Samsung Galaxy M20: Owner Review

by Adi Kulkarni

When I was out looking for a new phone, I had many options to choose from. My budget wasn’t much and I was not looking for any flagship devices. I wanted a phone that was fast, easy to use, high on storage and capable of performing multi-tasking especially for social media and my day to day work. Few brands popped into my mind: Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo. Honestly, I have never used the Oppo or Vivo brand so I was not quite sure about whether they would suit our requirements. Nor did I know anybody who owned these brands. Plus from what I heard the aftersales support on these phones was quite erratic.  I owned a Redmi 6 Pro as a second phone so was quite aware of the abilities and limitations that the phone had. I was looking at the latest Redmi phone which was launched: the Redmi 7 and the Redmi Note 7. At the same time, Samsung had launched the Galaxy M20 a budget phone to take on the competition to Redmi. The Samsung brand name was enough for me to be convinced that I should buy it. Not to mention at the price of INR 11,990/-, a 4 GB + 64 GB configuration seemed like a steal. The cherry on top was the whopping 5000 mAH battery that was being offered with a fast charge USB-C cable and adapter. This made the deal too good to pass up and I decided to go for it. Now I have to mention the Galaxy M20 is a model for the Indian market and is locked to work only in this region. There is a workaround to that should you want to use it in any other region.

The arrival and first impressions

Unboxing

I ordered it on Amazon as they had a one-day delivery option with Prime. I was excited to have it as I wasn’t too happy with my Redmi 6 Pro. The phone came the next day. The unboxing was swift with me opening the box up and taking the phone in my hands. The colour of the phone was Charcoal Black. The Samsung Galaxy M20 does come in a swanky Ocean Blue colour but I feel a black mobile phone always looks more elegant. Now, this Charcoal Black colour looks more so on the grey side and not black as the name would suggest. The back of the phone is made of plastic which is prone to scratches. The phone is also prone to slipping from your fingers. My recommendation is you should lookout for a phone cover. The weight of the phone was definitely on the hefty side and you can feel the weight in your pocket. The battery seems to contribute to the weight. It is not easy to use it in one hand and requires you to hold it mostly in both your hands. Primarily, this is due to the weight but also the bezels are on the minimum side so there is a possibility that you end up selecting something that you don't want to.

Dual Camera Setup

The Galaxy M20 comes with dual camera setup which is not the best in the market but is good enough for your basic everyday shots. It has a 13MP primary camera with a 5MP ultrawide camera. Not exactly a heavy-duty camera setup on this phone. It takes some decent photos in natural daylight and has a wide variety of modes to choose from. I used it to take a few photos to post on Instagram and the colours seemed a little washed out before of course the usual filter edits.

Performance

The phone comes with a fast charge USB-C type cable and an adapter which does a great job of speeding up the charging time considering that the battery on this phone is a humongous 5000 mAH capacity and arguably the best feature on this phone. It is hard for me to believe that finally, a smartphone with all its features and all its apps can run for more than a day without having to recharge. With heavy use which includes videos, Instagram surfing, and constant calls I can easily use it for a day with about 30% charge left over for the next day. It truly is a god-send and something that a potential buyer should consider when looking out for a mid-range phone.

The User Interface Experience

Startup

That said, I turned it on with the usual Samsung Logo and start-up sound. I had used a Samsung Galaxy Note 1 when it first came out and was very surprised with how much evolution the Android look and feel on the Samsung phone has changed. The phone had shipped with Android 8.1 (Oreo) with support for Android 9.0 (Pie) expected to come later. At the time of writing this review, I have already upgraded the phone to Pie. The bells and whistles that came with the Note 1 are missing and the Samsung skin is a very nice touch over the stock Android experience. The ability to disable many of the built-in apps is a positive experience and the overall look and feel are quite intuitive. I particularly liked the tap and hold feature over the app which gives you the various options like Select Items, Uninstall and Info.

Display

The display is a hit or miss for me as it is a TFT ‘Infinity-V’ capacitive display and not an AMOLED which Samsung is known for. My second phone is an iPhone 6 Plus and compared to that the display does not seem as crisp and the colour saturation is not vivid as you would expect from Samsung. That said it still has a high pixel density of 403 PPI and is capable of Full HD support while watching movies or YouTube videos.

The Verdict

Since I am not as fussy about my requirements for a smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy M20 is a worthwhile option and meets my day to day demands without lagging or hanging. It has a Dual Sim Tray with a separate SD card slot which is perfect for someone who needs to have additional storage on their phone. The 64GB is a boon to have and I have only used up less than 45% off the storage capacity.  After a long hiatus from Samsung phones, I am glad I have come back to the brand and definitely would give this phone a 7.5 out of 10.