- The Samsung Galaxy M34 5G is the latest device in Samsung’s Galaxy M series of devices which focuses on large (‘monster’) batteries and value for money specs.
- The Galaxy M34 features a large 6000 mAh battery but also comes with an AMOLED display with a high refresh rate, a 50-megapixel main sensor with OIS and a powerful Exynos 1280 chip.
- At its starting price of Rs 18,999, the Samsung Galaxy M34 5G could well be the best phone for those who want good performance across many fronts for under Rs 20,000.
Just how much can you get from a phone priced under Rs 20,000? After all, this is the segment where features enter the compromise zone, and brands take the odd shortcut to reach the destination of an affordable price tag.
Well, Samsung might have just come out with a device that changes user expectations in that price zone. At its starting price of Rs 18,999, the Samsung Galaxy M34 5G comes with a spec sheet that can only be called remarkable, including features like a bright display with a high refresh rate, a very good main camera with OIS, and a massive battery. But will it be enough to conquer a super competitive segment? (the phone is mostly referred to as the Galaxy M34 for the sake of simplicity henceforth)
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Samsung Galaxy M34 5G design and specs: Looks regular
It looks smart and feels reassuringly solid, but the Galaxy M34 will not attract too much attention with its appearance. The front is dominated by a tall 6.5-inch display with Gorilla Glass 5 protection, although with a slightly dated-looking drop notch. The frame is plastic, while the back is glossy carbonate, with three camera cameras placed one below the other in the top left corner, protruding slightly and not being part of a distinct camera unit.
There are two shades – a dark midnight blue and a lighter waterfall blue, which has a greenish-blue hue to it. The sober, understated types will love the former, while those who want something a little more flashy are likely to prefer the latter. At 161.7 mm, it is a tall phone, although relatively slim at 8.8 mm and at 208 grams, surprisingly light for what it contains. It is, in many ways, a classic Samsung budget device – designed to work well rather than turn heads with its design. In fact, it bears an uncanny resemblance to the Galaxy F54!
Samsung Galaxy M34 5G spec sheet: Specs spectacular
But if the design of the Galaxy M34 is unlikely to turn heads, its spec sheet definitely will. The phone comes with the sort of spec sheet that one expects at a higher price tag. The 6.5-inch display is a Super AMOLED FHD+ one with a 120 Hz refresh rate, and spearheading the three cameras on the back is a 50-megapixel sensor with OIS (rare in this segment), and the processor driving the device is an Exynos 1280, which is a notch above the Snapdragon 695 chip so often seen in this segment. Rounding all this off is a massive 6000 mAh battery. The M34 ticks off other spec requirements, too – you get a 13-megapixel selfie camera, an 8-megapixel ultrawide, a 3.5 mm audio jack, an expandable memory slot, and 5G connectivity.
It is not all roses – there is a 2-megapixel macro sensor which seems largely decorative. There are no stereo speakers, no dust and water resistance, and a lot of folks will be upset by the absence of a charger in the box. Still, that display, camera, battery, and processor combination make this a very compelling proposition for anyone looking for a high-performance device on a relatively tight budget.
Samsung Galaxy M34 5G performance, camera, and battery: A terrific performer in its price segment
Performance is the area where the Samsung Galaxy M34 really shines. The display is perhaps the best in the sub-Rs 20,000 segment and is bright and vibrant, making it great for viewing content on. Watching videos and shows is an absolute treat. The single speaker is loud enough, but we would recommend using headphones for a more immersive experience – stereo speakers would have helped.
That massive 6000 mAh battery means you can keep watching content for quite a while. The Galaxy M34 comfortably lasted more than a day and a half of normal use on a single charge. In fact, with a bit of care, you can even get more than two days of use from it. It can even serve as a makeshift power bank if you have a USB C to USB C/Lightning cable handy, depending on the kind of device you wish to charge. That said, the absence of a charger in the box is a downer, as is the rather modest 25W charging speed – the phone takes about two hours to get fully charged.
Another star that shines in this Galaxy is the 50-megapixel main camera. The camera delivers bright and colorful snaps with plenty of detail. Some might find the colors a little too bright and saturated – the greens and blues really jump out, in particular – but we cannot see too many complaining. The presence of OIS (rare at this price point) means that the low light and video performance of the device is also well above what we get at this price point. We got decent videos and some surprisingly good low-light snaps. The 13-megapixel selfie camera is a good one, too (although it aggressively smoothens skin textures), but the 8-megapixel ultrawide compromises on details, while the 2-megapixel macro camera is of very limited use.
The Exynos 1280 is no gaming beast, but it can handle routine tasks like social networking and Web browsing without breaking into a sweat, and multitasking on the phone was a breeze too. Even in gaming, you can easily play titles like Call of Duty and Genshin Impact with a few adjustments to graphics levels. The games look wonderful on that bright, colorful display. The side-mounted fingerprint scanner works smoothly, call handling is good, and 5G connectivity works smoothly out of the box.
Samsung’s OneUI interface is getting a little crowded with third-party apps, but the M34 runs smoothly on Android 13 out of the box. The brand also does have a very good Android update record, so one can be assured of regular and timely updates for the coming years.
Samsung Galaxy M34 5G Pricing
The Samsung Galaxy M34 5G has two RAM and storage variants, and they are priced as follows:
- 6 GB/ 128 GB: Rs 18,999
- 8 GB/ 128 GB: Rs 20,999
At this price, the Galaxy M34 finds itself in the same range as the Redmi Note 12 5G, which comes with a Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 chip and 6.67-inch AMOLED display with a 120 Hz refresh rate and has a 6 GB/ 128 GB variant at Rs 18,999. Also in contention is the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite which comes with a 108-megapixel sensor and a Snapdragon 795 chip and starts at Rs 19,999. The style conscious might also consider the Realme Narzo 60 5G, which has a very distinct back design, is powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 6020 chip and starts at Rs 17,999.
Samsung Galaxy M34 Review Verdict: Should you buy it?
We have no hesitation in calling the Galaxy M34 one of the best-performing smartphones we have used for under Rs 20,000. There are other phones in the same price range as the Samsung Galaxy M34, but in terms of overall performance, the M34 trumps them all. It scores highly on four key parameters that most users value at this price point, particularly- the brilliant display, the main camera with OIS, the massive battery, and the powerful-for-its-price processor.
We would ideally have liked a more eye-catching design and a charger in the box, but those are hardly deal breakers, given the level of performance the Samsung Galaxy M34 delivers. Pretty much THE phone to get for under Rs 20,000 if you are looking for performance-centric smartphone.
- Very good display
- Superb main camera sensor
- Smooth performer
- Excellent battery life
- No charger in the box
- Design a little on the plain side
- Below-average secondary cameras
- Drop notch looks dated
At its starting price of Rs 18,999, the Samsung Galaxy M34 5G could well be the best phone for those who want good performance across many fronts for under Rs 20,000.