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Samsung had been making waves in the mid-range smartphone market with the Galaxy A51. I was surprised to know that it’s Samsung’s best-seller in Q1 2020, according to Canalys. Now, we have the new Galaxy A31.

And I really like Samsung’s Galaxy A series naming scheme because you know that the Galaxy A31 is going to have a lower price tag compared to the Galaxy A51. Question is – is the Galaxy A31 worth buying?

MSI Creator 17 Mini-LED

Design

We now have a pretty standard design across the Galaxy A series of smartphones. This Galaxy A31 comes with lines running from the top to the bottom of the phone alongside a few prismatic lines to make it look like a gem. It looks professionally sleek yet stylish at the same time.

Samsung Galaxy A31

And with many other Samsung smartphones, the Galaxy A31 is thin. It’s good to know that Samsung retained its design philosophy even for the Galaxy A31.

Because of Samsung’s attention to the design, the Galaxy A31 is just very nice to hold, even with its relatively big screen.

Samsung Galaxy A31

Screen

Speaking of its screen, the Galaxy A31 comes with a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED screen with 2400×1080 pixels in resolution. With Samsung’s fine-tuning and magic sprinkled in, this is a gorgeous screen.

Samsung Galaxy A31

And to top it all off, Samsung is using the tiny Infinity-U notch. It gets the job done and takes up the least amount of space.

Samsung Galaxy A31

The cameras

It’s a rather weird camera setup for the Galaxy A31. There are a total of 4 different cameras on the phone and three of them are used to take pictures:

  • Quadruple rear-facing cameras
    • Main: 48MP f/1.20 with PDAF
    • Ultra-wide angle: 8MP f/2.2
    • Macro: 5MP f/2.4
    • Depth sensor
  • 20MP f/2.2 selfie camera

Samsung Galaxy A31

The pictures that come out of it is actually pretty good. It still has the signature Samsung saturation but with a much colder white balance when using the ultra-wide angle camera. Overall, the Galaxy A31 manages to take fantastic pictures.

However, taking pictures in low-light results in some bland-looking picture. There’s no night mode on the Galaxy A31, by the way.

Performance

Let’s first start with the specs.

  • 6.4-inch Super AMOLED screen
    • 2400×1080 pixels in resolution
    • Infinity-U notch
  • MediaTek Helio P65 chipset
  • 6GB RAM
  • 128GB internal storage
    • Expandable via microSD
  • 5,000mAh battery
    • 15W fast charging

In terms of benchmarks, it’s somewhere near the Snapdragon 665 performance. That Helio P65 chipset isn’t exactly new at this time – but hey, it’s still a very capable chip.

Samsung Galaxy A31 3DMark benchmark Samsung Galaxy A31 VRMark benchmark Samsung Galaxy A31 Geekbench 4 benchmark Samsung Galaxy A31 Antutu 7 benchmark

Gaming

And hey – the gaming experience is pretty decent. I played PUBG Mobile on “smooth-ultra” and it worked great. And the gaming experience is further elevated by its beautiful Super AMOLED screen.

Samsung Galaxy A31 PUBG Mobile

Battery & charging

With a 5,000mAh battery, the Samsung Galaxy A31 can last for quite a long time. Clocking in at nearly 16 hours, the Galaxy A31 is one of the top performers in our battery life test.

Samsung Galaxy A31 battery life benchmark

It also supports 15W fast charging – which charges the Galaxy A31 from 15% to 100% in slightly more than 2 hours. Pretty good considering that it’s going to last for more than a day.

Samsung Galaxy A31 fast charging benchmark

The best software experience

But for Samsung – their smartphones are expensive when compared to others within the same price range – but that’s perfectly reasonable because good software results in good user experience and we take it for granted.

Samsung Galaxy A31

We only complain about bad software – but rarely praise good software. And the Samsung One UI is by far my favorite Android skin to date. Together with the size of the Galaxy A31, using the phone one-handed is pretty good.

It has a bunch of features that help increase our productivity – like the Edge Panel, which is also present on the Galaxy A31.

Samsung Galaxy A31 Samsung Pay
Yes, it supports Boost now too.

Also, the Galaxy A31 has Samsung Pay. And there is no replacement for these sorts of utilities – so it does warrant the extra price premium over its rivals.

And at RM1,099, should you buy the Samsung Galaxy A31?

Yes. If you want to try the Samsung ecosystem alongside the amazing software experience that One UI offers, this is a great buy. The overall usage experience – barring gaming – is actually pretty good.

Samsung Galaxy A31

After using multiple phones from multiple different brands across the years, Samsung’s software has improved drastically and is vastly different from what it used to be. And I can’t put a price on good software because it saves me a lot of frustration.

At the price of RM1,099, Samsung is once again bringing the entry point to its vast ecosystem to a low price.

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