Galaxy A51 in the test: Samsung goes one better

The Samsung Galaxy A50 was one of the best-selling smartphones in 2019. To ensure that its successor also became a bestseller, Samsung did a good job with the Galaxy A51.

The A-Class got a decent retreading in 2019 and thus covered a price range of around 100 to 750 euros for the Galaxy A90 5G (test report). Only the S and Note series came over it. The letter A actually stood for middle class, which is more in a price range between 200 and 400 euros. However, Samsung's success proves it right and so it is not surprising that the Korean manufacturer is the first to reissue one of the best-selling smartphones in 2019, namely the Samsung Galaxy A50 (test report). The Galaxy A51 mainly wants to score with its modern design, good camera and strong battery. Will it work?

Buyers should definitely protect their smartphone. We recommend our contribution Samsung Galaxy A51: Cases, Cases & Screen Protectors.

The front scores with narrow edges and gently curved transitions to the frame. Where there was a drop-shaped notch on the predecessor, Samsung is now using an Infinity-O-Display, i.e. a punchhole notch, which wipes out even less space from the panel. That hardly brings any more pixels, but it looks even more modern. The manufacturer spices up the back of our white test device with a division into four triangular areas, whose respective mother-of-pearl-like surfaces reflect the light differently or stand out from the rest with a subtle stripe pattern. In the upper left corner, Samsung places the new camera unit with four lenses, which were placed together with an LED flash in a black module and thus stand out clearly from the white housing. The cameras protrude only minimally. The material of the back is clearly curved on the sides and also goes almost imperceptibly into the frame. As a result, despite its size, the Galaxy A51 is basically very comfortable to hold.

Little edges – chic and modern

The front and back are held together by a shiny chrome frame, in which the power and volume buttons as well as the slot for two SIM cards and an additional micro SD memory card are integrated. The only drawback to the frame and back: Both are made of plastic and at the latest when you hold the device in your hand, you notice that. As a result, the mid-range model does not look cheap, but glass and metal would have been visibly and palpably higher – and of course more expensive. This does not change the outstanding build quality of the A51.

6.5 inches in the finest OLED quality in a ratio of 20: 9 delight the eye of the user. 2400 × 1080 pixels ensure proper image sharpness, which gives the screen an image sharpness of 405 pixels per inch (PPI), which is nice and sharp. The maximum brightness in automatic mode is just under 600 cd / m² for a short time, which makes top models better, but is still a decent value. In manual mode, on the other hand, the end is around 380 cd / m². That should also be enough in most situations, especially since contrasts and viewing angle stability are typical for OLEDs.

Punchhole notch instead of drop notch as with the predecessor

With numerous setting options such as adjusting the color intensity, a blue filter or the useful always-on display, the panel of the Samsung Galaxy A51 is currently one of the best, which is available in the price range around 300 euros.

Samsung installs four cameras in the Galaxy A51. The main camera has 48 megapixels and an aperture of f / 2.2 and takes pictures both in full resolution and for better image quality using pixel binning with 12 megapixels. There are also wide angles with 12 megapixels (f / 2.2), depth sensors with 5 megapixels and a macro lens with 5 megapixels (f / 2.4). The front camera allows recordings with 32 megapixels, videos are possible with both the front and the main camera in 4K / 30. The main camera does not have the very good image stabilization in Full HD.

New quad cam

The photo quality is really good for the middle class. In particular, sharpness and image dynamics are above average, even if scenes are occasionally brighter in memory. Noise is kept within acceptable limits, even in night mode this is still fine. For this price range, it even provides amazingly detailed pictures, provided you bring a reasonably steady hand or a tripod.

It looks a little different with the front camera, despite the high resolution it lacks a bit of sharpness, but it is enough for one or the other selfie. The macro camera could not convince us either. Corresponding pictures, like night shots, can only be snapped in a special mode, so there is no automatic change to the appropriate mode depending on the scene. In addition, not all images become crisp, sometimes have a bit too much image noise and show too little detail overall. An image section of a 12 or 48 megapixel shot of the main camera later on the PC is more useful here. The macro lens could have been given to Samsung.

Samsung chooses its Exynos 9611 as drive, which brings a Mali-G72 MP3 as a graphics unit. The installed 4 GB of RAM may seem a bit undersized in times when top models bring more and more 12 GB with them, in fact the built-in combination of chipset and RAM does bring good results in everyday life. The benchmark Antutu certifies the Galaxy A51 a respectable 177,000 points and the performance is confirmed in everyday use. Of course, the A51 does not come close to top models, but normally users will not be able to complain about stutters or even trailers. Even multitasking with several open tabs in the browser and over 10 background apps did not pose any major problems for the Samsung smartphone in the test. FPS-addicted gamers will only be completely satisfied with slimmed-down graphics in demanding games.

Speaking of apps: quite a few fit in the internal memory, because Samsung installs a proud 128 GB. In addition, the smartphone can hold two SIMs and a micro SD up to 512 GB at the same time, which is a lot and is above the standard. Samsung also makes little compromises with the rest of the equipment and installs everything that a good mid-range smartphone should have. These include Bluetooth 5.0, WLAN ac, NFC, LTE up to 600 Mbit / s downstream and significantly more frequencies than the predecessor A50 (test report), USB C (if only at 2.0 speed), GPS and even a 3.5 Millimeter connector for conventional headphones. The in-display fingerprint sensor may be a little too deep on the front, but it also worked better than expected.

The fingerprint sensor in the display works better than expected

Samsung also does almost everything right with the software and installs Android 10 and its OneUI in version 2.0. It now looks fresh and modern. Only the December security patch is a bit outdated.

With its 4000 mAh, the battery of the Samsung Galaxy A51 ensures decent runtimes. One day is no problem at all, even two days are possible with moderate use. in the Battery test of PCmark the device ran for just under 10 hours – which is not outstanding, but fine. Overall, the A51 is on the level of the predecessor Galaxy A50 (test report), which was also quite persistent. As in the previous year, a full battery charge takes around 2 hours, there is no wireless charging.

The MSP of the Samsung Galaxy A51 is 369 euros, but the actual street price was just over 300 euros at the time of testing, making the device an attractive overall package.

Samsung Galaxy A51 Duos A515F / DSN 128GB / 4GB prism crush black

Samsung Galaxy A51

Samsung Galaxy A51 Duos A515F / DSN 128GB / 4GB prism crush blue

Samsung Galaxy A51 blue

Samsung Galaxy A51 Duos A515F / DSN 128GB / 4GB prism crush white

Samsung Galaxy A51 white

The Samsung Galaxy A51 is modern and chic despite the plastic on the back and has no real weaknesses. Highlights are the great display and the camera, which is completely convincing in the middle class. The amount of memory for data is also very good. The rest of the equipment is complete, without offering any special highlights. This also applies to the chipset, which is solid but not a performance monster. The battery, which is also good but not exceptional, rounds off the good overall picture. For currently around 300 euros, users do not go wrong with the A51 and the device has what it takes to become a bestseller again this year.

If you are looking for alternatives, you should take a look at mid-range models such as the Huawei Nova 5T (test report) or the Honor 9X (test report). Biggest "problem" of the Galaxy A51: Even significantly better equipped smartphones such as the Xiaomi Mi 9T (test report) are now exactly at the price level of the Samsung model or even just below it.

Our articles offer more inspiration when browsing for new smartphones. That costs a good smartphone, the best smartphones up to 400 euros and smartphones with OLEDs up to 300 euros.