Review: Samsung Galaxy A51, affordable smartphone for employees

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The affordable Samsung Galaxy A-line has always been popular in the workplace. With good reason: the devices have always been reliable, comprehensive and, thanks to Knox, easy to manage by IT departments. The Samsung Galaxy A51 is a logical and solid continuation of the product range and a great choice for many employees.

Important specs

Screen6.5″ AMOLED, 1080×2400 pixels. 60Hz refresh rate
Network support4G
ProcessorSamsung Exynos 9611 (2.3GHz octacore)
Memory4GB RAM, 128GB storage
Battery4000mAh, 15W fast charging
SoftwareAndroid 10 with One UI 2.1
Camera48 megapixel primary, 12 megapixel ultrawide, 5 megapixel macro, 5 megapixel depth sensor. 32 megapixel front camera

The beautiful design is not ideal

The Samsung Galaxy A51 has a beautiful and modern design. The front is primarily made up of the 6.5-inch AMOLED screen, which looks stunning. The screen is bright, features a good white balance and is one of the most beautiful displays in its league. A small gap for the front camera is located at the top. It also has a disadvantage: Samsung has inexplicably chosen to put a silver ring around the camera. This is rather annoying when the ring catches the light as the ring reflects the light and then it becomes a distracting ring in the middle of the screen.

The back of the Galaxy A51 is a bit chaotic. It is made of glossy plastic and is available in white, black, blue and pink. The back also features a diamond pattern and the light that hits the pattern changes into the colours of the rainbow. This gives the A51 character, but at the same time, it is not very business-like. It’s a pity that the Galaxy A51 is made entirely of plastic: even in the price range around 300 euros, many smartphones are made of more luxurious materials.

In addition to the standard PIN code, the Samsung Galaxy A51 offers two options to secure the device. The most important one is the fingerprint scanner, which is integrated into the screen. Although it looks great, unfortunately, it doesn’t work very well in the case of the A51. Our fingers were often not recognized and when it did work the software is quite slow. Another option is to use facial recognition, but that feature doesn’t always work quickly and reliably either. In addition, the Galaxy A51 only uses the front camera to recognize faces, which means facial recognition is not very safe. The biometric security options on this smartphone are not very good.

Basic productivity tool

Samsung provides the necessary software on the Galaxy A51 to make things easier for employees and the IT department. OneDrive and Microsoft Office are installed on the smartphone by default so that you can immediately start viewing and editing documents. Because the smartphone is compatible with Samsung Knox, it is easy for organisations that use the platform to manage the device remotely. Knox also provides enhanced smartphone security.

The smartphone runs on Android 10 with Samsung’s One UI running on top of it. That skin contains some useful features, such as a built-in virus scanner and proper integration of Voice over WiFi. As long as your provider supports the latter, it is very convenient to make calls if the mobile coverage in your office is not up to par.

Unlike the Samsung Galaxy A50, the Galaxy A51 receives quarterly security updates. After checking with Samsung, we learned that we shouldn’t expect extra updates for the A51 as the Galaxy A50 had an extraordinary position in the Galaxy A series which warranted the additional updates. Nevertheless, this is one of the most popular Samsung smartphones, which means that it will be supported for a reasonably long time.

Basically, the Galaxy A51 is an excellent productivity tool. At the same time, we should note that the smartphone is on the slow side for complicated tasks. The Exynos 9611 chipset in the device is not particularly fast; due to the heavy software it performs even worse than you would expect based on the specifications. Also, the 4GB of RAM is not a lot which results in applications being removed from the memory relatively quickly. If you work a lot with large or complex documents and apps, it is better to choose a different smartphone.

A similar story applies to the battery. The capacity of 4000mAh should be more than enough, but the smartphone is not very power efficient. The Galaxy A51 will last a long day of intense work, but only with a small margin.

Quirky camera

There are four cameras on the back of the Galaxy A51: a 48-megapixel main camera, a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera, a 5-megapixel macro camera and a 5-megapixel depth camera. The latter is used for portrait mode, but has little practical use.

The other three cameras do a very good job. Especially the main camera snaps high detail photos with beautiful colours and a strong dynamic range. The colour saturation is quite high, which results in the spectacular look that Samsung is known for. Although, these pictures don’t seem very natural, it is pretty nonetheless. Even in the evening, the Galaxy A51 takes great photos because of its fairly decent night mode. The wide-angle camera is clearly of lower quality than the main camera, but it is nice that the phone has one and it certainly takes acceptable photos. The same applies to the macro camera, although the quality is even worse and you probably won’t use it very often.

The problem with the Galaxy A51 is that the camera is not very consistent. It sometimes doesn’t focus well, and especially when the light starts to dim, pictures will often begin to look blurry. This is a shame as the camera of the Galaxy A51 has potential.

The 32-megapixel front camera takes 12-megapixel photos by default, and unfortunately, they aren’t particularly great. These photos lack detail and sharpness and appear very subdued. The colours are nice however, and the quality of the camera is more than sufficient for video calls.

Conclusion

The Samsung Galaxy A51 is a great smartphone for employees who don’t need to work with large complex documents or applications on their smartphone. The device is affordable, well supported and can be integrated within a Knox environment. The screen is excellent, and the smartphone looks good.

Unfortunately, the Galaxy A51 is far from perfect. The device is relatively slow for a smartphone around 300 euros, and it’s a pity that it’s made entirely of plastic. The camera is certainly not bad and has a lot of potential, but unfortunately, it doesn’t consistently produce good results. Finally, we expected more from the fingerprint scanner and/or facial recognition.

7
  • Beautiful display
  • Comprehensive software
  • Good support
  • Camera is able to take beautiful photos
  • Biometric security not good
  • Relatively slow
  • Camera is not consistent