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Samsung Galaxy A35 rear laying down
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
Samsung Galaxy A35 5G

Samsung Galaxy A35 5G review: Should you buy it?

If there's a Galaxy A device to buy in the US, it's this one.

Published onJune 20, 2024

Samsung Galaxy A35 5G

Samsung Galaxy A35 5G

The Galaxy A35 5G is easily Samsung's best budget phone of 2024. It offers the reliable software experience and customization options we've come to expect of the flagship Galaxy S series. Although it misses out on powerful Galaxy AI features, the Galaxy A35 5G will still receive several years of updates, and its durable Gorilla Glass Victus Plus construction means it should stand the test of time better than its Galaxy A siblings.

What we like

Durable Gorilla Glass construction
Vibrant AMOLED panel
Decent camera setup
Great battery life
Excellent update commitment

What we don't like

No wireless charging
Limited camera zoom
No Galaxy AI features
Samsung Galaxy A35 5G

Samsung Galaxy A35 5G

The Galaxy A35 5G is easily Samsung's best budget phone of 2024. It offers the reliable software experience and customization options we've come to expect of the flagship Galaxy S series. Although it misses out on powerful Galaxy AI features, the Galaxy A35 5G will still receive several years of updates, and its durable Gorilla Glass Victus Plus construction means it should stand the test of time better than its Galaxy A siblings.

Samsung Galaxy A35 review: At a glance

  • What is it? The Samsung Galaxy A35 5G is the top Galaxy A model for 2024 that is officially available in the US. It replaces the previous Galaxy A34 5G with tougher Gorilla Glass Victus Plus on the front and back, a more efficient Exynos 1380 chipset, and an upgraded 50MP primary camera.
  • What is the price? The Samsung Galaxy A35 5G starts at $399 in the US with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. It also starts at £339 for the same configuration in the UK.
  • Where can you buy it? Samsung launched its Galaxy A35 5G on April 18, 2024, and you can pick it up directly from Samsung or through retailers like Amazon and Best Buy. The Galaxy A35 5G is also available from AT&T and T-Mobile.
  • How did we test it? I tested the Samsung Galaxy A35 5G for two weeks. The review unit was purchased by Android Authority.
  • Is it worth it? If you're looking for an affordable way into the Samsung Galaxy ecosystem in 2024, this is your best bet. It shares several features with the more affordable Galaxy A devices but picks up more durable materials, an official IP67 rating, and a much better AMOLED panel. There's always room to improve, but the Galaxy A35 5G offers quite a lot at its $399 price point.

Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy A35 5G?

Samsung Galaxy A35 samsung folder
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

We’ve already worked our way through the rest of Samsung’s budget-friendly updates for 2024, but there’s still enough room for one more entry in the form of the Samsung Galaxy A35 5G. With no official launch for the Galaxy A55 5G in North America, the Galaxy A35 5G sits at the top of the lineup in the US. It also has the unenviable task of taking on one of the most competitive yearly slates of affordable Android phones we’ve ever seen. It’s surrounded by excellent offerings from Google, Motorola, Nothing, and even Samsung, which makes us wonder how the Galaxy A35 5G can stand out from the crowd.

Starting with the design, the Galaxy A35 5G, well, doesn’t exactly stand out. Instead, it looks a whole lot like Samsung’s Galaxy A25 5G, which looks a whole lot like the Galaxy A15 5G, which… you get the picture. The overall look is about as close to Samsung copying its own homework as you can get, with just a few tweaks to set it apart from the more affordable Galaxy A models. Some of those tweaks work in the Galaxy A35 5G’s favor, like ditching the cheaper models’ plastic backs and lower-tier Gorilla Glass for a premium sandwich of Gorilla Glass Victus Plus around the plastic frame. The Galaxy A35 5G also picks up a full IP67 rating against water and dust, giving it a clear durability advantage over Samsung’s other budget models, though as was the case with the Galaxy A34 5G, you do lose out on a headphone jack.

For the most part, though, the Galaxy A35 5G is just as easy to navigate as any other affordable Samsung phone. It still houses the power button and volume rocker on the right side, and there’s a down-firing speaker tucked next to the USB-C port on the bottom edge. This time, Samsung has moved its fingerprint reader from the power button to an in-display unit that sits low on the display — perhaps too low — and bumped the combination SIM tray and microSD slot to the top edge. I haven’t had any issues with speed or accuracy, but it’s also positioned in just a way where it’s tough to reach if you’re holding the bottom of the Galaxy A35 5G.

Besides that, most of Samsung’s tweaks to the Galaxy A35 5G help elevate it above its budget-friendly siblings. Although it looks and feels pretty much the same as the Galaxy A15 5G and A25 5G, swapping from simple plastic to Gorilla Glass Victus Plus gives it a more premium heft in hand. The swap adds enough weight and rigidity to the phone that you don’t notice the plastic frame — or at least I didn’t. Unfortunately, the Galaxy A35 5G brings back a high-gloss finish that picks up smudges and fingerprints like they’re going out of style. Our Awesome Lilac version has an almost iridescent finish to its pinkish glass, which looks great when the light hits it, provided you can keep it clean.

Around the front, Samsung hasn’t really changed the Galaxy A35 5G’s display over its predecessor — at least not beyond the upgrade in materials. It still has a 6.6-inch AMOLED panel, a 120Hz refresh rate (with an adaptive mode that can drop to 60Hz when idling), 1,000 nits of peak brightness, and even bezels on all four sides. Despite the lack of changes, the Galaxy A35 5G remains head and shoulders above its Galaxy A siblings, especially when used outdoors. I could easily see the Galaxy A35 5G’s display from odd angles while collecting camera samples on a sunny day, whereas I could only see the Galaxy A15 5G and A25 5G head-on with the display a few inches from my face.

Upgraded materials and a much better display put the Galaxy A35 5G far above its budget siblings.

While the retread design might not be enough to sell you on the Galaxy A35 5G, Samsung’s excellent software experience and long-term support might. The phone not only ships with Android 14 and One UI 6.1 right out of the box, but it’s in line for four years of Android version updates and a fifth year of security patches, carrying it almost to the end of the decade. This is only bettered by the Pixel 8a in the mid-to-budget space.

So far, Samsung has been on track with its security updates, too, already rolling out enough to bring the phone up to April 1, 2024. Unfortunately, you won’t find any Galaxy AI features tucked away on the Galaxy A35 5G, despite the phone popping up on a few AI-centric pages on Samsung’s website. There’s some of the usual bloatware when you set the phone up, too, but you can clear most of it out.

Samsung Galaxy A35 Android 14 easter egg
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Under the hood, the Samsung Galaxy A35 5G packs an in-house Exynos 1380 chipset; the same chipset we saw on the Samsung Galaxy A54 5G in early 2023. It’s a generational upgrade over the Galaxy A25 5G’s older Exynos 1280, and it comes backed by 6GB of RAM and 128GB of expandable storage in the base configuration. Samsung’s in-house chipset feels significantly more comfortable in a slightly more affordable device, putting up CPU benchmark numbers that compare well against the more expensive Google Pixel 8a and Nothing Phone 2a and sometimes even beat the flagship-grade chipsets. Its Achilles’ heel is GPU testing, which gets points for stability, but is an obvious weakness compared to slightly pricier mid-range phones.

Samsung Galaxy A35 Wild Life graph
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Thankfully, the Galaxy A35 5G often outperforms its price tag in day-to-day usage. I took it out as my primary device for a weekend of trail running with friends in rural Pennsylvania, and I was pretty impressed with how well it held up. The phone had no issues charging through two hours of GPS navigation to get me around Harrisburg at morning rush hour, and I pulled in with more than enough juice left to capture photos all day and pull up Strava for an ill-advised eight miles on the Appalachian Trail. I didn’t fall while on the trail, so I didn’t get to see how Gorilla Glass Victus Plus held up to the rocky, miserable stretch of trail through my home state, but it gave me enough peace of mind to take the trails quickly and know my phone would probably survive.

The Galaxy A35 5G kept chugging once we got off the trails, too, allowing me to hop between a little bit of social media streaming and light gaming (mostly Golf Clash and Marvel Snap) while we waited to grab dinner. I wouldn’t recommend heavier titles like Genshin Impact or Asphalt 9 unless you can live with low settings and frequent frame drops, but light titles are no issue. I also caught up on the first few episodes of Disney’s The Acolyte while I was away, with the Exynos 1380 only warming slightly because I was streaming from the comfort of an outdoor hammock.

Samsung Galaxy A35 cameras
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Since we’re busy comparing the Galaxy A35 5G to the more affordable Galaxy A25 5G as an obvious alternative for those looking to save some cash, let’s move on to the cameras. All of Samsung’s budget camera setups look identical at a glance, and they’re all inspired by the flagship Galaxy S series, but they’re not quite created equal. The Galaxy A35 5G kicks off with a 50MP primary camera with a maximum aperture of ƒ/1.8, the same resolution and aperture as the Galaxy A15 5G and A25 5G offer, but its sensor is larger, offering slightly better low-light performance thanks to its larger individual pixels. The other two cutouts house an 8MP ultrawide and a 5MP dedicated macro sensor, giving the Galaxy A35 5G a slight leg up over its fellow Galaxy A devices in some cases.

However, that leg up isn’t a big one, as picking out the differences between photos from the three phones often feels like recreating the pointing Spider-Man meme — at least at 1x and 2x zoom. It’s not a problem, as Samsung’s 50MP primary sensor feels pretty well-tuned in well-lit scenarios, but it does mean you’re not getting too much extra punch by grabbing the Galaxy A35 5G over Samsung’s more affordable options.

You're not getting too much extra punch by grabbing the Galaxy A35 5G over Samsung's more affordable options.

Overall, though, I’m pretty pleased with the results it turned in during my testing, whether in well-lit or in slightly lower lighting. Samsung’s colors are surprisingly accurate in the bunch of pride balloons — no oversaturation on reds and greens this time — and the Galaxy A35 5G captured the stock cars rounding the dirt track without any motion blur. Although I’m not usually a big fan of budget ultrawide cameras, the Galaxy A35’s 8MP option is among the better I’ve used. It easily fits the entire sailboat in the image to the bottom right, and both the colors and details are better than what I’ve gotten out of the Galaxy A15 and A25. There’s a tiny bit of distortion in the planks of the dock in the corner and a bit of a bend to the horizon, but they’re worthwhile trade-offs so that I don’t have to move further back from the boat.

I’m not as thrilled with the dedicated macro shot of the purple flower, with the limitations of a 5MP sensor on full display, but somehow, that’s not the most disappointing shot in the gallery. That dubious honor goes to the 10x zoom image of lily pads on a local pond. Although the white flower and lily pads look fine, the Galaxy A35 5G struggled badly with the algae growth in the background, reducing it to a green pattern that almost looks AI-generated.

If you want to check out full-resolution versions of the samples above (especially the weird lily pad artifacting), you can do so at this Google Drive link.

Unfortunately, the underwhelming shot of the lily pads is a sign of the Galaxy A35 5G’s greater struggles with zoom. Because it has a dedicated macro sensor rather than a telephoto, you wind up relying on the primary sensor for, well, everything. It skates by at 2x zoom without too much issue, but by the time you hit 4x and even 10x zoom (the Galaxy A35 5G’s maximum), the details are in rough shape due to the lack of dedicated hardware and reliance on digital zoom. I’ll give it to Samsung that the colors are still accurate, but the shingles on top of the pagoda look like little more than horizontal stripes at longer lengths.

The Galaxy A35 5G’s selfie camera, on the other hand, surprised me. I had no expectations for the 13MP punch hole sensor, but it nailed the details through my hair and beard — something that budget selfie options from Motorola and OnePlus have repeatedly fumbled. It also accurately identified the edges of my hair in portrait mode, something else that doesn’t always happen perfectly.

On the video side, the Galaxy A35 5G matches the more affordable Galaxy A25 5G, with up to 4K recording at 30fps. You can also record in 1080p at either 30fps from the selfie camera or 60fps from the rear camera. Video stabilization is good, too — good enough to make memories with your kids or pets — but it’s not quite flagship-grade.

Although there are plenty of other differences between the Samsung Galaxy A devices, battery life and charging are the great equalizers. Like the more affordable models, the Galaxy A35 5G ships with a 5,000mAh battery and supports wired charging at up to 25W with a compatible charger (you don’t get one in the box). It takes a pretty consistent hour and a half to pick up a full charge, which is no surprise since the Galaxy A15 5G and A25 5G filled at the same rate.

The Galaxy A35 5G is the best of Samsung's budget crop for 2024.

That said, I’m impressed to see such consistency out of Samsung across its budget range, especially when rivals like Motorola offer different (and slower) charging speeds depending on which Moto G device you buy. Of course, the trade-off is that a few Moto G devices now support wireless charging for added flexibility, and several other alternatives from OnePlus and Nothing offer even faster wired charging.

As for the battery life itself, Samsung’s Galaxy A35 5G is no slouch. In our battery drain test, it nearly doubled the web browsing results of more expensive devices like the Pixel 8a and beat both the mid-range Pixel and the Nothing Phone 2a in our gaming tests. While a mixed day of usage will probably balance out some of the battery gains in one section or another, the Galaxy A35 5G easily packs enough juice to go a day and a half between charging. I’ve been using the phone throughout a heat wave here in the Mid-Atlantic, and it hasn’t knocked down the battery performance in any noticeable way.

All told, the Galaxy A35 5G is the best of Samsung’s budget crop for 2024 (at least in the US) and by far the easiest of the Galaxy A devices to recommend. Sure, it shares a lot with the Galaxy A15 5G and A25 5G in terms of the battery life, charging, software support, and primary camera, but the more durable materials, official IP67 rating, and much better display more than justify its $400 asking price. There are things that the Galaxy A35 5G could still improve, like adding wireless charging and trading its dedicated macro sensor for, well, anything else, but they’re small prices to pay when the rest of the phone is so well-rounded.

Samsung Galaxy A35 5G
Samsung Galaxy A35 5G
AA Recommended
Samsung Galaxy A35 5G
Durable Gorilla Glass construction • Vibrant AMOLED panel • Great battery life
MSRP: $400.00
The best of 2024's Galaxy A series.
The Samsung Galaxy A35 5G is the top Galaxy A model for 2024 that is officially available in the US. It replaces the previous Galaxy A34 5G with tougher Gorilla Glass Victus Plus on the front and back, a more efficient Exynos 1380 chipset, and an upgraded 50MP primary camera.
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Samsung Galaxy A35
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Samsung Galaxy A35

What are the best Samsung Galaxy A35 5G alternatives?

Samsung Galaxy A35 vs Moto G 5G vs Pixel 8a on table
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Should you decide that the Samsung Galaxy A35 5G isn’t the budget phone for you, there are plenty of other options to check out. Whether you want to spend a little more or save some money, here are some Galaxy A35 5G alternatives:

  • Google Pixel 8a ($499 at Amazon): Google’s most affordable Pixel 8a has a few advantages over the Galaxy A35 5G, including wireless charging and even better software support, including Gemini AI features, but Samsung’s cameras are more flexible and Gorilla Glass Victus Plus beats a plastic back any day.
  • Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G (2024) ($399.99 at Motorola): The Moto G Stylus 5G (2024) is a high point for what the Moto G series has become. It’s the most affordable phone you can get with a stylus, and Motorola’s vegan leather back is comfortable in the hand. However, you’ll have to live with bad bloatware and a weak update commitment.
  • Samsung Galaxy A25 5G ($299.99 at Amazon): Samsung’s own Galaxy A25 5G is a good option if you’re on a tighter budget. It offers many of the same features as the Galaxy A35 but swaps to a plastic back and lower-tier Gorilla Glass display. You’ll get similar cameras, too, even if the sensors are slightly smaller.
  • Nothing Phone 2a (£319.99 at Amazon): The Nothing Phone 2a might be one of the best budget phones you can buy, but it’s tricky to recommend in the US. It scores big with a powerful Dimensity 7200 Pro chipset, a massive 6.7-inch display, and a pair of sharp 50MP cameras but loses points for iffy network support across the big three. If you’re outside the US, however, it’s an easy pick.
  • Apple iPhone SE (2022) ($429 at Amazon): If you really need an iPhone, this is the most affordable option—not that we’d recommend it. Apple’s most recent iPhone SE remains trapped in an iPhone 8’s body, complete with hefty top and bottom bezels and just one camera on the back. But hey, it’ll get plenty of software updates.

Samsung Galaxy A35 5G specs

Samsung Galaxy A35 5G
6.6-inch Super AMOLED
2340 x 1080 resolution
120Hz refresh rate
19.5:9 aspect ratio
Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+
Samsung Exynos 1380
Expandable via microSD card
25W wired charging
50MP wide camera
ƒ/1.8 aperture

8MP ultra-wide camera, 123deg FoV
ƒ/2.2 aperture

5MP macro camera
ƒ/2.4 aperture
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.3
Operating System
One UI 6.1
Android 14
Water resistance
Iceblue, Lilac, Navy
Dimension and weight
161.7 x 78 x 8.2mm
209 grams

Samsung Galaxy A35 5G review: FAQ

No, the Samsung Galaxy A35 5G does not have wireless charging, only 25W wired charging.

No, the Samsung Galaxy A35 5G does not have a headphone jack.

Yes, the Samsung Galaxy A35 5G supports dual-SIM in the form of a single nano-SIM and downloadable eSIM profile.

Yes, you can use the Samsung Galaxy A35 5G to make wireless payments via NFC.

Though it’s technically not waterproof, the Samsung Galaxy A35 5G has an IP67 rating, which means it can be submerged in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes.

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