The Samsung Galaxy M13 5G is the company’s most affordable 5G smartphone yet. The handset has been launched with MediaTek’s mid-range chipset, which comes with a built-in 5G modem that supports multiple bands. Additionally, the device rocks an HD+ screen, 50MP primary sensor, a 5,000mAh battery, a RAM Plus solution, and more. But, does the handset’s spec sheet warrant a purchase? Or is there more than meets the eye with the Samsung Galaxy M13 5G smartphone? Let’s find out in this review:
The Samsung Galaxy M13 5G is a capable, future-ready device for budget buyers. While it’s not the ‘monster’ the company’s Galaxy M-series devices are known for, the handset still packs a punch. To wit, the Galaxy M13 5G offers a good screen, decent battery life, and reliable performance. As such, the smartphone is a decent offering that won’t burn a hole in your wallet.
- First things first – let’s take a closer look at the Samsung Galaxy M13 5G’s design. Interestingly, the handset doesn’t feature a ginormous camera module or a glass back. Instead, the device is enveloped in a plastic unibody that touts a matte finish which, by the way, doesn’t get stained with fingerprint smudges all that easily. What’s more, the phone feels quite sturdy in the hand, and the device’s rounded corners help with the grip too.
- Moving on, the Galaxy M13 5G’s dual-rear camera setup sits flush with the chassis. Consequently, the handset doesn’t wobble too much when positioned on a flat surface. The fingerprint scanner is embedded within the power button, and the toggles can be found on the phone’s right spine along with the volume rocker. The USB Type-C port, on the other hand, is positioned at the bottom and the connector is sandwiched between the phone’s speaker grille and a 3.5mm headphone jack. That’s not all, as the device ships with a couple of microphones, and the handset has a dedicated slot for a microSD card too.
- On the display front, the Samsung Galaxy M13 5G packs a 6.5-inch Infinity-V IPS LCD panel that bears HD+ (720×1,440p) resolution, variable 90Hz refresh rate, and a small notch for the selfie camera. The display also supports 400 nits of brightness and is protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 shield. I had no trouble using the device outdoors under direct sunlight. Additionally, I found the handset’s 90Hz screen refresh rate to be consistent across UI and apps, including games, social media, and messages. That is not to say the refresh rate stays locked at 90Hz. The display can intelligently monitor the content played on the screen and drops the refresh rate down to 60Hz to save on some battery too.
- While the dynamic range and contrast ratio were not up to the AMOLED level, the display offers good picture quality and wide viewing angles. However, the bezels do feel a bit chunky. At the same time, I won’t be docking points for the same, given the handset’s affordable price. That being said, the handset is Widevine L1 certified, which means it can stream content in HD resolution from OTT services like Netflix.
- The Samsung Galaxy M13 5G is powered by a 2.2Ghz octa-core MediaTek Dimensity 700 chipset. The SoC is a decent mid-range offering, which, during my time with the phone, rarely slowed down to catch its breath. The app load time was quick too, and the device could smoothly multi-task between a handful of apps. The handset also tackles graphically-demanding games well. In fact, I was lucky enough to play BGMI (before it got delisted from the play store) on the device and the operation ran smoothly at the ‘Balanced’ graphics setting. Be that as it may, at higher visual presets which comprise running the game HD graphics and high frame rate settings, the handset did struggle a bit and the device introduced jitters and noticeable lags in the game.
- The Samsung Galaxy M13 5G is equipped with 4GB or 6GB of RAM, which is further expandable up to 6GB with the RAM Plus solution. The latter uses a chunk of the phone’s onboard storage to keep more apps open in the background, thereby improving multitasking. As for the storage, the handset is available in either 64GB or 128GB options. The storage is also expandable up to 1TB using a microSD card.
- In terms of optics, the Samsung Galaxy M13 5G sports a dual camera setup at the back, comprising a 50MP (f/1.8) primary sensor and a 2MP (f/2.4) depth sensor. The pair does a good job at capturing details, without affecting the colour tone severely in ideal lighting conditions. However, the dynamic range seems lacking in some scenarios. That’s not all, as the 2MP depth sensor, which kicks-in in portrait mode produces sub-par results as well. To wit, the sensor’s edge detection seems a bit off. On the bright side, you can always manually variate the amount of bokeh with the phone and the feature works well, for the most part.
- The lowlight performance of the smartphone is on par with other budget offerings in the segment too. To wit, the handset was quick to focus on to the subject, but the images looked a bit grainy. What’s more, while the night mode mitigates noise to a certain degree, it does so at the expense of smoothening the details of the subjects in the frame. As for the selfies, the 5MP camera posts acceptable results with good facial detailing and accurate skin tones when the sun’s out.
- Coming to the battery life, the Samsung Galaxy M13 5G, with its 5,000mAh battery, can comfortably last up to a day with routine usage. I was consistently hitting 10-12 hours of screen-on-time, which included streaming TV shows and movies, checking social media apps, going through emails, and indulging in a game or two of BGMI. Having said that, the phone’s charging speed is slightly on the slower side. The handset supports a 15W fast charging solution, which takes around 2-2.5 hours to charge completely.
- The Samsung Galaxy M13 5G runs Android 12-based One UI 4.1 out of the box. The UI offers little bloatware and an array of customisation options, which is a bonus. The phone’s side-mounted fingerprint scanner is fast and responsive, while the bottom-firing mono speaker gets sufficiently loud too. What’s more, the handset is 5G capable and supports as many as 11 bands, including sub-6Ghz’s n77 & n78, which is great. Since 5G isn’t available in India yet, we couldn’t test the handset on the network.
- That being said, the smartphone worked just fine on a 4G LTE connection and I didn’t run into any networking issues on my Airtel prepaid SIM with the phone. The device also supports auto-data switching, which, if you are using dual SIMs, switches the data to the secondary SIM when there is no network on the primary SIM. As for the Wi-Fi, the Galaxy M13 5G supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.
It is quite clear what Samsung is trying to do here. With 5G services just around the corner, the company is offering a 5G-ready device to budget buyers and how. At Rs 13,999, the Samsung Galaxy M13 5G is among the cheapest 5G smartphones in India. What’s more, the handset comes with a serviceable 90Hz display, clean UI, and a MediaTek chipset, which despite being a year old, manages to hold its ground.
The phone could have done better with an FHD+ screen and an ultra-wide sensor, which have become quite common in the segment. However, if you are in the market looking for a 5G device at a budget price, the Samsung Galaxy M13 5G will undoubtedly appeal to you.
Expert’s rating: 3.5/5
- Good screen
- Decent battery life
- Capable performance
- Low light photography needs improvement
- No ultra-wide sensor