Samsung Galaxy M10 Unboxing and First Impressions

Samsung has been teasing the new M series on social media for a while now. It is a global series of devices that is launching first in India, and is specifically “Made for India”. Well the soft launch has happened today and we have two new devices in the market, the Galaxy M10 and the Galaxy M20. These devices are entirely focused on the mid range segment, which is the most hotly contested in India, no doubt. Aimed at “Millennials”, which I think is a code-word for high-demand expectations when it comes to value for money, how well do these devices cater? I’ve been lucky enough to try them before launch. At Rs. 7,990 (2/16) and Rs. 8,990 (3/32), the Galaxy M10 is the cheaper of the two, here are my first impressions.

For under 10k INR, it is necessary that we set our expectations right. With that said, let’s look at the specifications.

Samsung Galaxy M10 Specifications

  • 6.2-inch (1520 × 720 pixels) HD+ 19.5:9 TFT display
  • Octa-Core Exynos 7870 14nm processor with Mali-G71 GPU
  • 2GB RAM with 16GB storage / 3GB RAM with 32GB Storage, expandable up to 512GB via micro SD card
  • Android 8.1 (Oreo) with Samsung Experience 9.5
  • Dual SIM
  • 13MP rear camera with LED flash, f/1.9 aperture, 5MP ultra-wide angle camera
  • 5MP front camera with f/2.0 aperture
  • Face Unlock
  • 3.5mm audio jack, FM Radio
  • Dimension:156.4 x 74.5 x8.8mm
  • Dual 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 5, GPS + GLONASS
  • 3430mAh battery

Before we move on to talk about the features that go beyond our expectations, let’s take a look at what we get in the box.

Nothing special to note here, just the usual accessories. While we’ve come to expect a TPU case inside the box, we don’t find it here but that’s not a big deal because the device is almost entirely made of plastic except for the front of course.

I found the large HD+ TFT display to be surprisingly bright and good! The resolution wasn’t a problem, extreme viewing angles did not kill the display. I’d say it definitely exceeded my expectations, having used a number of devices in this segment.

You can see, with the choice of the wallpaper that they are not scared of showing off the notch. The “Infinity V”, as they call the display, has a really small notch that you won’t usually find in this price segment. Definitely exceeded my expectations here as well. I liked the way it was implemented as well, with neat little animations that go around the notch, for example when Face unlock is being used.

Yes, there’s no fingerprint sensor on this device and it’s pretty bad that we’ve to rely on face unlock which doesn’t work really well in less than perfect lighting. Quite surprising that this choice was made, but what’s more surprising at this price range is that they have managed to make use of both the rear cameras, with the second camera being a wide angle option. Sure, it’s only 5 MP and in my experience, this is another thing that’s not great in less than perfect lighting, but to have that option, especially at this price is unique. Another thing that’s unique at this price point is the f1.9 aperture which definitely helps in low light.

As I said, the device is entirely made of plastic but as you can see from the pic, it’s also really thin. Also very light, I found the device to be particularly grippy, which is hard to come by these days.

The device runs on Android 8.1 Oreo with Samsung Experience 9.5 on top. Initially I was very skeptical about the UI, but after using it for a while, I was pleasantly surprised. The UI was fast and smooth and it has all the Samsung UI features we’ve come to expect. I’ll tell you why I was skeptical in the beginning – When I had the opportunity to meet Samsung, along with other press colleagues, a certain strong point of feedback was put forward unanimously. We need to see One UI in all the Samsung devices. I think they heard it loud and clear and this could be a reality if rumors floating around are believed to be true. With One UI, the skepticism I had would vanish, but again after actually going hands on with the device, it is less of a problem than I expected.

As far as first impressions go, the Samsung Galaxy M10 seems to not only have all the right ingredients but exceed expectations in some areas as well. The Infinity V display is bright and colorful, having a dual wide angle camera is a plus, the software experience is fast and smooth and for any “millennial” looking for a phone, the M10 will be a powerful choice. The pricing for the 3GB+32GB variant is spot on and makes it a very compelling option. It feels like Samsung is finally back in the market, and back with a bang! We’ll be going more in-depth for the full review, so do stay tuned for that! Until then, let us know what you think in the comments section below!

While the M10 is the under 10k option, there is an even more compelling M20 which sells for a bit higher, but packs in a lot more power and features. Check out my first impressions of the Samsung Galaxy M20 here.

Author: Bharadwaj Chandramouli

Bharadwaj is a content creator who has been obsessed with technology since the early days of smartphones. He loves talking about tech, is a fan of good design and photography. You can follow him on Twitter @gadgetbuff_ to know what he's upto!