With a quadruple lens main camera, superfast 5G connectivity and a modern all-screen design, the Samsung Galaxy A51 5G is a lot of smartphone for a very wallet-friendly price. We take a look at everything it’s got to offer…
Samsung is probably best known for the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note ranges of high-end smartphones. And with good reason. They're always at the cutting-edge of smartphone technology.
But you don't need to spend a lot to get a taste of the things that make Samsung phones so noteworthy. The warmly reviewed the A51 5G is proof positive.
Here's why it's worth a look...
5G support and lots of storage
In stark contrast to the 4G-only iPhone SE 2020, the A51 5G is compatible with 5G networks.
That means faster downloads, a better online gaming experience and smoother streaming when you’re watching video on the move.
And the A51 has plenty of space to store all the apps and games you download, too, with a hefty 128GB of internal capacity.
Given that the average Android app comes in at 12MB-15MB, it’s fair to say you that it’s unlikely you’ll reach your storage limit in a hurry.
And in the event that you do need more room, there’s the option to add a microSD card to boost capacity up to 1TB. That’s ample space for anyone.
Four cameras, not one
Not long ago, four-lens cameras were reserved for smartphones at the very top-end of the market. The A51 5G changes all that.
Its mighty camera array teams a 48-megapixel main lens with a five-megapixel depth lens, as well as a 12-megapixel ultra-wide lens and a five-megapixel macro lens for close-ups.
Used in a range of lighting conditions, we found images taken with the main camera were crisp, clear and bright, while the macro lens makes a really good fist of capturing detail and depth.
And at the other end of the spectrum, the ultrawide lens comes in really handy for panoramic shots.
Around the front, there’s a 32-megapixel lens which served up some pleasing portraits, with a bokeh mode that works well and accurately blurs out background details to bring your subject into sharper focus.
With a display that takes up almost the entire front of the handset and a multi-camera module at the rear, it’d be easy to mistake the A51 5G for a much more expensive phone from the Galaxy S or Galaxy Note ranges.
That’s an impression compounded by the pleasing ‘rainbow effect’ you get when the back of the phone catches the light, as well as the in-screen fingerprint scanner, which is another feature generally reserved for pricier smartphones.
As you might expect, though, Samsung has made a few compromises to keep the A51’s price down.
Chief of which is that the A51 5G’s rear section is plastic rather than the metal and glass construction that’s a hallmark of Samsung’s highest-end smartphones.
It feels a bit less ‘premium’. But on the upside, the plastic build means that the A51 5G also feels very light for a phone with its large dimensions, even when you add a battery pack.
And it’s a lot less likely to shatter than a glass back too.
Large and bright screen
The A51 5G’s screen comes in at 6.5 inches, which is only fractionally smaller than the Galaxy S20 Plus and way larger than the comparably priced iPhone SE 2020’s 4.7-inch panel.
And while most phones at this mid-range price point have LCD screens, the A51 5G’s display features Super AMOLED technology that ensures it’s bright, crisp and clear.
It’s also excellent for watching video and performs well in bright sunshine.
The screen is fashioned from Gorilla Glass 3 too, so it’s less prone to scratches from keys and coins in your pocket and generally more resistant to everyday wear and tear.
Large battery with fast-charge mode
The A51’s battery comes in at huge 4,500mAh, which it absolutely required to power such a large screen. We easily got a full day’s use on a single charge, even with what we consider pretty heavy use.
But if you do need to power up the A51 5G in a hurry, there’s a handy fast charge mode that got us from zero to over 30% in half an hour and to a full charge in just shy of two hours.
Winningly, the A51 5G’s fast charger comes free in the box. So unlike the iPhone SE 2020, there’s no need to pay £30 for the fast charger you need to super-charge your phone.
Special gaming mode
Although not marketed as a gaming phone, with its large screen and rich audio the A51 5G is ideal for playing games on the go. But that’s not all. It's got a dedicated mode for gamers, too.
When Game Booster is activated you can block notifications from apps of your choosing, meaning there’s nothing to distract you from the action.
You can also disable the edge panel part of the A51 5G’s screen, so you won’t ruin your game by firing up an app inadvertently.
Better still, the mode analyses the game you’re playing to maximise battery life, temperature and performance to give you the best possible gaming experience.
It runs Android 10
At the heart of the A51 5G is the same, up-to-the-minute version of Android as the S20 range, with a few customisations from Samsung that give a subtly different look and feel that’s very pleasing to the eye.
There’s also plenty of scope for customisations of your own too, so you can have your phone, your way.
There’s a headphone jack
In recent years, it’s become de rigeur for smartphone manufacturers to dispense with the traditional 3.5-mm headphone jack.
Which means that if you wanted to use traditional wired headphones, you’d have to use an adaptor. Or shell out for wireless headphones, which tend to relay audio less well.
Not so the A51 5G, which retains a physical headphone jack. Good news for audiophiles everywhere.