When Samsung released the M30s last year, we were genuinely surprised to see how competitive the phone was. Against its background, the hit A50 began to look too expensive, because with the exception of the scanner on the screen and a more attractive design, it was almost the same device, only with a significantly smaller battery.
Users praised the battery life and display quality of the M30s, which is why the Koreans in the new Galaxy M31 focused on refining the camera. He received a trendy 64-megapixel module, an ultra-wide-angle lens and a macro camera, and the resolution of the front camera increased to 32 MP. How much improvement are visible in practice and is the new smartphone as a whole good? This will tell our review of the Galaxy M31.
The Galaxy M31 has a polycarbonate housing that is virtually no different from the M30s. This is not the tactile and visually similar to 3D Glasstic glass that the company uses in A-series smartphones – everything is much more modest here. In the hands of the phone it feels pretty cheap, or rather, utilitarian, which may or may not be, depending on your preferences.
Considering the use of a 6000 mAh battery, the M31 turned out to be a rather heavy device (191 g), but not enough to cause discomfort during prolonged use. The inconvenience, rather, can be associated with the size of the device, especially for those who are used to compact smartphones. For me personally, the dimensions of the M31 are quite suitable, you can’t control them with one hand, but to watch the video – that’s it.
In terms of design, the M11 combines the main trends of 2019 and 2020. From the past there is a drop-shaped cut-out, in the new generation in the A-series, Koreans abandoned it in favor of a hole in the screen, from the actual one – a rectangular module of the main camera. It only protrudes slightly outside the case and does not interfere with the use of the device. Let us leave without discussion the secondary nature of such a design, but we will blame the developers for the inscription “64 megapixels”, why it is needed here is not clear.
Next to the cameras is a capacitive fingerprint scanner, which according to many users remains the best solution for reading fingerprints on smartphones. The scanner in M31 works more accurately and faster than the sub-screen scanner in A51, it also allows you to use gestures – for example, to open the notification curtain.
Disappointment with the lack of a trend scanner in the screen is not worth it, the standard version is much more convenient.Galaxy M31 is equipped with a Type-C connector and a mini-jack, which, together with a multimedia speaker and microphone, are located on the lower end of the case. You will have to buy your own headphones, as they are not included in the package. Also, owners of M31 should take care of purchasing a cover, as the plastic back panel easily collects scratches and scuffs.
The 6.4-inch AMOLED Galaxy M31 display is very good by the standards of the mid-budget segment. In general, we usually have few complaints about Samsung screens, and this is exactly the case. It has excellent viewing angles, the picture is saturated and contrasting, the maximum brightness is 420 nits, which is enough for comfortable readability of information in the sun. There is no progress in the thickness of the frames compared to the M30s in the new product – the front panels are quite large as for a 2020 smartphone, the chin looks especially massive, but given the cost of the M31, this is nit-picking.
The display of Galaxy M31 is protected by tempered glass Corning Gorilla Glass 3. Like other Samsung phones, a blue filter is provided that reduces eye strain. In the settings you can change the font size and style, adjust the color rendition, enable a dark theme, which on AMOLED matrices positively affects the autonomy of the smartphone, or activate Always On display mode- the latter is an alternative to the notification indicator missing in M31. Also, the phone does not have DC Dimming mode, but I did not notice any problems with the flickering of the screen at low brightness.
Performance and software
The Galaxy M31 runs on the Exynos 9611 processor, which is also used on the Galaxy M30s, A50, and A51. The performance of this chipset is enough for most everyday tasks.
The smartphone works without crashes and freezes, it is pretty nimble, but periodic tweaking of animations in the interface, typical of Samsung budget employees, is also in the M31. Fortunately, the settings include a function to turn off animations, removing the transitions to the menu and when opening applications, which partially solves this issue.Applications generally start quickly, no problems with multitasking in the tested smartphone with 6 GB of RAM were noticed.