The Samsung Galaxy M31s is a new mid-range smartphone aimed at those who don’t want to spend on top-tier phones. Starting at Rs 19,499, the Galaxy M31s has a big screen, fast processor, long battery life and most importantly, great front and back cameras. The Galaxy M31s is so good that it can easily take on many smartphones priced between Rs 25,000 and Rs 30,000. I spent the last five days with the Galaxy M31s, and here is my take on the phone.
GSM / HSPA / LTE
LAUNCH Announced 2020, February 25
Status Available. Released 2020, March 05
BODY Dimensions 159.2 x 75.1 x 8.9 mm (6.27 x 2.96 x 0.35 in)
Weight 191 g (6.74 oz)
Build Glass front (Gorilla Glass 3), plastic back, plastic frame
SIM Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
DISPLAY Type Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 6.4 inches, 100.5 cm2 (~84.1% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution 1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~403 ppi density)
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 3
PLATFORM OS Android 10, One UI 2.1
Chipset Exynos 9611 (10nm)
Features LED flash, panorama, HDR
Video 4K@30fps, 1080p@30fps, gyro-EIS
SELFIE CAMERA Single 32 MP, f/2.0, 26mm (wide), 1/2.8″, 0.8µm
Video 4K@30fps, 1080p@30fps
SOUND Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
COMMS WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE
GPS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS
NFC Yes (market/region dependent): SM-M315F/DSN
Radio FM radio, RDS, recording
USB 2.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector
FEATURES Sensors Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
BATTERY Type Li-Po 6000 mAh, non-removable
Charging Fast charging 15W
MISC Colors Ocean Blue, Space Black, Red
Models SM-M315F, SM-M315F/DS, SM-M315F/DSN
SAR 0.52 W/kg (head) 0.69 W/kg (body)
SAR EU 0.48 W/kg (head) 1.13 W/kg (body)
Price $ 271.19 / € 262.22 / £ 229.90 / ₹ 16,499
Samsung Galaxy M31s specifications: 6.5-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED display| Samsung Exynos 9611|6GB RAM/8GB RAM, 128GB storage, microSD support included|6000mAh battery, 25W fast charging support|32MP front camera, 64MP main camera+12MP ultra wide camera+5MP depth camera+5MP macro camera||Android 10, OneUI
Samsung Galaxy M31s price: Rs 19,499 onward
Samsung Galaxy M31s review: What is new?
The Galaxy M31s reminds me of the Galaxy A51 in terms of design language. The front of the phone has an edge-to-edge 6.5-inch AMOLED display and a small hole for the front-facing camera. Flip the phone, and you will notice the rectangular camera bump on the top left – the setup is similar to that of the Galaxy S20 series. On the left side there’s the SIM tray, while on the right, there’s a power button that doubles as a fingerprint scanner and volume rocker. On the bottom, there’s a USB-C port, a speaker and a headphone jack.
Despite its large 6.5-inch screen, I like how the phone feels in the hand. It’s light, and easy to hold and use one hand. It’s a tall phone, though. The Galaxy M31s doesn’t look too flashy, but I am okay with that. But Samsung does cut some corners to keep the price down. Like the Galaxy A51, the M31s’s back panel is made of plastic with a glass-like finish, but you probably wouldn’t be able to differentiate. Still, the build quality is solid, though there is no waterproof rating. You can get the Galaxy M31s in Mirage Black and Mirage Blue colour options.
The Galaxy M31s display is gorgeous. The 6.5-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED screen is perfect for watching movies, editing videos and reading epapers. The display is bright and colourful. That’s typical of a Samsung AMOLED display. Even though the Galaxy M31s display has a 60 Hz refresh rate, I bet there is no other phone in the mid-range and premium mid-premium segment with a better screen.
Another welcome change is a side-mounted fingerprint scanner. Sure many phones (including popular mid-range devices) now include in-display fingerprint sensors, but they are not good. I liked how the side-mounted fingerprint sensor works. It’s way quicker and more reliable than in-display optical fingerprint sensors.
Samsung has installed its Exynos 9611 chipset inside the Galaxy M31s (the same processor currently found in its Galaxy M31). Performance is on the higher side, surprisingly. I think 6GB RAM and 128GB storage come in handy when running games, taking pictures or shooting videos. Apps and websites open quickly; I did not register any lag or stutter while playing games like Sky, Temple Run and Lara Croft: Relic Run.
I reviewed the 6GB RAM and 128GB storage model, but you can also opt for another variant – the one with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. If you think the 128GB storage is not enough (I think it’s enough for most people), the phone can take up to an additional 512GB of storage with a microSD card.
And how does the battery last on the Galaxy M31s? Well, it lasted a generous day-and-a-half on a single charge on my review unit. The Galaxy M31s is powered by a 6,000mAh battery that can easily get you through two days. In my case, the battery died in the second half of the second day. I spent more time watching YouTube and streaming music through Apple Music. The 25W bundled fast charger will come handy.
I am glad that Samsung has made an effort to improve the camera quality on the Galaxy M31s. On the back of the phone, you will find a 64MP primary Sony IMX682 sensor with an f/1.8 lens, a 12MP secondary sensor with a 123-degree ultra-wide-angle lens,
a 5MP depth shooter and a 5MP macro lens. Considering the price of the phone, pictures taken with the Galaxy M31s are fantastic. In daylight, all shots looked detailed and punchy. Colours do oversaturate a bit, but that’s the case with every Samsung phone I have tested so far. Autofocus was faster and there was no lag in taking pictures.
Samsung Galaxy M31s review: Should you buy?
The Galaxy M31s has a nice and colourful 6.5-inch AMOLED screen, a great camera, excellent battery life, capable processor, a headphone jack and great build quality. Starting at Rs 19,499, the Galaxy M31s gives a premium impression,
good enough to give tough competition to the OnePlus Nord, which starts at Rs 24,999. If you are planning to replace your old device and you are considering switching to the Galaxy M-series, I think the Galaxy M31s is worth checking out. I would happily recommend the Galaxy M31s over other expensive Android smartphones.