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  5. Samsung Galaxy A31 Review: Filling in the gaps

Samsung Galaxy A31 Review: Filling in the gaps

Samsung Galaxy A31 offers a massive 5,000mAh battery along with an under the screen fingerprint sensor. But should you pick one up? Let’s find out in this review.

Written by: Devesh Arora @aroradevesh New Delhi Published on: July 07, 2020 16:28 IST
Samsung Galaxy A31 sports an AMOLED panel and comes with an
Image Source : DEVESH ARORA

Samsung Galaxy A31 sports an AMOLED panel and comes with an in-display fingerprint sensor.

Samsung Galaxy A31 was recently launched in India. With this, Samsung aims to provide not only good performance to tackle cheap Chinese phones but also provide a premium experience, which a lot of phones at this price point lack.

In order to satisfy the needs of the younger generation, it comes with a massive 5,000mAh battery along with an under the screen fingerprint sensor and a nice subjectively attractable back panel design. So should you pick one up? Let’s find out in this review.

Samsung Galaxy A31 Review: Specifications

Samsung Galaxy A31 sports a 6.4-inch FullHD+ Super AMOLED display with an aspect ratio of 20:9. It is powered by the Mediatek MT6768 Helio P65 processor paired with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage. The storage is further expandable using a microSD card slot. It runs on Android 10 based OneUI 2.0 out of the box. All of this is backed by a 5,000mAh battery.

On the optics front, the Galaxy A31 features a quad rear camera setup including a 48MP primary camera, an 8MP ultra-wide-angle lens and a 5MP depth sensor and a 5MP macro sensor. Upfront, there is a 20MP selfie snapper.

Samsung Galaxy A31 Review: Design and Display

Samsung Galaxy A31 brings a modern design to the table. The smartphone looks similar to some of the recently launched Galaxy smartphones with Infinity-u display and a shiny reflective back. The smartphone sports a polycarbonate body with a fancy reflective paint job at the back, which catches fingerprints way too easily.

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Image Source : DEVESH ARORA

It comes with an Infinity-U display.

On the front, the Galaxy A31 sports a 6.4-inch panel with a U-shaped notch. It has thin bezels offering a great experience apart from a fat chin, which is a design element far too common in this price range. The notch looks a bit outdated and could have been replaced with the punch-hole display to offer a more modern look. 

As for the placements, Galaxy A31 sports a USB Type-C port on the bottom edge surrounded by the 3.5mm headphone jack, speaker grille and the primary microphone. The right edge houses the power button and volume buttons. On the left edge, there is just a SIM tray that can accept two SIM cards and a microSD card. The top edge of the phone is mostly left clean with the exception of the secondary microphone.

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Image Source : DEVESH ARORA

Placements of buttons and ports on the Galaxy A31.

Coming back to the display, it is a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED panel with a resolution of 2400x1080 pixels. By offering such a display in this segment, the company is giving a great option to people who watch a lot of movies on their smartphones. Compared to other phones in this price range, mainly Poco X2 and Realme X2, the Galaxy A31 brings a much better content streaming experience. It offers deeper blacks, punchier colours and great brightness levels. Along with that, it supports Wideline L1, which basically enables you to stream Full-HD content on the phone using apps like Netflix, Prime Video and more.

Samsung Galaxy A31 Review: Performance, Software and UI

Samsung Galaxy A31 is powered by the Mediatek MT6768 Helio P65 processor paired with 6GB of RAM. With the phone being priced over Rs. 20,000, the Helio P65 processor seems to be a bad choice here. During the review period, the combination of long animations of the OneUI 2.0 and the slow performance of the P65 made the app switching and opening times a bit longer. There wasn’t much lag, however, the slow animations gave a hint of lag at times. 

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Image Source : DEVESH ARORA

It is not the most powerful processor in the segment.

While it performs decently in most of the tasks, if you are hungry for more performance or you like gaming at good graphics, then you might want to look elsewhere. One can consider something like the Relame X2 or the Poco X2, both of which provide way better performance at a relatively lower price.

Also Read: Samsung Galaxy A51 Review: Even a mid-range phone can feel like a flagship

The Galaxy A31 runs on Android 10 based One UI 2.0 out of the box. The user interface feels laggy. But it does bring in a host of features including a system-wide dark mode, an always-on display, Samsung Pay and much more. Just like every other Samsung phone that I have used, going over to Settings > Advanced Features and turning on “Reduced animations” helped me in achieving that extra bit of smoothness.

Samsung Galaxy A31 Review: Cameras

Samsung Galaxy A31 sports a quad-camera setup at the back. The setup comprises a 48-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera and a 5-megapixel depth sensor and a 5-megapixel macro-sensor. The smartphone also gets Live Focus, Pro Mode, Night, Food, Super Slow-Mo mode and much more.

The camera app is straightforward and offers a good amount of features. However, the absence of any night mode is a bit concerning.

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Image Source : DEVESH ARORA

The quad-camera setup is good enough.

During our tests, the Galaxy A31 managed to click some decent shots. Under good lighting conditions, the phone managed to lock focus quickly and even picked up the natural colours. However, in true Samsung fashion, the images did churn out a bit more saturated than one would prefer. That combined with the vivid Super AMOLED display of the phone, the colours look a bit punchy, which is good for most of the people except the purists. 

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The story changes a bit when we go into the low light mode. The phone struggled to gain focus and the images churned out to be a bit grainy. At this time, the images were still outperforming expectations.

Also Read: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Review: Best 'S' ever

The selfies are good, nothing special but nothing bad. A lot of smartphones at this price range provide the same selfie experience. However, the beauty mode could be turned off completely which cannot be said for other phones.

Samsung Galaxy A31 Review: Battery

The battery segment is where the Galaxy A31 manages to outshine among its competition. The handset comes with a massive 5,000mAh battery. During my time with the device, light to medium usage got me two full days of usage. Even with heavy usage, the phone lasted more than a day. This makes it a great smartphone for people who travel a lot or watch a lot of movies on their smartphone.

With the battery being so huge, the charging speeds take a hit. The smartphone does support 15W fast charging. But even with that, the device takes around two hours to fully charge the massive battery. 

Samsung Galaxy A31 Review: Verdict

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Image Source : DEVESH ARORA

The back design of the Galaxy A31 looks quite attractive.

Samsung Galaxy A31 feels just like a fancier version of the Galaxy A30s. While there are a lot of similarities in terms of the specifications, the price tag of the A31 makes it a worthwhile deal. The smartphone offers a Super AMOLED display, a massive 5,000mAh battery, Android 10 and more just for a price of Rs. 21,999.

In case you watch a lot of movies on your phone or just need a long-lasting battery or just an excellent camera performance, the Galaxy A31 would be a perfect fit for your pocket. However, if you are more into gaming and performance-oriented tasks and don’t mind the tradeoff of the display or the camera, you should take a look at the Poco X2 or the Realme X2.

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