First affordable Infinity-O display phone from Samsung, uses 'On Screen Sound' technology
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 with 6GB RAM is great for gaming
Triple-rear camera is functional, USB Type-C fast charging but no 3.5mm audio port
Samsung started off 2019 with the online-only Galaxy M series of smartphones for India. The three smartphones in the lineup, the Galaxy M10, Galaxy M20 and Galaxy M30, had a fairly good response from consumers translating into 2 million in sales number. A couple of weeks back, the company added fourth smartphone in the existing Galaxy M series, dubbed the Samsung Galaxy M40.
It comes with Samsung’s latest Infinity-O display, Qualcomm processor instead of Exynos and a triple-rear camera setup at Rs 19,990. While it appears quite exciting combination on papers, is it any good in real? I got the Midnight Blue color variant of the Galaxy M40 and here’s my full review of it.
Samsung Galaxy M40: Design and Punch-hole display
The Samsung Galaxy M40 is company’s first affordable smartphone to offer punch-hole display. In my opinion, it’s the best design I’ve come across from Samsung in a long time. The phone fits and feels really great in hands. It is quite lightweight and I would not mind the polycarbonate body over the glass or metal, if that keeps the weight in check. I didn’t get to review the Seawater Blue color variant, but that’s an extremely good-looking phone over the Midnight Blue.
Upfront, you get a 6.3-inch full-HD+ TFT LCD Infinity-O or punch-hole display, which is nice and bright. The touch response, color reproduction and viewing angles are decent on this display. The bezels and bottom chin is fairly minimal, and doesn’t look ugly. Also, the front camera punch-hole is very tiny, and the overall design looks like a premium flagship phone.
Interestingly, the Galaxy M40 is Samsung’s first ever smartphone to use “On Screen Sound” technology. What it means is that there is no earpiece grill, and instead the entire display doubles up as the speaker for voice calls. Unfortunately, it isn’t great technology to be honest, because that creates mild vibration and it doesn’t feel good when you keep the ear close. Also, the output doesn’t come as good as the traditional speaker output. Having said that, it is still functional but you’ll have a hard time listening to the person on call in a noisy surroundings.
Samsung Galaxy M40: Performance and One UI
For a change, Samsung has provided Qualcomm’s popular Snapdragon 675 SoC in the Galaxy M40. The same was also incorporated in Galaxy A70, and M40 is the second smartphone for Samsung to use the chipset. It comes backed by a 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. The phone uses hybrid SIM slot, which means you can either use two SIM cards (Nano-SIM+Nano-SIM) or one SIM card along a microSD card.
When it comes to performance, the Galaxy M40 works well in handling day-to-day tasks or even heavy multitasking. I didn’t find any lag or stutter during my review time. The Galaxy M40 is Samsung’s first M series phone to come running Android 9 Pie-based OneUI out-of-the-box. Previous, M series phones had Android 8.1 Oreo and Experience UI 9.5. So it’s a welcome change. Samsung’s latest OneUI is one the good Android overlay at present, and it worked smooth too. Having said that, I found couple of missing features in the UI, which are available on Samsung’s slightly premium phones. You can’t adjust the display hue in the M40 and nor do you have double tap to wake gesture. Not sure, if Samsung left out those features intentionally.
Coming to the gaming, the popular high-graphic PUBG worked well on the M40. It plays out on high-graphic settings by default. I didn’t find frame drops, the phone didn’t heat much during long sessions and there was very little load time. You can be rest assured of the other games performance as well. Overall, the processor and software combination works great on the Galaxy M40.
Watch Video: Samsung Galaxy M10 & M20 First Look
Samsung Galaxy M40: Camera performance
At the back, the Galaxy M40 packs a triple-camera lens setup similar to Galaxy A70. It consist of a 32-megapixel primary sensor with an f/1.7 aperture, a secondary 8-megapixel ultra-wide (123 degree) angle lens with f/2.2, and a 5-megapixel f/2.2 sensor for depth. Sadly, there is no Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), but you can shoot video up to 4K at 30fps and 720p slow-mo videos at 240fps.
During my review time, I found Samsung Galaxy M40’s camera to be decent overall. It would serve you well in most conditions, especially in daylight. The camera balances colors, saturation and high dynamic range (HDR) very well. The daylight shots had good center sharpness, but unfortunately missed out on finer details.
Having said that, this setup nevertheless does a good job and Samsung’s scene optimizer mode enhances the output a little more for your liking. The 123-degrees ultra wide-angle lens works well on M40, and Samsung has fixed the fish-eye effect issue. You can take big group shots or bigger landscape than any smartphone camera available in this price range.
For the front selfie camera, the Galaxy M40 uses a 16-megapixel f/2.0 lens, which is being position on left corner of the display. It is quite tiny and doesn’t look distracting on the display. Talking about its performance, it takes good selfies and retains the natural skin-tone. The ‘Live Focus’ bokeh mode lets you set the blur intensity, but the edge detection isn’t great. Checkout the camera samples below (slideshow).
Samsung Galaxy M40: Battery performance, Fingerprint sensor and Face Unlock
In the battery department, the Samsung Galaxy M40 packs a 3,500mAh battery with USB Type-C and 15W fast charging support. During my review, the M40’s battery backup was mostly good for a day. My usage pattern can be considered as above average, but not extremely high. It included web surfing, phone calling, bit of video streaming, maps navigation and social media apps. The phone doesn’t heat much and the battery doesn’t get drained too quickly during navigation.I also found the battery charging to be reasonably good, but not that fast. It usually took about one hour 45 minutes to full charge the phone from 0 to 100.
For security, Samsung provides a physical fingerprint scanner and face unlock feature on the Galaxy M40. I found the fingerprint scanner to be quite snappy. The face recognition is also quite fast, but still opens with eyes-closed, which needs to be fixed for all Samsung smartphones.
Samsung Galaxy M40: Should you buy?
In my opinion, the Samsung Galaxy M40 is one of the finest smartphone in its price range. The phone offers latest punch-hole display, a stylish design and a sufficiently powerful processor for Rs 19,990. The camera performance isn’t the strongest in its price range, but fairly good overall. The phone is a delight for mobile gaming users and it offers latest software experience out-of-the-box. What it misses is a 3.5mm audio port, but Samsung ships a USB Type-C earphones in the box. But I would still call the Galaxy M40 a good mix of hardware and software from Samsung, which didn’t let me miss having a flagship phone.
|Features||Samsung Galaxy M40|
|Chipset||Qualcomm Snapdragon 675|
|OS||Android 9 Pie|
|Internal Memory||6GB RAM + 128GB storage|
|Rear Camera||32MP + 5MP + 8MP|