Monday, 18 March 2019

Samsung Galaxy M Series ★★★☆☆

Samsung's latest budget offerings are the M10 & M20 phones launching in India this week. Whilst reviewing the M20, I'll also be comparing it to the M10. Both the M series phones look & feel very different from any of the previous Samsung phones.  Plastic build with a glossy finish, “Infinity-V” dew drop notch and a massive battery are the features that are most noticeable. 

Both phones are dual SIM VoLTE enabled & have extra storage option available. The M20 has a 5000mAh battery & M10 has a 3400mAh one, both of which work pretty well, support fast charging, and last almost an entire day considering the massive 6.3” screens. Thankfully both variants still sport the 3.5mm jack, although there are no earphones bundled in the box.  

The major difference in the 2 variants, besides the battery size, is the missing Type C Charging port (has a micro USB) & fingerprint sensor on the cheaper M10 model. The Exynos 7904 CPU on the M20 is a new launch from Samsung and very similar to the Snapdragon 600 series of processors. 3GB RAM & 32GB storage or 4GB RAM & 64GB storage are 2 options available in the M20 with a colour choice of Ocean Blue or Charcoal Black.

The M20s dual rear camera setup has a 13MP & 5MP lens while the front is an 8MP shooter. The camera app is similar to what you see in most Samsung phones, with fast focusing speed. This is perhaps the first time ever the image and photo quality disappointed me on a Samsung device. They look decent on the phone but once you see them on a big screen the fine details were lost & it looked grainy. Low light shots were poor and looked blurry. Surprisingly, Live Focus mode for Bokeh effects, works only on a face and not on objects. Video recording maxes out at 1080p.

Device security includes Facial Recognition, which is a bit slow but more useful since the fingerprint sensor is not easily accessible on the 6.5” body when using the phone in one hand.
Overall usage does not show any lag and games run smoothly even with multiple apps open in the background. 

On the software front, both devices run on last year's Android Oreo 8.1 with Experience UI, possibly an update to Pie later this year & Samsung's own One UI. A huge turn off is the number of Ads placed on the lock screen and constant notifications coming from the My Galaxy app. This can only be disabled by selecting “wallpapers” on the lock screen rather than “wallpaper and stories”.

With the Galaxy M series, Samsung is challenging Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro, Asus Zenfone Pro M2, RealMe U1 all of which have some features better than the M20.
Both phones could've done a better job. 

Pritesh Khilnani

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