Wednesday, June 19, 2024
Smart Phones

Galaxy A55 5G vs Pixel 7a: With great value comes great responsibility


Samsung has already kicked off 2024 with a bang, launching the Galaxy S24 series earlier than usual. It’s by no means ready to call it quits for the first half of the year, though, as it has a full roster of mid-range devices yet to update.
First and likely most exciting among those is the new Galaxy A55 5G. Succeeding the Galaxy A54, one of Samsung’s more important announcements in 2023, and will hopefully right some of the wrongs that we disliked on the best-selling Samsung phone from last year. Yep, the Galaxy A54 is a hot commodity, and it appears that the Galaxy A55 5G could reiterate that success, which is great news for Samsung!

Yet, Google’s Pixel 7a can’t be ignored. It’s actually one of the better affordable devices you can get in the US, and any market success will have to take into account the Pixel 7a. Which one of these would be the better budget device to get in 2024? Comparison time!

Now, surprising as it may seem, Samsung has opted to keep the Galaxy A55 5G out of the US market and instead bringing the Galaxy A35 5G to the shelves. By shifting its portfolio in such a way, Samsung is positioning the Galaxy S23 and the Galaxy S23 FE as more affordable alternatives to the flagship Galaxy S24, but at the same time more competent devices than the Galaxy A35. 

Galaxy A55 5G vs Pixel 7a differences explained:

Table of Contents:

Design and Display Quality

Candybars are never going out of style

Both the Galaxy A55 5G and the Pixel 7a don’t stray away from the classic and well-established candybar paradigm. Standard devices, with standard design and traditional exterior. Both the Galaxy A55 5G and the Pixel 7a are glass-aluminum sandwiches, but each has a unique design element.

On the Pixel 7a, we have the metal 3D Visor which houses the dual cameras and imitates the flagship Pixel 6, Pixel 7, and Pixel 8 series. Sure, it scuffs easily and might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but hey, it surely fits into Google’s unique recent design language. 

Meanwhile, the Galaxy A55 5G comes with the so-called Key Island, which is a bump on the right side of the frame. It houses the power button and the volume rocker. An intriguing design element, for sure. 

Both phones are IP67-rated and will endure submersion into water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes, which should give you a peace of mind.

Now, both phones have it pretty differently when it comes to displays. The Galaxy A55 5G is the much larger device thanks to a 6.6-inch FHD+ OLED display, possibly brighter than last year’s Galaxy A54 by a fair margin. There’s 120Hz as well as the legibility-maxing Vision Booster on the Galaxy A55 5G, which should make the display that much more awesome, especially at this price point. 

Meanwhile, with the Pixel 7a, we get a 6.1-inch OLED screen with a 90Hz refresh rate, so we are getting a smaller display that’s not as smooth. It might be much dimmer, too, as the maximum brightness isn’t great. Surely, the display could be one of the weaker aspects of the Pixel 7a

According to our own benchmark tests, the Galaxy A55 and the Pixel 7a are rather similar in terms of overall display properties, with similar color rendition and mostly comparable maximum and minimum brightness readings. 

Performance and Software

Exynos vs Tensor, we meet again

Each manufacturer puts their own chipset flavor on their respective device. 

Google put the flagship-grade Tensor G2 on the Pixel 7a, which is the same chip that powered the Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro, and the Pixel Fold. So, for the most part, you can expect flagship grade performance that will age well despite being a bit lackluster in terms of raw performance.

Meanwhile, Samsung has its new Exynos 1480 inside the Galaxy A55 5G, which might not be a terribly powerful power plant either. Last year’s Galaxy A54 wasn’t very impressive in terms of performance, so there’s definitely room for improvement. Still, we probably shouldn’t expect too much out of an iterative mid-range refresh.

Both devices will come with 128GB of native storage in the base version, which is a standard mid-range amount these days. The Pixel 7a comes with 8GB of RAM, and so does the base version of the Galaxy A55 5G. This should even out the multitasking capabilities of these two hot-headed rivals. 

As far as performance is considered, the Galaxy A55 5G fares mostly similar to the Pixel 7a, but Google’s device boasts a significantly better single-core performance in GeekBench 6, while the multi-core result is tied. Graphics-wise, the heavy 3DMark Extreme stress test reveals the Pixel 7a is a more capable gamin machine, too, beating the Galaxy A55 5G easily. 


Who needs a macro?

The Galaxy A55 5G is equipped with a triple-camera system, but let’s not kid ourselves: one of these is a mostly useless macro camera. So, for all intents and purposes, perceive the phone as having two actual cameras, a 50MP wide and a 12MP ultra-wide. At the front, an imposing 32MP selfie camera is found inside the punch-hole.

At the same time, the Pixel 7a comes along with the Sony IMX787-powered 64MP main camera that’s mostly on par with the flagship Pixels and takes photos that look just as good. There’s also a new camera sensor for the ultra-wide camera, which is now a 13MP Sony IMX712 and also performs admirably in most situations. 

Samsung boasts improved low-light photography on the Galaxy A55 5G, as well as enhanced image processing. 

Main Camera

From the get-go, we get two different approaches. The Pixel 7a goes for a grimier look, with enhanced contrast and a slightly under-exposed look. Meanwhile, the Galaxy A55 achieves a more vivid and bright look, which is rather different. At lower light, there aren’t many differences either, with the most glaring difference being the color temperature. 

Zoom Quality

Neither is rather good at zooming. You can get away with short zooming, with the Galaxy A55 resolving slightly more detail, but neither is exemplar here.  




Video Thumbnail

Audio Quality and Haptics

The Galaxy A55 5G delivers clear, loud, and rich sound, with sufficient loudness and bass to make listening to music a pleasurable experience. It delivers slightly better audio than the Pixel 7a, which doesn’t really shine with deep bass or super-clear highs. 

Haptics are an area in which the Pixel 7a didn’t excel, and the Galaxy A55 5G is mostly similar. 

Battery Life and Charging

Long-lasting champs?

The Galaxy A55 5G comes with a traditional 5,000mAh battery that has been the de facto standard for multiple Android flagships over the years. Hopefully, it will pair well with the Exynos 1480 and deliver great battery life. Judging from the Galaxy A54, the Galaxy A55 5G could deliver outstanding battery life in comparison with its rivals.

Meanwhile, the Pixel 7a fared well in comparison with the Galaxy A55 5G’s predecessor, beating it in our video streaming test, but losing by a margin in the web browsing test. It was also defeated in the 3D gaming test, where the Galaxy A54 performed much better. There’s a smaller 4,385mAh battery on board, so there’s that. 

PhoneArena Battery Test Results:

In our custom battery tests, which are conducted with the displays manually set at 200 nits of brightness, the Galaxy A55 5G does better in the web browsing test, which emulates a regular browsing experience. However, the Pixel 7a regains some ground in the video streaming test, but our custom 3D gaming test is definitely a forte of the Galaxy A55 5G. 

PhoneArena Charging Test Results:

Charging-wise, the Pixel 7a supports slow 18W wired and 7.5W wireless charging, so nothing too impressive. In fact, it takes the phone two full hours to fully charge from 0 to 100, which is not great at all. The Galaxy A55 5G has faster 25W charging speed support, but no wireless charging support. As per our benchmarks, the Galaxy A55 charges significantly faster than Google’s phone. 

There’s no charger in the box of either device, as is the norm these days. 


Summary and Final Verdict

So, which among these two could be the go-to affordable phone recommendation for 2024? Well, it all depends on how good and pricey the Galaxy A55 5G is! The Pixel 7a is already a safe choice in the $500 mid-range bracket and is often our default answer for a low cost, but great-value device.

In Europe, the Galaxy A55 5G carries a slightly higher price tag than last year’s Galaxy A54. As we already mentioned, the Galaxy A55 5G won’t be carried in the US, which is a pity. However, seeing how the Galaxy A35 is mostly the same phone, it could be mostly a semantic difference. 


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