Samsung Galaxy M32 Review: Betting on Very Strong Basics
Not a spec monster, but a solid performer
- At its starting price of Rs 14,999, the Samsung Galaxy M32 gets into the zone of the Realme 8 and the Redmi Note 10S.
- The phone’s highlight is its brilliant 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display and a massive 6000 mAh battery.
- It might be powered by the relatively older MediaTek Helio G80 processor, but the phone ticks most basic boxes and is a steady performer.
The geeks and enthusiasts might check out spec sheets and benchmarks and the like. Then you have the flaunters who will pay careful attention to the design, proportions, and materials used. But perhaps a large segment of phone users are basically looking for something that seems solid, works well, and does not charge a bomb for what it offers. And it is to this last category that the Samsung Galaxy M32 will appeal. And appeal very strongly at that.
Galaxy M32 Review: Solid, substantial, if not stylish
For, the Galaxy M32 is really all about ticking the basic boxes. The phone is designed on very solid rather than spectacular lines. The front is all about a tall display, albeit with a drop hole notch, rather than a more modern punch hole notch. The back is glossy carbonate but comes with subtle stripes that change color when light falls on them. It does stand out but also tends to get smudged very easily. Samsung has also gone with a square camera unit, which is more functional than funky, and frankly looks a little out of place on that jazzy back. With a height of 160 mm, the M32 is not exceptionally tall, but at 9 mm, it is definitely on the thicker side, and at 196 grams, it is not feather-light either.
It has no water or dust resistance, but it has a very substantial and solid feel to it, the sort that can easily take a fall (we do not recommend drop tests, that said.) It has a very reassuring, mid-segment feel about it.
That display (well, it is Samsung and AMOLED)
Mind you; there is nothing mid-segment about its display. Yes, the drop notch might seem so 2019 to some, but most will be too busy staring at the brilliant 6.4-inch Super AMOLED full HD+ Infinity-U display with a 90 Hz refresh rate to notice. No one quite does AMOLED displays like Samsung, and the Galaxy M32 drives this point home – its display is bright and vibrant and a joy to clap eyes on.
The absence of dual speakers, however, does take a bit of edge off the entire video viewing experience (thankfully, there is a 3.5 mm audio jack to plug in earphones and get way better sound), but even then, the display is easily among the best in its price segment.
Handy enough cameras
Galaxy M32 does very well in the camera department too. It comes with a quad-camera arrangement with a 64-megapixel main sensor, an 8-megapixel ultrawide one, and a pair of 2-megapixel cameras, one each for depth and macro. The last two on that list do not do much to the camera experience, but the first two do a decent job. We got some very good photographs in good light conditions from the main sensor, and the ultra-wide too chipped in with some very good landscapes. Portrait shots were not the sharpest, but if you like your images bright and poppy, you will like the main camera on the Galaxy M32. The 20-megapixel selfie camera turns out some good vanity snaps and surprisingly does not go crazy beautifying you (some might not like this, though).
[Click here for full resolution pictures and additional samples]
Video quality is not the greatest but good enough for social networks. There is nothing mind-blowing here, just steady, sensible stuff. You do not get options like Single Take, although there is AR Doddle and Hyperlapse.
A chip for chugging along rather than charging
Steady and sensible is how we would describe the general performance of the Galaxy M32 too. It runs on the Mediatek Helio G80 processor, which is a little on the older side and is frankly not in the league of the Snapdragon 720G/732G and the MediaTek Helio G95 chips on other devices at this price point. The result is a chip that generally gets through routine tasks like mail, social networks, and messaging without too much trouble, but the struggle is clear when you get into gaming. Yes, you can run casual games on it without too much trouble but get into the zone of Call of Duty or Asphalt, or even into heavy-duty multi-tasking, and the lags come in (and this is when we were using the 6GB RAM variant). It is a bit of a pity when you consider just how good that display is, but given how good the competition is, it is the Achilles Heel of the device. Even the camera, at times, seems to lag a little.
On the whole, however, the phone works smoothly. Samsung’s One UI 3.1 on top of Android 11 does come with its share of bloatware but adds features too, the most notable of which is Knox security.
A battery that lasts and lasts…and takes some time to charge
The battery is one of the strong points of the Galaxy M32. Samsung has surprised us with its ability to pack large batteries into relatively compact frames. While the Galaxy M32 is no dainty darling, the brand deserves some credit for squeezing a massive 6000 mAh battery into it. And that battery is impressive in performance too, lasting two days comfortably with normal usage and even with the refresh rate at 90 Hz. Get that rate down to 60 Hz, and you can get through two days and a half. And that is VERY impressive in this price range, especially when you consider the quality of the display on the Galaxy M32. There is a slight downer, though – although the phone supports 25W charging, it ships with a 15W charger in the box.
And that is where the large battery size becomes a problem because it takes almost three hours to top it up from zero. Yes, with that sort of battery life, you would not need to charge it often, but again, given that the competition is coming with much faster chargers, this again is a bit of a drawback for the device.
For those pursuing performance, rather than specs
The Samsung Galaxy M32 is available for Rs 14,999 for a 4 GB/ 64 GB variant and also has a 6 GB/ 128 GB variant for Rs 16,999 – both have expandable memory that can go up to 1 TB. And for all its perceived shortcomings (mainly in the processor and battery charging departments, it nevertheless is a very good proposition for anyone looking for a phone that does the basics well. It has a very good display, superb battery life, and a decent main rear camera, and a very capable selfie camera. No, it will not race through games at insane frame rates, and it was not designed to turn heads (unless you hit them with it), but it just works for most of the time. And that counts for a lot.
It does not have the spec and design dazzle of the Redmi Note 10 series or the Realme 8 series, but it does bring good old-fashioned basic performance to the phone party. And there are still plenty of takers for that.
- Terrific battery life
- Very good display
- Good main camera
- Not the best for gaming
- No stereo speakers
- Charging is slow
|Design & Appearance||
At its starting price of Rs 14,999, the Samsung Galaxy M32 gets into the zone of the Realme 8 and the Redmi Note 10S. But has its unique selling points. Here is our Samsung Galaxy M32 review.