Samsung Galaxy M31

Samsung, unlike its premium Galaxy S series and Note series phones, never had proper recognition in the budget and mid-segment until the release of their now well renowned M series. The Samsung Galaxy M31 adds as a new addition to this series packing a serious punch competing with the ideals set by Xiaomi and Realme smartphones in the under Rs.20,000 price segment.

Samsung gained a lot of praise and customer base through its release of the Samsung Galaxy M30s which was known for its gorgeous Super-AMOLED display and a monster 6000mAh battery which gave users more than 10 hours of screen-on time. Truly, the Samsung Galaxy M30s was a commendable phone for the price but falling short only on the processor side. Now, does the new Samsung Galaxy M31 add a better value over the older M30s? Is the Samsung Galaxy M31 a solid competitor to the current segment leader Poco X2? Let’s find out now what the internet thinks about the Samsung Galaxy M31.

ORDINARY TECHIE RATING SCALE (OTRS)

I understand it can get a little tricky even for a reviewer to exactly explain how they feel a particular aspect of a gadget is. Top reviewers get to have their hands on a lot of products and they’ll have to explain how they feel about a particular aspect of a product through words. I study the emotion, enthusiasm, and use of strong words by a reviewer and convert that into a number system ranging from 0 to 10 with 10 being perfect and 0 being the opposite.

Price

Starts from Rs.17,499
6 GB RAM + 128 GB storage

Specification Review

Design language and Appearance

Samsung Galaxy M31 colors
Blue Color Variant
Samsung Galaxy M31 colors
Samsung Galaxy M31 colors
Samsung Galaxy M31 colors
Black Color Variant
  • Weighs around 191 grams in-hand.
  • 159.2 mm length x 75.1 mm width x 8.9 mm thick.
  • Gorilla glass 3 to the front on the display.
  • Plastic frame.
  • Plastic back as well. ( No Glass back design)
  • The right side of the phone rocks a power button and the volume rockers.
  • The left side houses the SIM card tray. ( Triple slot)
  • The top of the phone has one noise-cancellation pin-hole.
  • Bottom of the phone houses a 3.5mm headphone jack, a USB Type-C port, a microphone pinhole, and speaker grills.
  • The front of the phone houses a display with a waterdrop notch cutout. (Samsung calls it Infinity U display)
  • The backside of the phone houses a slightly protruding quad-camera cutout houses over a vertical rectangular design with a LED-flash right by the side. The center mid-top of the back houses the Fingerprint scanner. There’s Samsung branding to the back as well.

Build Quality

Let’s find out what the top reviewers have to say about the build quality of the Samsung Galaxy M31.

QuotesOTRS
Trakin Tech(Hindi) “Weight distribution is nice” doesn’t feel heavy in-hands” Structurally I feel its quite okay”8
-Geekyranjit ” phone is a little chunky but weight distribution has been done well”8
-Beebom ‘ One thing I like about this phone is the form factor”9
-All Others8
Average OTRS= 8.25
Samsung Galaxy M31
Image Credit: Samsung.com

An Ordinary Techie Score Rating of 8.25 signifies that the build quality of the phone is in the average to good category. The entire body of the phone is made out of plastic which isn’t that bad as it sounds. Most reviewers mentioned the good weight distribution which has been done to the Samsung Galaxy M31 device. One should note here that the Battery Capacity of this phone is a huge 6000mAh unit which, in general, usually translates to a bulky phone. But in the case of the Samsung Galaxy M31, the weight and thickness of the phone have been uniformly well distributed around the body of the phone such that the in-hand feels quite premium to hold.

While there was a little mixed opinion in terms of the chunkiness of the phone where some reviewers mentioned the phone is hefty while others mentioned their surprise over how thin and light the Samsung Galaxy M31 was on the contrast.

Even the front display is protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3 which may not be of the same effectiveness as Gorilla Glass 5 or 6, but does the job fairly well. It is highly recommended to use a Temper glass as an extra layer of protection.

Overall, in my opinion, I think it is quite safe to say that the Samsung Galaxy M31 has a good in-hand premium feel even though it is built over a Polycarbonate back body. The weight distribution in the M31 has been done really well and for the battery capacity and the weight it comes with, it’s much lesser than the current trend of 200 grams plus phones. Thus, making it easy to conclude that the Samsung Galaxy M31 is quite a well-built phone, especially considering the price and the plastic body.

Display Quality

  • 6.4 inches 100.5 cm2 Super-AMOLED display.
  • Resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels.
  • 16M colors.
  • This nears 403 PPI density.
  • It comes with an aspect ratio of 19.5:9 ratio.
  • Normal 60-Hz refresh rate.

Let’s find out what the top reviewers have to say about the display quality of the Samsung Galaxy M31.

Samsung Galaxy M31
Image Credit: Samsung.com
QuotesOTRS
-Trakin Tech(Hindi) “I like the display”Overall nice display”9
-Geekyranjit “they have put a good quality AMOLED screen”9
-Beebom ” watching shows and movies here was a good experience. ” the display is on par with any other phone at this price range or if not, better”9
-C4etech “as expected from a Samsung display we have vivid colors and deep blacks which gets bright outside as well”9
-All Others10
Average OTRS = 9.2

An Ordinary Techie Score Rating of 9.2 is quite a good deal which should place the Display quality of the Samsung Galaxy m31 in the good to excellent category. Samsung has always been known for its brilliant display quality that it provides with almost every of their mid-budget segment to even the premium segment. Its also a known fact that the display viewing quality matches quite well with the Industry-leading displays that Samsung provides with its premium S series and Note series flagship phones.

Like expected, the Super-AMOLED display that the Galaxy M31 comes with is of great quality. You just can’t go wrong with the display of a Samsung phone.

Like any other Samsung displays, the Galaxy M31’s display too gets very bright and works well even under direct sunlight. The blacks are deep and the Colors are very punchy. AMOLED displays are the leading and most preferred over displays for media consumption and literally any other uses. One must also note that as fancy and good an AMOLED display can get, it is equally quite fragile. To be precise, more fragile than an IPS LCD display. So one needs to keep the phone safe from accidental drops as the chances of the display getting damaged is quite enormous. I would highly suggest taking protective measures by using temper glass. AMOLED display? Temper is a must!! Do keep this Slogan in mind.

Camera Performance

  • The primary camera sports 64 MP with f/1.8 lens that is 26 mm wide, 1/1.72″, 0.8µm.
  • The ultra-wide camera sports 8 MP with f/2.2 lens that is 12 mm wide 1/4.0″, 1.12µm.
  • Macro camera with 5 MP and f/2.4 lens.
  • Depth sensor with 5 MP and f/2.2 lens.
  • Video capabilities at 4K at 30-fps, 1080p at 30fps with gyro-EIS support.
  • Selfie camera sports 32 MP with f/2.0 lensthat is 26mm wide, 1/2.8″, 0.8µm.
  • Selfie camera video capabilities with 4K at 30fps and 1080p at 30fps.
QuotesOTRS
-Trakin tech(Hindi) “Photos come out to be quite decent” colors look natural”Camera UI is feature-rich and overall no complaints”8
-Geekyranjit “I would say the camera performance was very good with this one”I’m surprised even at dim lighting it did a good job”10
-Beebom”the main camera is great. I like the overall dynamic range with this camera” The low light shots are decent too but sometimes you can find noise”Selfie camera does a decent job as well”8
-C4etech ” the colors and dynamic range are good and the photos look quite sharp” the 64 MP camera has significantly better details”overall, Samsung has done well”8
-All Others8
Average OTRS = 8.4

An Ordinary Techie Score Rating of 8.4 means the camera performance here is in the Average to good category. Also, take note here that the new improved camera in the Galaxy m31 happens to be the only standing upgrade over the Samsung Galaxy m30s.

The Samsung Galaxy M31 now sports the new Samsung’s 64 Mega-Pixel shooter as the primary camera. All the reviewers mentioned the good dynamic range and contrast of the pictures taken by the Galaxy M31’s primary shooter with its 1.8 aperture size. It was also noted that after zooming in over a pic taken from the primary camera, the details were quite good but many reviewers mentioned the over-sharpening that can be noticed especially if the object, whose pic which has been taken is Green.

The 16-MP picture and the new 64-MP pictures have a significant difference in detail level which is not usually seen in excess with other cameras in this price range.

Coming to low light photography, the Samsung Galaxy M31 has a dedicated Night-mode which snaps really bright pictures even in the dark. One has to note here that Samsung’s image processing tends to favor detail retention which is a good thing in general but one can notice the noise at times where the environment is a little too dark.

The 8-MP ultra-wide camera does a pretty good job as well. Unlike most cameras, the Galaxy M31’s Ultra-wide camera tends to produce the same color level and sharpness as that which one expects from the primary camera. This is a great thing and the Ultra-wide camera in the M31 easily passes the test.

The Macro camera in the M31 does a good job as well with color retention and sharpness. There is no autofocus and it seems that one may face focus issues while taking close up pictures. Sometimes, if the focus misses, the image can come out as blurry.

The depth sensor does a decent job as well. Samsung calls it Live Focus and users also get the option to change the blur level. Reviewers mentioned that edge detection was pretty decent. So, no complaints even here.

The selfie camera boasts a 32-MP sensor which does a decent job as well. Reviewers mentioned the good skin tone color retention and the good dynamic range as well. The edge detection is decent. It seems that by default one gets to take 16-MP photos which can be manually changed to the top of the line 32-MP as well. The noticeable difference is that with the 16-MP selfie shooter, the dynamic range is good which gets traded off for higher sharpness and details when switching to the 32-MP shooter.

The video taking capability of the Galaxy M31 is also pretty good. Reviewers mentioned the sharply detailed 4K at 30fps footage which is shaky as expected. Switching to the 1080P at 30fps offers the best image stabilization as Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) comes into effect here.

Overall, in my opinion, the Camera is the standing out point and also the Trump card of the Samsung Galaxy M31. Camera performance is very good for the price and you can’t go wrong with the Galaxy M31’s camera. It takes good pictures.

Performance

  • Comes with Android 10 out of box with One UI 2.0
  • Exynos 9611 that is built over a 10nm fabrication process.
  • Octa-core with four 2.3 GHz Cortex-A73 and four 1.7 GHz Cortex-A53.
  • Packs Mali-G72 MP3 GPU.
  • 64GB 6GB RAM.
  • 128GB 6GB RAM.
  • UFS 2.1 storage type.
  • Packs Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac with dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct and hotspot.
  • Bluetooth 5.0
QuotesOTRS
-Trakin tech(Hindi) ” comes with 9611 which is an average processor” It could have been better for this price range”6
-Geekyranjit “this processor handles day to day tasks fine and I had no problems with it” Entering and exiting the camera is where a minor lag can be felt” Need to keep graphics settings to medium” I would not suggest this phone for heavy gamers”8
-Beebom” In my experience, it was handling the day to day tasks well, app loading time is fairly quick and multitasking experience is better too” but for gaming, I will be honest with you the M31 isn’t the best for that”Can handle casual games well”8
-C4etech ” can run any day to day task very well, for the most part, multitasking was a breeze as well” If we don’t plan on gaming, the M31 holds pretty well”8
-All Others8
Average OTRS = 7.6
Image Credit: Samsung.com

An Ordinary Techie Scale Rating of 7.6 scream average. The Samsung Galaxy M31 comes with an Exynos 9611 chipset which we usually see with Samsung devices at this price point and a little above price segment as well.

The performance could be deemed as the slightly disappointing side of the phone. Budget gamers need to stay away from this phone as this phone, visibly, is not made pertaining to the gaming segment.

Don’t get me wrong, the Exynos 9611 can easily handle day to day tasks. All the reviewers were content with the day to day user experience. Multitasking experience seems to be good here as well, probably thanks to the 6GB RAM which the Galaxy M31 houses. Thankfully, the Galaxy M31 does not come with a high refresh rate display and handling daily tasks with the 60Hz display, handles smoothly and no lag was noticed by any reviewer.

Gaming is where the performance takes a hit. There are other smartphones in this price segment that offers Snapdragon 730G chipset which is almost twice as powerful as the Exynos 9611 chipset. The Mali-G72 MP3 GPU is quite an under-performer as well.

Overall, in my honest opinion, the Samsung Galaxy M31 performs decently well with day to day usage and performs quite mediocre in the gaming department. Considering the use of an Exynos 9611 chipset, in my opinion, won’t fare well in the long run. After more future updates, I believe this phone can get a little slower. The only ray of hope here is the faster UFS 2.1 storage that is being used here as the storage medium. Faster storage can help age a phone well. Fingers crossed for the Samsung Galaxy M31.

Battery Performance

  • Non-removable Li-Po 6000 mAh battery.
  • 15W fast charging.
  • 2.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector
-MySmartPrice 8Hrs 40min
-C4eTech Tamil10Hrs 32min
-Gadgets4You10Hrs 16min

Charging Speed Time

2hrs 27min to 2hrs 40min variation seen between different Youtube tests.

OVERALL pros

  • Great Display Quality.
  • Massive battery capacity with long battery life.
  • Great Camera performance for the price.
  • Decent Day to day test performance.

OVERALL cons

  • Mediocre Gaming performance.
  • Fragile AMOLED display with old Gorilla Glass 3.

CONCLUSION

In my honest opinion, based out of what I see from the top reviewers, I can safely recommend this phone to any non-gamer and casual gamers. The build quality is good, the display is amazing, camera performance is quite solid, the battery lasts forever. Well, What do you know! Samsung Galaxy M31 is a great solid phone which can even be the first phone that comes to mind when recommending a new phone under Rs.20k price point to casual and non-gamer. Samsung did a great job with the Galaxy m31.

Cheers!!

By Jayesh

Hi there!! I'm Jayesh, a Super tech enthusiast who spends a lot of his time obsessing over gadgets, watching reviews, and hands-on experience from various people on the internet( Tech YouTubers generally) as I'm not lucky enough (yet) to own it all for myself. I'm sharing my tech knowledge coming from my obsession over youtube tech reviewers to help friends and family decide on a product.

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