Samsung has released a refreshed and updated Galaxy A series. The promise of this new range is powerful high-end features at a reasonable price. Steven Ambrose explored how far mid-priced phones have come in the past few years.
Samsung launched the Galaxy A series last year filling a gap in their range between some low price phones and their industry-leading Galaxy S series. The A series mimics the look feel and feature set of the Galaxy S series with pricing closer to the lower end of the smartphone market.
The original Galaxy A series did a great job of bringing excellent screens with good performance at a reasonable price. With the new Galaxy, A 51 Samsung have taken the A series a step further and are offering devices with high-end features at similar prices.
Th Samsung Galaxy A51 is a good looking well-made phone with all the cameras you would want on the rear along with a big bright screen. The screen is a good resolution 6.5” AMOLED based panel. There are minimal bezels, and this offers the A51 a crisp modern look
The build is good if not quite oozing the high end fit and finish of the Samsung Galaxy S series, but it does not feel cheap and the choice of finishes and colours offer a very premium feeling and looking device at a reasonable price.
The power key and volume rocker are well located on the right side of the handset, and audio enthusiasts will be pleased with the 3.5mm headphone jack on the base.
The Galaxy A51 is available globally in up to four different colours (South Africa is getting Black and white for now); namely black, white, pink and blue.
The 6.5-inch Full HD+ (1080 x 2400), Super AMOLED display is bright and colourful, with good detail and it also boasts Samsung’s smallest ever pin-hole camera in the screen, and it shares a small camera cutout with the Galaxy Note 10 Lite.
Battery and camera
The Samsung Galaxy A51 has a large 4,000mAh battery packed into the sleek body, which is very sizable for a handset in this price range.
The combination of the AMOLED screen, moderate processor and the big battery gave decent battery life, a full day is not a problem, and I could often go well into the next day without a top-up.
The Samsung Galaxy A51 is an affordable smartphone, but Samsung does not cut corners when it comes to the cameras. The front unit is a 32MP camera, which offers great selfie power. Around on the back, there are four cameras housed in the large, black camera bump.
The main camera is a 48MP, joined by a 12MP ultra-wide (123-degree field-of-view) camera. Also, there is a 5MP macro sensor and a 5MP depth sensor. The array gives Galaxy A51 great power for serious photography. There is the option of wide-angle shots, detailed close-ups and blurred backgrounds. All these features worked extremely well and mimicked some of the best devices that Samsung makes.
The images taken during my time with eh A51 were good to great, the compromises revolve around absolute resolution with a little softening and noise, especially when light is low. The lack of absolute quality is a combination of lower specced sensors and lower processor power. In my opinion, though Samsung has made some good choices as the camera subsystem is as good as many higher-end phones and generally are very acceptable.
Performance and software
The Samsung Galaxy A51 offers an octa-core processor with 4GB of RAM, which is more than capable of dealing with day to day apps. All social media apps and videos played with no incident only really demanding games showed some compromise in smoothness and performance
The processor and memory setup provides enough power to keep Android 10 running smoothly and the latest optimisation in Andoird 10 power management and rendering makes for a good smooth experience on the A51
The A51 offers 64GB of internal storage plus a microSD slot supporting cards up to 512GB in size. Overall, enough memory for most purposes.
Other features are an accurate fingerprint scanner embedded in the display. The face recognition ability was also good with good recognition even in challenging situations. Sunglasses fool it every time though.
Samsung also offers a compelling offer in Samsung Care+ for all Galaxy A Series devices from the entry A10 model right up to the high-end A80 model.
The Samsung Care+ service contract covers users for two screen replacements over 24 months. To be eligible for the offer, Samsung Care+ must be activated within 30 days from the purchase of the device.
Samsung Care+ pricing starts from only R59pm to R75pm on the high-end A-Series devices. It is also available at a once-off cost starting from R749.
The new Samsung Galaxy A51 looks like a high-end device and for the most part, behaves like one. The camera subsystem and performance is comprehensive and effective. The screen is bright and easy to live with. Build quality is substantial and never feels inexpensive. All apps I used daily including navigation ran smoothly.
At the recommended retail price of R6,995.00 and below, with some judicious web searching, there is not much to touch this phone. Highly recommended.
For more information www.samsung.co.za.