Recently, Samsung has been focusing on producing budget-friendly phones. This market strategy is no doubt implemented to capture the Indian market; which has in recent times been enamored with Xiaomi phones. For a subcontinental behavior which demands more for less, Samsung has provided phones like the M20/30 and the A30. This phone is more of the same strategy, but for a slightly higher price point. The Galaxy M40 might be the best option to go for on a roughly 30K budget.
First impression and specs
Out of the Galaxy M line of phones, this has the most processing beef; due to the Snapdragon 675 processor along with 6 GB RAM. The immediate impression upon getting this device in your hand is that Samsung is trying to make this feel like one of the premium phones. That’s the only reason I can think of for getting rid of the headphone jack. It has an Infinity-O display with 91.8% screen to body ratio. It is also a pinhole screen (selfie camera on the screen), no doubt a compensation for the lack of an AMOLED panel. However, watching videos and playing games on this phone is still a treat. The body is polycarbonate material.
The M40 is USB-C fast charging enabled. It has a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, and also offers facial scanning. The device is very light and wieldy, proving significant attention to feel on the hand. Overall, it looks, feels and is modelled after the premium Samsung Galaxy phones.
Performance and software
While the specs offered are impressive, the utilization of the software on this phone feels a bit underwhelming. As opposed to the similarly priced M30 and A50, the M40 is a more basic experience. The UI is less intuitive and offers fewer options. It is missing some relatively small but important features; like a blue light filter, which Samsung has promised in an update. However, the M40 shows remarkable fortitude while multitasking. It is also very impressive at hardware intensive processes like editing and gaming. The positives are somewhat undercut by the measly 3500 mAh battery, even though it offers fast charging. Overall, a very fast and responsive phone; but leaves you wanting for more.
The M40 implements a vertically placed triple camera; with a 32mp primary lens, 5 mp depth sensor and 8mp 123 degree wide lens. There’s a 16mp front camera for selfies. There are a couple of neat features and filters in the camera software that might appeal to you. The picture output of the cameras can be summed up as “good”. It’s not the best out there, but it’s good enough given the specs and the price. Pictures look natural and vibrant with rich colors. And the only weakness of the camera seems to be blurry edges and a slight lack of detail. The real magic happens while capturing videos, as this seems to be the best stabilization on a camera at this price range.
While the lack of a headphone jack makes me want to remove this phone immediately out of consideration, the truth is that the M40 is a very reasonable choice at the price point. The similarly priced A50 might be a bit better for efficiency-oriented individuals. But the premium looks and feel the M40 offers places it into an entirely different bracket. Go for this if you want a good looking, ultraslim and wieldy, decent smartphone.