Samsung has a diverse portfolio when it comes to smartphone, and it is one of the reasons why it is the world's largest smartphone brand. Samsung caters to all needs by offering phones for all budgets, ranging from entry-level to mid-range and premium categories. Samsung's Galaxy A51 sits right in the middle of its entire product range, targeting consumers who want a more premium experience without shelling out much.
Samsung Galaxy A51 packs a punch when it comes to looks, but there's more to it than meets the eye. We've been testing the phone for a week now and here's our review of Samsung's premium mid-ranger.
For those unaware, Samsung Galaxy A51 is priced at Rs 23,999 for 6GB and 128GB storage configuration. For the price, the smartphone offers quad cameras, Infinity-O display, which is Samsung's way of saying punch-hole display, 4,000mAh battery with fast charging and more. Let's dive deeper into what these specs actually translate into in the real world.
Samsung's strongest suit has always been the way its phones are designed. Samsung Galaxy A51 is definitely not a letdown. From Galaxy A50 to A51, the shift in design is well thought and executed.
Samsung stuck to polycarbonate body, which makes it light and less likely to get scratched or cracked as compared to glass. Our review unit was a Black Prism Crush, which has a subtle gradient at certain angles. It looks too good for a phone its price.
Then there's the camera module, which has a better design akin to the premium flagship. The rectangular module houses four cameras and LED flash, which looks as neat as a lego. The sleek chassis holds all the essentials - the power and volume controls, USB Type-C port, speaker grille, 3.5mm jack and SIM card slot in their regular positions.
Overall, Samsung Galaxy A51's design makes it an easy recommendation for those who want that premium Samsung design on a suitable budget.
Samsung Galaxy A51's display shares the weight with the design in terms of recommendation. We've always admired Samsung's bright, vivid displays in the phones and the Galaxy A51 didn't let down. Samsung Galaxy A51 offers one of the best displays in its price range.
Samsung Galaxy A51 has a punch-hole camera on the top to replace the notch and it is welcoming change, which shows Samsung is evolving its mid-rangers, too. Since Samsung is using a Super AMOLED Full HD+ panel, the colours produced are vivid and sharp. The minimal bezels give the edge-to-edge form factor. Watching high-res videos or simply using the phone for normal use, the display gives its best. Even under direct sunlight, the phone didn't struggle. That's one of the things we've loved about Samsung displays.
Under that neat display is a fingerprint scanner, which we weren't thoroughly impressed with. Phones these days have gotten so good with an in-display fingerprint scanner, even slightest delay can be noticeable. That was the case with A51's biometric scanner. Although it was efficient in registering the fingerprints, there was a minute delay in the process. It was indeed noticeable, which shouldn't have been the case.
Samsung Galaxy A51's visual USP is the quad-camera setup on the back of the phone. With so many sensors staring at you, there are certain expectations. Samsung Galaxy A51 meets those expectations but doesn't exceed them. It could be a good thing and even a bad one, depends on how you look at it. Let us explain.
Samsung Galaxy A51 gets the details and colours right under good light. Even the dynamic range is consistently good in shots taken during the day. As it gets dim or you start to shoot in low-light areas, there's a noticeable difference in the quality. But that's natural.
The Galaxy A51 still manages better colour reproduction under challenging lighting conditions, even though some details are a miss. There are different lenses for different types of scenes. We loved all but the wide-angle shots, which appeared distorted towards the edges and lacked detail.
Other sensors, however, did a good job. The 5MP macro lens, for example, managed to get some good details in close-up shots. Similarly, the 5MP depth sensor allowed for us to shoot some worthy portraits and the blur-adjust feature was welcome. But it's worth noting that nothing matches the 48MP primary shooter, so stick to that if you want those perfect shots. There's a dedicated night mode, which helps in really dark scenes.
Samsung Galaxy A51 packs a 32MP selfie snapper, which you'd expect to click great selfies. But we found the results to be not exactly favouring our taste. There was too much smoothening effect, which resulted in a massive loss of sharpness.
Finally, the UI is easy to work with. It can be customised to suit your needs, like getting modes you use often to the viewfinder.
Check out a few samples shot from Galaxy A51:
Samsung Galaxy A51 packs an Exynos 9611, which is practically Exynos 9610 with support for higher megapixels. In Qualcomm terms, it is a Snapdragon 712 equivalent. The phone packs 6GB RAM and 128GB onboard storage with an option to expand further via microSD card slot.
On a day-to-day basis, we didn't feel the need for a better performance chip, but the phone's asking price calls for a better chipset. If it's not your choice to do high-end gaming on the phone, the A51 can handle casual gaming. The A51 did well on PUBG Mobile sessions with good frame rates.
The One UI is a well-refined software with an excess of apps that might come in handy in some point or another. The ample storage on the device is definitely a relief.
If the Galaxy A51 has to be gauged on its performance alone, there are far better options in a similar price range out there.
Samsung Galaxy A51 packs a 4,000mAh battery with 15W fast charging. The smartphone can easily last a full day with regular use, which includes calls, messaging, social media, internet browsing and music. In most cases, we'd just charge the phone once to go through the entire day. If there's binge-watching involved, then carrying a charger would be a wise choice.
As for the fast charging, it's not the fastest, but it sure helps. It took us about an hour and a half to get to full charge, which isn't too bad for a battery its size.
Made for India
Samsung Galaxy A51 is as Indian as it can get. There are some useful features aimed at simplifying real-world use cases. The Made for India Alive feature set includes useful cards, which shows visual cards after smartly identifying the important aspects of messages. There's multilingual typing, which gives you the freedom to reply in whichever local language you choose without yelling "damn autocorrect." We also found the Smart Crop feature quite useful, which can detect important parts of the screenshot and lets you crop with a tap.
Samsung Galaxy A51 is not perfect but has its own strengths and weaknesses. It has great design and display, decent cameras, reliable battery and Samsung's brand trust and loyalty. But the phone doesn't get the best recommendation when it comes to performance as there are far better options out there (Redmi K20 Pro for instance). Also, the biometrics could be better and the low-light camera performance improved.
Samsung loyalists will certainly find the A51 appealing for its overall package.