Samsung’s Galaxy A51 is good at the basics but not meant for gaming

Samsung’s problem has always been at the low-end of the market. It has been cornered by Chinese brands like Xiaomi, Realme, Vivo and Oppo and that’s why it has lost ground even in the Indian market and that’s where the A-series becomes so important for India. The new Samsung Galaxy A51 comes into this market with a point to prove and it has the goods to push Samsung’s case in this price segment.

What’s warped

  • The Galaxy A51 is a handy phone for its size. It feels light and is very slim at 7.9mm. This is a very compact phone considering the 6.5-inch screen. On top of this, as this phone is made out of polycarbonate, it is less susceptible to dents and general use damage than say a phone that is made out of metal and glass.
  • You get four cameras — which is more than the usual. The main camera is a 48-megapixel sensor which is pretty nice when given good light to work with but is decent in low-light thanks to the night mode. The star of the show is the 123 degrees 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera which takes lovely landscapes. There is also a new macro mode which is decent for close-up shots.
  • This phone also has a killer selfie camera. There is a 32-megapixel camera which takes really nice selfies both in low-light and day time. It also has a pretty wide field of view which means you can incorporate a lot of people in one frame.
  • The battery life on this phone is awesome. Its 4,000mAh battery lasts a very long time. For medium to heavy usage which involves a lot of WhatsApp, YouTube, Netflix, email, calls and web browsing, this phone will provide you more than 15 hours of battery life on a single charge. It also gets fully charged in 2 hours with the inbox 15-watt fast charger.
  • Samsung is known for the best smartphone displays and this phone gets an “Infinity-O” AMOLED panel which has a 6.5-inch radius and a full-HD resolution. It is crisp and vivid, good for almost any kind of use case one could have.
  • Samsung’s One UI 2.0 is based on Android 10 has improved a lot. It is pretty clean and also comes with some clever software. For instance, the standard keyboard works as well as GBoard or SwiftKey, Samsung Pay is wonderful for payments as it can replace your credit card using MST tech, and there is even a new SMS management app which removes spam messages and segregates financial messages and promotions in a card-like user interface.
  • It is also a pretty secure phone with it having Samsung Knox pre-loaded which makes this phone enterprise-ready which cannot be said about most phones in the market.

What’s not

  • The performance of the phone is quite basic. It is based on the Exynos 9611 platform coupled with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. This is mid-range performance at best and the phone can become sluggish at times if you expect it to perform like a top tier smartphone.
  • It is also not the best phone for gaming. Sure, there is a game booster in the software but you’re looking at decidedly mid-range gaming credentials here with games like PUBG. If you are going to play a lot of games then, something like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro will be a better option.
  • You can see corners have been cut to hit a price. The body is made out of plastic instead of metal and glass which is a standard in the price segment, there is also no haptic feedback which is quite strange.
  • As is always the case, Samsung’s take on Android isn’t the most attractive to look at or nor the most fluid in use. The problem gets compounded by the fact that there are loads of apps that duplicate core Android features. The best way to use this phone is to install the Nova launcher which cleans things up, though that kind of goes against the ethos of this phone.

To buy or not?

At the end of the day this is a no-nonsense phone for someone who wants a great brand like Samsung and also wants a solid camera system and great battery life. Android smartphones generally have reached levels of performance that most people don’t need. But if you’re going to be gaming and want to do heavy-duty multitasking, then this isn’t the phone for you.

Words by Sahil Mohan Gupta

Originally published at on January 31, 2020.




Serving communities on the intersection of technology, indie music and culture, the warp core is a think tank founded by technology journalist Sahil Mohan Gupta

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Serving communities on the intersection of technology, indie music and culture, the warp core is a think tank founded by technology journalist Sahil Mohan Gupta

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