Samsung Galaxy M31s: design
The Samsung Galaxy M31s sports a somewhat revamped design, which makes it stand out a bit as compared to other Galaxy M-series phones. It gets a 6.5-inch Infinity-O display, which is set in the center on the top. Due to this, the Galaxy M31S looks premium. The size of the bezels is acceptable for the price, but the camera hole in the center can be a bit distracting for some people.
Samsung Galaxy M31s On the other hand, there is a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, which is located on the right side along with the volume buttons. It is not difficult to reach these buttons while holding the smartphone in hand. We would have liked the placement of the volume buttons more on the left side, where there is only space for the SIM tray on this phone. The USB Type-C port, 3.5mm audio jack and speaker are on the bottom while the secondary microphone is on the top.
The phone has a plastic back, which samsung Glassstick calls. It comes with a glossy finish and catches fingerprints very easily. We had to wipe it frequently to maintain its glossy look. The Samsung Galaxy M31s gets two gradient finish options – Mirage Black and Mirage Blue. We had the Mirage Black variant for this review and we liked it.
The Galaxy M31S sports a quad-camera module at the back, which is similar to the Galaxy M31, but the placement of the sensors has changed. The module also has a single-LED flash. The Galaxy M31s packs a 6,000mAh battery, which makes it weighing 203 grams. Holding this phone in your hand for a while, you will feel the weight. The edges of the back are curved, which makes the phone easy to grip.
Samsung Galaxy M31s: specifications
Samsung has used its Exynos 9611 processor to power the Galaxy M31. We have seen this processor so far in many Galaxy smartphones including Galaxy M21, which cost less than Rs 15,000. The Exynos 9611 chipset is a capable processor, but we expected Samsung to use something new and more powerful. The Exynos 9611 is an octa-core processor with four Cortex-A73 cores clocked at 2.3GHz and four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.7GHz. The smartphone is available in 6GB RAM and 8GB RAM options, but the storage comes with 128GB. You have the option to expand the storage up to 512 GB using a microSD card.
There is support for Bluetooth 5, dual-band Wi-Fi ac and GPS as well as dual 4G and VoLTE. Samsung has included a 25W USB Type-C charger in the box, which is a first for the Galaxy M series phones. You also get a USB Type-C to Type-C cable, which can be used to reverse charge other Galaxy devices.
Samsung Galaxy M31s gets OneUI 2.1 based on Android 10. Our review unit included the July Android security patch. The UI is similar to other Galaxy M series smartphones that we have reviewed earlier, such as the Galaxy M31 and Galaxy M21 smartphones.
The Galaxy M31s also has the Galaxy Store app, which is an alternative to the Google Play Store. The phone has Glance lock screen stories, so you will see promotional pictures and stories on the lockscreen. You can turn it off if necessary. I see some notifications from the My Galaxy app from time to time.
The Galaxy M31s also comes with other useful software features, such as Dual Apps, which lets you run two clones of the same app. You get the Digital Wellbeing feature of Android. There’s also a game toolbar, which lets you block notifications and full-screen gestures, and an in-game screen recording feature.
Samsung Galaxy M31s: performance and battery life
The Samsung Galaxy M31s has a slightly older processor, but it handles day-to-day tasks very well. We did not find any lag in this while scrolling through the menus. We had the 6GB RAM variant, so the phone multitasked smoothly. However, heavy apps took longer than usual to load.
We found that the side-mounted fingerprint scanner was quick to unlock the device. The phone was also able to do facial recognition easily, but we did not find it very fast. The Galaxy M31s’ display was crisp, had good viewing angles and was bright enough outside. The camera hole can be distracting while watching videos, but you can get used to it after some time.
We played PUBG Mobile on the Galaxy M31S and the game ran on the High preset by default, with the graphics set to HD and the frame rate set to High. We played the entire game at the same settings without any lag. After playing for 20 minutes, the device was slightly warm to the touch, which was tolerable.
The Galaxy M31s delivers decent battery life and lasted a full two days in my usage. In our HD video loop test, the smartphone lasted for 24 hours and 2 minutes, which was impressive. However, when the brightness of the battery falls below 15 percent, it automatically dims.
The phone comes with a 25 watch charger, which is capable of charging it up to 34 percent in 30 minutes and up to 65 percent in an hour. It took one and a half hours for the phone to be fully charged. Overall battery performance is excellent and reverse charging is also a nice feature, which can charge your other devices with the Galaxy M31s’ 6,000mAh battery.
Samsung Galaxy M31s: cameras
Samsung Galaxy M31s comes with quad-camera setup. It has a 64-megapixel primary camera, which has an aperture F / 1.8. The second is a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera with a 123-degree field of view. Apart from this, a 5-megapixel macro camera and a 5-megapixel depth sensor are available. The camera app is very similar to other Galaxy smartphones. It also includes the Single Take feature, which takes a photo with pre-applied filters, as well as Hyperlapse and Boomerang video effects, rather than shooting a simple video clip. Overall, you will get photos and videos taken in a variety of modes in one click. There’s also a Pro Shooting mode, which lets you take full control of the settings.
The Galaxy M31s takes 16-megapixel shots by default with its 64-megapixel primary sensor. In daylight, the phone reads the light accurately and the AI detects the scene quickly. Photos taken in daylight were sharp and had enough detail. Text in pictures is still readable even after cropping up to 100 percent. You also have the option of taking shots at the full 64 megapixel resolution, but we preferred the default 16-megapixel resolution feature.
The wide-angle camera captures a wider field of view, but there is slight distortion and the edges of the picture are drawn. The resolution is high enough that you can crop these shots, but the level of detail is low compared to photos taken with the primary camera. There was good detail in close-up and the background was good too. The Galaxy M31s has a Live Focus mode for portraits, which lets you set the level of blur before taking a shot. The macro camera lets you get pretty close to the subject, but it isn’t capable of capturing colors well.
The Galaxy M31s took good shots in low light and kept the noise under control. The wide-angle camera, however, did not perform well. There is a slight crop when shooting photos in night mode. The output wasn’t too bright, but it did have slightly finer detail.
For selfies, the Galaxy M31 gets a 32-megapixel sensor and takes 8-megapixels by default and 12-megapixels if you want a wider frame. In daylight, the phone captures good details, but for crisp shots you will need to hold the phone steady after pressing the shutter button. It gives you the option to capture a portrait shot using the Live Focus mode. Daylight-like detail was not seen in low-light selfies.
Samsung’s Galaxy M-series is becoming increasingly popular and the company is launching new models one after the other in the market. Galaxy M31s current Galaxy M31 (Review) and comes with a new Infinity-O AMOLED display. Along with this, 25 W fast charger is also available in it. However, it retains the same 6,000mAh battery and old processor, which may deter buyers from investing their money.
Its camera performance was largely similar to the Galaxy M31. While the new Single Take feature delivers interesting results, the low-resolution output ruins the fun.
If battery life is your priority, there are very few phones that can come close to the performance of the Galaxy M31s. However, in such a situation, you can save your money by choosing the Galaxy M31, but if you do not mind the old-style waterdrop notch. If you want better value at this price, Motorola One Fuison+ (review) and Redmi Note 9 Pro Max (Review) are eligible options.