Update Samsung Galaxy A51 At Best Buy Review – For $400, the Samsung Galaxy A51 has a great display, great cameras, and a battery that will easily last all day, but it could use an upgrade in the processing department.
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Update Samsung Galaxy A51 At Best Buy Review
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Samsung Galaxy A51 With 128gb Memory Cell Phone (unlocked) Prism Crush Black Sm A515uzknxaa
The year 2020 may go down in history as the year of mid-range smartphones. Apple’s new $399 iPhone SE is our highest-end non-flagship model in a while, and we expect a dozen or so equivalent offerings from US carriers this year. First place is the Samsung Galaxy A51 at $399.99. It offers a lot of value for its price in the form of a good design, long battery life, good camera quality and a good display. But it’s no iPhone SE rival in the power department.
Simply put, the Galaxy A51 looks great. It measures 6.24 x 2.90 by 0.31 inches (HWD) and weighs in at 6.06 ounces. It is light and small enough to hold and use with one hand without much trouble. In the US, it is available in black with an attractive prismatic rim. Blue and white varieties are also found in other parts of the world.
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The front of the phone is dominated by a 6.5-inch AMOLED display with an aspect ratio of 20:9 and a small hole for the front camera. The resolution is up to 2,400 by 1,080, with a higher pixel density (405ppi) than the iPhone SE (326ppi). Colors are bright and warm by default, but you can adjust it to your liking in the settings menu. The display itself is bright and clear and you will have no problem viewing it in direct sunlight.
Samsung Galaxy A51 Dual Sim 128gb 4gb Ram Sm A515f / Ds Black
There’s also an in-display fingerprint sensor, but it’s not very good. In daily use, it only worked correctly 40 percent of the time. If you’re not too worried about security, I’d prefer face recognition over unlocking.
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On the back of the phone, you’ll find a wide rectangular camera stack in the top left corner. Unlike glass or metal models, the back panel of the A51 is made of hard plastic with a glass-like coating that you might not even know is plastic unless you look closely. That said, it was covered in fingerprints within minutes of taking the phone out of the box.
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The top edge of the A51 is bare, while the bottom houses the headphone jack, USB-C port, and speaker. On the left you’ll find the hybrid SIM/microSD slot, and on the right are the power and volume buttons. If you have small hands, you can get a small comic fixer.
While the new iPhone SE has an IP67 rating, the A51 has no such official durability guarantee. While the plastic back panel can withstand accidental drops without serious damage, the display is made of Gorilla Glass 3, an older, tougher glass that holds up well to scratches but not so much to hard drops. Your best bet is to keep the phone in good condition.
The Galaxy A51 is available both unlocked and with all major US carriers. Unlocked, supports LTE bands 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/14/20/25/26/28/29/30/66/71.
Network speed is strong. We tested the phone on Verizon and recorded average speeds of 76.9 Mbps down and 14.6 Mbps up.
Samsung Galaxy A51, 5 G, Black
The call quality is very good. The maximum volume of the headphones is up to 84 dB, which is great for listening on a busy street. Our test calls were clear and the noise cancellation worked well, even when using the phone in a heavily built-up environment.
Some sound quality is acceptable. Maximum volume is 88 dB, which is enough to fill a room. The timbre is thin at high volumes, with noticeable clipping. The bass is missing and the treble is spotty. In short, it’s fine for a conference call or scrolling through TikTok videos, but you’ll want to take advantage of the 3.5mm headphone jack if your plans include Netflix.
The A51 supports Dual-band Wi-Fi and has Bluetooth 5.0 for wearable connectivity. There is also NFC for mobile payments and rides.
The Galaxy A51 has an excellent camera stack. On the back of the phone, you will find four sensors: a 48-megapixel wide-angle lens with f/2.0 aperture, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide lens with f/2.2 aperture, a 5-megapixel depth lens with -f /2.2 port, and more. 5 MP main lens with f/2.4 aperture.
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When tested in daylight, almost all of our shots looked crisp, with excellent depth of field. Colors are oversaturated across the board, but that’s the case with Samsung phones. On closer inspection, I noticed a slight distortion of the ultra-wide lens, but it’s not something you can easily see with the naked eye.
The A51 offers solid low-light performance as well. I tested the wide and ultra-wide sensors in several different low-light conditions, and there was some noise and a slight loss of detail, but the images still had excellent depth of field and no light flares.
On the front, you will find a 32 MP wide-angle lens with f/2.2 aperture. For the most part, the selfie camera is strong in almost any lighting condition. In good lighting, test shots look sharp, with very accurate color. The wide-angle mode allows for blurring in most shots, but not always.
The Galaxy A51 comes with Samsung’s Exynos 9611 chipset and 4GB of RAM. There is 128GB of storage, of which 105GB is available out of the box. It can accommodate an additional memory of 512 GB via a microSD card.
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Performance falls short of the similarly priced iPhone SE and Google Pixel 3a, and the $249 Moto G Power. Apps and websites take longer to load than you’d expect, and we’ve noticed buffering when more than a dozen apps are open at once.
The game is also sluggish, although the game’s booster mode seems to help speed things up a bit. During our testing, we noticed long loading times for Asphalt 9 and PUBG: Mobile crashed twice. If Candy Crush or Bejeweled is more your speed, the A51 will suit your needs perfectly.
Benchmark testing supports our testing application. In the PCMark 2.0 benchmark, a set of tests that captures typical smartphone performance, the A51 scored 5,429, trailing the Moto G Power (6,751) and Pixel 3a (7,378).
In Geekbech 5, a benchmark that measures raw processing power, the A51 scored 347 (single-core) and 1,340 (multi-core). In comparison, the Moto G Power came in at 310 SC and 1,289 MC, while the iPhone SE came in at 1,331 SC and 3,299 MC.
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The Galaxy A51 is powered by a 4.00 mAh battery that can easily last all day. In our battery drain test, which uses HD video over Wi-Fi at full brightness, the phone lasted 11 hours and 29 minutes. There is a 15W charger in the box and you can enable fast charging mode in the settings menu. Unlike the iPhone SE, it does not support wireless charging.
The Galaxy A51 comes with Android 10 and Samsung’s One UI 2. While many manufacturers are moving towards the Android experience, Samsung’s interface remains heavy. That’s not to say it’s bad, but almost everything is a little different, from the navigation bar to the settings menu.
If you buy the unlocked version of the A51, Samsung’s productivity apps will come pre-loaded. They don’t seem to work because Android already has similar apps baked into them. My Verizon review unit also came with about a dozen apps preinstalled, though luckily you can uninstall most of them.
Samsung’s latest OTA update with One UI 2.1 and the April 2020 security patch brings AR Emoji, Music Sharing and Quick Sharing, as well as updated gallery and Samsung keyboard apps. That said, I didn’t receive the update in May when I wrote this review, so I can’t comment on the changes.
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As Google has yet to announce Android 11, Samsung has yet to confirm whether the A51 will receive the update. I think there’s a good chance the phone will see Android 11 in the future, but if quick OS updates are important to you, you should go for the Pixel 3a or the iPhone SE.
For $400, the Samsung Galaxy A51 is a great Android phone for most users. It has a large, sharp AMOLED display, long battery life and sharp cameras. If it had a faster processor, you would see a higher score here. Unless you’re a die-hard Android fan, and no
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