Mobiles & Tablets

Samsung M40 review: A quietly elegant phone for everyday use

Mala Bhargava | Updated on June 25, 2019 Published on June 25, 2019

The Samsung M40

Samsung beefs up its midrange with the M40 for ₹19,990

There was a time when it wasn’t easy to confidently recommend a Samsung mid-ranger phone. However, the Korean giant has changed its strategy and started to infuse the market with options to plug every gap in its portfolio and give it right back to their intense competition. The slight bit of a problem — for customers, not the company — is that two of Samsung’s series, A and M, are beginning to overlap, not just in prices, but features.

As long as you buy phones from either series, Samsung is not about to mind. The current M40 overlaps with the A50, recently reviewed here by us, on the price front.

The M40 feels like a small phone, though it isn’t. Samsung has quite mastered the art of making smartphones that are just about narrow enough to hold comfortably, and are still large enough to offer the screen space users want these days.

It is a 6.3-inch screened device but is really very slim and light. Before we move to the display, the back is made of plastic, but it’s been cleverly crafted to look like glass. The unit we got is a midnight blue: it is really black with interesting blue infusions at the edges. It is rather subtle looking, so if you’re into some of the bold attention-grabbing looks of some phones these days, this is not for you.

The M40 is quietly elegant. It is frighteningly slippery and though it’ll survive a drop just fine — as we discovered without trying — a case is probably in good order and one is not supplied in the box. One presumes Samsung is confident the phone is quite tough enough.

On the back is also the fingerprint sensor and it’s just a little smaller than usual.

Brilliant colours

Moving on to the front of the phone, there is a nice surprise. This mid-ranger has a feature that has been the domain of more expensive phones. It has a tiny punch hole on the top left for the front camera, leaving the display nicely free of thick borders. This is what Samsung calls ‘Infinity-O’. The screen is actually not Samsung’s usual sizzling AMOLED but a TFT Full-HD.

Despite that, it’s got brilliant colours and is bright enough indoors. You’ll still look at it and think ‘Wow, what nice colours!” As is inevitable with this type of screen, when you tilt the phone this way and that, there is a slight washing out of the display.

It is still better than most in its category and should not be a turn off. The screen is, in fact, keeps in mind that you may want to watch movies and includes Widevine L1 certification to let you see HD content from Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Fine performance

Thankfully, Samsung mid-rangers now come with the newest software which is both Android 9 Pie and Samsung’s OneUI which is their more streamlined and cleaner interface. It performs fine, though I did encounter the occasional app crash and is great for most everyday tasks.

The phone runs on the Snapdragon 675 processor which is a known performer. As long as you don’t do intensive gaming and continuous video recording or something, the device behaves fine and doesn’t warm up.

It has a 3,500mAh battery which holds up fine for light to moderate users. The 3.5mm headphone jack is not there but you do get a USB-C connected set of earphones in the box.

There’s a triple-camera module on this phone with a 32-megapixel primary using an f/1.7 aperture, an 8MP ultra-wide lens, and a 5MP depth sensor. It’s a pretty good set of cameras for a phone in this price category and brings some versatility to casual photography. You even have a wide angle lens for the 16MP front camera. The portrait mode, called Live Focus here and it has some interesting effects, allowing you to tinker with the kind of blur in the background after the photo has been shot.

Overall, the M40 is a nice choice for someone who wants a Samsung phone that does well on all fronts without being the most expensive the company has. It’s a good average all-rounder phone whose one problem is the other choices available.

Price: ₹19,990

Pros: Light, slim, easy to hold, bright display colours, performs well for basic everyday tasks

Cons: Screen is a TFT with less than perfect viewing angles, slippery with no case provided in the box, no 3.5mm headphone

Published on June 25, 2019
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