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To be honest, Samsung’s A Series devices have always struck me as the kinds of phones you’d get for a tween or a hip grandparent—they get the job done, they’re well-rounded, but certainly nothing top-of-the-line.

And there’s nothing wrong with that. Someone’s gotta serve the tweens and the elderly.

But is there something wrong with my opinion? Are Samsung’s Series A phones actually better than what I’m giving them credit for?

Well, I got my answer after testing out the new RM1,699 Samsung Galaxy A35.

A for attractive visuals

A step up from its predecessor (the A34), the Galaxy A35 has a glass back instead of plastic, giving it a polished finish. The frame of the phone is still plastic, though, but for our Awesome Iceblue colourway in particular, it has a slight metallic sheen that makes it look classy.

Overall, the build of the phone feels nice and durable. I might even say that it feels better than the Galaxy S24 FE, which launched with a more expensive price of RM2,999.

With an IP67 rating, the phone is water-resistant up to a depth of about 3 feet for up to 30 minutes.

The 6.6-inch AMOLED display allows for sharp and crisp quality, and the 120Hz variable refresh rate makes for a fluid experience for the most part.

Paired with the speakers on the phone, which boast pretty good audio quality, watching content from the phone is rather satisfactory.

An improvement in the display, compared to the A34, is that there’s no longer a notched design where the front camera is, but rather a hole-punch cutout. This makes for a more seamless display. That said, the bezels still feel a little chunky, especially on the top and the bottom.

Something I noticed about the A35 is that it’s quite fingerprint resistant, from its glass screen to its plastic frame. This might be thanks to the very pale blue colour we got, though.

In any case, as someone who smudges everything from my glasses to my camera lens, this is something I greatly appreciate.  

A for above average cameras

And that might be understating it.

The cameras on the A35 aren’t necessarily jaw-dropping, but they’re certainly not lacking.  

With a toggleable 50MP main camera (you can switch to a 12MP), pictures taken on the Galaxy A35 are clear and I do like the colour balancing, though it tends to be on the warm side.

My expectations for the phone’s night photography were low, but I’m glad to say it surpassed them. Once again, it’s nothing wow, but it does balance light and dark well, capturing street lights nicely without becoming overexposed.  

At 5MP and 8MP respectively, the macro and ultrawide cameras function well enough. But with the specs they’re given, don’t expect to get DSLR-level crispness, especially when shooting close-ups.

If you love taking selfies, the 13MP front camera is decent—no criticisms, but I wouldn’t shower it with compliments.  

Sadly, the A series does not come equipped with most of the Galaxy AI features, meaning you won’t be able to play around with the generative fill features just yet on the mid-range phone.

A for acceptable performance

Equipped with the Exynos 1380, I wouldn’t consider this to be a powerful phone for gaming purposes.

But that doesn’t mean it can’t handle some demanding games with high-quality graphics. It definitely can.

Don’t judge me, but I tried out dating simulator Love and Deepspace on the highest picture quality (Ultra), and what can I say? They—um, I mean it—looks pixel perfect.

But I can still feel a difference between this phone and the S24 Ultra that we reviewed earlier this year, which has a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 under the hood. With the image quality set so high, I did experience some lag and choppiness with the A35, but not to an unusable degree.

As most phones do, the A35 did get warm after sustained usage, but not unbearably so.  

One of the highlights of the phone, though, is its impressive 5,000mAh battery. As someone whose phone is always dangerously low on battery when I’m out and about for events, I love the ease of mind that the Galaxy A35 gives me.

Speaking of ease of mind, the latest Galaxy Series A phones, which includes the A35 as well as the A55, are the first in the series to come with Samsung Knox.

Specifically, it features the Samsung Knox Vault, designed to protect users’ sensitive information, such as their PIN, password, and pattern. The encrypted data can then be safely transferred to the Samsung Knox Vault storage, which is completely isolated and separated from the main operating system.

A for affordable all-rounder

With a price tag of RM1,699, the Galaxy A35 is a value-for-money device that has all the basics down pat.

There are many other phones in the market in this price range (like the new Nothing Phone 2(a) which we’re currently reviewing), but I would say the reliability of Samsung makes the Galaxy A35 a competitive mid-range phone.

Coming with Samsung’s One UI 6.1, the phone will get four years of software updates and five years of security patches, which is great for a mid-range phone.

All this to say, I think the Galaxy A35 is a really solid phone. And I don’t mean just for tweens and grandparents, but for everyday users.

Impressive performance from the cameras, especially given their specsSome lagginess after sustained usage
Bright, crisp, and vivid display as well as long-lasting battery life, making it great for gaming and streaming content
Affordable with great value for money
  • Learn more about Samsung Galaxy A35 here.
  • Read other articles we’ve written about Samsung 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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© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)

Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)