Samsung’s Galaxy M series is clearly aimed at the millenials. So Samsung will sell the phone only online and with an affordable price tag, packing in features like dual rear cameras and a ‘V’ shaped “Infinity V” notch. Incidentally, this is the first time Samsung has adopted a notch on its phones.
The Galaxy M series will have two variants to start with — the Galaxy M10 and the Galaxy M20. The latter is the more expensive device with a price of Rs 10,990 going up Rs 12,990. It packs a big 5000 mAh battery, comes with a new Samsung Exynos 7904 octa-core processor and a 13MP+5MP camera combination. Here’s our review of Galaxy M20.
Samsung Galaxy M20 Specifications: 6.3-inch full HD+ display | Samsung Exynos 7904 octa-core processor | 4GB RAM+64GB storage (expandable to 500GB via microSD) | 13MP+5MP rear camera and 8MP front camera | Samsung Experience UI 9.5 on Android Oreo 8.1 | 5000 mAh battery with 15w fast charging
Samsung Galaxy M20 Price in India: Rs 10,990 for the 3GB RAM version and Rs 12,990 for the 4GB RAM version
Samsung Galaxy M20 review: What’s good?
The Galaxy M20 has a pleasing design, though with a polycarbonate body that has a glossy finish. The phone is a bit heavy given the 5000 mAh battery, but using this with one-hand is not a problem. Samsung has gone for a dedicated microSD slot on the Galaxy M20, which is something users in this price segment would appreciate.
Samsung Galaxy M20 also comes with a Type-C USB port, something that the company has not offered in a budget phone so far. It has a single speaker and headphone jack at the bottom on the either side of the port. The fingerprint sensor is at the back.
The Galaxy M20 comes with a 6.3-inch full HD+ display, which also has Widevine L1 certification support for watching HD content on Netflix, etc. This is good to see on a budget phone. The display is not bad with good viewing angles, though brightness is a problem, especially in low-light and in bright sunlight.
The performance of the Galaxy M20 is powered by Samsung’s new Exynos 7904 processor, which is an octa-core chip with a 14nm design. In daily usage, the phone’s performance is at par with what you expect at this price point. It scores around 108823 on Antutu, which puts it at the bottom of the list, though this is in line with what one gets on phones in this price range.
There is however no lag in performance, even with a flood of notifications. The phone can handle multi-tasking, games like Asphalt 9, etc smoothly, without overheating or slowing down.
Galaxy M20 also sports a big 5000 mAh battery with a Type C USB port and 15w fast charging. The battery will easily last two days with moderate usage, and heavy usage should squeeze out a day and a half. Still given the size of the battery, it takes more than two hours to get this phone to full.
The phone also comes with the Samsung Experience UI 9.5 and runs Android Oreo 8.1 It would have been good to see Android Pie though.
Samsung’s new UI is customised for the Galaxy M phones and their V notch display. With the new UI, the icons have been redesigned as well compared to what you might have seen on previous Samsung phones.
In fact, these are closer in design and look to the newer OneUI that is powering Samsung’s flagship phones like Note 9. The phone’s settings also have the option of hiding the camera notch on top for those who prefer.
Samsung has added the option of Face Recognition, which is a hit and miss at times. It can be configured to work with both the glasses on and off. The fingerprint scanner is pretty accurate and works better in my view.
The Galaxy M20 with a 13MP+5MP rear camera and an 8MP front camera. The camera is good, especially when you are working with better lighting. The colours are pleasing, and there is no noticeable bleeding even with brighter colours.
Samsung Galaxy M20 review: What’s not good?
The display’s brightness is a problem. I found myself tweaking it to maximum both in sunlight and at night. It just seems a little washed out, compared to what I have see Samsung offer in the past. Keep in mind Samsung is not offering SAMOLEd displays with these phones, which it has done on some budget devices in the past.
I had some issues with the selfie camera, where everything looked out of focus. While the second unit of Galaxy M20 I used did not have that issue, I found the beauty mode a bit too aggressive. The selfie camera could do better on the details.
In low-light the rear camera of the Galaxy M20 is underwhelming. Photos start to lose details and the images are not as sharp as one would want it to be. But then at this price point most cameras struggle in low-light performance.
Some things are annoying about the UI. The lock screen for instance comes with stories showing option turned on by default. It shows latest news items, mostly bollywood with pictures covering the screen and is pretty annoying. Mercifully you can turn this option off.
Samsung Galaxy M20 review: Verdict
Samsung Galaxy M20 offers good performance, big battery for its price, which is what you want on a device priced under Rs 13,000. The camera and display could have been better. Samsung’s Galaxy M20 will compete with devices like Redmi 6 Pro, Realme 2, Nokia 5.1 Plus, Honor 8C, which are in the same price bracket .
There’s no doubt that the phone has plenty to offer in terms of performance, battery, but those who want more on camera should consider slightly more expensive options.