Samsung Galaxy M21 hands-on preview: Another budget home run?


Last updated: May 19th, 2020 at 10:38 UTC+02:00

Affordable Galaxy smartphones have been grabbing all the attention lately. The Galaxy A51, according to data from multiple market research firms, was the best-selling phone from Samsung in the first quarter of this year, and even cheaper Galaxy A series phones, like the Galaxy A10, have been dominating the charts as well. With the COVID-19 pandemic creating economic uncertainty the world over, budget and lower mid-range smartphones will probably garner even more attention going forward, especially in price-sensitive markets like India.

It’s a good thing then that Samsung has already been focusing heavily on the budget segment in India since last year. The Galaxy M series has been a massive hit in the country, and two months ago, the Galaxy M21 was announced as the latest model in the lineup. With India recently lifting some of its lockdown restrictions, Samsung was finally able to send us a Galaxy M21 for testing, and it’s time to talk about our initial impressions of the device.

Galaxy M21 hands-on: A Galaxy M31 with lesser cameras

We can keep it quite simple and short: The Galaxy M21 is basically a Galaxy M31 with fewer cameras and a lower-resolution main camera on the front and back. It has no macro camera, its main rear camera is a 48MP sensor instead of a 64MP sensor, and the selfie camera is a 20MP sensor instead of a 32MP sensor. The M21 also has less RAM on the base model. In fact, these differences between the Galaxy M31 and M21 are pretty much the same as those between the M31 and M30s, making it clear that Samsung is just rehashing things and changing a thing or two to come up with new M series phones.

And that’s not a bad thing. The Galaxy M31 is a pretty compelling budget smartphone, and the cuts Samsung has made on the Galaxy M21 won’t notably ruin the experience. You still get a massive 6,000 mAh battery, a beautiful 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display, and the same Exynos processor that powers the considerably costlier Galaxy A51. We’ll do a full review of the phone in the coming days, but I think I can already say that for the asking price, the M21 looks destined to be yet another home run from Samsung in the budget segment.

PhoneReview Galaxy M21
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