5 Android phones to buy instead of the Galaxy A55

18/04/2024

In a surprising move, Samsung has decided not to launch the Galaxy A55, its most powerful mid-ranger of the year, in the US, at least for now. While the Korean giant’s mid-range phones were never known for their performance or value for money, they were still the default choice for many because of their wide availability and good software support. With the Galaxy A55 not coming to the US, here are five Android phones that perfectly fill the gap left by it and are worth your money.

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1
Google Pixel 7a

An amazing all-rounder

google-pixel-7a-back-3

Google Pixel 7a

If there’s one company that should benefit the most from the Galaxy A55’s absence in the US, it’s Google. The company’s $499 Pixel 7a packs the best bits of the Pixel 7 in a cheaper and more compact package.

There are a couple of tradeoffs by choosing Google’s midrange champ over Samsung’s. Unlike the Galaxy A55’s 6.6-inch 120Hz AMOLED panel, the Pixel 7a packs a smaller 6.1-inch display with a 90Hz refresh rate. Its battery life is also nowhere near as good as that of the A55. The latter should make it through a day of heavy use with ease thanks to the Exynos 1480 SoC and beefy 5,000mAh battery.

Look over these shortcomings though, and you get a phone with impressive cameras, useful AI features like Magic Eraser, a clean and bloatware-free Android experience, and speedy software updates. The Tensor G2 chip inside the Pixel 7a also performs better than Samsung’s Exynos 1480 chip powering the Galaxy A55. It heats up when pushed hard, but it’s always better to have extra horsepower than not to have it at all.

While the Pixel 7a officially costs $499, it is regularly discounted by up to $150 off its MSRP. This makes it a lot more affordable and a much better choice than any option from Samsung. And hey, if you’re okay with waiting, it might make even more sense to bide your time until the Pixel 8a arrives later this year.

google pixel 7a, front and back views

Google Pixel 7a

$374 $499 Save $125

If you are looking for a new device at a midrange price, the Google Pixel 7a checks off all the boxes. It has a fantastic camera system, strong power, great software support, and good battery life. It may be midrange in price but feels closer to its flagship siblings overall.

2
OnePlus 12R

The performance beast

The OnePlus 12R was held facedown in a hand

If you don’t want to spend more than $500 on an Android phone in the US, the OnePlus 12R is probably the device to buy. With a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, the phone’s performance runs circles around the Galaxy A55. It also packs a bigger 6.78-inch FHD+ AMOLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate and a claimed peak brightness of 3,000 nits.

Even better, the 5,500mAh battery means the OnePlus 12R delivers two-day battery life. When in a hurry, the 100W wired fast charging can top up the cell to full in less than 30 minutes.

The only catch with the OnePlus 12R is its limited availability. While Samsung phones are typically available across all major carriers and retailers in the US, that’s not the case with the OnePlus phone. You can buy it directly from the OnePlus website or Amazon, but you won’t find it in carrier stores.

oneplus 12r rear on a white background

OnePlus 12R

The OnePlus 12R is the cheaper sibling of the OnePlus 12, delivering almost the same experience as the flagship at a lower price point. It achieves this using a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, a 6.78-inch FHD+ OLED display, and a beefy 5,500mAh battery.

3
Samsung Galaxy S23 FE

One for the fans

If you prefer Samsung’s One UI skin and are willing to pay a premium, consider buying the Galaxy S23 FE. The phone packs the best bits of last year’s Galaxy S23, like a 6.4-inch 120Hz AMOLED panel, a 50MP f/1.8 primary camera with OIS, and a big 4,500mAh battery. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC runs a bit hot, but if you don’t use heavy apps or games, this shouldn’t cause too much of a concern.

The Galaxy S23 FE is a much better buy than the Galaxy A55, thanks to its more powerful internals and capable cameras. It is also slated to get many Galaxy AI features as part of One UI 6.1. The Galaxy S23 FE’s $600 price tag makes it among the most expensive options on this list. While you can usually score a decent discount on the phone, the steep price tag is a bummer.

Front and back of the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE in Mint Green, against a white background

Samsung Galaxy S23 FE

$550 $600 Save $50

Samsung’s newest flagship phone, the Galaxy S23 FE packages together power and performance to bring you the newest, and most affordable smartphone in the S23 lineup. With a smart battery, optimized camera, and seamless connectivity, the Galaxy S23 FE provides you with everything you need, at a great price.

4
Moto Edge (2023)

Style over substance

Motorola Edge 2023 laying face down on a brown wooden deck.

If you prefer style to substance, the 2023 Motorola Edge is a great alternative to the Galaxy A55. It’s the only phone on this list with a 144Hz OLED panel and a sleek design, and those alone might win over some Samsung holdouts.

Besides the excellent display, the Moto Edge stands out with its clean OS and UI. Motorola’s software support is nowhere close to Samsung’s, so you have to compromise in this area. The MediaTek Dimensity 7030 chip is also not the fastest, so if you want a phone to run the best Android games smoothly, look elsewhere. Thankfully, it’s a battery champ. Despite its thin build, the Moto Edge features a 4,400mAh battery. Coupled with 68W wired fast charging, you can top up the battery quickly when in a hurry.

Its $600 MSRP might scare you away, but the Motorola Edge (2023) is constantly on sale. In fact, it’s been discounted down to $350 more often throughout 2024 than it’s actually been at its standard price.

Motorola Edge (2023) front and back, against a white background

Motorola Edge (2023)

$350 $500 Save $150

The Motorola Edge (2023) is an affordable mid-range device that is part of the company’s competitive 2023 smartphone lineup. Despite its mid-range credentials, the phone’s large OLED display and fast-charging battery could convince some buyers to choose it over competing phones like the Pixel 8 — though it could come at the cost of software upgrades.

5
Samsung Galaxy A35

A budget Galaxy

The Galaxy A55 in its light blue colorway.

Source: Samsung

If you are not willing to spend a lot on a Galaxy A55 alternative from Samsung itself, get the Galaxy A35 instead. It packs the best bits of the Galaxy A54 and this year’s A55 into a cheaper package. You get a 6.6-inch AMOLED display built into an IP67-certified body with an Exynos 1380 SoC ticking inside. This is coupled with 128 or 256GB storage and 6 or 8GB RAM. Powering the phone is a massive 5,000mAh battery with 25W fast charging support.

The Galaxy A35 is the least powerful Android phone on this list, and in some areas, it is a clear downgrade over the Galaxy A55 and its primary competitors. But if you want a relatively inexpensive Android phone with long software support for basic use, the Galaxy A35 won’t disappoint you.

While Samsung has confirmed the Galaxy A35 will launch in the US, there’s no word on its pricing or availability yet.

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You still have plenty of options to choose from

The Galaxy A55’s absence from the US market gives other, much better phones an opportunity to shine. The OnePlus 12R and the Google Pixel 7a are better options than Samsung’s mid-ranger, packing more powerful internals and better cameras. You should even consider an old flagship phone over Samsung’s missing budget Galaxy phone, as the former offers more bang for the buck.

As a consumer, you stand to win from the Galaxy A55’s absence. If anything, it will lead to more intense competition among other Android manufacturers as they look to fill the void left by the missing Galaxy.

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