Samsung Galaxy M32 Review: Only for Binge Watchers?

The Galaxy M32 is the newest smartphone in the Galaxy M series and costs from Rs. 15,000. Given the importance of the Sub-Rs. The 15,000 segment is intended for smartphone manufacturers; the Galaxy M32 of course has to endure a lot of competition. With this new smartphone, Samsung has mainly focused on the display and the battery, as you can see on its 90Hz Super AMOLED display and a 6,000 mAh battery. Is that enough for a place at the top of the wish list or is it too short? I tested the Galaxy M32 and here is my review.

Samsung Galaxy M32 price in India

The Galaxy M32 starts at Rs. 14,999 in India for the base variant with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. The high-end variant offers 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage for 16,999 rupees. Two color options are available, light blue and black. For this test, I had the basic version of the Galaxy M32 in light blue.

Samsung Galaxy M32 design

The Samsung Galaxy M32 has a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with a dewdrop notch on the top. It has thin bezels on the sides and top, but the lower chin is thicker. The frame and back are made of plastic. Samsung has bent the frame on all sides so that this phone is comfortable to hold and use.

Samsung opted for a side-mounted fingerprint scanner that sits on the right side of the frame. This has become a common feature on smartphones at this price point. The fingerprint scanner on the side is a bit higher than I would have liked, but it’s still accessible. The result of such a placement is that the volume buttons continue to be pushed up and you have to stretch your thumb to reach them.

The Galaxy M32 has no camera bump

On the left side of the frame is the SIM tray of the Galaxy M32, which has two nano SIM slots and a dedicated memory expansion slot. With the Galaxy M32 you get a 3.5 mm headphone jack on the bottom and the USB Type-C port and speaker on the bottom.

The back is glossy and accepts fingerprints quite well. I had to keep wiping the smartphone to avoid staining. In the upper left corner is the quad camera module, which is almost flush with the back of the smartphone. The Galaxy M32 is around 9.3 mm thick and weighs 196 g, which is noticeable when you hold it. Its weight and volume are mainly due to the large 6000 mAh battery in which it is packaged. The Galaxy M32 can charge 25 W quickly, but unfortunately only comes with a 15 W charger in the box.

Samsung Galaxy M32 specifications

The Galaxy M32 is powered by the MediaTek Helio G80 processor and has 4 GB or 6 GB of RAM, depending on the variant selected. In the basic version you get 64 GB of internal storage, while the higher version offers 128 GB of storage space. You have the option of expanding the memory using the dedicated microSD card slot. The 6.4-inch Super AMOLED screen has Full HD + resolution and a refresh rate of 90Hz, which even the more expensive Galaxy M42 (review) lacks. The screen is bright and has good viewing angles. Samsung claims a peak brightness of 800nits in high brightness mode.

This phone supports Bluetooth 5, dual-band WiFi and 4G VoLTE, but it lacks NFC. It has four satellite navigation systems on board and it also supports Samsung Pay Mini.

Samsung Galaxy M32 Dewdrop Gadgets360 Samsung Galaxy M32 Review

The Galaxy M32 has a dewdrop notch with a 20-megapixel selfie camera

Samsung ships its latest One UI 3.1 in addition to Android 11. My test device had the May Android security patch. If you’ve used a Samsung smartphone, the user experience is fairly familiar and you shouldn’t have any problems navigating it. However, there are some apps preinstalled on the phone. During the installation it is also recommended to install additional apps and this step was not easy to skip. Many of these apps can be uninstalled right away to reduce clutter on the device. I received push notifications from a few which was annoying.

Samsung also offers the Alt-Z feature which allows you to create a separate secure folder. This way, you can protect photos and apps and access them later with a double press of the power button. The Galaxy M32 also has a game launcher, with which you can play undisturbed and also block incoming notifications and gestures. The game launcher also gives you the option to group installed games in the same folder.

Performance and battery life of the Samsung Galaxy M32

The screen on the Samsung Galaxy M32 has a refresh rate of 90 Hz, which makes the user interface look smooth and fluid most of the time. I still noticed a few hiccups on the phone, and apps loading and multitasking also took a little longer than expected. The Galaxy M32 received a software update during the test period that reduced this stuttering, but nothing changed in terms of loading times. If you multitask a lot, the 4GB RAM variant may not be the ideal choice for you. The fingerprint scanner on the side unlocked the smartphone quickly. I found the screen to be bright enough outside and the AMOLED screen to be bright enough to enjoy content.

I was able to play casual games on the Galaxy M32 without any problems. The processor didn’t feel stressed and I couldn’t notice any delays or stutters. I tried Call of Duty: Mobile on the Galaxy M32 and it ran on the low picture preset with the frame rate set to medium. With these settings the game ran without any problems. The Galaxy M32 did not warm up after 20 minutes of gaming and recorded a 4 percent drop in battery life.

The Galaxy M32 didn’t set any benchmarks and the results were modest compared to other phones at this price point. In AnTuTu, the Galaxy M32 achieved 160,106 points and 6,595 in PCMark Work 3.0. The Redmi Note 10S, on the other hand, achieved 330,650 and 8,242 points in these tests.

Samsung Galaxy M32 Camera Module Gadgets360 Samsung Galaxy M32 Review

The Galaxy M32 has a quad camera setup

The Galaxy M32 also achieved 39 fps and 8.1 fps in the GFXBench benchmarks T-Rex and Car Chase. The relatively old Realme 7 (test report), which also competes with the Galaxy M32, achieved 44 fps and 17 fps respectively. The Galaxy M32 is clearly not the most powerful smartphone in its segment, and those looking for performance will have to look elsewhere.

The large 6,000 mAh battery that Samsung has stuffed into the Galaxy M32 provides very good battery runtimes. It went on for a day and a half without any problems, even though the screen refresh rate was always 90 Hz. In our HD video running test, the phone got 20 hours and 56 minutes, which is very good. However, the loading speed leaves something to be desired. While the Galaxy M32 supports 25W fast charging, Samsung only included a 15W charger. With this charger supplied, the large battery only achieved 22 percent in 30 minutes and 44 percent in one hour. It took over two hours to fully charge the phone. You can leave it to charge overnight, but if you want to charge quickly you’ll have to spend the extra on a faster 25W charger.

Samsung Galaxy M32 cameras

The Galaxy M32 has a quad camera setup consisting of a 64-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, a 2-megapixel macro camera and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. The 64-megapixel camera uses pixel binning by default to capture 16-megapixel images. For selfies, it has a 20-megapixel sensor in the dewdrop notch. The camera app is what we are used to from other Samsung devices. Scene detection is activated by default and detects scenes quickly.

Daylight photos taken with the Galaxy M32 turned out well, but did not have the best dynamic range. The scene recognition is set up quickly in the mobile phone and the colors are slightly enhanced during the output. You have the option to turn it off before taking the photo. Details were strictly average and distant text was illegible. The ultra wide angle camera offered a wider field of view and managed to control distortion. However, the details are not the best, which becomes clear when you zoom in.

Samsung Galaxy M32 day camera preview (tap to view full size)

Samsung Galaxy M32 ultra wide angle camera preview (tap to view full size)

The Galaxy M32 takes close-ups very well and manages to maintain a soft depth between the subject and the background. The subjects were sharp and the colors were pretty accurate. Portraits had good edge detection and the Galaxy M32 allows you to choose the amount of blur before taking the picture. Macro shots were decent, but I had to try different angles so as not to block the light while holding the phone too close to the subject. The output is limited to 2 megapixels in resolution.

Samsung Galaxy M32 close-up camera preview (tap to view full size)

Samsung Galaxy M32 portrait camera preview (tap to view full size)

In low light, scene detection quickly changed settings and the Galaxy M32 used a slightly longer exposure time to take each shot. The phone managed to control the tone, but a fine grain was visible in the output. You are given a special night mode that takes around 5 seconds to take a picture. The phone also cuts slightly into the frame to minimize vibration while recording. The resulting images have slightly better details in the shadows, but not much of an improvement.

Samsung Galaxy M32 camera preview in low light (tap to view full size)

Samsung Galaxy M32 night mode camera preview (tap to view full size)

Selfies were decent, with good detail. Portrait selfies were good too, and the phone managed good edge detection. Even in the dark with a light source nearby, the Galaxy M32 took good selfies. Samsung has beautification turned on by default, which will make the output smoother, but you can turn it off.

Samsung Galaxy M32 Portrait Selfie Camera Preview (tap to view full size)

Example of a Samsung Galaxy M32 portrait camera in low light (tap to view full size)

Video recording reaches 1080p for both the primary and selfie cameras. Pictures taken in daylight were shaky and the phone was unable to fully stabilize the recordings. Low light images also had visible jitter when captured while moving. Video recording is not one of the strengths of the Galaxy M32.

verdict

Samsung claims the Galaxy M32 is for binge watchers, and the bright AMOLED display and large 6000 mAh battery make this possible to some extent. You can watch content for a long time without charging it. If you’re not a heavy user, the Galaxy M32 may not give you any cause for complaint, aside from its disappointing low-light camera performance.

However, if you are a heavy user, you will find that the Galaxy M32 does not offer the same level of performance as the competition. It’s not the top performing device under Rs.15,000, and the relatively slow charging speed for its massive battery could be an issue. Many people would be better off with the Redmi Note 10S (Review) or the Realme 7 (Review) instead. Many manufacturers are now pushing for 5G as a feature at this price. So if you want a future-proof phone, this is not going to be an option.

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