Samsung Galaxy M31 Review
Samsung has upgraded one of its best selling M-series phones, the Galaxy M30s, with the new Galaxy M31. And a cursory glance at the spec-sheet makes it clear that Samsung is being more aggressive than ever before.
For a very reasonable price, the Galaxy M31 offers perks like Android 10-based OneUI, 64MP quad-cameras, 6000mAh battery, AMOLED display, and copious LPDDR4x RAM for all variants.The competition, however, is quite stiff and the Galaxy M31 will be up against the likes of Redmi Note 8 Pro (review), Poco X2 (review) and Realme X2 (review).
Is the M31 up for the task? We will answer that and more in our Galaxy M31 review that follows. Let’s begin with the specs and India price.
Samsung Galaxy M31 India Price and Specifications
|Model||Samsung Galaxy M31|
|Display||6.4-inch, AMOLED, 1440 x 2400 (full HD+), Gorilla Glass 3|
|Chipset||10nm Exynos 9611 (2.3GHz octa-core; Mali G72MP3 GPU)|
|Storage||64GB/ 128GB UFS 2.1; Dedicated card slot (512GB)|
|Software||Android 10, OneUI 2.0|
|Rear camera||64MP, f/2.0 (primary)8MP primary, f/2.25 (wide-angle)2MP, f/2.2 (depth sensor)2MP, f2.4 (macro) 480fps slow-motion videos, EIS, UHD videos|
|Selfie camera||32MP, f/2.0|
|Fingerprint sensor||Capacitive (rear-mounted)|
|Dimensions and weight||8.9 mm; 164 grams|
|Battery||6000mAh,15W fast charging|
|Colors||Ocean Blue, Space Black|
|Price||Rs. 14,999 (6GB + 64GB), Rs. 16,999 (6GB + 128GB)|
Samsung Galaxy M31 Review: Box Content
Samsung doesn’t bundle earphones or a case in the box. Other than the phone, box contents include:
- 15W Charging adaptor
- USB cable for charging and data transfer
- SIM ejector tool and documentation
Samsung Galaxy M31 Review: Design and Build
Samsung Galaxy M31 follows the M30s design and it’s once again extremely light for a phone with a 6000mAh battery. That light profile can partly be attributed to the use of polycarbonate instead of glass for the back panel. We noticed that the build quality has improved as compared to the last generation M30s. The display has a U-shape notch (complimented by a slick face unlock animation) and is shielded by Gorilla Glass 3 – and this time there are no flexes in the back panel.
The Galaxy M31 isn’t missing out on essential either – dedicated card slot, USB Type-C charging port, and audio jack are all there. The fingerprint sensor at the back is fast and we kind of relished being able to reliably unlock our phone in the dark without looking at the screen.
Our glossy Black color review unit feels a tad dull, but that’s a matter of subjective taste. The other option is the Ocean Blue. Of course, the Galaxy A-series phones offer a more premium design with slick infinity-o displays but they also cost substantially more. The Galaxy M31 is about passing on features that consumers need and care for in a functional design.
Also Check: Samsung Galaxy S20 Review (Indian variant)
Samsung Galaxy M31 review: Display
The Samsung Galaxy M31 has a good-quality AMOLED panel, which means users get to enjoy an elaborate Always-on display and darker dark mode. There are two color profiles – Natural and Vivid. Natural is more color accurate with a more neutral white point. The Vivid mode has bluish whites by default but you can adjust white balance using a toggle.
The display quality is certainly better than what we usually see in this price range. As mentioned above, the display is shielded by Gorilla Glass 3 (which is more scratch-resistant, but less drop resistant than GG 5 and GG6). There is no pre-installed scratch guard or plastic screen protector on the phone.
Samsung Galaxy M31 Review: Performance and Software
Performance gets an uplift. The Galaxy M31 is using the same 10nm process based Exynos 9611 octa-core SoC that we have earlier tested on Galaxy A50, Galaxy A50s, Galaxy A51 and also on Galaxy M30s. The chipset can’t quite match-up to the Snapdragon series-7 chipsets that quite a few ‘gaming phones’ now offer in the same budget, but it’s good enough for users who aren’t particularly inclined towards gaming.
High-end games like PUBG ran fine and are playable, but the performance drops in maximum settings. Casual games run smoothly. The day-to-day usage performance is mostly smooth. Samsung is still using class-leading LPDDR4x RAM and UFS 2.1 storage. RAM on the base variant has been bumped from 4GB to 6GB. In India, the Galaxy M31 will retail in two configurations – 6 + 64GB, 6 + 128GB – and we have the 128GB storage variant with us for this review. With ample RAM and storage at disposal, we can expect the performance to not degrade much with long term usage.
The software running on the phone is Android 10-based OneUI 2.0. Once again, One UI is one of our favorite custom skins and if you ask us its a massive Samsung advantage over Chinese UXs that, more often than not, don’t sit well with the global taste. The Galaxy M31 has a DRM L1 certificate and users will be able to stream HD content on Netflix and Amazon Prime. The phone supports Dual SIM 4G VoLTE and we didn’t face any issue with connectivity in our area.
Samsung Galaxy M31 Review: Camera
The primary sensor now has a 64MP resolution (Samsung GW1). Other shooters completing the quartet are – 2MP macro camera, 8MP wide-angle camera, and 2MP basic depth sensor. On the front, there’s a 32MP selfie snapper that can shoot 4k Videos and slowfies (Yup, all you Tiktok fans, I hear you).
In proper daylight, the Galaxy M31 images show wide dynamic range and great details. The performance is surprisingly good.
The macro camera can go close, but even in proper outdoor lighting images are a tad soft.
The Wide-angle camera is also something you’d occasionally use and only under proper outdoor lighting.
The portrait mode works better than expected, even indoors.
The selfie camera is also a great performer. The quality of slowfies is strictly average.
So, overall, the camera performance is above average in proper lighting conditions. Indoors and in low light, the quality deteriorates.
Samsung Galaxy M31 Review: Battery and Audio
The monstrous 6000mAh battery lasts for around 2 days with moderate usage, which I am sure doesn’t come as a surprise. The 15W fast charging, however, can’t refill the tank sufficiently fast. The battery takes around 2 and a half hours for a full charge, but on the plus side, you can confidently step out even with 50% juice in the tank. The audio output via loudspeaker is about average. Audio output via headphones (Dolby atmos supported) is pretty decent.
Also Check: Realme X50 Pro 5G Review
Samsung Galaxy M31 Review: Verdict, Pros & Cons
The Galaxy M31s might not match up with disruptive online exclusives in terms of specs, but it still presents a very aggressive side of Samsung. Come to think of it, the Galaxy M30s that it succeeds wasn’t the best-specced phone either, but it went on to become extremely popular nonetheless and has been selling like hotcakes.
The Galaxy M31 further refines the experience. The build is now sturdier, the primary camera has been improved, and Samsung has stacked a bigger RAM. Other than these enhancements, AMOLED display, OneUI, and massive battery advantages are still there. The Galaxy M31s is not for hardcore gaming, but it manages to deliver a distinguished Samsung experience in its class.
- Good quality display
- Excellent battery backup
- Ample RAM and Storage
- Dedicated card slot
- Fast fingerprint sensor and face unlock
- HD Streaming support
- Mediocre high-end gaming
- Moderate fast charging speed
Samsung Galaxy M31 FAQs answered
Question: What is the SAR value of Samsung Galaxy M31?
Answer: SAR value for Galaxy M31 is 0.383 W/ KG head.
Question: Does Galaxy M31 support slow-motion video recording?
Answer: Yes, the Galaxy M31 supports 480fps slow-motion video recording.
Question: Does Galaxy M31 have an optical zoom camera?
Answer: No. Galaxy M31 doesn’t have a telephoto lens on any of the four rear cameras.
Question: Does Galaxy M31 allow full 64MP resolution photo capture?
Answer: Yes, you can shoot in full 64MP resolution as well, but 12MP binned shots turn out better.
Question: What are default PUBG settings in Galaxy M31?
Answer: By default, PUBG runs in HD graphics and High frame rate. You can switch over up to HDR – Ultra, but the performance is better in the default mode.