Hello reader! I am Raghavendra, a full-stack engineer and entrepreneur currently heading a tech team at my startup. Going about my usual business I found out recently that my phone’s battery ran out before the end of the day and I had to charge it at home before I can use it. I could, of course, use it while charging, but I don’t have a socket near my bed and it robs me of the convenience of having a smartphone in the first place. So off I went to find the best bang for buck smartphone which would last me at least the entire day. I use my phone primarily for watching videos online, playing casual games and getting work done on the go with project management and office tools. I have always been a fan of mid-range smartphones; they offer decent features, are reliable and come with a headphone jack! While researching for phones, my prime need was to have enough powerful hardware to run any app or game I want, a good camera to click photos and long battery life. Enter the Samsung Galaxy M30. With a whopping 5000 mAh battery, it easily lasts the entire day with charge to spare in case you want to burn the midnight oil. But what else does it have to offer? Even a Nokia 3310 has a long battery life (some might argue a bit too long), so let’s dive in!
DesignThe phone has a sleek appearance with a unique colour gradation back panel. It is available in two colours, Gradation Black and Gradation Blue. It doesn’t feel very premium and has a plastic feel, but manages to look good despite that. The back panel also sports it’s 3 Camera setup, flash and a fingerprint sensor. The phone is lightweight and sturdily built, couple this with a decent phone cover and you can rest assured that accidental drops won’t cause any functional damage. At the bottom, you find the USB Type-C port and a headphone jack.
DisplayThe display sports a 6.4 inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels. The display is crisp, vibrant and large enough to enjoy movies comfortably. Resolution is high enough that you won’t be seeing any individual pixels even if you smack your eyeballs into this (I do not recommend doing this though). The screen is prone to smudges and scratches so it is highly recommended to use it along with a screen protector. The screen has a great range of brightness from barely visible (for those late nights) to incredibly bright that even the high noon sun won’t wash the colours out.
CameraThis phone features a rear camera with a wide-angle lens and depth sensor. The front camera is 16MP but with no flash. Photos taken with this are good and the wide-angle camera is great for taking some amazing shots. Note however this phone does not feature a front flash. Although the screen goes maximum white while taking a selfie with flash on, the missing physical flash can be a bother sometimes, but since I am not a fan of selfies, it doesn’t affect me. Video recording is great with its ample 64GB internal storage. The contrast is great although, in low light, images appear slightly grainy although the brightness is great. Now, to show you what I mean, here are some pictures. The wide-angle shot above covers 123 degrees of field of vision, capturing a great amount of detail. In the above photograph, you can see the contrast between the cat and the chair despite having similar colours. The blue chair and the blue wall also have been done justice. This low light shot of a backlit keyboard shows that the light coming from underneath is captured without compromising on the brightness of the keycaps. The colours are vibrant too.
PerformanceThe phone runs smoothly with ample RAM and internal storage. It runs productivity and social media apps easily with no hiccups. It does seem to struggle with some Snapchat’s filter but is usable nonetheless. Games run great too, with Asphalt 9 and Need For Speed show no signs of fatigue even at the highest settings. First-person shooters like PUBG may stutter occasionally, but casual games run comfortably. Add this to the amazing battery life which lasts a day with normal use and half a day with extracting all juice as possible, and you have got a neat package for any office person who likes to enjoy stuff on his phone once a while. Multitasking is a breeze thanks to its 4GB RAM allowing to run multiple apps simultaneously without worrying about the apps closing on you when you switch between them.
SoundThe speakers located at the bottom are loud enough to not warrant a headphone while indoors and provide enough quality of sound to watch videos and play games with no discernible dropping of sounds (except the bass of course). Putting headphones or earphones in, you get the excellent Dolby Atmos experience and high-quality sound without tweaking the equalizer. I have tried this with Google Play Music, SoundCloud and Amazon Prime Music and compared the results with a PC experience, and find the negligible difference in quality except for high bitrate songs (the Blu-ray kind).
SoftwareIt ships by default with Android Oreo with OneUI 1.0, which can, however, be easily upgraded to Android Nougat and OneUI 1.1. The UI experience is excellent with easy access to all features. It comes pre-installed with bare essential apps and some demo games which can be removed. Yes, removed, not just disabled, although certain apps cannot be uninstalled. The facial recognition is secure enough but can be duped with a photograph. I recommend using the touch sensor along with a pattern to secure your phone.
In a nutshellThe Samsung Galaxy M30 priced at INR 13990 at the time of purchase is a great all-rounder no-nonsense phone for anyone who is looking for decent features at a decent price and wants to use those features for a prolonged period without having to be glued to a socket. Newer brands may offer more features at this price point but may lack the reliability that Samsung offers.
- Long battery life
- Brilliant display
- Decent camera
- Sturdy build
- Good Performance
- Not for heavy gaming
- No front flash
- Notch front camera
- No back cover, screen guard and earphones in the box