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Samsung Galaxy A51 5G Review

Updated: Sep 10



Samsung has brought 5G to its customers with the Galaxy A51 5G and the Galaxy A71 5G. This review is for A51 to show what's changed from the 4G version with the inclusion of the next-gen of connectivity.

To start with, the chipset is different - it's the Exynos 980 that is bringing that 5G capability and, along with it, a bump in performance over the modest 9611 SoC of the older model. A bigger battery (4,500mAH) is also among the new bits, a welcome upgrade to meet the increased power demand.


Difference between the 4G and 5G specs


If you're willing to pay the premium for 5G this early in its adoption, even on a mid-ranger like the A51 5G, chances are you'd probably enjoy a more upmarket build and Samsung has obliged. It's replaced the plastic midframe with an aluminum one. This remodeling, complete with the battery capacity bump and the extra antennas all means that the A51 5G is now 15g heavier - not an insignificant increase that robs it of all claims for lightness.

And that's the summary of what changed from 4G to 5G on the Galaxy A51.


Samsung Galaxy A51 5G specs


Body: 158.9x73.6x8.7mm, 187g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass 3), plastic back, aluminum frame; Colors: Prism Cube Black, Prism Cube White, Prism Cube Pink.

Display: 6.5" Super AMOLED, 1080x2400px resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, 405ppi.

Chipset: Exynos 980 (8 nm): Octa-core (2x2.2 GHz Cortex-A77 & 6x1.8 GHz Cortex A55); Mali-G76 MP5.

Memory: 128GB 6GB RAM, 128GB 8GB RAM; UFS 2.1; microSDXC (hybrid slot).

OS/Software: Android 10, One UI 2.

Rear cameras: Wide (main): 48 MP, f/2.0, 26mm, 1/2.0", 0.8µm, PDAF; Ultra wide angle: 12 MP, f/2.2, 123˚; Macro: 5 MP, f/2.4; Depth: 5 MP, f/2.2; LED flash, panorama, HDR.

Front camera: 32 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), 1/2.8", 0.8µm; HDR.

Video capture: Rear camera: 4K@30fps, 1080p@30/120fps; gyro-EIS; Front camera: 1080p@30fps.

Battery: 4500mAh; Fast charging 15W.

Misc: Fingerprint (under display, optical), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, a compass; NFC; FM radio, RDS, recording; ANT+.

Samsung Galaxy A51 5G unboxing

The Galaxy A51 5G comes in the same retail packaging as the 4G version, but proudly flying a 5G banner. It's a proper cardboard box with a lid as opposed to lesser A-series models that replace the lid with a sleeve.


In the box, is a full set of accessories. A 15W Samsung Adaptive Fast Charging adapter is bundled, maxing out the phone's charging capability, and a USB-A-to-C cable to go with it. A pair of earbuds with a three-button remote is included and a soft silicone case will give your phone protection straight out of the box.


Design


Samsung A51 5G Image Credit: Samsung

The Galaxy A51 5G might be just one G up from the A51, making it sound like it's got upgraded internals only, but in fact, the design quality as well. Where the original A51's frame was plastic, the 5G model swaps that out for aluminum.


The A51 5G's back comes with a reimagined finish, where seemingly arbitrary intersecting diagonal lines splitting the rear into 4 distinctly textured areas, have now been aligned parallel to the X and Y axes. A vertical border divides the back 4-to-1, the right having a solid color, the left vertically striped.


As is typical for 2020 Samsungs, the camera cluster is in the top left corner, all the modules and flash nestled behind one big window. The whole assembly sticks out ever so slightly, not enough to cause any significant imbalance if the phone is placed on a flat surface.


Flip over to the front and there's barely any change compared to the A51. A 6.5-inch Super AMOLED is the star of the show and it's of the Infinity-O variety - so a punch hole for the selfie cam as opposed to a notch. Perhaps the reflective ring around the cam draws unnecessary attention to an already not universally liked design element, but as punch holes go this one is on the small side.


The bezels around the display are nicely thin, not Galaxy S20 thin, but thin anyway. It may bug a particular type of person that the chin is slightly meatier than the top bezel, itself somewhat thicker than the sides, but we're trying to move past such petty complaints.


The control layout is the same one that Samsung adopted after scrapping the dedicated Bixby key. The power button is still technically a 'Side key' and can have some Bixby functionality, but you can disable that in settings. On the A51 5G, it is placed on the right, just above the midpoint, the volume rocker above it. The buttons are well-positioned and have a very solid click action.


The top of the A51 5G is home to the card tray, and, unlike the 4G A51, the 5G version doesn't have a dedicated microSD slot. Well, ours is a single SIM unit, so the memory slot is dedicated in a way, but on dual SIM variants, you'll be forced to choose whether to put in a second Nano-SIM or a microSD card. The secondary mic is located here as well.


Down on the bottom of the A51 5G, you'll find the USB-C port, the headphone jack, loudspeaker, and primary mic - typical bottom-of-a-phone stuff.


The Galaxy A51 5G measures 158.9x73.6x8.7mm - a hair taller than the 4G version, but a more tangible 0.8mm thicker. It's gained weight too, now tipping the scales at 187g, and that's 1g heavier than an S20+. So while the A51 could pass for a reasonably lightweight phone, the A51 5G is on the heavier side. That's fairly average for a 5G-midrange phone though - the LG Velvet comes in at a slightly easier on your pocket 180g, while the Motorola Edge weighs 188g and the Mi 10 Lite is no lite at 192g.


OneUI 2.1 and Android 10


The Galaxy A51 5G runs the latest iteration of Samsung's OneUI over Android 10. It's got the June 1 security patch too, so it's about as up-to-date in terms of its software as possible. OneUI itself is pretty consistent between models too so on the A51 5G you'd be getting the same experience as on the S20.


Two and a half cameras


The Galaxy A51 5G hasn't gotten a camera makeover in the process of getting 5G and comes with what is the same setup that the A51 has. That includes a run-of-the-mill 48MP f/2.0 primary cam, a 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide, and a pair of 5MP shooters, one for close-ups and another for depth detection only.


Image quality


The Galaxy A51 5G captures really good looking images with its main cam in daylight. Noise is very well contained and a lot of fine detail is being recorded, though there's a fair bit of the characteristic Samsung sharpening that renders grass and foliage in a particularly artificial manner. Dynamic range is as wide as you may need, though our harshly lit mid-day scenes do leave some deep shadows. Color reproduction has what can best be described as the 'modern-day Samsung look' - pleasingly vivid, not so far as to be excessive.


Recommendation



Samsung A51 5G Image Credit: Samsung

At a passing glance, the Galaxy A51 5G may look like a pointless addition to an already overpopulated lineup of Galaxy As. Closer inspection proves it to bring improvements in performance, battery endurance, and even camera quality over the 4G version.


And that's before you account for the fact that it's the most affordable point of entry into 5G coming from Samsung. It's not as good value as what Xiaomi can give you, but competing offers from other big names like LG and Motorola come at an even larger premium if they're available at all. As such, the Galaxy A51 5G is shaping up to be an easy recommendation for early 5G adopters that would like to reap the benefits of faster connectivity without shelling flagship money.


Pros


Upmarket build.

Excellent battery life, reasonably fast charging.

Bright Super AMOLED display with smooth colors.

Android 10 out of the box, One UI 2 is a great feature.

Great performance for a midrange phone.

Capable camera features


Cons


Fingerprint recognition speed is unimpressive.

No telephoto camera.

No 60fps video recording.


If you are looking to buy a 5G upper-midrange phone, then the Galaxy A51 is a good choice.

That's all folks.


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For more details on the review of this product visit gsmarena.