When Samsung showed me the newly announced Galaxy A35 and A55 I knew they were onto a winner – sleek design, great screen, triple lens camera – what’s not to love. While the A55 is more premium with a metal frame, I begged to try the A35 for the weekend because I figured that on specs, this would be a great test of that mid-price or even low-price smartphone category.

In fact, let’s just unpack that for a moment. Premium smartphones range from $1300-$2500+. So mid-range probably is $800-$1300, while at $549 this has to be considered a low-cost smartphone right?

Turning it on and getting it setup was a breeze as always these days, and I do setup these phones from scratch, no data transfer. I think that’s the best way to get a sense of what’s impacting performance, and also just means I don’t have apps that I don’t need or use wasting space.

I’m taken by the screen brightness here. This is a 6.6 inch Super AMOLED screen, running at up to 120Hz refresh rate, and while some keen eyed videophiles might notice this or that compared to a flagship S series Samsung, I’ve not had a single moment where I questioned how great this screen is.

Full HD+ – um, what do you need more pixels than that for – it’s 6.6 inches across!

That’s just one of those areas where we buy something that offers more – because it does – not because we need it.

I honestly think there’s three types of $1500+ flagship phone buyers. Early adopters who want the best always. Contract buyers who don’t realise how much they’re actually spending on their phones, and the FOMO’s. Yep the people with a Fear of Missing out.

A fear that at dinner one night someone with an S series phone next to them will magically do something cool on their phone that the Galaxy A35 can’t do.

Won’t happen.

Aside from not having the 30 or 100 times hybrid Zoom Samsung does offer at the higher price point, I’ve barely noticed a thing.

I turn it on, and definitely notice the larger edge around the screen – but does it affect my usage – not at all.

Battery life here is remarkable. Because you’re pushing less pixels, and not wasting amazing performance you don’t really need – you have a far more efficient device on your hands.

The 5,000mAh battery has lasted me through very very long days, 4 or 6am starts through to 10 or 11pm bed time – and still more than 20% battery.

Not a hint of battery anxiety.

It’s not quite the more than Two Days Samsung might have hoped, but honestly, what people want and need today is enough to get to charging time:)

The camera didn’t disappoint – easy to use, a slight shutter or processing delay (by slight I mean blink of an eye slight), but crisp clear colour images.

Ultra Wide works well

I’m not sure the 2x is as good as you’d like for, but overall it’s far more than a pass on the camera front.

Looking at the Samsung Galaxy A55 and wondering if I’d prefer it – there’s no doubt the metal edges are a better more premium look – but no, I’d just take the A35 every day of the week in this instance.

Having come from iOS to Samsung this time round, the only issue I’ve had has been re-learning the keyboard layout and shortcuts, other than that, the device is more than adequate for my daily use.

It’s a $150 price premium to go to the A55, and while some will, I personally think the A35 is the sweet spot and new benchmark for low-prices smartphone.

Great design, looks, usability and screen – oh and the triple lens camera – what more could you want?

The Samsung Galaxy A35 goes on sale March 25.