Samsung has been releasing innovative smartphones across all of its lineups including the affordable and battery monster Galaxy M-series in an attempt to compete against the various Chinese OEMs out there. The newly launched Samsung Galaxy M32 is the successor to last year’s M31 and brings some major upgrades including an Helio G80 SoC, 90Hz display, Android 11 out-of-the-box, and 25W fast charging support on-board.
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Well, the specifications on the paper look really nice but you should actually consider a smartphone’s actual performance before deciding whether to buy it or not. Here’s a complete hands-on review of the Samsung Galaxy M32 that you must read.
Prices in India, Variants, Availability
Samsung Galaxy M32 is available on Amazon India with its first sale on 28th June. Its 4GB+64GB variant is available at Rs 14,999/- while the higher 6GB+128GB variant is available at Rs 16,999/-. Get up to Rs 1,250/- off on using ICICI Bank Credit and Debit Card on Amazon India. Select between Light Blue and Black colour variants available with the same.
Specs at a glance
Before we talk in detail about the Samsung Galaxy M32 let’s see what the on-paper specs look like?
- Display: 16.21cm (6.4”) Infinity-U 90Hz refresh rate Display
- Processor: Mediatek Helio G80
- Storage: 4GB/64GB, 6GB/128GB
- Software: OneUI 3.1 based on Android 11
- Rear cameras: 64MP (main) + 8MP (ultra-wide) + 2MP macro + 2MP (depth)
- Selfie Camera: 20MP
- Battery: 6000 mAh, 15W in-box, supports 25W fast charging
- Weight: 196g
- Dimensions: 159.30 x 74.00 x 9.30mm
Design and Build
Samsung Galaxy M32 is all-plastic except the front. Although plastic is a way to go for cheaper phones. Anyways, Galaxy M32 arrives with a polycarbonate back with a square camera setup on the top-left corner with a quad-camera setup. There’s a LED flash under the camera setup and a Samsung branding at the bottle and that’s it.
The back panel is parallel lines passing through its top to bottom. These shimmering lines ensure that you have an uber grip when using the phone in one hand. Plus, the phone weighs 196g which is although not more, it isn’t that much, to be honest. You would still end up with some strain if you hold the phone for long given its weight. There’s nothing protruding outside such as the camera setup as it is almost flushed with the back panel which is another thing to worry less about.
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There’s a side-mounted fingerprint scanner on the right, clubbed with a power button as it performs both functions. There’s a volume rocker on top of the power button although I personally feel it is raised too high for reachability.
On the front, you get a Corning Gorilla Glass v5 on top for extreme protection against falls and drops. The front display is flat as well with an Infinity-U notch at the middle. Check out the Display section for more.
Since the phone has an all-plastic build, it isn’t vulnerable to cracks and breaks similar to a glass back which comes as a blessing in disguise, to be honest.
There’s no IP rating on Samsung Galaxy M32 which is a blow, to be honest. I would’ve loved at least some kind of protection such as Moto G40 Fusion (also an alternative) has an IP53 rating.
Samsung Galaxy M32 is paired with a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED panel with a 1080×2400 pixels resolution and 90Hz refresh rate on-board. The display size is the same as the Galaxy M31 although it has a greater refresh rate and 800 nits of brightness on board. Also, the aspect ratio has been increased from 19.5:9 to 20:9 with M32.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way first, the display is huge and offers a much larger display for viewing movies, TV shows, and gaming. Now, having a 90Hz refresh rate is way better than a 60Hz display because it offers smooth transitions and animations.
The display is all good with great viewing angles, crisp and vibrant colours, and an unobstructed view thanks to a tiny U-shaped notch although a punch-hole would have been better. Talking about what the display cannot do, it can’t play HD or HDR content on OTT platforms. Now, the thing is, it is either the smartphone that failed to get appropriate certifications from these OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and others to stream HD or HDR content.
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On the contrary, it could be because of the Helio G80 SoC as it could be limiting or restricting access to high-quality content. To shed more light on it, the 90Hz RR is great but still, the animations on the M32 are laggy and stutters at times. It is likely that the G80 SoC is underwhelming to handle HRR on the display and HDR content playback which is a major blow to the users.
Overall, the display, albeit being an sAMOLED, is average unless Samsung uses some kind of trickery to update HDR (or at least HD) certifications as well as update the system’s response on handling 90Hz refresh rate properly.
Unlike Galaxy M31, Galaxy M32 gets a MediaTek processor under the hood. The device gets an Helio G80 SoC fabricated on a 12nm node and has two 2.0GHz Cortex-A75 cores and six 1.8GHz Cortex-A55 cores. Graphics are handled by a Mali-G52 MC2 GPU while the device has 64GB/128GB eMMC 5.1 storage options along with 4/6GB RAM.
Galaxy M32 uses an Helio G80 SoC and to be honest, I am not a fan of MediaTek chipsets unless it’s a Dimensity lineup. I guess Samsung did a downgrade from using a Snapdragon processor to G80 SoC which is sluggish in most cases. You won’t feel any lag using the phone for regular use cases such as texting, browsing, calling, and so on.
I did play a bunch of games including some graphics-intensive ones such as PUBG Mobile and it runs fine although I had to scale down the graphics to make it smooth. You can go a bit further although you will risk overturning the chipset to its extent. Moto G40 Fusion which is a rival and it uses Snapdragon 732G and it at least ensures consistent frame rates.
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I don’t want to cover up the performance issues on Galaxy M32 but you can use some tips and tricks to speed up the processes. This includes uninstalling and disabling bloatware, using 60Hz refresh rate when not doing any transitions can save the chipset as well. I wished Samsung could have at least offered a faster UFS 2.1/2.2 storage instead of sticking to a bit sluggish eMMC 5.1 storage. Since it is an Android, I would still suggest going for the maxed-out RAM option for better overall performance.
Galaxy M32’s Android 11-backed OneUI 3.1 out-of-the-box and to be honest, it is good. OneUI 3.1 excels in one-handed use as it has tweaked the UI completely to support it. Then, you have a string of features including Dark Mode on your M32 smartphone and since it is an AMOLED display, you will love it. There is a lot of bloatware that you can uninstall while some are simply non-uninstallable. Samsung has upped its software updates game which means you should be getting multiple major Android OS upgrades for sure. There’s an Always-On Display on-board as well.
There isn’t much difference around the optics on the M32 when compared to the previous-gen Galaxy M31. It has a quad-camera setup which includes a 64MP primary shooter with a slightly smaller 1/1.97-inch sensor size along with PDAF, f/1.8, and 0.7micron pixel size. There’s an 8MP ultrawide snapper with 123-degree FoV (which remains the same). Finally, there are two 2MP sensors dedicated for macro and depth shots which are downgraded from 5MP (each) on Galaxy M31. There’s also a downgrade when it comes to the selfie shooter to 20MP with an f/2.2 aperture.
I highly doubt that you would let go to know about the camera setup on-board as it has become an integral aspect when choosing a smartphone to buy.
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The 64MP primary camera on Galaxy M32 snags really cool images retaining maximum details during the day. All the shots that I captured were full of vibrant colours. There’s a scene optimizer that you can enable to get more details in your shots and it works pretty well. I didn’t have any issue during daytime photography except when capturing details in the shadows where you can easily see some noise.
The phone doesn’t tend to auto-adjust the exposure and I had to do it in the viewfinder before snapping a photo. Although it is not too much, it is something that I wanted to point out in this hands-on review. Galaxy M32 pits well against its competitors since neither of them has the best cameras given the price tag and thus, M32 won’t put you down at least when it comes to daytime photography.
There’s an 8MP ultrawide snapper that has the widest field of view when compared to Redmi Note 10 and Realme 8. Ultrawide snaps were good as well but at the end of the day, you will see some distortions on the edges which are usually corrected by the software during the processing itself. I would love it if Samsung improves distortion correction even further with software updates.
Two 2MP cameras for macro and depth sensors are average since almost 90 per cent of the devices now have 2MP sensors. It is good, however, a 5MP sensor as seen on Galaxy M31 would have made a great impact on the quality.
Night mode on Samsung Galaxy M32 is average and it doesn’t put out like anything. Of course, you get a tonne of noise to play with during nighttime depending upon which sort of lighting conditions you have while taking the shot.
Then you have a 20MP selfie shooter which is way below the 32MP snapper seen on Galaxy M31. It takes convincing photos during the day and applies a blur effect with on-point edge detection and separation. Overall, the selfies were stellar and I didn’t find any issues during daytime although nighttime photography can take a hit as always.
Samsung Galaxy M32 has a 1080p@30fps video recording capability which is way below its competitors that can record videos at 4K@30fps.
Samsung Galaxy M32 has a high-octane 6,000 mAh battery under the hood. I don’t see any reason why you would need to juice it up at the end of the day because of the giant battery. It is able to give at least two days of backup on a single charge with moderate to high usage.
Furthermore, the device comes with a 25W charging support although you get a 15W charging brick in the retail box. This takes 2 hours and 30 minutes for the battery to juice up from 0 to 100 per cent which is although too much, it’s a massive battery so you will have to spend some time plugged into the charger.
Audio, Connectivity, Biometrics
Samsung Galaxy M32 is a budget smartphone and thus, I don’t expect it to get a stereo speaker setup to be honest. Well, M32 has a single bottom-firing loudspeaker and turns out it is reasonably loud.
The Galaxy M32 has a lot of connectivity features up its sleeves but just misses the 5G tag which has become quite common these days. There’s GPS, Bluetooth v5.0, Wi-Fi 802.11ac supporting both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, as well as a USB Type-C 2.0 port for charging and data transfer.
I use Jio 4G and Vi 4G on Samsung Galaxy M32 and it turns out both the networks worked properly. Of course, I got higher download speeds on Jio than Vi but I think it depends on the locality and region. Call quality was on-point and the sound quality on the earpiece was equally loud as well. Samsung Galaxy M32 lacks 4G+ Carrier Aggregation though so that’s a bummer.
You get the usual PIN and Pattern lock in the rooster along with a side-mounted fingerprint scanner. I would still consider it as an upgrade over rear-mounted FPS due to its reachability and convenience. Talking about the FPS itself, it is snappy and speedy and won’t let you wait once you tap on the sensor just once to unlock.
There’s a software-based face unlock on-board as well which does its job proactively. It is still less secure than the fingerprint scanner but Samsung has given you the option to try either of them. Since it uses the front camera, authenticating via face unlock in low light conditions may not unlock the most accurately since a bit of light is required for the sensor to authenticate the user.
Pros & Cons
- Smooth 90Hz refresh rate display
- Long-lasting 6000 mAh battery
- Supports 25W fast charging
- Promising 64MP quad-camera setup
- 20MP selfie camera
- EMMC 5.1 storage
- Only 1080p video recording
- Only 15W charger in the box
Samsung did make a few bumps in terms of specifications be it an AMOLED display to a big battery and a higher refresh rate with the Galaxy M32. But on the other hand, lack of HD/HDR content streaming, an underwhelming processor, and a 15W charging brick in the box are some of the shortcomings of the device.
Galaxy M32 at Rs 14,999/- isn’t much to ask although the phone is a bit sluggish and you could end up getting occasional stutters here and there. But it comes from Samsung which has made its reputation so I won’t say that you shouldn’t even consider buying an M32. Overall, Samsung Galaxy M32 is a solid phone to consider. Some of the popular alternatives are Moto G40 Fusion, Realme 8, and Xiaomi Redmi Note 10S that you can choose from.