2020 would possibly simply go down in historical past because the yr of the midrange smartphone. Apple’s new $399 iPhone SE is our highest-rated non-flagship mannequin in a while, and we’re anticipating a couple of dozen or so extra equally priced choices to hit US carriers this yr. First up is the $399.99 Samsung Galaxy A51. It provides loads of worth for its value within the type of a good-looking design, lengthy battery life, good digital camera high quality, and a beautiful show. However it’s no competitor to the iPhone SE within the energy division.
Design, Show, and Sturdiness
Put merely, the Galaxy A51 seems to be good. It measures 6.24 by 2.90 by 0.31 inches (HWD) and is available in at 6.06 ounces. It’s mild and simply slim sufficient to carry and use in a single hand with none large points. Within the US it’s obtainable in black with a horny prismatic end. In different components of the world there are blue and white choices obtainable as properly.
The entrance of telephone is dominated by a close to bezel-less 6.5-inch AMOLED show with a 20:9 side ratio and a small gap for the front-facing digital camera. Decision is available in at 2,400 by 1,080, for the next pixel density (405ppi) than the iPhone SE (326ppi). Colours are vivid and heat by default, however you possibly can customise them to your liking within the settings menu. The show itself is vivid and crisp, and also you’ll haven’t any downside seeing it in direct daylight.
There’s additionally an in-display optical fingerprint sensor, nevertheless it is not superb. In day by day use, it solely labored correctly about 40 p.c of the time. For those who’re not overly nervous about safety, I’d go for the facial recognition function to unlock as a substitute.
On the again of the telephone you’ll discover a broad rectangular digital camera stack within the high left nook. Not like glass or metallic flagship fashions, the A51’s again panel is manufactured from sturdy plastic with a glass-like end, which you in all probability wouldn’t even notice is plastic with out trying carefully. That stated, it turned lined in fingerprints inside minutes of taking the telephone out of the field.
The highest fringe of the A51 is naked, whereas the underside is house to a headphone jack, a USB-C port, and a speaker. On the left aspect you’ll discover a hybrid SIM/microSD slot, and on the precise are energy and quantity buttons. When you’ve got small arms, you would possibly fumble a bit with the quantity rocker.
Whereas the brand new iPhone SE options an IP67 ranking, the A51 carries no such formal sturdiness assurance. Whereas the plastic again panel can seemingly stand up to an unintended drop with out a lot injury, the show is manufactured from Gorilla Glass 3, an older, extra brittle hardened glass that stands up properly towards scratches, however not a lot to onerous drops. Your finest guess is to place the telephone in an excellent case.
Audio, Name, and Community High quality
The Galaxy A51 is obtainable each unlocked and thru all the most important US carriers. Unlocked, it helps LTE bands 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/14/20/25/26/28/29/30/66/71.
Community speeds are strong. We examined the telephone on Verizon and clocked common speeds of 76.9Mbps down and 14.6Mbps up.
Name high quality is great. Most earpiece quantity is available in at 84dB, which is loud sufficient to listen to on a busy avenue. Our take a look at calls have been clear and noise cancellation labored properly, even when utilizing the telephone in an space with loud development.
Different audio high quality is suitable. Peak quantity is 88dB, which is loud sufficient to fill a room. Timbre is skinny at greater volumes, with noticeable clipping. Bass is nonexistent and treble is spotty. In brief, it’s high-quality for a convention name or to scroll by way of movies TikTok, however you’ll need to make the most of the three.5mm headphone jack in case your plans embody a Netflix binge.
The A51 helps dual-band Wi-Fi and has Bluetooth 5.0 for wearable connectivity. There’s additionally NFC for cell funds and boarding passes.
The Galaxy A51 sports activities a reasonably critical digital camera stack. On the again of the telephone you’ll discover 4 sensors: a 48MP wide-angle lens with an f/2.0 aperture, a 12MP ultrawide lens with an f/2.2 aperture, a 5MP depth lens with an f/2.2 aperture, and one other 5MP macro lens with an f/2.4 aperture.
In daylight testing, practically all of our pictures regarded crisp, with wonderful depth of subject. Colours are a bit oversaturated throughout the board, however this tends to be the case with Samsung telephones. Upon shut examination, I noticed some minor edge distortion with the ultrawide lens, nevertheless it’s not one thing you’ll simply discover with the bare eye.
The A51 provides strong efficiency in low mild as properly. I examined the broad and ultrawide sensors in a number of completely different low-light situations, and there was some edge noise and minor lack of high-quality element, however photographs nonetheless had wonderful depth of subject and there have been no mild flares.
On the entrance, you’ll discover a 32MP wide-angle lens with an f/2.2 aperture. For essentially the most half, the selfie digital camera is strong in nearly any lighting situation. In good mild, take a look at pictures regarded crisp, with wonderful coloration accuracy. Huge-angle mode made for some edge blurring in just a few pictures, however not constantly.
Specs and Efficiency
The Galaxy A51 ships with Samsung’s Exynos 9611 chipset and 4GB of RAM. There’s 128GB of storage, of which 105GB is obtainable out of the field. It may possibly accommodate as much as an extra 512GB of storage with a microSD card.
Efficiency is on the gradual aspect in contrast with the equally priced iPhone SE and Google Pixel 3a, and even the $249 Moto G Energy. Apps and web sites take a bit longer to load than you’d count on, and we seen some caching when greater than a dozen apps have been open concurrently.
Gaming can be underwhelming, although a Sport Booster mode appears to assist velocity issues up a bit. Throughout our checks we seen lengthy load instances for Asphalt 9, and PUBG: Cell crashed twice. If Sweet Crush or Bejeweled is extra your velocity, the A51 will fit your wants simply high-quality.
Benchmark checks help our experiential utilization. On PCMark 2.0 work, a collection of checks that emulates typical smartphone duties, the A51 scored 5,429, trailing behind the Moto G Energy (6,751) and the Pixel 3a (7,378).
See How We Take a look at Telephones
On Geekbech 5, a benchmark that measures uncooked processor energy, the A51 garnered scores of 347 (single-core) and 1,340 (multi-core). For comparability, the Moto G Energy got here in at 310 SC and 1,289 MC, whereas the iPhone SE blasted previous with scores of 1,331 SC and three,299 MC.
The Galaxy A51 is powered by a 4,00mAh battery that may simply get you thru the day. In our battery drain take a look at, which streams HD video over Wi-Fi at full brightness, the telephone lasted 11 hours and 29 minutes. There’s a 15W charger within the field, and you may activate the quick charging mode within the settings menu. Not like the iPhone SE, it does not help wi-fi charging.
The Galaxy A51 ships with Android 10 together with Samsung’s One UI 2. Whereas many producers have gravitated towards a near-stock Android expertise, Samsung’s UI stays heavy-handed. That’s to not say it’s unhealthy, however nearly the whole lot is a bit completely different, from the navigation bar to the settings menu.
If you are going to buy the unlocked model of the A51, Samsung’s suite of productiveness apps come preloaded. They appear superfluous, since Android already has the identical apps baked in. My Verizon overview unit additionally had practically a dozen additional apps preinstalled, although thankfully you possibly can delete most of them.
Samsung’s newest OTA replace with One UI 2.1 and the April 2020 safety patch brings AR Emoji, Music Share, and Fast Share, in addition to up to date Gallery and Samsung Keyboard apps. That stated, I did not obtain the replace whereas scripting this overview in Might, so I can’t touch upon the adjustments.
Since Google has but to announce Android 11, Samsung has but to verify whether or not the A51 will obtain an replace. I believe there’s an excellent probability the telephone will see Android 11 sooner or later sooner or later, but when quick OS updates are vital to you, you need to go for the Pixel 3a or the iPhone SE.
At $400, the Samsung Galaxy A51 is a superbly good Android telephone for a lot of customers. It has a giant, crisp AMOLED show, lengthy battery life, and sharp cameras. If it had a sooner processor, you would be seeing the next rating right here. For those who’re not a diehard Android fan and do not thoughts a smaller show, the iPhone SE is a considerably extra highly effective telephone, and it is assured to obtain software program updates for years to return. For Android fans, in the meantime, the Pixel 3a will get you extra energy and dependable software program updates, whereas the Moto G Energy provides longer battery life than the A51 for $150 much less.
Good battery life
The Backside Line
At $400, Samsung’s Galaxy A51 has a beautiful show, good cameras, and a battery that can simply get you thru the day, however it could actually use a lift within the processor division.
Samsung Galaxy A51 Specs
|Working System||Android 10|
|Dimensions||6.24 by 2.9 by .31 inches|
|Display Measurement||6.5 inches|
|Display Decision||1,080 by 2,400 pixels|
|Digital camera Decision (Rear; Entrance-Going through)||48MP, 12MP, 5MP, 5MP; 32MP|