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.
Read on after the ad.
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.
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.
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.
Since its release, Samsung has moved to a better update policy for its most popular smartphones, including the A51. This means that the phone will receive three major Android version updates (to 11, 12 and 13) and will be supported for a longer period of time with major upgrades. This is a big plus of the A51, because most smartphones in this price range have to do with (much) fewer updates.
Samsung also regularly releases security updates and new versions of the One UI software. This provides the A51 with new features and solutions against security problems in Android. In conclusion: if you get the Galaxy A51 now, then the software is fine.
Since its release in January, the necessary smartphones have been released that compete with the Galaxy A51. Consider, for example, the Motorola Moto G9 Plus, which has faster hardware and a larger battery that also charges much faster. The screen of the Moto phone, on the other hand, is less beautiful than that of the A51 and the Motorola update policy is mediocre.
You can also consider the Poco X3 NFC, a device with a very good price-quality ratio. This phone is faster than the Samsung A51 and has a 120Hz screen, which we rarely see in this price range. As a result, animations and images look smoother and the smartphone feels faster.
The battery of the Poco X3 NFC also lasts a long time and charges quickly, but the software contains advertisements and is less pleasant to use. The Moto G9 Plus and Poco X3 NFC are also slightly larger than the A51 and therefore less easy to operate with one hand. If you want a smaller phone, Samsung’s own Galaxy A41 is worth it.
Conclusion Samsung Galaxy A51 review update
We already found the Samsung Galaxy A51 to be a good buy at the beginning of this year and we can still recommend it months later. This is mainly because the price has now dropped significantly and Samsung has changed its update policy. The A51 will receive longer updates and simply has a more attractive price tag, making the price-quality ratio excellent.
The Samsung phone is by no means perfect and the hardware in particular is quite slow at times. In addition, the charging speed is not impressive, but the screen, battery life and cameras are perfectly fine. Are you looking for a reliable smartphone without frills and with a warranty on updates, then you can still get the A51 at home.
Buy Samsung Galaxy A51
The Samsung Galaxy A51 was released at the beginning of this year for 369 euros, but is now a lot cheaper. At the time of writing, you pay more than 100 euros less for the device. In the price comparator below you can see the current prices for a separate Samsung A51. Of course it is also possible to get the Galaxy A51 with a subscription.
Samsung Galaxy A51
Which Samsung Galaxy A51 do you want?
Samsung Galaxy A51 with subscription
Device once € 0.00
€ 16.00 p / m Abo: € 8.00 p / m Device: € 8.00 p / m
Need a SIM only?