Samsung Galaxy M34 5G has arrived as a successor to the Galaxy M33 5G and is aiming for the budget market at a starting price of Rs 19,999. Samsung of late, seems to be employing the formula of equipping the device with huge batteries and that is the USP of the M34 5G as well. It gets a 6000mAh battery, similar to the recently unveiled Galaxy F54 5G, but at a much lower price. How does it perform and what else does the handset offer that’s better than its competitors? Let’s take a look.
Galaxy M34 5G: Design & Display
The Galaxy M34 5G uses the same design as some of its elder siblings that launched earlier this year, including smartphones in the Galaxy S series and A series. There’s a triple camera setup at the back, placed vertically and each with its cutout. There’s an LED flash alongside it.
The blue variant we have has a shiny and glossy finish which definitely attracts a lot of fingerprints. However, due to the more curvy form factor, there’s a good amount of grip on offer. The sides are also curved, in contrast to the flatter ones we have seen on Samsung phones of late. A 3.5mm Headphone jack at the bottom is hard to find nowadays.
The buttons reside on the right side, where the power button doubles as a fingerprint sensor. This sensor is accurate as well as quick in unlocking the phone with just a touch on the button. The Haptics aren’t the best but get the job done considering it is a very basic motor.
The volume buttons, on the other hand, are placed quite higher than where they should be so that might be an issue for some. Overall, the design isn’t a deviation from Samsung’s recent style and that’s good for the brand, as well as the consumers because they are getting a premium feel.
As for the display, it is a Galaxy M34 5G sports a 6.5-inch FHD+ sAMOLED display with a water drop notch, 1000 nits peak brightness and a 120Hz Refresh Rate alongside Gorilla Glass 5 protection. This is a decent panel for the price, with punchy colours and impressive viewing angles. It gets bright enough outdoors for acceptable readability.
However, the two things that bother me about the front side is the obnoxiously big chin, and the water drop notch design which at this point, feels ages old. Apart from that, there’s nothing to disappoint with this panel.
Galaxy M34 5G: Performance & Software
The Galaxy M34 5G is powered by the Exynos 1280 SoC and gets 128GB of UFS 2.2 storage along with up to 8GB of storage. This is the same Chipset that powered last year’s Galaxy A53 5G and at that point of time, we were disappointed by the performance of the device, and the fact we were getting those types of issues on a smartphone that was priced above Rs 30,000.
Now, over a year later, Samsung seems to have done some optimisations for good. The lags and stutters have drastically reduced whereas the snappiness has taken over. This could also be due to the fact that it runs on the latest OneUI 5.1 based on Android 13 where under the hood optimisations have been done by the brand.
Yes, the sudden frame drops in animations haven’t completely gone but the overall situation is much better than previous year’s models that had this chip. RAM management is handled fine. However, the App launch speed could have been better slightly.
Also, remember that the device isn’t meant for gaming, and even if you feel like gaming, you would be better off with lighter games. Handling heavier games isn’t the handset’s forte, and also ends up with the device heating.
As for the software, the smartphone packs most of the features OneUI natively comes with, including the themes from Galaxy store, multiple Always-on display clock styles, and more. It also has the Ultra data saving feature and storage booster to delete unused apps or other data that is rarely used by the user. Other features such as motions and gestures, dual apps, etc., are also present.
The device offers the June security patch out of the box and Samsung claims it will further receive up to 5 years of security patches and up to 4 years of major OS upgrades. This brings the handset one step ahead of the competitors, such as the iQOO Z7 5G, and the Nord CE 3 Lite 5G, which will offer only two years of OS updates and 3 years of security patches.
Connectivity experience including Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are fine. As for 5G, I faced network drops at home, where other devices work perfectly fine. There’s a single mono speaker at the bottom that is once again average for audio. It gets loud and handles treble well, but don’t expect bass.
Galaxy M34 5G: Battery Backup
The Galaxy M34 5G packs a 6000mAh battery unit with support for 25W fast charging. Samsung only provides you with a USB-C to USB-C cable inside the box and not the charger, which as usual, is a disappointment. What’s not a disappointment, though, is the battery backup of this phone.
It can easily get you through two days of use with a very generous screen-on time of more than 7 or sometimes even 8 hours. During my usage, it got me through one and a half days of usage time with over 7 hours of SOT, which is actually excellent. However, charging the smartphone could take you close to 2 hours so that’s a bummer.
Galaxy M34 5G: Cameras
The Galaxy M34 5G employs a 50MP primary rear camera sensor, alongside an 8MP ultra-wide angle lens and a 2MP macro sensor. A 13MP f/2.0 shooter is on the front for selfies and video chats.
Samsung handles its camera well in most of its devices, and here too, the main sensor has been tuned nicely. The photos have a high level of contrast, making them look punchy in terms of colours. However, this also means that you cannot expect the shots to look natural. The details and sharpness are also on point.
As for the ultra-wide angle shots, the colour tone gets slightly warmer resulting in shift in colours. The sharpness is definitely degraded in comparison to the shots from the main sensor. The colours still look okay but not the best. The edges also begin to distort in wide angle shots, which results in the photo getting noisy and smudgy at the corners.
Selfies look fine, but the HDR effect is overdone at times, showing a white outline around the subject. Skin tones are surprisingly impressive, while sharpness is also decent. Portrait shots have accurate EDGE detection as well.
Portrait shots from the back have average edge detection. However, the colours, sharpness, exposure, etc is perfectly balanced. The bokeh effect is strong and feels natural also. Macro shots from the 2MP sensor are below average in terms of overall quality.
Under low lighting and artificial lighting, the colours are handled well, but the photo becomes softer, and because of that, the minute details take a hit. One can also notice slight noise in the photo in such scenarios.