03 June 2019
Samsung Galaxy M30 was launched in February by the South Korean company. It follows the M10 and M20 from Samsung and aims at taking on the likes of Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2, Realme 3 Pro and Redmi Note 7 and 7 Pro. The phone comes with a huge OLED display, a massive battery pack, triple camera set up all in the affordable price segment.
While everything looks good on the paper, it’s the day to day performance which makes a difference. Let us find out if the Samsung Galaxy M30 is able to help Samsung gain the momentum and challenge the budget kings like Realme 3 Pro or the Redmi Note 7 Pro:
- 6.4-inch Full HD+ 19.5:9 Super AMOLED display
- Octa-Core Exynos 7904 14nm processor with Mali-G71 GPU
- 4GB RAM + 64GB storage / 6GB RAM + 128GB Storage, expandable up to 512GB
- Android 8.1 (Oreo) with Samsung Experience 9.5
- Dual SIM
- 13MP primary camera with f/1.9 aperture, 5-megapixel secondary camera with f/2.2, 5MP ultra-wide angle camera with 123-degree wide-angle lens
- 16MP front camera with f/2.0 aperture
- Fingerprint sensor
- 3.5mm audio jack, FM Radio, Dolby Atmos
- Dual 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 5, GPS + GLONASS
- 5000mAh battery with fast charging
The box contents are regular,
- The Samsung Galaxy M30
- USB A to USB C charging cable
- Charging brick
- Sim ejector tool
- And a pair of earphones
Samsung is probably the only manufacturer to bundle earphones in the box these days. Kudos to that.
The Samsung Galaxy M30 comes with a plastic rear panel with curved corners and rounded edges. These rounded corners make the large device easy grip and comfortable to hold on to. Since the back is plastic, the phone is very light in weight and despite its 5000 mAh battery, it never gets uncomfortable.
The rear panel comes with a two-tone gradient finish. The device we had was a Blue-Black Gradiation variant, though it looks good since it is made of plastic, it gets easily scratched and doesn't offer a premium feel like the glass-backed devices from the competition.
The front of the device is a large infinity-U display with a U-shaped notch, on the left, there is a triple slot tray with dual nano sim card slot and a dedicated SD card slot which can support up to 512 GB of external memory. On the right, you’ll find the volume rocker and the power button. On the top, there is a secondary noise-canceling mike, while on the bottom you have a 3.5-mm headphone jack, a Type-C charging slot, and speakers. On the rear, you have a vertically aligned triple camera set up along with an LED flash and a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor.
The buttons are easily reachable and have good tactile feedback. The phone isn’t heavy as mentioned above and is very thin. So, slipping it in the rear pockets of your jeans isn’t an issue at all.
Now let us talk about the two of the most important features of the phone, Camera, and Battery. The Samsung Galaxy M30 is one of the very few devices in this segment to feature that come with the triple camera setup. The setup on this phone is quite interesting itself, the primary camera is a 13-megapixel shooter with f/1.9 aperture, a 5-megapixel secondary camera for depth sensing with f/2.2 aperture and a 5-megapixel wide-angle selfie shooter and 123-degree field of view. This wide-angle sensor can capture a large field of view and adds a very interesting perspective to the pictures you capture. Though you need to ensure that the composition is perfect else the image shot in this mode may look funny and distorted.
The camera app itself comes loaded with a lot of options like Panorama, Pro, Beauty, Live focus, sticker, and continuous shots. Samsung has kept the camera app simple and easy to use. Pictures shot on the Galaxy M30 have ample details present The images shot on this phone look better than most in this price range, color reproduction is also up to the mark. Though at some places you’ll find colors very bright and highlighted from the background, that’s mostly due to the bright and vibrant AMOLED display that the phone houses.
Focusing on objects placed too close is not its forte’ though the camera is able to focus quickly on selected objects placed at ample distance even when the scene changes. A considersable amount of noise can be noticed in Images shot in low light situations. Selfies come out bright and detailed thanks to the 16-megapixel sensor present on the front. If you’re not a fan of face beauty mode, though present there, it is easy to turn it off. Live focus of the selfie camera works as expected and edge detection is up to the mark, however, once you start zooming in, you’ll feel; the painting like effect.
The videos shot on the phone are good and smooth, thanks to EIS. Though the phone only shoots FHD videos while the competition devices like Redmi Note 7 Pro is able to shoot 4K videos.
Talking about the battery backup, the Samsung Galaxy M30 comes with a 5000 mAh battery pack which supports fast charging. During our test, the battery lasted for a day and a half day approx. with some juice still left. In regular usage, you can get almost 2 days of backup with out any issue. This backup will improve further once the phone gets an Android 9 Pie update offering system-wide dark mode. Samsung has provided a fast charger in the box and it is helpful in case you feel like topping up the battery again. It took close to 2 hours for the battery to go 100% from zero which, considering the battery size, is impressive.
After highlights, lets us talk about not so great features of the Galaxy M30. Google is going to announce Android Q in a few months while Android 9 Pie was announced in October last year. Still, only Samsung knows why it chose to ship the Galaxy M30 with Android 8 out of the box. It runs on the older Samsung Experience UI 9.5 and the icons along with the UI feel like the age-old TouchWiz UI from Samsung.
Also, you need to swipe up to reach the app drawer, however, if you swipe up again, you’ll end up on the home again. This is unlike the most UI’s or third-party launcher apps and may need some time getting used to this. Another device with almost identical hardware specifications but with a dual rear camera setup is Samsung Galaxy A30 comes with Android 9 Pie.
The Samsung Galaxy M30 comes with an Octa-core Exynos 7904 Soc. It is the same chipset that powers the Galaxy M20 and A30 and while this is good enough for your day to day tasks, its performance cannot be matched with the similarly priced devices from competition powered by Snapdragon 660 or 665 SoC. However, its overall performance is much better than its pricier sibling Galaxy A50.
Regular gaming isn’t an issue it’s the high-end gaming where the device falls short of expectations. Everyone’s favorite PUBG only played on low graphics level which Asphalt 9 experienced frame drops. Other regular activities like calls, messages, browsing, streaming videos (it comes with Widevine L1 certification for HD streaming) worked well as expected. Though the phone did get considerably hot making it uncomfortable to receive or make calls. This normally happened when there were a few tasks running in the background.
The fingerprint sensor located at the rear is fast and works accurately. Registering the fingerprint sensor was also the quickest I’ve ever done on any smartphone. Just a swipe and the phone registers your new fingerprint sensor. Same is the case with face unlock and it worked 8 out of 10 times even in low light scenarios.
The display on Galaxy M30 is probably the best one can get on a phone in this segment. The 6.4-inches AMOLED display comes with a U-shaped notch and offers a high screen to body ratio. Its display is bright and color reproductions are on point. Sunlight legibility isn’t the best, but we can expect only much from a budget device. Audio from the earpiece is loud and clear while the down-firing speaker is loud enough for playing music/audio in a mid-sized hall.
Samsung in the past has flooded the market with devices boasting similar specifications. The Galaxy M30, which is an upgrade to the Galaxy M20, is no exception. If you’re looking for a device with a brilliant display, long battery life with fast charge support and more than decent camera specs than Galaxy M30 is the device, however, given the market condition now, there are many alternates offering better hardware at a similar price.
Hopefully, a software update, which brings in Android 9 and other improvements including the much-needed low light performance, does the trick for Samsung Galaxy M30.