Samsung Galaxy M20 review

Reassuring Samsung's 'M'ight in the budget segment

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Interface and Reliability

There was a phase when Samsung's TouchWiz UI faced a constant backlash for its heavily loaded interface and unnecessary features. But you can't deny the fact that Samsung has improved the interface over the years. Samsung Experience (version 9.5 UX) is a more modern and smoother. But as always, it remains one of the highly customisable interfaces and allows users to tune the appearance as they desire. For instance, you can choose icon packs, change the icon size, the size of the grid, and so on.

The UI is similar to what we've seen on Samsung's high-end phones. It has a swipe-up style app drawer with smooth animations and app transitions. There are no sign of hiccups or lags in the UI, but if you find it getting slow after a point, you can make it snappier by turning off animation scales from Developer Settings.

Clean and swift UI

Clean and swift UI

Samsung continues to put some unwanted apps out of the box like Dailyhunt and a suit of Samsung, Microsoft and Google apps. While most of them can be uninstalled, you're forced to keep some on your phone. For instance, Microsoft's suite of apps can't be deleted. You can, however, disable them if you want. Also, there are some useful Samsung apps like Samsung Max, which helps you save and control mobile data, Radio and more.

Those who've used Samsung phones in the past will notice a new Lockscreen Stories feature on the M20. Added new to the UI, this feature showcases topic-based articles on the lockscreen. Samsung has partnered with Glance to source feed from different publications. The good part is, you can disable it from the settings if you don't want to load your lock screen.

The Galaxy M20 also supports the dual-messenger feature, which allows you to clone apps like WhatsApp and use multiple accounts on the same device. Speaking of WhatsApp accounts, the M20 supports two SIM cards and has a separate micro-SD slot, a much sought after feature.

The biggest flaw in M20's software though is that this phone runs on Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box. Frankly, it’s downright sad that a phone launched in 2019 still doesn’t have Android Pie out of the box.

Sports the latest Exynos 7904 chipset

Sports the latest Exynos 7904 chipset

Specs and Performance

The new Exynos 7904 octa-core chipset powers the Galaxy M20, and believe us, it's no slouch. We reviewed the 4GB RAM variant and the performance till now has been impressive. The chipset strikes a noticeable balance between battery consumption and raw power. 

We used almost every type of application on the phone to see if there's some area where it shows sign of stutters, but the M20 has impressed us so far. Of course, if you intentionally push the limits and run 20 apps in the background, you will see sluggishness. On most of its part, it feels at par with the Snapdragon 636 chipset, but it is still slightly behind when it comes to games. 

We played PUBG Mobile on medium settings and the M20 did struggle a bit to run the game smoothly. However, when compared to other handsets in the same range, it's still second best for PUBG Mobile after the Snapdragon 636 devices like Redmi Note 6 Pro.

There's another fact about the M20 that can't go unignored. Like most Samsung handsets that Galaxy M20 has a SAR rating of 0.248 W/kg whereas, the competing Note 6 Pro has a SAR value of 0.755 W/kg and Honor 10 Lite has a SAR value of 0.6W/kg. For those who don't know, higher SAR value means more exposure to RF (radiofrequency) energy absorption by human body. The lesser the safer. 

Overall, the M20 is a truly balanced smartphone that goes neck to neck with the best performing phone in the market right now. 

We would suggest you to go for the 4GB RAM, so you're covered for long-term usage.

Good for multimedia consumption

Good for multimedia consumption

Multimedia performance

After the POCO F1 Widevine L1 controversy, Samsung has been pushing hard on the fact that its phone has the DRM support. Of course, if you have a bright and crisp 6.3-inch display, who wouldn't want to stream Netflix and Amazon Prime in Full HD. Long story short, it's an impressive display to watch video on. 

Another plus point on the M20 is that it supports Dolby Atmos audio. Meaning, if you're watching content that has multichannel sound, using a headphone will give you a complete movie-watching experience. 

Moreover, it also has aptX codec for wireless music playing via Bluetooth. So, if you have an aptX supported wireless headphones, the M20 can be a good companion for better music listening. 

What's not good here is the mono speaker at the bottom. It's clear but very soft. Some might enjoy listening to songs on it, but our experience while playing games was underwhelming. 

Lastly, there is a dedicated microSD card slot that allows users to store media up to 512 GB. 

Sudhanshu Singh

Sudhanshu Singh have been working in tech journalism as a reporter, writer, editor, and reviewer for over 5 years. He has reviewed hundreds of products ranging across categories and have also written opinions, guides, feature articles, news, and analysis. Ditching the norm of armchair journalism in tech media, Sudhanshu dug deep into how emerging products and services affect actual users, and what marks they leave on our cultural landscape. His areas of expertise along with writing and editing include content strategy, daily operations, product and team management.