Mehul Reuben DasDec 12, 2022 11:23:41 AM IST
– Great battery life
– 90Hz display
– 5G capabilities at an affordable price
– Screen resolution and contrast
– Slow charge
Price: Rs 13,999
The Samsung Galaxy M13 5G is one of the most affordable 5G smartphones in India. Samsung is positioning the M13 5G, with its 11 5G bands, as the ideal gateway to 5G internet in India, in case you don’t have a 5G-enabled smartphone. The smartphone has some pretty solid stuff, at least on paper. For example, it has a solid 5,000mAh battery, a 50MP main sensor, theoretically up to 12GB of RAM, and plenty of niftier features.
But then there are also glaring omissions. The fact that it has an HD+ display, uses a year-old SoC, and not-so-fast fast-charging takes some points away.
So how exactly does the Galaxy M13 5G perform? At the price at which Samsung is offering the Galaxy M13 5G, how well does it live up to the Value For Money tag?
Samsung Galaxy M13 5G review: the design
The M13 5G has a very clean aesthetic. Samsung didn’t use a fancy rear panel or a cleverly designed camera island. Instead, the dual cameras are nearly flush on the rear panel, tucked into the top left corner. The plastic unibody has a soft, matte finish that makes the device pleasant to the touch. And although the smartphone comes with a matte finish, it is still prone to smudges and fingerprints. Luckily for us, our test unit was the Aqua Green variant and it doesn’t show these stains as easily. Darker colors, such as dark blue or the brown variant, will show more fingerprints
Because the phone is made of polycarbonate, it feels average to hold and is rather light. That said, the device still seems solidly built. The edges are rounded which, together with the lack of a slippery surface on the back, makes the whole device easy to hold, especially when using the device with one hand.
Up front, we get a teardrop notch on the front display that houses the front-facing camera and fairly thick bezels on all four sides. As expected with any display today with such bezels, the bottom bezel is the thickest.
We have a power button on the side of the Galaxy M13 5G which doubles as a fingerprint scanner. The power button also accompanies the volume rockers on the right side of the device. The left side of the device features the smart SIM tray which can hold 2 SIM cards. Here we also have the option of adding a microSDXC card up to 1TB, thanks to the microSD slot.
At the bottom we see a speaker grille, the 3.5mm audio jack, as well as the USB Type-C port, which is rated at USB 2.0 speeds.
Overall, the design of the device is pretty clean and simplistic, nothing too premium or wild. On the plus side though, it feels solid and sturdy in the hand.
Samsung Galaxy M13 5G review: the screen
The M13 5G comes with a 6.5-inch HD+ PLS LCD display with a resolution of 720×1600 pixels and supports variable refresh rate up to 90Hz. The display has a peak brightness of 400 nits, which gets bright enough, but not bright enough, especially when you’re outdoors. The screen is also protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3.
And while the screen does the job for most users, the screen colors seemed a little muted due to the contrast of the screen. The screen itself was a bit washed out and lacked the classic punch and warmth typical of Samsung phone screens, even phones with an LCD screen.
So obviously, there is no point in comparing the display with an OLED panel. Also, the HD+ resolution might look decent during casual use, but it becomes quite obvious when watching videos, playing games, or reading something against a white background.
Samsung Galaxy M13 5G review: the camera
To keep costs down and keep convenience in mind, Samsung has gone with a simple dual camera setup on the back instead of going for a quad or triple camera setup. I think more and more smartphone makers should go this route instead of adding more rear cameras and sensors that make no sense and worse, don’t even take half decent photos .
The M13 5G’s dual-camera setup features a 50MP main sensor with an f/1.8 lens and PDAF, and a 2MP depth sensor with an f/2.4 lens. Photos from the main camera are pretty decent and nothing out of the ordinary. Give the M13 5G adequate light and you’ll get good photos with good detail.
Low-light photography isn’t something we’d recommend the M13 5G for – images are just fine. Even Night Mode doesn’t seem to do much – it reduces grain in photos, but also washes out a lot of detail. Shots taken in low light are grainy but that’s normal.
The camera user interface is quite basic and simple, neat. You get a pro mode to play around with settings, as well as panorama, food, and night modes. The videos, again, are pretty decent. You definitely won’t be using it to create A-grade vlogs or anything like that, but they’ll get the job done. The camera is limited to 1080p at 30fps when it comes to video
As for the front camera, it is a 5MP unit which sits behind the teardrop notch on the display. The images looked fine when we opened them on our desktops, but they looked a little washed out on the device screen. The skin tones were quite good. However, the images from the front camera were grainy, despite the images being so heavily processed that all small skin details were almost erased. The front camera also pulls the duty of unlocking the phone with the face, there are no sensors for that.
Click here for some unprocessed and uncompressed images of the Samsung M13 5G.
Samsung Galaxy M13 5G review: performance, software experience and user interface
The M13 5G is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 700 chipset, an octa-core SoC running at 2.2Ghz. Our unit came equipped with 128GB for storage and 6GB of RAM, which can be further expanded up to 6GB with RAM Plus for a total of 12GB of RAM. The extra 6GB is taken from storage, so keep that in mind.
The Dimensity 700 SoC is pretty good if you’re not a power user. The smartphone handles app juggling pretty well, and most day-to-day tasks can be done without a hitch.
It can also handle games, but users will have to temper their expectations. I was able to play games like Asphalt 9 and Call of duty mobile. The gaming experience was adequate enough under the balanced graphics setting. You get smooth and playable frame rates, but not with a very good visual preset. Call of duty mobile jitter a bit though.
As for software experience and UI, M13 5G comes with One UI 4 and Android 12 out of the box, but Samsung has already rolled out Android 13 update. One UI 5.0 is also solid than One UI 4, and only better, so there’s really nothing to complain about on that front. Yes, there is bloatware, but it’s not obvious. As for Samsung’s other neat tricks, there’s also an automatic data switch that ensures the phone is always connected.
For connectivity, the M13 5G gets WiFi 6E, BlueTooth 5.0, 11 5G bands, a 3.5mm audio jack, and USB-C at USB 2.0 speeds. 5G connectivity is pretty solid on the M13 5G. We tested 5G connectivity with AirTel and were about 350-400 meters from a tower and getting around 105 MBPS. During the half hour that we used 5G to watch YouTube videos, the device warmed up a bit, but not to the point where it would be noticeable, and we saw a significant battery drop.
Samsung Galaxy M13 5G review: Battery life
This is where the M13 5G is at its strongest. The 5000mAh battery carried by the M13 5G can easily last a day with heavy usage. You’ll easily get over 10 hours of screen per hour at 70% brightness. Our typical usage included watching videos, browsing the internet, some amount of gaming, checking email, conference calls with the office, and more.
The only downside is that the charger we get with the M13 5G is a 15W charger, which means charging the device is slow by today’s standard. It took us a good 2.5 hours to charge the device to 100%, once we drained it.
Samsung Galaxy M13 5G review: the verdict
The M13 5G is a pretty average phone that competes in a very crowded segment and faces some pretty solid competition. The Samsung Galaxy M13 5G is among the cheapest 5G smartphones in India, among Poco M4 5G and M4 Pro 5G, Motorola Moto G51 5G, all of which are slightly more expensive than the M13 5G price of Rs 13,999.
Despite using a SoC that is almost a year old, the device manages to hold its own. And considering the Galaxy M13 5G’s price, battery life, 90Hz display, and the fact that it runs great on 5G, it’s really hard to fault the device for the omissions that Samsung has chosen. That said, Samsung could have done better with the display.
All in all, if you are in the market looking for the cheapest possible 5G smartphone that will actually work and last you over a year, then the Samsung Galaxy M13 5G is the safest way to go. .