Samsung Galaxy M31 : Another compelling budget Galaxy phone

By not changing things too much, the Galaxy M31 looks and feels similar to the Galaxy M30s, which is both good and bad. The good thing is that the smartphone offers all the right features to make it a solid sub-Rs 15,000 smartphone. The bad is that the Galaxy M31’s design and certain specifications may not hold up well against some other better-looking and more powerful smartphones that are set to launch soon in this segment.

As mentioned earlier, the Samsung Galaxy M31 comes with a familiar design. It looks very similar to the Galaxy M30s in that it features a plastic unibody panel on the back with a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor and a square-shaped camera module on the top left corner. While the plastic material helps in keeping the smartphone light (despite housing a massive battery), it does make it feel less attractive compared to all-glass phones like the Redmi Note 8 Pro.

The front of the Samsung Galaxy M31 is familiar as well, as you’re greeted by a 6.4-inch full HD+ (2,340 x 1,080) Super AMOLED Infinity-U display, much like its predecessors. The display gets a U-shaped notch up top that houses a selfie camera and a fairly thick chin.

The Samsung Galaxy M31 is a thick phone and it feels slightly heavy in the hand, so it does get tiring holding it after some time. The smartphone is available in blue, black and red colour options. Thanks to a glossy rear panel, the Galaxy M31 is a fingerprint and smudge magnet, something which is quite noticeable on the black colour variant that we received for review. Moreover, the rear panel attracts scratches if you place it on a table or in your pocket along with some keys.

The volume and power buttons are placed high up on the right side of the frame, which aren’t always easy to reach with one hand. The bottom of the frame houses a Type-C port, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a single speaker grille. The left side of the frame is home to the card slot that can hold two nano SIM cards and a microSD card.

Samsung makes attractive displays, so it’s understandable that the company did not feel the need to make any changes here. The 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display looks stunning with vibrant, saturated colours and excellent viewing angles. The display offers good brightness levels also, so you won’t have any issues reading the screen under bright sunlight. The FHD+ screen is sharp and delivers crisp video content in 1080p resolution. With Widevine L1 support, the Galaxy M31 can stream content on Netflix and Amazon Prime video in full HD resolution.

The biggest upgrade to the Galaxy M31 is the cameras. The smartphone features a 64MP quad camera setup at the back as opposed to the 48MP triple camera system on the Galaxy M30s. The new setup includes a high-resolution 64MP f/1.8 Samsung GW1 primary sensor, an 8MP ultra wide-angle lens, a 5MP depth camera and a 5MP macro lens. The upgraded setup is more versatile, allowing users more ways to photograph.

Samsung Galaxy M31 is powered by a 2.3GHz Exynos 9611 octa-core chipset based on a 10nm process and equipped with Mali G72 MP3 GPU. This is the same processor that powered the Galaxy M30s as well. Samsung has bumped up the base variant from 4GB RAM to 6GB RAM, which should deliver a smoother multitasking experience. The smartphone comes in 64GB and 128GB storage variants, which can be further expanded by up to 512GB via a microSD card.

Samsung Galaxy M31 houses a massive 6,000mAh battery, which is unchanged from the Galaxy M30s. It is good to see that Samsung has not downgraded the battery, because this truly sets the smartphone apart from most of its rivals in this segment. From day-to-day usage, to gaming and media consumption and standby time, the Galaxy M31’s battery life is simply terrific. The phone can easily last well over a day with intensive usage and can last a day and a half on lighter use that simply involves browsing through social media and messaging.

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