The Galaxy M20 is Samsung's first credible option to take the competing Xiaomi and Honor phones. Between the life of a stellar battery and its superb screen, the Galaxy M20 should figure prominently in your list of devices to consider.
- Stunning battery life
- Display looks great
- Competitive performance
- Camera needs improvement
- Back of the phone looks unimpressive
Samsung has been doing this for a while, but the new Galaxy M20 is the company’s response to Xiaomi’s Redmi series and Huawei’s Honor smartphones. Presented as a mid-level competition “For Millenials”, the phone is part of Samsung’s new M series of smartphones, designed to meet the expectations of the youngest. But do you think it might be too late for Samsung to recover the middle segment? Let’s see this in our Samsung Galaxy M20 Review.
Samsung Galaxy M20 Review – Design
Let’s start with the negatives. The Samsung Galaxy M20 does not deviate as far from the design language established by the company. Especially the back is boring and certainly does not look like Honor’s gradation finish. The matte blue plastic with a glossy layer on top recalls the finish we’ve seen on several other Samsung phones and is a unique transmitter. Add to that the fact that the back is a fingerprint and a cleaning magnet, so you will probably want to get a case rather than later.
However, this is not so bad yet and I think the fingerprint reader is very well placed because it falls exactly where my index finger touches the phone. The fingerprint reader is also slightly elevated for easy searching. Flip the phone over and you will see where most of the work has been done. The Galaxy M20 uses a brand new “Infinity-V” screen that, as you’ve already guessed, has a V-shaped notch. The matching glasses are also quite small, although we would have preferred a smaller chin at the bottom.
On the right, the volume buttons and the on/off button, while the SIM card tray is on the left. Despite the large size of the phone, I could easily reach the buttons. Samsung has nailed the comments on the buttons and they have exactly the right amount of money. Unlike the Galaxy M10, the M20 uses a USB-C port at the bottom for charging and transferring data. While competing devices such as Redmi Note 6 and Honor 10 Lite continue to use the old Micro USB standard, it’s nice to see that Samsung is pushing the new connector.
You will also find a headphone jack. Another departure from the Galaxy M10 is the speaker grille that is now placed on the edge of the phone. The phone rings reasonably loud and the sound is not muted when placed on a table. However, you can still cover the speaker while holding the unit in landscape mode.
Samsung Galaxy M20 Review – Display
The Galaxy M20 uses a 6.3-inch widescreen display with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. The longest ratio greatly helps keep the phone comfortable. The resolution of the screen here is 1080 x 2340 pixels and the screen is perfectly clear. Although the notch in the drop of water has dramatically increased the screen-to-body ratio, I think Samsung could have done more to reduce the size of the chin, as it is an immersive experience.
Although it’s a TFT panel, the display is very much alive. It is very light on the side of the supersaturation, but the colors rich in contrasts are ideal for multimedia consumption. Speaking of multimedia, the phone supports Widevine L1. You can stream high-resolution content from Prime Video, Netflix, and other sources. The panel has a very slight color shift at extreme angles, but most users do not have to worry about this. The black levels on the screen are also very impressive.
Going beyond the overall brightness of the screen, the Infinity V panel is even bright enough outside. I tried the phone under a bright winter sun and, despite the highly reflective panel, the content remains easily visible. Samsung has used the Asahi Dragontrail glass on the phone, which offers some appearance of protection against falls. Although the notch on the phone cannot be removed using a software setting (for now), it is small enough to be unobtrusive.
Samsung Galaxy M20 Review – Hardware
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 1.8 GHz, combined with six 1.6-GHz Cortex A53 cores. These two cores A73 Cortex make the difference in everyday life. The phone also has a maximum of 4GB of RAM, which should certainly help you perform several tasks at once. We have the 64GB version of the phone with us and about 51GB are available for users. Storage can be further expanded. In fact, the phone offers two nano-SIM card slots, as well as a special microSD card slot, so you do not have to waste storage expansion options when you use both SIM card slots. The phone also supports Dual VoLTE.
Samsung Galaxy M20 Review – Software
With Samsung Experience 9.5 on Android 8.1.0, the full software package is optimized for the hardware. The whole experiment is as fluid as possible and, unlike one or two lost frame failures, it never really slowed down. A variety of customization settings are available to provide power to users. Even if the standard presentation of Samsung users in the long term must be known, it is very easy to customize the entire interface. I was not a fan of the latest magazine-style stories that proved to be the norm. The idea here is to display relevant news articles and content on the lock screen each time you turn it on. Fortunately, it is easy to switch it off.
The applications preinstalled on the Galaxy M20 are quite limited and, apart from a few utilities, only the applications of Daily Hunt, Office Mobile, OneDrive and LinkedIn stood out. Most of them can not be removed. Although the phone has a fingerprint reader on the back, it also supports unlocking based on facial recognition. It works pretty well under good lighting but does not weigh in the face of the fingerprint reader that we found remarkably fast. The little things like the animation around the notch when the phone tries to recognize your face are cool to see and pay attention to details.
Samsung Galaxy M20 Review – Performance
Samsung did a great job of making the most of the Exynos 7904 chip on the Galaxy M20. The performance is mostly pretty good. Aside from one or two lost images, the interface was generally remarkably smooth. For everyday use, the phone’s performance is more than adequate. Our evaluation version with 4GB of built-in RAM was well optimized to the point that we never really felt limited by the amount of RAM.
The phone did not show aggressive memory management and we could easily switch between apps. With PUBG in the background, we would browse the browser and easily switch between playlists on Spotify. Continue to the game options. The Exynos 7904 has a Mali G71 MP2 GPU quite competent for this category. Unlike the Honor 10 Lite, which has a comparable price, the phone is doing pretty well with games like PUBG. The phone is set by default to media quality and contains plus or minus 30FPS.
There were some image drops, but in general, the gaming experience is pretty good. Throughout our review Samsung Galaxy M20, the smartphone has performed very well in terms of network performance. In a region where the mobile network is very poor, the phone still performs above-average work to connect to the network and the number of calls is remote. The quality of the call itself is very good.
Samsung Galaxy M20 Review – Camera
The Galaxy M20 combines a 13 MP primary sensor with an f/1.9 aperture at the rear and an ultra-wide 5 MP camera. The secondary camera has a 120-degree field of view, ideal for recording large buildings or a large group of people in a frame. The camera on the Galaxy M20 is a bit of a mixed bag. With sufficient ambient light, the phone can capture beautiful pictures with a lot of detail. There is something wrong with the way the phone handles the white balance. The images can sometimes seem a bit overexposed with artificial colors.
The wide-angle camera is a useful addition, but again, a sensor with a higher resolution would have been ideal. The limited dynamic range of the main camera extends and is perhaps a little more visible in the very large camera. Meanwhile, the performance in low light is rather disappointing. The images usually produce a lot of noise and the aggressive noise reduction completes the details. Zooming in on the image reveals the digital noise as a split.
Samsung Galaxy M20 Review – Battery Life
Putting hardware aside, Samsung has done a phenomenal job optimizing the Galaxy M20 for better battery life. The 5,000 mAh cell goes with me forever and the phone has lasted an average of two days of use. Now your usage may vary, but with several social networking apps, Reddit, emails and more, I could still get a constant display of eight hours. With a video loop test, the phone was running 20 hours before the shutdown. You would expect a phone with a 5000mAh battery to take an eternity to recharge. However, the phone supports fast charging via the USB-C port and takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes to fully charge with a fast charger already in the box.
Samsung Galaxy M20 Review – Conclusion
I think Samsung has finally managed to build a phone that marks almost every measure that a young smartphone buyer is looking for. Whether it’s absolutely fantastic battery life, brilliant display, or satisfying performance, the Galaxy M20 can easily withstand competing handsets from Xiaomi, Honor, and others. The most obvious competition for the Galaxy M20 is, of course, the Redmi Note 6 Pro and the upcoming Redmi Note 7. While the Xiaomi’s phone has a little more power under the hood, the bigger screen and The M20’s larger battery should make a winner for the most part. Similarly, the phone is an obvious choice compared to the Honor 10 Lite, which we found that it offered a reasonable average performance.
Priced at 10,990 INR (about 150 USD) for the basic version with 3GB of RAM and 12,990 INR (about 180 USD) for the 4GB version of RAM and 64GB of storage, the Galaxy M20 is easy to install, a fantastic choice for any smartphone buyer the sub-segment INR 15,000 extension. The smartphone will be available from February 5 exclusively on Amazon and the official website of Samsung.
That’s it for our Samsung Galaxy M20 review! What do you think of Samsung’s M-series phones? Let us know in the comments section!