Samsung Galaxy M31s: Design
The Samsung Galaxy M31s sports a somewhat new design, which makes it stand out from the rest of the Galaxy M series phones. It has a 6.5-inch Infinity-O display, which sits centrally at the top. Due to this, the Galaxy M31S looks premium. The size of the bezels is acceptable for the price, but some may find the camera hole in the center a bit distracting.
The Samsung Galaxy M31s has 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 with the smartphone in hand. We would have liked the placement of the volume buttons on the left side, where the phone only has room for the SIM tray. The USB Type-C port, 3.5mm audio jack, and speaker are at the bottom, while the secondary microphone is at the top.
The phone has a plastic back, which Samsung calls Glasstic. It comes with a glossy finish and catches fingerprints very easily. We had to clean it over and over again to keep it looking shiny. The Samsung Galaxy M31s comes in two gradient finish options: Mirage Black and Mirage Blue. We had the Mirage Black variant with us for this review and we liked it.
The Galaxy M31s sports a quad camera module on the back, similar to the Galaxy M31, but with a different placement of the sensors. The module also houses a single LED flash. The Galaxy M31s includes a 6000 mAh battery, which makes it weigh 203 grams. You will feel the weight of this phone when you hold it in your hand for a while. The edges on the back are curved, making it easy to grip the phone.
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 the Galaxy M21 which costs less than Rs 15,000. The Exynos 9611 chipset is a capable processor, but we expected Samsung to go with something newer and more powerful. The Exynos 9611 is an octa-core processor with quad 2.3GHz Cortex-A73 cores and quad 1.7GHz Cortex-A53 cores. The smartphone is available in 6GB RAM and 8GB RAM options, but you get 128 GB of storage. 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 provided 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 devices. Galaxy.
Samsung Galaxy M31s gets OneUI 2.1 based on Android 10. Our review unit included the July Android security patch. The user interface is similar to other Galaxy M series smartphones we have reviewed in the past, such as the Galaxy M31 and Galaxy M21 smartphones.
The Galaxy M31s also comes with 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 photos and stories on the lock screen. You can turn it off if necessary. From time to time I see some notifications from the My Galaxy app.
The Galaxy M31s also has other useful software features, such as dual apps, which allow you to run two clones of the same app. You get the Android Digital Wellbeing feature. There’s also an in-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 well. We did not encounter any lag when scrolling through the menus. We had the 6 GB RAM variant, so the phone multitasked without a hitch. However, it took longer than usual to load heavy apps.
We found the side-mounted fingerprint scanner to be quick to unlock the device. The phone also performed facial recognition without a hitch, but we didn’t find it very fast. The Galaxy M31s’ display was sharp, had good viewing angles, and was bright enough outdoors. The camera hole can be distracting while watching videos, but you can get used to it over time.
We played PUBG Mobile on the Galaxy M31s and the game ran on the High preset by default, with graphics set to HD and frame rate set to High. We played the entire game on this setting without any lag. The device got a bit warm to the touch after playing for 20 minutes, which was tolerable.
The Galaxy M31s offers a good battery life and in my use it lasted for a full two days. In our HD video loop test, the smartphone lasted 24 hours and 2 minutes, which was impressive. However, the brightness automatically decreases when the battery drops below 15 percent.
The 25W charger is available with the phone, which is capable of charging it up to 34 percent in 30 minutes and up to 65 percent in an hour. The phone took an hour and a half to fully charge. Overall battery performance is excellent and reverse charging is also a nice feature, allowing you to charge your other devices using the Galaxy M31s’ 6000mAh battery.
Samsung Galaxy M31s: cameras
Samsung Galaxy M31s comes with quad camera setup. It has a 64-megapixel main camera, which has an F/1.8 aperture. The second is a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera with a 123-degree field of view. Other than 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 instead of recording a simple video clip, takes a still photo with pre-applied filters, as well as Hyperlapse and Boomerang video effects. In general, you will get photos and videos taken in many modes with just one click. There’s also a Pro shooting mode, which puts you in complete control of your settings.
The Galaxy M31s takes 16-megapixel photos by default with its main 64-megapixel sensor. In daylight, the phone accurately reads the light and the AI detects the scene quickly. Photos taken in daylight were sharp and had enough detail. Text on photos is readable even after 100 percent cropping. You also have the option of taking photos at the full 64-megapixel resolution, but we preferred the default 16-megapixel resolution feature.
The wide-angle camera captures a wider area, but there is a bit of distortion and the edges of the image are stretched. The resolution is high enough to crop these shots, but the level of detail is low compared to photos taken with the main camera. There was good detail in the foreground and the background came out nice too. The Galaxy M31s has a Live Focus mode for portraits, which allows you to set the level of blur before taking a photo. The macro camera allows you to get very close to the subject, but it is not capable of capturing colors well.
In low light, the Galaxy M31s took decent photos and kept noise in check. The wide-angle camera, however, did not fare well. Taking photos in night mode causes slight clipping. The output wasn’t quite as bright, but there was a bit better detail.
For selfies, the Galaxy M31 has a 32-megapixel sensor and takes 8-megapixel photos by default and 12-megapixel if you want the wide frame. In daylight, the phone captures decent detail, but you’ll need to hold the phone steady after pressing the shutter button to get a sharp image. This gives you the option to capture portrait shots using Live Focus mode. Daylight-like details weren’t visible in low-light selfies.
Samsung’s Galaxy M series is becoming more and more popular and the company is launching new models one after another in the market. The Galaxy M31s is an update to the existing Galaxy M31 (Review) and comes with a new Infinity-O AMOLED display. Alongside this, a 25W fast charger is also available. However, it retains the same 6000mAh battery and older processor, which may discourage buyers from spending their money.
Its camera performance was very similar to the Galaxy M31. While the new Single Take feature produces interesting results, the low-res output spoils 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 Galaxy M31, but if you don’t mind the old style Waterdrop Notch. If you want better value at this price, the Motorola One Fuison+ (Review) and Redmi Note 9 Pro Max (Review) are worthwhile alternatives.