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There’s a common misconception that new phone models nowadays need to have the latest technological advances. But that’s just not realistic. 

Why? Because not everyone wants them.

Think of your grandmother or less tech-savvy aunts and uncles, do you think they care much about these updates? And would they want to pay more than a few thousand ringgit for it?

Chances are they just want a good phone with good specifications that’s an upgrade from their last device. Nothing too fancy (as new tech can be confusing) or anything that will break the bank.

This is where mid-tier phones like the latest Samsung Galaxy A55 shine bright. 

Starting off with the basics

Image Credit: Vulcan Post

Coming at the decent price of RM1,999, the newly launched mobile phone is one of two latest additions in Samsung’s Galaxy A series. The Galaxy A55 is an improved version of its Galaxy A54 which launched last year, featuring more upgrades internally rather than externally.

On the outside, the phone sports a sleek look thanks to its aluminium metal side frames. This is a step up from its predecessor’s plastic material. The back panel is made of Gorilla Glass Victus+, so don’t worry about dropping it or getting scratches. 

The phone is rated IP67 which means the phone is durable and can last up to 30 minutes while submerged in water. But only at a depth of a metre, so you shouldn’t bring it for a swim.

The 6.6-inch FHD display wasn’t a far cry from my own daily driver which I believe is a good size, but it was a little bulky for my small hands. Typing with one hand felt more secure but gripping it for long periods wasn’t very comfortable.

The screen still looks clearly visible and comfortable to look at even under bright sunlight / Image Credit: Vulcan Post

Similar to the Galaxy A54, this new model is still equipped with Super AMOLED, Samsung’s Vision Booster technology, and a peak display brightness of 1,000 nits. Together, they ensure clear visibility under direct sunlight. 

But the actual highlight of the phone is…

Good photography at a decent price

If you’re looking at the hardware camera’s specifications, you’ll find no significant differences between the Galaxy A55 and the Galaxy A54.

Selfie camera21MP, f/2.2
Wide camera50MP, f/1.8
Ultrawide camera12MP, f/2.2
Macro camera5MP, f/2.4

However, you’d be sorely mistaken to think there haven’t been any improvements since the last model.

Image Credit: Vulcan Post

A core focus of the Galaxy A55’s camera is its better nightography with its image processing abilities. Specifically, the phone uses an AI depth map and AI ISP (image signal processing) to make photos look clearer in low-light conditions. 

Note that the keyword here is low-light and not no-light.

If you’re in a dimly lit environment, the AI features do a great job at enhancing the clarity of your photos. The images come out looking high-contrast and detailed. The latter depends highly on your ability to stay still while the camera snaps a photo.

The nightography’s outcome depends on how steady your hands are. The left image is how the environment looked like, while the middle image is with the Night Mode turned on. The right image is what it could look like using flash / Image Credit: Vulcan Post

You can see how important this is based on this image of a flower I took at night. 

I don’t have the most stable hands and sometimes struggle to take photos without something to lean on. This was one of those times and it’s very evident in the photo because the details can’t be captured. But if you put that aside, the AI features enhance it pretty well.

A good rule of thumb to remember is that the darker the environment, the worse the photos come out. So you shouldn’t expect the AI tech to be a miracle worker. My recommendation for dark rooms is to just use good old-fashioned flash.

You can see that the details are more prominent when the environment is low-light (right) instead of no-light (left) / Image Credit: Vulcan Post

It’s what’s on the inside that matters

Another highlight of the Galaxy A55 is the Samsung Knox Security that’s built into the phone. For the Galaxy A series, it’s currently only available in the other new addition, the Galaxy A35.

This is Samsung’s secure mobile solution that provides real-time protection for your data, such as:

  • Blocking unknown apps from unauthorised access to your phone 
  • Labelling unknown and unsafe phone numbers that are potentially scams or fraud phone calls 
  • Providing end-to-end encryption for data storage on Samsung Cloud 

Essentially, it provides safety against hackers who will perform malicious acts. This includes gaining access to personal data like messages and documents, location tracking, extracting passwords and login credentials, and even remotely controlling your phone.

Samsung’s Secure Folder that’s part of its Knox Security feature / Image Credit: Vulcan Post

Although, this isn’t to say the other Samsung models aren’t protected from such threats. The Knox security system simply enhances this protection, since it has multiple layers of security across hardware and software.

Verdict

The Galaxy A55 uses an improved Octa-core processor that is supposed to make multi-tasking, gaming, and streaming more effortless. 

Personally, I’m not a gamer girl so I didn’t really test this out. But when it comes to multitasking and streaming videos on YouTube, it certainly lived up to these claims. Even when I streamed YouTube videos for four hours straight with my Bluetooth earphones connected, the phone didn’t heat up or hang.

Image Credit: Vulcan Post

Like the Galaxy A54, this new model has a 5,000 mAh battery that lasts up to 28 hours before it needs to be charged. So, you don’t have to carry around a powerbank for outings.

Sporting 5G capabilities and an internal storage of 256GB, you can choose between three colourways: Awesome Violet, Awesome IceBlue, Awesome Navy. 

Overall, the Samsung Galaxy A55 is a reliable phone with tools that are useful for daily needs. So if you’re someone who likes a good phone without too many frills, this might be a suitable choice for you.

ProsCons
Improved nightography abilities for better quality images in low-light conditionsFeatures are quite basic, might not be the best option if you’re looking for more tools to play with
Has built-in Samsung Knox Security to ensure device is safe from hackers
  • Read other articles we’ve written about Samsung here.
  • Learn more about Samsung Galaxy A55 here.

VP Verdict is a series where we personally try and test out products, services, fads, and apps. Want to suggest something else for us to try? Leave a comment here or send the suggestion to our Facebook page.

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