What’s the most important feature in a smartphone these days? If you ask anyone, the general consensus will definitely be the camera.
That’s why smartphone manufacturers are packing smartphones with multiple cameras to attract consumers. Right now, quad cameras have become a norm on smartphones.
One of such smartphone is Samsung Galaxy M31. It’s a mid-range smartphone from Samsung that is carrying a quad-camera setup on the rear and a single sensor on the front.
It looks very capable on paper but how is its camera performance? Let’s check it out!
Samsung M31 Specifications
- Body: 159.2 x 75.1 x 8.9 mm, 191 g, Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
- Display: 6.4 inches Super AMOLED, 1080 x 2340 Resolution, 19.5:9 Aspect Ratio, 403 ppi, Corning Gorilla Glass 3
- Chipset: Exynos 9611 (10nm)
- CPU: Octa-core (4×2.3 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4×1.7 GHz Cortex-A53)
- GPU: Mali-G72 MP3
- Memory: 128GB ROM 6GB RAM, 128GB ROM 8GB RAM, UFS 2.1
- OS: Android 10, One UI 2.0
- Rear Camera: 64 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/1.72″, 0.8µm, PDAF
- Front Camera: 32 MP, f/2.0, 26mm (wide), 1/2.8″, 0.8µm
- Battery: Non-removable Li-Po 6000 mAh battery, Fast charging 15W
- USB: 2.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector, USB On-The-Go
- Misc: Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, 3.5mm Headphone jack
- Colors: Ocean Blue, Space Black, Red
Samsung M31 Price in Nepal: Rs. 30,999 (6GB/128GB) / Rs. 35,699 (8GB/128GB)
Samsung Galaxy M31 Camera Review
- Rear Camera: 64 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/1.72″, 0.8µm, PDAF8 MP, f/2.2, 12mm (ultrawide), 1/4.0″, 1.12µm
- Front Camera: 32 MP, f/2.0, 26mm (wide), 1/2.8″, 0.8µm
Every other smartphone out there has a high megapixel count sensors these days. They have either a 64MP sensor or a 48MP sensor. The surely help in capturing more details but the sensor size is much more important than high megapixel count.
So, do you really need a 64MP sensor?
64MP Main Sensor
Samsung Galaxy M31 is using Samsung’s latest 64MP GW1 sensor. It’s a 1/1.72-inch sensor with a maximum frame rate of 21fps at its full resolution. And, the pixel size is 0.8μm. t’s quite a large sensor that helps the sensor attain more light.
Normally, it captures 16MP pixel binned photos by using a quad Bayer filter. And, its main purpose is to capture super high-resolution photos at day and lowe resolution, pixel-binned shots at night. The pixel binned pictures should be brighter and offer reduced noise.
During daylight, Samsung M31 captures crisp photos with lots of details and a good dynamic range. The color profile of photos is typical of Samsung; saturated and popping colors.
It emphasizes the clouds and greeneries as it boosts blue and green color. The photos are well exposed and they look balanced. Auto HDR also works well and helps in high dynamic range situations.
Moving over to 64MP images, they are crisp and obviously have more details. But, HDR is not available in the 64MP mode. So, exposure is better in normal 16MP than 64MP mode. You can notice in the images below that the 16MP images retain more detail on the skies compared to 64MP mode.
Also, 16MP images are brighter than 64MP images. In general usage, there is no need to capture 64MP images. 16MP images look more appealing and it won’t eat up your smartphone’s memory as fast as the 64MP images.
As with every phone, low-light images tend to have noise and the pictures are not as sharp. If the scene is too dark, it doesn’t try to overexpose though which I think is a good move.
You can use the Night mode to reduce noise and get more light into the scene. The photos turn out much better with Night Mode. It adds light to the scene and makes the picture sharper.
Photos in Night mode are slightly cropped compared to normal photos. This is done to make the image more appealing as the edges of the pictures tend to have more noise.
If it’s pitch dark them images will look like if they are not focused but that’s normal on a mid-range phone. Pictures taken with night mode are sharpened and have better exposure. But still, low-light images out of the M31 is only average. However, I would recommend using night mode more often than not.
8MP Ultra wide-angle Sensor
Samsung Galaxy M31 has an 8MP Ultra wide-angle sensor with an effective resolution of 3264 x 2448 and 123 degrees FOV. It’s an 8MP sensor so details are quite average. But, it does a fine job during daylight with a good amount of detail. The images look sharp under daylight and have the same color profile as the main sensor.
Like the main sensor, it also boosts green and blue colors. However, the image quality takes a hit under overcast situations.
You can notice that it loses some details in dark areas and we can also notice slight noise at the edges. It gets worse in low-light but that happens in every phone. It’s a good 8MP Ultrawide camera but a 12MP sensor would have made things much more impressive.
Samsung Galaxy M31has a 5MP depth sensor which helps in portrait photos. Samsung calls it live focus mode and it work’s really well.
The edge detection is really good but it’s not perfect around the hair. The depth effect also looks quite natural. It doesn’t feel like a cheap blue effect. The images also share the same color profile as the main sensor with saturated color.
HDR also does a pretty good job of maintaining details in the background. 9 times out of 10, it will keep the highlights under control even during daylight.
Samsung M31 has a 5MP macro sensor. You mostly get 2MP macro sensors in this category, so that extra detail does make pictures more appealing. But the color profile is different than the main sensor, it’s dull and doesn’t look vibrant.
It can get a bit tricky to capture an image with the right focus but if you get the focus right the image will turn out good. It’s more than usable on social media.
Samsung Galaxy M31 has a 32MP front camera which does a very good job. The 32MP sensor provides good details of the face but the images do look slightly warmer. But what I like the most is the HDR. It manages to keep the highlights under control even when there’s plenty of light in the background.
Now, live focus selfies arent’ that good. The edge detection is not quite good. It had a very hard time with my hair. And, the blur effect looks artificial as well. But I liked how the HDR was still able to keep the highlights under control.
Samsung M31 supports 4k video recording but there’s no 60fps option even in 1080p. 4k videos are crisp with good details but you lose digital stabilization on 4k resulting in shaky videos. Stabilization improves greatly when you drop to 1080p but you lose details on 1080p. The videos have a good dynamic range and the color is similar to the photos. Footages turn out really nice with popping colors.
The digital stabilization is not that impressive, you will see some warping as it tries to stabilize the footage. Now, it has a super steady feature at 1080p but what it does is, it actually captures video from the wide-angle camera and crops in slightly to give you stabilized videos.
This results in stabilized footage but details aren’t impressive since it is using the wide-angle camera. We’ve included the videos captured from M31 below, check them out.
Samsung M31 – Super Steady Video Footage
Samsung M31 – 1080p Video Footage
Samsung M31 – 4k Video Footage
Great Overall Camera Performance
Samsung M31’s quad-camera is one of the best in this category. For Rs. 30,999, it has an excellent main snapper that works really well in daylight conditions. The pictures have balanced exposure and look sharp.
The ultrawide angle sensor also works really well and I prefer the ultrawide angle sensor of Samsung among other manufacturers. They are marginally better in terms of detail and colors. It’s 123-degree FOV is also one of the widest in this category.
5MP depth sensor and the macro sensor also perform well. However, they should have added a 12MP ultrawide angle sensor instead of the extra depth sensor and macro sensor. Videos are quite good for the price. It’s not like, you will be creating cinematic shots with this phone but it won’t disappoint you.
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