Making sense of Samsung’s Galaxy A and M collection fashions is getting more durable by the month, as new fashions are introduced in with minor refreshes, however do not all the time line up in a logical order. For instance, the very latest Galaxy M21 (Review) was principally a Galaxy M30s (Review) with a distinct selfie digital camera, however going by the mannequin names, it is unimaginable to make that connection.
While some fashions within the A and M collection have slight overlaps in pricing, there’s nonetheless a comparatively clear distinction between the collection themselves. Generally talking, most fashions within the A collection are inclined to have higher finishes and fancier options resembling in-display fingerprint sensors, whereas the M collection prioritises low costs.
Today, we’ll be testing Samsung’s new Galaxy A31, which, on paper, ought to succeed the Galaxy A30s. Compared to the latter, the brand new mannequin provides a fourth rear digital camera, an even bigger battery, a higher-resolution show, full help for Samsung Pay, and naturally the next price ticket. Available in only a single configuration with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage for Rs. 21,999, does the Galaxy A31 deserve a spot in our coveted record of high telephones underneath Rs. 25,000?. Let’s take a look.
Samsung Galaxy A31 Design: Been there, seen that
Even although the design of the Galaxy A31 is not precisely recent for a finances Samsung machine, I do like the truth that it is slim and light-weight. The all-polycarbonate physique feels fairly sturdy however it does choose up fingerprints simply. The cellphone has a noticeably thick chin under the display, and an Infinity-U cutout on the high for the selfie digital camera.
There’s an enormous SIM tray on the left, for 2 SIM playing cards and a microSD card. The headphone jack, USB Type-C port, and a speaker are on the backside. The again options Samsung’s Prism Crush sample, of which we’ve got the blue variant. This cellphone can be accessible in again and white trims. The quad-camera cluster on the again is an oblong module and does not bulge outward a lot.
Overall, the Galaxy A31 was snug to make use of every day throughout this assessment. It’s a little bit large, and reaching the highest of the show is not the best, however One UI has gestures to assist with this. After seeing many telephones within the collection with the identical sample on the again, the design has began to really feel a little bit boring at this level. The field contents are fairly customary too: there is a silicone case, a charger, a USB cable, and a headset.
Samsung Galaxy A31 Display: AMOLED by no means disappoints
The Galaxy A31 has a pointy 6.4-inch full-HD+ (1080×2400 pixels) Super AMOLED show. I discovered it to be greater than satisfactory when it comes to brightness, even within the daytime. Colours had been a bit too wealthy for my style within the default ‘Vivid’ mode, however this may be toned down within the settings. The show is flat, with none curves on the edges, however there aren’t any sharp edges both so performing gestures is not an issue.
There’s an in-display fingerprint sensor, which is not very fast however works effectively so long as you give it a agency press. The time taken to wake the display, together with the fingerprint animations, make this complete course of really feel a bit laggy. I normally relied on face recognition, which I discovered to be faster. The always-on show has primary customisations resembling the flexibility to indicate what track is enjoying, and a alternative of various clock kinds.
Samsung Galaxy A31 Performance: Quite disappointing
Despite its respectable construct high quality and good show, its efficiency is an enormous subject. Samsung has used the MediaTek Helio P65 octa-core SoC, and I’d haven’t any downside with it on a cellphone that prices Rs. 10,000, however I definitely do not anticipate it on one thing that prices above Rs. 20,000. Compared to even the Galaxy M21, which makes use of the Exynos 9611 and prices lots much less, the Galaxy A31 is slower in a lot of the fashionable benchmarks.
Samsung’s One UI v2.1, primarily based on Android 10, additionally feels a bit sluggish total. There’s a persistent trace of stutter within the animations, and lag after I was switching between apps. It did not hamper utilization an excessive amount of however having to attend that additional second or two for issues to occur just isn’t an expertise I anticipate at this value level. One UI itself is pretty feature-rich with a lot of shortcuts, themes, and gestures to mess around with. There’s additionally Dolby Atmos, however just for wired and wi-fi headphones.
The Galaxy A31 helps Google’s Widevine L1 certification, which suggests video streaming apps can play content material on the show’s native decision. The single speaker will get pretty loud however the audio high quality is strictly common. Simple video games run effectively, however heavier titles resembling Asphalt 9: Legends and even PUBG Mobile ran at diminished graphics settings. Gameplay was tolerable however they did not look nearly as good as they need to have. I additionally seen a little bit of heating when enjoying video games for longer durations.
Samsung Galaxy A31 Cameras: The disappointment continues
Okay, to this point the Galaxy A31 is not wanting too interesting, however maybe it might redeem itself with its digital camera efficiency. The 4 cameras on the again embrace a major 48-megapixel sensor, an 8-megapixel sensor with a wide-angle lens, a 5-megapixel depth digital camera, and a 5-megapixel macro digital camera. The apertures of all of the cameras aren’t significantly spectacular, with even the one on the primary digital camera being simply f/2.0. The entrance digital camera makes use of a 20-megapixel sensor.
The digital camera app needs to be acquainted to most Samsung customers, although I did discover a number of lacking options which should have been there. Keeping in thoughts the value of the cellphone and its positioning within the collection, it is a little bit odd to not have 4K video recording as an possibility, and even a Night mode for low-light stills. Pro mode is crippled, with no possibility to regulate the shutter velocity. Autofocus velocity is respectable, however this cellphone tends to hunt for focus in low gentle.
You do get Samsung’s ‘Scene optimiser’ AI engine, and the flexibility to save lots of stills and video within the HEIF and HEVC codecs. Under good gentle, the primary sensor captures decent-looking photographs. Images are captured as 12-megapixel pictures by default however you’ll be able to shoot on the full 48-megapixel decision if wanted. In low gentle, noise is suppressed effectively however particulars are missing, which is noticeable while you zoom in to photographs a bit. Close-ups shot underneath good gentle fare higher, with good particulars and hues, however as a consequence of shutter lag, even slight actions could cause blurring.
The wide-angle digital camera captures comparatively weaker particulars, and HDR is not as efficient as on the primary digital camera. In low gentle, particulars are a lot worse and there is not any Night mode to assist salvage pictures.
Live Focus works decently effectively, and the quantity of background blur might be adjusted for portrait pictures. The macro digital camera does a good job with excessive close-ups however I did not discover picture high quality to be a lot better than what I’ve seen from telephones with 2-megapixel sensors.
Videos are restricted to 1080p decision, however high quality is respectable given ample gentle when capturing with the first digital camera. The Galaxy A31 does not supply even digital stabilisation, so actions with the digital camera look jerky. You cannot swap to the wide-angle digital camera whereas recording however you’ll be able to swap to it earlier than you start. As anticipated, video high quality is nearly acceptable underneath good gentle however very poor in low gentle. There’s no stabilisation right here both.
The selfie digital camera captures 12-megapixel stills by default (Eight megapixels if you happen to select a tighter crop). However, you’ll be able to shoot on the native decision too. Selfies are usually usable when capturing outside, in daylight. Skin tones are inclined to look a little bit too heat and HDR is usually a hit and miss, however it’s not too dangerous. The digital camera struggles to breed good particulars in low gentle, usually leaving you with mushy textures and weak particulars.
Overall, the cameras on the Galaxy A31 are very underwhelming and lack many options that you just’d discover in lots of telephones that value lots much less.
Samsung Galaxy A31 Battery: Pretty good
If there’s one redeeming high quality concerning the Galaxy A31, then it might be battery life. The 5,000mAh battery lasted for 18 hours and 11 minutes in our HD video loop take a look at, which is superb. Even with common utilization, I used to be simply capable of go effectively past a day on a single cost. There is 15W quick charging, so you’ll be able to cost the battery as much as 50 % in an hour, however filling it fully takes effectively over two hours.
Verdict: Who is the Samsung Galaxy A31 for?
I’m struggling to discover a good purpose for the Galaxy A31 to exist, and I truthfully can not consider one. It appears as if Samsung has launched it merely to fill the value hole between the Galaxy A50s (Review) and the Galaxy A51 (Review) — both of which might be a a lot better choose than the Galaxy A31. Battery life is the primary standout function right here, together with the respectable construct high quality and show.
However, the middling SoC efficiency and underwhelming cameras are faults which are too obvious to disregard while you’re paying greater than Rs. 20,000. Even if the value had been to drop, there are many extra highly effective and feature-rich choices out there resembling Samsung’s personal Galaxy A50s and Galaxy M31, or telephones from Realme and Xiaomi.