How to choose the right smartphone from Samsung – price / quality ratio

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Choosing a smartphone is always the need to at least minimally understand certain technical details, to decide what you need. People often think that the most difficult thing is to choose a flagship or a model of a high price segment, but this is not so. For a flagship, the choice rests on the availability of a sufficient amount of money or convenient tools for buying (subscription, installment plan). And there is no reason to think about what exactly you will get, you are always confident in the flagship and you know that these are the very best technologies, the speed of work, the quality of photos. But with the models of the middle segment, everything is not so clear and simple, you need to weigh the pros and cons, to understand what exactly you need from a smartphone.

The line of smartphones from Samsung is built on a very simple principle: the company has a series, united by similar solutions in the field of design, body materials and capabilities. Surely you have heard about the A-series smartphones, they are considered the best in terms of price / quality ratio, in any case, this is how buyers perceive them. But there is also the M-series, in which the characteristics of the models are often even better, and they cost the same or even cheaper than similar A-shki. It is easy to understand the intricacies of the models, but not everyone wants to put in efforts, so in this article we will try to give you a look at the middle segment from Samsung, so that you understand the difference between the devices and what you should pay attention to, and what is secondary and not so important.

Very often we hear that the A-series are inexpensive models and only such a budget proposal. This is not true! Just the same A-series is a line in which technologies and innovations are made massive. It may seem that this is a figure of speech, but it is not – it was thanks to the A-series that we saw the massive use of AMOLED screens, the proliferation of AlwaysOn Display and many other possibilities. And the older models are a field for experimentation, there is not only 5G, but also curious designs with outgoing cameras, and much more.

How to choose the right smartphone from Samsung - price / quality ratio

How the M-series differs from the A-series – model design

You need to start with the difference between the A-series and models with the M index, since you can find different explanations on the Internet, they often contradict each other. The most popular is the A-series, it is in the spotlight for everyone – the manufacturer, retail chains and buyers. Marketing is working to make the A-series models stellar and memorable. But the M-series is almost never heard of, the mass consumer is often poorly aware of these models, and the reason is the absence of noticeable advertising and other sales channels. The entire M-series was originally created for online sales, when cost is important for the buyer, he is prudent in his purchase and is ready to pick and choose between different models and compare them. For the target audience of the M-series, buying a smartphone is a responsible business, the choice takes more than one day. It is a mistake to think that such buyers are chasing the lowest price, it is not! Rational buyers want to choose the best price / quality ratio, while they are ready to give up opportunities that are not critical to them.

For example, let’s take a look at the Samsung Galaxy M21, which is a typical M-series.

How to choose the right smartphone from Samsung - price / quality ratio

Formally, this model is very similar to the A-series, but there are several differences that someone will not consider fundamental. So, the display has a front camera not under glass, it is an O-shaped cutout at the top.

How to choose the right smartphone from Samsung - price / quality ratio

Take a look at how the camera is built into the Galaxy A31, it’s a neat peephole in the display itself.

How to choose the right smartphone from Samsung - price / quality ratio

Are these differences in front-facing camera placement critical for the end user? I would venture to suggest that this is not so important for the majority. It is clear that the screen in the Galaxy A31 is more complex, this camera integration technology is newer. But in real life, both options do not have any special differences, they are different designs, and nothing more.

Another difference is in the fingerprint sensor, in the M-series it is a hardware sensor located on the back. In the A-series, the fingerprint sensor is hidden in the screen itself, this is also a new technology that attracts many both with the location of the sensor and simply with its novelty.

How to choose the right smartphone from Samsung - price / quality ratio

What’s better? Everyone will answer this question in their own way, because this is a matter of habit and what your previous device was like. For someone it is critical that the fingerprint sensor is on the front panel, someone sees that the “correct” place is on the back of the phone. And someone is ready to use the fingerprint sensor here and there. The usability of any device directly follows from your previous experience and what you expect from a new smartphone. Very often people forget about this, they miss the mark with their choice because of haste. It is always worth approaching the choice with your own yardstick, what is convenient for you, and without looking back at others. A dry comparison of characteristics is a bad advisor in choosing, you need to focus on your habits and what is important to you.

Each manufacturer draws an image of a potential customer for a specific model and price group. For example, in the M-series, these are rational buyers who demand a good price / quality ratio, are not critical to the place of purchase of a smartphone, and react little to advertising. And therefore, the M-series is online sales, the buyer is able to find this offer and choose it. You will not find the M-series in wide sale in retail chains, these are models for those who understand and have done their homework to find such devices.

The design of the M-series is a little simpler than in the A-series, there are no patterns on the plastic, we have already talked about the front camera and the differences, as well as about the fingerprint. But at the same time, the battery in models of similar cost is more precisely in the M-series, the emphasis is on the operating time. It would be wrong to say that the M-series is always simpler than the analogs in the A-series, it is not so. And the same battery proves it. Interestingly, the scope of delivery in such models is the same, there is no savings for the M-series.

About the radio part – Wi-Fi and LTE

Knowledgeable people on the forums often argue that the M-series is “worse on the radio side”, this follows from “common sense” and the fact that the models are cheaper than the A-series of a similar level. This is a huge misconception that can be easily dispelled. Samsung has no changes in the radio part depending on the model series, the division is by cost. The watershed is the price of 20-22 thousand rubles per model, this price already includes modems of a slightly higher class (a larger frequency range in LTE, as a result, more aggregation possibilities). But a larger number of frequencies is not the best connection, it is a way to provide high data rates in LTE networks. And then the question arises of the rationality of buying this or that smartphone. It is clear that by default everyone wants to get everything at once, and preferably also for free, but this happens only in fairy tales. In the real world, you need to understand what your needs are.

The overwhelming majority of people will not see any difference in the operating speed between the model for 16 thousand rubles (less frequencies) and for 20 thousand rubles (more frequencies and options for their aggregation). A few users today download gigabytes of information to the phone, use them for such a massive transfer of files to other devices, when the smartphone operates in modem mode. For viewing instant messengers, web pages, YouTube and other services, the difference between the models will be minimal, they will not differ. And to say that voice communication can even potentially somehow differ, it is not necessary. Therefore, this question is far-fetched, and choosing the same M-series or A-series, I would not look at the number of LTE frequencies.

Another thing is Wi Fi and support for the second band (802.11ac). It’s no secret that there are a lot of Wi-Fi routers in cities, in apartment buildings they often interfere with each other, and this affects the speed of the connection and its quality. Therefore, the use of dual-band routers is quite justified, which means that it is desirable that the smartphone has support for the 5 GHz frequency for Wi-Fi. And this is something worth paying attention to, as it will affect the speed of Wi-Fi, its quality in everyday life. In models with a low digital index, as a rule, Wi-Fi is single-band. On the other hand, most likely, you have an old router that does not have dual-band support, then you should not think about it, you just need to take this parameter into account, but it will not be the main one for you when choosing a smartphone.

Software – OneUI for all smartphones

Standardization is a great thing and Samsung understands it. It doesn’t matter at what price you bought your smartphone, inside you will find the same OneUI, the same capabilities. Models that are close in cost will have no differences in performance, speed of work, so it makes no sense to dwell on software when choosing. You will get a guaranteed comfortable device with the latest interface version.

How to choose the right smartphone from Samsung - price / quality ratioHow to choose the right smartphone from Samsung - price / quality ratio

Of all the differences, I can only recall the Bixby scripts, they are absent in all M-series models, and in the A-series they appear only in the Galaxy A51 and older models. Perhaps this is the only visible difference between the junior and middle models. What are Bixby scripts? These are automatic scripts that allow you to facilitate routine tasks, you collect what you need in the constructor, and then the smartphone automatically does it for you. For example, you come home, and immediately a copy of your photos is created or all settings are changed, including the arrangement of the keys on the screen. Depending on your location, the content protection option may change, for example, unlocking becomes automatic when you are at home and you do not need to put your finger or look at your smartphone.

All Galaxy devices are Google certified. This means they have licensed Google apps, Android OS updates, stable Play Store apps and system functions, and secure data backups.

Which screen should you choose? TFT or AMOLED?

The question probably has no basis, since only the initial models in each line are equipped with TFT screens, and older models come with AMOLED screens, as well as those in the flagships. Someone from old memory thinks that TFT is very good, but there are several important points that should be taken into consideration:

  • AMOLED screens have more natural colors, better color gamut;
  • AMOLED screens have better power consumption and provide longer battery life, the difference is up to 30%;
  • TFT screens do not flicker, these are features of the technology, but AMOLED screens have PWM (in rare cases and with constant viewing of the screen at low brightness, this can cause a headache).

AMOLED can be considered modern displays with maximum capabilities, Samsung produces such screens on its own, and therefore the company uses them en masse even in affordable models, this is a competitive advantage for the manufacturer. But in addition to all these points, the presence of AlwaysOn Display becomes critical for me, this is the ability to display pictures, clocks on the screen in standby mode and see notifications from applications.

How to choose the right smartphone from Samsung - price / quality ratio

In the price segment of the A-series, this opportunity is somewhat unique, usually it is associated only with flagships. And this is something that people get used to almost instantly and then cannot refuse such an option. Therefore, it is worth choosing models with an AMOLED screen, they are more expensive, but it’s worth it. Moreover, you are buying a device for at least several years.

Numbers in the names of models – how to read them correctly?

Very often there is confusion in the nomenclature of models, how they are positioned relative to each other and what the numbers mean. The answer to this question is very simple. Consider the example of the A-series – A10, A31, A41, A51, A71 and so on. The first number denotes the price segment, that is, the A10 will be the most affordable model of those listed, the A71 – the most expensive. The price move is not fixed, but between A31 and A51 it is about 2 rubles (assuming the same amount of memory). The second digit in the model name is the generation of the device; one generation has been on the market for one year. So, Ax000 models came out last year, in 0 the main models are Ax2020. The key models are odd ones, for example, the Galaxy A1 is an analogue of the A41 with a smaller screen, that is, the device is in a sense a niche one. This does not make it superfluous and unnecessary, someone is looking for models with a smaller screen, and this is an offer for them.

How much memory do you need – how to choose the right one?

In the A-series, the same model can be presented with different amounts of memory, for example, the Galaxy A51 is available in 4/64 GB version, and there is a 6/128 GB version. The first number indicates the amount of RAM, and it is important if you play heavy XNUMXD toys, leave dozens of tabs open in your browser, or work with some demanding software. Therefore, the principle here is simple: more RAM for better operation of heavy applications, if you have any. On the other hand, if there is an opportunity and desire to buy a variant with a large amount of memory, then this is always good. But most likely, on ordinary tasks, you will not see any difference either in the speed of work or in the response of applications.

Very often, users complain about the speed of their smartphones, in 90% of cases this is due to a feature of Android, which they either do not know or forget about. You cannot fill all the smartphone’s memory to the end, ideally you need to have 3-4 GB of free memory (not RAM, but constant). And this should be the phone’s memory, not the memory card.

In every smartphone from Samsung, you can install a memory card where you can and should store photos, videos, music. In short, content that does not require a quick launch. The volume of such a memory card can reach 512 GB, and the cost of memory cards is quite low.

When choosing, estimate how much memory is occupied in your current device, how much you used it. Multiply the occupied space by 1.5, this is your ideal size. And you may not even need a memory card.

Lots of main camera modules – do you need it or not?

Modern smartphones have acquired a large number of modules for photography, and here it is important to understand what exactly you need from your future device. The higher the cost of a smartphone in the line, the better it takes pictures. In the M-series, the cameras are a little simpler than in similar A-series devices, they do not have a number of additional shooting modes. When choosing your future smartphone, pay attention to what you usually shoot, how much you need additional modes (for example, a macro lens, as in the Galaxy A31 / A51).

The price / quality ratio of the A-series is excellent in terms of photography, so if you like to photograph, then pay attention to these models. For the money, this is a great offer. Do you want maximum quality? Then you should look at the flagships of the current season or the previous year.

What is important to consider when choosing a smartphone

You do not need to spare your time when choosing a smartphone, buying at random is also wrong. Nobody, except you, knows how you use your smartphone, what you expect from it and what you used before. In modern realities, a smartphone is bought for at least a couple of years, or even more. Therefore, when choosing, you need to be guided by your ideas about the beautiful. And when choosing a device, always try to look at a model of the same level that you had before, or a level higher. This ensures that there are no unpleasant moments when something does not work the way you imagined it.

For example, I often recommend paying attention to the Galaxy A51 in the middle segment, this is a good model in terms of price / quality ratio.

How to choose the right smartphone from Samsung - price / quality ratio

With proper care, modern smartphones can work for several years without any flaws, a drop in the speed of the interface and applications. These are reliable cars, which means that the most important thing is to choose the right assistant for yourself. In the global market, Samsung’s A-series is the most popular line of smartphones. The reason is the excellent price / quality ratio, software updates and good performance. I hope that after reading this material, you understand what to look for, and you will be able to choose the model that best suits your needs and will delight you every day. Happy shopping.

Published – 22 May 2020

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