Review Galaxy M20: Samsung's answer to Chinese smartphones - VnReview

Review Galaxy M20: Samsung's answer to Chinese smartphones – VnReview

This is the first product in Samsung's new Galaxy M series to take responsibility for competing with Chinese phone brands in the mid-range segment.

Galaxy M20 first launched at the end of January 2019 in India, the Samsung market is competing with the Chinese, Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo and Realme brands. In Vietnam, Galaxy M20 is sold. in mid-February for VND 4.99 million for 3GB RAM version and 32GB internal memory. The product also has a 4GB RAM version and 64GB internal memory currently does not have information about when to sell and the official price.

In order to compete with Chinese brands, Samsung has put a lot of changes in Galaxy M20. This is the company's first product with a "rabbit ears" screen, the first mid-range smartphone to have a 5,000 mAh battery and an ultra-wide-angle camera. However, there is still a detail in the Galaxy M20 that cannot surpass Chinese phones at the same price range.

Design: follow the screen of "water drop" screen

Galaxy M20 completely changed design compared to the previous mid-range smartphone of Korean phone company. This is Samsung's first phone to follow the trend of "rabbit ears, drops of water", detailing the design of the company has resolutely resisted throughout the year 2018.

Samsung's first smartphone with "V-shaped" screen

The "water drop" screen called Samsung's Infinity-V (perhaps because it looks like a V-shape) on the Galaxy M20 looks similar to Oppo's recent phones like the Oppo F9 or Oppo R17 Pro. This "water drop" contains 8MP front camera with light sensor and proximity sensor. The voice speaker is placed on the screen border just above the "water drop". Thanks to the "water drop" design, the screen edge of the device looks quite thin. The screen / front ratio is 83.6%, equivalent to the older Galaxy S8 high-end smartphone.

The back of the ball, strong beveled

The machine has a plastic body design, glossy plastic back, and strong curving, holding hands and not feeling slippery. However, the back is easy to attach to fingerprints and in the blue version we use, the fingerprint is easy to recognize.

The body is at a reasonable level compared to the 5,000 mAh battery

Galaxy M20 has a large capacity 5,000 mAh battery but the body thickness (8.8mm) and weight (186g) at a reasonable level. The power keys and fingerprint sensor on the back are placed in the easy-to-press position, especially the volume keys are slightly high right with the newly arrived hand. Samsung included in this phone a USB Type C port that supports fast charging to shorten the charging time for large batteries.

Fingerprint sensor on the back

The USB Type C port supports fast charging and still has a 3.5mm audio jack. The bottom single speaker has a medium volume.

2 SIM socket and separate memory card slot

Included accessories include USB Type C cable, 9V / 1.67A fast charging tubers and headphones, without back cover.

Screen: large, bright and neutral colors

The Galaxy M20 uses a 6.3-inch screen with a ratio of 19.5: 9, so the width of the device is neat and compact. Full HD + resolution for 409 PPI pixel density is enough to display sharp content. PLS LCD panel on this phone is actually a kind of IPS LCD panel but manufactured by Samsung, it can be understood simply as Samsung's IPS LCD version. The plus point in the screen of this screen is high brightness, neutral colors, not as bright as those using Super AMOLED screens and relatively wide viewing angles.

The screen of M20 displays neutral colors

When compared to the screen of the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2, the screen of the two machines looks very similar in both brightness, color and viewing angle. The screen of the two machines has a common drawback that is reflected, so when you use the sky, you have to look directly at the screen to see it clearly, and if you look at the angle, it will be glare.

With the demand for online entertainment, the Galaxy M20's screen also supports the Widevine L1 standard, so it can watch Full-HD content on online services like Netflix, Google Play Movies or Amazon Video. The Widevine L1 standard began to be noticed after the Pocophone F1 was discovered to be unsupported, so no HD content could be viewed from online services.

Software and performance: enough to use basic, not enough game battle

In terms of performance, the Galaxy M20 is equipped with the Exynos 7904 processor just launched earlier this year. The processor is manufactured on 14nm FinFET process, has 2 high-speed cores Cortex-A73 1.8GHz and 6 cores of the Cortex-A53 1.6GHz power-saving with Mali-G71 MP2 GPU.

Antutu scores measure overall performance of Galaxy M20 not high compared to many of the same price range.

In the 3GB version of RAM and genuine 32GB internal memory today, the Galaxy M20 score not high when compared to the same price range products using Qualcomm's Snapdragon 636 processor or Helio P60's Helio P60. In particular, the graphics processing capability of Exynos 7904 chip is lower than that of the Snapdragon 636.

AnTuTu measures the overall performance of the device.

Geekbench measures CPU single-core and multi-core processing performance.

The Manhattan test on the GFXBech app measures GPU's graphics processing performance at standard Full-HD (offscreen) resolution and real resolution (onscreen).

In actual use, this configuration is sufficient to handle gently and stably the basic tasks on the phone such as surfing the web, listening to music, watching YouTube or taking photos. It is also good enough to play popular casual games, but for games that require a lot of graphics processing power, such as survival game PUBG Mobile or Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade shooter, the player snatches up with low frame rates, hard play.

Overall, the performance of Galaxy M20 is sufficient for normal use, not suitable for users who like to play games, especially heavy games.

About software, Galaxy M20 currently has a built-in Samsung Experience 9.5 based on Android 8.1. The interface and software functionality on Galaxy M20 is no different from Samsung's recent mid-range machines like the Galaxy A7 2018.

With "V-notch", Samsung allows users to hide if desired in the settings. In addition, users can also turn on the option to display full screen with applications installed on the phone, so that there is no black line on the top edge. When the full screen display is turned on, the "V-shaped" part is small, not annoying, like the rectangular "rabbit ears" on other phones. At the bottom, Samsung also allows to hide the Back, Home and multitasking navigation keys to switch to gesture manipulation.

You can hide the lower navigation bar to switch to swipe gesture control

It also has a full range of familiar features on Samsung phones such as changing theme themes; secure directory (create safe space for files and applications, only access by password or fingerprint); split the screen (run two apps in parallel with the screen); Unlock the phone with a face with a fast detection speed; Dual Messenger application (allows to use 2 applications Facebook, Messenger or Skype … at the same time) and launcher game (put the game in one place and support tools to block notifications, hide navigation keys, screen capture and screen recording when playing games).

The device supports unlocking by face next to a safer way of opening with fingerprint sensor.

Battery time: the highlight of the product

The large capacity battery and fast charging support are the bright spots in this product. In the familiar measurements of VnReview, the device has a very good battery life, equivalent to the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 also has 5000 mAh battery. With this result, ordinary users can use the device for about 2 days to recharge.

Time to watch movies copied to the device, see at brightness and volume at 70%, counting from full until 10%.

Time to surf the web on Wi-Fi network, brightness at 70% and also calculated from full to 10%.

The time of the emulation game on GFX Bench application, calculated from full to 10%.

The Galaxy M20 supports Samsung's fast charging technology with a charging speed of 15W (9V / 1.67A), similar to the fast charging standard on Samsung's high-end machines and is also compatible with Qualcomm's Quick Charge 2.0 charging standard. Using the quick charging bulb comes, it takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes to fully charge the 5000 mAh battery, in which the first 1 hour can charge 50% of the battery's capacity.

15W fast charging stem comes with the product

The main camera captures good enough light, wide-angle camera and lack of medium quality lighting

Samsung Galaxy M20 has dual rear camera cluster including main camera with 13MP resolution, f / 1.9 aperture that supports phase focus and a wide-angle 120MP camera of 5MP, f / 2.2 for shooting architecture and landscapes. It also supports capturing fonts on both rear and front cameras. In the front, it has an 8MP aperture camera with f / 2.0 aperture that supports HDR for better selfie shooting in backlit conditions.

In bright enough conditions, M20 has a fairly fast speed. 13MP main camera for images with bright colors, vibrant, flattering especially when taking portraits, flowers and leaves. Details, sharpness are also pushed up. If you look at it, you can see the image for good definition but when you look more closely at the details, it is possible to recognize Samsung's algorithm of sharpening and sharpening (clairity), which makes the image too much. There are spikes, unnatural phenomena. Bright bands in pretty pictures, balancing stability between dark and bright areas, retaining many details.

With 5MP wide-angle camera, The M20 has a more flexible shooting angle, suitable for portraits when it comes to capturing the whole scene and subject. This camera will also work when you take architecture or small spaces. However, the quality of the wide angle camera of M20 is not high. The image has pale colors, low brightness, narrow light band, deviant white balance, poor detail. Compared to color, clarity, bright band, wide-angle camera is significantly worse than the 13MP main camera.

Regular camera (above) and super wide-angle camera (below)

Regular camera (above) and super wide-angle camera (below)

Regular camera (above) and super wide-angle camera (below)

Regular camera (above) and super wide-angle camera (below)

When shooting in low light, photos of M20 are often pushed brighter than reality. The strong noise reduction style continues to be used by Samsung. Photos with low noise, details and sharpness are not high, only colors are still reproduced in a fresh direction.

Wide-angle camera with a smaller aperture (f / 2.2) clearly shows its limitations when shooting in low light. The image now has low definition, detail, and the color is really good. The breakdown phenomenon can be clearly seen when ISO is pushed up but the machine still tries to suppress noise. However, in some low-light conditions, such as under room lighting and shooting at close range, wide-angle cameras can produce smaller images than the main camera.

Regular camera (above) and super wide-angle camera (below)

Regular camera (above) and super wide-angle camera (below)

Regular camera (above) and super wide-angle camera (below)

Regular camera (above) and super wide-angle camera (below)

In the ability to capture fonts, M20 gives off quite "virtual" font-removing images with a softly erased background, not too strong, pinky skin, bright white and automatically beautified with smoothing effect. The camera also automatically zooms in a bit to portrait, erasing more natural looking fonts. But it can be easily recognized that the font eraser has many errors, the hair and shoulder intersection with the background is very sparse, revealing the background has not been erased.

With selfie camera, When all the beauty effects are turned off, the M20 can produce "selfie" shots with sharp, fine details. Fresh, eye-catching color reproduction, bright strip, less lighted by tires. However, when turning on beauty, M20 still has the common "disease" of Samsung smartphones that is too strong. The skin becomes fake, the details of the photos are drastically reduced, the image is now also susceptible to bright tires due to the high brightness pushed.

Allowing to remove fonts on the front camera is also a fun feature so you can create more selfies with your photos, especially when the background is not too special. However, like the following camera, the deletion of fonts in the selfie camera of M20 is very unnatural because the camera erases both the subject and the hair or hands.

Normal mode photo (left) and remove font (right)

Normal mode photo (left) and remove font (right)

Indoor selfie under the light of the lamp


Samsung has cleverly put in Galaxy M20 the points that popular users are now interested in buying smartphones. It's a long battery life, large screen quality display is good, extra wide-angle camera for flexible shooting in narrow spaces as well as architectural landscape and thin-screen screen design.

The performance of this phone can be said to be sufficient for basic needs but it will be limited for users who like to play games, especially heavy graphics games. This is also the point that many Chinese phones such as Xiaomi, Huawei or Asus of Taiwan continue to outperform Samsung in the mid-range segment.


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