The budget smartphone segment is one of the fastest growing segments in India. Samsung, which has been dethroned by China’s Xiaomi as the leading smartphone vendor in India, is now revamping its strategy with new Galaxy M series.
Samsung has introduced with two new phones in this online-only series: Galaxy M10 and Galaxy M20. Both the devices are priced under Rs 13,000, come with a newer notch design which is a first for Samsung, big batteries and fast charging technology.
Samsung Galaxy M-series will take on the Xiaomi’s Redmi series in India. We tested out the Samsung Galaxy M10, which comes with a 6.22-inch display, dual rear cameras and 3,400mAh battery. Here is our full review.
Samsung Galaxy M10 specifications: 6.22-inch TFT HD+ display | 13MP+5MP rear cameras | 5MP front camera | Exynos 7870 processor | 3GB RAM+32GB storage | 3,400mAh battery
Samsung Galaxy M10 price in India: Rs 7,990 for 2GB RAM+16GB storage, Rs 8,990 for 3GB RAM+32GB storage
Samsung Galaxy M10 review: Design and Display
Samsung Galaxy M10 is a good-looking phone with a glossy polycarbonate back design. The phone feels premium. I liked that the Galaxy M10 is sleek and easy to hold despite the large 6.22-inch screen. It is lightweight too, which is another plus.
The display dominates the front of the phone with thin bezels on the sides and V notch, which looks stylish. Samsung Galaxy M10 gets a TFT display with HD+ resolution and Infinity-V notch on top.
I was quite happy with the display as it is vibrant and has good viewing angles. In indoors especially, I did not need to fiddle with the automatic brightness settings. In outdoors though, I had to immediately switch to maximum brightness to view the screen.
A V-shaped notch sits on top of the screen and there is no option to disable it. It is a small notch that I did not really mind, except occasionally when I glanced at top of the screen and felt the need for such a setting. The Galaxy M10 comes with Widevine L1 certifications for Netflix’s HD content, which is good to see on a budget phone.
A 3.5 mm headset jack along with the USB Type 2.0 port sits at the bottom. Samsung has gone with dual SIM slots, and a separate microSD card slot, which I feel is a good addition keeping in mind the Indian audience.
The power button is on the right, a little towards the upper half, with volume rocker key above it. While the power button was well within my reach, I had to make an extra effort to use the volume key.
Samsung Galaxy M10 review: Processor, Battery, and Memory
I was impressed with the Galaxy M10’s daily performance. The phone is not the fastest but does not lag when it comes to daily tasks such as watching videos, listening to music online, browsing social media apps, messaging and calling. There was no noticeable lag even with multiple Chrome tabs and app opened.
However, the phone slows down when playing graphics-heavy games such as Asphalt-8 and Relic Run. The apps open just a little bit longer to open, and the graphics did not render smoothly. Of course, this is a budget device so expecting too much on the gaming front would be harsh.
There is no fingerprint sensor, which was a huge disappointment for me. A fingerprint sensor has become standard on most phones. Face unlock does not work accurately in all scenarios, especially in low-light settings. I certainly did miss the fingerprint sensor as it is one of the easiest ways to unlock a phone.
Surprisingly, the phone did not heat up even with long hours of binge-watching sessions and close to 15-20 minutes into graphics-heavy games, which is great.
The battery easily lasts for a day with moderate to heavy usage. My daily tasks included browsing social media, watching videos online, listening to music, and messaging. It takes very long, close to two hours to fully charge.
Samsung Galaxy M10 review: Camera
The camera is just about average and performs similarly to devices in this segment. The outdoor shots were a mixed bag. Some photos that I got had good colour reproduction, while in others, the colours looked washed out. The detailing was average.
The low-light performance was decent, though do not expect too much. Low-light was a miss, which is a common problem on phones in this price bracket. The selfie camera is again, decent. In some photos, my face looked extra smooth because of some sort beauty filter that it adds, even more prominent in low-light bokeh shots. Thankfully, it can be turned off.
The photos did not have adequate details, and though bokeh mode does a good job of blurring the background, the indoor shots had too much noise. You also get the stickers feature for both front and back camera to add dog ears, fancy glasses, headband, etc to selfies, for those who might be interested.
Samsung Galaxy M10 review: Verdict
Samsung Galaxy M10 is a good option considering the overall performance, display and a reliable battery. The camera are decent as well. The budget smartphone segment is the most crowded and the Galaxy M10 will face tough competition from Realme C1 that comes with similar specifications, and Xiaomi Redmi 6 series. Still, Galaxy M10 doesn’t disappoint on performance, display, and battery, which is crucial in the under Rs 9000 segment.