Samsung Galaxy M20 review

GSMArena team, 03 April 2019.

One step back to Oreo

A bit disappointingly, the Galaxy M20 boots Android 8.1 Oreo, as opposed to 9.0 Pie. All key rivals have launched on Pie, so this is certainly going to be held against the M20.

Samsung Galaxy M20 review

It's also not One UI on top, but the older Samsung Experience with the pre-Pie iconography and menu design. Having said that, some of the newer One UI features like the notification icons instead of tiles on the lockscreen, and the gesture navigation have been 'ported' .

Swiping from the center bar takes you back home, swiping from the bottom right acts as a back button while a swipe from the bottom left will open up the recent apps. The last two can be swapped if you prefer the traditional layout with the back button/gesture on the left. You can, of course, opt for the standard software buttons if you don't like the swiping.

Lockscreen (notification icons) - Samsung Galaxy M20 review Lockscreen (notification tiles) - Samsung Galaxy M20 review Gesture navigation - Samsung Galaxy M20 review Homescreen - Samsung Galaxy M20 review Folder View - Samsung Galaxy M20 review App drawer - Samsung Galaxy M20 review
Lockscreen • Gesture navigation • Homescreen • Folder View • App drawer

Unlike the Galaxy M10, the Samsung Galaxy M20 has a fingerprint reader on the back. You enroll a fingerprint in a single swipe, though we found ourselves being able to do the same finger twice by swiping on slightly different areas. Unlocking is reasonably fast but far from the best on the market. There's also the matter of the high placement of the sensor, which means you probably wont always get it right on the first try. A basic, non-IR face unlock is also an option.

Biometrics and security - Samsung Galaxy M20 review Biometrics and security - Samsung Galaxy M20 review Biometrics and security - Samsung Galaxy M20 review Biometrics and security - Samsung Galaxy M20 review Biometrics and security - Samsung Galaxy M20 review
Biometrics and security

The fingerprint sensor can also be set to bring down the notification shade and quick toggles, which certainly comes in handy. You can also bring the shade down by swiping down in an empty area of the homescreen. The notification area itself is the same as on other Oreo Samsungs, as is the task switcher (with the optional list view). If anything, this pre-One UI implementation of multi-window is better than the new one.

Notifications - Samsung Galaxy M20 review Quick toggles - Samsung Galaxy M20 review Task switcher - Samsung Galaxy M20 review List view - Samsung Galaxy M20 review Multi-window - Samsung Galaxy M20 review
Notifications • Quick toggles • Task switcher • List view • Multi-window

In line with all other recent Galaxies, the M20 supports themes, and there's a ton of those available in the store, where you can also grab icon packs. Icon customization is also available - you can choose the default Samsung framing of the icons or go without it. Then there's Game launcher to keep your games in one place and in-play Game tools to disable notifications and the nav bar as well as take screenshots or record gameplay. A capable in-house file manager is at your disposal too.

Theme store - Samsung Galaxy M20 review Icon packs - Samsung Galaxy M20 review Icon settings - Samsung Galaxy M20 review File manager - Samsung Galaxy M20 review File manager - Samsung Galaxy M20 review
Theme store • Icon packs • Icon settings • File manager

The Device Maintenance sub-menu in settings holds all the important stuff like battery management, storage, memory, security and the ultra data saving feature. The latter helps you save some data if you are on a tight mobile data plan. It can limit the background data usage on some apps of your choosing.

The battery menu offers the usual three power-saving presets - normal (named 'Off'), Mid and Max. The system constantly analyzes apps running in the background so it can put them to sleep if you are not using them. Or even prevent some apps from running in the background at all. The battery usage graph and stats is at hand as well.

Device maintenance - Samsung Galaxy M20 review Device maintenance - Samsung Galaxy M20 review Device maintenance - Samsung Galaxy M20 review Device maintenance - Samsung Galaxy M20 review Device maintenance - Samsung Galaxy M20 review
Device maintenance

Samsung is using its own Gallery app where the Pictures pane is a timeline of photos and screenshots, while Albums has them sorted by origin instead. Stories is Samsung's take on shareable collaborative albums, which we'd be surprised if anyone uses. There's a powerful editor on board for when you're away from a PC.

Google Play Music is the default audio player, and the the Galaxy M20 features the familiar Samsung sound customizations - a simple two dial adjustment or a proper 9-band equalizer is at your disposal. So is the Adapt Sound feature which tunes the EQ to your hearing and your particular pair of ears and headphones by playing multiple frequencies and asking how well you hear them. An FM radio receiver is also available.

Gallery - Samsung Galaxy M20 review Viewing an image - Samsung Galaxy M20 review Photo Editor Pro - Samsung Galaxy M20 review Google Play Music - Samsung Galaxy M20 review Sound settings - Samsung Galaxy M20 review FM radio - Samsung Galaxy M20 review
Gallery • Viewing an image • Photo Editor Pro • Google Play Music • Sound settings • FM radio

Synthetic benchmarks

The Samsung Galaxy M20 is powered by Samsung's in-house Exynos 7904 chipset - essentially a downclocked 7885, because... well, we guess Samsung had its reasons. The CPU has eight cores in a 2+6 configuration - 2xCortex-A73 at 1.8GHz (2.2GHz in the 7885) and 6xCortex-A53 at 1.6GHz. The GPU is Mali-G71 MP2.

The Galaxy M20 has two memory versions, and we have the base 3GB/32GB one, while the slightly more expensive variant has 4GB/64GB.

Samsung Galaxy M20 review

The Galaxy M20's single-core scores are almost double those of the M10 and multi-core results are also noticeably higher - so there's a clear advantage to opting for the more expensive model. The Galaxy A7 (2018) and A8 (2018) both post higher numbers than the Galaxy M20, thanks to the higher CPU clock rate of their otherwise very similar Exynos 7885s. The Redmi Note 7's CPU scores are a significant step up from the M20, with its 4 Kryo 260 (customized A73s) both clocked higher, and also twice as many as the the A73s in the M20's CPU.

GeekBench 4.1 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
    1650
  • Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018)
    1532
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018)
    1524
  • Oppo F9 (F9 Pro)
    1497
  • Realme 3
    1482
  • Motorola Moto G7 Plus
    1334
  • Samsung Galaxy M20
    1313
  • Motorola Moto G7
    1255
  • Motorola Moto G7 Power
    1252
  • Motorola Moto G7 Play
    1199
  • Nokia 6 (2018)
    882
  • Motorola Moto G6 Plus
    882
  • Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite (Redmi 6 Pro)
    881
  • Sony Xperia 10
    848
  • Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018)
    733
  • Samsung Galaxy M10
    724

GeekBench 4.1 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Oppo F9 (F9 Pro)
    5673
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
    5411
  • Realme 3
    4936
  • Motorola Moto G7 Plus
    4927
  • Motorola Moto G7
    4755
  • Motorola Moto G7 Power
    4534
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018)
    4446
  • Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018)
    4418
  • Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite (Redmi 6 Pro)
    4388
  • Nokia 6 (2018)
    4225
  • Samsung Galaxy M20
    4160
  • Motorola Moto G6 Plus
    4160
  • Motorola Moto G7 Play
    4154
  • Sony Xperia 10
    3985
  • Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018)
    3718
  • Samsung Galaxy M10
    3662

The Redmi Note 7's superiority continues into Antutu, where the M20 is simply no match. The Galaxy does edge ahead of the Moto G7 Power, but the difference is insignificant.

AnTuTu 7

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
    139075
  • Realme 3
    132764
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018)
    123883
  • Nokia 5.1 Plus
    119428
  • Motorola Moto G7 Plus
    117829
  • Samsung Galaxy M20
    108658
  • Motorola Moto G7 Power
    107495
  • Motorola Moto G7
    106292
  • Motorola Moto G7 Play
    97230
  • Nokia 6 (2018)
    90918
  • Motorola Moto G6 Plus
    90263
  • Sony Xperia 10
    89697
  • Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite (Redmi 6 Pro)
    77964
  • Samsung Galaxy M10
    64144
  • Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018)
    63632

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
    15
  • Realme 3
    13
  • Oppo F9 (F9 Pro)
    12
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018)
    10
  • Motorola Moto G7 Plus
    10
  • Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018)
    9.9
  • Nokia 6 (2018)
    9.9
  • Motorola Moto G6 Plus
    9.8
  • Nokia 5.1 Plus
    9.6
  • Sony Xperia 10
    9.6
  • Samsung Galaxy M20
    8
  • Motorola Moto G7 Play
    6.9
  • Motorola Moto G7
    6.9
  • Motorola Moto G7 Power
    6.9
  • Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite (Redmi 6 Pro)
    6.5
  • Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018)
    3.2
  • Samsung Galaxy M10
    3.2

The Redmi's GPU is considerably more potent than the M20's and it routinely outputs close to twice the number of frames per second in GFXBench. The Moto G7 Power's GPU isn't as powerful, but the Moto's lower-res 720p display helps it in onscreen benchmarks.

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Realme 3
    26
  • Nokia 5.1 Plus
    20
  • Motorola Moto G7 Play
    14
  • Motorola Moto G7 Power
    14
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
    13
  • Oppo F9 (F9 Pro)
    11
  • Nokia 6 (2018)
    10
  • Motorola Moto G7 Plus
    9.7
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018)
    9.4
  • Motorola Moto G6 Plus
    9.3
  • Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018)
    8.7
  • Sony Xperia 10
    7.8
  • Samsung Galaxy M20
    7.1
  • Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018)
    6.7
  • Motorola Moto G7
    6.4
  • Samsung Galaxy M10
    6.3
  • Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite (Redmi 6 Pro)
    6.1

GFX 3.1 Car scene (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
    9
  • Realme 3
    8
  • Oppo F9 (F9 Pro)
    7.5
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018)
    6.3
  • Motorola Moto G7 Plus
    6.3
  • Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018)
    6
  • Nokia 5.1 Plus
    5.9
  • Nokia 6 (2018)
    5.6
  • Motorola Moto G6 Plus
    5.6
  • Sony Xperia 10
    5.4
  • Samsung Galaxy M20
    5
  • Motorola Moto G7 Play
    3.9
  • Motorola Moto G7 Power
    3.9
  • Motorola Moto G7
    3.8
  • Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite (Redmi 6 Pro)
    3.6
  • Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018)
    2
  • Samsung Galaxy M10
    2

GFX 3.1 Car scene (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Realme 3
    15
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
    7.7
  • Motorola Moto G7 Play
    7.7
  • Motorola Moto G7 Power
    7.7
  • Nokia 5.1 Plus
    7.4
  • Oppo F9 (F9 Pro)
    6.5
  • Nokia 6 (2018)
    6
  • Motorola Moto G7 Plus
    5.9
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018)
    5.7
  • Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018)
    5.2
  • Motorola Moto G6 Plus
    5.2
  • Samsung Galaxy M20
    4.4
  • Sony Xperia 10
    4.3
  • Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018)
    3.9
  • Samsung Galaxy M10
    3.7
  • Motorola Moto G7
    3.5
  • Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite (Redmi 6 Pro)
    3.4

To some it all up, thev Galaxy M20 packs plenty of raw CPU power, and has a decently capable GPU. Even so, the Redmi Note 7 with its Snapdragon 660 is a better option if you're after absolute performance.

Reader comments

  • Murtaza Zakaria
  • 17 Feb 2022
  • XDV

Download Android 11 update please

  • Barobazar
  • 07 Oct 2021
  • X%3

This phone oll features system installed &ined

  • Gabriel
  • 15 Jan 2021
  • LcH

It sounds like YOUR internet is bad, the phone has average network connections and works as expected on my home internet, not more nor less speed.