Amateur Photographer verdict

The Samsung Galaxy A55 is one of the best Samsung camera phones available for under £450, and if you can find it on offer, then it’s amazing value for money!
Pros
  • Improved build quality and design
  • Very good main camera
  • Good ultra-wide
  • Great value when on offer
Cons
  • 5MP macro could be replaced by a telephoto camera
  • Not available in the US
  • No wireless charging

The Samsung Galaxy A55 is one of Samsung’s entry-level phones, but being the A55, it sits at the top of the Galaxy A range. This means you can expect some mid-range or even premium level features. AI however, is not one of these.  

However, with an RRP of £439, you may even find the phone on offer for under £300, making it one of the cheapest budget phones we’ve reviewed.  

Samsung Galaxy A55 screen. Photo JW


The A55 hasn’t been updated in terms of the cameras on offer, compared to the A54 before it, but it has been updated in looks, build and design, with a metal aluminium frame, compared to the plastic on the A53. There’s also updated Gorilla Glass on the front screen, with Victus+ covering the larger 6.6inch AMOLED display, as well as IP67 waterproofing.  

You can also find the phone with different RAM options from 6GB to 12GB available, as well as storage options of 128GB or 256GB. If you want to expand this, you can put a MicroSD card in the phone. The phone’s running Android 14, and should get 4 years of software updates, and 5 years of security updates, and whilst this isn’t as long as the S series, it’s still a good amount for a phone at this price point.

Samsung Galaxy A53 (left), A54 (middle), and A55 (right. Photo JW/AP

The A55 is the latest in the A5x range, with the A55 sticking to the triple camera setup introduced with the A54.

At a glance: 

  • 50MP wide-angle, f/1.8, 23mm equivalent, PDAF, OIS
  • 12MP ultra-wide, f/2.2, 13mm equivalent, fixed focus
  • 5MP macro camera, f/2.4, fixed focus
  • 32MP selfie camera, f/2.2, fixed focus
  • 4K video recording from all cameras (excluding the macro camera)
  • 6.6inch FullHD AMOLED, 120Hz screen, 1000nits peak brightness 
  • Battery: 5000mAh (25W charging) 
  • Operating system: Android 14
  • 4 years of OS, 5 years of security updates 
  • 6/8/12GB RAM, 128GB/256GB storage options
Samsung Galaxy A55. Photo JW

How we test phones

We review smartphones from the perspective of choosing a smartphone for its photography and camera performance, so we’ll be starting by looking at what the Samsung Galaxy A55 offers in terms of the cameras and what features are included for photography and video.

Hardware, design and features 

The Samsung Galaxy A55 has a new design that makes it look even more like the Samsung S24 series, however, it’s roughly half the price. And whilst it does look a lot like the Samsung S24+, the S24 Plus is physically smaller, but actually has a larger (6.7inch) screen thanks to much smaller bezels.

The A55 is a well-built phone, and the solidly put together frame really benefits from the upgrade to aluminium. Whilst Gorilla Glass Victus+ protects the front of the phone, there’s a different type of Gorilla Glass on the back, which doesn’t seem as scratch proof.

Samsung Galaxy A55. Photo JW

If you’re familiar with Samsung phones, then the A55 should be familiar to you, as they all tend to offer the same user-friendly interface and quick access to controls. On setting up the A55, there was a lot of software thrown at me, which was quickly uninstalled.

The screen benefits from a refresh rate, which can be set up to 120Hz, however, the peak brightness of 1000nits isn’t as good as some competitors, as many phones are now offering double this. As mentioned, the borders look large if you’re used to flagship phones, but larger boarders are fairly common on entry-level phones. You also get a large 5000mAh battery, but the lack of wireless charging is a bit of a let-down. 

Samsung Galaxy A55. Photo JW

The camera setup gives you a 50MP f/1.8 wide-angle main camera, with optical image stabilisation (OIS), a 12MP ultra-wide-angle camera, and a 5MP macro camera rounds it off. The main camera gives a 2x zoom option, but results aren’t as good as you’d find on a phone with a dedicated telephoto camera. With the 50MP main camera, you get 12MP images, thanks to pixel binning.

The 12MP ultra-wide-angle camera is fixed focus, with a 13/14mm equivalent (0.5x on screen setting), and has an f/2.2 aperture, which is fairly standard. As the camera doesn’t have auto-focus, you won’t be able to use this for macro photography. For macro you can either use the main camera, or if the subject is the right distance away, then the fixed-focus 5MP macro camera can be used. 

There’s a 32MP punch-hole selfie camera on the front, which gives either 12MP or 8MP images depending on whether you select the close-up or wider view. It’s got an f/2.2 aperture, and is also fixed focus.  

The camera app 

Samsung Galaxy A55 photo mode. Photo JW

Samsung’s photo app is easy to use, and has a range of photo modes that are quick to access, including Fun, Portrait, Photo, and Video. To access additional photo modes you can click more, where you’ll find Pro photo, Pro video, Night, Food, Panorama, Macro (using the 5MP macro camera), Super slow-mo, Slow motion, Hyperlapse, Dual record, and Single Take.

The night mode will automatically activate when the scene is dark enough, or you can select it from the modes. It let’s you shoot with the 0.5x or 1x camera, and exposures up to 9 seconds are possible.

It’s also possible to switch on ‘Motion photos’ and this gives you a short video to go with the photos taken. The portrait mode doesn’t give you any different zoom options, but does let you adjust the strength of the background blur.

Pro photo and Pro video modes give you manual controls, but it’s not possible to shoot raw images with this phone, without installing a third party photo editing app.

Samsung Galaxy A55 photo modes. Photo JW

Performance and image quality 

Here we look at photos taken with the Samsung Galaxy A55. I’ve taken hundreds of photos with the A55, in a variety of settings and weather conditions. Here are some of the best photos, as well as examples showing you exactly what this camera phone is capable of producing.

  • Samsung Galaxy A55 - Ultra-wide. JW
  • Samsung Galaxy A55 - Wide. JW
  • Samsung Galaxy A55 - 2x. JW

Levels of detail captured by the main camera is good, with images output at 12MP. You can switch to the 50MP resolution if you want, but for most people this isn’t needed. The 12MP ultra-wide-angle camera does a good job as well, with good levels of detail and colour reproduction matching between the cameras, for the most part, with only the macro camera letting things down. The 2x zoom option does a reasonable job, but we wouldn’t recommend using zoom much beyond this, unless you want smudged, blurry photos.

Samsung Galaxy A55 bluebells. Photo Joshua Waller
Galaxy A55 5G · f/1.8 · 1/155s · 5.54mm · ISO50

Colour reproduction is pleasing with bright colours, and quite saturated images. They’re definitely more saturated than most photos taken with the Google Pixel 8A, and viewed in isolation they look great. Whether you prefer what the Samsung produces or what Google phones produce will be down to personal preferences. For most people higher saturation will be preferable, but there were times when it was a little too strong.

Greens can look a little bit too saturated. On the other hand, there were times when images were a little bit dull, but this is to be expected if you’re taking photos on a dull day, then your photos will also look quite dull.  

Samsung Galaxy A55 – Night mode, Northern Lights. JW
Galaxy A55 5G · f/1.8 · 1/4s · 5.54mm · ISO2500

When shooting at night, in low-light conditions, the extra saturation may be preferred, and the phone does a good job for a budget phone, with it possible to take night shots handheld.

Colours appear more saturated than the Google Pixel 8A, and in this situation, the Samsung A55 has done a much better job of capturing the Northern Lights. 

Samsung Galaxy A55 food mode. Photo Joshua Waller
Galaxy A55 5G · f/1.8 · 1/25s · 5.54mm · ISO640

If you use the food mode, then colour saturation is pushed up even higher, and blurs the image edges. But this does give you better looking food photographs, as nobody wants dull, grey looking food, do they?

Macro – Main camera vs macro camera 

Samsung Galaxy A55 - Close up with the main camera. JWSamsung Galaxy A55 5MP macro camera. Photo Joshua Waller
Left: close-up with the main camera, right: close-up with the macro camera.

You can use the main camera for close-ups, or you can used the dedicated 5MP camera for close-ups. The macro camera is fixed focus so is only usable at specific distances from the subject. You’ll also find the colour reproduction isn’t as good as the main camera. If you want to view the macro image in detail click here.

Samsung Galaxy A55. Dog. Photo Joshua Waller
Galaxy A55 5G · f/1.8 · 1/1855s · 5.54mm · ISO50

Exposure and dynamic range are generally very good, with there being little need to adjust the exposure, and the phone does a good job dealing with bright and darker areas of the image. Images can look quite natural, without looking like an HDR art filter.

Selfie camera – Using the selfie camera, you have the option of Warm or Natural colour tone. This photo was taken with the ‘Warm’ tone option switched on. Detail is relatively good for this level of phone, and the background blur looks quite natural. Detail, whilst good, isn’t amazing, due to the sensor being a Quad-Bayer sensor, meaning it doesn’t give you 32MP of detail, more like 8MP of detail.

Samsung Galaxy A55 – portrait mode using the selfie camera, with warm tone selected. Photo JW
Galaxy A55 5G · f/2.2 · 1/50s · 3.72mm · ISO200

Video recording – You can record 4K video from the rear cameras (excluding the macro camera), as well as the selfie camera. Video quality is good, although detail does drop off if you use the 2x zoom option while recording 4K video. Stabilisation does a reasonable job, although your own results may vary, depending on how steady you can hold the phone.

Value for money 

The Samsung Galaxy A55 is up against some stiff competition, and at the RRP of £439 (€480), alternatives include the Google Pixel 8A (at £499), which benefits from wireless charging and Google’s AI tools. If you have another 100-150 to spend, you can also find phones with a triple camera system, with the third camera being a telephoto camera. Models to look at include the Samsung Galaxy S23, S23 FE, Xiaomi 13T Pro, and Motorola Edge 50 Pro.

Samsung A54 (left), and Samsung A55 (right). Photo JW/AP

However, if you find the Samsung Galaxy A55 on offer, priced at under £300, then your competition is a different set of phones, rarely featuring a telephoto camera. When priced under £300, the A55 is incredible value for money, for the price, and feels like a much more premium phone than this price suggests. There’s also the Samsung Galaxy A54, which could be found for even less, if you shop around.

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy A55 looks like a premium phone, but it’s significantly cheaper than the Samsung S series of phones, and is even cheaper that Google’s latest entry-level phone, the Google Pixel 8A.

The A55 offers a great set of cameras, and gives the Pixel 8A a serious run for it’s money, with better results in some situations. If you can get the A55 for under £300, then this is a real bargain, although unfortunately, the phone isn’t currently available in the US.

Samsung Galaxy A55. Red flower. Photo Joshua Waller
Galaxy A55 5G · f/1.8 · 1/100s · 5.54mm · ISO50

For those people who just want a great phone, but aren’t too worried about having a telephoto camera, or AI features, then the Samsung Galaxy A55 is a great option. You get a larger 6.6inch screen, a 120Hz refresh rate, good battery life, improved build quality with a metal frame, and uprated Gorilla Glass Victus+.

Samsung phones are easy to use, as well as giving lots of different photo options. It would be nice to have some of the additional AI features thrown in, but for most people this won’t be a massive issue, and if it is, then the S23 range isn’t too much more. But if you’re looking for a budget phone, with great photos from the main camera, as well as the ultra-wide, you can’t go wrong with the Samsung Galaxy A55.

Amateur Photographer Recommended 4 stars

Specifications

Main camera50MP wide-angle, f/1.8, 23mm equivalent, PDAF, OIS
Ultra-wide camera12MP ultra-wide, f/2.2, 13mm equivalent, fixed focus
Third camera5MP macro camera, f/2.4, fixed focus
Selfie camera32MP selfie camera, f/2.2, fixed focus
Screen6.6inch FullHD AMOLED, 120Hz screen, 1000nits peak brightness 
Video4K 30fps from all cameras (excluding the macro camera)
OSAndroid 14, 4 years of OS, 5 years of security updates 
Battery5000mAh (25W charging) 
RAM/Storage6/8/12GB RAM, 128GB/256GB storage options
Dimensions161.1×77.4×8.2mm
Weight213g