Monday, 30th October 2017

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Samsung Galaxy M40 ticks all the tech boxes without breaking the bank

The M series is unique because it’s an online-only series, meaning you have to trust the information presented on the Net before making a purchase

  • Published 12.06.19, 5:45 PM
  • Updated 12.06.19, 8:04 PM
  • 3 mins read
Samsung Galaxy M40 will be available from June 18. Picture: The Telegraph

Samsung wants you to know that you have a choice — a choice between buying a flagship device and a reasonably-priced device offering flagship experience; a choice between bells and whistles and meaningful improvements. The South Korean conglomerate has spent the last few months delivering unique experiences with its Galaxy A, Galaxy M and Galaxy S smartphones, each category targeting specific user groups. If the S series is about top-of-the-line innovations, the A series gets a wriggle on to offer some these top features at budget-friendly prices while at the same time coming up with fresh ideas to keep competition on its toes. The M series is unique because it’s an online-only series, meaning you have to trust the information presented on the Net before making a purchase. And the latest addition to this range is the Galaxy M40. Does it deliver?

Snap taken using the phone.
Snap taken using the phone. Picture: The Telegraph

Design and display

The first thing that catches the eye is the seamless slate, with a hole-punch. We have seen the difference it made to the looks of the S10 and now we have it on a device that’s priced Rs 19,990. Sporting rounded edges, the M40 with its 2,340x1,080 FHD+ Infinity O 6.3-inch display has the feel of a flagship offering, complete with 91.8 per cent screen ratio.

Making good on its promise to offer high-end features on its devices across categories, the M40 uses on-screen sound technology instead of a traditional earpiece. Besides the hole-punch, there are no openings on the screen, not even for an earpiece cutout. The display doubles as a speaker. Not only the sound is crystal clear, the technology ensures the only person who gets to hear conversations is you.

Third, the M40 is Widevine L1 certified, meaning you would be able to stream Netflix and Amazon Prime Video in true HD resolution. It also has Dolby Atmos 360-degree surround sound.

Snaps taken using the phone.
Snaps taken using the phone. Picture: The Telegraph

The camera

Samsung’s triple rear camera set-up is one of the best in the market and there is no reason why the company should change anything about it. What we have is a 32MP primary shooter with F1.7 aperture and keeping it company is a 5MP (F2.2 live focus) and an 8MP (123-degree ultra-wide lens). In bright light, the camera picks up all the details, giving print-quality photographs. And the autofocus is quite fast. In low light, the M40 also turns in a solid performance.

The 16MP front camera (F2.0 aperture) also does a great job in daylight, especially with portraits. Though some like to take shots with filters and the beauty mode turned on, try taking the same with the feature switched off. The pictures look natural but at the same time Instagram-worthy. The only quibble has to do with low-light snaps on the front camera because some of the details get smoothened.

Of course, this is the era of videos. One can record 4K videos and there is a super slow-mo at 240FPS and hyperlapse mode. The result — even in low light — is comparable to those shot on flagship devices. What we like most are videos shot using the ultra-wide lens.

Performance and battery

Shipped with Android Pie out of the box and powered by Snapdragon 675 (which is also on the Redmi Note 7 Pro), there were no performance issues in the three days we have used the phone — apps load with ease, zero lag switching between apps and it can handle video games for hours without floundering.

We would have liked to see the fingerprint scanner under the display but that would be asking too much at this price point. Nevertheless, the fingerprint scanner registers without hiccups and facial biometrics work well (and quick) to unlock the device.

Keeping the M40 alive is a 3,500mAh battery with fast charging, which is enough to make the juices last more than a day. Unlike other companies, Samsung has no variation of the model, that is, it sports 6GB RAM and 128GB memory (expandable up to 512GB). Though the 3.5mm headphone jack is missing, a USB-C earphone comes with the box.

All this brings to a question: Who’s this phone for? It’s a step up for those looking for one of the best displays in the market, a fast smartphone experience (the UI is sheer joy) and Instagram-friendly camera without breaking the bank. In short, the Galaxy M40 is a glorious handset at a highly competitive price.

At a glance

Display: An immersive viewing experience with a near bezel-less 16.0 cm (6.3-inch) FHD+ display.

Processor: Snapdragon 675 octa-core

Camera: Triple rear camera — 32MP (F1.7) + 5MP (F2.2) + 8MP (123-degree ultra-wide lens). Allows 4K recording, slo-mo and hyperlapse. Front camera — 16MP (F2.0).

Battery: 3,500mAH

Storage: 6GB RAM and 128GB memory (expandable up to 512 GB). Hybrid SIM slot

Price: Rs 19,990

Available: June 18 on and Samsung’s online shop