Samsung on Monday announced its new Galaxy M series of Android smartphones mentioned by countless rumors circulating the industry since the final quarter of 2018. The new devices are equipped with minuscule notches which are part of the new Infinity-V design language, one of the three display concepts Samsung will be using throughout this year.
Samsung said its goal with the Galaxy M10 and M20 is to appeal to millennials, though it appears the lineup will be an India exclusive for the time being. The two handsets are scheduled to be released in the South Asian country on February 5 and will be sold by the local unit of Samsung and Amazon.in. The smartphones will be offered in Charcoal Black and Ocean Blue, with the Galaxy M10 starting at the equivalent of $112, whereas the Galaxy M20 will retail for as little as $154.
Much like those prices suggest, the Galaxy M line is largely an entry-level affair, albeit Samsung would sooner dissolve than describe it as such; as per the company’s new business strategy that went into effect late last year, low-end handsets are a thing of the past, at least from a marketing perspective, whereas a significant portion of its promotional efforts is now aimed at blurring the lines between product categories. That’s precisely why the Galaxy J series appears to be essentially dead and is now being replaced with the new M-branded family, at least in India.
In terms of its target audience, Samsung already tried targeting millennials last year with its Fortnite-focused Galaxy Note 9, which didn’t exactly go well and mostly just caused confusion among industry watchers.
In terms of technical capabilities, the Galaxy M10 and M20 are powered by Samsung’s own Exynos 7870 and Exynos 7904 chips, respectively. The octa-core silicons are among the latest additions to the budget portfolio of Samsung’s foundry business and should be relatively capable at handling multitasking while keeping their power consumption levels in check. The most affordable Galaxy M10 variant features 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage space, whereas a more capable option comes with twice as much flash memory and 3GB of RAM. On the other hand, the Galaxy M20 will be sold in 3GB/32GB and 4GB/64GB versions and only the latter appears to be part of the mid-range territory, regardless of how adamantly Samsung keeps avoiding the entry-level label.
Dual rear cameras are part of both packages, with the two imaging systems being essentially identical and revolving around a 13-megapixel sensor mounted behind an f/1.9 lens and supported by a 5-megapixel ultra-wide camera which makes the overall setup more versatile but can hardly deliver quality results on its own. While VoLTE and 512GB of microSD storage support are on offer with both devices, neither runs the latest version of Android and instead ships with Samsung Experience 9.5 based on Android Oreo 8.1.
Samsung has yet to give any indication of the Galaxy M range being planned for a wider release, with previous rumors suggesting China is another target market of the new series. Still, as the company continues to face pressure from Chinese manufacturers willing and able to undercut it in most product categories, devices such as the newly launched Galaxy M-series Android phones are bound to become an increasingly more important component of its efforts to stay relevant in emerging markets.