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Samsung Galaxy A35 Review

Back in school, having a phone became essential for me in the fourth of fifth grade, making me about 10 or 11 years old.

It was a good time, no one really cared if you had an iPhone or not, everyone just wanted to play Snake or Bounce on their Nokias!

Nowadays, a phone means more than just making and taking phone calls, sending and receiving text messages, or even Snake and Bounce.

We need an internet connection, and it needs to be the fastest available out there, whether it’s WiFi 6 or 5G; We need dual stereo speakers and a nice AMOLED display to enjoy as much video content as possible whether vertical or horizontal.

We also need a nice set of cameras to make content for other people to hopefully watch!

Last but not the least, the phone’s battery life needs to last long enough for each of us to enjoy everything the pocketable rectangle has to offer.

And on top of all that, it needs to be affordable for whoever’s buying it.

Well that’s A-Okay, because in this review we might have just the phone that can pretty much provide all those things and a little bit more.

–It’s the Samsung Galaxy A35 5G.

Read on!

Design and Construction

This is the Samsung Galaxy A35, not to be confused with its slightly more expensive brother, the Galaxy A55 14.

Following in the vein of their more expensive flagship cousins, the Galaxy A35 5G features the updated more flat-sided aesthetic seen from the S24 series.

Our review unit is in its Navy Blue color option but the Galaxy A35 is also available in Ice Blue, and Lilac.

Although, I personally think the navy blue looks pretty good.

The Galaxy A35’s frame is made of plastic.

But it’s definitely thick and feels sturdy enough to fool anyone into thinking that it’s metal, which definitely scores points in the build department if you ask me. Either way, in this instance it does not make the device feel less premium.

At the top resides the A35’s dual nano SIM card tray (the second SIM slot is a hybrid one that allows for expandable storage,) and a noise-canceling mic.

In the top bezel of the display is a slim slit where one of the stereo speaker drivers reside, and also acts as the earpiece for phone calls.

The bottom of the handset features a noise canceling microphones, a USB Type-C port for charging and wired data transfers, and a speaker grille that houses the second stereo speaker.

The volume rocker and power button are on the right side on what seems to be a hump. Because this makes the buttons extra tactile or, is this just one other way of separating the A’s from the M’s and the S’s? (If you catch my drift)

The back is clean and minimal, from a far this could be an S23 or S24. And it’s cool that the rings of the housings of the triple camera setup gets navy blue accenting to compliment the minimalist design aesthetic.

We also get subtle Samsung branding under the glass back panel. That’s right it’s a glass back panel, not glasstick or plastic; GLASS.

–I don’t think this back panel features a Gorilla Glass protection layer like the A55 though.

Overall, its build quality feels sturdy and nice, thanks to the use of higher-quality materials compared to the even more affordable Galaxy A05 and A05s.

It’s a subtle but nice nod to how Samsung either elevates or cripples the experience catering to different budget segments.

It’s worth noting that the display bezels are an eye-soar compared to something more slim (obviously), and my hands are ergonomically unoptimized for its dimensions. But there are bigger hands out there, so this could be marked as preferential.

Display, Biometrics, and Multimedia

Speaking of display, the Galaxy A35 5G has thick bezels but it makes up for it with its be-A-utiful 6.6-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED (2340 x 1080) display that refreshes at 120Hz, and gets a peak brightness of 1,000 nits.

And for display protection users should be happy to have Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+ onboard, which they’ll most likely put a screen protector on top of anyways, cuz c’mon , we all do that anyways right?

So, in usual Samsung smartphone fashion this display rocks. It’s big, colors can be set to vivid or natural, the blacks look sick with great contrast yata-yata.

–What really blew me away in media consumption is this awesome display paired with the dual stereo speakers. We even get the Dolby Atmos toggle on board that just noticeably elevates the experience in a tap!

And I’ve been glued to using the Galaxy A35 for all my Netflix binges for over a week now.

Pro Tip: there’s an extra dim mode if it’s like 5AM and you haven’t gone to sleep yet.

So in a nutshell the speakers sound great, they get loud. Louder than my daily Galaxy S23 base model’s, with the S23 taking the crown for audio clarity.

But this isn’t to say that the A35’s clarity is terrible either. It gets good lows and mids, with highs that can leave a little more desired. But in general use, everyday users won’t really be able to tell, and they sound good regardless.

For biometrics, we get an optical in-display fingerprint scanner and face unlock. The fingerprint scanner is quick and responsive, and the face unlocking option works accurately in average-lit conditions, but in this case, is even slower at recognition than the aforementioned fingerprint scanner, however it could still prove useful for end-users who have wet hands or are wearing gloves.

Cameras

For optics, the Samsung Galaxy A35 5G delivers a complete-enough experience, with its blueprint somewhat inspired by the S24 series launched earlier this year.

The triple camera setup at the rear is headlined by a 50MP (f/1.8) main camera that features PDAF and OIS. Followed by an 8MP (f/2.2) ultrawide sensor for more dynamic shots in tighter spaces, landscapes and architecture.

And last but not the least, the 5MP (f/2.4) macro camera that does feel like an oversight for a more favorable telephoto lens in our opinion, but allows for close-up photography. Under the display in front resides a 13MP (f/2.2) sensor for selfies.

Checking-out some sample shots, right away we can see how Samsung’s image processing has matured over the years. Photos taken with the main 50MP sensor at the rear look pretty-good on this phone. In usual Samsung fashion we get a cooler WB with vibrantly saturated color reproduction, but with skin tones produced a bit more warm than natural.

Shots with the ultrawide sensor tend to gain noise in average to dim lighting conditions, and remind us more of the old Samsung processing in favor of the overall cooler image.

–I feel like they could’ve included a better, more updated ultrawide sensor on the A35, but I guess if they did that the A55 wouldn’t exist.

The macro sensor is cool to have but we still don’t think it’s cooler than a telephoto sensor. Although, it isn’t the worst implementation of a macro camera we’ve seen, nor is it the best out there.

It’s a nice secondary sensor to have when you want to get closer to your subjects but not too close, due to its minimum focusing distance.

And selfies taken with the 13MP in-display sensor look pretty good for the most part, tuned to match the main camera at the rear more than any of the other’s at the rear.

For video, the Galaxy A35 5G is capable of recording 4K or UHD at 30 frames per second with both the front and rear cameras.

In hindsight, the cameras on this phone aren’t the best out there, but it does offer a good balance of very usable images with the main and selfie cameras, to less than favorable but still usable secondary camera sensors. Samsung’s image processing algorithms have matured, and there’s really nowhere to go but ‘up’ from here (in terms of image quality.)

OS, Apps, and UI

For software, the Samsung Galaxy A35 5G comes with the latest Android 14 out of the box, skinned with a full-fledged One UI 6.1 on top.

–Which is awesome.

This means that this isn’t the light version found in their more affordable handsets. This is a big boy One UI, giving users awesome Link To Windows features if they use a Windows computer.

We also get my preferred shortcuts like double pressing the power button while locked to quickly boot the camera, and swiping with 2 fingers from the bottom of the display to activate split screen windows, to name a few.

The actual software experience is smooth and responsive, with UI animations optimized for the 120Hz refresh rate.

One UI is a very intuitive interface that allows its users cool perks like being able to make a pop-up window with the Youtube app without having to subscribe to premium.

What this version of One UI on the A35 doesn’t have is Samsung’s Dex support, which allows users to connect the A35 to a display via a cable or wirelessly to enable a more desktop-like experience to maximize productivity from the Galaxy phone.

–Which doesn’t necessarily lessen the experience, but would’ve been nice to have at a budget less than PHP 25K.

With One UI, we also have access to Good Lock via the Galaxy Store, which can offer more users who like to tinker even more functionality and customization out of their Galaxy phones.

Either way, I’m sure most users will like One UI and all the cool features it has to offer.

Yes, we still get some repeat apps like Google and Samsung’s Messaging apps, because each one has their own RCS messaging networks (at the time this review was written.)

But there’s also Samsung Internet and Chrome, and even two app markets. Which are ‘technically’ very usual Samsung things. Either way, users can easily uninstall what they don’t want or if not, set the preferred app by default in the settings menu.

And no, neither this Galaxy A35 nor the A55 will get an update for Samsung’s Galaxy Ai features, but owners of these handsets can rest assured that they have been promised four major OS upgrades and five years of security updates.

 

Performance and Benchmarks

Running the Galaxy A35 5G’s show is a Samsung Exynos 1380, a 5 nm chipset, that features an octa-core CPU capable of up to 2.5Ghz clock speeds, coupled with an ARM Mali-G68 GPU.

This chipset doesn’t gain the highest scores in our synthetic benchmarks but when it came to my real-world use, I didn’t really find any major issues.

Locally, the Galaxy A35 is officially configured with its one and only 8GB of memory and 256GB of internal storage. Memory can be expanded virtually with RAM Plus in increments of 2, 4, and 6GB; With internal storage expandable up to 1TB with a microSD card.

I’ve used the Galaxy A35 for over two weeks, mostly using it for Netflix and Spotify binging, as well as checking, revising, and updating documents on the go via Google Docs and Sheets.

So it’s safe to say that whether browsing the web, streaming videos, or playing games, the Galaxy A35 5G in general, offers a responsive and lag-free experience for most usage tasks.

When it came to more graphically intensive games like Genshin Impact the phone noticeably heats up faster than anything else.

 

The game recommends setting graphics to Low by default, we’ve tried maxing out the graphics and frame rate, and it does boot, but with noticeable frame drops when there are more elements on screen, and of course the phone heats up faster.

So, keeping it at the default Low won’t make the game look its best but will definitely play the smoothest.

For those of you interested in the numbers, check-out our benchmark scores below:

Antutu v10.2.3590,740
Antutu Storage Test37,046
S.Read – 531.7 MB/s
S.Write – 493.3 MB/s

3D Mark: Wild Life2,838 (17.00 avg fps)

Geekbench 6
Single: 1,017
Multi: 2,844

Geekbench 6 GPU Vulkan – 3,003
Geekbench 6 GPU OpenCL – 3,028

PC Mark Work 3.0 Performance13,258

Battery and Connectivity

Powering the Galaxy A35 5G is a pretty sizable 5,000 mAh Li-Ion battery, which provides long-lasting power to keep up with the users’ demands.

It also gets support for 25W wired charging, which charges the 5,000 mAh cell up from 0% to 100% in an hour. (But there is no charger included in the box.)

Battery life in real-world use wasn’t an issue for me, who lightly games on the move with my most resource heavy tasks being binge-watching shows on streaming platforms.

While setting the phone to airplane mode, volume muted, and brightness to 50% to account for mixed usage;
In PC Mark’s Work 3.0 battery test the Galaxy A35 garnered a result of 10 hours and 57 minutes.

And in our standard Yugatech video loop test it resulted in 20 hours and 15 minutes.

Connectivity options include 5G support for the fastest mobile data connectivity available, dual nano-SIM slots, and WiFi 6 for reliable wireless connectivity.

Bluetooth 5.3 enables seamless pairing with compatible devices for hassle-free data transfer and audio streaming.

And actual call quality whether on mobile data or WiFi calling for both video and audio calls were superb with no noticeable lags or loss in signal due to the device itself. This goes for text messages as well.

Conclusion

The Samsung Galaxy A35 5G has a retail price of PHP 20,990 for the 8GB RAM+256GB ROM configuration here in the Philippines. There IS a 128GB storage option that is officially available exclusively when purchasing a unit from Globe Telecom or Smart Communications.

And if you ask me, the phone is sick!
At less than 25,000 pesos, the Galaxy A35 is definitely worth considering at this budget.

We get an amazing display and speaker system for media consumption, good-enough rear and selfie camera picture quality, good battery life, and an almost-complete One UI experience (because of the lack of Dex);

–But then again, that truly isn’t a deal-breaker unless you literally can’t do your work without Dex.

Although, if you’re happy with everything from the A35 but wished for a bit more power and slightly better build materials; Without hitting a PHP 30,000 budget, you should definitely take a look at the A35’s bigger brother, the Galaxy A55 5G 67.

What we LIKED:

  • Display
  • Speakers
  • Build Quality
  • Software support

What we Liked LESS:

  • Display Bezels
  • Weird button hump on the side
  • Charging speed

Samsung Galaxy A35 5G specs:
6.6-inch Super AMOLED full HD+, 120Hz refresh rate
Samsung Exynos 1380 5nm chipset
4x Cortex A78 @ 2.4GHz, 4x Cortex A55 @ 2.05GHz
ARM Mali-G68 GPU
8GB RAM
128GB, 256GB internal storage
5G, dual nano-SIM/Hybrid microSD
50MP main camera
8MP ultrawide camera
5MP macro camera
13MP front camera
WiFi 6
Bluetooth 5.3
One UI 6.1 (based on Android 14)
5,000mAh Li-Ion battery, 25W wired charging
Ice Blue, Lemon, Lilac and Navy Blue

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Avatar for Miguel Ty

Miguel Paolo Ty is an Executive Producer at YugaTech. Outside Yugatech he's known as a Content Producer that specializes in video production. He first joined YugaTech in 2019 as a Multimedia Producer for a year and returned in 2023 as a senior member of the team, poised to produce engaging tech content for the Yugatech audience. Miguel graduated with a degree in Digital Filmmaking at the De La Salle - College of St. Benilde in 2018.

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