“Samsung Galaxy M31 is similar to the Galaxy M30s in a lot of ways, but comes with an upgraded 64MP quad camera setup and 32MP selfie camera”

Samsung made a strong comeback in the budget smartphone segment with the launch of the Galaxy M series last year. The company launched back-to-back Galaxy M-series phones like the Galaxy M10 (Review), Galaxy M20 (Review) and Galaxy M30 (Review) that impressed us with their gorgeous displays, dependable hardware and affordable prices. Samsung is ready to launch a new set of Galaxy M phones this year, and the company is starting things off with the Galaxy M31, which has just launched in India with a starting price of Rs 14,999.

The Samsung Galaxy M31 is an affordable mid-range smartphone that succeeds the Galaxy M30 and Galaxy M30s (Review) from last year. The new phone touts a Super AMOLED display, a massive 6,000mAh battery and a 64MP quad camera setup, among other things. Here are our first impressions of the new Samsung Galaxy M31.

Looking at the design, it seems Samsung decided not to make any significant upgrades here. The smartphone looks similar to the Galaxy M30s in that it features a plastic unibody panel on the back with a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor and a square-shaped camera module on the top left corner.

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The front of the Samsung Galaxy M31 is familiar as well, as you’re greeted by a 6.4-inch full HD+ (2,340 x 1,080) Super AMOLED Infinity-U display, much like its predecessors. The display gets a U-shaped notch up top that houses a selfie camera and a fairly thick chin.

The Samsung Galaxy M31 is a thick phone and it feels heavy in the hand, which is thanks to the very large battery inside. The handset is available in blue, black and red colour options. Thanks to a glossy rear panel, the Galaxy M31 is a fingerprint and smudge magnet, something which is quite noticeable on the black colour variant.

The volume and power buttons are placed high up on the right side of the frame, which aren’t always easy to reach with one hand. The bottom of the frame houses a Type-C port, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a single speaker grille. The left side of the frame is home to the card slot that can hold two nano SIM cards and a microSD card.

Samsung makes attractive displays, so it’s understandable that the company did not feel the need to make any changes here. The 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display is attractive with vibrant and saturated colours and excellent viewing angles. The screen looks sharp and should offer a good experience while watching movies and playing games. This is something that we will be testing and talking about in more detail in our full review.

Samsung Galaxy M31 is powered by a 2.3GHz Exynos 9611 octa-core chipset based on a 10nm process and equipped with Mali G72 MP3 GPU. This is the same processor that powered the Galaxy M30s as well. Samsung has bumped up the base variant from 4GB RAM to 6GB RAM, which should deliver a smoother multitasking experience. The smartphone comes in 64GB and 128GB storage variants, which can be further expanded by up to 512GB.

Right out of the box, the Samsung Galaxy M31 felt as fast as you would expect from a brand new smartphone. Scrolling through OneUI 2.0 was smooth and apps were quick to open as well. We will talk about the Galaxy M31’s gaming and day-to-day performance in a few days in our full review.

The biggest upgrade to the Galaxy M31 is the cameras. The smartphone features a 64MP quad camera setup at the back as opposed to the 48MP triple camera system on the Galaxy M30s. The new setup sees a high-resolution 64MP f/1.8 Samsung GW1 primary sensor, an 8MP ultra wide-angle lens, a 5MP depth camera and a 5MP macro lens. The upgraded setup is more versatile, allowing users more ways to photograph.

Samsung has also upgraded the front camera from 16MP to 32MP, which should lead to sharper and clearer selfies. In our brief time with the Galaxy M31, we found photos captured through the main camera to offer good clarity in daylight. Colours look vibrant and saturated, which should please the eyes. The few selfies that we captured also looked sharp and detailed. We will have more to say about the Galaxy M31 camera performance after testing them out in various conditions over the next few days.

Samsung Galaxy M31 gets the same massive 6,000mAh battery as the Galaxy M30s. This means you should expect the Galaxy M31 to deliver really long-lasting battery life. The Galaxy M31 supports 18W fast charging, which isn’t the fastest around and may take a while to juice up a battery this big.

Overall, the Samsung Galaxy M31 is almost identical to the Galaxy M30s. It retains the same Super AMOLED display, Exynos 9611 SoC and long-lasting 6,000mAh battery. The company has essentially upgraded the cameras to offer a higher resolution 64MP sensor and a quad camera setup. This seems like a logical upgrade that makes the Galaxy M31 look and feel like a complete package for its sub-Rs 15,000 price point. Stay tuned to our full review of the Galaxy M31 where we will talk about its performance, camera quality and battery life, among other things, in greater detail.