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Samsung Galaxy A51 overview

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Calls:

Calls to MX & CA included

Texts:

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Information:

(slowed to 128kbps speeds)

Calls:

Calls to MX & CA included

Texts:

Messaging to MX & CA included

Information:

(slowed to 128kbps speeds)

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The Samsung Galaxy A51 is a comparatively reasonably priced Android telephone you would possibly purchase should you can’t stretch to the Galaxy S20, or cannot decide up a Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite in your area.

A lower cost comes with apparent downgrades from Samsung’s pricier telephones. The again is plastic fairly than glass, the cameras aren’t pretty much as good (even when there are 5 of them), the chipset is much less highly effective, and nice-to-have extras like water resistance are absent.

Traditional Samsung traits you do get within the Galaxy A51 embrace a daring AMOLED display, and software program that appears similar to that of the Galaxy S20 collection.

At $399 / £329 / AU$599 the Samsung A51 appears a sure-fire hit. Nevertheless, there are extra apparent efficiency points right here than in alternate options just like the Moto G8 Plus and Oppo Reno 2Z. Android strikes a bit of too slowly. Components of the digicam app do too at instances. Fortunately, video games aren’t affected as badly – PUBG followers, don’t fear.

Don’t count on miracles from the cameras, both. As with many reasonably priced quad-camera telephones, this feels extra like a dual-lens handset with some half-baked extras, though its tertiary macro digicam is best than most on this class and does supply a distinct technique to take photographs.

Since we have reviewed this system, Samsung has additionally launched a barely tweaked model known as the Galaxy A51 5G. We have but to check that system correctly, however the huge distinction is that it encompasses a completely different chipset with further 5G connectivity.

(Picture credit score: TechRadar)

Samsung Galaxy A51 value and availability

The Samsung Galaxy A51 prices $399 / £329 / AU$599 so it is a pretty reasonably priced telephone,  and it competes most with the OnePlus Nord at £379 (round $480, AU$680), the Moto G 5G Plus at £299 (about $375, AU$535), the 2020 mannequin iPhone SE at $399 / £419 / AU$749 and the Google Pixel 4a at $349 / £349 / AU$599. 

It is value declaring the primary two of these are 5G telephones, whereas the latter two, and the Galaxy A51, aren’t.

Nicely, the mannequin we reviewed is not, however Samsung subsequently launched a 5G model for $500 / £429 (roughy AU$700). Whereas it is pricier than the 4G model, it is not too costly as 5G telephones go.

You may decide up the Samsung Galaxy A51 in most nations Samsung sells telephones, though the 5G model is not out there in Australia. That is curious, and we do not know if that is a everlasting state of affairs or simply non permanent.

Design

  • 158.5 x 73.6 x 7.9mm, 172g
  • Clad in plastic however with a particular look
  • Black, white, blue, and pink finishes

The Samsung Galaxy A51 gives a number of the design traits of Samsung’s higher-end telephones. However there are a couple of giveaways that it’s not a part of the dear Galaxy S collection.

Show borders are slim, and the entrance digicam sits in certainly one of Samsung’s ‘Infinity O’ punch-holes. Nevertheless, the again is plastic fairly than glass and the entrance digicam doesn’t merge into the entrance glass wherever close to in addition to most.

Positive, the entrance glass covers the selfie digicam. However the layers under are much more reflective, making the Samsung A51’s selfie digicam stand out like a tiny little monocle.

(Picture credit score: TechRadar)

Facet buttons are plastic too. The outcome? The Samsung Galaxy A51’s construct is nearer to that of a Motorola Moto G8 or Oppo A5 2020 than a high-end Samsung.

It does have a considerably distinctive again, although. Like different current A-series telephones, the Samsung Galaxy A51 has a end of intersecting strains, slicing shapes onto the again, every with a barely completely different look. The underside half has a pinstripe texture of skinny strains, for instance, sitting below the highest plastic layer.

It is a comparatively refined look, however when the Samsung Galaxy A51 catches the sunshine you may see shimmering rainbow tones that are likely to pool into laser streaks throughout the curved edges.

(Picture credit score: TechRadar)

It will possibly move for an costly Samsung at a distance, notably as the massive four-lens digicam housing on the again appears superior. This telephone is a good measurement too, made for media and wider than the Galaxy S20.

Like most telephones on the value, the Samsung Galaxy A51 gives no official water resistance. Nevertheless it does have a 3.5mm headphone port, which is useful in case you are but to make the bounce to Bluetooth headphones.

It has an in-screen fingerprint scanner too, one other try and make the Samsung Galaxy A51 look like a high-end telephone. Nevertheless, this isn’t an ideal scanner. It’s slower than most and can fail to acknowledge fingers if they’re even barely moist, or in case you are not very cautious concerning the place of your thumb.

Cheaper telephones with much less fashionable rear scanner pads unlock extra rapidly and reliably.

Show

  • 6.5-inch 1080 x 2400 Tremendous AMOLED display
  • Infinity-O punch-hole
  • First rate display however has a blue hue

The Samsung Galaxy A51 has a 6.5-inch Tremendous AMOLED display with a 1080 x 2400 decision. That is an immediate win on paper, as many telephones on the value have LCD screens.

OLEDs are likely to ship a lot deeper shade, and all the time have higher distinction than LCDs, as a result of they use light-up pixels fairly than a common backlight. This isn’t certainly one of Samsung’s best OLED panels, nonetheless, and there are a few apparent points.

Much less superior OLED panels tackle a barely blue hue from an angle, often whenever you flip a telephone display left or proper. It is hardly ever a serious drawback, as a result of all of us have a look at our telephones front-on, proper?

(Picture credit score: TechRadar)

However this impact comes from the opposite path within the Samsung A51. Maintain it in a relaxed, tilted method and the highest of the show has this blue tint. It is just apparent when important elements of the display are white, as in internet pages for instance, however immediately reveals this isn’t certainly one of Samsung’s greatest OLEDs.

The Samsung Galaxy A51 does get the opposite regular advantages of an OLED show. Its elective Vivid display mode appears very saturated, and distinction in a darkish room is clearly much better than LCD telephones on the value.

Display brightness is pretty good too, if not in the identical league because the Galaxy S20. Most brightness appears conservative when used indoors, however the Samsung Galaxy A51 kicks up a gear when taken outside on a vibrant day. It additionally fiddles with shade and distinction to extend visibility in robust situations.

(Picture credit score: TechRadar)

It’s not fairly vibrant sufficient to allow you to watch films in direct daylight comfortably, however the interface and internet pages look pretty clear.

The Samsung Galaxy A51 can also be licensed for HD Netflix from launch, but it surely doesn’t help HDR video.

Points apart this can be a good telephone for video streaming, though wherever however indoors the reflective (if tiny) punch gap digicam is doubly distracting.

(Picture credit score: TechRadar)

Digital camera

  • Quad-lens rear digicam
  • 48MP, 12MP, 5MP and 5MP sensors
  • Extremely-wide, depth and macro secondary cams

The Samsung Galaxy A51 has 4 rear cameras. However whenever you first boot up the digicam chances are you’ll be left questioning what half of them do.

There isn’t any zoom, which is the basic signal of a multi-camera setup the place additional lenses are used to bulk up the numbers. We won’t blame Samsung fully for this, as it’s not simple to suit a great zoom digicam into a fairly priced telephone.

You get a 48MP important digicam, a 12MP ultra-wide one and a pair of 5MP cameras used for close-up macro photos and for background-blurred depth pictures.

It isn’t onerous to identify the filler: these two 5MP cameras. However this case is far much less egregious than, for instance, what Oppo has tried just lately. The Oppo A9 2020 has a few intensely ineffective 2MP cameras.

The Samsung Galaxy A51’s 5MP macro digicam is not going to see you win a Wildlife Photographer of the Yr award, however it’s enjoyable to mess around with. You will get extraordinarily near your topic, and shoot objects the principle digicam will not even deal with. Its important subject, apart from solely satisfactory picture high quality, is blurring. A bit handshake motion will spoil your photographs except the sunshine degree is nice.

That is nonetheless a helpful macro digicam, and gives one other manner to consider how you are taking photographs. The Samsung Galaxy A51 is among the cheaper telephones we have seen with an appropriate macro digicam. Samsung doesn’t appear too pleased with it, although, as you need to dig into the prolonged menu to search out the macro mode. We’d not be stunned if many A51 house owners by no means do.

The principle digicam’s sensor is the Sony IMX582, seen in a stack of Chinese language telephones. Like most 48MP telephone sensors, it takes 12MP photos and makes use of pixel binning to enhance picture high quality.

(Picture credit score: TechRadar)

Advantageous texture element just isn’t in the identical league because the native 12.2MP sensor of the Google Pixel 3a. There is a processed look to pictures shut up that is not seen within the best-in-class digicam telephones, however normal picture high quality is nice. Like different Samsung telephones the Galaxy A51 makes use of stacks of HDR processing to take advantage of any scene you shoot.

There are a couple of little points. You aren’t getting a dependable view of the shot you are taking within the digicam app. What you see is earlier than the processing has been utilized, with no indication of how a lot better HDR will make the image look. The excellent news? Meaning the ultimate picture will really be quite a bit higher.

A scarcity of a great preview picture is widespread in cheaper telephones.

The Galaxy A51’s ultra-wide photographs are additionally much more saturated than the usual large pictures, which makes grass look unrealistic, nearly neon. This apart, ultra-wide photos are stable. They provide decrease dynamic vary and fewer shadow element than the principle digicam, however that is to be anticipated on the value. Large pictures are nonetheless properly value taking.

Our ultimate sensor helps with Dwell Focus photographs, Samsung’s model of a Portrait mode the place the background is blurred out. Different telephones handle to create depth maps with out a devoted depth sensor, and right here the blurring often refuses to kick in in case your topic is greater than a few meters away.

Nonetheless, the blurring impact is charming sufficient, and cheap object recognition means it will not all the time be instantly apparent the shot was taken with a telephone fairly than a bigger digicam with a large aperture lens. The Samsung Galaxy A51’s Portrait mode nonetheless tends to collapse with advanced topics, as it would in most telephones.

Night time capturing just isn’t a Galaxy A51 spotlight. It will possibly brighten up scenes and there’s a devoted Night time mode, however we do not see something just like the low-light smarts Samsung put into the Galaxy S20. Darkish pictures typically look blotchy and are low on element. The Night time mode helps a bit. However solely a bit, and it takes a number of seconds to complete the picture.

(Picture credit score: TechRadar)

There are some points with the Samsung Galaxy A51’s fundamental digicam expertise too. Its app just isn’t notably fast to load up and get to the purpose the place you may shoot. Switching between the ultra-wide and normal views takes too lengthy, and we have now seen a couple of bouts of continuous crashes.

Whereas these crashes seemingly received’t be a problem for lengthy, the overall sluggishness could also be. Digital camera efficiency points are intermittent fairly than fixed, however we did discover them repeatedly whereas out capturing.

The Samsung Galaxy A51 can shoot video at as much as 4K decision, 30 frames per second (fps). Why no 60fps? It’s a restrict of the Sony IMX582 sensor, because the processor can deal with 4K encoding at as much as 120fps.

We advocate sticking to 1080p more often than not, as 4K video is totally non-stabilized, and can subsequently look garbage except you stand nonetheless. There’s additionally no technique to swap between large and ultra-wide views as you shoot, a neat type of on-the-fly enhancing out there in different telephones. So the Samsung Galaxy A51’s video is fairly fundamental.

Its entrance digicam has a 32MP sensor and is useful for all types of selfies. Whereas picture high quality doesn’t attain any new heights, with a barely processed look to nice particulars even in good lighting, selfies in pretty darkish rooms nonetheless look vibrant. You’ll merely, as ever, see much less element in worse lighting.

Digital camera samples

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Whereas this shot doesn’t have essentially the most pure look, you may see how onerous the HDR processing works, bringing out the blue of the sky between the foliage. (Picture credit score: TechRadar)

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Dynamic vary enhancement is about as efficient as Samsung’s dearer telephones: solar within the shot, however the foreground remains to be pretty vibrant and clear. (Picture credit score: TechRadar)

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The macro digicam just isn’t a tour de pressure, however it’s a lot better than some packed into telephones on this class. It will possibly take completely usable pictures like this. (Picture credit score: TechRadar)

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A pleasant even publicity, loads of cloud element. The perfect would pick increased constancy element within the path and grass, however this isn’t too unhealthy in any respect. (Picture credit score: TechRadar)

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Software program

  • Android 10
  • Samsung One UI
  • Some lag

The Samsung Galaxy A51 runs Android 10 with the Samsung One UI software program on high. This implies it appears similar to a Galaxy S20.

It is among the most coherent and confident-looking customized interfaces round, though we strongly advocate growing the variety of app rows and columns used as normal. The Samsung A51 has a toy-like look whenever you first flip it on due to the large icon spacing.

To vary this, long-press an empty a part of a house display and choose ‘House Display Settings’. You may discover the related controls there. We’d already made the change earlier than taking the photographs seen on this overview.

(Picture credit score: TechRadar)

The fundamental structure of One UI is completely good, if completely different to plain Android. Its apps menu makes use of pages fairly than one lengthy scroll of app icons, however you may as well prepare them into folders do you have to prefer to preserve your telephone organized.

The Samsung Galaxy A51’s software program appears like that of a top-end Samsung, but it surely does not really feel the identical. There’s considerably extra lag right here, apps take longer to load, and there are some pauses we had been a bit of stunned to see in a telephone on the value.

(Picture credit score: TechRadar)

Transition animations often stutter, and at instances the keyboard takes a second to look whenever you faucet a textual content field. The Oppo Reno 2Z and Moto G8 Plus are smoother.

This slowdown just isn’t infuriating. It’s minor. However it’s an unavoidable reminder this isn’t a top-end telephone, and normal efficiency belongs to the category under. $400 / £330 buys you numerous telephone, even when many spend over $1000 / £900 lately.

The lag issue is value contemplating should you plan to purchase the Samsung Galaxy A51 outright as a manner to save cash on costly contracts, after years on the high-end Android improve treadmill.

(Picture credit score: TechRadar)

Efficiency

  • Samsung Exynos 9611 chipset
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 128GB of storage

So why is the Samsung Galaxy A51 sluggish off the mark? Lag like this may be brought on by under-optimized software program, which could be mounted in an replace. However it could even be right down to the chipset or RAM.

The Samsung Galaxy A51 has an Exynos 9611 CPU, not the Qualcomm Snapdragon form we are likely to favor. It’s technically similar-ish to the Snapdragon 665 used within the Motorola Moto G8.

There are 4 Cortex A73 cores clocked at 2.3GHz, and 4 decrease energy Cortex A53 cores at 1.7GHz. It is the identical dual-cluster association seen in nearly each telephone on the value. And it earns the telephone 1,288 factors in Geekbench 5, similar to the Huawei P30 Lite, the Motorola Moto G8 and Motorola One Motion, and the Google Pixel 3a.

The GPU is a triple-core Mali-G72, which once more gives very comparable graphical energy to the Adreno 610 and 612 graphics chips utilized in Qualcomm-powered alternate options.

(Picture credit score: TechRadar)

Our check Samsung Galaxy A51 has 4GB of RAM. It needs to be sufficient to maintain Android fast, leaving the usage of an Exynos chipset as the obvious {hardware} weak hyperlink right here. At the moment they’re hardly ever pretty much as good because the closest-spec’d Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets.

Gaming

  • Gaming efficiency is blended however typically stable
  • Mono speaker however cheap high quality

The Samsung Galaxy A51 efficiency with video games that use the Vulkan graphics normal appears pretty poor. It’s important to run Ark: Survival Developed at low graphics and lowered decision to get it to a playable state, with better visible sacrifices than a Snapdragon-powered telephone with a GPU that needs to be equally succesful.

Different video games are likely to fare a lot better. PUBG runs completely properly with ‘HD’ graphics and anti-aliasing switched on. Name of Obligation: Cellular is easy too.

With most titles you get an expertise pretty near that of a dearer telephone, which is a candy comfort after the overall efficiency hitches. The Samsung Galaxy A51’s display additionally makes video games look nice. However there’s numerous Snapdragon-powered competitors on the value, and so they appear to supply extra constant outcomes.

Speaker high quality is truthful. There is a single driver on the underside, one with stable most quantity. Treble is a bit of abrasive maxed-out and we would ideally like a stereo array, although.

(Picture credit score: TechRadar)

Battery life

  • 4,000mAh battery
  • 15W charger
  • One-day battery life

The Galaxy A51 has a 4,000mAh battery, which is about as low a capability as we’re snug with in a telephone with a 6.5-inch display.

Its longevity is affordable, if nothing extra. We haven’t repeatedly needed to recharge the Samsung Galaxy A51 within the afternoon simply to ensure it makes it to lights-out, however we’re often left with little cost by the late night.

We additionally examined how a lot video playback eats the battery at most brightness. Right here the Samsung A51 advantages from an environment friendly OLED panel.

On our first try a 90-minute video took simply 6% off the cost degree: a superb outcome.

Nevertheless, this telephone holds on to its reporting of ‘100%’ cost degree for fairly a while. On a second try, with the battery degree beginning under full, it misplaced 10%. We additionally re-ran the check in vibrant situations to make the Samsung Galaxy A51 use its boosted brightness mode. It misplaced 13% cost at max brightness. All of those outcomes are good, suggesting any shortfall in battery just isn’t right down to the show.

The Samsung A51 does include a quick charger, a decrease finish 15W one. Cost pace just isn’t near the “50% in half-hour” gold normal. A 30-minute cost from flat took the telephone to 31% battery, and a full cost will take round two hours.

The telephone doesn’t help wi-fi charging, however we might be stunned if it did on the value. You solely are likely to see wi-fi cost help in dearer telephones.

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy A51’s attracts are much like these of different mid-price Samsungs. Its OLED display is colourful, distinction is ultra-high, and Samsung’s software program appears good.

Samsung’s model has by no means appeared stronger amongst Androids too, now that we’re extra prone to advocate an Oppo telephone than one made by Sony, HTC, or Huawei.

One necessary a part of the A51 is under common on the value, although: efficiency. The Galaxy A51 makes Android really feel a bit of sluggish, extra so than the same old app load discrepancy between a great reasonably priced telephone and a top-end one.

Different elements of the telephone are stable. And complaints about low-light digicam efficiency, the opportunism of the patchy ‘quad-camera’ array, and fewer than flagship degree display brightness apply to most on the value. That the Samsung Galaxy A51 operates extra like a telephone from the tier under is difficult to neglect, although.

(Picture credit score: TechRadar)

Who’s this for?

The Samsung Galaxy A51 is for these after a comparatively reasonably priced telephone who would fairly personal a Samsung than an Android from Motorola, Oppo or Xiaomi.

These firms have a tendency to supply a bit of extra in your cash, however the draw of the Samsung Galaxy collection is powerful.

Do you have to purchase it?

This telephone just isn’t certainly one of our favorites on the value, largely due to its flawed normal efficiency. It feels a bit of too sluggish day-to-day on the value, even when it might probably run most well-liked 3D video games completely properly.

Some alternate options additionally supply higher battery life, just like the Oppo A5 2020. You’d higher respect Samsung’s explicit strengths earlier than shopping for a Galaxy A51. These embrace a wealthy OLED display and a handsome Android interface.

First reviewed: Could 2020

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