In a few hours from now, Samsung will launch its all-new Galaxy M-series of smartphones in India. The Galaxy M-series will have multiple models with multiple variants, Samsung has confirmed. Samsung will start the proceedings with the Galaxy M10 and Galaxy M20, on Monday, while a third smartphone called the Galaxy M30 will come later. India will be the first market to get the Galaxy M10 and Galaxy M20, underscoring its growing significance among big players. Not that, that’s a secret. India is the second largest smartphone market in the world after China, and has just surpassed 430 million smartphone users, according to data by Counterpoint.
The announcement of the new India-first Galaxy M-series also comes at a time when Samsung is reeling under intense pressure from Chinese rivals in the country. Particularly Xiaomi. Xiaomi, that took over Samsung’s Indian market share in Q4 2017 continues to dominate still, holding as much as a five-point lead (over Samsung) as of Q4 2019. The same Counterpoint research has some positive things to say about Samsung as well: the upcoming launch of India-first M series is a positive step. It’s a big step. And a lot of this has to do with Samsung’s fresh approach to countering competition: if you can’t beat them, join them.
We live in the time of value flagships. Value flagships are devices that offer flagship experiences at not so flagship prices. You can say, Samsung has been late to this party, something that the company has also accepted. “We were a little late to react (to competition),” is what a Samsung spokesperson said to me during an informal interaction recently. But it is reacting now.
In fact, the transition began late last year with devices like the Galaxy A7 and Galaxy A8s. The Galaxy M is another step in that direction.
“Samsung's new range of Galaxy M smartphones come with powerful display, powerful camera, powerful battery and a powerful processor helping the smartphones deliver power-packed performance for young millennials,” Samsung says about its upcoming Galaxy M line-up.
Which essentially means that the Galaxy M10 and Galaxy M20 will pack a modern design, modern hardware (hopefully, with all the ‘bare essential’ sensors intact), and competitive pricing. The Galaxy M will ideally replace Samsung’s Galaxy On line-up, and their purported prices further cement this aspect. While the Galaxy M10 will start for as low as Rs 7,990, the Galaxy M20 will start at Rs 10,990. There will be no gimmicky “introductory” prices although the company is expected to announce a few launch offers to tag along. Just like all On-series phones, the Galaxy M-series will also be sold exclusively via online channels – Amazon India and Samsung’s e-shop – with Samsung having “no immediate plans for offline availability.”
Samsung has been teasing a few features that will be a first for any Samsung phone in this price category. Samsung’s Galaxy M-series phones will, for one, come with an Infinity-V display which appears to be its take on the waterdrop-style notch. Samsung’s Galaxy M-series devices are further expected to pack huge batteries – to the tune of 5,000mAh – with fast charging support via USB Type-C. The Galaxy M10 and Galaxy M20 will also ship with dual rear cameras including an ultra wide view (120 degree) lens.
Lastly, the Galaxy M-series is claimed to pack a “powerful processor to up your game” and chances are one of the two phones will be powered by the newly announced Exynos 7904 chipset. “Customized for the Indian consumer needs, the cost-effective processor is optimized to deliver high-end multimedia capabilities in the mid-range smartphones," Samsung says about the Exynos 7904 adding that it will “enable advanced mobile experiences in a broader range of devices with triple-camera support, powerful performance and connectivity.” The upcoming Galaxy M30 is also likely to benefit from this processor and is expected to bring triple rear cameras to the masses.
Xiaomi claims it has over 1,000 service centers in India now. With over 6,000 workforce contributing to the service network, we are building a strong network of dedicated employees who are focused on providing the best quality to our customers,” Manu Jain who is vice president, Xiaomi and managing director, Xiaomi India had said last year adding that Xiaomi is now able to “resolve 95 per cent of cases within 4-hour repair time.”
With its Galaxy M-series, Samsung is also letting buyers know that the company will have their back with initiatives like 24x7 customer care call center and remote assistance. More importantly, it is letting buyers know that it still holds the edge as far as after-sales in concerned: it claims that it has over 1,650 service centers and presence in over 6,500 talukas. Not to mention, it is a legacy brand that once took down Nokia and held the pole position by shipments in the smartphone market since 2012. Until 2017.
A lot will therefore be riding on the Galaxy M-series and even though it was admittedly slow to react to competition, Samsung just might pull a rabbit out of its hat with this one. It was about time.
Stay tuned for our full coverage on the Samsung Galaxy M10 and Galaxy M20, including launch, first-look and in-depth reviews.