Samsung Galaxy M32 review: Makes you wonder why the Galaxy A32 exists
The Galaxy M32 is yet another attempt from Samsung to rebrand an existing phone from one of its other lineups. Recently, there came the Galaxy M42 5G, which is identical to the Galaxy A42 5G and doesn’t make a lot of sense at the asking price. But, thankfully, things are a little different when it comes to the Galaxy M32.
The M32 shares a whole lot with the Galaxy A32, like a 90Hz Super AMOLED Full HD+ display, MediaTek Helio G80 chipset, and a 64MP rear camera, but there are a few changes. Samsung has upgraded two key features: You get a larger battery (6,000 mAh vs 5,000 mAh), and support for 25W fast charging even if the box comes with a 15W charger.
Samsung has also downgraded a couple of specs. The 5MP macro and 5MP depth cameras on the back have been replaced by 2-megapixel sensors, but considering both of those cameras are gimmicks that don’t bring much to the table anyway, I wouldn’t call these downgrades, especially when you’re getting something much, much better in return – the bigger battery and faster charging, as mentioned above.
Plus, the Galaxy M32 starts at around $70 lower than the Galaxy A32 for the base variant, and that instantly makes it a much better deal on paper. But is that enough to make this phone worthy of your attention? Well, that’s the question I’m going to answer in this review. However, unlike our usual reviews, this will be a short one, given just how much the M32 is similar to the Galaxy A32.
You can read our Galaxy A32 review to find out everything you need to know about the M32’s display quality, cameras, performance, audio quality, and software. The short version is that you are getting a beautiful high refresh rate Super AMOLED display, a main camera with good daylight performance, the latest — though limited — version of Android and One UI, and fairly decent gaming performance.
What isn’t so good is all the lag and stutter you have to face while navigating the interface and doing the simplest of things, like switching between two apps. The cameras don’t offer a lot of detail when the lighting isn’t right, the speaker is too quiet, and you only get a 15W charger in the box even though the M32 supports 25W charging.
Now, here’s what’s different on the Galaxy M32. First, the design. Instead of the clean, cute and pattern-less rear panel of the Galaxy A32, you’re getting a textured back with thick vertical lines running across it. Whether or not you like it will depend on your preferences. It’s not ugly or anything, I just found it to be a little too flashy. Not bad for the asking price, certainly, but I would have preferred the clean look Samsung has been offering on the 2021 Galaxy A series phones.
Then there’s battery life: The Galaxy A32’s 5,000 mAh battery lets you go through two days of light use on a single charge, but thanks to the bump to a 6,000 mAh cell, you can do two days with a mix of light and heavy use on the Galaxy M32. With heavy use, you’re looking at all-day battery life (with the high refresh rate turned on at all times). In short, it’s terrific, and easily the best thing about this phone.
Charging with the included 15W charger is slow: almost 2.5 hours to go from 0 to 100. But if you spend a little extra and grab Samsung’s 25W super fast charger, the charging time is cut down to an hour and 40 minutes. That’s very quick for a 6,000 mAh battery, and the fact that you’re even getting 25W charging at the Galaxy M32’s price point is impressive, at least as far as Samsung phones are concerned.
All in all, the Galaxy M32’s price tag helps it stand out from everything else that Samsung is offering right now in the sub-$250 segment. I only wish Samsung had used a better processor so the performance wasn’t so bad. Still, for what the M32 costs you, you’re getting plenty of good stuff, and you could do a lot worse. You know, like getting the horribly priced Galaxy A32 instead.
|Excellent Super AMOLED display||Too much lag and stutter for a 2021 phone|
|90Hz refresh rate makes scrolling smooth… when it works||Cameras suffer from lack of detail in many situations|
|Versatile camera setup with good daylight performance||Macro camera is mostly useless|
|Terrific battery life||Speaker too quiet|
|25W super fast charging support||15W charger in the box|
|Android 11 and One UI 3.1 out of the box|
|Decent gaming performance|