Galaxy M series has created quite a stir in the budget smartphone market. And the Samsung Galaxy M20
is poised to be the common man's go to the smartphone. It packs quite a punch and offers a refreshing break from the crowd of affordable Chinese smartphone. The Galaxy M20
represents the primary credible choice from Samsung to require competitory phones from Xiaomi and Honor, head on. Between the stellar battery life and nice wanting show, the Galaxy M20
ought to be high in your list of devices to think about.Design and Display
The Samsung Galaxy M20
doesn’t stray all that far from the company’s established design language. The back, in particular, is borderline drab looking and definitely doesn’t stand out the way Honor’s gradient finish does. The matte blue plastic with a shiny layer on prime is cherishing the end we’ve seen on many different Samsung phones and comes off as slavish. Add to that the fact that the back is a fingerprint and smudge magnet, you’ll probably want to get yourself a case sooner rather than later. It’s not all bad though and, I really like the positioning of the fingerprint scanner as it falls exactly where my index finger touches the phone. The fingerprint reader is also every so slightly raised to make it easier to find.
Flip the phone over and you’ll see where most of the work has been done. The Galaxy M20
uses an all-new ‘Infinity-V’ display that as you’d have guessed by currently, has a V-shaped notch. The accompanying bezels too are fairly minimal, though we would have liked a smaller chin at the bottom. The Honor 10 lite with its LTPS display panel will this a touch higher. Over on the right side are the volume rocker and power button while the left side is where you’ll find the SIM card tray. Despite the large dimensions of the phone, I could comfortably reach out to the buttons. Samsung has nailed the feedback on the buttons and they have just the right amount of giving.
Unlike the Galaxy M10, the M20 makes use of a USB-C port on the bottom edge for charging and data transfer. While competing devices like the Redmi Note 6 and Honor 10 Lite continue to make use of the older Micro-USB standard, it is great to see Samsung pushing the newer connector. You’ll also find a headphone jack. Another departure from the Galaxy M10 is that the speaker grille that is currently placed on the edge of the phone. The phone sounds reasonably loud and clear and audio does not get muffled when placed on a table. You might still, however, end up covering the speaker while holding the device in landscape mode. Overall, the Samsung Galaxy M20
is a remarkable mixture of fashionable design and a few of the lot of traditional Samsung design parts. Fingerprints aside, the quality of plastics used is very good and the phone looks rugged enough to survive a fall or two.
The Galaxy M20 uses a large 6.3-inch display with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. The taller ratio goes a long method in creating the phone comfortable to carry. The screen resolution here is 2,340 x 1,080 pixels and the display looks absolutely sharp. While the water drop notch has helped increase the screen to body ratio by quite a bit, I do feel that Samsung could have done a bit more to reduce the size of the chin as it gets in the way of a truly immersive experience.
Despite being a TFT panel, the display is extremely vibrant. It errs very slightly on the side of oversaturation but the contrast-rich colors look great for multimedia consumption. Talking about multimedia, the phone has support for Widevine L1, so you’ll be able to stream high-resolution content from Prime Video, Netflix and other sources. The panel displays a very slight color shift at extreme angles but this is not something most users should be concerned with. Black levels on the display to are very impressive.
Moving on to overall screen brightness, the Infinity V panel is sufficiently bright even outdoors. I tried out the phone under a bright winter sun and despite the highly reflective panel, content continues to be easily visible. Samsung has used Asahi Dragontrail glass on the phone which should provide some semblance of drop protection. While the notch on the phone cannot be hidden away using a software setting, it is small enough to be unobtrusive.Camera
The Galaxy M20, like the Galaxy M10
, sports a combination of a 13MP primary sensor and an f/1.9 aperture at the back along with a 5MP ultrawide camera. The secondary camera has a 120-degree field of view, On the front, there is an 8MP camera for selfies, which is great for capturing larger buildings or a big group of people in a single frame.
The camera on the Galaxy M20
is a bit of a mixed bag. In adequate ambient light, the phone manages to capture good looking images with a decent amount of detail. However, there’s something off with the way the phone manages white balance. Images can at times look just a bit overexposed with unnatural colours. The wide-angle camera is a nifty addition, though, once again a higher resolution sensor would’ve been ideal. The limited dynamic range of the primary camera extends to and is perhaps a bit more evident in the ultrawide camera. The phone has a tough time dealing with highlights.
Meanwhile, low-light performance is rather disappointing. Images generally have a lot of noise and the aggressive noise reduction further smudges details. Zooming in to the image reveals digital noise in the form of splotches. Samsung definitely went overboard here.Operating System
Running Samsung experience 9.5 on high of android 8.1.0, the complete code package is extremely well optimized for the hardware. The entire experience is as smooth as it gets and other than a stray frame drop or two, it never really lagged or slowed down in any noticeable fashion. The Samsung Galaxy M20 is powered by the Exynos 7904 chipset. Built on a 14-nanometer process, the chipset uses a combination of two Cortex A73 cores clocked at 1.8GHz, paired with six Cortex A53 cores clocked at 1.6GHz. Those two Cortex A73 cores make all the difference in day to day use.
Moving on to gaming capabilities. The Exynos 7904 has a Mali G71 MP2 GPU which is pretty competent for this category. Unlike the similarly priced Honor 10 Lite, the phone does quite well at games like PUBG. The phone defaults to the medium quality setting and a lot of or less holds a solid 30FPS. There were a few frame drops but overall, the gaming experience is very decent.Storage and Ram
We’ve got the 64GB variant of the phone here with us, and out of the box, about 51GB is available to users. The storage can be expanded further. In fact, the phone offers dual nano-SIM card slots, as well as a dedicated microSD card slot so that you don’t have to lose out on storage expansion capabilities while using both SIM slots. The phone supports dual VoLTE as well. The phone also has up to 4GB of RAM, that ought to undoubtedly assist in multitasking.Conclusion
I think Samsung has finally managed to build a phone that ticks almost all the checkmarks that a young smartphone buyer is looking for. The vibrant display or the satisfactory performance, the Galaxy M20
will easily hold its own against competitory handsets from Xiaomi
, and others. The most obvious competition for the Galaxy M20 is, of course, the Redmi Note 6 pro. While Xiaomi’s phone packs a bit more power under the hood, the M20’s larger display and the bigger battery should make it a winner for most. Similarly, the phone is an evident selection over the honor 10 lite, that we have a tendency to found to possess rather middling performance.