Hardware specs have been an obsession with geeks and smartphone users alike. Most people in your office floor (or Zoom office meeting now) can rattle the specs of new devices. You’re never short of unsolicited advice when you’re considering switching phones. But there’s one area that usually boils down to the actual user experience – the user interface. It’s an area where Samsung has made huge strides with it’s One UI. Samsung’s custom interface is easier on the eye than its predecessors with smoother navigation. It’s the budget smartphones where One UI has made the biggest impact. The new Samsung Galaxy M21 is a case in point.

The M21 is the newest addition to Samsung’s ever expanding M Series, a key piece  in the brand’s strategy for the competitive Rs 10,000 to 20,000 price segment. In February we checked out the M31 for Man’s World and the M21 is a clever play by Samsung. A device that scales down marginally on a few key features with a price tag that’s lower than the M31.

The M21 is finished in plastic and yet looks quite refined. You’ll notice an old-school, dimpled fingerprint sensor on the rear of the device. This sensor is both easy to set up and is very responsive. The plastic back (we checked out the Midnight blue variant) loves smudges and fingerprints. Just like the M31, this is a heavy device despite the plastic back. The 6000 mAh battery explains the heft. If battery life is your thing, then this device won’t disappoint. You could manage two days with regular use. It’s the same feature that impressed us with the M31 too. Samsung has bundled a 15W fast charger that powers up the device in quick time.

The display is identical to the M31. You get the same 6.4-inch FHD+ Infinity U display (2340 x 1080 pixels) that is quite vibrant and one of the better options at this price point. It’s not just the battery that’s unchanged under the hood, Samsung sticks to the same processor – the Exynos 9611, as the M31. We checked out the 4GB/64GB variant that should work for most average users. But if you’re an intensive gamer, you should consider the 6GB/128 variant or the M31.

A 48MP primary lens is part of the triple rear cam set up that includes an 8MP ultra-wide cam and 5MP depth sensor. It’s a slight stepdown from the 64MP primary lens in the M31. It’s the same for the selfie cam – a 20MP lens vs. the 32MP lens on the M31. Results are good in optimal light but struggle in lowlight despite the night mode option. The Samsung Galaxy M21 scores with a vibrant and a robust, two-day battery. This might be enough for many users who are considering a device in the sub Rs 15,000 price band.

The Samsung Galaxy M21 costs Rs 12,699 (4GB/64GB) and Rs 14,999 for the 6GB/128GB variant. The device comes in two colours – Raven Black and Midnight Blue.