Samsung Galaxy A51 review: more than just a refresh

Samsung Galaxy A51 Full Review and Deal

The first Samsung smartphone to emerge in France in 2020, the Samsung Galaxy A51 is a worthy successor to the A50, which already took advantage of the features and hardware capabilities that made it one of the best mid-range smartphones. Did Samsung need to update its smartphone or is the A51 just a pretext to flood the market with new models? What brings it really innovative? A new processor? A new design? Even more stunning photos? Answer in our full test of the device.

Samsung Galaxy A51 review: more than just a refresh

Barely a year after renewing its Galaxy A range, Samsung is coming back with a new series of entry-level and mid-range smartphones. If we are still waiting for the formalization of the A31 and A41, the A51 and A71 have already been presented by the brand. The A51 is the first of the two models to be released in France and we set our sights on it as soon as received. The other, the A71, will be marketed in early February. We will also be sure to put it on the test bench as soon as we receive a copy.

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But let’s go back to the Samsung Galaxy A51. At first glance, this mid-range smartphone may appear as a simple update of the Galaxy A50 that we tested last year. Its price changes very little, as does its CPU performance. Nevertheless, it is distinguished by some big innovations, starting with a new front and back design, a larger screen, a fourth photosensor and of course a new processor. It remains to be seen whether all these ingredients can constitute an act of purchase, or whether it is not preferable to turn to the side of the competition or even turn to a model from the same manufacturer, but a little older and whose price would have dropped in the meantime. On the way for the Galaxy A51 test, therefore!

Samsung Galaxy A51 Full Review of Design and handling

If the evolution between the Galaxy A50 and the A51 is not so obvious at first glance, the device nevertheless benefits from some major innovations in terms of design. At the rear, there are no longer 3 photosensors housed in a small, long module. Samsung has chosen to place its sensors in a larger location, in order to accommodate both a 4 sensor, but also a flash. The Samsung logo has been moved down, but it is especially the appearance of geometric shapes that we notice most when we juxtapose this Samsung Galaxy A50 and Samsung Galaxy A51. The shapes in question being crossed by small vertical lines, they capture and diffuse a rainbow light according to the inclination of the device, as shown in the photo below.

Samsung Galaxy A51 review: more than just a refresh

The result is a fairly successful back shell which, without being flashy, offers a classy, ​​discreet effect and the most beautiful effect. Obviously, fingerprints are inevitable, but the subject has become so common on our smartphones (rare are the models that escape it), that we will not dwell on it.

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Samsung Galaxy A51 review: more than just a refresh

As for the angles and rounded edges of the device, they have hardly changed from one model to another. The volume and power buttons are located in the same locations, as are the USB-C connector, the speaker grille, and the Jack port (yes, it’s still there).

Samsung Galaxy A51 review: more than just a refresh

At the front, there is a 6.5 ″ screen, 0.1 ″ more than the A50. The screen benefits from a definition of 1080 x 2400 pixels, against 1080 x 2340 pixels for the A50. Nothing to really change the deal: Samsung has again opted for a Super AMOLED display, we are again faced with a display of very good quality. The image is bright, the colors do not “drool”. On the other hand, the display surface in relation to the total surface of the device is a little larger, as soon as the black strip at the bottom has undergone a slight slimming treatment. The front photo sensor also lost a few millimeters. Still housed at the top and in the middle of the screen, it now comes in the form of a very small punch completely detached from the black border of the screen. Once the screen is on, it is difficult to pay attention to it, as the module demonstrates absolute smallness and discretion.

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The handling of the Samsung Galaxy A51 is quite good. The weight of the device is 169 grams, which places it in a good average for a smartphone of this size. Despite its dimensions, it easily fits in a jeans pocket, even if this little game, it is better to opt for a model with curved edges (but the price is not the same either).

Samsung Galaxy A51 review: more than just a refresh

Samsung Galaxy A51 Full Review of Performance and autonomy

It is an Exynos 9611 and 4 GB of RAM which ensures the power of the device. We also have 128 GB of storage, which is a positive point for a smartphone less than 400 €. For the record, the A50 was also equipped with 4 GB of RAM, the minimum union today on this type of smartphone, but its processor was “only” an Exynos 9610. Are we seeing big changes in performance between the two generations of SoC?

Samsung Galaxy A51

As the benchmarks above and below show, the performance of the device is relatively good. We do not necessarily gain in performance index compared to the A50, but the new Exynos 9611 remains an honorable SoC. It quietly competes with the Kirin 710F, which equips the Honor 9X, and according to our tests, it even outperforms it in 3D when we compare the results obtained using 3D Mark.

Samsung Galaxy A51

The autonomy of the device is ensured using a 4000 mAh battery, which benefits from a fast 15W recharge. If this power theoretically ensures about two days of intensive use on a smartphone, this is not always the case, especially because of the version of the OS and its overlay. So we wanted to check if the battery really held the shock. Fully charged, we tested the device in various situations: we watched a program streamed for 1 hour/day and did the same with the GPS and a video game (Fortnite in this case). Of course, we are not deprived of consulting the Web more than a hundred times in the course of the day, have answered all our messages, made telephone calls several times during the day (approximately 1h30 in total). So what about the autonomy of the device? Excellent, this one is excellent. After more than 30 hours of use, there remains 39% of autonomy in LDA battery. This means that the device is able to last two days without complaining. As we have just received the device, we have not yet had the opportunity to perform our entire battery of tests over a full week, but we will not fail to update our article in the coming days.

Samsung Galaxy A51

Samsung Galaxy A51 Full Review of Environment

As an operating system, we take advantage of Android 10, coupled with the house overlay “One UI 2”. Whether we like manufacturers’ overlays or not, we have to recognize that Samsung’s environment is one of the most complete and intuitive that there is today, and that we don’t have much -thing to blame him for. And even when you are not particularly a fan of overlays or forks, there is always a way, thanks to the multiple customization options of One UI, to return to an Android a little more “stock”.

Samsung Galaxy A51 review

As with all Samsung smartphones, the Bixby Home assistant is integrated into the environment here. He can be called either by scrolling the home screen until he turns off his far left or by pressing and holding the power button. By the way, note that it cannot be used alone to completely shut down or restart the device: it is necessary to go through the button in the shortcuts pane or to keep pressing the buttons simultaneously [Power] + [low volume ]. So what about Bixby? Certainly, the assistant gains with each new version in efficiency and functionality. But it is still far from being able to completely replace Google Assistant, despite all the efforts of Samsung to improve it.

Samsung Galaxy A51 Full Review of Audio

The Galaxy A51 has a single speaker located, as usual, near the USB-C socket. The mono sound that comes out is correct, nothing more. Do not push the volume above 35 or 40%: the small speaker saturates very quickly, making the low and high frequencies difficult to distinguish from each other, each instrument of a musical track mixing with the others in a cacophony that will make you regret having forgotten your helmet at home. However, as soon as you connect a headset, wired or not, the device shows a very good audio reproduction. Like its predecessor, the A51 manages Bluetooth 5.0 and Dolby Atmos, which allows it to offer satisfactory music listening.

Samsung Galaxy A51 audio

Samsung Galaxy A51 Full Review of Photo

As mentioned above, the A51 has a quadruple photo sensor on the back: a first of 48 MP (the main sensor), a second of 12 MP (ultra wide-angle), a third of 5 MP (f / 2.4) and a last one, the new one of the band, of 5 MP (f / 2.2). Between the A50 and the A51, the main sensor, therefore, goes from 25 MP to 48 MP, while we gain in the process a macro sensor.

Samsung Galaxy A51 camera

The photos taken using the main sensor are beautiful, sharp and colorful, there is nothing to complain about. There will be a very slight proportion to over-contaminate the color balance, but this is hardly noticeable and it is not systematic. Like every time we test a new smartphone, we also experienced stage optimizer. And as always, we did not notice any really relevant difference between the shot taken with this optimizer and without it.

Samsung Galaxy A51 Full Review: More than just a refresh

The x8 digital zoom is ineffective when pushed to its maximum. The level of contrast is much too high, while the objects undergo a sort of cropping of the worst effect. Clearly, it pixelates thoroughly. Better to use it in x2 or take a photo without zoom and then perform the operation using a retouching application. The result will still be better.

Samsung Galaxy A51 Full Review: More than just a refresh

Macro photos require getting as close to the subject as possible. Without necessarily having to “stick” the sensor on the subject you want to take a picture of, it is essential to wedge 1 or 2 centimeters from it. The result is quite striking. We just regret a small defect, but that is due to the interface. Macro mode is not directly accessible from the main buttons of the interface. There are only shortcuts to portrait mode, photo mode, and video recording. To access macro mode or night mode, among others, click on the “More” option. To gain speed, we would have liked everything to be available from the Home screen of the Photo application, even if it may seem a detail.

In night mode, the smartphone is doing pretty well. The elements in the foreground are fairly clear and the colors are respected. If we stick to this aspect alone, the Galaxy A51 seduced us. However, as soon as you look at the objects and people taken in the background, the result is spoiled. We find ourselves facing elements that are too contrasting and undergoing the same effect as when shooting in an x8 zoom. It pixelates a lot. But overall, without making a miracle, the night mode still remains better than most entry-level or mid-range smartphones, with the possible exception of Google’s Pixel 3a.

So, is this the deal of the year?

The device is delivered in 3 colors: prismatic white, prismatic blue and prismatic black. It is this last model that we had in our hands. Accessible now, the A51 is displayed at a price of € 379. It’s 30 € more than the A50 when it comes out. Is this difference justified? No, if we only focus on the “power” aspect of the smartphone. On the other hand, it is undeniable that the device gains in aesthetics with its very small punch intended to accommodate the selfie sensor, its striated back or its new macro sensor. The A51, despite undeniable flaws, has whole paraphernalia of material capacities and functionalities which make it attractive.

Samsung Galaxy A51 review: more than just a refresh

 

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