Samsung Galaxy A51 (SM-A515F/DS) Dual SIM 128GB, GSM Unlocked - Prism Crush Black
I purchased the 128GB with 4GB ram model in all black. My wife's S8+ that was close to becoming non-functional and I needed a new phone asap. I had previously purchased an A20s for my son and so I first ordered the A30s until I did some research regarding my mobile provider T-Mobile in the US.
I cancelled the A30s and got the A51 primarily because of the supported LTE bands. T-Mobile uses the following bands
2, 4, 5, 12, 66, 71
The A30s only supports band 5 from the that list!
However, the A51 supports band 2, 4, 5, 12 and 66. I was gladly willing to pay a little more to ensure I had maximum connectivity with my carrier so I cancelled the A30s and purchased the A51 instead.
Now with that primary consideration out of the way, on to the rest of the review. I'll start with the best parts first.
1. Call quality, reception and connectivity
The call quality is excellent on this phone, right up there with my s10+. I think the microphone quality has been improved because my wife loves using the speakerphone and on her hold s8+, her voice occasionally cut out here and there as the mic tried to pick up her voice. Also, the sound quality of the voice has improved as well which further helps to understand the conversation. Reception has been about the same compared to my s10+, which is to say pretty good. We measured on signel strength and asu. The mobile data speeds are excellent even in areas that are typically weaker in signal strength.
Samsung AMOLEDs are the best in the business when it comes to screen quality. We are a little relieved the screen is not curved because this allows us to get a robust case to protect everything. The colors, quality and resolution are all indistuingishable compared to my s10+. The front camera is a tiny pinhole so the entire body is pretty much all screen. There is an in-screen fingerprint reader which is optical, rather than infrasonic on my s10+ but it is still reasonably fast to unlock the phone. Yes it is slightly slower than my s10+ but we're talking milliseconds of difference.
3. General usability
My wife is not a gamer so I can't say anything about the gaming experience but she does use a ton of media and productivity apps. For all of her use on them so far, she says they feel snappy. They all open fast and transition well and she multitasks as much as before without a shred of difference. When we first setup the phone, we were concerned because there was some UI lag but realized a lot of processing was being used during the Samsung Switch, which transfered her entire old phone to the new phone. Once the switch was done, we rebooted and the phone was responsive and fast.
The camera hardware has some beefy specs. But for a mostly point-and-shooter, it's hard to really go wrong many camera setups. Picture quality looks great in the light and not as good in the dark compared to my s10+. The slower camera speed is noticeable, transitioning between the main camera/wide/macro takes about a half second, where on my s10+ is pretty much instant. The shutter is just as fast, luckily. If camera speeds are important to you, you would probably not be happy with this phone.
I have to admit, we were looking forward to getting more usable time out of the battery. The battery is 4000mah unit and the s8+ was only 3500mah. However, through the typical daily use, we found that the end-of-day percentage left were about the same. We average about 4 hours of on-screen time scattered throughout the day with app use and web-browsing and the battery was around 40% left, which is the same as the s8+. If long battery life is important to you, you would not be happy with this phone but keep in mind, it can easily last an entire busy day on a single charge.
Overall, we like the phone for the price of under $300.