Samsung Galaxy A31 Review

After the Samsung Galaxy A51 and Samsung Galaxy A71, the series continues with the release of Samsung Galaxy A31 is the successor of the Samsung Galaxy A30 launched last year. The Samsung Galaxy A31 is the midranger with quad cameras, Super AMOLED display, and 5,000 mAh battery. Let’s see how does it stand against the competition, here’s our Samsung Galaxy A31 review.

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Samsung Galaxy A31 Specifications

  • Display: 6.4-inch Infinity-U Super AMOLED display, Full HD+ resolution (2400 x 1080 pixels)
  • Software: One UI 2.0, Android 10
  • CPU: 12nm MediaTek Helio P65 SoC (MT6768)
  • GPU: Mali-G52 MC2 Graphics
  • Memory: 6 GB LPDDR4X RAM
  • Storage: 128 GB internal, expandable up to 512 GB
  • Main Camera: 48 MP rear camera with LED flash, f/2.0 aperture + 8 MP 123° ultra-wide-angle camera with f/2.2 aperture + 5 MP depth sensor with f/2.4 aperture + 5 MP macro sensor with f/2.4 aperture
  • Selfie Camera: 20 MP front camera with f/2.2 aperture
  • Others: Fingerprint sensor, Samsung Pay, Dolby Atmos
  • Connectivity Options: Dual 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 ac (2.4GHz + 5GHz), Bluetooth 5, GPS + GLONASS, USB Type-C
  • Battery: 5,000 mAh with 15W fast charging
  • Price: ₹21,999

Design, Display & Build Quality

When it comes to the design, the overall build and looks are quite similar to its upper-end siblings, Samsung Galaxy A51, and Samsung Galaxy A71. The backside has a geometric design with a glossy finish and it shines when light falls on it. The Samsung Galaxy A31 comes in Prism Crush Black, Prism Crush White, and Prism Crush Blue.

The back has quite an identical camera setup, like the Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite, the L-shape design with an LED flash looks fairly big enough. The frames aren’t metallic, the plastic frames alongwith polycarbonate body make it a little light in weight. But we really liked the Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite built quality, metallic frames, glass body, and very sturdy.

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The front has a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display with a screen-to-body ratio of 84.9% and resolution of Full HD+ (1080 x 2400 pixels) with a 20:9 aspect ratio. The front side has a notch at the center that holds a 20 MP f/2.2 selfie camera. Samsung calls it Infinity-U display.

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At the bottom, the phone has a USB Type-C port, a 3.5 mm jack, a microphone, and loudspeakers. Another noise cancellation microphone is on the top. The right side has power and volume keys whereas the left side holds a triple-slot SIM tray.

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Software & User Interface

The Samsung Galaxy A31 runs on the Android 10 with Samsung’s OneUI 2.0. The OneUI 2.0 is a customized interface with new additions compared to the predecessor OneUI 2.0. The software has additional features such as the Always On Display, Edge Lighting, Dolby Atmos, Blue light filter, Dark mode, and so on.

You will find bloatware on the phone which you can remove if not required, some third-party apps like Netflix, Facebook, OneDrive can’t be removed. Although the performance of the interface was smooth and quite fast in our initial use, it loses overtime when more apps are installed. We got lag quite a few times, don’t expect some great performance out of it if you are a multitasker.

To know more about the OneUI 2.0, refer to our past reviews of the Samsung Galaxy smartphones.

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Hardware, Performance, & Gaming

Talking about the internals, the Samsung Galaxy A31 uses a MediaTek Helio P65 (MT6768) octa-core processor patched with the 6 GB RAM and 128 GB internal storage that can expand via a microSD card. There is only one variant of the Galaxy A31 and that is 6 GB + 128 GB. Here’s what the CPU-Z app shows about the specs info.

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CPU-Z

Samsung, this time, uses a MediaTek chip instead of the homegrown Exynos. The MediaTek Helio P65 SoC falls behind the Snapdragon 712 SoC found on the realme XT that costs less than the Galaxy A31.

Performance users should pick a device with a better CPU, a Snapdragon 730G is far better in terms of performance, gamers note it. The Snapdragon 730G is available on Samsung Galaxy A71 as well as on the realme X2.

To see the numbers, we performed some benchmarks, and it turns out that the performance is slightly below the competition when we compare the phones in this price segment. The Geekbench 5 score is 310 points and 1179 points in single-core CPU and multi-core CPU respectively, 748 points in GPU.

On the gaming side, the Samsung Galaxy A31 is good for mainstream games, not great. The Mali-G52 MC2 runs many games with medium to high settings, but to run at full graphics settings, you should pick a flagship device. The Adreno 618 found on the Snapdragon 730G is much better for gamers.

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Cameras

About the cameras, the Samsung Galaxy A31 equips a quad camera setup. The primary camera is of 48 MP, 8 MP ultra-wide-angle, 5 MP depth camera, and 5 MP macro camera. The camera setup is pretty much identical to the Samsung Galaxy A51, the Samsung Galaxy M31 and the Samsung Galaxy A71 uses a 64 MP camera module instead.

The camera offers a variety of features including the wide-angle mode that also works for video, macro mode, live focus, pro mode, and AR features. We didn’t find any 4K video recording feature as well as 1080p video at 60fps. It doesn’t capture slow-motion videos whereas the competition is far better in terms of camera features.

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Speaking of the quality of the photos, the images we captured in the daylight are somewhat good, if you are able to capture it properly, the rivals here capture better. We also found issues with the camera focusing at times, the object isn’t clear, the edges aren’t truly crisp. However, this could be resolved in the updates if Samsung plans to.

The camera is just fulfilling the requirements of the ongoing quad cameras trend, there’s nothing interesting about the rest of the camera features. The camera seems average for photography and mediocre for videography, don’t expect anything great out of it.

Take a look at these camera samples shot on Samsung Galaxy A31 cameras.

Samsung Galaxy A31 Camera Samples

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Ultra WIde Angle

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Ultra Wide Angle

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Daylight
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Low Light

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Macro Shot

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Battery Life

The Samsung Galaxy A31 packs a massive 5,000 mAh battery that can last up to 2 days on average use. It supports fast charging of 15W to help cut down the charging time. At this price, there are phones available that offer faster charging i.e. 30W.

Verdict

Moving to the verdict, the Samsung Galaxy A31 is good for those who want a phone with attractive design, light in weight, and a good display and battery life. The Galaxy A31 is a fairly good upgrade over the Galaxy A30, the battery is upgraded, the performance is now better, and the camera is upgraded to quad-setup. But camera enthusiasts should find a better deal, you will miss the 4K, slow-motion, and 60fps video capturing capabilities.

Also, for those who are looking for better performance in this price range can choose Snapdragon 730G powered phones such as the realme X2, POCO X2, Redmi Note 9 Pro that offers a comprehensive overall package.

Strength

  • Light Weight & Standout Looks
  • Crisp AMOLED Display
  • Reliable Battery Life
  • Dedicated microSD Card Support

Weakness

  • No 4K and 1080p at 60fps video recording
  • No slow-motion video recording

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