The Galaxy M32 is the latest smartphone in the Galaxy M series, and it is priced starting under Rs. 15,000. Given how crucial the sub-Rs. 15,000 segment is for smartphone makers, the Galaxy M32 naturally has a lot of competition to deal with. Samsung has mainly focused on the display and the battery with this new smartphone, as you can see from its 90Hz Super AMOLED display and a 6,000 mAh battery. Is that enough to help it get a spot at the top of your wishlist, or does it fall short? I've tested the Galaxy M32 and here is my review.
Samsung Galaxy M32 price In India
The Galaxy M32 starts at Rs. 14,999 in India for the base variant which has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. The higher variant offers 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage for Rs 16,999. There are two colour options on offer, Light Blue and Black. I had the base variant of the Galaxy M32 in Light Blue for this review.
Samsung Galaxy M32 design
The Samsung Galaxy M32 sports a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with a dewdrop notch at the top. It has thin bezels at the sides and the top but the bottom chin is thicker. The frame and the back are made out of plastic. Samsung has curved the frame on all sides which makes this phone comfortable to hold and use.
Samsung has opted for a side-mounted fingerprint scanner which sits on the right side of the frame. This is now a common feature on smartphones at this price point. The fingerprint scanner on the side is slightly higher than where I would've liked it but it's still reachable. The result of such placement is that the volume buttons are pushed further up and you'll need to stretch your thumb to reach them.
The Galaxy M32 does not have a camera bump
On the left side of the frame is the Galaxy M32's SIM tray, which has two Nano-SIM slots and a dedicated slot for storage expansion. You do get a 3.5mm headphone jack on the Galaxy M32, at the bottom along with the USB Type-C port and the bottom-firing speaker.
The back panel is glossy and picks up fingerprints rather easily. I had to keep wiping the smartphone to keep smudges off it. In the top left corner is the quad-camera module that sits nearly flush with the back of the smartphone. The Galaxy M32 measures about 9.3mm in thickness and weighs 196g which is noticeable while holding it. The weight and bulk are largely attributable to the big 6,000mAh battery it packs in. The Galaxy M32 is capable of 25W fast charging but sadly only comes with a 15W charger in the box.
Samsung Galaxy M32 specifications
The Galaxy M32 is powered by the MediaTek Helio G80 processor and has either 4GB or 6GB of RAM depending on the variant you pick. You get 64GB of internal storage with the base variant while the higher one offers 128GB of storage. You do have the option to expand storage using the dedicated microSD card slot. The 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display sports a full-HD+ resolution and has a 90Hz refresh rate, which even the more expensive Galaxy M42 (Review) lacks. The display is crisp and has good viewing angles. Samsung claims a peak brightness of 800nits in high brightness mode.
This phone supports Bluetooth 5, dual-band WiFi, and 4G VoLTE but lacks NFC. It has four satellite navigation systems on board, and also has support for Samsung Pay Mini.
The Galaxy M32 has a dewdrop notch with a 20-megapixel selfie camera
Samsung ships its latest One UI 3.1 on top of Android 11. My review unit had the May Android security patch. If you have used a Samsung smartphone, the user experience is quite familiar and you shouldn't face issues navigating around. However, the phone does come with a number of preinstalled apps. During setup it also recommends installing more apps and this step wasn't easy to skip. Many of these apps can be uninstalled right away to reduce clutter on the device. I did get push notifications from some of them, which was annoying.
Samsung also offers its Alt Z feature which lets you create a separate secure folder. This way you can secure photos and apps, and then later access them by double-pressing the power button. The Galaxy M32 also has a Game Launcher which lets you game without any disturbances and can block incoming notifications and gestures as well. The game launcher also gives you the option to club installed games in the same folder.
Samsung Galaxy M32 performance and battery life
The Samsung Galaxy M32's screen has a 90Hz refresh rate which helps the interface look smooth and fluid most of the time. I did still notice some stutter when using the phone and it also took slightly longer than expected to load apps and multitask. The Galaxy M32 did receive a software update during the review period which reduced this stuttering, but loading times didn't change. If you multitask quite often, the 4GB RAM variant might not be the ideal pick for you. The side-mounted fingerprint scanner was quick to unlock the smartphone. I found the display to be bright enough outdoors and the AMOLED display was crisp enough to enjoy watching content on,
I could play casual games on the Galaxy M32 without any issues. The processor didn't feel stressed and I did not notice any lag or stutter. I did also try Call of Duty: Mobile on the Galaxy M32, and it ran at the Low preset for graphics while the frame rate was set to Medium. The game was playable at these settings without any issues. The Galaxy M32 did not get warm after playing the game for 20 minutes, and it registered a 4 percent drop in battery life.
The Galaxy M32 did not set benchmarks on fire, and its scores were modest compared to other phones at this price level. In AnTuTu, the Galaxy M32 managed to score 160,106 points, and it scored 6,595 in PCMark Work 3.0. The Redmi Note 10S, on the other hand, managed to score 330,650 and 8,242 in these tests respectively.
The Galaxy M32 has a quad-camera setup
The Galaxy M32 also managed to score 39fps and 8.1fps in GFXBench's T-Rex and Car Chase benchmarks respectively. The relatively old Realme 7 (Review), which also competes with the Galaxy M32, scored 44fps and 17fps respectively. The Galaxy M32 clearly isn't the most powerful smartphone in its segment, and those looking for performance may have to look elsewhere.
The big 6,000mAh battery that Samsung has crammed into the Galaxy M32 delivers a very good battery life. It went on for over a day and a half without any issues, even though the display refresh rate was set at 90Hz all the time. In our HD video loop test, the phone managed to score 20 hours and 56 minutes which is very good. Charging speed leaves a lot to be desired though. While the Galaxy M32 supports 25W fast charging, Samsung has only given it a 15W charger in the box.. Using this bundled charger, the big battery only got to 22 percent in 30 minutes and 44 percent in an hour. Charging the phone completely took over two hours. You can leave it for charging overnight, but if you want to top up quickly, you will need to spend extra on a faster 25W charger.
Samsung Galaxy M32 cameras
The Galaxy M32 is equipped with a quad-camera setup consisting of a 64-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera, a 2-megapixel macro camera, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. The 64-megapixel camera uses pixel binning to deliver 16-megapixel shots by default. For selfies, it has a 20-megapixel sensor in the dew-drop notch. The camera app is what we are used to seeing on other Samsung devices. It has scene recognition that's enabled by default, and it is quick to detect scenes.
Daylight photos taken with the Galaxy M32 turned out well but did not have the best dynamic range. The scene detection is quick to set the phone up and colours are slightly boosted in the output. You do have the option to disable it before taking the shot. Details were strictly average and text at a distance wasn't legible. The ultra-wide angle camera offered a wider field of view and managed to keep distortion under check. However, details aren't the best which is evident on zooming in.
Samsung Galaxy M32 daytime camera sample (tap to see full size)
Samsung Galaxy M32 ultra-wide angle camera sample (tap to see full size)
The Galaxy M32 does close-ups very well and manages a soft depth between the subject and the background. Subjects were sharp and the colours were fairly accurate. Portrait shots had good edge detection and the Galaxy M32 does let you select the level of blur before taking the shot. Macro shots were decent but I had to try different angles to avoid blocking light while holding the phone too close to the subject. The output is limited to 2 megapixels in resolution.
Samsung Galaxy M32 close-up camera sample (tap to see full size)
Samsung Galaxy M32 portrait camera sample (tap to see full size)
In low-light, the scene detection was quick to change settings and the Galaxy M32 used a slightly longer exposure to take each shot. The phone managed to keep noise under control but fine grain was visible in the output. You do get a dedicated Night mode, in which it takes about 5 seconds to capture a shot. The phone also crops into the frame slightly to minimise shakes while shooting. The resulting images have slightly better details in the shadows, but there isn't a huge improvement.
Samsung Galaxy M32 low-light camera sample (tap to see full size)
Samsung Galaxy M32 Night mode camera sample (tap to see full size)
Selfies were decent, with good details. Portrait selfies were also good and the phone managed good edge detection. Even after dark with a light source nearby, the Galaxy M32 managed good selfies. Samsung has beautification on by default, which smoothens the output, but you can disable it.
Samsung Galaxy M32 portrait selfie camera sample (tap to see full size)
Samsung Galaxy M32 low-light portrait camera sample (tap to see full size)
Video recording tops out at 1080p for both the primary as well as the selfie camera. Footage shot in daylight did have shakes, and the phone failed to stabilise shots completely. Low-light footage also had visible shakes if recorded while walking around. Video recording isn't one of the strong suits of the Galaxy M32.
Samsung claims that the Galaxy M32 is for binge watchers, and its crisp AMOLED display and the big 6,000mAh battery do make this possible to quite an extent. You can watch content on it for long durations without needing to recharge it. If you aren't a heavy user, the Galaxy M32 might not give you any reason to complain other than its disappointing low-light camera performance.
However, if you are a heavy user, you'll find that the Galaxy M32 doesn't deliver the same level of performance as the competition. It isn't the most powerful device under Rs 15,000, and the relatively slow charging speed for its huge battery might be a concern. A lot of people would be better off with the Redmi Note 10S (Review) or the Realme 7 (Review) instead. Many manufacturers are also now pushing 5G as a feature at this price level, so if you want a future-ready phone, this one won't fit the bill.