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The success of Google’s excellent midrange Pixel A-line and the massive waves Apple has made with its latest phone release the iPhone SE proves that the midrange market has even more potential for success than flagships. Samsung has never really pushed a good midrange device in the US but recent events are changing Samsung’s perspective on promoting midrange devices in the US.
The Samsung Galaxy A51 seems to be Samsung’s response to the iPhone SE. The phone was previously on Verizon, but as of today, it’s headed to Sprint, AT&T, Xfinity (but only for pre-order), Amazon, and Samsung.com.
The $400 Samsung device picks up a lot of design cues from its flagship big brother the Samsung Galaxy S20 line.
The performance of the A51, however, can’t compare with the A13 Bionic chip, Apple’s most recent flagship processor that powers the latest iPhones and iPads. The Exynos 9611 in the Galaxy A51 shrivels up in comparison. The Exynos 9611 is a 10nm SoC with four 2.3GHz Cortex-A73 cores and four 1.7 GHz Cortex-A53 cores. This is a rare non-Qualcomm chip to come to the US, and the rough Qualcomm equivalent would be the Snapdragon 835, the flagship SoC from 2017. However, Look only at the performance aspect of the Galaxy A51 skews what it brings to the table.
The Galaxy A51 offers some pretty impressive features, including:
A large 6.5-inch FHD 1080p AMOLED screen, a sleek design with ultra-narrow bezels, a triple-lens camera that includes a 48-megapixel main camera, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera, and 5-megapixel macro lens for closeup shots, a large 4,000mAh battery, and 15W fast charger included.
Samsung did its best to entice potential buyers and its working at least to me. I really like the design language of the A51. It also beats the SE in terms of the display which is a more crucial feature that needs to impress because its what you look at all the time when you use the phone.
Samsung has brought its best midrange display to the table, a massive display, a 6.5-inch, 2400×1080 OLED with a 20:9 aspect ratio and 405 pixels per inch. The iPhone SE display is smaller than nearly every Android phone on the market and very old school, with a 4.7-inch 1334×750 LCD with a 16:9 aspect ratio and 326 PPI.
The A51 is sporting a more modern design than the SE, with slim bezels and a hole-punch front camera. The iPhone SE recycles the iPhone 8 design and consequently looks like a phone that’s a few years old.
The in-screen, optical fingerprint reader in the A51 is a nice touch while Apple resurrects TouchID with a front capacitive reader.
The iPhone SE has two big features in its corner that you usually never see in midrange phones: wireless charging and water resistance, with an IP67 rating. Meanwhile, the Galaxy A51 has a feature you never see in flagships anymore: a headphone jack.
For $400, Samsung is offering more storage than Apple, with a single config at 128GB. There’s also a MicroSD slot, so you can expand the storage later if you want. Apple offers 64, 128, and 256GB tiers for the iPhone SE, but the comparable 128GB version will run you $449