Samsung Galaxy M31 Philippines Price is PHP 13,990 : How Does It Compare to Realme 6 and Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro?

Earlier this month, July 2020, Korean tech giant Samsung quietly launched two new online-only Android smartphones under its midrange Galaxy M-Series.

The handsome and feature-packed Samsung Galaxy M31 is the more expensive of the two and it's actually the one that I'm more inclined to recommend to loyal fans of this brand who are thinking about purchasing a new smartphone as a way of bouncing back after all the stress that they felt due to the pandemic.

With an official suggested retail price of PHP 13,990, the Galaxy M31 is in direct competition with popular and best-selling midrange smartphones by Chinese companies like the Realme 6 and the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro, which have both been featured on TechPinas.

I guess the question in everyone's mind is, "Does this new Samsung smartphone have the chops to take on those heavyweight competitors?"

Well, my quick answer to that is Yes.

Samsung Galaxy M31, Samsung Galaxy M31 Philippines

Looking at Samsung Galaxy M31's specs sheet, I'd say it is superior to those two in some departments and it is inferior in some areas. But all things considered, this handset has enough strong selling points to give those two a good run for the money.

For one, although it lacks the less noticeable display punch hole of the Realme 6 and Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro for the front-facing camera, Samsung Galaxy M31 nonetheless has large 6.4-inch FullHD+ SuperAMOLED display, which is known for being brighter, more vibrant, and more energy-efficient than the IPS screen of its two main rivals. Although, of course, users will have their own preferences as regards display type and quality.

The Galaxy M31's U-shaped notch houses a 32 MegaPixel f/2.0 selfie-snapper which obviously comes with a higher resolution compared to the 16MP front-cam of both the Realme 6 and Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro. Theoretically, M31 should give you selfies that are doubly clear and crisp than what you'll get from its direct competitors.

Samsung Galaxy M31, Samsung Galaxy M31 Philippines

On top of that, Galaxy M31's front-facing camera can also shoot 4K videos at 30 frames per second which is a priced feature for vloggers and Youtube content creators. In comparison, you only get a FullHD 1080p front-facing video recorder on both the Realme 6 and Redmi Note 9 Pro. Personally, I really wish that both Realme and Xiaomi would put 4K video shooters on the front of their smartphones in the future since it is becoming an essential feature for many young consumers.

Another department where Samsung Galaxy M31 can be deemed superior to the Realme 6 and Redmi Note 9 Pro is in terms of sheer Battery Capacity. The Korean company's handset is powered by a huge 6,000 mAh battery pack which is - needless to say - bigger than the 4,300 mAh pack inside the Realme 6 and even the already sizable 5,020 mAh battery of Xiaomi's midrange model. However, I still have to test whether the Galaxy M31 can indeed beat its rivals in terms of actual uptime since having a higher capacity battery pack doesn't always translate to longer time of use from 100% charge. As I have previously noted, smartphone uptime is also a function of other factors including the energy-efficiency of the display and processor, among others.

Side Note: Amazingly, despite having such a huge battery, Samsung Galaxy M31 weighs just 191 grams, which is the same as Realme 6 and lighter than the Redmi Note 9 Pro.

Samsung Galaxy M31, Samsung Galaxy M31 Philippines

If there's one area, though, where the Samsung Galaxy M31 can be seen by hardcore geeks as not as great as its direct competitors, I'd say it's in terms of processing power.

Why? Well, it's powered by Exynos 9611 which typically gets a lower AnTutu benchmark score (152,000+) compared to the MediaTek Helio G90T chipset (281,000+) of the Realme 6 and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G processor (276,000+) of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro.

In terms of RAM and Internal Storage, though, Samsung Galaxy M31 is practically the same as the PHP 13,990 variant of Realme 6 which has 8GB RAM and 128GB of expandable storage through the dedicated microSD card slot. Interestingly, the PHP 13,990 Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro only has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of ROM.

Now, as for the imaging prowess of their rear cameras, I personally think they are pretty much even or more-or-less on the same level with AI or color science being the main source of variance between models.

All three have a Quad Rear Camera module with a powerful 64 MegaPixel main camera with wide f/1.8 aperture and large 1/1.72" Sensor Size that makes it ideal for everyday point-and-shoot photography in various lighting conditions. Also, they share a similar 8 MegaPixel f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle secondary camera that's great for landscape and architectural photography. These are the two shooters that consumers use most often in multi-cam set-ups like this so that's where I got my assumption.

That said, I want to note that - for the third camera - Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro has a higher resolution Macro shooter at 5 MegaPixels compared to the 2-MegaPixel close-up snapper of both the Galaxy M31 and the Realme 6. For the fourth camera, both the Redmi Note 9 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy M31 have a 2 MegaPixel Depth Sensor that enables Portrait Mode through which the user can add Bokeh Effect or background blur to subjects while Realme 6 swaps that for a 2MP monochrome B/W camera.

Samsung Galaxy M31, Samsung Galaxy M31 Philippines

Finally, in terms of design identity or looks, I think it all boils down to personal preference. However, I have to say that both Realme 6 and Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro have a high-gloss finish and metallic sheen that can make them appear more luxurious or opulent. But hey, the back panel of Samsung Galaxy M31 Ocean Blue version has an iridescent purple-to-blue sheen that I find particularly classy and elegant. Again, in this case, beauty depends on the individual user's taste.

To wrap up, I'd say that although its processor is not as powerful as that of its rivals, Samsung Galaxy M31 has enough strong key features - including its brilliant SuperAMOLED display, the 32 MegaPixel selfie snapper, the 4K front-facing video recorder, the 64MP, Quad Camera Module, the Ultra-Large Battery Pack, and its already familiar One UI Android experience - to make it a very compelling offer that should be considered.

Samsung Galaxy M31 Specs
159.2 x 75.1 x 8.9 mm
191 grams
6.4-inch, FullHD+ 1080 x 2340 pixels, 403 ppi, 19.5:9 Ratio, SuperAMOLED
84.1% Screen-to-Body ratio
Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Quad Rear Camera Module:
64 MegaPixels, f/1.8 Aperture, 26mm, 1/1.72" Sensor Size, 0.8µm, Phase Detection AutoFocus PDAF
8 MegaPixels, f/2.2, 12mm, Ultra-Wide Lens, 1/4.0", 1.12µm
5 MegaPixels, f/2.4, Macro
5 MegaPixels, f/2.2, Depth Sensor
Front-Facing Camera:
32 MegaPixels, f/2.0, 26mm, 1/2.8", 0.8µm
Video Recorder:
Back - 4K 30fps, FullHD 1080p 30fps, Gyro-EIS
Front - 4K 30fps, FullHD 1080p 30fps
One UI 2.0
Android 10 Operating System
10nm 2.3GHz Octa-Core Exynos 9611 Processor
Mali-G72 MP3 GPU
6GB RAM
128GB Internal Storage
Dedicated microSD Card Slot
Rear-Mounted Fingerprint Scanner
Facial Recognition
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 5.0
4G LTE-A
USB Type C
USB On-The-Go
15W Fast Charging
Non-Removable 6,000 mAh Li-Po Battery
Polycarbonate Case
Ocean Blue, Space Black

Samsung Galaxy M31 Price in the Philippines
Official Suggested Retail Price - PHP 13,990
Launch in the Philippines - July 2020

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