Yes and no. It’s not as good as high-end phones such as the Samsung Galaxy 20, or the iPhone 11 – but it is a good mid-range smartphone.
Mid-range smartphones are nothing new, of course. Samsung has been making them for over a decade. However, they are increasingly popular. And thanks to the launch of the OnePlus Nord, more and more people who would usually just buy the latest iPhone or Samsung Galaxy Whatever are starting to look for more value.
And it makes sense too. The latest and greatest smartphones are way too advanced for the majority of their users. Very few people actually need 12RAM in a phone and 60x zoom like the Oppo Find X2 Pro offers.
Stefan Lecchi, Director of Mobile New Zealand, said: “The Samsung Galaxy A31 packs a lot into an attractive form factor including a stunning display, and multi-camera functionality for enhanced storytelling, providing new ways to capture and share experiences on a device that lasts all day.”
Below, I’ve highlighted some important things that you should pay attention to.
Samsung Galaxy A31 release date and price (NZ)
It’s cheap! $499 here in NZ and now available to order from Samsung, Harvey Norman, Noel Leeming and JB Hi-Fi.
You’re getting a really decent display here for $499. First of, the technology – an FHD+ Super AMOLED Infinity-U display – is very impressive.
Next, the pixel count of 1080×2040, in a 6.4-inch screen, is all you’re ever going to need. Why? Because that is equal to 360ppi (pixels per inch). Apple and Steve Jobs made a big hoo-ha about the eye not being about to see more than 300 pixels at a distance of 10-10 inches – when they launched the iPhone 4 back in 2010. And the number of pixels out eyes can see, per inch, hasn’t changed since then.
All of this is a long-winded way of saying that this is a very good display for a sub-$500 smartphone.
Camera technology is a little harder to be objective about. There are just too many variables to say with any confidence “X phone has a really good camera”.
However, the Galaxy A31 looks like it’ll be solid. Featuring a multi-purpose quad rear camera, the Galaxy A31 should be able to handle the majority of scenarios you throw at it.
The main camera is a 48-megapixel shooter that’s designed to be used for your point-and-shoot moments that require pin-sharp photography. This is backed up with a 123° 8MP Ultra Wide Cam; a 5MP Macro Cam for close-ups, and 5MP Depth Camera for depth-of-field photography.
Oh, and there’s a 20-megapixel selfie camera, that looks fine too.
The one area that is noticeably lacking is the processor. Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 is the brand you’re looking for in any high-end Android smartphone released in 2020, and it’s nowhere to be seen here.
In its place is a Samsung own-brand 2GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio P65. And this is why the phone only costs $499 at launch. It’s a little laggy if you’re used to modern high-end smartphones. But it’s still fine, providing you’re not looking to do any serious gaming on your phone.
What else do I need to know?
Erm, there’s an in-display fingerprint sensor for biometric security. A huge 5,000 mAh battery with 15W Fast Charging. Available with 64GB or 128GB internal storage. It’s a dual sim. And it runs Samsung’s One UI v2.1 (an OS based on Android 10).
Should I buy the Samsung Galaxy A31?
If you’re not looking for a smartphone with the world’s best camera – and you don’t play processor-intensive games like PubG or Fortnite on your mobile – the Samsung Galaxy A31 represents a hell of a lot of smartphone for NZ$499. The display and camera set up look genuinely impressive – and they are two of the areas that matter most to people when it comes to what they want from their smartphone. So here’s the question you need to ask yourself: “do I mind a (potentially) slightly laggy smartphone?” If the answer to that question is “not really” then the Galaxy A31 is a solid enough choice at a ridiculously good price.
Samsung Galaxy A31 Product Specifications
|6.4-inch, Full HD+ (1080 x2400)
|Main: 48MP, F2.0
Ultra-Wide: 8MP, F2.2
Depth: 5MP, F2.4
Macro: 5MP, F2.4
|Size and weight
|73.1 x 159.3 x 8.6 mm/185g
|Octa Core (Dual 2.0GHz + Hexa 1.7GHz)
|4 / 6GB RAM
|64GB/128GB Internal Storage
|Micro SD slot (up to 512 GB)
|Dual SIM (3 slot)
|5,000 mAh (typical), 15W Fast Charging
|Prism Crush Black / Blue / Red / White