still a good deal

The Galaxy A51 has been available for a while now and has become one of the most popular Android smartphones of the moment. Is it still worth it at the end of 2020, or should you opt for another affordable phone? You can read it in this review update.

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Review update: the Samsung Galaxy A51 after ten months

Earlier this year we came up with something new Android Planet: review updates. Here we look at whether popular high-end, midrange and budget smartphones from last year are still worthwhile. We also discuss popular devices that were released a few months ago, so you know whether you should consider them. Slightly older Android phones may have been ‘overtaken’ by other smartphones, but they have often fallen considerably in price and therefore quite attractive.

This time we discuss the Samsung Galaxy A51, one of the most popular Android phones at the moment. The smartphone is now – about ten months after its release – much cheaper and still an interesting option in the middle segment. Although he still suffers from the same downsides, one part has actually improved considerably. You can read all about it in this review update.

The test model for this Samsung Galaxy A51 review update is provided by Samsung.

Design and screen

Earlier this year we called the design of the Galaxy A51 ‘smooth’ and that has not changed. The device has a plastic housing and is not very heavy at 172 grams. The whole feels sturdy and it is nice that the back of the A51 has a color gradient. This makes the phone look quite unique.

We are also still pleased with the screen. The display is nice and large at 6.5 inches, but because the edges are relatively thin, the A51 does not feel overly large. The resolution is sharp with 2400 by 1080 pixels and the super-amoled panel makes colors look very nice. That super amoled screen is a clear advantage of the A51 over other cheap phones.

This makes the Galaxy A51 ideal for when you watch a lot of YouTube videos or movies and series on your smartphone. A small downside is the camera hole at the top. The hole is not large, but because there is a silver ring around the selfie camera, it stands out a bit more. It is not really disturbing, but once you notice it, you keep seeing it continuously.

Hardware stays slow, good battery life

In the original review of the Samsung Galaxy A51 we already wrote that the smartphone does not excel because of its performance. Ten months later (logically) nothing has changed: the Exynos 9611 processor holds up reasonably well, but is definitely not a speed monster. During daily use you regularly see hiccups and especially if you multitask a lot, you run into the limitations of the hardware.

samsung galaxy a51 review

Although the Galaxy A51 runs most apps smoothly and is not necessarily slow, there are simply faster phones in this price range. Consider, for example, the Motorola Moto G9 Plus, which is a lot more powerful thanks to the Snapdragon 730G processor. The Poco X3 NFC, which has a Snapdragon 732 chip and is even slightly cheaper, also fares better in this area.

The battery life of the A51 is fine, however. Although the 4000 mAh battery is not remarkably large, it lasts a long time. We used the device again for a week and a half for this review update and the Galaxy A51 was never empty before the end of the day. Charging takes a relatively long time; the 15 Watt charger is simply not that powerful and there are plenty of devices that charge faster.

Great cameras for the money

Just like with many other affordable smartphones, the back of the Galaxy A51 has multiple cameras, making it nice and versatile. Unfortunately, not all cameras are equally useful, but we (unfortunately) see that more often. However, the primary 48 megapixel camera takes good photos, even when it is slightly darker. Night mode is a useful extra.

samsung galaxy a51 review

However, you should not expect miracles and although a device like the Google Pixel 4a – which is slightly more expensive – blows the Galaxy A51 away in the camera area, that certainly does not mean that the phone does not take beautiful photos. The wide-angle lens also does a great job and with 12 megapixels it has a higher resolution than most wide-angle lenses that we see in this price range. As a result, snapshots have a little more detail, which is a bonus.

The 5 megapixel macro camera is unfortunately not much use. Pictures from very close up may look sharper than with competing smartphones, but the resolution is still not high enough. Fortunately, the portrait photos of the Samsung A51 look good, especially if there is enough ambient light.

Software: longer update policy is a big plus

The Galaxy A51 runs on Android 10 and although version 11 has been available for a while, Samsung has yet to release this update. This most likely won’t happen until sometime next year, but it’s unclear exactly when A51 users can expect a software upgrade.

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