Samsung’s Galaxy M series became popular in India with its early models thanks to good specifications coupled with the company’s new One UI experience and an extra-large battery. The latter provided a breath of fresh air for those who didn’t want to get into the ecosystem of brands like Xiaomi, Realme, Oppo and others.
The major factors helping the case of the M-series were competitive pricing with good specifications, which gave the phones a more bang-for-buck factor helping them compete with the likes of Xiaomi’s Redmi series or the Realme phones. The new Samsung Galaxy M32 is the latest in the series, but how does it perform? Read our full review to find out.
Samsung Galaxy M32 specs: 6.4-inch FHD+ AMOLED 90Hz display | MediaTek Helio G80 | 4GB/6GB RAM + 64GB/128GB eMMC 5.1 storage | 64MP quad camera + 20MP front camera | 6000mAh battery +15W charging |
Design:?The design of the Samsung Galaxy M32 is pretty good, despite being a bulky one. Even with a plastic back and frame, the M32 manages to look decently premium and the build of the phone itself leaves no complaints. There’s a fast side-mounted fingerprint scanner, a square-shaped camera module and elements like a secondary microphone and 3.5mm port are not skipped. There are also no creaky edges or mushy buttons here. However, the tiny mono speaker has begun to feel old in this price segment now.
The Galaxy M32 features a plastic back and frame but comes with a good build. (Image Source: The Indian Express/ Chetan Nayak)
Display:?The best aspect of the Galaxy M32 has to be the brilliant 6.4-inch FHD+ display panel. It features punchy colours and deep blacks and is far better than any LCD panel you may find in the segment. The viewing angles are also great and outdoor visibility is not really a problem here. There is still a water-drop notch on the top though. However, this is not a deal-breaker by any means.
The 6.4-inch Super AMOLED screen is the best part of the phone. (Image Source: The Indian Express/ Chetan Nayak)
Cameras:?The 64 MP primary camera can take some great pictures for the price. Shots looked crisp and vibrant. Although the phone’s slower processor doesn’t really help with the shutter speed and you will often get shaken, blurry results with fast-moving subjects, like an agile puppy or a moving tree branch. For stable subjects, the images are definitely workable.
The phone has a 64MP quad-camera system on the back. (Image Source: The Indian Express/ Chetan Nayak)
The rear camera also does a good job for night-time and low-light photos if you can manage to keep the camera and the subject stable. Shots from the ultra-wide camera were decent, and those from the macro camera were surprisingly better than the competition.
The front camera is good too. Unlike some selfie shooters in this price range, we don’t see washed-out images as shots hold facial tones and other textures nicely.
Check out our samples by clicking on the image below and seeing all the samples on Flickr
Software:?For those who like a clean, stock-like experience, One UI is not exactly the first preference. However, it still is one of the better Android skins out there in terms of handy tools, actually useful user interface (UI) elements and Samsung’s security-based features.
There is still a fair amount of bloatware in One UI 3.1 and you will have to deal with Samsung’s own apps like a second app store, browser and others. What may bother you is that the software will try to push these Samsung alternatives to you whenever possible, like asking to update Galaxy apps via the Galaxy Store.
Battery:?The Galaxy M32 features a 6,000mAh battery, which is one of the USPs of the phone as well as the series. On a full charge, that number can translate to over two days of low-to-moderate usage. Being able to get a lot of juice on a single charge also makes the phone ideal for binging on shows, long voice/video calls or even movie marathons.?The larger battery does add some bulk to the form factor here, but we’d say that’s totally worth it for the peace of mind you get here by not having to hunt for a charger in the middle of a busy day or a road trip.
Performance:?The biggest flaw of the Samsung Galaxy M32 is one that is noticeable pretty quickly once you boot the device for the first time. The fast refreshing screen, great camera and decent software are all bottlenecked by the slower, older MediaTek Helio G80.
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Due to the entry-level chip, you will see occasional stutters across the UI when doing basic tasks, as well as late responses at times on doing simple things like going to the recent apps screen. When you’re running a bunch of different apps together, we can’t exactly call the experience a breeze. You can still run most apps, including casual games, but for anything more, the phone may begin struggling.
The MediaTek Helio isn’t exactly a bad chip, but it isn’t built for this price segment anymore. At its price, the M32 is going up against phones armed with the Helio G95, the Dimensity series and Snapdragon 700-series chipsets.
Slow charger: Samsung adds 25W fast charging support to the Galaxy M32, but unfortunately bundles in only a 15W charger, which is not fast by any standards today. The strategy is something Samsung is sticking with, even in other, more expensive phones. Even the Galaxy S20 FE 5G that costs thrice as much as the M32 comes with a 15W charger in the box.
Charging at 15W is super slow on the 6,000mAh battery here. (Image Source: The Indian Express/ Chetan Nayak)
Now a 15W charger may feel slow for a regular phone, but for a large 6,000mAh battery, it is just too slow. We’d still pick phones with better capacities and slower charging, but 15W may be cutting it too close to deal-breaker territory for most users.
Budget phones are all about cutting the right corners and making compromises where they don’t count. The processor is definitely not one of those aspects. The slower Galaxy M32 isn’t a bad-performing phone, but it lags behind the competition at this price.
While the phone has a promising combination of a good screen, battery and build, it falls behind on aspects like an outdated processor and slower storage and charger. The phone offers a 4GB/64GB variant for a starting price of Rs 14,999. Meanwhile, the higher variant at Rs 16,999 is closer to a phone like the Poco X3 Pro, which offers a much faster flagship chip than the Helio G80.
The phone may still be an option for those who may not need the extra power on the performance but will appreciate the great screen and battery life, but we can’t really recommend this phone to power users or multitaskers at this price.