Samsung recently introduced a new series in the budget segment, which is targeted towards the millennials. The South Korean giant has launched two smartphones, the Galaxy M10 and Galaxy M20, in the country.
Both the smartphones show Samsung’s renewed efforts to make a comeback in the budget segment with some good offering. The company says that it has finally “listened” to the masses and with this feedback, it has made both the phones. In this article, we are going to talk about the Galaxy M10. So, did Samsung actually listen to its loyal user base? Is the new Galaxy M10 really worth every penny you are going to spend? Let’s figure it out.
The most important thing for an Indian buyer is “Yeh Phone kitne ka hai?”. In the past, we have seen many Samsung smartphones that were priced way too much as compared to the competition. However, with the Samsung Galaxy M10, the company has priced it competitively as the 2GB + 16GB variant is priced at Rs 7,990 and the 3GB+3GB option comes with a price tag of Rs 8,990. But, it is true?
Talking about competition, one cannot simply forget Samsung’s arch-rival Xiaomi. The Chinese company has a slew of products under a similar price band, but the most popular one is the Xiaomi Redmi 6. The smartphone comes with a price tag of Rs 7,999 for 3GB + 32GB and Rs 8,999 for 3GB + 64GB. Similarly, we have Vivo Y81i, which comes with a price tag of Rs 7,990. Oppo A3s, on the other hand, is priced at Rs 8,990 for 2GB + 16GB storage option. Then we have Infinix Smart 2 for Rs 5,999 and Rs 6,999 for 2GB+16GB and 3GB+32GB options respectively.
Realme 2 is priced at Rs 8,990 for the 3GB+32GB storage option, while the Yu Ace 3GB RAM variant is priced at Rs 6,999. Lastly, Lenovo K9, Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 and Honor 7S are priced at Rs 8,999, Rs 9,999 and Rs 5,999 respectively. Interestingly, Samsung has priced the smartphone just right, as most of the competition is offering their smartphones, which have already proven their mettle, in a similar price point.
Coming to the display part, most of the competition is offering a similar set of resolution. The Xiaomi Redmi 6, Infinix Smart 2, Lenovo K9, Micromax Yu Ace and Honor 7S come loaded with a 5.45-inch HD+ display. Oppo A3s and Realme 2 feature 6.2-inch HD+, while the Vivo Y81i is equipped with a 6.22-inch HD+ screen. The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 is the only smartphone in this list that is equipped with a 5.99-inch Full HD+ display. Coming to Samsung Galaxy M10, the phone features a 6.2-inch HD+ display. There is nothing to distinguish as all the smartphones including the Galaxy M10 features a TFT panel.
This is where things get interesting. Xiaomi Redmi 6 and Lenovo K9 are powered by a MediaTek Helio P22 octa-core processor clocked at 2.0GHz. Vivo Y81i is powered by MediaTek Helio A22 chipset, while the Oppo A3s and Realme 2 are backed by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 SoC. Micromax’s Yu Ace, Infinix Smart 2 and Honor 7S feature a MediaTek MT6739 processor, while the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 is backed by Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor.
It is crystal clear that almost all the competition is providing the latest chipset for its customers. However, the same is not the case with the Galaxy M10. Sadly, Samsung has added a dated Exynos 7870 processor. The chipset was introduced in 2016 and it looks underpowered as compared to the likes of MediaTek Helio P22, Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 chipset. With the similar price point, you are getting better computing power as compared to the one present in the Galaxy M10. Take for example Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1. Although the smartphone is priced at Rs 9999, which is almost Rs 1,000 extra, you are getting a much better processor coupled with other hardware internals.
RAM and ROM
Samsung is offering the Galaxy M10 in two variants. You have 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage and 3GB of RAM with 32GB of internal storage. Let’s take a look at what competition has to offer. Starting with the Xiaomi Redmi 6, the company has made 3GB RAM a standard across both the variants. You get 32GB storage for Rs 7,999 and 64GB storage for Rs 8,999.
Similarly, the Vivo Y81i and Oppo A3s offer you 2GB RAM and 16GB of internal storage for Rs 7,990 and Rs 8,990 respectively. The Infinix Smart 2 and Micromax Yu Ace offers 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage at the much lesser price of Rs 6,999 as compared to the Rs 8,990 price tag of Samsung Galaxy M10. Lenovo K9, Realme 2 and Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 offer you a standard 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage at a similar price point. That said, Samsung has just managed to place the memory configuration in the right spot, though it could have at least dropped the prices of both the variants of Galaxy M10 to make it a killer deal.
Coming to the camera performance, most of the smartphones present in this price band comes with a dual-camera setup at the rear. Starting with Xiaomi Redmi 6, you get a combination of 12MP + 5MP, Realme 2 offers 13MP + 2MP setup, Zenfone Max Pro M1 offers 13MP + 5MP, Lenovo K9 offers 13MP + 5MP and Oppo A3s comes with 13MP + 2MP camera setup. Vivo Y81i, Infinix Smart 2, Yu Ace, Honor 7S offers single camera setup with a resolution of the 13-megapixel sensor. The secondary sensor present in all the dual-camera smartphones is meant for depth sensing. This simply means that you cannot use the secondary sensor independently to click photos. This also reveals a dark side of the manufacturers who are just placing the secondary sensor as a marketing gimmick.
On the other hand, Samsung has actually implemented dual-camera setup, which one can use in real life. The brand has added a primary lens of 13-megapixel for normal shooting and there is a 5-megapixel ultra-wide angle lens for capturing the broader landscape. This is actually helpful and one can switch from one camera to other in the camera application. Not only Samsung is making the secondary lens more useful, but it is also offering a unique combination of normal + wide angle, which is not present in this segment. That said, the quality of the pictures are still quite average in our opinion and when compared to the likes of Zenfone Max Pro M1, Realme 2 and Xiaomi Redmi 6, the phone can be seen as an underdog.
Coming to the selfie experience, Redmi 6, Vivo Y81i, Micromax Yu Ace and Honor 7S offers 5-megapixel front-facing cameras. The Oppo A3s, Infinix Smart 2, Realme 2 and Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 gives an 8-megapixel shooter. Interestingly, Lenovo K9 is the only smartphone in this price band that offers dual-selfie shooter with a combination of 13MP + 5MP. Coming to the smartphone from Samsung, the Galaxy M10 offers 5-megapixel shooter. In our testing, we found out that the selfie performance of the Galaxy M10 is quite average in nature. You get better selfie cameras present in the market with the likes of Realme 2 and Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1. As for the other smartphones are concerned, the quality is more or less similar to each other.
Coming to the battery department, most of the devices Samsung Galaxy M10 has to face come loaded with a similar battery backup. Xiaomi Redmi 6 and Lenovo K9 features 3,000mAh battery, while the Honor 7S and Infinix Smart 2 are equipped with 3020mAh and 3050mAh battery. The Vivo Y81i comes with 3260mAh battery, while the Oppo A3s and Realme 2 feature 4230mAh battery respectively. Lastly, the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 is equipped with an immersive 5000mAh battery.
Coming to Samsung Galaxy M10, the phone is equipped with a 3400mAh battery with no support for fast charging. When compared to the competition, the Galaxy M10 seems to sport better battery backup when compared to Xiaomi Redmi 6, Lenovo K9, Vivo Y81i, Infinix Smart 2 and Honor 7S. It seems to lag behind other phones as they feature 4000mAh battery and more.
Operating System and User Interface
All the smartphones we are talking about here runs on Android 8.1 Oreo. You get different user interface on each device, which has its fair share of hits and misses. Xiaomi’s MIUI seems to be customisations, though it marred with various bugs and ad-driven notifications. Vivo has an iOS-inspired user interface, which is fast but looks a bit confusing. The ColorOS present in Realme and Oppo needs some polishing, while Infinix Smart 2 and Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 features a close to stock experience, which is a welcome move.
Coming to Samsung Galaxy M10, the phone still runs on Android 8.1 Oreo with company’s Samsung Experience V9.5 running on top of it. The user interface from Samsung is quite smooth to use and comes with some highly-customisable options. However, the major problem with Samsung’s UI is the fact that when the phone storage is above 70 per cent, the user interface starts to lag and you no more get a smooth experience. Further, there are many complains that Samsung is following Xiaomi with AD-based notification. There are many Ad-driven notifications in the home screen lock, which is on by default and one need to go Settings to turn it off.
To conclude, the latest budget warrior from Samsung have a standard set of features and specifications to offer. The company has done a good job when it comes to the pricing. The display seems to be decent, though the resolution is somewhat a standard in this price band. On the hardware front, the phone runs on a dated processor and it would have been a good thing if the company added a newer processor from its arsenal or from other manufacturers like MediaTek or Qualcomm.
Samsung Galaxy M10 has an edge when it comes to the implementation of dual-camera setup as most of the competition uses the secondary sensor one single purpose, depth sensing. The wide-angle secondary sensor is a scarcity in this price band. Coming to the software part, the phone runs on Android Oreo, but so does rest of the competition. The user interface is one thing whose usage varies from customer to customer. Overall, if you are planning to buy the Samsung Galaxy M10 as your next budget-centric smartphone, you should once consider Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1, Xiaomi Redmi 6 and even Realme 2.