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Friday, Nov 22, 2019

Galaxy M10 first impressions: Samsung takes it up a notch with its new budget phone

Samsung’s new Galaxy M series starts at an affordable price tag of Rs 7,990. Here’s our first impression of the affordable of the two, the Galaxy M10.

tech Updated: Feb 01, 2019 12:08 IST
Marcia Sekhose
Marcia Sekhose
Hindustan Times
Samsung Galaxy M10 features a dewdrop styled notch called ‘Infinity V’.
Samsung Galaxy M10 features a dewdrop styled notch called ‘Infinity V’.(HT Photo)
         

Samsung just brought fresh competition in the budget smartphone segment with its new Galaxy M series starting at Rs 7,990. Galaxy M10 and Galaxy M20 smartphones are the first phones in the series with Galaxy M30 expected to launch in February.

In our first impressions of the Galaxy M20, we noted that it could give front runners like Redmi Note 6 Pro a run for their money. We now take a look at the cheaper Galaxy M10 which also seems like a promising budget phone. Galaxy M10 will be available in two storage variants of 2GB+16GB and 3GB+32GB. Here’s our first impression on Samsung’s Galaxy M10.

The most striking thing in the Galaxy M series for Samsung will be its design. Galaxy M10 and Galaxy M20 both look identical with the waterdrop notch which Samsung calls “Infinity V” display. The smartphone has a slim build with curved edges like the mid-range Galaxy A series. Galaxy M10 has a big 6.22-inch screen but the smartphone has a compact form factor thanks to its edge-to-edge display.

Galaxy M10 has a subtle look with a glossy back. It doesn’t offer the gradient colour or glass-like finish as seen on Honor and Realme phones. The ‘Ocean Blue’ colour however does have a nice feel to it. The design change is big for Samsung, but pretty decent for competition.

The speaker grille will remind one of the old smartphones as it’s located at the back. Galaxy M10 comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack which is located at the bottom along with the USB port. The SIM tray is placed on the left with the volume keys and power button on the right. Galaxy M10 supports dual SIM and dual 4G VoLTE as well.

Moving on, Galaxy M10’s 6.22-inch display has HD+ resolution with 19:9 aspect ratio. Samsung phones are known for the bright animations on the UI. Galaxy M10 also comes with Android Oreo-based Samsung Experience 9.5. The smartphone’s UI is still much bearable among other custom ROMs like Oppo’s ColorOS and Vivo’s FunTouch. Samsung also offers customisations with themes and icons. There is a good amount of bloatware though with Microsoft and Samsung apps.

Performance on the phone is too early to judge but the Galaxy M10 was pretty smooth during my brief usage. There were no lags while scrolling through the phone. There’s no fingerprint sensor on the phone with face unlock being the primary security option. I tried out the face unlock on Galaxy M10 and its slightly slow. Given that it’s the primary security option with no fingerprint sensor, it could be an issue.

I played Soul Knight on the Galaxy M10 which is a pretty light game and the phone handled it quite well. Within 15 minutes of gaming, the phone’s battery dropped by 6% although it did not heat. A better judgement on the phone’s performance will be detailed in our review. The smartphone is powered by in-house Exynos 1.6Ghz octa-core processor, and backed by a 3,400mAh battery.

Galaxy M10 offers a dual camera setup of 13-megapixel and 5-megapixel wide-angle sensor at the rear. There’s also a 5-megapixel selfie camera with in-display flash. The smartphone comes with live focus on the front and rear cameras. This feature failed to work on both front and rear cameras. More features on the Galaxy M10 include stickers and continuous shot.

Summing up,

The Galaxy M10 does have its flaws in the camera department and face unlock as we’ve pointed out. But the phone did show grit during my short usage. Xiaomi, Honor and Realme currently dominate this price segment with new choices for consumers. Samsung however has been in the game longer and offers a competitive price tag. It will be interesting to see if the Galaxy M series will bring any difference.