience of the Galaxy A55, given that I’ve only used the phone for a few days now.

Last but not least is the camera performance of the Galaxy A55. Its triple camera system is made up of a 50MP main shooter, a 12MP ultra-wide lens, and a 5MP macro lens. Collectively, the camera can take some decent-looking shots, especially under good lighting.

That being said, much like how it was with last year’s Galaxy A54, the cameras of the Galaxy A55 seem to struggle in low light conditions. Detail preservation doesn’t seem particularly great, and the overall focus of the image appears quite soft too. Anyway, I’ll be sure to put the camera through its paces to see just how it would really perform in various lighting conditions.

Overall, the Samsung Galaxy A55 still appears to be a promising mid-range smartphone. Even though it is RM100 more expensive than last year’s model with a RM1,999 price tag, it also offers more phone for the money now. It has a larger screen, faster performance, and even support for Samsung Knox Vault to keep user data safe and secure.

If you’re keen to pick up the Galaxy A55, it is now available for purchase in Malaysia. Those who buy the phone by 30 April can also enjoy up to RM828 worth of freebies, which include the Galaxy Buds FE wireless earbuds and one year of extended warranty.