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Samsung Galaxy M20 Review – The Empire Strikes Back

GalaxyM20‘ is priced at Rs 12,990 for the 4GB+64GB variant, while the 3GB+32GB variant costs Rs 10,990. A sweet spot as far as volumes are concerned and a segment that sees the maximum action in the Indian Smartphone industry.

Box contents of Galaxy M20

Out of the box you get:
  • M20 Smartphone
  • 15 watts charger
  • Type C cable
  • Pin
  • documents
There is no earphone included, its not a surprise since most brands tend to skip it these days.

Galaxy M20 Design and build quality

  • 156.4 x 74.5 x 8.8 mm
  • 186 grams
  • Polycarbonate
Samsung has shied away from the trends of the season like the gradient paint job or choice of metal or glass,  rather they have opted for functional design while also helping itself with some cost-cutting. The design is not an eye turner but how it compensates for the lack of flamboyant design, is the inclusion of USB Type-C port which is still a rare find in this segment. The phone is available in black and blue colors. The corners and sides are well rounded and there is no sharp edges anywhere. The rear has the dual camera, LED Flash, fingerprint sensor and the Samsung branding.  The bottom houses the audio jack, type C port, noice cancelling mic and speaker grille. The top just has a single mic. The corners are rounded for good ergonomics. The M20 accomodates two SIM and also has a dedicated slot for microSD card. The phone supports dual VoLTE. So you can have two VoLTE SIMs active.

Galaxy M20 Display

  • Infinity-v display
  • PLS TFT
  • 6.3 inches
  • 1080 x 2340 pixels
  • 409 ppi
  • 19.5:9 aspect ratio
  • 83.6% screen-to-body ratio
When I first heard that Samsung has used TFT display on the M20, I was frankly disappointed but it changed when I had my hands on the device.  The PLS TFT display is surprisingly good. Many of the recent phones I have seen with TFT display had a washed out display or poor viewing angles but that is not the case with M20. The screen is not warmer but pleasant to stare at, a bit on the cooler side. And then there is the dew drop notch or what Samsung calls as Infinity-V display. The 6.3-inches display offers fullHD+ resolution.  Hidden in the display setting deep inside full screen apps sub-setting is a hide camera option which hides the small notch in case you want to go old school.  There is navigation gesture option in the display settings and other nit bits like auto brightness, icon frames, font styles. If you want videos on Youtube and Netflix to go around the notch, make sure you go to the full apps settings and include them in the list. Outdoor visibility is good and the colors are not saturated and popping out like Samsung’s AMOLED display but is leaned more towards natural colors. The screen is protected by a layer of Asahi’s Dragontrail glass.

Galaxy M20 Software Features

  • Android Oreo 8.1
  • Experience UI
Samsung has stuck to the Experience UI instead of the One UI they have recently introduced. Out of the box currently it runs on Android Oreo 8.1 but Samsung says they will push the Pie update soon. The UI is feature rich and offers game mode, one handed mode, finger gesture action on fingerprint sensor to quickly access notification panel, split windows, direct call that connect upon lifting the phone close to your ear, easy mute to mute incoming calls and alarms by turning your phone face down. The fingerprint sensor is not the fastest but works well without any false reading. The face unlock is a mixed bag. While there is no app lock feature by default, you can head over to Galaxy app store and download S-secure app for the feature. FM Radio is available.

Galaxy M20 Performance

Powering the device is a brand new Exynos 7904 built on a 14 nm process. Samsung says the processor is made specifically for Indian user requirements. It is an octa-core processor which has two ARM Cortex-A73 cores clocked at 1.8GHz for high power tasks and six ARM Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.6GHz for the regular tasks. They are mated to a Mali-G71 MP2 GPU. There is a 3GB and 4GB RAM variants available. What I reviewed is the 4GB version and I would suggest you too to go for this in case you made up your mind over M20, since it packs a 64GB storage compared to the 32GB storage the 3GB variant packs. The first thing most want to know these days is does the smartphone play PUBG well? The M20 plays the PUBG on mid-graphics by default and you might want to stay with it or can even lower the graphics for a more smoother game play. To be honest, it is not the gaming Smartphone but if you want a Smartphone that handles gaming too well, the M20 won’t disappoint you. I could play PUBG and apart from few frame drops it played well and got me few chicken dinner in the process. Heating is within the normal range I have seen in many phones and is restricted to the camera module area. Normal day to day tasks are handled well. Switching between apps were smooth, and it doesn’t seem to be aggressive in killing the apps in the background, which is good. When it comes to sensor, many of the grouse against the previous affordable phones of Samsung were the lack of some important sensors but they have set it right this time with M20. You gyroscope, orientation sensor, proximity sensor, magnetic sensor on-board. Notification light is given a miss though.

Galaxy M20 – a big battery boost

Moving on to the battery performance, Samsung Galaxy M20 ticks the right box when it comes to battery by including a massive 5000mAh battery. To compliment it, the 15 watts charger can fully charge the phone in 2 hours. If you are heavy Smartphone user or someone constantly on the move, the big battery on this phone would be a life saver. You can easily  expect a 1.5 days with a single full charge on medium use.

Galaxy M20 – Camera performance

  • Rear main: 13 MP, f/1.9, 1/2.8″, 1.12μm, PDAF
  • Rear secondary: 5 MP, f/2.2, 12mm (ultrawide), 1/6″, 1.12μm
  • Selfie: 8 MP, f/2.0
The ultrawide is a commendable inclusion in this segment. The following pic is a normal shot. And this one is taken with wide angle. There is a fisheye orientation which can be corrected in the edit setting. Day light pictures under good lighting conditions come good. The rear-camera combo of 13 megapixel primary sensor with a lens of f/1.9 aperture and a secondary 5-megapixel sensor and 120 degree field of view lens. Low light pictures are just about average. There is live focus or portrait mode option in both front and rear. Selfies come good even though the phone packs only an 8MP sensor while many of the rivals sport double digit megapixel sensors. The bokeh is soft and adds a good effect to the pictures. In short, the M20 packs a decent camera, though not the best in the segment.

Verdict

Finally, Samsung has a decent phone in the affordable segment which I could actually recommend to people. They have got the pricing right and M20 offers a decent value for money. If you are someone who want a trusted brand, give importance to larger battery life and a decently good performing Smartphone, then the Samsung Galaxy M20 might not disappoint you.  ]]>

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