You might think that the Samsung Galaxy S21 is the best smartphone in the Samsung line or even the Galaxy Note. However, there are two phones in Samsung’s lineup that I think are the best of all. There is only one problem: no one seems to be able to get hold of it.
I’ve written about the Samsung Galaxy M31 before – a smartphone that I’ve been using every day for almost a year now. It costs less than $ 300, has all the power and features the vast majority of customers will need, and has incredible battery life. It lasts for two days of fairly heavy use, maybe even three in a row. This is the phone that has completely eliminated my fear of leaving the house without a charger or battery and I love it.
The M31 has a slightly larger sibling, the M51. It has a 6.7 inch screen compared to the 6.4 inch screen of the M31. The M51 also packs a meatier battery, a 7000mAh model compared to the 6000mAh pack of the M31. I couldn’t get my hands on a review unit myself, but people I’ve spoken to say the M51 sails comfortably for three days of moderate use without requiring a charger. It also costs a bit more, around $ 400.
These phones hit the absolute sweet spot for me. These aren’t the fastest phones, they don’t have the best cameras, but they are solid performance with incredible battery life at a price point of less than half of those flagships like the S21.
Alas, they are almost impossible to find, at least in Western markets.
The missing M series
The M31 and M51 have never (to my knowledge) been sold in the US, but they were available in very limited quantities in Western Europe, like here in the UK
Almost from the time I gave the M31 a rave review last summer, I received a constant stream of emails from readers who struggled to get their hands on one. They have rarely been in stock at vendors such as Amazon or other major mobile retailers.
Even today, Samsung’s UK website lists the Galaxy M31 (a slight variation on the M31) and M51 as current models, but when you click the Buy button on either phone, it reports that ‘they are out of stock.
I have repeatedly asked Samsung what happened to the stock of these great smartphones and each time they have said that they are expecting new stock soon but it never seems to arrive or only in very small quantities. .
The only place I can find these models for sale today is in India (if you exclude used sales and slightly questionable looking retailers, of course).
Of course, there is currently a global semiconductor shortage, and Samsung may be diverting processors to other more lucrative models. Samsung may abandon the M series altogether.
Either way, it’s a shame that the Galaxy M31 and M51 are so hard to find because they’re brilliant phones. Fingers crossed for a comeback.