The Samsung A51 is one of the many mid-tier smartphones entering the market in 2020. With lower prices than their premium counterparts, you can spend less money, but price is only one factor in determining an excellent value.
It has all the presence of a premium phone at a distance. The Samsung A51 is nearly bezel-less with a big screen and an eye-catching prismatic effect on the back case. But its sturdy plastic chassis gives away some of its budget-friendly roots. In some regions, it’s also available in a few fun colors, such as white and blue.
The phone sports one of Samsung’s famous AMOLED screens, offering deeper colors and sharper contrast. However, reviewers stated that they felt this wasn’t the best quality they had seen from the phone company — even on less expensive models.
The performance is where reviews begin to fall apart. Stuttering and lag result from a processor that’s not up to the task. When flipping between only 2 or 3 apps reviewers noted the screen froze momentarily before finally responding. This was especially common when using the camera.
Wired states, “In reality, it’s … fine. Its processing power resembles that of phones close to half its price…”
Software & Storage
The Galaxy A51 runs Android 10 with the Samsung One UI running on top. This makes it look remarkably similar to the Galaxy S20 but that’s where the similarities end.
TechRadar puts it this way, “The Samsung Galaxy A51’s software looks like that of a top-end Samsung, but it doesn’t feel the same. There’s significantly more lag here, apps take longer to load, and there are some pauses we were a little surprised to see in a phone at the price.”
Following along with the rest of the impostor syndrome, it boasts four cameras. But reviewers were disappointed with the quality, adding that the only plus was the wide-angle photo option. Reviews indicate that all the bells and whistles look good on paper but rarely work as they should.
Battery life was simply rated fair. The phone doesn’t offer the extended battery of other mid-tier phones but wasn’t the worst either. Clocking in at just under a day in most reviews, it should keep you going until you get home — but you better charge it every night.
The Verge had this to say, “Battery life is okay, but it doesn’t quite hit Samsung’s claim that it’s ‘long-lasting.’ I’m getting just over a day.”
The audio quality on the Samsung A51 also tested fair. It doesn’t have deep bass or loud volume, but it’s not terrible. Reviewers stated that call quality is where it shines, with crisp clear sound — even near heavy construction.
Specs at a Glance
- Sturdy plastic, prismatic back case
- 6.5-inch, 1080p AMOLED display
- 2.3GHz Samsung Exynos 9611 processor
- 4/6/8GB of RAM
- Android 10
- 64/128GB internal storage with microSD support
- Quad-lens rear camera (48MP/12MP/5MP/5MP)
- Ultra-wide, depth and macro secondary cameras
- 32MP front-facing camera
- 4,000mAh battery
The difficulty with the phone comes from the name. With a name like Samsung attached to it you expect a certain level of quality and reviewers felt the Samsung A51 fell short. Acceptable among the range of mid-tier phones and poorly functioning compared to the others as well thanks — or no thanks — to its processor. It’s likely enough for casual use, but gamers and heavy phone users will want to look elsewhere.
Tech Radar had this to say, “One important part of the A51 is below average at the price, though: performance…”
PC Magazine stated, “The Samsung Galaxy A51 is a perfectly good Android phone for many users. It has a big, crisp AMOLED display, long battery life, and sharp cameras. If it had a faster processor, you’d be seeing a higher score here.”