Samsung Galaxy M31 hands-on review

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Introduction

The Galaxy M31 is the latest in Samsung’s lineup of affordable online-exclusive smartphones designed specifically for Asian markets like India. The M31 is an iterative upgrade over the Galaxy M30s launched late last year and features mostly camera related changes to differentiate itself.

Samsung Galaxy M31 hands-on review

With the Galaxy M31, Samsung has swapped the 48MP camera on the Galaxy M30s for a new 64MP unit and has also added a dedicated macro camera. The 16MP front camera has also been replaced with a 32MP sensor. The new M31 also ships with the latest Android 10 out of the box. Apart from that, the two phones are nearly identical.

Samsung Galaxy M31 specs

  • Body: Glass front, polycarbonate back and side frame
  • Screen: 6.4-inch, 19.5:9, FHD+ (1080 x 2340px), Super AMOLED
  • Rear camera: Primary 64MP, f/1.8 aperture; Ultra wide-angle: 8MP, f/2.2 aperture; 5MP f2.4 Macro camera; 5MP depth sensor; LED flash; 2160p@30fps video recording
  • Front camera: 32MP, f/2.0 aperture
  • Chipset: Exynos 9611: octa-core CPU (4×2.3 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4×1.7 GHz Cortex-A53), Mali-G72 MP3 GPU
  • Memory: 6/64GB or 6/128GB UFS 2.1; dedicated microSD slot for up to 1TB expansion
  • OS: Android 10; Samsung One UI 2
  • Battery: 6,000mAh, 15W charging
  • Connectivity: Dual SIM (4G), Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, USB-C; 3.5mm audio jack
  • Misc: Rear-mounted fingerprint reader, FM radio

We reviewed the M30s recently and were reasonably happy with it. For the price, it was a good phone and offered almost everything you can expect in that price range. Of particular note was the massive battery capacity.

With the M31, Samsung’s goal was to merely bump up the camera to 2020 standards. This means we get an even higher resolution main sensor on the back and the increasingly fashionable macro lens. Samsung isn’t discontinuing the M30s, so you get to decide how much the higher resolution and macro photography matter to you.

Packaging

The Galaxy M31 ships with fairly basic packaging. Apart from the device itself, you get a 15W fast charger and a charging/data cable.

For a budget device, we can’t really expect a lot but we would have liked to see the phone come with a protective case, which is pretty common for phones in this price range or even lower. The case is especially necessary considering how easy it is to scratch the plastic back of the phone.

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