‘An awesome screen, an awesome camera, and a long-lasting battery life’ were the three features that were highlighted when Samsung introduced the Galaxy A51 smartphone to us recently in a briefing in New Delhi. The question, however, is – will these features be able to make a lasting impression on consumers? And that’s exactly what we’ll find out in this Galaxy A51 review.
The Galaxy A51 is the latest addition to the Galaxy A line-up, which consists of the A30, A30s, A50, and A50s smartphones. But first, let’s see how the A51 is different from the Galaxy A50 and the A50s. To put things in perspective, the A51 is a successor to the A50s, which was an upgraded version of the A50.
The major difference between three lies in their camera setups. While the A50s and A50 come with triple-rear-camera setup, the A51 sports an additional macro lens to capture super closeup shots. So, in total, the A51 has four cameras at the back – a 48MP primary sensor with an f/2.0 lens, a 12MP secondary sensor with an f/2.0 ultra-wide-angle lens, a 5MP macro lens with an f/2.4 aperture, and a 5MP depth sensor with an f/2.2 aperture.
On the other hand, the Galaxy A50s comes with a 48MP main camera as compared to the 25MP primary sensor of the A50. The other two sensors – an 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera and a 5MP bokeh sensor – are the same in both phones. Additionally, the A50s comes with Super Steady feature, allowing users to shoot smooth videos, even of the fast-moving scenes.
The other difference lies in their processing powers. While the A51 and A50s share the same Exynos 9611 processor, but the A50 comes with the slightly old Exynos 9610 processor. All other specs, including the display size and battery capacity, are the same in all three smartphones. Now, with a fair idea of where the new A51 stands in comparison with the other two devices, let’s look at it in detail.
In terms of design, the A51 and the A50s sport the same 3D design featuring geometric patterns and a holographic effect on the back. The older A50 lacks these effects and looks a bit mundane in comparison to the A51 and the A50s. Unlike the A50’s waterdrop notch display, the A51’s hole-punch camera display looks cleaner.
The A51 comes with a 6.50-inch Super AMOLED Infinity-O display, with a resolution of 1080x2400 pixels. The Galaxy A51 is also the first device in the Galaxy A line-up to sport the Infinity-O display.
The display has a familiar feel to it, if you have used Samsung’s AMOLED display phones earlier, that is. In terms of performance, the display offers good levels of black and a very nice contrast ratio, which makes everything look pleasant on the device. The Galaxy A51 provides a rich and immersive viewing experience, which makes streaming content and playing games on this device quite engaging.
The Galaxy A51 runs on OneUI 2.0, which is based on Android 10. The company has packed the device with plenty of advanced features. The updated Digital Well-being is better than before, with an updated user interface, which looks great. And while the A51 doesn’t have curves or edges like the S10, it does have edge panels, which surely is a nice treat for consumers who like to make calls and access apps with minimum navigation.
What I really like about the A51 is that you can use apps quite easily even when the phone is in landscape mode – a feature not offered by the latest iPhone. The A51 also has one-handed mode and smart pop-up view mode, which allows you to use multiple apps at the same time.
There is also a ‘Useful Cards’ feature, which identifies messages that would be important to a user and then organises them neatly in the form of visual cards, such as Reminders and Offers. The feature is designed to reduce clutter in the SMS Inbox, and it does a good job in finding useful information quickly and easily.
Samsung has also added a feature called Finder, which allows you to find app contents on the phone quickly. With Finder, you can search for contents across entertainment, e-commerce, food and travel domains available within popular apps installed on your phone. There is also a ‘Smart Crop’ feature, which helps users save, share, or edit the most relevant part of a screenshot. Samsung says that these features, including Useful cards, Finder, and Smart Crop, have been designed, after conducting comprehensive consumer research in India, to help Gen Z consumers live a fast and organised life.
Since the A51 offers a lot of gestures and smart features – they all are great to work with – it can’t afford to be sluggish, for that would be very frustrating. But, thankfully, it isn’t the case with the A51. Thanks to the Exynos 9611 chipset, the Galaxy A51 is seamless and fast and responds to gestures instantly.
The Galaxy A51 is quite suitable for gaming as well. However, for some demanding titles, you might have to tweak the settings. Asphalt 9 runs smoothly with low settings but not so much on high setting. On the other hand, PUBG Mobile runs smoothly even on high settings, which is quite impressive for a mid-range smartphone. There is also an AI-powered ‘Game Booster’ that improves the frame rate and stability of a game, as well as reduces power consumption. The device is available in two memory configurations – 6GB/128GB and 8GB/128 GB.
It’s not a slow phone by any means, but it isn’t as fast as Samsung’s flagship phones. And at Rs 23,999, its performance is more than satisfactory.
The Galaxy A51 also features Samsung Pay and comes with defence-grade security platform Samsung Knox. The smartphone has a 4,000mAh battery with 15W fast charging and can last for a day on moderate to heavy use.
As mentioned above, the A51 has a quad-camera setup. So, let’s see how it performs in real life. While the primary sensor is claimed to be 48MP, you should keep in mind that it’s actually 12MP. Here, Samsung is using pixel binning technology, which combines four pixels into one large pixel for a better image with less noise. For users who have just started on their mobile photography journey, the Galaxy A51 offers a wide range of sensors to help you compose your images.
Standard 48MP lens
The camera offers great colours in broad daylight, but things get a little out of hand in dark settings. The colours are not accurate, however, the camera tries its best to retain colour uniformity. While it has a dedicated night mode, the camera setup will leave you not without some sense of wanting something more.
Low-light photography (The Beer towers in the below image were bright red, but are looking pink)
Macro Shots (The macro lens worked really great and you can easily see the minute details such as the design of dummy tyre tread in super close up)
The A51 also comes with Scene Optimiser, which can recognise up to 30 different scenes and adjust the colour, contrast and brightness of an image to instantly optimise its quality. Then there is the ‘Best Shot’ feature, which recommends the best composition while shooting an image. AR Doodle is another feature, with which you can add line drawings or handwriting to an image.
And if you are a professional photographer, well, the A51 has you covered too. The smartphone not only has the Pro mode but also a dedicated macro lens to help you get super close to your subject. Other modes include Food, Panorama, Super slow-mo, slow motion, Hyperlapse, etc. Also, with Super Steady Video, you can now capture smooth and stable videos even if there is a movement in the scene. And with AR Emoji, you can take selfies in different moods or record videos using the animated emojis as masks.
The Galaxy A51 stands tall on its promise to offer ‘an awesome screen, an awesome camera, and a long-lasting battery life’. At Rs 23,999, it offers a complete package. If you can look past its low-light photography performance, it really doesn’t have much to find fault with. And the Galaxy A series will get refined and upgraded in the near future, which might even take care of the low-light photography issue.
Display, macro lens, OneUI 2.0