Given the anti-China sentiment worldwide, the time was ripe for Samsung to launch the brand-new Samsung Galaxy M31. We know that the online-only M-series from Samsung tries to take on its Chinese counterparts with every iteration. It has worked wonders for the Korean giant, and the series has consistently churned out phones that are international bestsellers. The M-series started with the Galaxy M10 but has since ventured into multiple price segments within the mid-range. The Samsung M30s came out in 2019, and they launched the successor at the beginning of 2020. Are there any substantial changes, or is it the same old internals with a new robe?
The Samsung Galaxy M31 opts for a tried-and-tested formula for its design convention. It is a slight improvement over its predecessor and still opts for a “glasstic” back, as they would like to call it. The rear and the sides are shiny plastic, and the front is covered by a layer of Gorilla Glass 3. There is a fingerprint sensor in the middle, and the square camera housing is on the top left of the device. All of it is similar to the Galaxy M30s, but the weight has gone up by 3 grams, and it now stands at 191 g, compared to 188 g in the previous version.
The front of the smartphone shares the same story too. You get an FHD+ sAMOLED panel stretching to 6.4 inches. It is an Infinity-U panel with the camera cutout in the middle and the earpiece above it. The bottom bezel is still hefty, but the rounded corners ensure that it is easy to hold it.
The volume rocker and the power button are similarly placed on the right of the device. You will find the SIM and microSD card tray (not hybrid) on the right, the speakers at the bottom with the primary microphone, 3.5mm jack, and the type-C charging port. The top of the device is left clean, with only the secondary mic making its presence felt.
If we compare it to Samsung Galaxy M30s, the overall design language remains the same, with only the back camera setup housing an extra macro sensor now. The chin is irksome still, and it follows the rounded edges formula to enable a better grip.
The Samsung M31 carries over the exact same display from its predecessor. The M-series is still the only option for consumers looking for FHD AMOLED screens in the mid-range segment. Both the M31 and M30s sport a 6.4-inch panel with a resolution of 1080 x 2400 and a better-than-average pixel density of 411ppi. The aspect ratio is 20:9, and we adore how good the screen feels while enjoying the content on it.
Samsung tends to over-saturate the display by default to make everything look more colorful, but there are multiple color calibration options on-board if it goes against you. The panel doesn’t get too bright, which can be an issue for people in outdoor conditions. The same problem persisted with the earlier iteration, and it somewhat mars the overall experience.