Electronics giant Samsung introduced its M-series of smartphones in January this year exclusively for online sale. The company’s aim is to take on its Chinese counterparts, which have been gradually cornering larger market shares in the budget and midrange segments. Pitched for millennials, the M-series smartphones – the Galaxy M10, Galaxy M20 and Galaxy M30 – have huge screens, big-capacity batteries, decent cameras and a good multimedia-handling capability.
Fourth in the series, the Galaxy M40 is a newly launched midrange smartphone with several segment-first features. Priced at Rs 19,990, it is the only smartphone in its segment to sport a punch-hole display (Infinity-O) — something seen only in premium smartphones until now. It also boasts the on-screen sound technology that turns the entire screen into an earpiece speaker, making it easier to answer calls.
Let’s take a look at how the phone fares on key parameters:
The Galaxy M40, similar in looks to other M-series smartphones, has a reflective glass-like back with a premium dual-tone finish. Its chassis is of the same colour as the back cover. The glossy nature of the phone’s back cover makes it susceptible to fingerprints and it gets smudged easily — not something you want if you are not in the habit of using a back cover. The front side, however, has a different profile altogether. The punch-hole display looks modern and complements the phone’s overall design language.
The Galaxy M40 has a 6.3-inch thin film transistor (TFT) screen of a fullHD+ resolution stretched in a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. It is protected by Gorilla Glass 3, resilient enough to protect the screen from accidental scratches. The screen has enough brightness to stay legible in bright outdoors and it renders vivid colours and satisfactory viewing angles. However, since it lacks deep black levels of the AMOLED display, the overall contrast is satisfactory at best, not class leading.
Like other M-series smartphones, the M40 has a Widevine L1 certification for streaming high-definition multimedia content available on over-the-top (OTT) platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Videos.
The Galaxy M40 has a triple-camera module on the back featuring a 32-megapixel primary camera of an f/1.7 aperture, an 8MP ultra-wide lens, and a 5MP depth sensor.
The rear camera is backed by artificial intelligence-based auto scene recognition, which is neither fast nor accurate but does the job most of the times.
The primary camera is a capable unit and works well in both bright and lowlight conditions. The ultra-wide lens is also a potent one, but it struggles in low light due to a smaller aperture. Interestingly, both the lenses are available in the photo and video modes, making it easier to select a lens of choice before shooting.
The phone has a 16MP camera placed in the punch-hole area on its front. The front camera also has wide-angle and regular modes to choose from. It works best to take sole or group selfies, but expecting more than that would not be right.
The Galaxy M40 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 system-on-chip, mated with 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. The phone boots the Android Pie operating system-based One user interface. A power-packed performer, it handles everyday operations and heavy-duty tasks with ease. Gaming experience is also smooth and the phone keeps the thermals in control. It does warm up a bit, but that happens mostly after extended gaming sessions and when the phone is on charge.
Powering the phone is a 3,500 mAh battery, a good 1,500 mAh less in capacity than the M10 and M20 ones. Yet, the phone delivers decent on-battery time of around 10 hours on normal usage. It supports 15W fast-charging through the supplied charger, which replenishes the battery in around two-and-a-half hours.
The Samsung Galaxy M40 is a power-packed performer, with a premium design, capable cameras, an operating system optimised for one-hand use, and a decent battery. Consider the M40 if you need a reliable smartphone for casual gaming, versatile imaging and all-round multimedia capabilities.