[First Cut] Samsung Galaxy M31s: Adding camera muscle to a winning formula

Getting into Nord Waters

by: - Last updated on: September 26th, 2020

When the Galaxy M30 was released about a year or so ago, people asked us how it compared with the Redmi note 7 Pro. Fast forward to today where the Galaxy M31s has been released, people are asking us how it compares with the OnePlus Nord.

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That’s quite a journey for the series, right? Well, the Galaxy M30 was launched at Rs 14,990. The M31s starts at Rs 5,500 more than this at Rs 20,499 for the 6 GB/ 128 GB variant. There is an 8 GB/ 128 GB variant that is available at Rs 22,499. Small wonder that many are asking how it compares with the latest OnePlus.

Big AMOLED display? Check. Big battery? Check!

We will address that comparison in another story, but speaking of the phone itself, the M31s seems to be classic Galaxy M30 territory. Yes, it has got a bit of a redesign with the front having a punch hole notch in the top center (an Infinity O display, in Samsungspeak) rather than a waterdrop one as seen in its predecessor. But that apart, this one plays to the classic Galaxy M series strengths – a big display, a 6.5-inch Super AMOLED one with a Full HD+ resolution (regular 60 Hz refresh rate, though), and a massive 6000 mAh battery with a 25 W charger that the brand claims can top up the battery from 0 to 100 in 97 minutes.

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The design is largely similar to the ones in the past with Gorilla Glass protection to the front, and the back being glasstic with a gradient finish and a rectangular camera unit in the top left corner. It is not the thinnest or lightest phone in general but is surprisingly lightweight for a phone that big a display and that massive a battery. The back is smart enough, but the design is not the forte of the Galaxy M31s. Well, it seldom is in the M series, which is more about being solid and substantial rather than stylish.

Special camera alert

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What however is different in this one is the camera set up. Samsung is pushing the M31s as a camera device, or a #Monstershot device, to use its hashtag. The phone comes with four cameras at the back – a 64-megapixel main sensor (interestingly a Sony IMX 682, rather than a Samsung sensor), a 12-megapixel ultrawide sensor, and two 5-megapixel sensors, one each for depth and macro. The phone also comes with a number of shooting options seen on higher-end devices (like the S20 series) such as Single Shot which records for a few seconds and then shows you up to ten different outputs with different effects and filters, chosen by the phone itself. There is also a 32-megapixel front-facing camera. On paper, this is quite a lineup.

Another 9611 chips in (pun intended)

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It is business as usual in M30 series mode in other departments, though. This phone too runs on the Exynos 9611 processor, which has turned in a decent performance time and again on many devices but is getting close to a year old. You get RAM and storage variants of 6 GB/ 128 GB and 8 GB/ 128 GB, with an expandable memory card slot to take it to 512 GB. On the software side, there is OneUI 2.1 on top of Android 10. As we said, par for the M30 series course.

Big camera. Big battery. Big display. Will all that translate into a headache for a certain OnePlus? Nord knows.Stay tuned for our review.

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