Samsung Galaxy M30 review: Attractive build and long battery life, but is it enough?

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Samsung Galaxy M30 features Exynos 7904 processor that also powers the Galaxy M20

With Galaxy M30 out for sale, Samsung has now three phones in its online exclusive M-series smartphone lineup– first two being Galaxy M10 and Galaxy M20. The device is the first to sport a triple camera setup in the lineup, and available to buy on Amazon and Samsung’s official website.

Samsung Galaxy M30 promises a lot on the specifications sheet and has a starting price of Rs 14,990. But how does the device perform in daily usage? We put the device to the test and here is our review of the Samsung Galaxy M30.

 

Samsung Galaxy M30 specs: 6.3-inch FHD+ Infinity-U display | Octa-core Exynos 7904 processor | 4GB/6GB RAM | 64GB/128GB internal storage | 13MP main sensor + 5MP depth sensor + 5MP ultra-wide angle sensor rear camera setup | 16MP front camera | 5,000mAh battery, fast-charging Type-C USB | Samsung’ Experience UI 9.5 over Android Oreo 8.1

Samsung Galaxy M30 price: Rs 14,9990 for 4GB/64GB | Rs 17,990 for 6GB/128GB

 
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Samsung Galaxy M30 has a triple rear camera setup of 13MP (f/1.9 aperture) + 5MP depth sensor (f/2.2 aperture) + 5MP ultra-wide angle sensor (f/2.2)

Samsung Galaxy M30 review: Design and display

The design and display of the Samsung Galaxy M30 stand out the most. Although the device has a plastic cover, it does not feel any less premium. The back panel is soft, has a gradient texture, the camera module does not bulge, and the fingerprint sensor blends into the back, making the back sleek and classy. The curved body of the device with round corners sits perfectly in the hand. It does attract fingerprints, but nothing like the glass-back phones.

The volume rockers and power button sit at the right side within reach, and the phone has the newer USB Type-C port at the bottom. Also, a dedicated MicroSD card slot which will be good for those who who want more storage and want to use two SIMs simultaneously. The speaker grille sits at the bottom and I saw no problem with the sound quality.

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Samsung Galaxy M30 registers a score of 1,07,032 on Antutu

On the front, the 6.3-inch Super AMOLED Infinity-U display does not fail to impress. The screen has 2340 x 1080 resolution, 19.5:9 aspect ratio and 90+ per cent screen-to-body ratio with brilliant viewing angles.

The screen is bright and the colours are sharp, but not too sharp to cause discomfort. The text is clearly visible under direct sunlight. The bezels are thin and the chin is small but it could have been smaller.

Samsung has handled the U-shaped droplet notch very well. I did not feel any discomfort caused by notch during my usage of the device. For the games and videos that do not play on full screen, Galaxy M30 gives you symmetrically rounded screen with a black band on top identical to the chin at the bottom.

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The screen becomes symmetrical when the notch is hidden

The multimedia experience on the Super AMOLED screen is almost perfect, and since Galaxy M30 has Widevine L1 certification, you can stream HD content on video streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Samsung Galaxy M30 review: Performance

The Galaxy M30 has the same 1.8GHz octa-core Exynos 7904 processor that powers the Galaxy M20. While the processor (clubbed with Mali-G71 GPU) handles day to day tasks easily, a higher version of the processor would have been better.

The device registers a score of 1,07,032 on Antutu (scored 1,06,977 during first impressions). On Geekbench, the Galaxy M30 registers a score of 1326 for single-core and 4177 on multi-core scores. During my usage, I did not face lag or trouble switching between the apps even when the device was pushed to the extreme.

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Samsung Galaxy M30 Antutu and Geekbench scores

Graphics heavy games like PUBG and Asphalt 9 run well on medium settings at default. You will hardly notice frame drops or stutters, but if you change the settings to high, the frame drops become quite evident. During gameplay, the phone temperature rises a bit, but never touches uncomfortable levels.

Samsung Galaxy M30 review: Software

Samsung Galaxy M30 runs the older Android 8.1 Oreo with company’s Experience UI 9.5 on top, which was a bit disappointing as I would have appreciated the Android 9 Pie out of the box. The custom skin is clean, but the animations Samsung has adopted does not give it a smooth feel.

Also the choices of free themes, fonts, icons, as well as home-screen and lock-screen wallpapers is limited. Almost everything comes with a cost, which might not find favour with a lot of users. Samsung Galaxy M30 also comes with lock-screen stories feature which is nothing, but ads. Thankfully, you can disable it.

Samsung Galaxy M30 review: Camera

Samsung Galaxy M30 has a triple camera setup carrying a 13MP main sensor with an f/1.9 aperture + 5MP depth sensor with f/2.2 aperture + 5MP ultra-wide angle sensor with f/2.2 aperture at the back. The camera clicks good outdoor shots in daylight and decent indoor pictures in artificial lighting, but it struggles in low light conditions and completely gives up at night.

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Galaxy M30 camera sample: normal shot in bright outdoor (Image resized for web)
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Samsung Galaxy M30 camera sample: ultra-wide shot (Image resized for web)

The shutter speed of the device and image stabilisation is good. I clicked some pictures of moving vehicles from a moving e-rickshaw, which turned out as if nothing is moving.

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Samsung Galaxy M30 camera sample: Shot taken from a moving vehicle (Image resized for web)

I liked the colour reproduction in the pictures, which is close to the natural colours. Those who prefer more saturated images, will need to rely on some filters, editing skills, if you want to make these more social media ready.  Pictures taken from the primary camera carry more details than the ultra-wide sensor.

Pictures clicked at night have too much noise and it is better not to use the ultra-wide lens in these conditions.

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Samsung Galaxy M30 camera sample: Night shot in low light [ultra-wide and normal lens] (Image resized for web)

The depth sensor works fine in good lighting, but it often mixes the subject with the background. The 16MP front camera on the device takes good photos but in low light conditions, this also struggles (check samples). The camera app also has stickers, which some people may find entertaining.

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Samsung Galaxy M30 camera sample: Night shot (Image resized for web)

Samsung Galaxy M30 review: Battery and other features

Similar to Galaxy M20, M30 also sports a 5,000mAh battery, which is another highlight of this phone. On moderate usage, the battery lasts more than two days. The battery gives around 8 hours of screen-on time backup. Galaxy M30 comes with 15W fast charger in the box which takes around two hours to get to 100 per cent mark from zero.

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The curved body with round corners sits perfectly in the hands

The fingerprint sensor on the device works accurately but when the screen is off, the device will take a moment to turn on. The face unlock feature on Samsung Galaxy M30 works fine but could be faster.  The device has a “faster recognition” feature for the face unlock, which “reduces security, increasing the possibility of a video or image being incorrectly recognised as your face” but even when activated, it rarely works instantly.

Samsung Galaxy M30 review: Verdict

Galaxy M30 packs an attractive build and design with a brilliant display and long battery life. The camera performance and general performance of the device are okay, but then in the under Rs 15,000 price range, users have now started expecting more given the kind of choices available in the market. The competition is really intense in this space.

 

The other catch is that the slightly cheaper Samsung Galaxy M20 has the same Exynos 7904 processor, which will leave consumers confused. The Galaxy M20 with a starting price of Rs 10,990 seems a better value for money deal for some.  The Galaxy M30 performs reasonably well, but it might not be enough to convince users given the competition.

[“source=indianexpress”]

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