Our Opinion

The Samsung Galaxy M21 (6GB RAM, 128GB) is a significantly better phone than the Samsung Galaxy A30, and is also significantly better value for money. What should you buy? Go for the Samsung Galaxy M21 (6GB RAM, 128GB)!

Samsung Galaxy A30  Samsung Galaxy M21 (6GB RAM, 128GB) 
Samsung Galaxy A30 Samsung Galaxy M21
Buy Now Buy Buy
Excellence Score
25.9
37.4
Value for Money Score
53.1
73.6
Price ₹ 17,500 onwards ₹ 14,999 onwards
Launch Date (India) Mar, 2019 Mar, 2020
Expected Launch Date N/A N/A
Smartphone OS Android 9.0 Pie, Upgradeable to Android 10Low likelihood of getting updated to next Android version Android 10Expected update to next Android version
Touchscreen Yes (Capacitive) Yes (Capacitive)
Screen Size 6.4 inches 6.4 inches
Screen Resolution 1080x2340 pixels (~ 403 pixels per inch) 1080x2340 pixels (~ 403 pixels per inch)
Tall Aspect Ratio / Minimal Bezels Yes Yes
Scratch Resistant Display Yes Yes, Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Display Type AMOLED AMOLED
Screen Refresh Rate 60 HzStandard 60 HzStandard
Display Features Super AMOLED, Infinity-U Display Super AMOLED
Full Physical QWERTY Keypad
Processor 1.8 GHz 2.3 GHz
Processor Type Octa Core Octa Core
Processor Name Samsung Exynos 7904Ranked #65 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks Samsung Exynos 9611Ranked #37 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks
GPU Mali-G71 MP2 Mali-G72 MP3
RAM 4 GB 6 GB
3G Yes Yes
4G Yes Yes
5G
VoLTE Yes Yes
WiFi Yes Yes
VoWiFi/WiFi-Calling Yes Yes
GPS Yes Yes
Bluetooth Yes Yes
Connecting Port USB-C USB-C
Primary Camera 16MP + 5MP 48MP + 8MP + 5MP
Camera Auto-Focus Yes Yes
Camera Flash Yes Yes
HD Video Recording Yes (Full HD) Yes (4K)
Other Camera Features 16MP: F/1.7 Aperture; PDAF, 5MP: F/2.2 Aperture 48MP: f/2.0 aperture; 26mm Focal Length; 1/2.0" Sensor Size; 0.8um Pixel Size; PDAF, 8MP: f/2.2 aperture; 12mm Focal Length; Ultra-wide; 1/4.0" Sensor Size; 1.12um Pixel Size, 5MP: f/2.2 aperture; Depth Sensor, Panorama, HDR, Video: [email protected]; [email protected]; EIS
Secondary Camera 16MP 20MP
Secondary Camera Features F/2.0 Aperture f/2.0 aperture, 26mm Focal Length, HDR
Internal Memory 64 GB 128 GB
Expandable Memory Slot Yes, up to 512 GB Yes, up to 512 GB
Contacts Storage Unlimited Unlimited
SMS Storage Unlimited Unlimited
Music Player Yes Yes
FM Radio Yes Yes (Wireless)
Dual SIM GSM+GSM GSM+GSM
Thickness 7.7 mmMedium 8.9 mmMedium
Weight 165 gmMedium 188 gmMedium
Width 74.7 mmOk for one-handed use 75.1 mmOk for one-handed use
Audio Output 3.5mm jack 3.5mm jack
Water Resistant
Battery Capacity 4000 mAh 6000 mAh
Battery Standby N/A N/A
Battery Standby (3G) N/A N/A
Battery Talktime N/A N/A
Battery Talktime (3G) N/A N/A
Fast Charging Support Yes Yes, 15W Fast Charging
Included Fast Charger Yes, 15.0W Fast Charger Yes, 15.0W Fast Charger
Other Battery Parameters N/A N/A
Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes
Other Features Noise Filtration Noise Filtration
2-minute Review [Positives]
  • Well built, sleek, modern design, with a Infinity-U display
  • The glossy sides and back look good (it has the appearance of glass but it is actually plastic)
  • Large, vivid Super AMOLED, Infinity-U display with slim borders all around - everything from images to text really pops - easily one of the best-in-class displays in this price category
  • The Galaxy A30 runs on Samsung's new One UI, which is one of the more polished, refined takes on an Android UI, and is one of the best Android UI implementations at present, along with Oxygen OS
  • There are a number of useful features including Android Pie's Digital Wellbeing, and a whole bunch of motion gestures such as one-handed mode, Smart Stay, etc, which can be toggled on
  • Decent performance with a Exynos 7904 processor at the core (similar to Snapdragon 636) - day-to-day use is decent and complex games like PUBG are also playable at reduced graphics settings
  • One of the few affordable phones with a wide angle sensor at the rear, that can produce some interesting frames
  • It also shoots pretty good portraits
  • Decent bundled headset - and you can enable Dolby Atmos for wired and Bluetooth headphones, which boosts the audio level and spatial separation a bit
  • The 4000mAh battery is one of the Galaxy A30's strong suits - you will easily manage to push past a full day on one charge
  • The bundled fast charger is able to take the battery to about 70 percent in an hour, which is not bad at all
  • Decent looks and build quality - very similar to the Samsung Galaxy M31, with a a unibody polycarbonate design, and glossy finish on the back panel - the only major difference is the camera module which houses a triple rear camera
  • The plastic body keeps the phone feeling relatively lightweight at 188 grams, which is mighty impressive for a phone packing a big 6000 mAh battery
  • It also feels great to hold with a seamless curved panel that meets the display up front
  • Modern, Infinity-U front - bezels around the screen are slim, except for a slightly thick chin - you still get around 90 per cent screen-to-body ratio, which is great
  • Fingerprint sensor at the back is easy to reach and work very well
  • Gorgeous, 6.4-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED display with excellent viewing angles, and brightness levels - easily one of the best displays in the price bracket
  • It also comes with "Widevine L1" certification, which helps stream content in crisp HD resolution
  • Blacks are deep on the AMOLED display, which looks good with Night mode enabled
  • Samsung's OneUI is today one of the more clean, refined Android UIs that's especially well optimised for large displays like this
  • One UI also brings in other useful stuff, like a System-wide Dark mode (which turns the background completely black, and looks great on the M21's AMOLED display), and Always On Display option
  • Decent performance with the Exynos 9611 at the core (similar to Snapdragon 665) - the device is fairly quick to load up apps - multitasking is a breeze
  • Decent triple rear camera setup - a 48MP primary snapper, an 8MP ultra-wide lens and a 5MP depth sensor
  • In broad daylight, you'll get consistent, crispy shots with decent dynamic range and sharpness levels are respectable with the primary lens
  • The ultra-wide sensor, like on any budget phone, is a good addition - it takes social media-worthy images in great lighting conditions (in low-light, the quality dips and pictures look grainy and noisy, wide-angle shots also have barrel distortion at the edges)
  • Live Focus shots are quite good and the camera app does give you the option to set the level of blur before taking a shot - edge detection is very good and the Galaxy M21 does a good job of separating the subject from the background
  • The 20MP selfie camera is quite good and takes detailed selfies (though, in low light, the quality goes down a notch and results are grainy)
  • Monster 6000 mAh battery delivers an incredible 2-3 days of usage easily, making for one of the largest battery life smartphones currently available
  • Supports 15W fast charging
  • If you're someone who consumes a lot of content on their phone, the Galaxy M21 is a good phone for you, it has great AMOLED display, outstanding battery backup that will last you for days
2-minute Review [Negatives]
  • Of course the glossy body means that it also attracts smudges and fingerprints easily
  • The fingerprint sensor works well, but is placed a bit too high up - and you will have to really stretch your index finger, or at times, shuffle the phone around to reach it
  • You have the option to use face recognition instead of — or in addition to — using the fingerprint scanner, but it's not very quick, not even under good light
  • The Galaxy A30 is also a big phone to carry around, even if you have large hands
  • Unfortunately, there are still plenty of promotions, and ads to deal with, in the default phone setup (you can thankfully opt out of these though)
  • Given however, that other phones in this price range now come with much more powerful SoCs like the MediaTek Helio P70 and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, the A30 does lag behind the competition in terms of performance
  • Overall quality-wise though, the dual rear camera (primary + wide-angle) setup at the rear is average though, especially in terms of low light performance
  • The front 16-megapixel selfie camera is again average - selfies are a bit soft in daylight and in low-light, selfies lack good detail, with visible grain
  • The Galaxy A30 can shoot up to full-HD videos with good quality, but the lack of stabilisation is a let-down - unless you're staying still, videos often end up looking shaky and unusable - continuous autofocus too isn't very quick, and you will see visible lag when the camera tries to refocus onto another subject
  • The audio output from the speaker however is quite weak in terms of volume
  • Overall, the A30 is not quite as good as Samsung's other recent launches in the M and A series
  • It will face very stiff competition from the likes of the Redmi Note 7 Pro, which apart from being much more powerful, also takes a big lead in the camera department
  • Even if you want to stick to Samsung, the M30 will give you a slightly better camera performance, a bigger battery, and storage - so, significantly better value
  • The power button and volumes are quite flush with the frame which means they lack that tactile, clicky feel
  • Design feels a bit dated and underwhelming, there is no spark in Galaxy M21's design as we see in other brand's phones like Xiaomi and Realme
  • However, this is an old chipset and heavy gaming isn't best on this phone - the Redmi Note 9 Pro and the Realme 6 are much better options that will handle gaming better than the Galaxy M21
  • Photos taken in low-light are average - focusing gets worse in low light and the extreme noise-correction makes images look like water paintings
  • Overall, the cameras on the M21 are decent, but there are better cameras available in this price bracket, including the Galaxy M31, which is just a tad bit pricier
  • Samsung Galaxy M11 falls behind in fast charging as competitors are offering close to 30W fast charging, the 15W on M21 feels low
  • Having said that, the Redmi Note 9 Pro and the Realme 6 will still offer you more bang for your buck, overall and when it comes to intensive tasks like gaming, you’ll be better off choosing the Realme 6 or the Redmi Note 8 Pro that are probably the best phones for gaming in this segment
Expert Reviews
  1. A balanced smartphone with good specs, and it will serve you well no matter the occasion
    gsmarena.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. A pretty good device for the price segment it’s sitting in...but the Galaxy M30 is better bang-for-the-buck
    beebom.com in-depth Read Review »
  3. We'd suggest giving the Galaxy A30 a pass
    gadgets.ndtv.com in-depth Read Review »
  4. Has formidable competitors...but for those who don’t game and are happy with great battery life and a solid multimedia experience, you can buy this phone
    fonearena.com in-depth Read Review »
  5. Reliable daily driver
    bgr.in in-depth Read Review »
  6. Nothing makes the Galaxy A30 stand out, and with so many good options available, being perfectly average doesn’t really cut it anymore
    androidauthority.com in-depth Read Review »
  7. The Galaxy A30 is a good phone...but it will struggle against competition in the online market
    indiatoday.in in-depth Read Review »
  8. techradar.com hands-on Read Review »
  9. trustedreviews.com hands-on Read Review »
  10. techadvisor.co.uk hands-on Read Review »
  1. All the battery life you need
    fonearena.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. Big battery and display at an affordable price
    indiatoday.in in-depth Read Review »
  3. A good option if you are out in the market looking for a capable smartphone that is not Xiaomi or Realme
    business-standard.com in-depth Read Review »
  4. A Phone That Caters Best To Video Content Consumers
    in.mashable.com in-depth Read Review »
  5. Sharp display, good cameras, decent performance and an amazing battery life, though the Galaxy M31 is better
    zeebiz.com in-depth Read Review »
  6. bgr.in in-depth Read Review »
  7. economictimes.indiatimes.com in-depth Read Review »
  8. news18.com in-depth Read Review »
  9. gadgetsnow.com in-depth Read Review »
  10. gsmarena.com hands-on Read Review »
  11. ibtimes.co.in hands-on Read Review »
User Reviews
  1. Flipkart4.4 1,431+ reviews »
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Official Website Official Website » Official Website »
Unofficial specs? N/A N/A
Individual Review 2
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