I would not consider buying an i-phone simply because my friend owns two of them – or blindly go for a new Android model suggested by my son or nephew (both of whom are more tech savvy than me) because their recommendations are obviously based on their own needs and expectations, which may differ from mine. I am an old-fashioned mechanical engineer with a basic understanding of parameters like millimetres, megapixels and megabytes – but I think of a cellphone as a utility item, not a status symbol. Applying a technocratic approach, I would not choose a costlier option unless I get additional features which suit my requirements.My foremost requirement – which is entirely non-negotiable – is that my handset must have provision for two SIM cards, since I do not want to carry two separate handsets for my CUG and personal numbers. My other requirements are not difficult to fulfil: a phonebook with at least 2000 contacts, basic net connectivity, a basic camera for photos and videos and scope for downloading a few apps such as the ubiquitous WhatsApp and my favourite word games (which do not need much memory or processing capacity). I would certainly appreciate practical features like high reliability, software and security updates and high battery capacity (sufficient for 24 hours or preferably 48 hours at my normal level of usage). Besides, I would like to use a new handset for at least two years.Apart from exigencies, I do not intend to use my cellphone for surfing the Internet, videoconferencing or sending e-mails as I prefer using a desktop or laptop for such activities.I am equally clear about what I do not need. I do not intend to use my cellphone for watching movies, reading books, listening to music or creating fancy social media posts. Nor do I want a device for taking high resolution photos during a vacation as I would prefer to use a camera. At the risk of sounding flippant, I would say that I do not want a device to unlock my car or count the strokes in a game of golf – primarily because I do not own a car and I do not play golf!Having used smartphones of Samsung and Motorola makes over the past few years, I vastly prefer the former. My last phone, which gave me over 30 months of good service, was a Samsung M30. Since that model is obsolete now, I focused on its upgraded cousins: M32, M33 and M52. The last was immediately ruled out as it does not support two SIM cards along with an SD card. After studying the relative specifications of M32 and M33, I concluded that the latter offers better value for money. Generally, it is worth going for the higher memory and higher RAM versions as these parameters affect the performance and the difference in cost is relatively small. With these considerations, I narrowed down my choice to M33 with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage (Just twenty years ago, I was using a desktop with 2GB memory!)As a confirmation for my choice, I compared the phone I had selected with OnePlus Nord CE 2 (8GB RAM, 128GB Storage) which my son had recommended. The specification of the Samsung phone was found to be equivalent or superior for the major parameters, except that the display screen technology was TFT instead of AMOLED. I also watched some Youtube videos about these handsets for a better appreciation of their competing features. The clinching factor was that the Samsung phone was priced substantially lower than the OnePlus product.As for body colour, my first choice was Emerald Brown, but I settled for the Mystique Green since the former was not available in my selected configuration. I was thinking this would be irrelevant since I use a case which completely encloses the handset, but it turned out that the body colour can be glimpsed through the cutout for the cameras on the rear of the phone.Despite a strong family resemblance with my old one (M30), the new phone (M33) offers decidedly superior specifications and it meets my requirements perfectly. It is a few millimetres longer and a few grams heavier than my old phone, but these differences are acceptable to me. Thanks to the 50MP front camera and 8MP selfie camera, the quality of photos and videos is above my expectations (see sample pic taken at night at a distance of about 30 metres from the stage). This phone offers two years of android updates and four years of security patch updates, which reduces the worries on these fronts. Youtube reviewers complain that the M33 has plain looks, it is heavy, its audio does not offer an ‘immersive listening experience’ and its screen is plain old TFT instead of AMOLED. I am willing to live with these perceived shortcomings, so long as the M33 meets my requirements.I was glad to find that Samsung has taken an environmentally friendly step of offering many models of handsets without chargers – because old chargers, like old handsets, add to e-waste. However, it needs to be kept in mind that new handsets require higher capacity chargers. The recommended charger for M33 is 25 watts, but the chargers I had at home are rated at 5 or 10 watts.To cut a long story short, I ordered a 25-watt charger along with the phone to avoid compromising with the charging time. After using the new handset for a couple of weeks, I find that my phone is at 60-70% charge at the end of the day, and it takes 30-40 minutes for complete charging (one of the useful features of M33 is that it shows the time remaining for complete charging as soon as it is plugged in for charging). It turns out that I could have managed with the old 10-watt charger, except that it would have taken 60-90 minutes for full charging.I conclude by emphasizing that Samsung Galaxy M33 5g is the perfect phone – but for my requirements. A word of advice: if you are planning to buy a new phone, it would be helpful if you list out your requirements so that you do not end up paying for features that you do not intend to use.
With 5G connectivity, a 120Hz display and solid performance, the Galaxy M33 5G is Samsung’s best-value smartphone yet under 20K segmentPros Almost half the price of Galaxy A53Exynos 1280 is a solid performerExcellent 120Hz display with smooth experience across the boardHuge performance uplift over M32One UI 4.1 based on android 12 has tons of good features to love, none of the flagship grade features are skipped here (apart from dex mode and spen features), Zero lag or stuttering in 120 hz mode with ease of use and seemless switching of apps without any crash or reloading of apps, makes using one ui pleasure to surf acrossYou get features like a screen recorder, video call effects, Game Launcher, Link to Windows, Dual Messenger, Quick Share, Music Share, and Secure Folder, along with many others. Some of the fancy Android 12 features, like the ability to change the color palette of icons and menus based on the wallpaper and dim the screen for easier reading in the dark, are also included.Voice focus for calls is excellent feature, phone call quality is really good even in nosiy and crowded areasI had no issues with GPS or connectivity while using Google maps to navigate, signal stays strong even in rural areas, thats a positive point with good accuracy4g Volte with carrier aggregation works flawlesslyWifi connectivity on the Dual band 5ghz router is strong and performs more than satisfactorily with low latency responseBluetooth 5.1 connectivity is strong and has good range no worries of disconnection even as far as 15 metersAudio quality via 3.5 mm jack is excellent compared to Redmi note 10 pro, much more defined and well roundedFor media consumption widewine L1 support is present, Good AV experience on ott platforms, I have no serious complaints about color reproduction in videos considering TFT LCD this panel does a good enough job .Main Camera 50mp is on par and better than Redmi note 10 pro in almost all conditions, retains colors close to reality with good dynamic range and handling of exposure with HDR in photos as well as videos, it is able to handle extremely bright conditions wellEven in shadows during day time it was able to maintain good colorsGood Stable videos at 1080p4k video recording is available at 30 FPS is availableMany cool camera features , boasts AR fun mode, single Take, Object Eraser and Video TNR (Temporal Noise Reduction) which makes it fun to use cameraSelfie camera has good punchy colors, Samsung's way of boosted colour processing some may like it ,some may notExcellent battery life, got 9 hours of SOT despite the heavy usage. It takes around 1.5 hours to go from 0-100, and half an hour of charging can take the battery percentage to around 45% provided you have 25 watt Samsung’s chargerDespite summer time, phone has managed to stay relatively cool, 5nm architecture helping its cause here12 5G BandsDedicated SD card slot is a plus herePD 3.0 25 watt fast charging support reasonable for price segment but we have seen faster charging speeds with other OEMsPromised 2 major android OS updates and 4 years security updates is a huge plus above its competitors, making this device more value for money in long runCons Ultrawide camera is on softer side , lacks details compared to its primary sensor but manages to frame good shots that one can post on social media, macro camera is good with colors and edge detection but lacks depth of field and details , Note 10 pro which is brilliant in this caseNight shots are above average mostly grainy and muddled but better than most smartphones in its segmentLacks some stability in Video recording at 4k Amoled display could have made it unbeatableLacks stereo Speaker, but audio quality on single speaker is quite goodPre-installed bloatwares like Moj, dailyhunt, sharechat, byju's are mild and uninstallable but makes mature one UI experience looks immature out of the boxCurrently device is not tunned for high gaming performance as limited FPS in popular games like BGMI and COD deters it away from being a gamer friendly device, but we can expect exynos 1280 to resolve over time and be more optimized for more games in future updatesSlightly cheap design , Chunky in size, carries some heft, Dated notch displayLack of charger in the box is a bummer, which adds up to the value cost proposition