Samsung Galaxy M30s review: Sugar, spice, but is everything nice?

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New Delhi | Updated: October 24, 2019 2:20:42 PM

Samsung is trying to capture every price bracket in the smartphone market in India and Galaxy M30s is its latest salvo.

By now, Samsung has already amassed India’s smartphone market with a slew of devices across price categories. The bullish efforts that the company is putting into expanding its market share in India have eventually come to fruition. Samsung reported a remarkable sales figure of 2 million units for its Galaxy M series back in May, which encouraged the company to keep working on its online-only series. More than half a year later, Galaxy M series has six models now, two of which are upgraded iterations. One of these two iterations is the recently-launched Galaxy M30s that brings a set of enhanced specifications and features for a surprisingly lower price than the Galaxy M30’s.

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The Galaxy M30s costs Rs 13,999 for the 4GB/64GB version and Rs 16,999 for the 6GB/128GB version, which is almost the price of the Galaxy M30, which is now selling for far less money as a part of ongoing festive season sales. Had the Galaxy M30 price been the same as before, the pricing overlap would have forced an educated assumption that Samsung may discontinue the Galaxy M30 in favour of the Galaxy M30s. But FE Tech has learnt Samsung is in no mood to do that, which is plausible for the brand that is trying to swamp even the minutest price gaps in the smartphone market.

Samsung Galaxy M30s Design

Design-wise, the Galaxy M30s reminds me of the Galaxy M30 with the gradient finish at the back on the same plastic unibody. The back panel has a gradient that now runs horizontally, instead of the vertical pattern seen on the Galaxy M30. The Galaxy M30s comes in three finishes – Sapphire Blue, Opal Black, and Pearl White. The camera island at the back is also a lot broader than the one on Galaxy M30, which is simply inessential. If you take a rough look at the Galaxy M30s, there is hardly any change in the design. But whatever change there is, it is merely a differentiator between the Galaxy M30 and Galaxy M30s. There is a 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom along with the speaker grille while the triple-slot SIM tray is at left side. The buttons are at the right of the smartphone.

Samsung Galaxy M30s Performance

The Samsung Galaxy M30s is loaded with hardware such as a more efficient Exynos 9611 processor that makes it distinguishable from the Galaxy M30. And while its design may look similar to the prequel, it brings a lot more power to the table. The Exynos 9611 beats the Exynos 7904 impeccably in the AnTuTu benchmark tests for CPU and GPU performance. For buyers, this means the former is much more capable of handling apps and graphics than the latter. In my testing, I did not face any noticeable lag in running apps daily. However, I observed a little stutter when switching between a lot of apps – which escalated immensely if there is a high-memory game (or app) running in the background. If you do not want a great performance churn-out, Galaxy M30s is suitable for your needs.

Gaming on the Galaxy M30s is a decent experience, if and only if you are not an avid gamer. If you like to casually play games, including PUBG Mobile, Galaxy M30s can hold up to your expectations. PUBG Mobile runs optimally in the high graphics quality settings – anything higher than this causes abrupt shutdowns, much less the prolonged booting of game and frame drops. The device also begins to heat after around 40 minutes of continuously playing graphics-intensive games, including Call of Duty: Mobile – but it is not unbearable.

Samsung Galaxy M30s Display

Moving to the display of the Galaxy M30s, I must say Samsung is actually undercutting its rivals in this department. Samsung is revered for its displays and the company’s strategy of packing AMOLED displays on phones in the mid-range price segment seems to be working. Galaxy M30s has a 6.4-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED Infinity-U Display that carries a notch at the top. The display is perhaps the best on a phone in the category – it produces good and vibrant colours (depending on the colour settings) and offers good viewing angles. The display is stretched to the edges of the smartphone as the bezels are quite thin on three sides but a little thick on the bottom. The Galaxy M30s is also Widevine L1-certified that is essential for streaming apps such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video to play high definition videos.

Samsung Galaxy M30s Interface

One UI is now ubiquitous across Samsung’s new smartphone range. It is easy-to-use, more appealing, and highly intuitive from a consumer’s viewpoint. Though, One UI is as heavy as MIUI and throttles down the processor’s capability, thanks to its laid-back animations. But the Night Mode on One UI is beautiful, and it shows on the Galaxy M30s display.

Samsung Galaxy M30s Cameras

Cameras on the Galaxy M30s include three shooters – a 48-megapixel GM1 sensor, a 5-megapixel depth sensor, and an 8-megapixel wide-angle sensor. Its prequel has a 13-megapixel main camera, a 5-megapixel depth camera, and a 5-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera. Without going into the intricacies that defy the logic behind the cameras with higher megapixel values, I am going to simply tell you if you should buy Galaxy M30s for its cameras or not.

The main sensor clicks well-detailed photographs in daylight. It produces good colours in the scene, bringing out a noticeable contrast between the subject and the background in HDR mode. Although, the colours look washed out when compared to the composition of the photo clicked by the ultra-wide-angle camera. The latter produces punchy colours and adds depth to the scene but holds fewer details comparatively. Of course, there is the barrel distortion that can be done away with using the Gallery app. The depth sensor is good for portrait shots, however, it often fails to define edges of the subject in the foreground, such as hair strands. Low-light photography on the cameras is decent – the photos carry a certain amount of noise but it’s passable. You can switch to the Night Mode to better the situation.

The 16-megapixel selfie camera clicks good photos, retaining details from the face. If you are looking for natural colours in the selfie, you may want to disable the Beauty Mode. However, the skin tone turns out smoothed even with the mode off. The portrait mode works well with the front camera and the resulting photo is good enough to be shared on social media. The cameras record UHD videos from the rear camera while the front shooter is capable of recording up to 1080p videos.

Here are the camera samples:

Samsung Galaxy M30s Battery

The biggest selling point on the Galaxy M30s is its 6000mAh battery, which outdoes most rivals in this category. I used the device heavily throughout the day and was left with more than 30 per cent battery at the end of the day. The standby time on the Galaxy M30s is insanely high, over and above a screen time of about 8-9 hours. But while the battery is perhaps its USP, the smartphone comes bundled with an 18W fast charger that undermines the battery’s capability of 25W fast charging. It takes a little more than two hours to fully charge the battery.

Verdict

At a starting price of Rs 13,999, the Galaxy M30s is a good option to buy in the price range. You get an impressive and unmatched 6000mAh battery under the hood, which will prevent you from frequently hollering for a charger. Samsung’s never wrong with its Super AMOLED displays and Galaxy M30s is another testimony to it. If you are looking for a complete device that is going to be used mainly for entertainment and cameras, Galaxy M30s is your best bet. One thing that may make you second guess your decision to buy Galaxy M30s is the availability of rival smartphones with a better processor. You have Redmi Note 8 Pro and Realme XT in the same price bracket, offering you a MediaTek Helio G90T and Snapdragon 712 processors, respectively. They both also have reasonably good cameras when compared with the Galaxy M30s.

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