Samsung Galaxy M31s vs OnePlus Nord: Which one is BEST?

Samsung Galaxy M31s and OnePlus Nord are the two selling phones under Rs. 25,000. The Galaxy M31s price starts at Rs 19,499, which is lower when compared to the Rs 24,999 price of the OnePlus Nord. Both the smartphones have their own specialities and will appeal to different set of consumers. In this Samsung Galaxy M31s vs OnePlus Nord comparison, we will find out which smartphone is better in terms of price and specifications.

Samsung Galaxy M31s box contents:

1. Samsung Galaxy M31 handset
2. 15W fast charger
3. USB Type-C Cable
4. Quick Start Guide and Warranty information

OnePlus Nord box contents:

1. OnePlus Nord handset
2. Warp charge 30T adapter
3. Type-C cable
4. Transparent case
5. SIM ejector
6. Quick Start Guide and Warranty Information

SpecificationsGalaxy M31sOnePlus Nord
Display6.5 inches, FHD+6.44 inches, FHD+
Display TypeSuper AMOLED, 60HzFluid Amoled, 90Hz
SoftwareAndroid 11, One UI 3Android 11, OxygenOS 11
CPUExynos 9611Snapdragon 765G
GPUMali-G72 MP3Andreno 620
Front camera32 MP, f/2.2 (wide)32 MP, f/2.5 (wide)
8 MP, f/2.5 (ultrawide)
Rear camera64 MP, f/1.8 (wide)
12 MP, f/2.2 (ultrawide)
5 MP, f/2.4 (macro)
5 MP, f/2.4 (depth)
48 MP, f/1.8 (wide)
8 MP, f/2.3 (ultrawide)
5 MP, f/2.4 (depth)
2 MP, f/2.4, (macro)
Battery6000 mAh4115 mAh
ChargingFast charging 25WFast charging 30W
Headphone JackYesYes
Fingerprint sensorSide-mountedUnder display, optical
Starting PriceRs 19,499Rs 24,999

Design and Build Quality

The OnePlus Nord costs a lot more than the Galaxy M31s, so it’s obviously going to be better from the M31s in a lot of areas and one of them is the design.

From a distance, both of them look equally good, but the Nord’s all-glass approach does lend it a more premium in-hand feel. On the other hand, the Galaxy M31s comes with polycarbonate finish which feels a little cheap.

Samsung Galaxy M31s vs OnePlus Nord Design and Build Quality

I also like the OnePlus Nord’s marble blue color which makes it stand out. That’s not to say that the Galaxy M31s Mirage Black Gradient colour is any less attractive. The OnePlus Nord is a considerably lighter phone as compared to the Galaxy M31s and it’s narrower too. The OnePlus Nord weighs 184 grams, while the Galaxy M31s weighs 203 grams.

So it clear that the Nord will be more comfortable to use over extended periods. You might have to get used to the phone’s flat slippery back which isn’t as grippy, but a simple case would solve this problem.

The OnePlus Nord also comes with Corning’s Gorilla Glass 5 on the back, but the Galaxy M31s does not because it’s constructed out of polycarbonate.

On the OnePlus Nord, the volume rockers are positioned at a more reachable position on the, whereas on the M31s, it’s positioned a bit too high for my liking. Samsung could have done a better job here. I also like how every OnePlus phone has an alert slider which allowed me to switch through different sound profiles.

The OnePlus Nord doesn’t come with expandable storage, however the Galaxy M31s does comes with the support of SD card slot, allowing you to expand the memory of the phone. This is a major win for Samsung here, but not quite big as this next one.

Samsung Galaxy M31s vs OnePlus Nord: Display

OnePlus Nord features a FHD+ 90Hz display
OnePlus Nord features a FHD+ 90Hz display

The OnePlus Nord features a 6.44-inch FHD+ Fluid AMOLED display with a dual hole-punch cutout placed towards the left-hand side. On the other hand, the Galaxy M31s features a 6.5-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED display with centrally aligned hole-punch cutout.

The display specs might seem quite similar on paper at first but one big difference between these two phones is that while the OnePlus Nord comes with a 90hz screen refresh rate which means that the display on this phone refreshes at 90 times per second. Also, while the Nord’s peak brightness is at 1000 nits, the M31s maxes out at 600 nits.

Samsung Galaxy M31s features an AMOLED display
Samsung Galaxy M31s features an AMOLED display

The one on the Galaxy M31s refreshes at 60Hz. If you ask me then having used the M31s for over a week and the OnePlus Nord for even longer, I would pick the screen on the Nord over the M31s. Unlike the M31s, the Nord can stream shows on Netflix at HDR whereas the Galaxy M31s can only play videos in HDR from YouTube.

But let me assure you that the display on the M31s is no slouch either. You’re getting one of the nicest displays there, it’s plenty sharp, has excellent viewing angles and it comes with a tinier notch.

Also due to its lesser refresh rate, you won’t find a lot of colour shifting issues on Galaxy M31s. But in a dimly light room at exceptionally low brightness, you will notice the black turn slightly brownish or greenish on the OnePlus Nord.

Now let’s talk about protection. With the OnePlus Nord you’re going to get Corning’s Gorilla Glass 5 on the display and it also comes with a pre applied screen protector. Whereas the Galaxy M31s comes with Gorilla Glass 3. So the Galaxy M31s is going to be better at preventing scratches, and Oneplus Nord should in theory be better at ensuring that your phone survives an accidental drop.

OnePlus Nord vs Galaxy M31s: Performance

The OnePlus Nord is the second smartphone in the country to come with Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G SoC, and as for RAM, this it comes with up to 12GB of LPDDR4X memory and 256GB of UFS 2.1 storage which isn’t expandable.

As for the Samsung Galaxy M31s, it comes with Samsung’s in-house Exynos 9611 octa-core processor that is paired with up to 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 128GB of UFS 2.1 onboard storage. Here, the storage is expandable.

Also read: Exynos 9611 vs Snapdragon 712

I won’t beat around the bush at all. If you’re thinking about buying one of these two phones and performance is a priority for you, then just get the OnePlus Nord. It’s much better at keeping apps in memory is slightly faster. It is also better for intensive tasks like editing a video and gaming.

Even in benchmarks, OnePlus Nord has higher scores when compared to that of Samsung Galaxy M31s. The Galaxy M31s can run PUBG MOBILE on HDR and ultra but OnePlus Nord currently can’t do HDR and ultra.

OnePlus Nord vs Galaxy M31s: Software

Both of these smartphones runs on Android 11, however you’re going to get a custom UI skin on both of the devices. The Galaxy M31s comes with OneUI 3 whereas the OnePlus Nord, comes with OxygenOS 11.

Samsung Galaxy M31s runs on OneUI
Samsung Galaxy M31s runs on OneUI

It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to compare one custom skin to the other as some people will like OneUI more than OxygenOS and vice versa.

But if you ask me, then I’d go with Samsung’s OneUI. It comes with better customization options and secondly it also offers a premium experience. It has all the stable Android features like a dark mode, blue light filter, navigational gestures, screen recorder, etc.

Also read: Top 5 Best UI skins for Android

So it’s in no way inferior to OxygenOS and it’ll all boil down to which skin you like more. I should point out that both the phones come with the latest security patches, so security wise both the devices are up to date.

Samsung Galaxy M31s vs OnePlus Nord camera comparison

The Samsung Galaxy M31s has seen the most improvement in the camera department. It comes with quad rear camera setup that houses a 64MP Sony IMX682 sensor, a 12MP ultra-wide camera, a 5MP macro sensor, and a 5MP depth sensor. For selfies, it has a 32MP Sony IMX616 sensor at the front.

Samsung Galaxy M31s vs OnePlus Nord camera comparison

As for the OnePlus Nord, it also comes with a quad camera setup that includes a 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide angle lens, a 5MP depth sensor, and a 2MP macro lens. For selfies, it has a dual selfie camera (32MP main + 8MP ultra-wide).

Main camera

The Nord’s photo is undoubtedly processing colours better whereas the M31s is boosting the greens. A good example is the grass or the sky which has retained its grey shade in the Nord’s photo.

If you zoom into the image then you’ll notice that the M31s’s shot is sharper than the Nord’s photo and that there’s also noticeable noise in the north shore towards the left hand side. Also the bushes behind the decorative fountain and the leaves of the tree on the top right of the frame appear dark on the Nord’s photo.

But the M31s shot brings out details from these parts of the photo too. It has an edge when it comes to the details. When it comes to the details, the only difference I could tell was that the M31s was boosting the colors. If you zoom in to the center, then you’ll see that the M31s actually has better definition as compared to the Nord’s shot.

The OnePlus Nord darkens the shadows of the dark parts in a photo to make the scene appear more dramatic. The Galaxy M31s, on the other hand, offers superior detail in almost every single situation, however plays up the colors in the photo.

Ultra-Wide and Macro Lens

In a similar fashion, the wide angle and macro images were much much better on the Galaxy M31s.

If you look at the wide angle sample, then you will find much better corner details on the M31s photo with better definition in the leaves and the trees and more sharpness towards the center of the frame too. The OnePlus Nord’s wide angle photo on the other hand could definitely use some work and I didn’t like it at all.

Same goes for the macro images which looked incredible from the M31s’s 5 MP shooter, but Nord’s 2 MP lens captured less details.

The highest shot from the two phones have similar result and here, the M31s’s 64 MP shot was much superior to the Nord’s 48 MP shot.

That being said, the colors are once again better on the Oneplus Nord’s photo.

Front camera

If we compare the front camera of of OnePlus Nord to Galaxy M31s, you’ll notice that the Nord’s selfie has a more natural skin tone and fantastic detailing around the cheeks. The photos from the M31s has an orangish tinge on the skin which doesn’t look very good.

Same goes for the portrait shots which look great on the two phones. The Nord offered a cleaner cut out around the hair. You can also click wide angle selfies with the Nord.

In low light situations, the images from the two phones without their respective night modes was about the same in terms of visibility and sharpness. The M31s outputted a more pleasing scene with the night mode enabled and even tackled lens flaring is also better.

Same goes for the low light selfies too which when clicked with the screen flash enabled, gives a more pleasing result with a lot less noise on the M31s.

Videos

In terms of videos, the OnePlus Nord has a clear edge over the M31s, as it can shoot at 1080p 60fps and 4k 60fps from the front. The M31s, on the other hand, limits the frame rate to 30 fps on both the back and the front cameras.

As for the video quality, the rear camera of Nord is much better as it has slightly better stability and the phone also captured the audio much better.

Also there was visible focus jumping on the M31s video. So if you’re more about shooting videos than clicking photos, the Nord is definitely the way to go.

Connectivity and Biometrics

Both the phones are neck to neck when it comes to biometrics. With the OnePlus Nord you’re going to get an in-display fingerprint sensor whereas with the Samsung Galaxy M31s, you’re going to get a side mounted fingerprint scanner.

The fingerprint sensors on both the phones are really really good and you can unlock the M31s and the OnePlus Nord under 1 second. Both the phones also come with facial recognition. I found the one on the OnePlus Nord to be better. It is quicker and more reliable in low light situations.

Both the phones also come with all the necessary sensors including an ambient light sensor, a proximity sensor an electronic compass and other sensors.

If you’re going to rely on cellular connectivity quite a lot, then you would be glad to know that both the phones offers excellent network coverage on LTE’s post paid connection. The call quality is also great on both the phones.

The OnePlus Nord and the Galaxy M31s both come with a bottom firing mono speaker. The one on the OnePlus Nord is a bit louder, but the M31s scores big on convenience thanks to its 3.5 mm headphone jack.

Both the phones come with the USB 2.0 interface (USB Type-C). So you should see similar data transfer speeds here. That being said, the haptic feedback on the OnePlus Nord is lacks ahead of what you get with the Samsung Galaxy M31s.

Battery and charging

The OnePlus Nord comes with a 4,115mAh battery, while the Galaxy M31s offers a 6000mAh battery. Battery life wise, the Samsung Galaxy M31s absolutely crushes the OnePlus Nord. It offers a screen on time of around 7 hours. The Oneplus Nord, on the other hand, offers a screen on time of only 5 and a half hours.

Samsung Galaxy M31s with 15W charging adaptor
Samsung Galaxy M31s with 15W charging adaptor

But the OnePlus Nord comes with a faster 30W charging which refuels the phone from 0 to 100% in just 55 minutes. The Galaxy M31s, on the other hand, comes with the 25W fast charging support which charges the phone from 0 to 100% in 1 hour and 45 minutes.

OnePlus Nord vs Samsung Galaxy M31s: Price in India

The Samsung Galaxy M31s price in India starts at Rs 18,499 for the 6GB RAM + 128GB storage variant, while the 8GB RAM + 128GB storage variant is priced at Rs 20,499. It is offered in Mirage Black and Mirage Blue colour options.

On the other hand, the OnePlus Nord in priceed at Rs 24,999 for the 6GB RAM + 64GB storage variant, while the 8GB RAM + 128GB storage variant is priced at Rs 27,999, and lastly the 12GB RAM + 256GB storage model costs Rs 29,999. It is offered in Gray Onyx, Blue Marble, and Gray Ash colour options.

Samsung Galaxy M31s vs OnePlus Nord: Conclusion

OnePlus Nord has a premium design with glass back

Like it or not, the Samsung Galaxy M31s actually brings a lot to the table for its price including a better camera setup as compared to the Oneplus Nord and much better battery life too. Also, this phone comes with a headphone jack. So if you priorities are better cameras and good battery life, you can go with Galaxy M31s.

But if you want a much more premium design, much better performance, better haptics, and a more versatile video camera then go with the OnePlus Nord. It is much more expensive than the Galaxy M31s but justifiably.

That wraps up this Samsung Galaxy M31s vs OnePlus Nord comparison. Do let me know which of these two phones would you buy. Would you go for the M31s or would you go for the OnePlus Nord? Let me know in the comments.

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