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Samsung Galaxy M20: The Good, The Bad, and The X Factor
Samsung plans to reclaim its throne in India with its new offerings.
The race for offering the highest screen-to-body ratio is getting fierce each passing day, as major manufacturers have come out all guns blazing with their unique designs. But, the notch on top of the display has remained constant. At least in most of the cases. The size of the notch, however, kept shrinking and it was just a matter of time that Samsung joined the party.
After resisting the notch phenomenon for almost a year, the South-Korean giant finally jumped the bandwagon of notched screens with its latest Galaxy M series of smartphones. The company announced two new smartphones - Galaxy M10 and Galaxy M20, specifically for the Indian market. We got a chance to play around with the Galaxy M20 a few days before the launch. Priced at Rs 10,990 (3GB/32GB) and 12,990 (4GB/54GB), the smartphone comes with a big screen, an Exynos 7885 octa-core chipset, and a dual rear camera setup with a wide angle lens. But is it the best smartphone in the segment? Let us break it down for you.
Beautiful yet sturdy
Design-wise the Galaxy M20 is a sturdy device. The company has used hard plastic rear which makes is resistant to accidental falls and smudges. The Galaxy M20 is by no means on the slimmer side, due to its massive battery. But, the smartphone feels good to hold as it gives a good grip and a sense of durability.
The chunky Galaxy M20 will be an ideal choice for people who often drop their phones. It might save you a lot of money that is spent repairing the damages. Overall, it is a pretty well-rounded smartphone in terms of design and could give other devices in this segment a run for their money.
Quality viewing experience
Samsung hasn't used its signature Super AMOLED panel on the Galaxy M20 in favor of a normal 6.3-inch LCD panel. Although it might sound downgraded, the display panel comes with a Full HD resolution which makes for an impressive viewing experience. You might miss the dark blacks on the S AMOLED panels, but that's forgivable considering the price of the device.
This the first time, Samsung has used its Infinity-U display which means the notch on the top is u-shaped, drawing less prominence. The bezels are also pretty slim which makes this display ideal for multimedia consumption.
The Samsung Galaxy M20 is fueled by a huge 5000mAh battery. The battery sure lives up to the expectations one would have. We managed to use the device for a whole day, and the phone still managed to save 26 percent of juice.
Our usage included playing a few high-end games, listening to music, browsing the internet. If you are a moderate user, then the device might work for at least a day and a half before you seek out for a charger. In case of a hardcore user, you might need to charge the device before going to bed.
The brilliant battery performance is complemented by the company's fast charging tech. The Galaxy M20 takes a little over one hour to fully charge. You can also get a few hours of talk time by charging it for 15-20 minutes. Bringing the fast charging tech to the Galaxy M20 is something to be appreciated, as not many devices come with this functionality in this price range.
The new Galaxy M20 runs the dated Android 8.0 Oreo, which is a letdown given that Android 9 Pie is already out for months and has been rolled out to many smartphones. While Android Oreo isn't a bad operating system, but if the company is planning to take on the dominant Chinese rivals, it needs to upgrade its software front as well.
The software also comes with some bloatware, which could hamper the performance of the phone in the long run. The company is expected to roll out the Android Pie update for the new phone in August, but making it available out-of-the-box would have been a different experience altogether.
The Galaxy M20 comes equipped with a dual rear camera that comprises a 13MP + 5MP sensors along with an LED flash. The 13MP is the primary lens, while the 5MP sensor allows you to capture ultra-wide shots at 120-degree angles compared to the normal 78-degree angles seen on other smartphones.
We were pretty disappointed by the camera performance of the device. The images captured in good lighting conditions came out decent but lacked details. The images also show some noise and fall short of the dynamic range and sharpness.
The wide angle shots also looked a bit grainy. For low light photography, the Galaxy M20 wouldn't be a good option. The images lack details and sharpness which is a bit disappointing.
Bad fingerprint reader placement
The Galaxy M20 features a fingerprint sensor housed on the rear panel of the phone. But due to the large form factor of the phone, we often found ourselves reaching out for the fingerprint sensor. It feels a bit uncomfortable and if you are someone who has small palms, you wouldn't want to go through this process to unlock your Galaxy M20.
The sensor is fast and reliable most of the time, but we noticed that the scanner failed to register the fingerprint and we had to re-tap it unlock the device. As an alternative, the company also provides an option to unlock the device through face recognition, but we all know that isn't as reliable as the fingerprint scanning.
The X factor
With the new Galaxy M20, Samsung might hit the right chords with budget-conscious users in India. Starting at a price of Rs 10,990, the Galaxy M20 is probably one of the most aggressively priced Samsung devices till date. As the company aims to go head-to-head with the already dominant Chinese brands and re-claim its throne in the Indian market, the Galaxy M20 seems like the best way to kickstart proceedings.
Well, this might not be the best smartphone in this segment but is surely one of the best offerings this price segment has seen in recent times. The device will be pitted against the likes of devices such as the Realme 2 Pro, Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro, Moto One Power, and others. But, the brand value that Samsung brings with itself will play a huge role in the success of the Galaxy M series.
Hit or a miss?
Samsung has offered a well-rounded smartphone at an affordable price, making it a great value for money. The user response is yet to be seen, but in our opinion, the company has finally taken the right path with its latest M series of smartphones and should continue to bring more and more products that cost less but don't compromise on the specifications front.
For people who've always believed in Samsung should definitely try this one out. Both the variants of the device are clear winners in our opinion and will definitely make for a good value for money. With the new M series, Samsung has proved that it means business and its future roadmap for affordable smartphones seems bright.