With the Galaxy M series, Samsung is finally showing that it can tackle Chinese brands head-on in the budget phone segment. Of its two models currently available, there's a clear favorite.
Should you buy the Galaxy M20 or the Galaxy M10?
Samsung ceded a lot of ground to Xiaomi in India over the last two years, and the Galaxy M series is the first wave in the South Korean manufacturer's salvo against Chinese brands.
In a lot of ways, Samsung is emulating the same strategy that allowed Xiaomi to dominate the budget segment in recent years: the Galaxy M10 and M20 sport fresh designs, are sold exclusively online, and offer attractive specs on a budget.
With a 5000mAh battery, the Galaxy M20 is a battery leader.
The Galaxy M20 in particular is one of the best budget phones you can buy today. Sporting a modern design with a waterdrop cutout at the front, the M20 offers robust hardware in the form of an Exynos 7904 Octa chipset, FHD+ display, and a humongous 5000mAh battery.
Samsung has clearly paid attention to what Xiaomi and others have been doing in this space, because the M20 holds its own against the likes of the ZenFone Max Pro M2, Redmi Note 6 Pro, and more.
It all comes down to the specs
If you're deciding between the M20 and the M10, this is a remarkably easy choice. The M20 retails for ₹12,990 ($185) in India, with the M10 costing a mere ₹8,990 ($125). The ₹4,000 differential may not seem like much, but there's an absolute sea change between the two devices in terms of specs and value.
|Category||Samsung Galaxy M20||Samsung Galaxy M10|
|Operating system||Android 8.1 Oreo
Samsung Experience 9.5
|Android 8.1 Oreo
Samsung Experience 9.5
|Display||6.3-inch PLS TFT
|6.2-inch PLS TFT
|Chipset||Exynos 7904 Octa
|Exynos 7880 Octa
|MicroSD slot||Yes (up to 512GB)
|Yes (up to 512GB)
|Security||Fingerprint sensor||Face unlock|
|Rear camera 1||13MP f/1.9 PDAF||13MP f/1.9 PDAF|
|Rear camera 2||5MP f/2.2||5MP f/2.2|
|Front camera||8MP f/2.0||5MP f/2.0|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.2 LE
|Audio||3.5mm jack||3.5mm jack|
|Water resistance||No rating||No rating|
|Dimensions||156.4 x 74.5 x 8.8mm
|155.6 x 75.6 x 7.7mm
The Galaxy M10, for instance, has a 6.2-inch 720p panel, which isn't ideal. The M20 offers a 6.3-inch 1080p display, and things continue in much the same vein with the rest of the hardware as well. The Exynos 7904 on the M20 delivers much better performance than the M10's Exynos 7880. The Exynos 7880 has been around for a while now, and in 2019 it's as relevant as Vanilla Ice.
Oh, and remember that 5000mAh battery on the M20? The M10 has a more modest 3400mAh battery, but the real downside is that it charges over Micro-USB. The M20, meanwhile, has USB-C. Thankfully, both phones offer 15W fast charging.
What's even more egregious is that the M10 doesn't even have a fingerprint sensor. Samsung is instead pushing face unlock as the de facto means of authentication, with the feature not as secure as the traditional fingerprint reader.
You'll have to wait awhile for the Pie update
Both phones feature Samsung Experience 9.5 out of the box, and they're still on Oreo. Samsung says it will deliver the Pie update sometime in Q2, so regardless of whatever device you pick up you're going to be on Oreo for a while.
Both phones have the same software skin — and are still running Oreo.
That said, the interface itself feels faster than you'd imagine, and that's because Samsung cut out a lot of the extraneous features. The result is that even on the M10, the UI feels relatively bloat-free most of the time.
The lightweight skin combined with the hardware on offer with the M20 makes the device an absolute delight to use for everyday tasks. And even with the Pie update hitting later in the year, Samsung won't switch the devices to One UI — both phones will continue to be on Samsung Experience 9.5.
Given that there's just ₹4,000 between the two devices, it's an easy decision to make here. The Galaxy M20 is the clear winner here, and the higher-res screen combined with better internal hardware and massive 5000mAh battery make it a standout in the budget segment.
Samsung Galaxy M20
One of the best budget phones around
It took Samsung several years, but it finally created a budget phone that can hold up to the best that Xiaomi has to offer. The Galaxy M20 ticks all the right boxes for a device in this segment, and the performance here combined with the two-day battery life makes it a great choice for under ₹15,000.
Samsung Galaxy M10
Do yourself a favor and get the M20
The Galaxy M10 doesn't fare nearly as well as its sibling, and that's down to the outdated specs. Even though it costs just ₹8,990, you're much better off spending a little extra to get your hands on the M20. If nothing else, do so for the fact that the M20 has a fingerprint sensor.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.