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Samsung Galaxy A51 review: Great screen, bad performance

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The Samsung Galaxy A51 is one in every of Samsung’s largest mid-range entries for 2020. That is the primary time Samsung’s A-series has been accessible within the US, arriving as an inexpensive choice for individuals who desire a Samsung smartphone however don’t wish to pay $1,000 to get one.

With a lot competitors within the mid-range, is it a great choice for the worth? Discover out in Android Authority’s Samsung Galaxy A51 assessment.

About this Samsung Galaxy A51 assessment: I used the Galaxy A51 for six days on Google Fi. All through the assessment interval, the telephone was operating OneUI 2.1 primarily based on Android 10. Android Authority bought the Galaxy A51 unit from Amazon.

Samsung Galaxy A51 assessment: Loads of competitors

For $399, the Galaxy A51 has loads of competitors. There’s the brand new iPhone SE with Apple’s latest flagship processor, final yr’s Pixel 3a, which is hovering round $350 however has been lately discounted even additional, and a plethora of telephones from Redmi, Realme, Motorola, Nokia, and extra that deliver a ton of worth to the desk. And with the Pixel 4a looming on the horizon, it’s going to take loads to get clients to buy this telephone at retail value. Let’s see if it stacks up.

How’s the Galaxy A51’s construct high quality?

Samsung Galaxy A51 back standing up

The Samsung Galaxy A51 is made from a fabric Samsung calls “Glasstic”. This provides it a better high quality really feel than pure plastic telephones, however it positively doesn’t really feel as premium as one thing just like the Samsung Galaxy S20 collection. It’s nonetheless plastic in spite of everything, although I didn’t thoughts it practically as a lot because the plastic on different telephones on this value vary, such because the Moto G Stylus. The telephone is clean however not slippery, and pretty gentle at simply 158g. For comparability, the OnePlus eight Professional weighs 199 grams.

The rim of the system is aluminum and feels fairly top quality. On the correct, you’ll discover a energy button and quantity rockers, with a USB-C port, audio system, and a headphone jack on the underside. The left aspect of the telephone homes a dual-SIM card tray, which may maintain two SIMs and an SD card as much as 512GB. Whereas most telephones double up on the 2nd slot to permit for both a SIM card or microSD card, the A51 has two devoted SIM slots and a separate microSD card tray. That’s good to see.

I fairly just like the loopy colour and design on the rear of the system. It’s positively completely different, and I respect telephones with attention-grabbing colours. The mannequin I’ve is Prism Crush Black, which provides off a sheen of rainbow colour when hit with gentle from the correct angle. It additionally is available in Prism Crush Blue and Prism Crush White, which provide comparable rainbow-colored reflections.

The audio system within the telephone bought pretty loud however lacked any sense of bass. I wouldn’t use the audio system to instantly take heed to music, although the headphone jack is an enormous plus.

The vibration motor on this telephone was very unhealthy. It’s gentle and tinny and feels nearly unfastened.

How’s the display?

Samsung Galaxy A51 display upright

  • 6.5-in OLED
  • Full HD+ (2,400 x 1,080)
  • 405ppi
  • In-display fingerprint sensor

For a sub-$400 telephone, the Samsung Galaxy A51 has a surprisingly good show. Most mid-range telephones use LCD’s as an alternative of OLEDs, however Samsung was capable of stuff in a big OLED display with a reasonably dense pixel rely. This can be a 1,080p display. Contemplating most high-end telephones are available in 1,080p mode by default, this didn’t trouble me. Colours had been punchy and shiny, which is widespread for Samsung panels. It’s nice.

One annoying factor about this show is the hole-punch digital camera cutout within the heart of the telephone. Whereas I usually like gap punch cutouts, Samsung determined to place a silver metallic ring across the digital camera, which makes it rather more apparent than it will be with out the ring. This isn’t a dealbreaker, however it forces you to note it even when the show is off. I don’t perceive why Samsung did this.

This can be a surprisingly good show on such a cheap telephone.

There’s an optical in-display fingerprint reader on the Galaxy A51. Sadly, the fingerprint reader is gradual and inaccurate. It took about two seconds to register my fingerprint each time. Furthermore, the accuracy charge gave the impression to be about 50% whereas I used the system, which is fairly unhealthy. You could be higher off utilizing the pin unlock and even the 2D face unlock choice for pace and accuracy.

How’s the Galaxy A51’s efficiency?

Samsung Galaxy A51 performance on table

  • Exynos 9611
  • 4GB RAM
  • 128GB Storage

With a mid-range Exynos chip and simply 4GB of RAM, we didn’t count on efficiency to be nice on the Samsung Galaxy A51. After utilizing the system for some time and operating our benchmarks, we confirmed our fears.

I haven’t mentioned this a few telephone for some time, however the Samsung Galaxy A51 is gradual. You’ll be able to really feel a delay opening apps and multitasking, and there would typically be stuttering whereas swiping across the UI. The telephone used 1.9GB of the 4GB of obtainable RAM even with all apps closed, which is a fairly unhealthy signal. In some testing late final yr, we concluded that fashionable variations of Android want about 6GB of RAM to run easily, and that was verified by this system.

In benchmarks, we noticed the same story. The telephone lagged behind a majority of gadgets in our testing. Try the outcomes under.

What’s battery life like?

Samsung Galaxy A51 back face down

  • 4,000 mAh
  • 15W charging
  • No wi-fi charging

The Samsung Galaxy A51 has a reasonably large 4,000mAh battery. With a low-powered CPU and a small quantity of RAM, you’d hope the system would get killer battery life. And truthfully, it wasn’t unhealthy, however it wasn’t as nice because it ought to have been. The telephone lasted about 29 hours, from 8am sooner or later to 1pm the subsequent day. This actually isn’t pretty much as good as telephones with greater batteries just like the LG V60, however I’m glad it may possibly at the very least final a full day. I bought about 4 and a half hours of screen-on time on this system.

The A51 supports 15W charging, which isn’t the fastest. Considering the original Google Pixel supported 18W charging in 2016, this feels a bit sluggish for 2020. Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S20 devices charge at 25W by default these days, so I would have liked to see 18W at the minimum on the Galaxy A51.

What are the Galaxy A51’s cameras like?

Samsung Galaxy A51 rear camera macro

  • Main camera: 48 MP, f/2.0, 26mm, 1/2.0-in, PDAF
  • Wide-angle: 12 MP, f/2.2, 123-deg.
  • Macro: 5 MP, f/2.4
  • Depth:5 MP, f/2.2
  • Front-facing: 32 MP, f/2.2, 26mm, 1/2.8-in

For a sub-$400 phone, the Galaxy A51 has some decent cameras and quite a few of them to boot. There’s a main 48mp sensor that bins down to 12MP images, as well as wide-angle and macro lenses, a depth sensor, and a 32MP front-facing camera.

Dynamic range seemed good on this camera set, though it did feel like the photos were a bit underexposed — probably to avoid blowing out highlights. That being said, some camera systems can force the shadows up too much for the sake of dynamic range, which produces an annoying gray haze in the shadows. Samsung phones have traditionally done this, so I was pleasantly surprised to see the A51 did not.

Colors were generally good, but the A51 tended to oversaturate specific colors such as blue and green far too much. This is likely to make the sky and plants pop, but it made some images look a bit cartoony. Samsung has always done this with its camera systems, though, so I’m not exactly surprised.

The depth sensor seemed to help quite a bit, and I’m glad it works on more than just people and animals. While the bokeh could definitely look a little more natural, object detection and cutout was pretty accurate. I was pleasantly surprised. Hair detection remained fuzzy, but that’s common with artificial bokeh. This mode also tended to soften skin more than I would like.

Samsung Galaxy A51 photo sample 7

The selfie camera was quite good as well, with decent dynamic range and color. Sharpness was pretty good, though it still over-saturated colors like green and blue.

Samsung Galaxy A51 specs

  Galaxy A51
Display 6.5-inch OLED
2,400 x 1,080
Infinity-O
ROM 128GB
RAM 4GB
Battery 4,000mAh
15W
Rear Cameras 48MP
12MP
5MP
5MP
Front Camera 32MP
Fingerprint In-Display
Connection 4G
Price $399.99
Available April 9

Samsung Galaxy A51 review: Is it worth the money?

Samsung Galaxy A51 screen in hand

Even though the MSRP of the Samsung Galaxy A51 is $399, it can already be had for much less. At the time of publication, you could find the phone on Amazon for just $273.99. At that price, it’s hard to ignore the value Samsung is offering with the phone.

With the A51, you’re getting a really great screen, decent build quality, some okay cameras, and even a headphone jack. While the build quality and screen are great, however, the sub-par performance of this phone is its Achilles heel.

For the retail price of $399, the competition is very, very high. The iPhone SE has Apple’s newest processor and equally great build quality for the same price, and the Google Pixel 3a has a fantastic Android experience and wonderful camera for less than $300. And with the Google Pixel 4a on the horizon, I wouldn’t recommend buying this device right now.

Ultimately, I would only purchase the Samsung Galaxy A51 if you’re hellbent on having a Samsung phone. Otherwise, the sluggish performance makes the experience too frustrating to use as a daily driver.

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