Samsung has met its match in India as Xiaomi has beaten the tech giant at its own game. But it looks like the Korean tech titan is ready to strike back. Since Xiaomi's popularity grew from its budget and mid-range phones, Samsung is hitting the Chinese company where it hurts. The newly-launched Galaxy M31 is a testament to Samsung's prolonged commitment to dominate the smartphone market - no matter where.
Samsung launched the Galaxy M31 in India on Tuesday, bringing a power-packed budget smartphone to compete against rivals in the sub-Rs 20,000 category. Samsung Galaxy M31 is priced at Rs 14,999 for 6GB+64GB configuration and Rs 15,999 for 6GB+128GB model. The sale of the phone will commence via Amazon India starting March 5.
If the Galaxy M31 caught your attention and you intend on buying it, here's what we think of the phone based on our hands-on experience. We have been using the Galaxy M31 for a couple of days, which has given us insights on what's really on offer.
Design & Display
Samsung Galaxy M31 is touted as a "mega monster," but there's nothing mega or monstrous about the phone's form factor. The Galaxy M31 is quite compact for the phone that packs a 6,000mAh battery. We got the Space Black variant of the phone, but there's Ocean Blue if that's your taste.
The polycarbonate back has a shiny back, which makes the black variant look elegant. The quad-camera in a rectangular setup looks modern, taking after Samsung Galaxy S20 series. There's a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, which is a good decision on Samsung's part.
The curved edges give a solid grip on the phone. Even though the back attracts smudges, they are not easily visible on the black variant. The Galaxy M31 offers a familiar look, complete with its power and volume rockers on the right side, a USB Type-C port at the bottom alongside 3.5mm jack and speakers, a SIM card tray on the left side and an Infinity-U display.
Speaking of the display, Samsung has gone with a 6.4-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED screen. The stock wallpapers are incredibly cool and bring out the best of the display. The bright screen is ideal for outdoor use and watching your favourite multimedia. Displays in Samsung phones are one of the best in class and the Galaxy M31 doesn't settle for less.
Samsung Galaxy M31's quad-camera setup in a Galaxy S20-esque rectangular module grabs quite a lot of attention. The handset has a 64MP primary lens with f/1.8 aperture paired with an 8MP f/2.2 wide-angle lens, a 5MP depth sensor and another 5MP macro lens. This set up should ideally meet user's expectations, so we decided to take it for a quick spin.
We briefly tested the primary sensor, wide-angle, depth and macro lenses and the results have been satisfactory. The colours produced in main and wide-angle lenses are punchy with great dynamic range. The macro lens works well in naturally lit areas and the live focus is as good as it gets. The front camera produces good selfies and you won't be disappointed.
Check out a few camera samples straight out of M31 gallery.
Samsung Galaxy M31 is powered by Exynos 9611 paired with 6GB RAM. We assume the multi-tasking capability of the phone to be reliable and day-to-day operations can be handled with ease. During the setup, the phone took unusually long, which was a surprise. We will be testing the phone over the next few days to understand the performance aspect.
The decision to go with a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner is wise. The in-display biometric hasn't worked well in budget Samsung phones, so a rear one is a relief. It works efficiently and fast but challenges the muscle memory. The face unlock works accurately but there's a noticeable delay even in well-lit areas.
Samsung Galaxy M31 runs Android 10-based One UI 2.0, which makes things smooth and pretty. Navigating between menus and different screens is as easy as it gets and Samsung users won't have trouble getting around the phone.
The biggest highlight of the Galaxy M31 is the 6,000mAh battery. It is, in fact, a relief that the phone is neither bulky nor thick. We were able to survive up to two days on a single charge with ample usage. But the 15W fast charging doesn't seem enough. For the price of the phone, we couldn't ask for more.
Samsung Galaxy M31 is an all-rounder. One of the easiest Samsung phones to recommend in the sub-15K category. The handset does make a lot of sense for its price, as it packs capable cameras, lasting battery and Samsung's signature design with a much-needed modern touch.
The Galaxy M31 is a successor to the Galaxy M30 with some notable upgrades. The battery and the camera have been thoroughly improved to attract buyers. It is a worthy successor.