Article updated on June 14, 2024 at 5:00 AM PDT

Samsung Galaxy A55 Review: This Cheap Phone Has Some Key Misses

Samsung's affordable phone has decent specs, but you won't find it for sale in the US.

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Andrew Lanxon
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Andrew Lanxon Editor At Large, Lead Photographer, Europe
Andrew is CNET's go-to guy for product coverage and lead photographer for Europe. When not testing the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.
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7.0/ 10

Samsung Galaxy A55 5G


  • Affordable price
  • Decent performance
  • Large, vibrant display
  • Expandable storage


  • Disappointing battery life
  • Shorter software support period than Pixel 8A

Samsung's Galaxy A55 5G is the newest phone in the company's A-series range. Like last year's Galaxy A54 5G, A series phones have always stood out for their value. And the new Galaxy A55 is no different, offering solid all-round specs at prices much lower than the top-end Galaxy S24 line. The A55 packs a large, 6.6-inch display, a capable octa-core processor and a triple rear-camera setup into a colorful glass and metal body.

I've been testing the phone for the past week. While it hasn't blown me away with its performance in any respect, it feels like a decent phone that's equipped to handle your daily essentials, with enough power under the hood for some casual gaming on your bus ride home from work.

The A55 5G went on sale in the UK at £439, and while that price dropped significantly to £364 on Samsung's store it's now back at full price there. However, it appears to be even cheaper right now at only £254 on Amazon in the UK. Prices of phones like these fluctuate often, so you may need to shop around a little to find the best price. 

Here are six main things you should know about this phone.

It's not available in the US

While Samsung does offer the A15, A25 and A35 5G in the US, the company opted not to bring the pricier A55 stateside as it would compete too closely with the older S23 line and the S23 FE. 

It still seems odd that the A55 won't be offered in the US as last year's Galaxy A54 was a big hit with US audiences. I'd expect the company to want to continue that success with the refreshed model. 


The screen has a maximum 120Hz refresh rate but you can lower it to 60Hz which should help give slightly better battery life.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

The display is big enough for video on the go

At 6.6 inches, the A55's display provides plenty of room for gaming or watching YouTube videos on the move. It's vibrant, too, with punchy colors that do justice to colorful games like Asphalt 9: Legends. The maximum 120Hz refresh rate makes fast motion look nice and smooth. 

The screen is bright and avoids distracting reflections from overhead indoor lights. It's comfortable to use outdoors under the mostly gray clouds I've experienced in Scotland during testing. I suspect it won't fare quite as well under bright, midday summer sun. 

It's powerful enough for gaming

It's powered by an octa-core Exynos 1480 chip, which offers more than enough power for your everyday Instagramming and web browsing. But I also found it powerful enough to play games like Genshin Impact and PUBG at decent frame rates. 


Genshin Impact played perfectly well on the phone.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

Its cameras are decent for the price

The triple rear camera setup includes a 50-megapixel main camera, 12-megapixel ultrawide and an additional 5-megapixel macro camera. Shots from both the wide and ultrawide cameras are decent for the price, offering solid exposures and enough detail for sharing to Instagram. 

Some shots do suffer from heavy-handed software "optimizing," with shadows looking washed out and colors looking oversaturated (especially blue skies). This is fairly common on Samsung phones, and while it might put serious photographers off, those just wanting casual snaps of family and friends will be satisfied.

The macro camera is essentially redundant, and feels shoehorned in as a way of bragging that the phone has three rear cameras instead of two. 


There are three rear cameras, although the macro lens is a bit pointless.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

Battery life is disappointing

While the A55 packs in a sizable 5,000-mAh battery, it didn't last long on our drain tests, with results putting it below any of the Galaxy S24 range and below Google's Pixel 8A. The display is likely the biggest drain on battery, so turning the refresh rate down to 60Hz may help eke out some extra minutes. 

With reasonably careful use, I've been able to get through most of a day on a single charge. But as with almost all phones, you should expect to give it a full top up each night. 

You can expand the storage 

While you can pay more upfront to buy the A55 with 256GB of storage rather than the base 128GB, it's not necessary as you can expand the storage with microSD cards. A microSD slot is an extremely rare feature these days, with none of the top phones of the past few years offering one. 

With 128GB microSD cards costing as little as £10, or $10, I'd opt for the base model and double the storage with a card as it's the more cost-effective option. 


There's a USB C port on the bottom and a microSD card slot on the top edge. 

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

You get five years of software support

Samsung said that the A55 5G will receive four years of Android software support and an additional fifth year of security support, meaning this phone will still be safe to use in 2029. That's not a bad support period, but Google committed to supporting its most affordable Pixel 8A for the same period as its flagship 8 Pro. That means the Pixel 8A gets seven years of OS and security updates. 

Should you buy it? 

The Galaxy A55 is a tricky sell at its original price of £439 considering its battery life, camera performance and software support period are a step behind the £499 Pixel 8A.

But its reduced price makes it a different value proposition. It's not a phone that will wow you with pro-level camera skills or amazing new AI features, but it's a solid option for those in search of a basic phone that can handle everyday tasks, with a bit of casual gaming and video streaming thrown in. 

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