Due to the disruption caused by COVID lockdown and the recent hike in GST prices, the dynamics of the affordable market segment are fast changing. As restrictions ease, most brands are now populating the under 20K segment with fresh options.
Close on the heels of Galaxy M11 and M01, Samsung added a more premium Galaxy A31. This is one of the rare few Samsung phones to employ MediaTek chipset and it integrates A-series advantages like AMOLED display, glass-finish body, One UI software, and has a massive 5000mAh battery.
Should you buy it? We have been putting the handset through its paces for the last few days, and will now share our first impressions and thoughts.
Samsung Galaxy A31 price and specifications
Galaxy A31 is available in a single 6 + 128GB variant priced at Rs. 21,999. Samsung also offers attractive EMI options with leading Banks, NBFCs & Samsung Finance+
|Product||Samsung Galaxy A31|
|Display||6.4-inch Full HD+ (1080 X 2400), AMOLED display|
|Processor||2.0GHz MediaTek octa-core MTK6768 Helio P65|
|Storage||128GB, Dedicated card slot (512GB)|
|Software||Android 10 (One UI 2.0)|
|Dimension||159.1 x 73.1 x 8.54|
|Rear camera||48MP (primary) + 8MP (ultra-wide) + 5MP (macro) + 5MP (Depth)|
|Others||Samsung Pay, In-display fingerprint sensor, |
USB Type-C port, Audio jack, Dolby Atmos
|Color options||Prism Crush Blue, Black & White|
Samsung Galaxy A31: Box Content
Apart from the pre-installed display protector, the Galaxy A31 Box bundles all the other usual accessories. Contents include:
- 15W Charging adapter
- USB Type-C cable
- Protective case
- Basic Earphones
- SIM ejector tool and Documentation
Samsung Galaxy A31: Design and Build
Samsung is doing better than most other Android players when it comes to phone designs. The Galaxy A31 follows the brand’s unified design language for 2020.
There is the ‘Glasstic’ back with a subtle, elegant pattern and a rectangular camera module. The metal-finish side frame is also actually polycarbonate and that helps restrict the weight. The light and well-balanced profile coupled with ergonomic curves on the back makes the Galaxy A31 comfortable to hold and operate – even when there’s a massive 5000mAh battery residing within.
The design is further complemented by an appealing AMOLED display. Unlike the Galaxy A51 and A71, this one doesn’t have the trendy centrally aligned punch-hole notch. Instead, there is the dated Infinity-U or water-drop notch. The bottom bezel is noticeably thicker too.
The phone has a USB Type-C port and retains the 3.5mm audio jack. There is an optical in-display fingerprint sensor that is working fast and reliable as of now.
Also Read: Realme Watch Review
Samsung Galaxy A31: Display
Samsung expectedly uses a high contrast AMOLED panel (6.4-inches) on the Galaxy A31 with Full HD+ resolution. Users can choose between 2 color profiles – Vivid and Natural. The Vivid mode is a tad bluish by default but comes with a color temperature adjustment toggle. The ‘Natural’ mode works better for us. The point being, users will be able to customize the colors to an extent based on their preferences.
The display was legible under direct sunlight and there are perks like thoughtfully designed dark theme and Always-On display widgets to take under consideration.
This is a great screen for watching multimedia content. The handset has DRM L1 certification and HD streaming works across popular apps like Netflix and Prime videos.
The screen does not come with a pre-installed screen protector and the display has a layer of Gorilla Glass protection (version unspecified). There’s also a good-quality oleophobic coating and the screen resists fingerprints rather well.
Samsung Galaxy A31: Performance and Software
The Samsung Galaxy A31 is powered by MediaTek’s Helio P65 chipset and our review unit has 6GB LPDDR4x RAM and 128GB of storage. This is not a particularly lustrous chipset and the Galaxy A31 shouldn’t be very appealing to hardcore gamers. It’s still too soon to pass any verdict, but day-to-day performance has been smooth so far.
The SD card slot is separate and can be used to add another 512GB of storage.
The software is One UI 2.0 interface that’s based on Android 10. This is an intuitive interface that we quite like. If you ask us, this gives the A31 a solid edge over phones from Vivo, OPPO, Realme, and even Xiaomi.
Most of the pre-installed apps (Samsung and Third Party) can be uninstalled. The phone integrates Samsung Pay support (NFC) and you will be able to add your credit and debit cards for payments. Face Unlock is fast and reliable.
Also Read: Vivo V19 Review
Galaxy A31 Benchmark Scores
- Geekbench single-core – 349
- Geekbench Multi-core – 1214
- 3D Mark Slight Shot Extreme (OpenGL ES 3.1) – 860
- 3D Mark Slight Shot Extreme (Vulkan) – 857
- PC Mark Work 2.0 performance – 6315
Samsung Galaxy A31: Battery and Audio
In the first few days, the 5000mAh battery has managed to last for 1.5 to 2 days. The 15W fast charging is actually quite slow by 2020 standards. It takes 1 hour for the battery to charge by 40 percent and a full charge takes more than 2.5 hours.
As for audio, there is a single loudspeaker at the bottom and it is quite loud and clear. Audio via headphones is quite decent. Dolby Atmos audio is also supported.
Samsung Galaxy A31: Camera Expectations
There are four cameras on the rear led by a 48MP primary camera. There’s also an 8MP wide-angle sensor, a 5MP depth sensor, and a 5MP portrait mode. On the front, there is 20MP sensor for selfies.
The camera app is easy to navigate, has AI smarts, and also a bunch of AR stickers that your kids should love.
Based on the initial testing, the camera performed better than our expectations in daylight and proper indoor lighting and should be a tough challenge to other best options available in the budget. Details are good in daylight scenes and HDR mode works quite well.
We will know for sure after we are done with our testing. For now, we have added a few samples for your perusal.
Samsung Galaxy A31 First Impressions
Samsung Galaxy A31 leverages Samsung strengths like design, great audio-visual experience, One UI software, Samsung pay, and camera software, and these advantages make it stand apart from usual options available in the same budget. The experience is premium and there’s a lot to like.
We will still need some more time to determine how well the MediaTek chipset holds to scrutiny, but yes, the chipset seems a bit lackluster for the price. Lack of proper fast charging support is another peeve point.
We will need to spend some more time with the phone before we know if this is an option that we’d recommend. We will be back with our full review and final verdict soon.
Samsung Galaxy A31 FAQ
Does Samsung Galaxy A31 support Wi-Fi Calling and Dual VoLTE?
Yes, Wi-Fi calling and dual VoLTE are supported.
Does Samsung Galaxy A31 support Wi-Fi 6?
No, Wi-Fi 6 is not supported.
Does Samsung Galaxy A31 support HD Stream on Netflix and Amazon Prime?
Yes, we were able to stream Full HD content on Netflix and Prime Videos.
What is the SAR value of Galaxy A31?
Head SAR as 1.13 W/Kg.
Does Samsung Galaxy A31 have Gorilla Glass?
Yes, the Galaxy A31 has Gorilla Glass protection but Samsung hasn’t specified the exact version.