Samsung A35 5G 2024 – lots of great features at a low price (smartphone review)

The Samsung A35 5G 2024 is a feature-rich phone at a reasonable price. It and the A55 5G 2024 are largely responsible for Samsung’s leading market share. Samsung may push the Galaxy S, but its bread and butter is the A-series.

That is a good segue into the difference between the Galaxy S-series and A-series moving forward. The S-series is promoting AI, although that is really limited to some photo editing tricks and AI search. It will be a few years before we see real on-device AI processing. By that time, the A-series may have some off-device AI cloud processing.

New review format

We are experimenting with our review format. Where we used to put all the raw data in tables at the end, we will now break them up and briefly comment on the various parts. Why? Readers who want to know more will paw over the tables. Readers who want to see if it’s a good phone can just read the comments.

We use Fail (below expectations), Pass (meets expectations) and Exceed (surpasses expectations or is the class leader) against many of the items below. We occasionally give a Pass(able) rating that is not as good as it should be and a Pass ‘+’ rating to show it is good but does not quite make it to Exceed. You can click on most images for an enlargement.

We are also tightening up on grading. From now on, Pass, for example, means meeting expectations for the price bracket. We consider a Pass mark to be 70+/100 with extra points added for class-leading and excellence.

Australian Review: Samsung A35 5G 2024 6/128GB model SN-A356/DS (dual sim/hybrid)

ModelSamsung A35 5G 2024
Model NumberSM-A356E
Price Base6/128GB
   Price base$549
Warranty months24
 Tierlower mid-range
WebsiteProduct Page
FromSamsung Online and approved retailers – see Made for Australia and Don’t buy a grey market smartphone
Country of OriginNot disclosed – China or Vietnam
CompanySamsung is a South Korean multinational manufacturing conglomerate headquartered in Samsung Town, Seoul, South Korea. Samsung Electronics (the world’s largest information technology company, consumer electronics maker and chipmaker.
Test date1-7 April 2024
Ambient temp18-26°
ReleaseApril 2024
Other models not for Australia (Don’t buy)B, N, or U model. E is for Australia.
MoreCyberShack Samsung news and reviews
CyberShack smartphone news and reviews

 Screen – Pass+

This is a good, bright, reasonably colour-accurate 1080p sAMOLED screen for the price. It is daylight-readable and bright enough for some HDR content to show decent detail in dark and light areas. It uses Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) dimming, which will be evident to people who are not tolerant.

Flat, CurveFlat, centre O-hole
Resolution2340 x 1080
Screen to Body %84.8%
Colours bits8-bit 16.7M colours
Refresh Hz, adaptiveFixed 60Hz or Adaptive stepped 60 or 120Hz
Touch response240Hz
Nits typical, testNot disclosed (436)
Nits max, test1000 nits HDR/HBM (High Brightness Mode). Tested 937 nits.
Peak Brightness: Not disclosed (Tested 1600 nits 2-5% window)
sRGBNot disclosed, but assume 100%
DCI-P3Not disclosed, but assume 100% of the 16.7 million gamut.
Delta E (<4 is excellent)2.8 – Colours are reasonably accurate.
HDR LevelHDR10+ but most streaming content shows as SDR or HDR.
SDR UpscaleNo
Blue Light ControlYes
PWM dimming All Samsung AMOLED use PWM 240-250Hz approx. and then at 480-500Hz. This is critical for PWM-intolerant people.
Daylight readableYes
Always on DisplayYes
Edge displayYes
AccessibilityFull suite of enhancements
DRMWidevine L1 FOR 1080P SDR. You can get HDR10 on YouTube.
GamingNot Tested.
Screen protectionGorilla Glass Victus+
CommentSee DXOMARK Display Test
Poor palm rejection
It often requires more than one touch.
Noticeable PWM flicker
Off-angle colour tints
Photo preview colours are off
Low-cost AMOLED on a low-cost phone with lower performance.

Processor – Pass

This is a low-cost System-on-a-Chip. It performs well for simple tasks, but it slows down as you load it up (video, photos, and games). Not for gamers. RAM and storage speeds seem slower than specified.

Brand, ModelSamsung Exynos 1380  used in 2023 A54
Cores4 x2.4GHz & 4 x 2.0Ghz
Geekbench 6 Single-core903
Geekbench 6 multi-core2852
LikeFull Benchmarks
Like SD6 Gen 1 or MediaTek Dimensity 920
GPUMali G68 MP5
GPU Test
Open CL2983
Storage, free, type128GB 3.1 (seems slower like UFS 2.2) 92GB free.
micro-SDYes – a hybrid with SIM 2 to 1TB
CPDT internal seq. Read MBps sustained525 (Jazz 532.22)
CPDT internal seq. write MBps sustained330 (Jazz 389.95)
CPDT microSD read, write MBps75/50MBps
CPDT external (mountable?) MBpsSeen in ‘Files’ but not mountable.
CommentIt is fit for purpose. Exynos gives reasonable performance.
Videographers and vloggers will soon run out of space without mountable storage, which is seen as internal storage.

Throttle test – Pass

It throttles 23% under load – acceptable for typical use.

Max GIPS249906
Average GIPS214919
Minimum GIPS186929
% Throttle23%
CPU Temp50
CommentIt has acceptable throttling but shows this SoC is not for gamers.

Comms – Pass

It has Wi-Fi 2.4/5GHz, 6, 2 x 2 MIMO and can connect at a maximum of 1200/1200Mbps. It holds the connection quite well to 10m from the router.

Wi-Fi Type, modelWi-Fi 6 AX 2×2 MIMO
Test 2m -dBm, Rx/Tx Mbps-24/1200/1150 (See tests below)
Test 5m-40/1160/1200
Test 10m-53/915/816
BT Type5.3
GPS single, dualSingle – 2m accuracy fine for in-car use.
USB typeUSB-C 2.0
ALT DP, DeX, Ready ForNo
   AccelerometerYes – combo with Gyro
   GyroYes – combo with Gyro
   Ambient lightYes
   Hall sensorYes
CommentIt is Wi-Fi 6 AX 2×2 MIMO, with a maximum connection speed of 1200/1200. Overall, it performed to spec but there was quite a difference in maximum and minimum speeds over three distance tests.

LTE and 5G

SIMDual Sim hybrid micro-SD (double-sided) DS model. No eSIM.
 ActiveOne at a time
Ring tone single, dualSingle
VoLTECarrier Dependent
Wi-Fi callingCarrier Dependent
4G BandsB1, 2, 3, 4, 5,7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 20, 25, 26, 28, 38, 40, 41 66
CommentAll Australian bands and most world bands
5G sub-6GhzN1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 26 28, 40, 66, 77, 78
CommentAll Australian sub-6GHz and low bands
Test Boost Mobile, Telstra
  DL/UL, ms34.4/22.7/30 – good speed but slow ping
   Tower 1 -dBm, fW or pWFrom -76 to -85 and 3.2 to 25.1pW – very strong single tower strength.
   Tower 2No
   Tower 3No
   Tower 4No
CommentIt has a very strong single-tower signal, but as we have come to expect from Exynos modems, they won’t find the following three nearest towers.
For city and suburban use.

Battery – Pass

Typical users will get a full day’s use, but heavy users may need to top up more frequently.

It can charge in 90 minutes with a 9V/2.77AA/25W charger (Samsung genuine but not supplied). it is a little slower with a 25W or more PD charger.

The battery is rated for 500 recharge cycles, so it should give three years of more use.

4905mAh/19.04Wh actual installed
500 recharge cycles
Charger, type, suppliedNo
Samsung suggests 90 minutes with its 25W (9V/2.77A/25W)
 PD, QC level25W capable or any PD/PPS charger
Qi, wattageN/A
Reverse Qi or cable.No
Test (60Hz or adaptive)Adaptive refresh
   Charge 0-100%Genuine Samsung 25W charger: 1 hour 21 minutes
GaN PD3 charger: 1 hour 45 minutes
   Charge 5V, 2A3 hours 6 minutes
   Video loop 50%, aeroplane mode14 hours 47 minutes (Claimed 24 hours)
   PC Mark 3 battery14 hours 11 minutes
Accubattery 17 hours 49 minutes
   GFX Bench Manhattan batteryWould not run
   GFX Bench T-Rex446.3 minutes (7.44 hours) 4515 frames
   Drain 100-0% full load screen on5 hours 47 minutes
Accubattery 4 hours 54 minutes
   mA full load2200-2300mA – reasonably high accounting for shorter battery life
   mA Watt idle Screen on250-300mA
   Estimate loss at max refresh20%
   Estimate typical useTypical users will get 24 hours plus.
CommentUnless you use the Samsung charger with a fixed 9V/2.77A/25W output, PD/PPS chargers will take longer as they vary the voltage to better care for the battery.

Sound – Pass

It gets quite loud at 84dB, but the lack of bass and some clipping mean you should use Bluetooth headphones.

It has Dolby Atmos decode and its EQ for better sound.

SpeakersStereo – top earpiece and bottom down-firing.
AMP2 x TFA9879 MPX Class-D stereo amp and DPS 1.6, 2.65W@8, 4OHM .2% THD
Dolby Atmos decodeYes
BT CodecsSBC, AAC, aptX (free), LDAC, and SSC (Samsung scalable codec for Samsung devices only). 16-bit/44100Hz/Stereo
MultipointShould be
Dolby Atmos (DA)Yes, and DA gaming
EQDolby – Normal, Pop, Classic, Jazz, Rock and custom
MicsOne top and two bottom
Test dB – all on EQ flat DA off
   Volume max84 – louder than average
   Media (music)80
   Hands-freeThe bottom two mics are for voice only, and the top is for noise reduction. It has good hands-free pick-up to about 600mm and good speaker loudness.
   BT headphonesExcellent separation and volume.

Samsung A35 5G 2024 Sound Quality – Passable

Read: How to tell if you have good music – sound signature is the key

Deep Bass 20-40HzNo
Middle Bass 40-100HzNo
High Bass 100-200HzBuilding slowly past 200Hz to 300Hz
Low Mid 200-400HzFlattening
Mid 4000-1000HzFlattening
High-Mid 1-2kHzFlat
Low Treble 2-4kHzFlat but choppy
Mid Treble 4-6kHzFlat
High Treble 6-10kHzLinear decline to 10Hz
Dog Whistle 10-20kHzLinear decline to 20Hz
Sound Signature typeBright Vocal (bass recessed, mid, treble boosted) – for vocal tracks and string instruments, but can make them harsh.
   SoundstageStereo: as wide as the phone
Dolby Atmos: wider by about 10cm with some 3D height and better clarity.
CommentI am pleasantly surprised at 84dB (loud), but as usual, the lack of bass makes this a candidate for listening via headphones (no 3.5mm).

Build – Pass+

You do not expect Gorilla Glass Victus+ at this price level. IP67 is also a bonus.

Size (H X W x D)161.7 x 78 x 8.2
Weight grams209 – quite heavy for this class
Front glassGG Victus+
Rear materialGlass (could be Acrylic Glass PMMA)
IP ratingIPX4 10L water spray for 5 minutes
IP67 1m water for 30 minutes
Not warranted for water ingress
ColoursAwesome Navy
Awesome Ice blue
Pen, Stylus supportNo
Repairabilityeasy  to repair

In the box – Passable

No matter how much we criticise a manufacturer for not including a charger (and it costs $99 to buy a 65W Samsung one plus $20 for 3W cable), people only focus on the phone’s price. This is really a $669 phone!

   USB cableNo (possibly on the retail version)
   Bumper coverNo
CommentMore Samsung penny-pinching

Operating System – Pass+

Here is the strength of this device: it has a two-year warranty, four OS upgrades, and five years of regular security patches.

But there is about 10GB of Bloatware that Samsung receives payment to pre-load. We recommend using Google Apps instead and removing Samsung-specific apps. This makes it easy to swap to any brand of Android device.

We are also concerned that there are massive privacy implications of accepting all of Samsung’s seven legal ‘policies’ totalling 25,214 words – just to use a phone. That is on top of Google Android policies, any app policies, and Microsoft 365 and OneDrive if you use those for backup. The policies are at the end of the document. Our take – extreme arse covering! You can also use the phone without a Samsung account but it does nag you.

Security patch date1 February 2024 (we would expect quarterly)
(No AI as on the S24-series)
OS upgrade policyUp to 4 OS upgrades
Security patch policyUp to 5 years
BloatwareIt has 92GB free, and about 10GB is from bloatware. There are 33 Samsung Apps (we recommend using Google equivalents also loaded), Facebook, Galaxy Store, Gaming Hub, Microsoft 365, LinkedIn, Netflix, Spotify, etc.
CommentSamsung has an excellent upgrade policy, and One UI is easy to use. Privacy can be an issue, as Samsung encourages you to log in and create a Samsung account, but you can avoid that. You can’t avoid Google!
Fingerprint sensor location, typeOptical under glass – lots of fails
Face ID2D
OtherKnox and Secure folder
CommentOne of the more secure Android phones.

Samsung A35 5G 2024 rear camera – Pass

What do you want from a $549 smartphone camera? The answer should be decent daylight and office light images with some low-light capability.

Yes, you get all this, but not a lot more. The DXOMARK test rated it 104 or 125th in the ranking. That is average all around, and it is flanked by smartphone cameras from 2021-22.

Our take

  • Decent outdoor photos
  • Struggles in low light.
  • Post-processing is weak and slow (courtesy of low Exynos TOPs).
  • The photo preview is way off the finished shot.
  • Video is only successful at 1080p.
Rear PrimaryWide
  MP50MP bins to 12.5MP
   um.8 bins to 1.6
  FOV° (stated, actual)69.7 (H) x 82 (D)
   Zoom10X digital zoom
Rear 2Ultra-wide
   SensorGalaxyCore GC08A3
  FOV (stated, actual)96.2 (H) X 108.7 (D)
   StabilisationSuper Steady 1080p
   Zoom8X digital
Rear 3Macro
   SensorGalaxyCore GC5035
  FOV (stated, actual)4cm focus
   Video max4K@30fps No Zoom and
1080p with Zoom
   QR code readerYes
   Night modeNightography (binning)
DXOMARK is pretty spot on – this is an average camera producing average shots on good day and in office light.
We tried 4K@30fps video on both the selfie and primary camera. Results were average. 1080p at 30fps is far better with OIS and EIS.

Samsung A35 5G 2024 Front Camera – Pass

Selfie has decent natural skin tones but its tight field of view and fixed focus make is a single selfie lens.

  MP13MP (Actually 12.8MP and images are cropped to 9.5MP)
   SensorSamsung SK53L6
  FOV (stated, actual)62.7 (H) x 73 (D) – more for single selfies
   FlashScreen fill
   Video max4K@30fps, but don’t try.

CyberShack’s view – Samsung A35 5G 2024 is a good all-rounder

I can see why Samsung sells bucketloads of A-series. It has all you need, and people trust a non-Chinese brand.

It looks good, feels nice in the hand, and the AMOLED screen is a cut above average for the price.


At $549 (plus $119 for Samsung’s charger and cable—a total of $668), it is not really low-cost, but people will pay a premium for the name.

I would suggest you look at

Samsung A35 5G 2024 ratings

This uses a new scale where Pass is closer to 70/100 and we mark up or down from there.

It has everything you need
It is the same price as the 2022 A34
The Exynos is an average-performance chip. Phone signal strengths make this a city, suburbs phone.
Ease of Use90
Excellent 4-year OS upgrade, 5-year update policy, and 2-year warranty but take time to read the privacy policies.
Nice, but a little bland
Rating out of 108
Final commentIt is a worthy successor to the 2023 A34 5G and a safe buy for the price. AMOLED screen and excellent updates – no downside.
1Decent all-day battery life and faster charging capability
22-year warranty, OS updates for four years, security updates for five years
3Bright sAMOLED screen
4Privacy policies are ridiculously complex.
5AMOLED, IP67 and NFC are not usually found at this price.
1The 2024 A35 is an incremental update to the A34
2No charger inbox
3Privacy polices are ridiculously complex.
4Phone signal strengths are good but limited to one tower.
5Samsung is becoming more of its own ecosystem with a little too much Samsung bloatware – Apple-like.

Samsung A35 5G 2024

$549 plus charger and 3W cable







Ease of use





  • Decent all-day battery life and faster charging capability
  • 2-year warranty, OS updates for four years, security updates for five years
  • Bright sAMOLED screen
  • The camera is suitable for daylight shots but is an average performer all around.
  • AMOLED, IP67 and NFC are not usually found at this price.


  • The 2024 A35 is an incremental update to the A34
  • No charger inbox
  • Privacy polices are ridiculously complex.
  • Phone signal strengths are good but limited to one tower.
  • Samsung is becoming more of its own ecosystem with a little too much Samsung bloatware – Apple-like.