Samsung Galaxy A35: Budget Smartphone Review

The Samsung Galaxy A35 outshines its price with a stunning display, stellar gaming performance, and highly adaptable software. While it maintains its mid-range identity in most aspects, it proves to be a worthy and affordable substitute for the Galaxy S24.

Pros:

Cons:

Samsung Galaxy A35 Review: Quick Overview

The Samsung Galaxy A35 offers top-notch tech from South Korea’s beloved phone maker without the steep price tag of its flagship counterparts, like the Samsung Galaxy S24 series.

New to the Galaxy A range? It’s a step below the flagship Galaxy S series, offering premium features at a more affordable price point.

The ‘3’ in the title indicates its mid-range status, while the ‘5’ denotes its place in the fifth generation of Galaxy A phones.

Despite being budget-friendly, the Galaxy A35 doesn’t skimp on Samsung’s impressive display technology, perfect for streaming your favorite content.

With Samsung’s OneUI software, enjoy customizable features and a vibrant user interface, alongside some pre-installed apps.

Surprisingly, the chipset delivers smooth gaming performance and handles intensive tasks well, despite being a lower-end Samsung chip.

However, the camera quality falls short compared to other models, particularly in low-light conditions and ultra-wide shots.

The phone’s drawbacks include slow charging, a utilitarian design, and a subpar fingerprint sensor. Stick to facial recognition or a PIN/password for security.

Overall, the Galaxy A35 offers good value for its price, with several features exceeding expectations. You won’t be disappointed with this purchase.

Samsung Galaxy A35 Review: Value For Money

  • Released: March 2024
  • Available in: US, UK, Australia, and other regions
  • Price: $399.99 / £339.99 / AU$549.99 (one variant only)

The Samsung Galaxy A35 debuted in March 2024 and swiftly hit the shelves, joining the 2024 lineup of affordable smartphones.

Priced at $399.99 / £339.99 / AU$549.99 for its 128GB model, it offers limited color choices for some customization.

Compared to the $799 / £799 / AU$1,399 Samsung Galaxy S24, the A35 presents a compelling budget option, featuring specs and features borrowed from pricier models but at a fraction of the cost.

Although not Samsung’s cheapest offering, it stands above the Galaxy A0X, A1X, and A2X lines in terms of specs, making it a more worthwhile consideration, unlike the Samsung Galaxy A25.

Samsung Galaxy A35 Review: Specifications

Here’s a breakdown of the Samsung Galaxy A35’s specifications:

SpecDetails
Dimensions161.7 x 78 x 8.2mm
Weight209g
Screen6.6-inch 19.5:9 FHD (1080×2340) 120Hz Super AMOLED
ChipsetExynos 1380
RAM6GB
Storage128GB
OSAndroid 14, OneUI 6.1
Primary camera50MP, f/1.8
Ultra-wide camera8MP f/2.2
Macro camera5MP, f/2.4
Front camera16MP, f/2.4
AudioStereo speakers
Battery5,000mAh
Charging25W wired
ColorsAwesome Lemon, Awesome Iceblue, Awesome Lilac, Awesome Navy

The Samsung Galaxy A35 offers a range of specs, from low-end to top-end, catering to various user preferences.

Samsung Galaxy A35 Review: Design

  • Standard chocolate bar design
  • Color options vary by region
  • Unreliable fingerprint scanner
  • Glass front and back for a premium feel
  • No 3.5mm headphone jack
  • USB-C port at the bottom
  • Volume rocker and power button on the right edge
  • Under-display fingerprint sensor
  • IP67 rating for dust and water resistance

The Samsung Galaxy A35 sticks to the familiar chocolate bar design seen in previous A-series phones, with a large body and flat edges.

Weighing 209g and measuring 161.7 x 78 x 8.2mm, it’s relatively average in size, though bigger than the S24.

The glass construction adds a touch of elegance, with color options varying by region.

Unlike cheaper A-series models, it lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack, featuring only a USB-C port.

Button placement on the right edge may be a stretch for smaller hands.

The under-display fingerprint sensor is often unreliable, requiring frequent password inputs.

With an IP67 rating, it’s resistant to dust and water, making it durable for everyday use.

Samsung Galaxy A35 Review: Display

  • 6.6-inch screen with 1080 x 2340 resolution
  • Super AMOLED technology for vibrant visuals
  • 120Hz refresh rate for fluid scrolling

The standout feature of the Samsung Galaxy A35 is its display.

With a spacious 6.6-inch screen, it surpasses most Galaxy A-series and even the Galaxy S24. The 1080 x 2340 resolution and 19.5:9 aspect ratio offer crisp visuals.

Utilizing Super AMOLED technology, the display delivers vivid colors and impressive brightness, perfect for streaming or gaming.

Enhanced by a 120Hz refresh rate, the Galaxy A35 ensures smooth scrolling, a rare find in this price range.

Samsung Galaxy A35 Review: Software

  • Android 14 with One UI 6.1
  • Customization options are good, but bloatware is a downside
  • Four years of OS updates, five years of security

One of the key similarities between the Samsung Galaxy A35 and its Galaxy S24 counterpart is the software: both run on Android 14 with Samsung’s One UI 6.1 layered on top.

Samsung pledges four years of software updates, extending to Android 18, along with an extra year of security updates.

One UI offers a visually distinctive experience with pebble-shaped icons and colorful menus, though the abundance of bloatware is disappointing.

Despite this, One UI provides ample customization with widgets, wallpapers, and system-wide color options, albeit not as extensive as some other Android variants.

Similar to iPhones, Samsung includes convenient ‘Modes and Routines’ for quick settings adjustments, requiring initial setup but offering flexibility in usage.

Samsung Galaxy A35 Review: Cameras

  • Rear cameras: 50MP main, 8MP ultra-wide, 5MP macro
  • Front camera: 13MP selfie
  • Various photography and video modes

The Samsung Galaxy A35 features three rear cameras, standard for its price range but not on par with higher-end models.

Leading the pack is a 50MP main camera, producing vibrant pictures in well-lit conditions, thanks to Samsung’s scene optimization AI.

However, wider shots suffer from pixel binning, resulting in lower quality.

In low-light conditions, details are lost, and colors can appear unnatural.

The ultra-wide camera disappoints, producing dull images lacking vibrancy.

The macro camera is useful for close-up shots but may not see frequent use.

On the front, the 13MP selfie camera captures bright and balanced shots, especially in Portrait mode.

Video recording options include 4K at 30fps or FHD at 60fps, with additional slow-motion modes.

Overall, the camera array offers standard features, including night mode, time-lapse, and Portrait mode, with additional modes like Food and Fun for added creativity.

Samsung Galaxy A35 Review: Performance

  • Snapdragon 695 chipset ensures smooth operation
  • 128GB storage, expandable up to 1TB, with 4GB RAM
  • Includes a 3.5mm headphone jack for wired audio

Powering the Samsung Galaxy A35 is Samsung’s Exynos 1380 chipset, previously seen in the Galaxy A54.

In Geekbench 5 tests, the Exynos 1380 achieved an average multi-core score of 2,868, performing consistently across different temperature conditions.

While not groundbreaking, the performance is sufficient for everyday tasks and gaming, with no significant lag or crashing.

The device offers 6GB RAM and 128GB storage, with no option for expandable memory.

For audio, the absence of a 3.5mm headphone jack is notable, though the stereo speakers provide satisfactory sound quality for gaming.

Bluetooth 5.3 ensures reliable wireless connectivity, while a USB-C to 3.5mm adapter can be used for wired audio if needed.

Samsung Galaxy A35 Review: Battery

  • 5,000mAh battery capacity
  • Lasts a full day, sometimes more
  • 25W wired charging is slow

The Samsung Galaxy A35 is equipped with a 5,000mAh battery, typical for budget and mid-range phones.

During testing, the phone easily lasted a full day, even with its large screen and 5G connectivity, occasionally lasting into the second day before needing a recharge.

Charging via the USB-C port is at 25W, but it’s not particularly fast, taking over two hours for a full charge, making overnight charging necessary.

Wireless charging is not available, which is typical for a mid-range device like the A35.

Value

The Samsung Galaxy A35 delivers excellent value for its price, resembling a budget version of the Galaxy S24.

With impressive display quality, software features, and performance, it surpasses expectations for its price range.

Overall, the Galaxy A35 excels in every aspect, providing great value across the board.

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