The Samsung Galaxy M33 5G is the company’s latest entrant in its M-series that aims to offer solid battery life, good cameras, and 5G, all at a competitive price. Come to think of it, 2022 has been a pretty busy year for the sub-20K INR price segment, as we’ve seen almost every other brand from the likes of Redmi, Realme, Motorola, and the likes to bring solid entry-level options that give the best bang for the buck. And with the growing demand and popularity, the year has also seen the sudden rise of 5G in this very sub-20K INR segment.
This begs the question — what does the Galaxy M33 5G offers that should tempt the buyers to buy this phone over other options. And within Samsung’s camp itself, is the Galaxy M33 5G with its better internals and slightly lower price a worthy top-up over the Galaxy M32 5G? Let’s find out in our full review.
Samsung Galaxy M33 5G: Design & Build
There are no second thoughts that the Galaxy M33 5G is a chunky smartphone (215g), and it’s actually 10 grams heavier than its predecessor if you compare the exact numbers. The Galaxy M33 5G comes with a polycarbonate construction, just like every other device in this price segment. And so, despite this being a big phone, because of the choice of materials and because of the big 6,000mAh battery that you get inside; the ergonomics are decent.
At the rear of the Galaxy M33 5G, you still get four cameras along with an LED flash, just like the Galaxy M32 5G, however, the camera island is now a square, which will definitely please the symmetry gods. The colour that Samsung sent us for this review is Deep Ocean Blue, which comes with this matte shimmery sort of a finish that looks very pleasing and elegant. Apart from this, there’s also a Mystique Green colour, that looks equally appealing.
The Galaxy M33 5G offers a type-C port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, the primary microphone and a single speaker at the bottom while the top features a second noise-cancelling mic. On the left is the triple slot, i.e. dual-SIM + dedicated microSD card slot, while the right features the volume rockers along with the power button that also doubles up as a side-mounted fingerprint sensor, which by the way was able to unlock the device with speed and accuracy during our testing.
In a nutshell, the Galaxy M33 5G features a tried and tested Samsung design that has worked well for the company in the past few months. However, the new shades are definitely a thing of beauty and are something that you’ll only appreciate once you hold the phone in your hand.
Samsung Galaxy M33 5G: Display
Coming to the display, this is where we feel that the company has tried to cut corners or have they? You see, the front is graced by a waterdrop notch at the top, and I understand, that many phones from other brands have gone for the modern hole-punch formula. So, is a waterdrop notch that much of a big deal? Well, the short answer will be no, because ultimately, after a point, you’ll just get used to it and honestly it’s just a tiny notch. With that said, I definitely feel that the chin could’ve been slightly thinner than what we have here.
However, coming to the crux of the matter, i.e. the display itself; the Galaxy M33 5G features a 6.6” full-HD+ TFT LCD display along with a 120Hz refresh rate. Looking at the offering, the resolution and higher-refresh rate are alone a solid step-up over the Galaxy M32 5G’s panel. And in terms of quality as well, while the display isn’t as bright, colourful and punchy as an AMOLED panel, it gets the job done. In my opinion, for the price, and the functionality being offered here, I feel, this is a gorgeous LCD panel that reproduces good colours, and has surprisingly wide-viewing angles. In fact, content consumption, be it playing games or binging on the latest shows and movies is an absolute treat. I also found the brightness levels to be adequate enough for both indoor and outdoor usage.
That said, the cherry on the cake still has to be the 120Hz screen refresh rate that really contributes to that buttery smooth operation. Moreover, the panel is also Widevine L1 certified, which means Full-HD video playback won’t be an issue across YouTube and popular OTT platforms. And speaking of videos, the single bottom-firing speaker on the Galaxy M33 5G isn’t your dual-speaker replacement, but it gets reasonably loud. Trust me, I have been using many phones in this budget that come with single speakers, and the Galaxy M33 5G is easily in my top 3 when it comes to loud and clear audio output.
Samsung Galaxy M33 5G: Hardware, Software & Performance
The Galaxy M33 5G is powered by the latest crop of Exynos processors. In this case, there’s the 5nm Exynos 1280 SoC, coupled with either 6GB or 8GB RAM options priced at Rs. 17,999 and Rs. 19,499 respectively. Storage is standard on both variants at 128GB, and this is of the UFS 2.2 standard, which is great. Additionally, courtesy of the Exynos 1280, the Galaxy M33 5G, as the name suggests also supports 5G (12 bands). Other handy features include 4G carrier aggregation, Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.1, and NFC.
In terms of performance, the Galaxy M33 5G manages to hold up for the most part with ease. And by that I mean to say that while the general performance of this phone has been good, I did encounter a few stutters here and there whenever I tried to put heavy load on the system. And by heavy load I mean, these few stutters were only noticeable when I was really pushing the phone for demanding tasks such as playing graphics-intensive games like COD: Mobile, or BGMI. Or even things like browsing Chrome with about 20 tabs open and doing a video call on Duo. Tasks such as this do take a toll on the phone, but then again, we have to remember the hardware isn’t designed to do such heavy lifting.
So, coming back to the general tasks, things like video-calling, browsing the web, social media, watching videos and the likes work perfectly fine and trust me, you won’t be disappointed by the overall performance. The phone is also able to handle casual gaming, and I would also like to point out that the Galaxy M33 5G doesn’t get hot under any circumstance. I mean, it does run warm sometimes, but I didn’t find anything alarming regarding thermal management.
Samsung Galaxy M33 5G: Software
As for the software, the Galaxy M33 5G features Samsung’s ever-popular OneUI skin, version 4.1, atop Android 12. This comes with a promise of 2 years of future Android OS upgrades song with 4 years of security patch updates.
The good part is that despite the Galaxy M33 5G being a sub-20K INR phone, the Korean manufacturing giant has put enough attention to the software side of things. And anyway, Samsung has been one of the reliable companies when it comes to delivering timely updates, so you can rest assured about the software support in the coming years.
However, the software, i.e. OneUI 4.1 does feel a bit heavy for the kind of hardware it is mated to. Now, I am not saying you get a bad software experience, but don’t expect a buttery smooth performance at all times. Expect to see minor stutters and frame-drops here and there, but that’s the nature of Android, even the high-end phones are not spared! That said, overall, OneUI is a feature-rich Android skin, and very secure courtesy of Knox at the core, so, there’s very little to complain about here. Performance, for the most part, should be okay, and I’d also point out that you do get a good amount of bloatware pre-installed but don’t worry as you can easily uninstall them.
Samsung Galaxy M33 5G: Battery
One of the key areas where the Galaxy M33 5G absolutely shines is endurance. So, Samsung has loaded the Galaxy M33 with a humongous 6,000mAh battery that’s capable of charging at up to 25W. Of course, you don’t get a charger in the box, so you’ll have to purchase one separately, so do keep that in mind.
No doubt, the Galaxy M33 5G is a big battery smartphone, and it delivers through and through in terms of endurance. I mean, for a phone like this, with medium to heavy usage, I can assure you that it will easily last at least two days on a single charge. In fact, you really have to push your usage if you plan on killing the phone’s battery in a day. But even with heavy usage, if someone does do a lot of video-calling, binge-watches videos, and is all the time hooked on social media; even in those scenarios, expect at least 1.5 days endurance. Battery life deserves huge applause on the Galaxy M33 5G!
Samsung Galaxy M33 5G: Camera
The Galaxy M33 5G features a quad-rear camera setup comprising a 50MP main camera, paired with a 5MP ultra-wide snapper, and a couple of 2MP macro and depth sensors. The front is graced by an 8MP snapper for selfies and video calls.
If you’re someone who loves to post a lot of photos on social media, you’ll appreciate the Galaxy M33’s primary camera performance. No doubt, that the colours do tend to look on the saturated side, but colours are a matter of preference and honestly I think the phone does a good job of capturing photos in good light. Additionally, I also loved the contrast and wide dynamic range in images, and the phone also does a good job with human skin tones. Portrait mode shots are also captured well with good edge detection and deep background blur.
As for the ultra-wide-angle camera, you get decent performance. Of course, the photos are not the most detailed, but they are good to view on the phone’s screen and it’s also great to see that there’s a minimal colour disparity between the primary and ultra-wide lenses. Apart from this, the quality of the 2MP macro sensor is nothing to write home about.
As for the photos taken at night, well, expect to see decent results, given you stick to two things — night mode and holding your phone still. In my case, 8 out of 10 times, with night mode turned on, images turned out well with surprisingly decent sharpness along with good colours and contrast.
In terms of capturing selfies, the results taken in good lighting were very good. While the selfies taken at night did manage to get the exposure right, the details were not the sharpest.
Samsung Galaxy M33 5G: Verdict
In a nutshell, the Samsung Galaxy M33 5G competes in a fierce sub-20K INR price segment and faces tough competition from brands such as Realme, Xiaomi, Motorola etc. Now, if you’re someone who’s looking to buy a phone for performance-driven tasks, especially for running graphics-intensive games, I’d suggest that you rather raise your budget and look elsewhere.
However, the reasons for considering the Galaxy M33 over the others are the brand value and brand reliability, of course. But even more, if you want a phone that comes with superb battery life, has a good set of dependable cameras, and comes with reliable software support and good software performance on a whole, don’t look any further than the Samsung Galaxy M33 5G. This one’s a Marathoner in our books!