Samsung Galaxy M30 review: Best display, decent camera and average performance for a sub Rs 15,000 phone
Samsung is finally catching up in the budget smartphone race with the Galaxy M series. The Galaxy M30, which is currently the company’s most premium offering under the M series takes on the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro and Realme 3 Pro. The device packs a punch with its premium look, a huge screen, massive battery and a triple camera setup. But the question is after providing a feature-packed smartphone, can Samsung eat a piece of Xiaomi’s market share in the budget smartphone category with the Galaxy M30? Let’s find out.
Samsung launched the Galaxy M series to target the Millennial generation. Like the Galaxy M10 and M20, the Galaxy M30 too offers a minimal bezel display at the front. Samsung has decided to go with a plastic unibody design for the Galaxy M30 and is offering it in two colours, namely Gradation Black, and Gradation Blue, which was our review unit.
At the back is a triple camera setup, a fingerprint scanner with the Samsung logo in the center. The fingerprint scanner is well placed, and we found it to be easily reachable while holding the phone with one hand.
The Galaxy M30 has curved edges which make it easy to hold the smartphone with a significant form factor. It has the volume and power buttons placed on the right side of the phone. On the left side is just the dual-SIM slot and we wish if Samsung could have put the volume buttons there as its current positioning can be slightly out of reach for small hands.
The microphone hole is placed at the top whereas the speaker grill, 3.5mm headphone jack, and the USB Type-C port are placed at the bottom. All this packed in a body with dimensions of 15.9 x 0.9 x 7.5 centimetres, which weighs just 172 grams.
Samsung has been a top performer for yearswhen it comes to display quality, and the Galaxy M30 is no less. It comes with a massive 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display with a Full HD+ resolution of 1080 * 2340 pixels. When pitted against the competitors, it is definitely the best display in its category.
The colours are vibrant while saturation levels at par with other Galaxy devices. The screen is crisp and has good viewing angles. Using the Galaxy M30 in full brightness can however be a problem in less ambient light as it can tend to blind you for a few seconds. It comes with an Infinity-U notch on top which houses the front camera. You can choose to hide the notch with the ‘Hide Camera’ option in display settings that would essentially add a black bar for hiding the notch.
The Galaxy M30 has four screen modes — Basic (minimum saturation and contrast), AMOLED Cinema (Warm, saturated), AMOLED Photo (Similar to AMOLED cinema but with more vibrant colours), and Adaptive display that lets you adjust the colour balance and white tones.
While reviewing the unit, we chose the Adaptive Display mode with default settings. We had the Auto Brightness toggle on which was later disabled as it dimmed the display a lot more than we expected. It also comes with a blue light filter that is aimed at reducing strain on the eyes.
If you are someone who is looking for a smartphone for watching videos or streaming content, the Galaxy M30 is possibly the best option in its budget. With a screen-to-body ratio of over 90 per cent, the Galaxy M30 offers an immersive viewing experience.
Performance and Battery Life
While the display may be one of the best features of the Galaxy M30, it may not be at par with its competitors when it comes to performance. It comes with a 14nm Octa-core Exynos 7904 SoC with two-cores clocking at 1.8GHz while the other six at a peak clock speed of 1.6GHz.
The phone works smoothly when it comes to basic browsing or multi-tasking between apps, but using heavy usage we experienced a slight lag. The SoC is coupled with a Mali-G71 for graphics and 4GB/6GB RAM and 64/ 128GB storage options. We played five long matches of PUBG on our Galaxy M30 with 4GB RAM and 64GB onboard storage which proved that it isn’t the best bet for gaming.
However, with roughly two hours of PUBG, the Galaxy M30 still had some juice left in it. The phone was 54 per cent down and felt warm after we were done gaming with full brightness. We managed to stream a full IPL match the next day along with some texting on WhatsApp after charging the device entirely and had about 40 per cent battery life left. Overall Samsung’s 5,000 mAh battery does provide solid power backup and can easily provide enough juice for a heavy day’s usage. The company also offers a 15W Type-C charger for 3x quick charging. The phone was charged entirely within a few minutes past two hours.
For bio-metric authentication, the Galaxy M30 comes with a fingerprint scanner and face unlock. The rear fingerprint scanner is quick to respond and unlocks the device quickly. However, with sweaty fingers, It did fail to read the finger a few times. Face-unlock is not the fastest and isn’t favorable in low-light conditions.
The Galaxy M30 comes with three cameras at the back. It has a primary 13MP camera with a 5MP ultra wide sensor and a 5MP depth sensor.
We were happy with the 13MP f/1.9 sensor’s performance. The colours were good enough with decent dynamic range and sharp details. Focusing was good, and even when zoomed in, the objects at some distance were clearly visible.
The 123-degree ultra-wide angle on the Galaxy M30 does not come with Auto-focus. It is heavily distorted at the edges for which Samsung offers ‘Smart correction’ which does not work always. However, the ultra-wide camera can come in very handy for taking landscape shots. We did see chromatic aberration in some of our shots while there was noise in a few others.
There are also other modes like HDR, Panorama, Pro, Beauty Mode, etc. At the front is a 16MP f/2.0 camera for selfies with Live Focus and stickers.
The camera does soften the skin tone colors but does a decent job.
This one is a bummer as the Galaxy M30 comes with Android 8.1 Oreo-based Experience UI 9.5. It is not one of the smoothest OS, and we did experience some delay. Samsung could have easily released the smartphone with One UI based on Android 9.0 as it does on the Galaxy A30.
The phone comes loaded with a bunch of Samsung software like MyGalaxy, Samsung Members, Galaxy Apps, Samsung Max and third-party apps like DailyHunt, Roposo, Candy Crush, etc.
The Galaxy M30 is the best bet for watching videos on its massive screen. With a 5,000 mAh battery on board, it surely can provide two days of active usage. It is also amongst the very few smartphones to come with triple cameras at the back in its segment. The M30 however, falls back in its performance that we experienced during gameplay. OneUI instead of Experience UI would have been better. Overall, for Rs 14,999, the Galaxy M30 is undoubtedly an excellent deal.
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