- Good battery life
- Audio through the headphone jack is good
- Good display for the price.
- 5W charging
- No fingerprint scanner
- Non-reliable facial scanning
- Subpar signal reception
Galaxy M01 is a budget offering from Samsung in their online-only millennial M series. M series always stood for great value for money considering Samsung phones and have huge battery life. M01 is no exception to it. But recently due to anti-china sentiment, their newest M01 is deflecting from this idea. I have seen M21 and M31 get great attention from top tier reviewers and tech media, M01 does not get that much attention.
I have been a Snapdragon 800 series user for the last 6 years. So I don’t use budget phones that often. After I got the device from a family friend and when I searched online for good reviews, but I couldn’t find one. So I decided to cover it.
In this, I will cover the hardware, software, user experience, pros, cons and target audience for the device in a detailed way. So sit back and read our full review.
The phone comes with a boring design in my opinion. It doesn’t stand out in the crowd, on comparison Realme and redmi much better back panel design at this price range.
M01 is a small device (147.5 x 70.9 x 9.8 mm) which can be used single-handedly and has a plastic back with no camera bump comes with 3 colours(black, blue and red).we have the black colour variant.
Devices have a plastic frame with sim tray and power button at right side volume rocker at left side. The speaker grill on a back plastic panel, which gives a fake stereo effect when not covered and slightly affected when placed on a flat surface.
The mighty 3.5 mm headphone jack is present at the top and we have outdated micro-USB and microphone at the bottom side. The phones come with dual sim capability and a dedicated SD card slot. The phone lacks a fingerprint scanner and facial scanning doesn’t seem reliable to me.
On the front, we have an infinity-V shaped notch display with slightly thick borders which is common in this price category.
M01 has a 5.7inch 720P TFT panel with 19:9 aspect ratio and 78.1% screen to body ratio with a waterdrop notch or Samsung calls it infinity-V shaped notch. On my time with the device, I felt the display is good for the price with adequate brightness and good colour reproduction. So I have no complaints about the display considering the price of this phone.
The M01 comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon SDM439 SoC which is a 12 nm Octa-Core(4×1.95 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4× 1.45 GHz Cortex-A53) Processor that offers adequate performance for the day to day task for this price range. Don’t expect too much from it( think of the price range). We have seen the processor in Redmi’s 8A and 8A dual with a slightly cheaper price tag. The Mediatek Helio G70 in Realme C3 or Narzo 10A is the stand out processor in this price category which offers much better performance.
M01 comes with 3GB Ram and 32GB eMMC 5.1 ROM(available memory around 22 GB) and can expand up to 512 through a dedicated SD card slot.
M01 comes Samsung OneUI 2.0 with android 10 on board. Due to good optimization, the phone retained its speed in my extended usage. But you have to give good attention to the initial setup. This phone comes with a lot of promotion and bloatware recommendations on the initial setup. We will unknowingly agree to them all due to the way Samsung arranged everything on the setup process. Check out our detailed setup guide for the Samsung phone to improve your user experience.
If you are done well in the initial setup the user experience is great with One UI 2.0. I haven’t seen any bugs in the software. If you are looking for HD streaming the device is still limited to SD due to widevine L3 certificate. The haptic feedback is sub-par. I didn’t enjoy typing on this phone with haptic feedback ON.
Adreno 505 GPU on the SD439 adequate for basic gaming. I couldn’t recommend this phone to any graphic intensive games like PubG, COD, etc. The chip is not designed for gaming in mind. If you are looking for gaming-oriented phones in this price range go with Helio G70 equipped phones like Narzo 10A, Realme C3, etc
In PUBG the highest graphics settings in these phones are Balanced + medium. But any of these settings I could see the rendering and the phones don’t provide any good experience. The device stays cool to the touch even in extended gaming periods and offers good battery life too. but the signal reception and wifi speed are not good in this device, so it will affect the gaming.
M01 has a dual camera on the back with one as a depth sensor. So I consider it to have a single camera on both sides. The main camera is 13MP( f/2.2, 28mm (wide), 1/3.1″, 1.12µm, AF) shooter along with 2 MP(f/2.4) and on the front, we have a 5MP(f/2.2, 1/5″, 1.12µm) selfie shooter. The camera performance is ok for the price. But nothing special. Anyway, you should not buy any phone at this price if the camera is your priority.
Click on the sample images to see higher quality images
The main camera shoots good photos at good lighting conditions fall in quality when light dim. The video from the main camera is limited to 1080p@30fps which is expected at this price range and take shaky video at the best duo to lack any stabilization and details are ok for the price.
The front camera also takes good pictures for the price with good lighting and honestly says the performance is somewhat better than I expected it to be.
Due to the snapdragon processor and camera 2 API support, I tried google camera go in it the results are similar or worse than the stock camera, due to lack of hdr in-camera Go app.
Battery Life and Charging
M01 have Non-removable Li-ion 4000 mAh battery and battery life getting from the device is very good. Maybe I am used to flagship phones which usually provide less battery life than budget phones. I think the small size of the phone and 720P display helps to achieve good battery life with this efficient SD439 SoC.
In terms of charging, the M01 has one of the worst charging speeds out there with 5W. The phone comes with a micro USB 2.0 port. I switched to 18W way back in 2014 and now using wrap charge 30T in my primary device and switching back 5W for a while was a serious problem to deal with. Even in this price category most of the competition provide minimum 10W charging and xiaomi provide 18W QC 3.0 support. So it is not reasonable to provide 5W at this price range. I have to say 5W should only be limited to accessories in 2020.
If you plan to buy this phone you should charge it at night and take it out of the charger in the morning. It should last for the entire day considering the battery.
I don’t include a section for network usually, but in this case, I have to do it. The signal reception in my room with M01 is lower than any phone I used recently, also the wifi speed doesn’t seem good to me. M01 has Bluetooth 4.2 and support dual sim(two nano sim), VoLTE, voice-over wifi, etc.
In my device, the voice-over wifi calling automatically disconnects after 10-15 seconds due to some bug, my friends at the other end can notice a drop in call quality too with the M01.
The sound output from the main speaker is decent for the price and has reasonable loudness. The microphone recording quality is good too. The sound output from the headphone jack is very good for the price when Dolby Atmos is turned on, which is not usually seen in this price range. But don’t get too excited with the Dolby atmos label here. It just enhances the sound a little.
I use Spotify and Tidal for listening to music and output from 3.5 mm couldn’t drive my earphones properly even in Dolby atmos turned on.
M01 is available for rupees 8999 for 3+32GB variants in amazon, Samsung website and Flipkart. The price in Flipkart varies to 9999 frequently. For that 10K price, M01 is never worth it.
We have a lot to offer in this price range from various brands. Realme have Narzo 10A at the same price which is better in most things compared to M01 especially in terms of performance with the G70 SoC. they also have Realme C3 which is 500 rupees cheaper and similar specs to Narzo 10A without the fingerprint scanner,
When it comes to xiaomi they have redmi 8A dual with exact memory configuration for 8299 which offers premium features like 18W fast charging and other things. Redmi 8A dual is a more balanced phone than any other in this price range.
We also have offers from Oppo, Motorola(G8 power lite), etc. Motorola G8 Power lite offers better storage(4+64), better battery and more battery life with extra 500 rupees.
The Samsung Galaxy M01 provides good value for a Samsung device and it may be the most value for money offering from Samsung after the M21 and M31. but the M01 still sits far behind the Chinese competition. So people who need a small budget Samsung phone, which can be used single-handedly, with the great battery life which can run the day to day tasks and if you have low priority for gaming, camera, the fingerprint sensor can go for it.
Nowadays anti-china sentiment is increasing day by day, if you are on that path M01 is the only good budget phone left to go with.
Otherwise, if you are looking for a good budget phone I will recommend buying Realme offerings like Narzo 10A, Realme C3 or Xiaomi’s existing Redmi 8A dual or upcoming Redmi 9 series(9 prime,9A,9C) instead of M01.
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