Mobiles & Tablets

Galaxy M31s: Best-in-class screen and a huge battery

Mala Bhargava | Updated on August 11, 2020

Samsung has been wisely beefing up its mid-range segment of smartphones with some worthwhile offerings. The newest is the Galaxy M31s and it stands in sharp price contrast with the expensive Note20 series also just launched. The M31s is likely to be confused, name wise, with the M31 but doesn’t seem to have any metaphysical similarity with it. While the entire A series and M series is getting rather confusing with no clear and obvious differentiation, the phone itself does have some interesting stand-out points

For a start, the M31s is one hefty phone. It’s solid and weighty but there’s a reason for that: there’s a huge 6,000mAh battery inside. If you don’t want to be obsessed with your phone’s remaining charge, this is a good candidate for you to consider. It actually could have been heavier and larger, but turns out narrow enough to be easy to hold. For anyone who’s a moderate user, the battery will certainly last out two days and can then be charged with a 25W charger. It even does reverse charging.

In testimony to the fact that grey is now the phone colour of the season, the M31s comes in a shaded grey on the glass-plastic back. Although they call it black and there’s another blue version. Somehow it doesn’t look bad at all because the gloss on the back has been made to reflect light strongly. It does actually pick up smudges, but they’re not easily visible to those not actually holding the phone. That said, it looks rather attractive and premium.

Riveting screen

There’s a lovely screen on this device, and that’s one of the main plus points. It’s a 6.5-inch 1080x2400 display with a 60Hz refresh rate, but it’s a joy to look at and not something you typically get in this price segment. I opted or a carousel of wallpapers just so I could look at different colours on the dazzling screen each time I unlocked. The screen has a tiny punch hole in the centre and nicely thinned bezels all around. On this device, the fingerprint sensor has been merged with the power button which is really a practice I wish others would adopt. It’s fast and effective. On the bottom edge, the still-loved 3.5mm headphone jack is very much around.

The phone works on the Exynos 9611 SoC with 6GB RAM and 128GB with a micro SD slot that’s in addition to its dual SIM slots. There’s a 8GB and 128GB variant. The experience with the phone is pretty smooth. People do complain that Samsung should have moved on from this processor for the phone, but for non-power users it’s more than fine. It’s perfect for everyday tasks but certainly handles some gaming as well. I get many requests for recommendations for phones on which the user says he or she ‘doesn’t use much’. Running on Android 10, Samsung’s interface sits quite nicely on the phone and is neat and familiar — and logical, compared with so many others in this segment. The UI is pared down to fit a more basic phone and obviously won’t feature everything that the flagships have, but what it does have is handled cleanly.

Single take

A big camera square on the back tells you you’re getting a collection of lenses, which is indeed the case. The primary is a 64MP Sony IMX682 which gives you quite nice images though more importantly is made more fun because of the Single Take feature it has. Using this, you can press the shutter button and allow the camera to take a series of shots which are stitched into a little shareable video or left to you to pick photos out of. Indoors, images were a shade lacklustre but not noisy. A scene optimiser option improves them. There’s also a 12MP ultra wide 123-degree lens and a 5MP macro which does a pretty good job as long as you give it adequate light. I was certainly able to take a good shot of the paper-cut on my finger to complain to whoever would listen, which is no one very much. There’s the obligatory portrait mode which works pretty well too. I like very much that you can shoot video and keep switching between front and rear cameras — another feature young selfie lovers can really have fun with. The front camera is a 32MP wide angle.

The M31s turns out to be the best to come out yet from the M series and an unhesitating recommendation for those looking for a good phone just under ₹20,000.

Price: ₹19,499, ₹21,499

Pros: Good looking despite tame colour, big battery with lasting power, unbeatable screen in this price range, good camera with fun features

Cons: No extras in box including case, more powerful processor wouldn’t have been amiss

Published on August 11, 2020

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