Samsung launched the Galaxy M33 5G in the competitive sub-20K price segment lately and while this segment is highly cluttered and dominated with smartphones from popular brands like POCO, Realme, Oppo, and the Redmi, the new addition to Galaxy M series seems tempting. But will it be able to create a place for itself? The on-paper features and specifications look promising to meet the customers daily requirements with a 6000 mAh battery, 50MP Camera and a 5nm Exynos 1280 processor. But is this new Samsung Galaxy M33 5G worth the money?
The Galaxy M33 5G as compared to its predecessor M32 5G is definitely the better option with its cheaper price and upgraded features, but is it enough to sustain in this highly competitive segment? To find all these answers, I have been using this phone for two weeks now and here’s what I have found.
The 2022 edition of the Galaxy M series has a very generic “Samsung” design. The rounded corners and a water drop display looks like every other budget Samsung smartphone. With the plastic built, squarish camera module on back and heavy weight (215 grams), it doesn’t feel like sub-20K phones. The phone comes in two fresh tones- deep ocean blue and mystique green. I have received the mystique green version. Despite its fresh shade, the phone doesn’t look eye-catchy and one can feel the heft of the 6000 mAh battery.
On the front, the phone gives a dated feel with a teardrop notch or what Samsung calls "the Infinity-V display". It has a 6.6-inch FHD+ display with a 120Hz refresh rate but its build quality is a major disappointment. Despite having the Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection, the phone's structural rigidity seems to be very poor. A simple drop from waist height shattered the display glass, as you can see in the picture below. Here, I would say Samsung must do something about the build quality on their Galaxy M series phones.
Now moving to the functionalities on the smartphone’s sides, there’s a fingerprint scanner and the volume rocker on the right and SIM card tray on the left. The sensor is pretty responsive and you can also unlock the phone via facial recognition. The base has a speaker grille, a USB Type-C port, and a 3.5 mm audio jack.
That’s not all since the device doesn't even ship with a charger in the box and there's no protective case either. This means you’ll have to spend extra bucks on a charger and protective case which is a major disappointment. And based on my experience, a case is a MUST!
Samsung has clearly cut down the cost on this front as phones such as the Redmi Note 11 Pro, Poco X4 Pro 5G, iQOO Z6 5G and Realme 9 5G get far more attractive designs, and the basic in-box accessories.
Coming to the display, the Samsung Galaxy M33 5G offers a 6.6-inch FHD+ Infinity-V display, which is an LCD panel with a 120Hz refresh rate. The high refresh rate has managed to give a nice experience for all-night binge sessions. But, Samsung cut the corners on budget here too. There are several other phones like Redmi Note 11 Pro that offer AMOLED displays in this price segment. This display is fine though, as long as you are doing short YouTube binge sessions, or scrolling through social media. Compared to the 5G phones at this price, you get one of the nicer LCD displays on this one.
Moving to the Samsung Galaxy M33 5G’s performance, the company has used the Exynos 1280 processor, the same chipset that powers the A53 5G. The processor is said to offer a similar level of performance as the Snapdragon 778G chipset. Samsung claimed it as the segment best 5 nm Octa-core Processor which offers impeccable speed and performance. However, the device takes a little longer to wake up, load up apps and games and lags every now and then. Forget high-end games like BGMI, Call of Duty and others, the phone even slows down while playing Temple Run and Subway Surfers. There is a lot of scope for improvement here as well, which we believe could be achieved with a software update.
Samsung, however, offers the latest Android 12 OS with its One UI 4 skin on top. One UI is a beautiful Android experience at this price but it is riddled with bloat and adware. The eMMC 5.1 type storage isn't cutting edge in 2022 for speed freaks but it is not a huge dealbreaker. There are several preloaded apps, but you can delete some of them if required.
The stereo speaker works fine while binging shows or social media content. Network connectivity has been good on Jio 4G network. I haven’t faced slow data speed or call drops even in the low network area.
Apart from these, we can’t forget to mention that the device supports 5G connectivity. Samsung has clearly cut down on several segments just to accommodate 5G connectivity which is still yet to arrive in India. There are a number of phones like Realme 9 5G and Poco X4 Pro 5G that not only bring 5G connectivity support but they have impressed us in other aspects as well.
The Samsung Galaxy M33 5G comes with a quad rear camera setup comprising a 50MP primary camera, a 5MP ultra-wide camera with 120-degree FOV, a 2MP depth, and a 2MP macro unit. Cameras are fine but not that much impressive in comparison to other phones of this segment. The phone captures bright pictures during the daylight but the low light pictures look dull and underexposed. The 5 MP ultra wide camera is decent while 2MP depth, and a 2MP macro is of no use. The 8 MP selfie camera is disappointing as the shots get blurry during night. It gives me the feel of some entry-level smartphone. Even the Motorola Moto G22 comes with a better selfie camera i.e, 16MP. If you’re looking for a decent camera phone, then the Samsung Galaxy M33 5G may lose out to its competition.
To check the camera samples , click here
The M33 5G relies on a powerful 6000mAh battery with 25W fast charging support, which is one of the few features that impressed me about this phone. The phone gets fully charged in 1.5 hours and stays on for more than a day and half. I have played games, surfed the internet, watched videos/ films, and attended calls/ video calls for more for the same period on single charge. So, if you’re living in an area where there are frequent power cuts and electricity problems then you can consider this one. The absence of a charger is a disappointment since you will have to spend extra bucks on getting a 25W adapter.
The Samsung Galaxy M33 5G misses out on several aspects to its 4G rivals, such as a premium build, an AMOLED display, and in-box goodies, just to bring 5G support in the sub-20K price range. Compared to the 5G rivals though, there's a lot to like here, and if you are content with the compromises of these entry-level 5G phones over their 4G counterparts, the M33 5G is a pleasant option. The phone comes in two storage variants of 6GB + 128GB and 8GB + 128GB priced at Rs. 17,999 and Rs. 19,499 respectively.
The Galaxy M33 5G could have been a much better phone if Samsung had taken the initiative and reduced the "usual 5G compromises" to zero. But cost cutting is a key factor in these phones and hence, you still need to ask whether future proofing is more important than an overall qualitative experience at the moment. If the answer is affirmative, I think the Galaxy M33 5G could be likeable for you. But "likeable" only, not the best.
That is because the Poco X4 Pro at a similar price is far superior phone by all means -- be it by virtue of its display or overall build quality, or its overall performance. Those seeking faster performance can settle for the Vivo T1 5G and iQOO Z6, and also the Realme 9 5G SE. Hence, before you assume the Galaxy M33 is "UP" for it all, take a look at what the market has to offer.
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