Samsung Galaxy M31s hands-on review

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Introduction

The Galaxy M31s is the latest in Samsung’s line of all too similar phones. It is the upgraded version of the Galaxy M31, which is similar to the M21 and is an upgraded version of the M30s. All of these phones look very similar, have nearly identical specifications with a few bits swapped around, and have all been released in the span of a year.

Samsung Galaxy M31s hands-on review

So what’s the situation with the Galaxy M31s? Well, it seems despite the overwhelming similarity on paper, the Galaxy M31s seems to have a different body this time around, even though it oddly doesn’t look all that different at first glance. Yet, there are enough changes here that need to go through a fine-toothed comb. These changes do subtly change the way you use the phone, so they aren’t insignificant.

But as mentioned before, the Galaxy M31s is very similar to the other two phones, especially the M30s, in terms of hardware specifications. The display, the chipset, the memory and storage configuration, most of the cameras, and the battery are all identical across these models. This means if you already own a Galaxy M30s, then you really aren’t missing out on much with the Galaxy M31s.

Samsung Galaxy M31s specs

  • Body: Glass front, polycarbonate back and side frame
  • Screen: 6.5-inch, 19.5:9, FHD+ (1080 x 2400px), Super AMOLED
  • Rear camera: Primary 64MP, f/1.8 aperture; Ultra wide-angle: 12MP, f/2.2 aperture; 5MP f2.4 Macro camera; 5MP depth sensor; LED flash; 2160p@30fps video recording
  • Front camera: 32MP, f/2.2 aperture
  • Chipset: Exynos 9611: octa-core CPU (4×2.3 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4×1.7 GHz Cortex-A53), Mali-G72 MP3 GPU
  • Memory: 6/128GB or 8/128GB UFS 2.1; dedicated microSD slot
  • OS: Android 10; Samsung One UI 2.1
  • Battery: 6,000mAh, 25W charging
  • Connectivity: Dual SIM (4G), Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, USB-C; 3.5mm audio jack
  • Misc: Side-mounted fingerprint reader, FM radio

But for those who don’t own any of these phones, the Galaxy M31s could be an attractive proposition. We have a large, relatively high-resolution AMOLED panel, lots of cameras of varying focal lengths, and an absolute behemoth of a battery. Sure, it lacks some of the niceties such as a higher resolution display or a more modern Snapdragon chipset, but the Galaxy M31s is cheaper than phones like the OnePlus Nord and the Google Pixel 4a.

So with all that in mind, should you be spending your hard-earned cash on the Samsung Galaxy M31s? Let’s find out.

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