Galaxy A55: Samsung’s Key Island Fails to Challenge iPhone SE 4, Pixel 7a

What you should know

  • Samsung’s new Galaxy A55 mid-range offering for 2024 is expected to launch in March, with features including a 6.5-inch 120Hz display, a new Exynos Exynos 1480 chip, a 5,000 mAh battery, IP67 water/dust-resistance, and 128GB of base storage.
  • The Galaxy A55 features a new metal frame, a first for this model, and a slightly protruding part of the frame where the buttons are, which Samsung calls the “Key Island”.
  • Despite the new design changes, the Galaxy A55 has been criticized for its thick display borders and stuttery performance, issues that were also present in its predecessor, the Galaxy A54.
  • The Galaxy A55 may face stiff competition in 2024 from other mid-range phones such as the rumored iPhone SE 4, the Google Pixel 7a, the Nothing Phone 2 and 2a, and the Motorola Edge.

Full Story

Samsung’s got a new mid-range phone on the horizon for 2024 – the Galaxy A55. Expected to drop in March, the rumor mill is buzzing about a 6.5-inch 120Hz display, a new Exynos Exynos 1480 chip, a 5,000 mAh battery, IP67 water/dust-resistance, and 128GB of base storage.

The price tag? Likely around $450, similar to its predecessors, the Galaxy A54 and A53. The Galaxy A55’s got a new look too, according to leaked renders. We’re talking a metal frame (a first for this model), giving it a similar vibe to the Galaxy S24’s “glass sandwich surrounded by a metal frame.”

The metal frame’s not just for show. It’s helped Samsung create a unique design element – a slightly protruding part of the frame where the buttons are. Samsung’s calling this the “Key Island.” I’ve gotta hand it to Samsung, these design changes are a nice touch. The metal frame adds a premium feel, and the Key Island gives the phone a bit of personality.

But, let’s get real. The Galaxy A55 has some issues. The Galaxy A54 had some thick display borders, and it seems the A55 is following suit. The A54 also had some performance issues – stuttering during normal use. Not cool for a $400-$500 phone, especially from a brand like Samsung.

Now, it seems the A55 is set to repeat these mistakes. Samsung seems to be sticking to the same formula, despite the fact that older models didn’t have the same issues. And while they’ve managed to get away with it in the past, 2024 might be the year they pay the price.

The 2024 smartphone scene is shaping up to be pretty competitive, with more $400-600 options than ever before. Even Apple‘s rumored iPhone SE 4 is expected to launch around the same time as the Galaxy A55.

The Galaxy A55 might have a tough time competing. Samsung’s mid-ranger might be in trouble this year. The iPhone SE 4, while possibly $100 more expensive, is expected to outperform the Galaxy A55 in almost every category.

Then there’s the Google Pixel 7a, which could dominate the Galaxy A55 in camera quality, software support, and performance. And let’s not forget about the Nothing Phone 2 and the upcoming Nothing Phone 2a – both eye-catching alternatives to the Galaxy A55.

Even the Motorola Edge (2023) / Edge 40, now going for $350, brings some premium features to the table. And for something really different, $500 can get you a Motorola Razr (2023), which folds.

Even within Samsung’s own portfolio, the Galaxy A55 looks questionable. A Renewed/Refurbished Galaxy S23 is now $500 on Amazon, and a refurbished Galaxy S22+ goes for just $400. Both of these options seem more promising than the Galaxy A55, especially in terms of design, performance, and camera quality.

The $600 Galaxy S23 FE, another flagship Galaxy, will likely drop in price by the time the Galaxy A55 is out. It looks identical to the A55 but with flagship-grade cameras and SoC.

Samsung’s been getting away with murder with its mid-range phones like the Galaxy A53 and Galaxy A54. But the thick display borders and performance issues don’t belong in any $400-500 phone, let alone a Samsung Galaxy.

Maybe the new Exynos 1480 and One UI 6 will finally address the performance issues. Maybe the camera will be a nice surprise. Maybe Samsung will give the A55 wireless charging. If all of this happens, the Galaxy A55 could be a real mid-range challenger. If not, Samsung will once again fail to deliver a mid-range phone I can recommend.

It’s a shame, really. The Galaxy S24 series is still the default Android flagship everyone respects and fears. But the same can’t be said about Samsung’s mid-range phones. Can the Galaxy A55 fix the imbalance in Samsung’s lineup? Only time will tell.

Derrick Flynn
Derrick Flynn
With over four years of experience in tech journalism, Derrick has honed his skills and knowledge to become a vital part of the PhonesInsights team. His intuitive reviews and insightful commentary on the latest smartphones and wearable technology consistently provide our readers with valuable information.


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