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Samsung Galaxy A51 Hands On, Quick Review: A71 Alternative?

We check out the Galaxy A71’s smaller sibling!

Just a few weeks after Samsung launched the Galaxy A71 in the Philippines, the Korean brand has also brought its Galaxy A51 to our shores. The new device is essentially a smaller version of its bigger brother, aimed at people who like the look and aesthetics of the  A71 but not the size.

Galaxy A71 in a smaller package

As part of its new direction for its 2020 offerings, Samsung uses the same design language for the Galaxy S and Galaxy A series, and the Galaxy A51 is no exemption. Like the Galaxy A71, the Galaxy A51 maintains its S20-like appearance with a rectangle camera module and a clean back panel with Samsung branding on the bottom. Differentiating itself from the more premium Galaxy S20 series is its use of plastic that approximates glass in its appearance which is dubbed “glasstic”, instead of actual glass for the back panel. While the use of glasstic can be a turn off for some—a big bunch of mid-range phones nowadays use Gorilla Glass for the back panel—Samsung’s material of choice still gives the Galaxy A51 a premium look.

Like the Galaxy A71, you get the same button and port layout with the Galaxy A51. And yes, it still comes with a headphone jack, along with a USB-C port.

Also part of Samsung’s unified design language for 2020 is its use of a centrally-placed punch hole, which we first saw with the Galaxy Note 10 series last year. The Galaxy A51 boasts slimmer bezels compared to the Galaxy A50 and Galaxy A50s, giving it a 0.1-inch increase in screen size while maintaining the overall footprint of its predecessor.

Samsung did not cheap out on the display, as the Galaxy A51’s Super AMOLED display is arguably the best for its price segment, and its 20:9 aspect ratio makes it ideal for viewing YouTube and Netflix videos.

Being smaller than the Galaxy A71, the Galaxy A51 is much easier to use with one hand.

One more rear camera to boot

Moving on to the cameras, the Galaxy A51 has the same set of cameras found on the Galaxy A50s—a 48-megapixel f/2.0 main camera, a 5-megapixel f/2.2 depth camera, and a 12-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle camera—and adds a dedicated macro camera to the mix. While we have mix thoughts about the usability of the macro camera, the Galaxy A51 produces generally good photos that are suitable for posting on social media. The selfie camera is the same with the Galaxy A50s, as you also get a 32-megapixel snapper tucked in the Galaxy A51’s punch hole.

Here are some photos we took using the Galaxy A51:

Like the Galaxy A71, the Galaxy A51 also has Super Steady Video, which utilizes the ultra-wide-angle camera together with a special aglorithm to produce shake-free, rock-steady video footage.

Familiar internals

Despite the exterior makeover and added camera features, the Galaxy A51 uses the same set of internals found on the Galaxy A50s: Exynos 9611, 6GB RAM, 128GB internal storage, and a 4000mAh battery with 15w wired charging. While the Exynos 9611 may be a generation old (Samsung’s current mid-range Exynos processor is the 5G-capable Exynos 980), the Galaxy A51 is capable of running today’s popular games smoothly. We tried playing Asphalt 9: Legends with the Galaxy A51 during our short time with it, and the experience was smooth even at high-quality graphics settings.

On the software side, the Galaxy A51 comes with Android 10-based OneUI 2.0 out of the box.

Samsung Galaxy A51 specs

  • Exynos 9611 octa-core processor
  • 6GB of RAM
  • 6.5-inch Full HD+ Infinity-O Super AMOLED display; 20:9 aspect ratio
  • 128GB of expandable storage (up to 512GB)
  • Quadruple rear cameras: 48-megapixel f/2.0 main camera; 5-megapixel f/2.2 depth camera; 5-megapixel f/2.4 macro camera; 12-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle camera; LED Flash, PDAF, Super Steady Video, Live Video
  • 32-megapixel f/2.0 front camera
  • Dual SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS
  • In-display fingerprint scanner
  • 4000mAh battery with 15w fast charging
  • Android 10 with OneUI 2.0

As of this writing, Samsung is offering the Galaxy A51 as a telco-exclusive through Smart’s Signature plans. We will keep you guys updated if the Galaxy A51 will be available through authorized retailers.

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