Samsung Galaxy M32 or Redmi Note 10S: which one should you buy?

Battle of the affordable heavyweights

They are perhaps the first two names that will come to many people’s minds when you ask for advice on phones below Rs 15,000. But although they both start at Rs 14,999, they have about as much in common as a blackboard writing item and a dairy product. One tries to be sleek, the other is unashamedly solid. One brings gaming power, the other crazy battery life. One is part of an established bestselling series, the other is part of a series that is making its presence felt gradually.

So which one do you go for: the Redmi Note 10S, the latest in the legendary Redmi Note series, or the newest kid in the Samsung Galaxy M town, the Galaxy M32? Both are formidable phones and both come with their own pros and cons…and both start at the same price.

Let me try to sort matters out:

Design and appearance


This is a battle between two very different schools of design thought. Both phones have tall glass fronts and carbonate/plastic backs, but while the Redmi Note 10S tries to mimic the look of glass, the Galaxy M32 goes for a more unabashedly plastic with stripes look. The camera unit of the Redmi Note 10S also adds a few design touches with a metallic ring around one of the cameras, and different shades around the cameras and the flash, while the M32 sticks to a simple square camera unit.


The Note 10S is also slimmer (8.29mm as compared to 9mm) and lighter (178g as against 196g), and has a more stylish design. We can see some people liking the simple smartness and solidity of the Galaxy M32 (and the stripes on the back changing shades subtly have their own charm), but the Redmi Note 10S has got more head-turning ability. It also is the one with dust and splash resistance, something which the M32 lacks.

Winner: Redmi Note 10S

Display


Both phones come with 6.4-inch, full HD+ Super AMOLED displays. But there the similarity ends. The Galaxy M32 has a “typically Samsung” display with popping colours and seems discernibly brighter than the one on the Redmi Note 10S. The Redmi Note 10S has a more modern-looking punch hole notch, while the M32 has what was called a “drop notch,” which does not look all that stylish. Still, all said and done, there is no doubt that the M32’s display simply looks more spectacular.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy M32

Processor


This is a clash between two MediaTek Helio processors, the G95 on the Redmi Note 10S and the G80 on the Galaxy M32. And no prizes for guessing which one comes out on top. The G80 is good enough for regular tasks and casual gaming, but it is no match for the G95 when you move into more serious gaming and heavy-duty image and video editing.

Winner: Redmi Note 10S

RAM and storage


Both phones come with two RAM and storage variants. But while both have a 6GB / 128GB variant, the Redmi Note 10S steals a march on the Galaxy M32 by providing 6GB RAM on its base model with 64GB storage – the M32 does have 64GB storage on its base model, but its RAM stands at 4GB. Both phones have expandable storage, but the Note 10S has a clear edge here.

Winner: Redmi Note 10S

Gaming and multimedia

This gets interesting. While the Galaxy M32 clearly has the display edge with a brighter display and a higher refresh rate, the Redmi Note 10S comes with a faster processor, dual speakers and more RAM on the base variant. The dual speakers make a telling difference, both in gaming and while viewing video content, and hand this one to the Redmi Note 10S.

Winner: Redmi Note 10S

Software


It is Android 11 on both devices, but while the Galaxy M32 has OneUI 3.1 running on top of it, the Note 10S comes with MIUI 12.5. The M32 brings Knox security to the table and comes with a number of features, but it seems very cluttered with bloatware compared to the much cleaner interface of MIUI 12.5. Even the much-maligned apps seem to have disappeared from MIUI, and the result is that the Redmi Note 10S simply seems to have a much cleaner and smoother interface than the M32. Yes, the Galaxy M32 comes with Knox security, but the Note 10S seems simply easier and more fun to use.

Winner: Redmi Note 10S

Cameras: Rear


On paper, both phones seem to have exactly the same camera set up on the back – four cameras each, with a 64-megapixel main camera, an 8-megapixel ultrawide, a 2-megapixel macro and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. However, in terms of performance, we felt that the Galaxy M32 had an edge over the Note 10S – we got better colours and more detail. The Note 10S seemed to handle portraits and low-light shots a little better but all said and done, the M32 seemed to deliver more pleasant shots. In terms of video, both are about at the same level – good enough for social networks in decent light conditions.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy M32

Camera: Selfie


The Galaxy M32 is a clear winner here, with its 20-megapixel selfie snapper taking much better pictures than the 12-megapixel one on the Redmi Note 10S. I got much more detail and better colours on the M32, while the Redmi Note 10S did an adequate rather than an exceptional job of vanity photography.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy M32

Battery


A big battery battle this is. The Redmi Note 10S comes with a large 5,000mAh battery, but the M32 trumps it with an even larger 6,000mAh one. The M32 also lasts significantly longer than the Note 10S on a single charge – the Note 10S gets to a little more than a day, while the Galaxy M32 hits two days and then some comfortably. The Galaxy M32 however loses out when it comes to charging speed – it supports 25W fast charging, but comes with a 15W charger in the box. In contrast, the Note 10S comes with a 33W charger and charges at that speed too. The difference that makes is startling – the Redmi Note 10S gets charged in about an hour and a half, while the M32 takes over two hours. I am giving this one to the M32 simply because it lasts much more, but the charging speed factor might sway many – and the battery life of the Note 10S is not bad.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy M32

Regular usage


In terms of routine, day-to-day usage, there is no doubting that the Redmi Note 10S has things going for it. Its lighter and slimmer frame makes it easier to use, and while both phones are evenly matched when it comes to moderate levels of multi-tasking. The G95 chip on the Note 10S makes a difference as you increase the number of apps running in the background. As I said earlier, editing videos and images also seem snappier on the Redmi Note 10S as compared to the Galaxy M32. The fingerprint sensors on the side of both phones work equally well, but the dual speakers on the Note 10S deliver significantly better sound. Am scoring this one to the Note 10S.

Winner: Redmi Note 10S

Price

Both phones start at Rs 14,999. But there are configuration differences. The Galaxy M32 has a 4GB / 64GB variant at that price, while the Redmi Note 10S brings a 6GB / 64GB variant at the same price. Both phones have a 6GB / 128GB variant too, but here the difference is in price – the Galaxy M32 is available for Rs 16,999, while the Redmi Note 10S is available for Rs 15,999. In both cases, the advantage is clearly with the Redmi Note 10S – its lower variant offers more RAM at the same price as the Galaxy M32, and its higher variant matches the RAM and storage of the M32 but comes at a lower price. Only one winner here.

Winner: Redmi Note 10S

Vote for M or take Note?


So which one should you go for? If it is purely a general performance thing, the Redmi Note 10S has a clear edge, with its faster processor and better sound, not to mention its much cleaner interface (MIUI 12.5 is a bit of a game-changer for Xiaomi, really). Its lower price also helps. But get into features like display, battery life and cameras, and the Galaxy M32 starts making its presence felt. All said and done, I would vote for the Redmi Note 10S mainly because of the software, the design and the processor, but those going for the Galaxy M32 will not have much to regret – just avoid heavy-duty gaming, folks.