Samsung is bucking the trend of lean product portfolios seen in 2023 by introducing the Galaxy M34 5G in its Galaxy M series. This chunky smartphone impresses with its massive 6,000mAh battery, a Full HD+ AMOLED display, and a 50MP triple camera setup on the rear.
Priced at INR 18,999, the Galaxy M34 competes directly with the popular OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite in the budget segment. To entice buyers further, Samsung is offering an introductory price of INR 16,999. Now that we have discussed the price tag, let’s take a look at how it performs in the real world.
Samsung Galaxy M34 5G Specifications
Before starting with the Samsung Galaxy M34 review, let’s have a glance at the phone’s specifications, pricing, and things we get with the device.
- Display: 6.5-inch FHD+ sAMOELD, 120Hz refresh rate
- CPU: Octa-core Exynos 1280 processor
- RAM: 6/8GB
- Storage: 128GB
- Software: Android 13
- Main Camera: 50MP primary sensor + 8MP ultra-wide-angle (f/2.2) + 2MP depth (f/2.4)
- Selfie Camera: 13MP (f/2.0)
- Connectivity: USB Type-C, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth v5.0, GPS/ A-GPS, 3.5mm headphone jack, FM Radio
- Cellular: Dual SIM
- Fingerprint Scanner: Yes, side-mounted
- Battery: 6,000 mAh, non-removable
- Charging: 25W fast charging
- Samsung Galaxy M34 smartphone
- USB Type-C charging cable
- Sim Ejector Tool
Samsung has been following a reference design approach across its entire Galaxy smartphone lineup since the last generation. The Galaxy M34, with its hefty 6,000mAh battery, may take some time to get accustomed to due to its bulky nature. However, the phone offers a choice of three colors to cater to various user preferences.
Built with high-quality polycarbonate, the Galaxy M34 features Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and a ‘Glastic’ back. This unique Glastic material, a blend of Glass and Polycarbonate, mimics the look and feel of glass while maintaining durability. As for the camera setup, it retains the dew drop lens arrangement found in the flagship S23 series.
On the phone’s sides, the volume button sits on the right, and the bottom houses the USB-Type-C charging port, primary microphone, speaker, and the 3.5mm audio jack. Meanwhile, the triple slot tray is conveniently placed on the left side of the device.
When you flip the phone, you’ll be greeted with a substantial 6.5-inch 20:9 aspect ratio Full HD+ AMOLED display. Samsung has managed to reduce the side bezels, though the dew-drop notch and slightly thicker chin have made a comeback.
As mentioned earlier, Samsung opted for an Infinity-U display design, featuring a dew-drop notch at the top to house the front camera. The screen spans 6.5 inches from end to end, offering minimal bezels all around, except for a noticeable chin. Utilizing sAMOLED technology, the display delivers trademark punchy colors that Samsung displays are renowned for.
To safeguard the screen, Gorilla Glass 5 provides an added layer of protection. Out of the box, the display exhibits a slightly cooler color temperature, but users can adjust this in the settings app. With excellent brightness, outdoor visibility poses no challenges. The display showcases deep blacks and vibrant colors, making it an excellent choice for content consumption.
In terms of content enjoyment, Widevine L1 support allows users to indulge in HD content from their favorite streaming apps. The display offers a 120Hz high refresh rate, but users can only switch between 60 or 120Hz, a limitation also observed in the OnePlus Nord.
The Samsung Galaxy M34 comes equipped with the Samsung One UI 5.1 operating system, built on the foundations of Android 13. Samsung has made significant advancements in their software development, and the Galaxy M34 5G benefits from these improvements. Setting a new industry standard, Samsung commits to providing four years of OS updates and five years of security updates for this device, a first in its segment.
With One UI 5.1, users can expect the familiar assortment of shortcuts, gestures, and customization options found on recent Samsung devices. This version offers various features, including floating notifications, one-handed mode, experimental options in the Labs section, versatile Edge panels, and camera enhancements. While some preinstalled bloatware apps may cause inconvenience, the good news is that most of them are removable, bringing relief to users.
The Galaxy M34 is driven by Samsung’s in-house Exynos 1280 processor, previously seen in the Galaxy A53 last year. This chip has a solid track record and delivers smooth performance for the phone. Though we don’t obsess over benchmarks, it scored over 300k on Antutu. The M34 comes in two memory configurations, offering either 6GB or 8GB of RAM, while the internal storage remains fixed at 128GB.
Throughout our testing period, we observed no lag or stutter, thanks to the phone’s efficient memory management, handling day-to-day tasks with ease. When it came to gaming, titles like Call of Duty and Asphalt 9 performed well on low to medium graphics settings. Less graphically demanding games like Subway Surfer and Candy Crush ran even smoother.
Call quality and speaker output are competitive with other devices on the market. The 3.5mm audio jack output is decent, but Samsung opted not to include an in-display fingerprint sensor for the AMOLED panel. Instead, the side-mounted capacitive fingerprint sensor proved fast and included gesture support, a handy addition to the device’s functionality.
The camera setup on the Galaxy M34 5G comprises a 50MP primary rear sensor with support for OIS, an 8MP ultra-wide angle lens, and a 2MP macro sensor. For selfies and video chats, there’s a 13MP front shooter.
Samsung’s camera prowess shines through in most of its devices, and the main sensor in the Galaxy M34 5G is no exception. In good lighting, the photos taken by the handset exhibit high contrast, delivering vibrant colors that pop which is Samsungs forte. However, this approach sacrifices the natural tones in some cases. On the bright side, the images boast impressive details and sharpness which are a thing to beat at this price point.
As for the ultra-wide angle shots, the color tone tends to lean towards warmth, causing a shift in colors. Compared to the main sensor, sharpness takes a hit which is understandable given the size of the sensor.
Selfies on the Galaxy M34 turn out fine, although the HDR effect is occasionally overdone which can easily be fixed with a software update. Nonetheless, skin tones impress us, and the sharpness is decent. Portrait shots exhibit accurate edge detection as well which further elevates the overall experience.
In low-light and artificial lighting conditions, the camera handles colors well, but the photos may appear softer, impacting fine details. Slight noise can also be noticeable in such scenarios.
The most noteworthy aspect of the Samsung Galaxy M34 5G is its exceptional battery life, courtesy of the generous 6,000mAh battery capacity. In our extensive testing, we experienced almost two full days of usage on a single charge, making it a reliable option for prolonged usage without frequent charging. When it’s time to refuel, the Galaxy M34 can be fully charged from empty in around an hour and a half, or slightly longer depending on the charger used, as Samsung does not include one in the retail package.
Samsung Galaxy M34 5G Review – The Verdict
The Samsung Galaxy M34 5G emerges as a dependable and well-rounded smartphone choice, particularly for those looking for a trustworthy option from a top-tier brand. It impresses with its excellent display quality, long-lasting battery, capable camera, and appealing aesthetics. However, it may not be the best performer in terms of raw processing power. Priced at INR 18,999, if your main concerns are extended battery life and a reliable camera, the Galaxy M34 is certainly a fitting option worth considering!