Update Samsung Galaxy A31 Specs Review – Associated with and sponsored by the partnership. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
Samsung’s 2020 lineup of Galaxy A series phones is already growing as big as the 2019 lineup, with plenty of new launches in recent weeks. Somewhere on the lower end of the spectrum is the Galaxy A31, which is clearly aimed at customers who don’t want a bigger shell for the more accomplished Galaxy A51.
Update Samsung Galaxy A31 Specs Review
The Galaxy A31 has a number of attractive features in its specification sheet: a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display, an in-display fingerprint sensor, 128GB of storage as standard in many countries, four rear cameras, and a 5,000 mAh battery. What is not so attractive is the processor that powers the phone. The A31, along with the Galaxy A41, uses a MediaTek Helio P65 chipset, which, as I already mentioned in the title of the review, is not great for gaming.
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Still, there’s plenty to like about the Galaxy A31, so let’s start this review and find out what it’s all about.
The design of the Galaxy A31 has not changed much physically from the Galaxy A30 or Galaxy A30s. It has a non-removable plastic back and the front is mostly covered by the screen. It has the same 6.4-inch Infinity-U Super AMOLED display as the Galaxy A30 and A30s, so the bottom bezel is significantly thicker than the bezels on the top and sides.
It would have been nice to see an Infinity-O display like the Galaxy A51 here too, but Samsung probably wants to keep some distinction between the two, so that’s inexcusable. What the Galaxy A31 has in common with the Galaxy A51 is the design on the back, which looks stunning when the light hits it at different angles. It’s a “glass” panel, meaning it’s plastic that looks like glass – it doesn’t feel as premium as Samsung’s flagship phones, but it doesn’t feel cheap either.
It helps that despite the 5,000 mAh battery inside, the Galaxy A31 isn’t too heavy. At 185 grams, it certainly pushes the limits of what can be considered a lightweight phone, but the weight will feel fine and won’t be a problem for anyone. The L-shaped rear camera setup is likely the same as we’ve seen on the Galaxy A51 and other recent Galaxy phones. There’s no text telling you the resolution of the main camera in front of the camera sensor, which we’ve seen on Samsung’s M series phones, and it looks a bit unusual and impressive overall.
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The display, a Super AMOLED panel, is as good as you’d expect. Deep blacks, not vibrant but mostly saturated colors, wide viewing angles, and high brightness levels are all part of the package. The resolution is 2400 x 1080 pixels, so everything from text to videos looks sharp. As mentioned earlier, the bottom bezel is significantly larger than the bezels on the other sides and can be jarring at times, but that’s the only criticism you can level at this phone in terms of the viewing experience .
The Galaxy A31 comes with the same theoretical in-display fingerprint sensor as the Galaxy A51. While I still prefer the old physical fingerprint readers, I really like this one too. It’s much faster and more accurate than the in-display fingerprint technology Samsung used on its mid-range phones last year. In fact, it’s even better than the more advanced ultrasonic fingerprint technology on Samsung’s flagship phones, at least when you consider the price difference between those A-series phones and the company’s considered top offerings.
Facial recognition is also available for those who prefer a more hands-free way to unlock their phone. In fact, I also often use Face ID, along with the wake-up function that’s part of every Galaxy phone these days. Face detection almost always works well, especially when you double-register your face using the alternate look feature (more details here).
The Galaxy A31 has a versatile camera setup on the back: there is a 48MP main camera, an 8MP ultrawide camera, a 5MP macro camera, and a 5MP depth camera. The main camera is good enough for phones in the lower mid-range segment, but just barely. Outside during the day, detail retention is good and there is little noise, although images can sometimes look quite blurry.
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At night and in low light conditions, the Galaxy A31 suffers severely. With enough artificial light, the images are less noisy but also look softer. In very light scenes, noise increases greatly, and details are almost completely lost. To make matters worse, there is no dedicated night mode to help you get better results in harsh lighting conditions. The Galaxy A30 didn’t have one, but this is 2020 and one would expect a night mode on all but the cheapest phones.
The absence of a dedicated night mode is especially noticeable when you use the ultra-wide camera, which cannot take as bright photos as the main camera in low-light conditions due to its rather narrow aperture. Ultra-wide shots taken outside during the day are only usable until you try to zoom in, as the 8-megapixel resolution isn’t enough to resolve any meaningful detail. This, however, is a limitation of Samsung’s mid-range phones with ultra-wide cameras.
Night mode isn’t the only thing missing on the Galaxy A31: it doesn’t have a slow-motion or hyperlapse mode. Apart from Photos and Video, the only modes you get are Live Focus, Pro, Panorama, Macro and Food. Macro mode is used for taking photos with a macro camera, and when it comes to the quality of those photos, the results are pretty average. With less than 5 megapixels to work with, the macro camera can’t resolve much detail, and is useless in low light situations.
You can also capture bokeh images with Live Focus mode with the rear and front cameras. Bokeh images look great, with good separation between the subject and the background. As usual, you will see some patterns around a person’s hair, but others are not a problem. When it comes to video recording, the A31 is fine. You can record videos at Full HD resolution at 30 frames per second, but not much detail is captured and, like photos, videos can sometimes look too flat and lifeless.
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Up front, the A31 has a 20-megapixel shooter that takes noise-free selfies during the day, although detail retention is very mediocre and images lack sharpness. As you move in the noise increases and the images become quite soft. Overall, the selfie quality on this phone will do the job and nothing else, as you can see in the pictures below.
The Galaxy A31 runs Android 10 with One UI 2.1 out of the box, which you also find on the Galaxy S20 flagship. Naturally, the feature set here is minimal, although there are some useful ones. It includes One UI 2.1 features such as Quick Share and Music Share. Quick Share is an AirDrop-like feature that lets you quickly transfer files to other Galaxy devices running One UI 2.1 over Wi-Fi – it only takes three taps, one to hit the Share button, another to the share menu To select Quick Share. , and to select another device you want to share your data with.
With Music Share, you can stay connected to a Bluetooth speaker and let other devices play music on it by connecting to your phone instead of that Bluetooth speaker. The Galaxy A31 comes with Samsung’s Edge Screen and Edge Lightning features, which we rarely see on non-flagship Galaxy smartphones. Many standard features of One UI 2.0 and Android 10 are also included, such as Link to Windows, Game Launcher, Dual Messenger, Secure Folder, Focus Mode with Digital Wellbeing, Themes Support, One-Handed Mode, Samsung Pass, and Always Forward. show off
Samsung Pay is also on board, although it only works with NFC-based payment terminals (in India, Wallet is supported). However, there is no Bixby voice or Bixby routine on the Galaxy A31. Neither is a screen recorder. In terms of updates, you can expect the Galaxy A31 to get Android 11 and Android 12, as well as whatever One UI version they come with. Security updates will come every three months, although there may be some cases where you have to wait longer between two updates.
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The A31 is powered by MediaTek Helio P65, a 12nm chip that packs two performance Cortex-A75 cores clocked at 2GHz, six low-power Cortex-A55 cores clocked at 1.7GHz, and a Mali GPU -G52 MC2. The processor cores are newer than what you find in the Exynos 7904 that powers the Galaxy A30 and so is the GPU, but the Helio P65 is still inferior overall, at least from gaming part.
When you’re not playing, the Galaxy A31 does plenty of work. We tested the variant with 6GB of RAM, and apps opened and moved quickly
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