Over the past few years, we have seen companies like Xiaomi and Honor offers marketing disrupting phones in the budget and mid-range segments. Lately, Nokia and Realme have joined the game as well, successfully launching a bunch of phones that have gotten the consumers’ attention. In all this hustle and bustle, one brand has been struggling to catch up – Samsung. The South Korean company has slowly been losing its footing in India. But with the Galaxy M series launch, Samsung could very well steer the ship around.
On Monday, Samsung announced the Galaxy M10 and M20 (Review) smartphones with a renewed spirit and enthusiasm. These phones are quite unlike what the Galaxy J and Galaxy On series have offered in the past, which is perhaps a very good thing. The Galaxy M phones bring that “new-ness” that was desperately missing from past lineups. Not only do the Galaxy M10 and M20 bring a stunning new Infinity-V displays, but they have also been priced more competitively in a segment where pricing is everything.
Infinity-V display looks great
If there is one thing Samsung prides itself in, it is offering great displays. This year, Samsung is working on a few new display types like the Infinity-O punch hole display and Infinity-V and Infinity-U waterdrop displays. The Galaxy M10 and M20 are the first to get the Infinity-V display, which also makes them the first Samsung phones with a notch. And if Samsung had to adopt the notch, I’m glad they went with a droplet-style notch rather than the iPhone X notch that was all the craze last year.
The Infinity-V displays on the Galaxy M10 and M20 look terrific. What’s more, it also makes them among the cheapest phones available with waterdrop notches. While I haven’t reviewed the M10 yet, I can say that the M20’s display looks stunning. I’ll even go as far as to say that the front-facia of the M20 looks like it belongs up there with more premium phones like the OnePlus 6T. The display is sharp, bright and rich with deep and punchy colours that could make you believe it’s an AMOLED display.
In this segment, very few phones have really shined when it comes to the display. The M10 and M20’s waterdrop display are definitely the biggest USPs here and are easily some of the best displays you can find in this category. The cherry on the cake is that both the phones also come with Widevine L1 certification, which means you will be able to watch videos on popular platforms like YouTube, Netflix and Prime video in true HD quality.
Good display aside, if there is one thing consumers are looking for in a smartphone above all else it has to be a great battery life. Samsung is well aware of this, which is why it has offered a massive 5,000mAh battery with the Galaxy M20. This also happens to be the first Samsung phone with this large a battery, a sign of Samsung growing in confidence after the infamous Galaxy Note 7 fiasco a couple of years ago.
The Galaxy M20 is one of the very few phones to offer a 5,000mAh capacity in this segment, which is reason enough to go for this device if you’re looking for a two-day battery life. No matter what you throw at the M20, you should get at least a day and a half worth of usage on a single charge. Samsung hasn’t cut corners as well – it is offering the M20 with a Type-C port and 15W fast charging out-of-the-box.
The Galaxy M10 may not offer the same kind of battery performance, but a 3,400mAh should be no slouch considering the phone isn’t going to be too demanding on battery with its entry-level specifications.
Ultra wide-angle camera sees all
Samsung wants to offer new technologies with its budget and mid-range lines, which is why last year’s Galaxy A7 (Review) and A9 (Review) were the company’s first triple camera and quad-camera phones. With the M10 and M20, Samsung is offering something pretty unique to this segment as well – an ultra wide-angle camera.
Both the Galaxy M10 and M20 come with a 5MP ultra wide-angle lens as the secondary camera. With the wide-angle lens, you will be able to capture more of scene in a single frame, which is a nice option to have. This definitely sets these phones apart as competing devices do not offer ultra wide-angle cameras.
Another admirable point worth mentioning is that Samsung is offering the same dual camera configuration on both the M10 and M20. Apart from the 5MP wide-angle secondary camera, both the phones come with a 13MP primary lens with f/1.9 aperture. So you can expect similar photographs on both the devices, especially low-light performance.
Off to a good start
So far, we have looked at some of the key features that make the Galaxy M10 and M20 look like promising affordable phones. In the budget segment, having a good display and battery life takes precedence above all else. But consumers today are also looking for all-round devices that also deliver on design, performance and cameras.
The Galaxy M20 is certainly a dependable smartphone and manages to hold its own in front of the competition out there. It offers a solid build, although the plastic design could have been more appealing and more like what Realme and Honor offer. The new Exynos 79044 chipset manages to breeze through day-to-day tasks with ease as far as you don’t push the phone too much. The Galaxy M10 is similar to the M20 in a lot of ways and shows a lot of potential as well, although we can only say for sure after an in-depth review.
Above all, what Samsung has managed to get right this time around is the pricing, which is pretty competitive and will no doubt put some pressure on Xiaomi, Realme, Honor and even Nokia. Samsung looks serious to win back market share in India, and with the Galaxy M10 and M20, the company is offering a lot of exciting features with very few compromises.
I am quite excited to see where the Galaxy M series goes this year, as Samsung intends to offer more phones in this series over the coming months. Based on the rumours we are hearing, it seems the Galaxy M30 is next, and it should logically offer a better design and hardware.