Samsung Galaxy On Max review: Surprisingly good phone in this segment

For a price of Rs 16,990, the Galaxy On Max offers flagship features you have come to expect - but the bigger question is how it performs. Let’s find out in our review.

Rating: 4 out of 5
Written by Anuj Bhatia | New Delhi | Updated: November 1, 2017 6:21 pm
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Samsung has been positioning itself as the brand of masses for all over these years. It has a great track record of churning out successful phones in the mid-end phone segment as well, especially under the J series. Then there is the Galaxy On series, targeting the market which is currently dominated by the likes of Xiaomi, Motorola, Oppo and Vivo, among others.

The Galaxy On Max is an Android Nougat-powered phone with a significantly capable rear camera setup with strong performance and a long battery life. For a price of Rs 16,990, the Galaxy On Max offers flagship features you have come to expect – but the bigger question is how it performs. Let’s find out in our review.

Samsung Galaxy On Max specifications: 5.7-inch LCD display with 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution| MediaTek Helio P25 (MT6757V) processor | 4GB RAM + 32GB (expandable) | 13MP rear camera + 13MP front camera | 3300 mAh battery | Android Nougat 7.1.1

Samsung Galaxy On Max price in India: Rs 16,990

Samsung Galaxy On Max Display, Design review

The Galaxy On Max builds on the company’s previous designs – right down to the the home button in the centre – which now doubles as a fingerprint reader. During our tests, the fingerprint scanner worked well and was quick to unlock the phone. To give the phone an attractive feel, Samsung used a glossy glass panel affixed to a aluminum frame and rounded edges. The end result is a more polished feel as well as a more comfortable grip.

Flip it over, and you will notice a metal back panel. However, the top and bottom of the phone are made out of plastic. We reviewed the black colour option which doesn’t seem to attract fingerprints on the back. Although we didn’t face problems gripping the phone, the back can sometimes get a little slippery.

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The back also houses a single rear camera setup along with the the LED Flash. The right edge of the phone has a speaker grill, a Power/Wake button, while the left houses a volume rocker, a microSD card slot, and a dual-SIM card tray. A headphone jack and USB 2.0 port are located along the bottom edge of the phone. Above the display you will find a 13MP front-facing camera. Traditional capacitive buttons ( back and overview) are located on either side of the Home button. Unfortunately, these buttons are not backlit when pressed.

While its competitors have moved to the new 18:9 aspect ratio display, Samsung Galaxy On Max has the regular wide bezels and an aspect ratio of 16:9. However, it doesn’t really matter as the display on the Galaxy On Max is impressive. Although not an AMOLED type, the 5.7-inch 1920 x 1080 is an incredible screen for the price. Colours are vibrant and contrast is good. Viewing angles are nice and retain full colour at all angles. Plus, the display is usable under bright sunlight.

Samsung Galaxy On Max Performance, Audio review

Powered by an octa-core MediaTek Helio P25 (MT6757V) processor coupled with 4GB RAM and 32GB storage on our test model – the phone has some of the best performance we’ve seen on the mid-end device. In our a week long test we had no problem with everyday usage. Even with upward of six to seven apps open in the background, I never had issues with lag or stuttering while flipping between home screens. Also I would like add that the phone managed to play heavy duty titles such as Asphalt Xtreme with ease, although it did freeze up occasionally. The smartphone supports expansion using a microSD card of up to 256GB.

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For a mid-end phone, the Galaxy On Max actually sounds pretty decent, with sufficient volume and clarity. The speaker’s positioning on the right edge of the phone actually works because people usually watch videos and movies in landscape orientation.

Samsung Galaxy On Max Software, Battery performance

The Galaxy On Max runs Android 7.1 Nougat with Samsung’s own custom UI. The company has cut down on excessive bloatware on the phones, and it shows. Still, you will find a number of Samsung apps installed on the device including My Galaxy, S Secure, Samsung Notes, Samsung Health, Galaxy Apps and Samsung Members. You will also find the traditional Google apps such as Chrome, Gmail, Maps, YouTube, Drive, and more. Microsoft Apps also have a dedicated folder.

As expected from Android Nougat, the Galaxy On Max covers all major features such as split-screen, new settings app, and others. This smartphone also supports Samsung Pay, which allows users to make digital payments with a single tap using select Samsung handsets. Unfortunately, we couldn’t use the feature during testing.

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The phone clocked a full day of use on a single charge, thanks to a 3300mAh battery. For the average user, the Galaxy On Max might last more, which is not bad. Of course, battery life will vary depending on your usage pattern. Meanwhile, call quality on the phone was decent enough.

Samsung Galaxy On Max Camera review

Samsung Galaxy On Max shines on the camera front, which is unusual for a mid-end phone. For starters, the phone features a 13MP rear shooter with an aperture of f1.7, as seen on the Galaxy S7 and S8. Photos are clear with balanced levels, plenty of contrast and good saturation level. Surprisingly, the Galaxy On Max managed to capture low-light situations so well that it was hard to believe that I was using a mid-end phone. Focusing was a bit of an issue when taking macro shots.

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Overall I was convinced with the Galaxy On Max’s camera, it worked really nice in both indoor and outdoor settings. The secondary 13MP selfie shooter also produced impressive results. The phone can record 1080p videos at max; so no option to shoot 4K videos.

Samsung Galaxy On Max Verdict

For under Rs 20,000, Samsung Galaxy On Max does offer exceptional value. In some ways, Samsung has tried really hard to create a phone that gives an impression of a high-end phone. The mid-end phone certainly makes the cut, but the Galaxy On Max isn’t the only option that promises a satisfying experience. If you’re in the market for a good camera phone, Xiaomi Mi A1 matches the Galaxy On Max in nearly every dimension. And yes, it combines a modern metal design, a dual camera setup, and stock Android at its core. However, at Rs 14,990, Xiaomi Mi A1 is a tough competitor to Samsung Galaxy On Max.

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