Phone

The top Galaxy M20 features (yes, the notch offers benefit as well)

The Galaxy M20 is, as we said in our hands-on experience, Samsung’s most competitive budget smartphone yet, with an impressive price tag. The M20 has made its debut in India along with the Galaxy M10, and it’s Samsung’s first budget phone with a notch. The notch may raise eyebrows after the company has spent some time making fun of Apple and other OEMs for having one on their devices, but the Galaxy M20 comes with a number of standout features that make it easier to look past that intrusive cutout at the top of the display.

Whether those features will combine to make the Galaxy M20 a good overall package is something we will only be able to say in our full review. For now, let’s take a look at the standout features one by one.

6.3-inch screen on a compact body (thanks to the notch)

Yes, the notch may look ugly, but it does serve an important purpose: It has allowed Samsung to equip the Galaxy M20 with a 6.3-inch Infinity-V display while keeping the overall dimensions smaller than Galaxy phones with 6-inch displays, such as the Galaxy A8+ (2018). Thanks to the notch, the bezels up top have shrunk considerably. The front camera resides inside the notch and the area on its left and right is used to display Android’s status bar, leaving the rest of the display for your apps. And the phone just blacks out the entire strip next to the notch when you run a game or video, so while the viewing area is slightly smaller for videos and games, the notch doesn’t become an obstruction.

5,000 mAh battery with fast charging

You don’t really need an explanation for why a 5,000 mAh battery is a standout feature, do you? That’s bigger than anything we’ve seen on a budget Galaxy smartphone before, and only the second time we’re seeing a 5,000 mAh battery on any Samsung phone (the first was the Galaxy A9 Pro from 2016). What’s impressive is that the M20 doesn’t have a giant footprint despite the high-capacity battery. And the M20 also gets fast charging, another first for a budget Galaxy. Of course, a 5,000 mAh battery needs to be able to charge quickly, but it’s still nice to see fast charging finally making it to Samsung’s budget lineup.

Dual rear camera with 5MP ultra-wide camera

Add another point to the list of firsts: The Galaxy M20 introduces an ultra-wide camera to Samsung’s budget segment. And it’s also a feature that you won’t find on any other phone in the price segment the M20 will compete in, so Samsung has beaten the Chinese manufacturers in this regard. It shows that the company has thought things through instead of just hurriedly putting the Galaxy M20 together as yet another half-hearted attempt to fight the Chinese competition.

And believe us when we say ultra-wide cameras can be useful, more so than a secondary camera dedicated to bokeh pictures. Don’t worry, though, as Samsung has built in a software-based Live Focus camera mode for the rear and front cameras for those who like taking bokeh pictures. It only seems to work for people and not objects, but something is better than nothing, right?

Exynos 7904 chipset with Cortex-A73 performance cores

Oh wait, another feature that we haven’t seen on any budget Galaxy smartphone before? Yep, the Exynos 7904 powering the Galaxy M20 is special because two of its eight processor cores are of the Cortex-A73 variety (the other six are Cortex-A53 cores). Samsung has traditionally used chipsets with only power-efficient cores for budget phones, which has often been the main reason behind dismal performance on affordable Galaxy devices.

With two Cortex-A73 cores, the Galaxy M20 will be able to perform better with heavy tasks such as gaming. Samsung India says PUBG is playable on the M20, and that’s important because no existing budget Galaxy phone can do that without putting you through a lot of stutter and input lag. And don’t worry, we have already tested it, and PUBG is indeed playable without issues at the default graphics settings.

  • Model: SM-M205F
  • Dimensions: 156.6 x 74.5 x 8.8mm
  • Display: 6.3"(160.02mm) TFT
  • CPU: Exynos 7904
  • Camera: 13 MP, CMOS F 1.9 & 5 MP, CMOS F2.2 Ultra Wide

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locarno
locarno

What about fortnite ?

djcbs
djcbs

The notch offering “benefits” is completely false. Not only you do NOT get “extra space for content” but your status bar also becomes less useful with the amount of space available actually reduced. And while on a screen with no bezels the status bar goes away when you’re watching content on full screen, on a notched abortion you get that black bar which reduces the screen size anyway, making the notch even more pointless. Furthermore, when you already have a screen resolution that’s mostly pointless – as 99.9% of content online is 16:9 – having notches just makes the software… Read more »

locarno
locarno

The status bar is higher than on displays without notch.

djcbs
djcbs

Yes. And? You’re not getting much more screen real estate by having that as content will still stop below the notch. But you’re still losing space for the icons by having a portion of the status bar taken away by the notch.

In the end, the only place where you’re actually getting extra screen is on paper.