SamMobile has affiliate and sponsored partnerships. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn a commission.

    News for you

    Samsung Galaxy A35 review: The reasonable choice


    Last updated: April 4th, 2024 at 16:09 UTC+02:00

    The Galaxy A54 was Samsung's most exciting mid-range phone last year, but it was the Galaxy A34 that ended up being the sensible choice, at least as far as value for money was concerned.

    The A34 was also more optimized despite having a less capable chip than the Galaxy A54. The A54's performance issues were ironed out with software updates, and now, a year later, Samsung has used the A54's Exynos chip for the Galaxy A35.

    Except for the chipset, newer versions of Android and One UI out of the box, and a glass back, the Galaxy A35 is pretty similar to the Galaxy A34. The list of upgrades is small, but Samsung is making up for that by launching the Galaxy A35 for the same starting price in most markets.

    That alone should make the Galaxy A35 worth buying, as you're getting the same or better features compared to its predecessor. But the spec sheet doesn't tell the full story, so we tested the Galaxy A35 for nearly two weeks to find out how it fares in the real world.


    Samsung Galaxy A35 review: Design

    The Galaxy A35 is the first phone in the series with a glass back. We saw the Galaxy A54 get the same upgrade last year, but with the Galaxy A35, Samsung has gone a step further by opting to use Gorilla Glass Victus+ instead of Gorilla Glass 5.

    From what we can tell, the Galaxy A35 has Gorilla Glass Victus+ on the front side as well. Victus+ was first seen on Samsung devices back in 2020, and it offers at least twice the scratch and drop protection of Gorilla Glas 5. Gorilla Glass Victus+ is a very welcome upgrade, one that came as a major surprise when the Galaxy A35 was officially announced.

    Gorilla Glass Victus+ is a very welcome upgrade

    However, since we weren't willing to deliberately scratch the display or drop the phone to test the merits of the stronger version of Gorilla Glass, we can't really say how the A35 will fare with daily use over a long period of time. There are no guarantees when glass is involved, so you might want to use a screen protector and a case to keep the phone looking pristine and free of damage as long as possible.

    Samsung Galaxy A35 review: Design

    The glass-heavy design makes for a more premium in-hand feel. It doesn't feel as premium as the Galaxy A55 or Samsung's flagship phones as the frame is made of plastic, but a metal frame would have raised the price, so the plastic frame is not something we will complain about.

    What we will complain about are the bezels. Like the Galaxy A55, the Galaxy A35 has the same humungous bezels as last year's model. It just doesn't look right on any phone in 2024, and we wish it was something Samsung had addressed. Here's hoping the company gets around to dealing with it next year.

    The Galaxy A35 has what Samsung calls Key Island, a raised part of the frame around the volume buttons. It doesn't really change or improve anything in a practical sense, and like other mid-range Galaxy phones launched since late 2023, the Key Island serves to distinguish the design from that of Samsung's flagship smartphones.

    Display and sound

    Samsung Galaxy A35 review: Display

    The Galaxy A35 has a 6.6-inch 120Hz Super AMOLED display like the Galaxy A34, and Samsung is also claiming the same 1000 nits of maximum brightness in high brightness mode.

    But like the Galaxy A55, the Galaxy A35 can get brighter than what the official specs suggest, as revealed by testing done by the folks over at DxOMark. Needless to say, no matter how harsh the lighting conditions, you will not have any issues with the screen's legibility.

    The display also has punchy colors, though it can sometimes make colors too vivid and unrealistic, especially when using the camera app. Thanks to the 120Hz refresh rate, the user interface feels smooth and responsive except for the occasional stutter and slowdown. Samsung has also gotten rid of the old notch and opted for an Infinity-O cutout for the front camera.

    The stereo speaker setup is good for occasionally watching a YouTube video or two

    The optical fingerprint sensor built into the display is accurate and fast. The A35 lacks a 3.5mm headphone port, so you'll have to bring your own wireless earbuds or USB-C headphones or make do with the phone's loudspeakers.

    The stereo speaker setup is good for occasionally watching a YouTube video or two. It is loud enough to to fill a small room and has zero distortion even at maximum volume, but it's light on the bass.


    Galaxy A35 review: Camera

    The Galaxy A35 has a 50-megapixel primary camera at the rear, along with an 8MP ultra-wide camera and a 5MP macro camera. Out of the three, only the primary camera is worth talking about, as the ultra-wide and macro cameras only exist to make sure you can capture ultra-wide and macro shots and no more thought was given to them during development.

    The 50MP camera does a swell job outdoors during the day, like pretty much every phone these days. There's plenty of detail, good dynamic range, and mostly accurate color reproduction without making things look too dull.

    The 50MP camera does a swell job outdoors during the day

    Low-light and nighttime performance is not bad, either, at least when the phone decides the shooting conditions require Night mode and automatically takes a Night mode shot. The excellent noise control we saw on the Galaxy A55 is not seen here, but unless you see the photos on a big screen like a monitor or TV, the little noise that creeps in won't bother you.

    Check out some photos from the 50MP main camera in the gallery below.

    You can also take some excellent portrait photos. Background separation is not perfect, but it is done better than we expect from mid-range Samsung phones in the same price bracket at the A35.

    The gallery below shows some portrait photos captured with the main camera.

    As for videos, Samsung says the Galaxy A35 can capture Super HDR videos, which offer a wider dynamic range and rich colors. However, we didn't see anything special compared to what we could have gotten without Super HDR support. The A35's display is not officially certified for HDR viewing so we tried watching the videos on an HDR capable phone, but that didn't change anything.

    Still, the A35's video recording quality is more than sufficient, though color reproduction can be hit and miss. For example, it often makes white buildings look a little too blue. The A35 can record 4K@30 fps videos or Full HD videos at either 30 fps or 60 fps. But, as is common on mid-range devices, you will get the best results outdoors on a sunny day.

    The A35's 13MP front camera can take selfies that are perfectly suitable for posting on social media. Don't expect anything more and you will not be disappointed.

    Unfortunately, the ultra-wide and macro cameras will disappoint even if you go in with low expectations. The macro camera doesn't have enough megapixels and lacks autofocus, so you usually need multiple attempts to get a picture that's not shaky and has the subject in proper focus.

    The ultra-wide camera is only useful (barely) for daylight shots; nighttime ultra-wide shots come out a noisy mess. Ultra-wide photos also have a completely different color tone compared to the main camera, though you may prefer the colors of the ultra-wide shots in some situations.

    Check out some ultra-wide pictures below (each picture is preceeded by the same scene captured using the main camera).


    Samsung Galaxy A35 review: Performance

    The Exynos 1380 is a capable chip that was held back by poor software optimizaton on the Galaxy A54, but that's not the case with the Galaxy A35. The A35 is still your usual mid-range Samsung phone that doesn't always run smoothly, with UI animations being affected by random stutters and switching between different apps too quickly causing some lag.

    But like the Galaxy A55, when the A35 is running smooth, the fluidity of the user interface feels almost as good as that of the Galaxy S23 or Galaxy S24. From what we can tell, this is because of One UI 6.1, which brings smoother animations to all Galaxy devices. Overall, the A35 won't let you down in general use.

    The larger cooling system does an excellent job

    Gaming performance is pretty good as well. You have to stick to the default graphics settings in heavy games like Call of Duty so performance doesn't dip over long gaming sessions, but if you do enable the highest graphics settings, the A35's performance doesn't tank as quickly as other mid-range Galaxy phones thanks to a cooling system that's 70% larger than the A34 and the A54.

    In fact, the best part about the Galaxy A35 is how it keeps it cool no matter what you might throw at it. The larger cooling system does an excellent job, and outside of running benchmark apps that push the hardware to the limit, you will never find yourself worrying about the phone's temperature.

    The A35 also has a full suite of connectivity features, including 5G, NFC, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.3, and support for all major GPS navigation systems (not including India's NavIC system). It has dual SIM slots, one of which can accept microSD cards of up to 1TB. There is no eSIM support.


    Galaxy A35 review: Software

    The Galaxy A35 is among the first few Samsung phones to come with Android 14 and One UI 6.1 out of the box. However, none of the AI features that you get with One UI 6.1 on the Galaxy S24 made the cut, so you're not really get any major benefits compared to phones that are running One UI 6.0 (though you can take advantage of some alternatives to Galaxy AI).

    Of course, you're still getting an excellent software experience. No longer does Samsung restrict the fancy software functionality to its flagship phones, except for things like Samsung DeX support.

    The A35 is eligible for four major Android OS upgrades and five years of security updates

    You get features such as Samsung Pay, Bixby, Quick Share, built-in screen recorder, Always On Display, Secure Folder, dedicated Kids Mode, Modes and Routines, Multi Window multitasking, one-handed mode, video call effects, Dual Messenger, and more.

    The A35 is also eligible for four major Android OS upgrades and five years of security updates. Even some budget Galaxy phones are getting similar support these days, which continues to make Samsung devices stand out from the competition.

    In case you're wondering, the A35 doesn't support Android's seamless updates, which made their debut on Samsung devices with the Galaxy A55.

    Battery life

    Galaxy A35 review: Battery life

    The A35's battery life is good but failed to live up to our expectations. The Galaxy A54 didn't live up to Samsung's claims of two-day battery life, and we had assumed that the Exynos 1380 chipset was the culprit. The same appears to be the case here.

    No matter what your idea of heavy use may be, the Galaxy A35 will get you through an entire day without needing a charge. But it isn't reliable if you decide to go out the next day without charging it overnight, which isn't something we expect from a mid-range Samsung smartphone.

    The A35's battery life is good but failed to live up to our expectations

    Our A35 was used as a daily driver for a longer period than most devices we review, and despite the longer time it had to learn our usage patterns, its battery life failed to get better.

    Samsung's 25W charging is starting to feel outdated as well. A full charge takes nearly an hour and 25 minutes, and 30 and 60 minutes of charging gets you around 27-30% and slightly over 50% charge respectively. Having to purchase the charger separately and being limited to somewhat slow charging speeds is just not done.


    The Galaxy A35's performance will satisfy most users, the display is excellent, the main camera can take nice pictures, the battery lasts all day long, the design is premium, and you're getting Android 14 and One UI 6.1 out of the box with a promise of five years of updates.

    This phone is what you would call the reasonable choice. It's not nearly as exciting as the Galaxy A55, but for the asking price, it's an easy recommendation.

    Galaxy A35

    What we like

    • Smooth 120Hz 6.6" AMOLED display
    • Water and dust resistant design with Gorilla Glass Victus+
    • All-day battery life
    • Runs smooth and fast in day-to-day use
    • Good main camera
    • Android 14, One UI 6.1 out of the box
    • Eligible for four Android OS updates, five years of security updates

    What we don't

    • Battery life not as good as Galaxy A34
    • Average ultra-wide and macro cameras
    • Huge outdated bezels
    • Samsung's 25W charging is beginning to feel slow
    • No 3.5mm port
    Review Galaxy A35

    You might also like

    You can now buy the Galaxy A35 for as low as $199

    You can now buy the Galaxy A35 for as low as $199

    When Samsung released the Galaxy A35 in the USA late last month, it offered enhanced trade-in discounts that allowed buyers to save up to $150 on the new mid-range phone. Now, Samsung's trade-in offers just got better. Some older Galaxy phones that had a trade-in value of $150 can now net you a more generous […]

    • By Mihai Matei
    • 5 days ago
    First Galaxy A35 update brings 4G TDD improvements in Europe

    First Galaxy A35 update brings 4G TDD improvements in Europe

    Last month, Samsung launched the Galaxy A35, which we think is a reasonable choice. Now, the company is rolling out the first software update to the device in Europe. Samsung has released the latest software update to the international variant of the Galaxy A55 that’s sold in Europe, which carries the model number SM-A356B. It […]

    • By Abid Iqbal Shaik
    • 2 weeks ago
    Save up to $150 on the new Galaxy A35 with enhanced trade-in

    Save up to $150 on the new Galaxy A35 with enhanced trade-in

    It hasn't been long since the Galaxy A35 reached the US market. The new budget mid-range phone is available unlocked for $399, but you can buy it for a lot cheaper than that if you want to get rid of your old Galaxy A phone. Through Samsung's enhanced trade-in deals, you could buy the new […]

    • By Mihai Matei
    • 3 weeks ago
    Galaxy A35 is like an oasis in the US affordable phone desert

    Galaxy A35 is like an oasis in the US affordable phone desert

    The US doesn't have quite as many Android smartphone vendors in the affordable market segment as other markets, including Europe and the Middle East. The lack of competition in this segment means that customers in the United States have fewer options and don't get the same bang for their buck as they would elsewhere. A […]

    • By Adnan Farooqui
    • 3 weeks ago
    5 reasons why you should consider buying the Galaxy A35

    5 reasons why you should consider buying the Galaxy A35

    Samsung's new mid-range Galaxy A35 is finally available in the USA. Samsung announced the phone yesterday, and now, you can buy it through the company's online shop for $399, unlocked with no carrier strings attached. The Galaxy A35 is a budget phone, but don't let that relatively low price and mid-range label fool you. This […]

    • By Mihai Matei
    • 3 weeks ago
    Mid-range Galaxy A35 is finally launching in the USA

    Mid-range Galaxy A35 is finally launching in the USA

    After a few weeks of waiting, Samsung is officially launching the Galaxy A35 in the USA. The phone is not yet listed in the online shop as of this writing, but the official announcement is out, and the device should show up in Samsung's e-shop momentarily to join the existing Galaxy A15 and A25. Samsung's […]

    • By Mihai Matei
    • 4 weeks ago