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Samsung Galaxy M40 Review: Yet Another Brilliant Mid-Ranger
Samsung with its Galaxy M series smartphones created ripples in the sub-20k segment. All the smartphones under the series have received an overwhelming response and the company claims to have sold over 2 million units since the inception of the lineup.
- Fresh Design
- Great Display
- Snapdragon Chipset
- Good Overall Performance
- Average Cameras
- Small Battery
- Lacks headphone Jack
Well, the latest entrant in the series is the Galaxy M40, priced at Rs 19,990 and seems to be placed perfectly in the crowded mid-range smartphone market. With devices like Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro dominating the bracket with brilliant cameras and performance, Samsung's latest offering shows the potential to lock horns with such devices.
It is touted as the first device in the segment to sport the Infinity-O display panel that has a punch-hole to accommodate the selfie camera. It is also the first Samsung smartphone to cut ties with the 3.5mm audio jack. But is it worth giving a shot or just another mediocre offering? Let's find out in our review:
- 6.3-inch PLS TFT display
- Corning Gorilla Glass
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 675
- Adreno 612
- 4GB/6GB RAM
- Android Pie
- 32MP + 8MP + 5MP rear cameras
- 16MP front-facing camera
- 3500mAh battery
- 15W fast charging
Design-wise, the Galaxy M40 takes a fresh approach, especially when we were expecting something similar to the previous designs in the series. The company has used a polycarbonate body for the device. However, with a completely different gradient pattern where the curves show a different shade compared to the flat part.
There's a triple camera setup aligned vertically with an accented silver ring placed over the middle sensor. The rear panel also houses a fingerprint reader which also has a blue painted rim complementing the overall design.
But, the biggest standout feature is placed up front. The device brings the punch-hole display to the mid-range Samsung phones, which was earlier seen on the Galaxy S10 series, doing away with the traditional notch.
It provides more real estate for the screen and shows subtle transitions when using the front camera or using the facial unlock feature. It kinda feels like the Galaxy S10e, but with lower-end innards.
Despite a huge 6.3-inch display, the smartphone easily fits in hand. Overall, the build is really good, however, the polycarbonate back might attract scratches. So you might want to keep your Galaxy M40 in a protective case.
The Samsung Galaxy M40 a 6.3-inch full-HD+ Infinity-O display. This isn't an OLED panel but still makes for a brilliant viewing experience. This might be a dealbreaker for a few as the previous offering in the lineup - Galaxy M30 came with an OLED screen.
But that doesn't make a lot of difference honestly. The display on the Galaxy M40 is sharp and the colors look fairly vivid. Also, the color reproduction and viewing angles are great. The Infinity-O panel offers over 91 percent screen-to-body ratio, making multimedia consumption a treat.
Additionally, the device also has the Widewine L1 certification that allows HD playback from all the video streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, among others. The screen is protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass.
However, there's no option to change the color tuning, a feature seen on quite a few devices in the segment. You might also miss the deep blacks seen on AMOLED screens, which is a letdown.
In the audio department, the audio output of the device is decent, but you might need an external source for a better experience. The mono speaker churns out shrill sound at times and there's a chance you might end up covering the bottom-firing speakers while playing games or watching videos.
Samsung has finally cut ties with the 3.5mm audio jack with its Galaxy M40. The company does bundle a pair of headphones with USB-C connector, but there's no dongle to connect the 3.5mm headphones.
This is a bold move from the company, but this might not be the right device to pull off this antic as the budget-conscious users still have faith in the old school headphones.
With the Galaxy M40, the M series gets the Android 9 Pie with One UI skin atop. And the best part is that you get to use all the features of the One UI which were only limited to the flagship devices.
The interface brings subtle layout with new fonts and a convenient one hand usage mode to the Galaxy M lineup. You also get Knox integration, Night Mode, Samsung Health, among others.
Users also get the option to customize the phone's themes along with Google's Digital Wellbeing feature that allows tracking usage habits. But, the device misses out on features like Always-on display. What's more surprising is the lack of Samsung Pay or even Samsung Pay Mini, despite having NFC.
The Galaxy M40 packs a triple camera setup comprising a 32MP primary lens with f/1.7 aperture along with an 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera and a 5MP depth sensor. Unfortunately, there's no optical stabilization, and the autofocus could have been better. But, you'll be able to capture video at up to 4K at 30fps and 720p slow-mo videos at 240fps.
Speaking of the picture quality, the images taken in well-lit areas came out pretty well with an ample amount of light and color reproduction, however, some of the images were oversaturated and lacked detail. The colors didn't look sharp and reproduction could have been better in dark conditions.
The portrait shots were decent, but nothing worth writing home about. The lower resolution images are slightly better details. The autofocus performance was also below par and we observed a bit of shutter lag as well.
Overall, the camera isn't the strongest traits of the Galaxy M40. The company could have way more with the three sensors. We aren't saying this is a bad a camera, it's definitely an upgrade over its precursors in the M series but isn't the best one out there. We've seen better cameras in this price segment.
Under the hood, a Snapdragon 675 processor keeps the device running. We've seen the processor on the Redmi Note 7 Pro and is also the first time the Galaxy M series smartphone will use this chipset. It is backed by 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage (expandable), which seems competitive for this price.
However, the Galaxy M40 lacks the smooth experience than other smartphones like the Galaxy M30 and the Galaxy A50 offered. We noticed performance drops at a few instances such as running heavy games or switching between apps. But, these are just minor issues which can be taken care by a few software updates.
Apart from that the device was lag free and held up with the pace of graphics-hungry games and heavy apps. We fired up PUBG and played a game or two continuously with graphics set to the maximum. The device did get a bit toasty but cooled off really fast.
We also ran some benchmark tests on the device. The Galaxy M40 scored 7253 in the PCMark benchmark, while on Geekbench, the device got 2371 in single core test and 6429 points in the multi-core test. The number reflects that this is a fairly tough device that could take a beating.
Samsung's Galaxy M series of smartphones usually come with big batteries. Well, the Galaxy M40 breaks the tradition and comes equipped with a 3500mAh battery. However, it does support 15W fast charging which was missing from the previous models. Samsung claims to have optimized the OneUI and the battery-efficient processor to make the battery last longer.
While many other smartphones manage to keep the lights on for a whole day and even further, the Galaxy M40 requires a refuel by the end of the day. But charging the phone was pretty fast, and it took a little over one and a half hours to fully charge the device. The device will definitely last long enough for all-day usage, but we still feel a bigger reservoir would have made the Galaxy M40 an even better deal.
Samsung has yet again produced a well-rounded smartphone in the form of Galaxy M40. The smartphone sports a good set of specifications coupled with a fresh design, and all that at an aggressive price point.
The Infinity-O display makes it stand out from the crowd and offers good performance. It might have a few flaws but none of them would be a dealbreaker. The Galaxy M40 seems like a really good option for the company to go head-to-head with dominant Chinese brands.
The device could hit the right chords with the consumers who are looking for a smartphone with a good designa and decent performance. In our opinion, the Galaxy M40 is a good alternative in this price segment, and won't disappoint you.