In 2019, Samsung decided to take back the budget market from Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo and other Chinese brands. And the efforts by the Korean tech giant seem to be paying off. The trade war between the Chinese and the US government has further made things easier for Samsung because it has discouraged consumers from buying products from one of its biggest competitors, Huawei. One of the popular phones below 20k that was released by the Korean Phone maker in its attempt to recapture the budget market from its Chinese rivals is the Samsung Galaxy M20.
A brief look At Specs
- 6.3 inches display
- 1080p by 2340p resolution
- Exynos 7 Octa CPU
- 3GB RAM
- 32GB internal storage (microSD support up to 512GB)
- 5000mAh battery
- Single 13MP back camera
- Single 8MP front camera
- Dual SIM
- 4G support
- Android v8.1 Oreo
Samsung Galaxy M20 Pros & Cons
- A beautiful full HD display
- Good battery life
- Dual camera captures good quality images
- Good performance
- A 15W fast charger for the massive 5000mAh battery
- Face unlock speed is a little slow
- The camera struggles a bit in low light areas
Design & Display
The Galaxy M20 and all the new M series and A series phones are not like the cheap Samsung phones we were used to.
M20 has a waterdrop styled notch. It has minimum bezels and the display occupies most of the front area. The back cover is polycarbonate with glossy finish that makes it very appealing.
Well, although the glossy polycarbonate back looks good, it is a fingerprint magnet. You will have to wipe your phone every now and then to keep it looking attractive. Another solution is getting a leather/silicon back cover. Samsung M20 is available in two colors: Black and Blue (Samsung calls them Charcoal Black and Ocean Blue).
The power and the volume buttons are on the left-hand side. Its ejectable SIM tray is found on the right-hand side. It is a dual SIM phone (nano-SIM) and there is a dedicated slot for a microSD card.
At the bottom, there is a 3.5m headphone jack, USB type C port, and speaker grille. At the back, you will see a dual primary camera, LED flash and a fingerprint sensor.
As you already know, Samsung Galaxy M20 comes with a 6.3 IPS TFT inch infinity V display. This display has full HD+ resolution. The visuals are amazing and crisp. If you are disappointed that it is not an AMOLED display, I can assure you that this IPS TFT display is really good. It is bright and its color reproduction is pretty good. It has good sunlight legibility – meaning you can always view the content on your screen clearly even when you are in direct sunlight. Asahi’s Dragontrail glass display protection helps to prevent scratches and screen damage.
Over the recent past, people have complained about the lack of proximity and ambient light sensors in cheap Samsung phones. Fortunately, that’s not the case with the Samsung M20. This phone also has the facial unlock mechanism, although it’s not as fast as what we have seen in some devices it’s competing with. Hopefully, Samsung will release a software update in the near future that will improve the face unlock feature. I should also mention that the face unlock sensor is not as secure as I think it should be. You can cover your face partially and you will still be able to unlock the phone. Face unlock does not work in places with low light. Fortunately, you can always use the phone’s fingerprint scanner.
Galaxy M20 is equipped with a dual-lens camera at the back. This camera is made up of a 13 megapixels lens with f/1.9 aperture and a wide angle 5 megapixels lens with f/2.2 aperture. The selfie shooter is 8 megapixels.
If you have used a Samsung device in the past, you will find the camera interface of the M20 very familiar. The camera options are well laid out and it’s easy to find everything you need. The only disadvantage of the camera UI is the fact that you have to go to settings to access HDR. However, you can set Auto to prevent this hustle every now and then.
Generally speaking, Samsung Galaxy M20 takes good quality pictures. The colors are good and the shots have good detail. Images captured in HDR mode have better contrast than those captured in the regular mode. Autofocusing and shutter speeds are decent. Unfortunately, you will not be able to use Autofocus when shooting in wide-angle mode.
Samsung M20’s front snapper is 8 megapixels. Although this resolution is not as high as the resolution of front cameras in some of competing phones (like the Tecno Camon 11 Pro), it does the job that it is intended to do very well. The selfies are good and have accurate colors.
The M20 can record 1080p videos at 30fps. There is no 4K video recording despite the fact that the processor installed in the phone supports 4K video recording.
Hardware & Software
The Galaxy M20 is Samsung’s first handset with Exynos 7904 chipset made with the 14nm manufacturing process. The new SoC has two Cortex-A73 cores clocked at 1.8GHz and six Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.6GHz. Two RAM options are available, 3GB and 4GB. The unit I’m using to create this review has 4GB of RAM and multitasking is flawless. There was no instance of lag even when I opened multiple apps at the same time.
A big part of the smooth-running experience when using this smartphone can be credited to Samsung Experience User Interface v9.5. It is unlike the previous UIs which were characterized with bloatware. There are very few preinstalled apps – and many can be uninstalled.
Lock screen wallpapers on the Galaxy M20 are pretty attractive. They change every time you press the power key. These wallpapers are not just random images; they are based on what’s is going on (news). You can change setting to make the phone display images related to your topics of interest only (e.g if you are into tech, you can set your phone to show images related to technology news). Unfortunately, Samsung Galaxy M20 runs on Android Oreo out of the box. Samsung promised that it will be updated to Android Pie in August 2019.
Samsung M series phones have big batteries. The 5000mAh battery powering the M20 is one of its key selling points. After a full recharge, you can go out with this phone, use it on Wi-Fi/4G, use your everyday apps, play a few games and go back home with plenty of juice. It comes with a 15W fast charging adapter that can recharge it from 0% to 100% in around two hours. If you are looking for a smartphone with a long-lasting battery, Samsung M20 is no doubt one of the best affordable phones that you should consider.
This phone shows that Samsung has finally decided to take its competition seriously as far as the budget market is concerned. The phone is attractive, powerful and has an impressive battery life. It has good cameras and the display is amazing. If you are planning to spend around KSh 20,000, this is one of the best phones you can buy in Kenya right now.
Galaxy has so many rivals including Samsung Galaxy A30, Huawei Y9 2019, Tecno Camon 11 Pro, Huawei Y7 Prime, Infinix S4 among others. All of these phones are worthy rivals – they have attractive displays, powerful internals, long lasting batteries, and impressive cameras.