The entry level portfolio from Samsung was in need of refresh from a long time. Design, hardware and power were lacking a lot. Now with the Galaxy M series, Samsung is betting to change this. Samsung unveiled the Galaxy M20 and Galaxy M10 in India and these are the first phones from the lineup. Both are budget range and have new design language. In this Samsung Galaxy M10 full review, we have the benchmarks, camera samples, impressions and our experience. Simple speaking a lot has changes and the company has done necessary course correction.
It is fascinating to see that Samsung is using Notch for the first time. This is one of the most noticeable thing of M series. The new lineup is meant for the youths or the millennial and Samsung wants to put their best out there. In the Galaxy M10 there is octa core processor, huge memory card support, good battery and nice camera. It is a balanced phone for the price being.
In the past Samsung used to put quad core processors in entry level or budget phones but now this is changed. The phones now have 8 core processors. One way they are doing is by using their own Exynos chipset. It is Samsung’s own chip, by this way they save money and the integration is also easier. We tested the Galaxy M10 and let us tell about it after listing the specs.
Samsung Galaxy M10 Specifications
The hardware specs are as follows.
- 6.2″ LCD Screen with Water drop notch at top
- 720×1520 Screen resolution
- Exynos 7870 Octa core chipset at 1.6 GHz
- Mali T830 MP1 GPU
- 2/3 GB LPDDR3 RAM
- 16/32 GB Internal Storage with micro SD card support up to 512 GB
- 3300 mAh Lithium Ion battery
- 13 MP f/1.9 + 5 MP f/2.2 cameras at back
- 5 MP f/2.0 selfie camera at front
Our test results, review, impression and experience is totally base don the 2 GB RAM and 16 GB storage variant. There is higher 3 GB variant as well but our review is based on 2 GB one.
The famous all screen tall design with water drop notch has now come to Samsung. The Galaxy M10 has great looking big 6.2″ LCD screen at front with small notch at top. The camera sits inside it and the front speaker is above it. The camera module is at the back and the speaker is also at the bottom side of back. This is a bit bizarre placement because mostly we see them placing speakers at bottom. As always we have volume rockers and power button at right and SIM card tray at right. Unlike M20, Galaxy M20 has micro USB 2.0 at bottom instead of USB Type C. This kind of design is very much liked by people and it can attract a lot of people because it looks much clean and the most important screen is bigger with less bezels.
The screen of Samsung Galaxy M10 is 6.2″ in diagonal. It is LCD screen with 720×1520 screen resolution. Its bigger brother M20 has 6.3″ screen with FHD+ resolution. The M10 is a entry level phone and we can understand why they have gone with HD+ resolution. For all the normal use, the screen resolution is enough and works very well. Brightness is great at outdoors as well. There is auto brightness feature in this phone which is amazing because it is budget phone and it is big plus point.
The edges are rounded at all corners and the notch is very smoothly rounded to make it look good. The notch can be hidden if users want that. This is available in Settings inside Display. Black bars come at top and hide the notch. By the way people love it and we also accept it that it doesn’t disturb much. Anyway, we will be seeing punch hole display very soon with Galaxy A9 Pro and S10 so lets see what future hold for us.
Watching videos of all aspect ratio is comfortable in this tall screen. Its all black bars to rescue. The traditional 16:9 aspect ratio videos only fill small part of screen. Even zooming those don’t fill full screen. Wide aspect ratio video as work fine because black bars at top come and fill the black space around notch at top. This is shown in our review video which is available in YouTube.
Processor, Memory and Storage
Honestly speaking, Samsung wasn’t doing right when they used to put quad core processors in higher budget and mid range phones. Let alone the entry and budget segment smartphones. Now the Samsung Galaxy M10 has Exynos 7870 chipset which has 1.6 GHz octa core processor. There is 2 and 3 GB RAM option with 16 and 32 GB storage. As usual 2 GB model has 16 GB storage and 3 GB one has 32 GB storage. 2 GB RAM is now the basic requirement of any smartphone these days. So we can take this mobile as the starting phone from now on. It seems that they are replacing the J series form now on.
The base storage is 16 GB but there is SD card support so it is easy to store all music, photos and videos. We have done some benchmarks and all of them are based on the 2 GB review model that was provided to us. The phone was smooth for us and it is capable of light gaming. It can easily handle regular works, apps with ease. This is good because Samsung is using their own processor which is helping them to bring better specs. Exynos 7870 is a efficient processor instead of a power house.
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Whatever the price may be, everyone is interested in camera. The smartphones basically replaced digital point and shoot cameras so mobile phone manufacturers always have to focus on it. In the Galaxy M10 there are two cameras at the back. We have 13 MP f/1.9 and 5 MP f/2.2 cameras at rear side. Then at front side we have a 5 MP f/2.0 sensor for selfie and other tasks. The camera modules at back are placed vertically along left side. The primary camera is a similar to Galaxy M20. We took photos samples from both phones at same time at same place so that you guys can compare it. The sample photos are available in our review video in YouTube and Instagram. We recommend watching the video in 4K for better details.
The selfie camera is just 5 MP with f/2.0 aperture. This is also basic or standard pixel count for front camera. The results are of reasonable quality with selfie. There is processing, face and beauty correction but all of them can be controlled. In our review process we faced a slight problem in auto focus using main camera. Users can take ultra wide shots from the M10 with ease. With just two cameras at back, Galaxy M10 does bokeh using Live Focus and wide angle shots. This is a very good feature in our view.
Both front and back camera can record 1080p videos and 19.5:9 videos at 2336×1080. The wide aspect ratio actually looks good in phone and give great cinematic effect while playing in regular display like PC. It may be due to the software because our test models don’t have retail software. The camera does good job with color, sharpness, details and processing.
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We recommend watching our review video in Ultra HD quality for best results to see picture samples.
Software and Features
Samsung Galaxy M10 is on Android 8.1 Oreo. There is a bit modified UI named Samsung Experience for Galaxy M 9.5. The icons are new and there are new bits and features made for the notch. Features such as hiding it using black bars and full screen mode. The basic software is already packed with things like Smart features. Most popular bits of smart features are Power and Data saving modes. They are the real life saver while travelling and in emergency situation.
We are very happy to see that there is Dolby Atmos. As there is no stereo speaker, it is only for the headphone. However it is fascinating because the sound quality can be improved by a lot. Equalizer, up-scaling feature and sound profile really make noticeable difference. This is blessing for all the music listeners and YouTube lovers.
There is no fingerprint scanner in this phone so we just get face unlock. By the way face unlock is really good for a phone at this price. This is not blazing fast but it opens quite quickly. There is auto brightness features which is a delight to have. We give Samsung a huge plus point for this as well. It would have been good if they had put fingerprint scanner but here we are.
Battery in case of Galaxy M10 is 3300 mAh. The rumor told 3400 mAh but in out tests using software, everything shows up 3300 mAh. Battery life is adequate and it hold up for one day with normal use. We have to consider bigger screen size here. But the processor frequency and resolution also helps to save some energy.
Conclusion and Closure
Samsung has done a good job by fixing their blunders. They have also learnt from market, competitors and their consumers. They are doing right things with entry and mid range this year. Overall if we see Samsung Galaxy M10, we get a power efficient octa core processor, base storage and memory, great camera, nice amount of battery in a very good looking design with big display. Analyzing the phone by considering price, specs and design this is a real bargain phone. Camera performs well and the specs are also according to requirement and standard.
Galaxy M10 is a very good budget phone from Samsung and if this fits in your budget then it is certainly a nice pick. We would very much like to see much better phone from now on from this Korean giant. Still we would have loved to see some changes here and there such as LED notification and finger print scanner. Other than that, it is a very good phone.