Another offering from Samsung, this Galaxy M31s is a success to Galaxy M31 and gives you the best in a budget phone. The model has maintained its powerful battery along with a crisp AMOLED display and 25W fast charging speed that keeps the phone charged up in a jiffy. Galaxy M31s does bring a few upgrades compared to its successor including a larger Infinity-O display, a faster charging tech, and a few things here and there that justifies its increased price tag as well.
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Here, after using the Samsung Galaxy M31s for quite a while, you can check out the whole review below.
Prices in India, Variants, Availability
Samsung Galaxy M31s, the successor to Samsung Galaxy M31, brings a lot of on-board. About the pricing, the phone with 6GB+128GB storage configuration is available at Rs.19,499/- on Amazon India while it is available at Rs.20,499/- on the Samsung India website. Similarly, the larger 8+128GB variant is available at Rs.22,499 on the Samsung India website. You can choose between Mirage Black and Mirage Blue colour variants.
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There is a tonne of deals and discounts available with it. First up, there’s a No cost EMI on selected credit cards, HSBC is offering 5% instant discount while Federal Bank Debit Card EMI transactions will give you 10% up to Rs.1,500 of instant discount.
Specs at a glance
Before talking about the device in a bit more depth, let’s look at some crucial on-paper specifications of Samsung Galaxy M31s.
- Display: 6.5-inch Super AMOLED, 1080 x 2400 (FHD+)
- Processor: Exynos 9611 chipset
- Memory & storage: up to 8GB RAM, up to 128GB internal storage
- Software: Android 10, OneUI 2.0
- Rear cameras: 64MP + 12MP + 5MP + 5MP
- Selfie camera: 32MP
- Battery: 6000 mAh, 25W fast charging
- Weight: 203g
- Dimensions: 159.3 x 74.4 x 9.3
Design and Build
Samsung Galaxy M31s does make a difference when it comes to its design. The phone’s design is inspired by the flagship-level Galaxy Note 10 series that make it a lucrative choice at this price tag. The phone has a “Glasstic” back panel which is Samsung’s way of telling that it has a plastic back with a glossy finish to it. Moreover, the back panel is a fingerprint magnet so good luck wiping off those smudges if you don’t get a phone case or cover for the phone.
At 203 grams, the phone is surely bulky but when you consider the fact that it is packing in a 6,000 mAh battery, I guess that balances the weight problem. The fingerprint scanner has now shifted to the side edge and doubles as a power button when needed. It is placed quite comfortably allowing users to properly place the thumb to unlock without any hassle. The right place has a volume rocker too while the left side has just a SIM slot.
The 3.5mm audio jack, a USB Type-C port, a primary microphone, and a bottom-firing loudspeaker are at the bottom of course. There’s a secondary microphone on top as well. The earpiece is mounted into the top bezels while the front camera has a punch-hole cut out right at the centre, something which Note 10 tried last year which makes it look premium again. The rear panel has a rectangular-shaped quad-camera set up with India’s first-ever 64MP Intell-Cam camera according to Samsung. There’s nothing else on the bottom except the Samsung branding and a majestic gradient texture with the two Mirage Blue and Mirage Black colour variants.
The Samsung Galaxy M31s has a beautiful 6.5” Super AMOLED Infinity-O display with a 1080×2400 pixel resolution. It has a 405 PPI density and has an aspect ratio of 20:9. The display has a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 which is outdated yet it does its job of protecting the phone’s display for quite a few falls.
The device is packed with an Exynos 9611 octa-core chipset fabricated using a 10n manufacturing processor. It is an eight-core chipset as said above boosting 4 high-performance 2.3GHz Cortex-A73 cores with 4 power-efficient 1.7GHz Cortex-A53 cores. It has a Mali-G72 MP3 GPU and comes with two storage configurations i.e. 128GB UFS 2.1+6GB and 128GB UFS 2.1+8GB available at slightly distinct price tags.
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The Exynos 9611 chipset mounted on Galaxy M31s does its job handing the day-to-day tasks although it is nowhere near the performance an equivalent Snapdragon processor would offer. Apparently, the phone lags when you go for multitasking extensively. Video editing would cause the same issue so yeah if you are looking for a phone purely for gaming, Galaxy M31s isn’t for you. Although you can still play games like PUBG on lower fps and graphics, the phone would still skip frames if you are indulged in a longer session allowing your opponents to spot and eliminate you in the game.
Samsung Galaxy M31s is equipped with the latest OneUI 2.1 based on Android 10 which brings the best of both Android OS and the custom UI from Samsung. OneUI 2.1 is marketed as one of the best UI for one-handed use and no doubt Galaxy M31s has this feature as well. It has a tonne of improvements over previous iterations such as “useful cards” among others.
Samsung Galaxy M31s does get some changes in its camera setup. The phone has a quad-camera setup with a primary 64MP Intelli-Cam sensor with 0.8micron pixel size, PDAF, f/1.8 aperture flanked with a 12MP secondary ultrawide sensor with a field of view of 123° and aperture of f/2.2. This is an improvement over the M31’s 8MP ultrawide sensor. The third cam is a 5MP macro camera with f/2.4 aperture followed by the fourth 5MP depth sensor. The front camera setup has a single 32MP primary sensor with 0.8micron pixel size, f/2.2 aperture, and shoots pretty detailed images of the subject. Both front and rear camera setup support up to 4K resolution at 30fps.
The camera app on Samsung Galaxy M31s looks polished similar to flagship S-series and Note-series of smartphones. It’s Single Take feature grabs shots with several modes including Hyperlapse, boomerang, filters, and more without just shooting a standard video clip. Scroll to its Pro mode to get the most of the Galaxy M31s camera setup.
The primary sensor can churn shots at 16MP by default using 4-in-1 pixel binning technology. If you want to yank it up, you can grab a great 64MP shot with a lot of details than its default shot. Daytime photography on M31s gives you a lot of details and sharpness on the subject with readable text even after a 100 per cent zoom. The wide-angle camera can grab shots at 123° FoV which is so far one of the highest degrees compared to other photos. But just like any other phone with an ultra-wide-angle camera, the photos are warped on the sides but overall, the quality is commendable.
Next up, the phone has a depth sensor too that aids in its Live Focus shot that gives a stunning makeover to any shots on Galaxy M31s with depth effects. I have shot some pretty good macro shots as well although there’s a limitation on how close you can go for better shots just any other normal phone would have. Night-time photography garnered some more than decent images but with some level of noise.
Under the hood, you’ll find a hefty 6,000 mAh battery that offers an excellent battery backup without any doubt. It is backed by a 25W fast charging tech on-board Galaxy M31s. The battery is capable of delivering a backup of two days on a mixed usage given its size is humongous. On the HD video loop test, the battery performed exceptionally at 24 hours and 2 minutes. With a 25W charging brick as aforementioned, the battery can get recharged to its full capacity in one and a half hours which is great. A 30 minutes charging would give you 34 per cent which should be enough to take hours-long calls without any hassle.
Plus, there’s a reverse charging feature that would charge your wireless buds or earpods supported with wireless charging on the go.
Audio, Connectivity, Biometrics
Samsung Galaxy M31s has a single bottom-firing loudspeaker that sounds good. It is loud so you won’t have any problem watching movies or playing games, etc. The earpiece has a similar performance as well.
The device is paired with Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac with dual-band 2.4GHz and 5Ghz support. It has Bluetooth 5.0, LE, and A2DP support as well. When it comes to navigation, it supports almost all satellite systems including A-GPS, BDS, Galileo, and Glonass. It also has NFC but it is market-dependent. It has FM radio, Type C 1.0 connector, USB 2.0 support.
The fingerprint scanner on Galaxy M31s is on the side which doubles as a power button. It unlocks the phone pretty quickly although don’t expect it to outperform under-the-display fingerprint scanner. Even if there’s a lag, you won’t notice it. The face recognition system takes a front seat as well although it might not be that quick for those coming for recent flagship phones. As with any other phone, you get all sorts of PIN, password, and pattern lock available along with the fingerprint and face recognition feature.
Pros & Cons
- Excellent battery life due to 6000 mAh battery capacity
- Not so common Reverse charging capability
- Latest Android 10 with OneUI 2.0 skin
- Impressive quad-camera setup
- Limited to shooting 30fps videos
- NFC is region-dependent
- Average processor, which is not an upgrade
Samsung Galaxy M31s is a mixed bag of performance, battery life, display tech, and all other aspects. The phone is a successor to Galaxy M31 only there’s just a hairline difference between the two except a few things that we mentioned above. It’s 6,000 mAh battery with 25W fast charging tech does give it the oomph factor but its Exynos 9611 has been used multiple times which means you are getting a new phone but with an overused chipset but that would affect light and moderate users. Anyways, you can still save a tonne if you go for Galaxy M31 but if you want to shell out more for a slightly updated phone, go for Galaxy M31s.