Early verdict: While you’ll undoubtedly be looking at the Samsung Galaxy M51 because of its massive 7000mAh battery, the phone has a lot of other things to offer. The phone has enough performance, and battery, under the hood to sustain extended gaming sessions, and has the camera pedigree to satisfy camera nerds as well. if everything goes well in our full review, it looks like Samsung has a solid mid-range contender with their new phone.
- Insanely large battery
- Beautiful screen
- High-resolution camera
- Bigger than your average phone
- Not for small hands
- Glasstic body
Phones with big batteries aren’t new, and more often than not they don’t offer users anything more aside from above-average endurance. That trend is getting bucked with the Samsung Galaxy M51. Sure, the 7000mAh cell and its insane battery life is the star here, but the phone offers so much more than just multi-day endurance. Packing a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G processor, a big, beautiful screen, and a high-resolution snapper, the phone looks to be the next mid-range star for the Korean company.
Packaging and contents:
Samsung’s Galaxy M51 comes in the same, loud packaging as its other mid-range brethren. Inside is the standard fare: you’re getting the phone, documentation, charger, USB Type-C cable, and a pair of headphones. There’s no silicone case inside the box, unfortunately.
Design and display
Samsung’s M series of phones has always been unashamedly big and chunky, but the Galaxy M51 takes it to another level. The phone is quite chunky at 9.5mm thick and stretches the limits of one-handed usability thanks to its overall size. It’s also quite heavy, tipping the scales at 213 grams.
Its weight and size make it a little tough to handle for people with smaller hands and is quite the handful even for people with bigger, gorilla hands like me. You’ll definitely feel this thing shifting around your pockets when you’re walking around with it. Hand fatigue may also set in sooner when you’re using this with your extended gaming sessions.
Samsung is continuing its tradition of using “glasstic” (plastic made to look like glass) with the Galaxy M51, though I do have to give the company points for making the device look nice and pretty, despite the material choice. You’ll still want to use a silicone case with this thing though as glasstic is very scratch and smudge prone.
The power button is located on the right side and has a fingerprint scanner built into it, with the volume rocker right above it. There’s a single speaker on the bottom, which is joined by the USB Type-C connector and a 3.5mm jack.
One thing you can always expect from Samsung’s mid-range devices is a beautiful screen, and the Galaxy M51 doesn’t disappoint here. The display is relatively large, coming in at 6.7-inches, and uses a Super AMOLED panel with a Full HD+ resolution, protected by Gorilla Glass 3. There’s a 32-megapixel selfie camera tucked up there in a punch-hole notch.
Display quality is as always, very, very good with the Super AMOLED panel, with colors looking punchy and vibrant. There’s support for HDR as well as Widevine L1, which means you’ll be able to watch videos in Netflix in its HD glory.
One thing noticeably missing here is a high refresh rate – phones above the Php 10K price bracket are quickly sporting the new tech, which may be a sticking point for some. Personally I prefer having a big, bright and beautiful Super AMOLED display over a faster refresh rate, though a 90Hz panel wouldn’t hurt especially with the phone’s bigger than average battery.
Samsung has outfitted the Galaxy M51 with a quad-cameras, stuck in a rectangular module on the upper left side of the phone’s rear. The camera stack is headlined by a 64-megapixel Sony IMX682 sensor with an f/1.8 aperture lens, complemented by a 12-megapixel ultra-wide sensor with an f/2.2 aperture, 5-megapixel depth sensor, and a 5-megapixel macro sensor.
We didn’t have enough time yet to really take the cameras out for a spin, but we’ve seen the results from the Sony IMX682 sensor already in the form of the Realme 7 Pro and the POCO X3 NFC which uses the same sensor. It’ll be interesting to see how well Samsung’s software integration and tweaking figures into the performance of the main camera.
Speaking of software, the Galaxy M51 comes with Samsung’s Single Take feature that first debuted on its more expensive flagship line which essentially captures photos and videos with a single shutter press with all of the cameras and lets you pick the best one out of the bunch to use and discard the rest.
Performance and battery
One major point of contention for many of Samsung’s mid-range phones was the use of their home-grown Exynos processors which weren’t really up to snuff performance-wise. This has been solved in the Galaxy M51, which sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G processor with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of expandable storage.
We’ve seen the Snapdragon 730G in other mid-range phones before, and it performs pretty well for the price. Aside from keeping the phone nice and snappy, the processor is powerful enough to run many Android games without any issues.
We’ll have to run our full benchmark suite on the Galaxy M51 but we’re expecting it to perform on par with the other devices we’ve previously reviewed already.
The main feature for the Galaxy M51 is the 7000mAh cell inside of it. This is by far the biggest battery in a phone so far in 2020, with the only other contender even coming close to that battery capacity is ASUS’ much more expensive flagship, the ROG Phone 3 that comes packing 6000mAh.
We don’t have endurance numbers for the Galaxy M51 yet, but we expect insane battery life counted in days, not hours, thanks to the power-efficient chipset, display, and huge battery.
The phone also comes with fast-ish 25W charging capabilities, which should fully top-up the battery in around two hours or so.
Wrap-up and early conclusions:
Samsung potentially has a game-winning device in the Galaxy M51. The phone’s gigantic battery is paired with a great mid-range processor, a nice looking screen, and a great set of snappers – things that people are willing to pay good money for.