Samsung Galaxy A31 Review: Making sense of Samsung’s Galaxy A and M series models is getting harder by the month, as new models are brought in with minor refreshes, but don’t always line up during a logical order. for instance , the very recent Galaxy M21 (Review) was basically a Galaxy M30s (Review) with a special selfie camera, but going by the model names, it’s impossible to form that connection.
While some models within the A and M series have slight overlaps in pricing, there’s still a comparatively clear distinction between the series themselves. Generally speaking, most models within the A series tend to possess better finishes and fancier features like in-display fingerprint sensors, while the M series prioritises low prices.
Today, we’ll be testing Samsung’s new Galaxy A31, which, on paper, should succeed the Galaxy A30s. Compared to the latter, the new model offers a fourth rear camera, a much bigger battery, a higher-resolution display, full support for Samsung Pay, and in fact a better tag . Available in only one configuration with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage for Rs. 21,999, does the Galaxy A31 deserve a spot in our coveted list of top phones under Rs. 25,000?. Let’s have a glance .
Samsung Galaxy A31 Review & Specifications
Samsung Galaxy A31 Specifications:
|Body||6.27 x 2.88 x 0.34 inches; 185 gm|
|Display||6.4-inches Super AMOLED panel with 1080 x 2400 pixel resolution|
|Chipset||MediaTek Helio P65|
|Storage||64 / 128GB (expandable using SD card)|
|Software & UI||Samsung’s One UI 2.0 on top of Android 10|
|Rear Camera||Quad camera (48MP f/2.0 primary shooter; 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide lens with 123º FOV; 5MP f/2.4 depth sensor; 5MP f/2.4 macro sensor; LED flash)|
|Front Camera||20MP f/2.2 lens|
|Security||In-display fingerprint scanner|
|Connectivity||Dual-SIM (Nano), WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS/AGPS/GLONASS/BDS, USB Type-C|
|Battery||5000 mAh with 15W fast charging|
|Colors||Prism Crush Black, Prism Crush Blue, Prism Crush Red, Prism White|
Samsung Galaxy A31 Design:
Even though the planning of the Galaxy A31 isn’t exactly fresh for a budget Samsung device, I do just like the incontrovertible fact that it’s slim and lightweight . The all-polycarbonate body feels quite sturdy but it does devour fingerprints easily. The phone features a noticeably thick chin below the screen, and an Infinity-U cutout at the highest for the selfie camera.
There’s a huge SIM tray on the left, for 2 SIM cards and a microSD card. The headphone jack, USB Type-C port, and a speaker are at rock bottom . the rear features Samsung’s Prism Crush pattern, of which we’ve the blue variant. This phone is additionally available in back and white trims. The quad-camera cluster at the rear may be a rectangular module and doesn’t bulge outward much.
Overall, the Galaxy A31 was comfortable to use on a day to day during this review. it is a little wide, and reaching the highest of the display is not the easiest, but One UI has gestures to assist with this. After seeing many phones within the series with an equivalent pattern on the rear , the planning has began to feel a touch boring at now . The box contents are pretty standard too: there is a silicone case, a charger, a USB cable, and a headset.
Samsung Galaxy A31 Display:
The Galaxy A31 features a sharp 6.4-inch full-HD+ (1080×2400 pixels) Super AMOLED display. I found it to be quite adequate in terms of brightness, even within the daytime. Colours were a touch too rich for my taste within the default ‘Vivid’ mode, but this will be diluted within the settings. The display is flat, with none curves on the edges , but there are not any sharp edges either so performing gestures isn’t a drag .
There’s an in-display fingerprint sensor, which is not quick but works well as long as you provides it a firm press. The time taken to wake the screen, along side the fingerprint animations, make this whole process feel a touch laggy. I usually relied on face recognition, which I found to be quicker. The always-on display has basic customisations like the power to point out what song is playing, and a choice of various clock styles.
Samsung Galaxy A31 Performance:
Despite its decent build quality and good display, its performance may be a big issue. Samsung has used the MediaTek Helio P65 octa-core SoC, and that i would haven’t any problem with it on a phone that costs Rs. 10,000, but I certainly don’t expect it on something that costs above Rs. 20,000. Compared to even the Galaxy M21, which uses the Exynos 9611 and costs tons less, the Galaxy A31 is slower in most of the favored benchmarks.
Samsung’s One UI v2.1, supported Android 10, also feels a touch sluggish overall. there is a persistent hint of stutter within the animations, and lag once I was switching between apps. It didn’t hamper usage an excessive amount of but having to attend that extra second or two for things to happen isn’t an experience I expect at this price point. One UI itself is fairly feature-rich with many shortcuts, themes, and gestures to fiddle with. There’s also Dolby Atmos, but just for wired and wireless headphones.
The Galaxy A31 supports Google’s Widevine L1 certification, which suggests video streaming apps can play content at the display’s native resolution. the only speaker gets fairly loud but the audio quality is strictly average. Simple games run well, but heavier titles like Asphalt 9: Legends or maybe PUBG Mobile ran at reduced graphics settings. Gameplay was tolerable but they didn’t look nearly as good as they ought to have. I also noticed a touch of heating when playing games for extended durations.
Samsung Galaxy A31 Cameras:
Okay, thus far the Galaxy A31 isn’t looking too appealing, but perhaps it can redeem itself with its camera performance. The four cameras on the rear include a primary 48-megapixel sensor, an 8-megapixel sensor with a fisheye lens , a 5-megapixel depth camera, and a 5-megapixel macro camera. The apertures of all the cameras aren’t particularly impressive, with even the one on the most camera being just f/2.0. The front camera uses a 20-megapixel sensor.
The camera app should be familiar to most Samsung users, though I did find a couple of missing features which need to are there. Keeping in mind the worth of the phone and its positioning within the series, it is a little odd to not have 4K video as an option, and even an evening mode for low-light stills. Pro mode is crippled, with no choice to adjust the shutter speed. Autofocus speed is decent, but this phone tends to search for focus in low light.
You do get Samsung’s ‘Scene optimiser’ AI engine, and therefore the ability to save lots of stills and video within the HEIF and HEVC formats. Under good light, the most sensor captures decent-looking photos. Images are captured as 12-megapixel shots by default but you’ll shoot at the complete 48-megapixel resolution if needed. In low light, noise is suppressed well but details are lacking, which is noticeable once you concentrate to photos a touch . Close-ups shot under good light fare better, with good details and hues , but thanks to shutter lag, even slight movements can cause blurring.
The wide-angle camera captures comparatively weaker details, and HDR isn’t as effective as on the most camera. In low light, details are much worse and there is no Night mode to assist salvage shots.
Live Focus works decently well, and therefore the amount of background blur are often adjusted for portrait shots. The macro camera does a good job with extreme close-ups but I didn’t find image quality to be far better than what I’ve seen from phones with 2-megapixel sensors.
Videos are limited to 1080p resolution, but quality is decent given ample light when shooting with the first camera. The Galaxy A31 doesn’t offer even electronic stabilisation, so movements with the camera look jerky. you’ll not switch to the wide-angle camera while recording but you can switch thereto before you start . needless to say , video quality is simply about acceptable under good light but very poor in low light. there is no stabilisation here either.
The selfie camera captures 12-megapixel stills by default (8 megapixels if you select a tighter crop). However, you’ll shoot at the native resolution too. Selfies are generally usable when shooting outdoors, in daylight. Skin tones tend to seem a touch too warm and HDR are often successful or miss, but it isn’t regrettable . The camera struggles to breed good details in low light, often leaving you with soft textures and weak details.
Overall, the cameras on the Galaxy A31 are very underwhelming and lack many features that you’d find in many phones that cost tons less.
Samsung Galaxy A31 Battery:
If there’s one redeeming quality about the Galaxy A31, then it might be battery life. The 5,000mAh battery lasted for 18 hours and 11 minutes in our HD video loop test, which is extremely good. Even with regular usage, i used to be easily ready to go well beyond each day on one charge. there’s 15W fast charging, so you’ll charge the battery up to 50 percent in an hour, but filling it completely takes overflow two hours.
Samsung Galaxy A31 Price in Nepal, Availability
Samsung Galaxy A31 will be available from April. However, in this instance, we don’t know the exact date nor the pricing of the device. The device is comparable to the Galaxy M31 and thus its pricing should be comparable to that of the M31. So, my guess would be that the price of Samsung Galaxy A31 will be somewhere around $200-$210 and its price in Nepal should also be similar i.e MRP 25,000.
|Model Name||Price in Nepal|
|Samsung Galaxy A31||NRs. 25,000|
I’m struggling to seek out an honest reason for the Galaxy A31 to exist, and that i honestly cannot consider one. It seems as if Samsung has launched it simply to fill the worth gap between the Galaxy A50s (Review) and therefore the Galaxy A51 (Review) — either of which might be a way better pick than the Galaxy A31. Battery life is that the main standout feature here, along side the decent build quality and display.
However, the middling SoC performance and underwhelming cameras are faults that are too glaring to ignore when you’re paying quite Rs. 20,000. albeit the worth were to drop, there are many more powerful and feature-rich options within the market like Samsung’s own Galaxy A50s and Galaxy M31, or phones from Realme and Xiaomi.
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