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Meet Samsung Galaxy M33 5G - Multimedia 5G phone with long battery life

OPPO
Infinix
The Galaxy M33 5G has been our daily driver for a month now, so the question is: Is it one of the best phones under PHP 20K? 
Meet Samsung Galaxy M33 5G - Multimedia 5G phone with monster battery life
Meet Samsung Galaxy M33 5G

To those who missed it, the M33 5G arrived in the Philippines in April. It packs a 6.6-inch TFT LCD display with a 120Hz refresh rate. The scene also has a 2408 x 1080 resolution and a notch with an 8MP selfie camera. 

Under the hood, it comes with a 2.4GHz octa-core processor, 8GB RAM, 128GB of storage, and a large 5,000mAh battery with 25W fast charging via USB-C. For cameras, it is equipped with a 50MP main primary, 5MP ultra-wide lens, 2MP macro, and 2MP depth sensor. 

Locally, this mid-range phone can be purchased for PHP 19,490.

How does it perform? Let's dive in.

Meet Samsung Galaxy M33 5G

Note that we won't have the unboxing portion of this device since Samsung only lent us the unit itself. This means we can't share the details of what the box looks like and the inclusions that come with the handset.
Glossy back panel
Glossy back panel

The design of the Galaxy M33 5G looks good and clean, but nothing extraordinary, and somewhat looks similar to its predecessor, the Galaxy M32. It sports the same square-shaped camera module at the back and a waterdrop notch on the front. 

Personally, it would look more pleasing if Samsung used a punch-hole design instead of the waterdrop notch since it looks more modern and immersive.

Weighing 198 grams, the Galaxy M33 5G is on the heavier side, thanks to the 5,000 mAh battery inside. Still, it arguably got an excellent factor.

This device has a smooth, metallic-like texture made of good-quality polycarbonate material on the back. However, it does not have a premium in-hand feel, perhaps due to the plastic sides and back. But that factor did not dial down the stunning appeal of the handset.

We love how the light bounces back on this phone's back. It is available in three colorways Blue, Green, and Brown. The one Samsung loaned us is in pretty green color. It's not your usual bright and vivid green but rather a muted and classy shade.

Understated back panel!

Although it got a glossy back panel, this one does not attract so many fingerprints as the others did. Note that my hands were sweaty because of our humid climate. It still attracts some smudges, but they are not that noticeable.
Top view
Top view

There is a microphone on top of the Galaxy M33 5G.
Bottom view
Bottom view

Meanwhile, the bottom part accommodates the single firing speaker, USB-C port, another microphone then the 3.5mm headphone jack.
Left
Left

The left side houses the SIM tray and memory card slot. It allows dual nano sim on standby and expands the internal memory up to 1TB.
Right
Right

On the other hand, the volume rockers and power button doubles as a side fingerprint scanner are located on the right. 
With a high refresh rate of 120Hz
With a high refresh rate of 120Hz

The Samsung Galaxy M33 5G showcases a 6.6-inch Full HD+ LCD display with a 120Hz refresh rate and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection. The device comes with a waterdrop notch for the selfie camera.

The TFT display is a downgrade for us since the M31 carries a Super AMOLED display that is obviously nicer. There are limitations regarding how dark the blacks are or how vivid the colors appear on the screen.

Nevertheless, the 6.6-inch screen is superb in responsiveness, color accuracy, and picture quality. It even has a 120Hz refresh rate that makes the transitions and game effects look super smooth.

Samsung has added Widevine L1 support which means you will be able to stream FHD+ content on OTT platforms. Also, it has good viewing angles, so it's suited for binge-watching our favorite series, surfing social media feeds, checking emails, and more. 

It's impressive that the single-firing speaker of the Galaxy M33 5G can fill up to a medium-sized room with a crisp and pleasant. 

We just detected that it has a slight distortion when the volume is at a hundred percent. But this shouldn't be a significant concern since it's not distracting at all.

Our personal wired earphones worked pretty well when plugged into this phone's 3.5mm headphone jack.
Quad cameras
Quad cameras

The Samsung Galaxy M33 5G's camera set-up on the back panel comprises a 50MP f/1.8 primary camera, 5MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera, 2MP f/2.4 macro, and 2MP f/2.4 depth sensor.

The stock camera app features the usual photo, video, SingleTake, Fun, AR Doodle, Pro, Panorama, Food, Night, Macro, Portrait, Pro Video, Super Slow-Mo, Slow Motion, and Hyperlapse. Fun, Bixby Vision, and AR Zone are extra but handy features.

Bixby Vision is a feature built into some Samsung Galaxy models that enhances the camera app with artificial intelligence. Using the phone's camera, you can use Bixby Vision to identify places and objects the camera can see, shop for products you photograph, translate text, etc.

Meanwhile, the AR Zone provides users with AR-related features, such as AR Emoji and AR Doodle. The rear camera can shoot videos at 4K at 30fps and 1080p at 30/60fps.

Rear Camera Samples

Daylight normal
Daylight normal
Daylight wide
Daylight 2x zoom
Daylight 2x zoom
Daylight 5x zoom
Daylight 5x zoom
Daylight 10x zoom
Daylight 10x zoom

The primary 50MP camera shoots vivid, detailed, and lovely images in broad daylight. Note that the photos above are taken on a bright sunny day.

For the wide-angle shots and zoom, the camera does tend to saturate some colors, especially the warm tones. However, the overall results are good enough to be posted on social media. 

Using the zoom 2x can produce quite respectable output, but the quality significantly declined as we toggled it up to 5x and 10x, which is the maximum. The grain became quite apparent, so we don't really recommend using it up to this point unless you need it.
Indoor normal
Indoor normal
Indoor 2x zoom
Indoor 2x zoom

As you can see in the photos above, the loss of details is now apparent. The images tend to look soft as we tried to zoom in.
Indoor portrait
Indoor portrait
Food shot
Food shot

Food shots on this device take a lot of practice to get used to, and the focus is not that accurate. On the other hand, it does the job of highlighting the colors of the food and makes it look yummy.

Meanwhile, detailing is strictly average in the portrait shots of subjects, though the colors look on point. We like how it did not change our complexion or make it whiter like other Android phones tend to do.
Low light normal
Low light normal
Low light wide

Note that we were able to take the camera samples in pitch darkness with a few light sources. The low light images have notably better sharpness, detail, and color than the default photo mode when using the camera app's night mode. The muddiness and noise were more apparent when we tried the wide-angle lens.

The device packs an 8MP selfie camera housed on the punch-hole cut-out on the front. Like the rear camera, camera modes include Photo, Video, Beauty, Portrait, Night, (Fun) AR Shot, and Wide selfie.

Selfie Camera Samples

Default outdoor selfie
Default outdoor selfie
Wide outdoor selfie
Wide outdoor selfie
Indoor selfie 1
Indoor selfie 1
Indoor selfie 2
Indoor selfie 2

In our opinion, the 8MP selfie shooter was able to take good-quality shots because they were well-detailed. The indoor shots got great color reproduction, but they are not as sharp as those taken outside.
Selfie without beauty filter
Selfie without beauty filter
Selfie with beauty filter
Selfie with a beauty filter

The Galaxy M33 5G did an amazing job capturing details on my face, like moles and skin discolorations. My face appears oily and flushed in the photos above since I took them after my morning run.

The device also managed to preserve the color accuracy of my skin tone that most of us want, so our selfies appear more realistic. 

Activating the beauty filter may reduce all of your skin imperfections since it can smoothen the appearance of your complexion, enlarge your eyes, and even slim down your face. To avoid looking unnatural, it would be best not to go overboard on this.
Low-light selfie using Night Mode
Low-light selfie using Night Mode
Low-light wide selfie using Night Mode
Low-light wide selfie using Night Mode

However, the camera struggles in Night mode it is evident details are blurry. Using flash during poor lighting conditions might improve the quality of the output.

Performance

AnTuTu and Geekbench scores
AnTuTu and Geekbench scores

The Galaxy M33 5G is powered by the Exynos 1280 chipset coupled with 8GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage. In fact, this is one of the phones equipped with this 5nm Samsung Exynos 1280 octa-core processor that was announced only a month ago.
PCMark and 3DMark scores
PCMark and 3DMark scores
AI benchmark and CPDT
AI benchmark and CPDT

Samsung Galaxy M33 5G benchmark scores:

1. AnTuTu - 399,430
2. Geekbench -  513 (Single-Core), 1,573 (Multi-Core)
3. PCMark Work 3.0 performance - 12,089
4. 3DMark Wild Life -  2,343 and average 14fps
5. AI Benchmark - 40.3K
6. CPDT - 84.68 MB/s (Sequential write speed),  418.81 MB/s (Sequential read speed)

So far, this smartphone has performed fluidly in day-to-day activities. Although, there are occasional stutters while launching multiple apps simultaneously or performing heavy tasks.

Unfortunately, the device did not manage well in resource-heavy games. The lags were noticeable as we tested Call of Duty Mobile in low and medium graphic presets. There were no issues when we played casual games like Subway Surfers and Zombie Tsunami. 

The smartphone also warmed up during gaming sessions, and the heat probably made things even more sluggish. Perhaps Samsung can do something to improve the cooling system of the Galaxy M33 5G.
The PCMark battery benchmark score
The PCMark battery benchmark score

In terms of battery, Samsung Galaxy M33 5G is packed with 5,000mAh of battery, and it got an excellent score in our PCMark battery of 15 hours and 25 minutes. Honestly, this is one of the devices that I reviewed that was able to last that long.

The device packs so much power that it can last for 2 days without charging with light to moderate usage and a good day for heavy use. Needless to say, the battery life is the strength of this phone. 

2 days of straight use without charging!

On the other hand, it took a while to fully charge the device from its almost empty state. Even though it is equipped with a 25W fast charging feature, we had to wait for nearly two hours for it to reach 100 percent complete.

The handset has a side-mounted fingerprint scanner and face recognition for biometrics and security, and both are pretty responsive. Face recognition works fine even in low-lighting conditions.
Android 12 powered by One UI 4.1
 Android 12 powered by One UI 4.1

Running the show is the Android 12 and One UI 4.1 out of the box, similar to the phones Samsung has launched after the Galaxy S22 lineup. It gives a beautiful Android experience, but it's riddled with bloatware, so you can uninstall them.

With this OS, you'll get a screen recorder, video call effects, game launcher, Link to Windows, Dual Messenger, Quick Share, Music Share, and Secure Folder, among many others.
Extra features of the operating system
Extra features of the operating system

Samsung Galaxy M33 5G Specs

Display: 6.6-inch Gorilla Glass protected LCD (TFT) screen w/ 120Hz refresh rate, FHD+ 2408 x 1080 resolution at 400 ppi
CPU: 2.4GHz 5nm Samsung Exynos 1280 octa-core processor
GPU: Mali-G68 MC4
RAM: 8GB
ROM: 128GB expandable via microSD card slot up to 512GB
Back Camera: 50MP f/1.8 + 5MP f/2.2 123-degree ultra-wide-angle + 2MP f/2.4 macro + 2MP f/2.4 bokeh + LED flash
Selfie Camera: 8MP f/2.2 camera
Battery: 5,000mAh w/ 25W Super Fast Charging
OS: Android 12 w/ One UI 4.
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, 4G LTE, 5G, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, Galileo, QZSS, dual SIM
Others:  Fingerprint sensor, face unlock, USB-C  Colors: Green, Blue, Brown
Dimensions: 165.4 x 76.9 x 9.4 mm
Weight: 198 g
Price: PHP 19,490

Quick thoughts

A promising mid-ranger
A promising mid-ranger

The Galaxy M33 5G did well in audio-visuals since the screen is immersive enough to watch videos on TikTok or YouTube. Meanwhile, this one has a large enough internal memory for apps and videos. 

This one can handle basic daily tasks such as messaging, calls, casual gaming, and social media browsing for performance. Perhaps, there's just too much expectation from the new Exynos processor from Samsung, considering the steep price.

However, our main concern with this device is the TFT display and slow charging. We also find the camera performance decent, but lacking versus the competition. 

The Samsung Galaxy M33 might not be the best device for this segment. But then, it truly fits the bill for someone who needs a phone with long battery life. 

What do you think?
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