The Galaxy M-series are big on affordability and less so on premium look and feel. The M30 is built almost entirely out of plastic, which isn't bad in and of itself - it helps keep weight down and should fare better in case of a drop, it's just not overly fancy.
Samsung did try to spice things up with a two-tone paintjob, a couple of them. Ours is called Gradation Blue and it's navy on the bottom and lightens up towards the top. The Gradation Black option is a black to gray gradient. The glossy back does welcome fingerprints but they somehow manage to stay out of sight, so it's not too bad.
The fingerprint reader is out of sight here on the back, but it's also a little bit out of reach. We gather it had to stay out of the way of the huge 5,000mAh battery, so it ended up above it. If you're one to rest the bottom of your phone on your pinkie and have 'average' sized fingers, it may require some stretch.
The camera trio is in the top left corner, that's where all the Ms have their cameras. The main module is the middle and to emphasize its superiority it's got a ring around the lens as a status symbol. The ultra wide is below it, and the depth sensor is above. The flash isn't a part of the camera cluster and is instead below it.
Over on the front, the 6.39-inch Super AMOLED takes center stage, a U-shaped selfie camera notch splitting its top edge. There's room for a conventional earpiece slit above the camera despite the nicely slim bezels, but the status LED didn't make it.
There's more meat below the display, but it's nothing out of the norm for the class - it may not be quite S10-slim, but for a phone in its segment, the M30 looks quite nice and well-proportioned head-on.
The control layout isn't different from all the other Ms or the majority of the A-series this year. The power button is on the right, a couple of centimeters above the midpoint, and the volume rocker is even further towards the top. Both are plastic but click positively and have good travel. There's no Bixby button to be found on the Ms, and we can't say we miss it.
Directly opposite the volume rocker, on the left side, is the triple card slot - the tray has cutouts for two nano SIMs and a microSD card, and we do like dedicated memory slots.
Down on the bottom, there's a USB-C port for charging and file transfer, and a 3.5mm headphone jack for audio output. The single loudspeaker is behind a grille in these quarters, and the primary mic is keeping it company (there's an extra mic up top).
The Galaxy M30 measures 159x75.1x8.5mm and weighs in at 174g which is quite impressive for a phone with a 5,000mAh battery, though again plastic is light. The AMOLED panel must have helped shed both weight and thickness, as the M30 is 12g lighter and 0.3mm thinner than the M20.
Side-by-side comparisons with the Realme 3 Pro and the Redmi Note 7 (Pro or otherwise) show that there's little to differentiate them in terms of bulk and heft, other than the Redmi's glass back making it heavier at 186g.