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Not great, not terrible, just extreme Samsung Review Geek



Evaluation:
5/10
?

  • 1 – Absolutely hot garbage
  • 2 – Sorta lukewarm garbage
  • 3 – Heavily flawed design
  • 4 – Some advantages, many disadvantages
  • 5 – Acceptably imperfect
  • 6 – Good enough to for sale
  • 7 – great but not top notch
  • 8 – fantastic with some footnotes
  • 9 – shut up and take my money
  • ] 10 – absolute design nirvana

price : $ 399

  Galaxy A51 from behind
Michael Crider

After we were extremely impressed by newer mid-range phones from Google and Apple, we decided to check this out from the competition. The Galaxy A51 is Samsung's answer to mid-range models like the iPhone SE and Pixel 3a. And it's … well, it's an extremely "Samsung" phone if that makes sense.

Here's what we like

  • Nice screen and body
  • Large, expandable memory
  • Can easily be put up for sale [19659021] And what we don't
    • Bloated software
    • Terrible fingerprint reader
    • Not enough RAM
    • Tons of unnecessary apps

I mean the phone indulges in Samsung's general approach, any function it can throw at the user. It goes beyond mere branding itself and presenting brand services – which pretty much every phone does at this point. There's just so much going on in this $ 300-400 phone that it's more complicated to do almost anything than it has to be.

The hardware of the A51 is pretty solid and an excellent deal on paper, especially when compared to the Samsung Galaxy S series. The screen and memory are particularly noteworthy. But once you use it, you will find that the phone does almost nothing better than its competition – little memory and a lot of bloated software are bad dance partners.

It is acceptable if you are heavily invested in Samsung as a brand and platform, but otherwise an iPhone or Pixel with similar prices is a better buy.

Hardware

At $ 400, the A51 is impressive and combines some respectable specifications with a captivating aesthetic:

  • Processor: Exynos 9611 (2.3 GHz / 1.7 GHz Octa -Core)
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Memory: 128 GB _ MicroSD card slot [19659004] Display: 6.5 inch 1080 × 2400 Super AMOLED
  • Cameras: 48 MP main camera, 12 MP ultra wide-angle lens, 5 MP deep lens, 5 MP macro lens; 32 MP pinhole camera
  • Connections and charging: USB-C, headphone jack
  • Battery: 4000 mAh
  • Fingerprint sensor: In-Display
  • Connectivity: Standard LTE, No. 5G. Unlock, AT&T, Verizon and Sprint models available
  • IP Rating: N / A
  • Colors: Black, with multi-colored facets
  • Dimensions: 158.5 x 74.4 mm x 7.9 mm; 172 g
  • Price: $ 300-400 (carrier prices vary)

This is quite a respectable hardware for this price, especially considering that it has a large AMOLED screen with thinner Bezel and hole punch contains camera and an in-screen fingerprint reader. The standard memory of 128 GB is also not common in this market segment. At this price level, you won't get any extras like wireless charging or water resistance (unless you buy an iPhone SE).

  Galaxy A51 pinhole camera
Michael Crider

One thing that surprised me about the phone is how pretty it is. Beyond the screen and its appealing symmetry, on the back of this multifaceted, multi-layered, multicolored thing is under the glass, giving it a dark and fascinating look that stands out well from the curvature of the device itself. [19659027] In hand, the A51 feels more or less like one of the larger phones that have been released recently. At 6.5 inches, it's not the largest phone on the market, but it's on the larger, heavier end. With the rounded edges and the curved glass back, I had the feeling that it would slip out of my hands … but it never did. So what do I know? Still, I would have liked to see a grippy texture on the side.

  Galaxy A51 from the side
Michael Crider

The layout is fairly simple, with Samsung's standard performance under the volume on the right side. The phone has a headphone jack on the bottom, from which the mono speaker hangs. The former is used more often than on other phones because the speaker is quite mushy. It's loud enough to hear speech in a medium-sized room, but not much else. I've slept through multiple alarms on this thing, even though I'm pretty much asleep, so take that for what it's worth.

  Galaxy A51 camera module
Michael Crider

The rear camera module – four count The four sensors and lenses as well as an LED light correspond to the configuration of the Galaxy S20 series, although their photographic abilities cannot keep up with the more expensive stable mates can. There's no fingerprint sensor on the back, but I wish it was.

Using the phone

The on-screen fingerprint reader is certainly the worst feature of the A51. It's obviously older than the newer, faster, and more bearable S20 and OnePlus 8 series sensors. I usually had to try several times to successfully unlock it, and about a third of the time I just gave up and used my pattern. This is a step backwards, not only compared to the middle class competition, but also to Samsung's older designs with fingerprint readers on the back of the device.

  In-screen fingerprint sensor of the Galaxy A51
In-screen of the Galaxy A51 fingerprint sensor is terrible. Michael Crider

This is an excellent example of form over function, and buyers in this area will particularly refuse to see it. I would like to exchange these tricky fingerprint readers for wireless charging, water resistance, or stereo speakers. I hope Samsung does this in the next revision.

  Galaxy A51 side buttons
Michael Crider

At the other end of the spectrum, the screen is wonderful. It's the usual bright and oversaturated Samsung AMOLED panel with tiny bezels and an inconspicuous pinhole in the middle. It's not the most high-resolution panel in the world, especially in the 6.5-inch range, but I think it's probably the best possible screen in this price range. If a large, beautiful panel is important to you, it may be enough to set the Galaxy A51 apart from the competition.

Performance

The octa-core processor (four primary, four secondary cortex cores) does most of the tasks with ease. It's not as snappy as a flagship phone, of course, but it doesn't have to be. I was able to go through my usual web surfing, email, and slack messages fairly quickly and enjoy some 3D games like Pokemon GO and Fortnite without any major problems.

I wish I could do the same for RAM. I've found that 4 GB of RAM is sufficient on my daily Pixel 3a XL driver phone, but that's a Pixel phone that runs a relatively slim Android version straight from the oven at Google. On the Galaxy A51, the same memory just doesn't go that far because Samsung runs a large number of programs and processes in the background. For more information on bloatware, see the "Software" section. However, you need to get used to apps that take a few seconds to load, even if you only used them 10 minutes ago.

  Galaxy A51 microSD card slot
The expanded memory is one of the few distinguishing features of the A51. Michael Crider

If there is not enough memory, at least there is enough space. Samsung's large software build takes up almost 30 GB of the built-in 128 GB, which isn't a particularly good thing. However, you can use a cheap MicroSD card to get up to 512 GB of storage. This support remains the hallmark of Samsung among the "big three" at all price levels. So it's a clear win for the competition.

Software

Oof. After spending a few years with a Galaxy Note 8, I thought Samsung had developed a lighter touch when it came to its heavily modified version of Android. But based on the Galaxy A51, I would say that Samsung has bad habits again.

I could meticulously list any additional and questionably necessary apps that Samsung uses to fill this phone. Instead, I will let you know that during my review period, I received a notification asking me to restart the phone since it was 7 days ago.

 Screenshots of the user interface of the Galaxy A51

Yup. Samsung knows that there is too much software on this phone to keep things running smoothly. And instead of fixing this problem by shrinking the user interface or app list, they have created a brand new process that prompts you to restart the phone once a week. This slightly exacerbates the problem. It's an extremely Samsung thing.

The Settings menu has been redesigned unnecessarily. The quick tools in the notification bar are crowded with things like "Link to Windows" (an app included in Microsoft), "Dolby Atmos" and "Bixby routines". Even the power switch starts Bixby instead of the power switch menu by default. It seems the company is almost spitting its users out for not hugging Bixby when it had its own button. Extremely Samsung.

 Screenshots of the user interface of the Galaxy A51

Apps? Oh yes, we have apps. Tons and tons of third-party bloatware are installed on this phone, presumably to increase the hardware profit margin. At a glance, I see a slot machine app, Amazon and Walmart, Pluto TV, the official NBA app, Candy Crush, and a microtransaction machine for urban development that claims to be Final Fantasy XV mobile.

Most of these problems can be avoided if you really want to. The Bixby heavy launcher can be replaced with Nova. The navigation bar can be cleaned up. You can even use a third-party tool to disable a number of these unnecessary processes on startup. (Now that I think about it, I also had to go through this extremely Samsung process on my Note 8.) But after using the Pixel 3a XL and especially the OnePlus 8 with its intuitive and meticulously clean interface, it feels like one of stress that you have to do this.

 User interface screenshots of the Galaxy A51

I think some people will be willing to overlook this. Especially those who love this beautiful screen or extended storage option, or those who are only heavily invested in the Samsung and Galaxy brands. (Yes, there are!) But I also think that this is a fairly narrow part of the market and much slimmer than usual at this price.

Oh, and we bought the AT&T variant of the phone for this test, which comes with even more bloatware – at least a dozen dedicated apps for AT&T and DirecTV. It's not Samsung's fault, but it's something to keep in mind: opt for the unlocked model if possible.

Cameras

Samsung has good camera technology, despite the somewhat ridiculous zoom claims of the S20 series. The A51 is surprisingly versatile in terms of photos and offers a good selection of standard, ultra-wide and macro shots that are possible with the four-fold rear sensors.

 Sunset in a park   Tennis court [19659084] Purple flower

I found that the colors of the sensors were somewhat blown out and saturated compared to the Pixel 3a – a frequent complaint from Samsung -Photos. However, it is also able to surprise details in the macro shots, which is not possible with hardware from competing phones in this price range. I would even call it Google, unless you need something in low light conditions where details from almost all sensors disappear.

 Playground dinosaurs   Macro shot of a steel bolt   Baseball field fence

The video functions are also surprising. The A51 can process 4K recordings at the usual 30 frames per second or reach up to 240 fps if you want to settle for HD. The front-facing camera can be serviced, with the same tendency to use saturated colors, but the software's "Wide Angle" button is somewhat misleading. There is only one front-facing module, so it is only a larger section than the "Portrait" setting.

Battery life and reception

The Galaxy A51 has a 4000 mAh battery – nice and spacious, but with this size you can pretty much expect it these days. It's enough to get me through a whole day reliably, but pushing it over will push your luck. When I forgot to charge the phone overnight, I was under 15% before lunch.

Given its size, this is not the best battery life and far from the worst. I think a big, bright screen and of course the bloated software prevent this phone from having the best possible runtime. Nevertheless, I would call it "competent" if you strive for longevity.

The reception was quite good, with the proviso that my current tests are limited to a few kilometers around my suburban house. Thank you, COVID-19. Still, I never had a noticeable drop in data or language coverage.

Value and Conclusion

The Galaxy A51 costs $ 400, just like the Pixel 3a and the iPhone SE. And it's not as good as these phones. I'm sorry to be so declarative, but that's the way it is.

That doesn't necessarily mean you shouldn't buy it. If you want the largest possible screen at this price and love tiny frames and a pinhole camera, you may be able to spot previous shortcomings in fingerprint reader, software, and battery life. If you love the look (especially with this pretty back) and the extra storage space for a ridiculous amount of photos, this may be the phone for you.

  Galaxy A51 from behind
Michael Crider

I should point out that Samsung phones are often discounted – we have already seen this model for $ 300. And Samsung likes to throw in giveaways. This model came with a pair of Galaxy Buds (the slightly older model, not a "+") that retailed for more than $ 100. This is an easy way to tip the scale.

Still, for most users, I would have to recommend either the Google or Apple alternative to the Galaxy A51. If you're not extremely Samsung, there are simply better options.

Here's what we like

  • Nice screen and case
  • Large, expandable memory
  • Can easily be put up for sale

And what we don't

  • Bloated software
  • Terrible fingerprint reader
  • Not enough RAM
  • Tons of unnecessary apps


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