The Galaxy M31s stepped in the great Indian smartphone Bazar right after the chaos of GST hike, COVID disruption, and the spike in exchange rates. Samsung’s latest M31s features in the affordable segment that has been at the very center of this turmoil. However, not everything is working against Samsung. The anti-China sentiments and ‘boycott Chinese goods campaigns’ have proved to be a blessing in disguise for the South Koran giant. (Samsung Galaxy M31s Review हिंदी में पढ़िए).

In the past few months, we have personally seen at least four instances where people picked up a Samsung Galaxy M30 or Galaxy M31 over likes of Redmi Note 9 Pro, Realme 6 Pro, and Poco M2 Pro due to either anti-China sentiment or because of theirs availability issues. Now, the tech giant has expanded its popular M-series portfolio with the Samsung Galaxy M31s.

Just a few hours before the launch, the Samsung Galaxy M31s landed at our doorstep. Since then we have been using it as our daily driver. Based on our personal experience, here’s our full Samsung Galaxy M31s review in detail.

Contents:

Samsung Galaxy M31s Specifications

ModelSamsung Galaxy M31s
Display 6.5-inch, AMOLED, 1440 x 2400 (full HD+), Gorilla Glass 3
Chipset10nm Exynos 9611 (2.3GHz octa-core; Mali G72MP3 GPU)
RAMup to 8GB LPDDR4x
Storage128GB UFS 2.1; Dedicated card slot (512GB)
SoftwareAndroid 10, OneUI 2.0
Rear camera64MP, f/2.0 (primary), 12MP (wide-angle) 5MP, f/2.2 (depth sensor), 5MP (macro) 480fps slow-motion videos, EIS, UHD videos
Selfie camera32MP, f/2.0; 4K videos
Fingerprint sensorCapacitive (side-mounted)
Dimensions and weight9.3 mm; 203 grams
Battery 6000mAh, 25W fast charging
ColoursMirage Blue, Mirage Black
PriceRs 19,499 (6GB + 128GB), Rs 21,499 (8GB + 128GB)

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Samsung Galaxy M31s Unboxing

The Galaxy M31s box doesn’t include a TPU case which is a kind of a bummer since it costs close to Rs 20,000. Box contents include:

  • Galaxy M31s handset
  • 25W wall charger
  • USB Type-C to Type-C charging cable
  • Instruction manual
  • Warranty card
  • SIM ejector tool

Samsung’s Type C to Type C cable can be used to leverage Galaxy M31s’ massive 6000mAh battery and reverse charge other phones or accessories like TWS earphones.

Samsung Galaxy M31s Review – Design and Build

Right out of the box, the very first thing that strikes you about the Galaxy M31s is its design. The Mirage Black color option that we have with us looks just stunning. Although, this a Glasstic build (or plastic that feels like glass), Samsung quite evidently spent some consideration delivering the metallic sheen with a gradient of Silver and Black colors.

We pulled out the Galaxy M31 (review) and Galaxy M30 (review) from our closet to compare them with M31s, and it shouldn’t be surprising that we were more inclined to pick the newcomer over its predecessors.

Samsung accommodates the fingerprint sensor on the power button. We have been voicing our opinion in support of side-mounted fingerprint sensors since we find them more convenient than the rear-mounted sensor and snappier than the in-display sensors.

The side-mounted fingerprint sensor also means you get a clean rear panel. The M31s is quite thick at 9.3mm, but that should be an acceptable price to pay for the additional battery capacity. It’s not particularly light either. The Galaxy M31s weighs more than 200grams but even distribution ensures that it doesn’t feel bulky (at all).

The ejectable SIM tray with a microSD card slot finds a place on the left side edge of the phone. We were happy to find a 3.5mm audio jack alongside USB Type C on the bottom edge.

Let’s now turn our attention to the front of the phone. Like most modern-day smartphones, here too display dominated as there are minimal bezels surrounding it. Samsung keeps a tiny cut out on the screen for the selfie camera.

Overall, design-wise the Galaxy M31s is one of the better-looking phones that you will find under Rs 20,000 segment.

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Samsung Galaxy M31s Review – Display

In today’s time when our phones are the gadgets that we use the most, a good smartphone screen is a must. Well, in that regard, the Galaxy M31s clearly outweigh others in its class. All other brands have no retracted AMOLED displays from the affordable segment, and perhaps the M31s is the only affordable phone under 20,000 with AMOLED display that we have seen in the last few months.

The Galaxy M31s has a 6.5-inch screen with full HD+ resolution, 60Hz refresh rate, and 20:9 aspect ratio.

While the likes Realme 6 Pro (review) and Poco M2 Pro (review) offer higher refresh rates, the Galaxy M31s screen is more vibrant and comparatively more power-efficient. Samsung claims 420nit of peak brightness. Outdoor brightness isn’t stellar but the screen was still legible outdoors. Color-shifting is not an issue here. Samsung has shielded the display with Gorilla Glass 3.

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Samsung Galaxy M31s Camera Review

Samsung brings together a decent set of camera hardware for the Galaxy M31s. The 64MP Samsung GW1 primary sensor has been swapped with a 64MP Sony IMX682 sensor. The quartet at the back also includes a 5MP macro camera, 12MP wide-angle camera, and 5MP basic depth sensor. On the front, there’s a 32MP selfie snapper that can shoot 4k Videos and slowfies.

The handset can record 4K videos. Samsung has added a feature where one can switch between cameras while recording a video, sweet!

Remember the Galaxy S20’s (review) Single Take feature? Well, Samsung has managed to pass it down to the Galaxy M31s as well. Once you hit that shutter button in Single Take mode, the phone takes multiple photos and videos in different settings and with different filters – all by itself.

It was fun using the Galaxy M31s camera during this review. The Sony IMX682 sensor impressed us with its wide dynamic range. The images delivered by the 64MP Sony sensor delivers a better dynamic range in comparison to the 64MP sensor that we tested on Galaxy M31.

In day light scenario, the Galaxy M31 delivers punchy colors with boosted contrast which is something we typically associate with Samsung phones. The Sony sensor on the Galaxy M31s produces better color tones and improved color temperature. Samsung doesn’t do aggressive noise suppression in low light that helps retain details.

Shots taken in portrait mode delivers similar color accuracy and details. The phone is able to accurately detect depth and mask background with artificial bokeh. The Ultra-wide sensor clearly has a wider field of view but details aren’t that impressive especially around edges as there is some Barrel distraction. The macro sensor is functional but nothing spectacular to rave about.

The Samsung M31s is one of the better selfie camera phones in under Rs 20,000 segment. You can capture a bigger 32MP camera or 8mp pixel binned selfies. The selfie’s deliver by M31s have good details and accurate skin tones.

It’s a good camera for vloggers with a limited budget. It is capable of shooting 4K from both front and back cameras. Features like super steady ensure stable clips while slofies add a fun element to it.

Now, let’s quickly jump to the Galaxy M31s performance and software segment of this review.

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Samsung Galaxy M31s Review – Performance and Software

For the Galaxy M31s, Samsung is once again putting its money on the Exynos 9611 SoC from the Galaxy M30s (review), Galaxy M31, Galaxy M21 (review), and a few other M-series phones. It’s an octa-core mobile chipset developed by Samsung that has four performance ARM Cortex-A73 cores clocked at 2.3GHz and four efficiency Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.7GHz. The chipset further integrates Mali-G72 GPU and is assisted by up to 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM, and 128GB UFS 2.1 storage.

Exynos 9611 SoC falls short in head to head comparison with likes of Snapdragon 720 and Snapdragon 730G which are available in the same price bracket, and we frankly expected something different, something better on the M31s, especially since the prices have increased.

While it can handle day to day tasks and some casual gaming decently well but it clearly struggles when you try to push it with high-end games like in PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty Mobile at max out graphics settings. One thing that bugs us about the M31s is its slow animations. You can go to developer options to reduce animation time from 1x to 0.5x and it will improve your user experience.

Where Samsung has a clear advantage over the competition is One UI. The Galaxy M31s ships with OneUI 2.1 layered on top of Android 10. The UI is clean and user friendly. There are still a few bloatware apps but thankfully you can uninstall most of the third-party options. One needs to pay extra attention while setting up its new M31s to prevent One UI sneakily install extra apps on your phone. Samsung has also included DRM L1 certification which is essential for HD streaming on Netflix, Prime videos, and Disney+ Hotstar.

With a combination of well-optimized software, LPDDR4X RAM, and UFS 2.1 storage I expect the performance to remain the same over a longer-term. 

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Samsung Galaxy M31s Review – Battery

Just like its predecessor, the Galaxy M31s has a monstrous 6000mAh battery under the hood. While using this phone we were able to get about two days on battery life on a single charge.

Perhaps for the first time, Samsung bundles a 25W USB-PD fast charger within a M-series box which takes about 97 minutes to completely refill an empty M31s battery.

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Samsung Galaxy M31s Review Verdict – Should you buy it?

Compared to its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy M31s gets an upgraded camera, a slightly better design, and the long-overdue 25W fast charging. While the chipset remains the same Exynos 9611, there is more RAM and storage, driving the prices higher.

It might not be a groundbreaking upgrade, but the phone still makes a lot of sense in the current market. The bigger question is whether the Galaxy M31s has enough grunt to knock out competitors such as the Poco M2 Pro and Realme 6 Pro.

Yes, if a good screen, a better software experience, a good set of cameras, and a big battery matter more to you. If you’d rather prioritize better gaming experience and powerful performance, you are better off opting for alternatives.

Pros

  • Appealing AMOLED screen
  • Excellent design
  • Excellent software
  • Monstrous battery
  • Good cameras

Cons

  • Gaming experience
  • Missing Knox security
  • No Samsung Pay

Samsung Galaxy M31s FAQ

Does the Galaxy M31s have FM radio?

Yes, it does.

Is there a headphone jack present on the Galaxy M31s?

Yes, there is a 3.5mm headphone jack present at the bottom edge.

Does the Galaxy S31s support Wi-Fi calling?

Yes, it does.

What is the Galaxy S31s SAR value?

SAR value is 1.38 W/kg (head) and 0.449 W/Kg (body).

Does the Galaxy M31s support reverse charging?

Yes, it does.

Does the Galaxy M31s has Navic?

No. The handset does not have Navic support.

Does the Galaxy M31s has Knox security?

No, Samsung decided not to offer Knox on Galaxy M31s.

 

7 COMMENTS

  1. If one sets aside the parameter 5G, and if to compare between Moto G 5G v/s Samsung M51/M31s, for rest of the features – what’s your recommendation between the two? And why?

    • I have not yet compared the two side by side and the better of the two will depend on your individual preferences. Moto g has a more powerful chipset and minimal stock-ish interface. We quite like the OneUI software on Galaxy M51, but it might not align with everyone’s taste. Galaxy M51 is likely to have an edge with camera performance (can’t say for sure until we compare them side by side). Moto keeps the colors close to natural, and M51 has them pleasantly oversaturated. M51 also has AMOLED advantage. Again, it will come down to how you use your phone and what you prefer.

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