All the phones you need
9 mins read

All the phones you need

How much do you know In fact Need to spend on a phone? Yes, they are one of the most important devices we have these days, but that doesn't mean we have to pay thousands for a phone that meets our needs. After using the Samsung Galaxy A35, I've definitely adjusted my expectations for a phone under $600.

I paid about $1,600 for my latest phone, the iPhone 15 Pro, which left a significant dent in my bank balance. My rationale was to acquire something for the future that would be useful to me for the next five years. Could I have been happier by spending $1,000 less? If we look at Samsung Galaxy A35, most of my needs will be easily fulfilled.

It's a big and beautiful looking device, with a reasonable level of power to boot. It may not have the same photography features as its premium S24 Ultra cousin, but most people will be much happier with the A35.

Samsung Galaxy A35 5G review

first impressions

I'm generally not a fan of big phones. Trying to fit a bulky handset into a jeans pocket is a frustrating exercise I'd like to avoid. However, the 6.6-inch Samsung Galaxy A35 left me somewhat warmed to by the larger form factor. It's larger, with a similar-sized display, yet the phone sits well in the hand.

Heed my recommendation: get a case for this thing. As good as the A35 looks, it's definitely slippery. Such smooth texture poses a threat to sweaty people like me. Even when I was sitting on the floor it kept slipping out of my pocket and hitting the hard surface below. Unlike the Galaxy A55, the more affordable A35 has a plastic casing, making it more prone to damage for accident-prone users.

Samsung Galaxy A35 Design
Even taking this photo was nerve-wracking due to the slippery nature of this phone. Image: Chris Button.

Those concerns quickly melt away when you look at the A35's gorgeous AMOLED screen. Live and smooth, watching, playing and scrolling all feel great at 120Hz. The screen defaults to “Vivid”, which I quickly changed to “Natural” because I prefer a less saturated image. Despite this, the Vivid setting was nowhere near as saturated as I've seen.

Samsung Galaxy A35 specifications

Display6.6-inch FHD+ 120Hz Super AMOLED
DIMENSIONS161.7 x 78.0 x 8.2 mm 209 g
processorexynos 1380
Memory and Storage6GB + 128GB
camera8MP F2.2 ultra-wide camera
50MP F1.8 main camera (AF, OIS)
5MP F2.4 macro camera
13MP F2.2 front camera
25W wired charging
Wi-Fi 6
bluetooth 5.3
network2G GSM
3g wcdma
5g sub6 fdd
5G TDD Sub6
softwareandroid 14
one ui 6.1
Price (RRP)$549
Guaranteetwo years
official websiteSamsung Australia


Equipped with Samsung's own Exynos 1380 chip, the Galaxy A35 uses the same processor as last year's A54 – for about $150 less, I might add. As a result, the new mid-range phone offers a fairly smooth experience for gaming as well as everyday use.

Samsung Galaxy A35 A55 comparisonSamsung Galaxy A35 A55 comparison
On the surface, the A35 (left) and A55 (right) have a lot in common. Image: Chris Button.

In terms of raw numbers through synthetic benchmark tests, the Samsung Galaxy A35 offers power levels comparable to the Google Pixel 7, a phone that cost $999 in 2022. It sits well in the mid-range category of phones, providing solid performance at its $549 price.

equipmentCPU single-corecpu multi-coreGPU (OpenCL)
Samsung Galaxy A551,1533,4283,086
google pixel 71,0553,276N/A
Samsung Galaxy A351,0112,8973,001
Samsung Galaxy A549912,7973,000
motorola razr 401,0192,808N/A
Nokia G426441,9261,083
geekbench 6 results

On a recent flight, I watched some anime, which looked great on the Galaxy A35. mob psychoThe kaleidoscopic color palette came out beautifully, and the display's excellent contrast levels helped make each frame pop.

After two hours of watching videos on the plane, the phone's charge dropped to only 6%, leaving no doubt about its several-day battery life.


Camera quality is one of the biggest selling points in modern phones. When announcing the Galaxy A35, Samsung pointed to the larger pixels of the camera sensor. In theory, this means capturing more light and detail in a wider range of lighting conditions.

The photos I took with the A35 were largely impressive, capturing a good amount of detail and producing good color levels. Although its low-light photography wasn't on the same level, I've certainly seen worse photos. At this price, you can't expect the absolute best camera quality, but the results outperform many similarly priced phones.

Compared to my iPhone 15 Pro, the Samsung Galaxy A35 took some very nice photos in good lighting. Keep in mind that these images are compressed for online viewing, but they still provide good comparisons. I also disabled Samsung's Scene Optimizer setting that automatically boosts the brightness and vibrancy of photos to get the most natural shots.

Beach photos during cloudy mornings showed minor differences. The A35 favored brighter exposures over automatic settings, while the iPhone 15 Pro took blurry photos despite taking slightly more detailed photos.

At night, the difference between the A35's sensors is more prominently visible. Look at the color variation between the ultrawide sensor vs the main sensor. Meanwhile, the iPhone 15 Pro captures color more consistently between sensors. Here, the colors are more vibrant, and you can see more individual details like patches on the playing surface.

selfies and pets

With good lighting, you can take a good photo using any camera within reach. Do you want to take a good selfie (or at least one with good lighting)? Face it towards the window: Bonus points if there's a sheer curtain softly diffusing the natural light coming in.

Both of these selfies, taken before a work event, are nice and evenly lit photos. The iPhone 15 Pro captured more light, so you could better see the patterns on my jacket and even the hotel room background. Although the A35 fixed some blemishes on my face, I am very happy with the results.

When moving to a dim corner of the room, the Galaxy A35 increased the brightness at the expense of detail, but it still produced perfectly usable photos. Even the iPhone 15 Pro showed some blurriness, which is fair since I don't have the steadiest hands.

Last and arguably most important: pictures of animals. Cats are difficult creatures to photograph, often not sitting still when you want them to. Luckily, my friend's cat, Mojo, posed great for her glamor shots.

Here, the results are a bit skewed due to my shaky hands striking again. Despite low light, both phones took good pictures. While the iPhone 15 Pro results in a bit of blur (user error), the colors are more natural and there's less noise. I'm thrilled with the photos taken by the A35, although visual noise already starts to creep in when you start to zoom in.

Remember, we're comparing phones that are $1,000 apart. With this in mind, the Samsung Galaxy A35 performs well beyond its pay grade. Even the hardcore testers dxomark Its cameras are considered one of the best in its category.

Who is the Samsung Galaxy A35 5G for?

The Samsung Galaxy A35 is an easy phone to recommend for most people. Its display looks great, the battery lasts a long time, and the cameras are firmly in line with more expensive devices. Four years of operating system upgrades and five years of security updates certainly doesn't hurt.

You'll really only need to spend more if you want best-in-class night photography, perhaps a telephoto lens, and enough power to play the most demanding games. Otherwise, the Galaxy A35 is an all-around phone at an even better price.

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One of the best mid-range phones on the market, the Samsung Galaxy A35 has everything you need at a reasonable price.


Amazing AMOLED display

good performance at low price

good cameras


slippery design

Photography is inconsistent in low light

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