Samsung Galaxy M51, analysis and opinion

This is our analysis of the Samsung Galaxy M51, a mobile that has it very complicated in the mid-range because there are other very strong players in that segment, but that has the secret weapon of a really spectacular battery: 7,000 mAh which is very difficult to exhaust.

Samsung is experiencing a sweet moment in various smartphone ranges. After dominating the market with an iron fist in both the mid-ranges and the higher ranges, Koreans began to be "invaded" by terminals in China. Xiaomi or Huawei (and now those of the BBK group) began betting on clearly superior mobiles in that value for money.

After a few years somewhat uncertain for the company, launching top ranges that met what was expected, but mid-ranges that did not fit and were obsolete as soon as they reached the market, the South Koreans reorganized the families of their Galaxy and it seems that they have hit the key.

The Galaxy M are some of the most interesting terminals of the company because they are that mid-range that is still somewhat more expensive than the equivalents of Xiaomi or realme, but that offer very interesting features and, above all, screens that are very well calibrated (something brand of the house).

A huge screen perfect for viewing content, and that comes at a price

Let's start with the design because, certainly, there's not much to scratch here. We have a cell phone that, in nut words, is big, heavy and even something 'say'. It is 163.9 millimetres high and 76.3 mm wide, so one-handed handling is complicated.

It is a large mobile and this 2020 is the year of giant mobiles in the mid-range and input because the panels are getting bigger and bigger. And of course, for many users this is perfect, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to find compact mobiles of the style of the Pixel 4a-analysis - or from, going to the extreme, iPhone 12 Mini-analysis -.

However, being big doesn't "bother" as much as its thickness. And it's 9.5 millimetres thick. He's pretty fat, yes, but in this case, he has an explanation and even something good.

And it is that the battery is 7,000 mAh and, of course, the more capacity a battery has, the bigger it is, hence the tremendous thickness of this terminal.

However, as I say, there is something good about it: that it is so chubby has allowed Samsung to integrate the camera module into the body of the terminal. Only a small protective frame stands out on that back and the truth is that it hasn't had a cell phone in a long time when the camera module didn't stand out. Good for the South Koreans.

And if the battery capacity justifies the thickness, the screen is the one that marks the total dimensions of the terminal. We have on our hands a 6.7" panel that yes, it is huge, but that is really quite well optimized in the terminal.

In these ranges, we are already seeing some IPS at 90 and 120 Hz - that of the Mi 10T-Lite, which is the main rival of this Samsung and which we analyzed a few days ago - but Samsung bets on a top panel without shadows on the screen and with a better colour representation, but at 60 Hz. Also, with some settings, the AMOLED panel takes care of the battery a little more.

It is a bright panel that looks perfectly in broad daylight and certainly to play and watch videos/series is a very good screen, but it stays at 60 Hz. For some users, this is not a problem, but the truth is that 90 Hz is a significant leap in user experience.

The resolution is 2,400 x 1,080 pixels and the aspect ratio is 20:9, two parameters that are becoming common in this range and, also, the panel occupies 86.7% of the front. This means that the frames are quite well optimized. It doesn't reach those of an S20, but the truth is that we don't have any exaggerated sides or a huge chin.

As I say, the panel looks great, no shadows can be seen either on the sides or around the hole of the front camera and to see content or play is very worthy, although it is true that the viewing angles are not the most generous and if we have the mobile resting on the table, the tone may be somewhat more bluish, although without exaggerating or reaching the levels of old AMOLED/OLED panels.

From the factory, it arrives with a colour calibration in "intense" mode that saturates the colours, but it is also not the oversaturated Samsung of a few years ago and it is the one that I ended up leaving on the phone. We can set a more natural or off mode and make some adjustments to the white balance.

Of course, we also have a dark mode that dyes OneUI black to save battery in some apps and to make us struggle less the view in low light conditions. And when finished, the sensitivity is correct and the automatic brightness sensor behaves really well.

However, to put that SuperAMOLED Plus panel, Samsung has had to trim into materials and the mobile is plastic. It has a white colour that we find somewhat bland and that reminds us of that design of the S20 that yes, was superior by the finish in glass, but that also lacked some grace.

Also, and to keep saving, the fingerprint reader is not on screen. By technology (and being Samsung of the best sensors on-screen mounts), they could have put it in, but at the end that costs money... and in this range, you have to adjust as much as possible.

In this case, the sensor is on the right side. It's a tremendously fast sensor, but it's in a somewhat awkward position. And both the fingerprint sensor and the volume buttons are located at the top of the side and we have to make a forescream with our finger to get there. It would have been nice to be one more location in the centre.

Although plastic makes the touchless premium, the truth is that the sides and rounded corners make the phone comfortable in the hand. It is impossible to ignore the 213 grams, but at least it is, as I say, comfortable to consume content.

Snapdragon 730G that moves OneUI and games very solvently

When we think of 'Samsung' there are two things that come to mind: AMOLED panels and Exynos processors. The two are elements that South Koreans manufacture and that obviously come out cheaper to create new mobile phones, so we have traditionally seen mid-range mobiles with those AMOLEDs.

However, in this case, Samsung gives us joy because SuperAMOLED Plus is powered by a Qualcomm SoC, the Snapdragon 730G. It's not the most powerful mid-range processor in Americans, but at least it's not a mid-range Exynos that's not just less powerful, it consumes more battery.

The Snapdragon 730G we've seen on other terminals this year and it's an SoC that's built-in an 8-nanometer lithography with two cores at 2.2 GHz, another six to 1.8 GHz and the Adreno 618 GPU.

In the day-to-day you won't have any problems and messaging, browsing, networking and other apps go like silk. It is true that with 90 Hz the experience is more satisfying, but we have 60 Hz and we will not say that it goes wrong because it would not be true.

The management of multitasking is good and the truth is that I have had no complaints these days. In games, the 730G is a chip that also unfolds to a thousand wonders and that allows us to play Fortnite or Call of Duty without problems.

If you go to Genshin Impact, which is one of the most demanding and heavy (7 GB a mobile game, there is nothing) of the Store, you will also be able to play, but here we notice that the GPU is going butt and the mobile warms up a little in the top centre of the back. It's not alarming at all, but the Adreno 618 goes to everything it can with this game.

And little more to say about hardware that, as I say, albeit without boasting... fulfils perfectly. The OneUI Core 2.5 layer remains as stable as the latest versions and the system moves fast and smooth.

The memory introduced is UFS 2.1 and, as is often the case with Samsung, curiously it is not one of the fastest. It pales a little next to some competitive mobiles this year, but it's something we only notice when we're editing a photo in a program like Photoshop Express and see that it "costs you" more account time to save the result.

The bloatware we have is that of Samsung's own apps (Koreans, in fact, 'hide' Google's own to bring out their own) and the Microsoft suite, something logical considering that those of Redmond and Suwon have a trade agreement.

You have to make some adjustments to leave the system as we want (the default icons are huge, for example) and it catches my eye that Update is not as standard (which I don't care about because I'm more of Discover), but as I say it's a functional system and that we can't fail anything because its implementation is all that mobile of these features needs.

Also as standard come the controls with digital buttons and, in my opinion, it is time for companies to forget about this and bet on gestures like the default control. If someone wants to activate the controls by buttons, but with gestures that work so well, the idea is to have them active from the beginning.

Upon unlocking, we have the option to use the unlock using the 2D photo that works precisely, but that takes its time to respond, and the footprint reader on the side. As I say, I don't like the location because it's too high, but the truth is that it's very fast and very accurate.

Two very competent sensors... and two others that don't so much

The camera, on premium mid-range and higher mid-range mobiles, is the main reason for changing smartphones every generation. Every time mobile phones take better photos and in the high end, we can see real vagueries.

However, the mid-range is where we are noticing the most evolution. Mobile phones in this range are getting better and better photos with the main sensor and usually add wide-angle sensors that are quite interesting.

Unfortunately, to be able to say that they have four cameras, they also introduce two sensors that, honestly, we do not use for practically anything like the blur (it is done by software, really) or the macro (with so little definition that it is not good for much).

Telephoto is something that resists the mid-ranges, a situation that we meet again in this M51. And it's a shame because both the angular and the wide-angle maintain the type.

We have a 64-megapixel f/1.8 main sensor that actually shoots at 16 megapixels. The pixel size is 0.8 mm and the sensor measures 1/1.73". It's a good size in this league and the truth is that it's a very competent camera.

Samsung processing is always special, somewhat saturating the colours (especially blue), but the truth is that they have been quite contained in this software setting for a few months and the photos no longer have that "radioactive" finish of yesteryear. It's something that also happened with the Huawei's and that we don't see that much now. 

I like the colour interpretation, sharpness, texture and detail that the camera can capture in good light conditions. We can also make a digital zoom that up to 2x is quite usable, although it is still that, a digital increase 'pulling' megapixels.

At night with both night and automatic mode (which performs a very good software adjustment after making the photo), it is also a mobile that surprises. In complex photos where there are lights that could burn completely, HDR saves the situation quite well and the truth is that they are photos that we can use perfectly.

However, they are not perfect and these dates may be the most complicated for the night photo of a device. In all photos where there are white Christmas lights, these look intense blue. There is a photo in which some are blue (the second row) and the foreground ones have their colour.

It is something that also affects the vegetation on which that lighting is supported and I believe that there the device can not make a correct balance of whites. It is not an extremely negative thing, but it is clear that the software is confused in that situation. Moreover, a night photograph more than worthy for mobile of this range.

Indoors, the truth is that the camera and the processing have surprised me. It is true that just like when the light falls, the noise appears remarkably, but it makes a good blur of natural background and in conditions that are not ideal can capture good details with a texture more than satisfactory.

It has an angle of 123o and the truth is that it is a fun camera. It is an angle that deforms somewhat the sides of the image, but that more than to photograph buildings, it must be worth to have fun with photography a little creative.

What about the macro? Well, it's 5 megapixels, which is already more than what other manufacturers give us, but we need a lot of light and patience to make something worthy come out. It's better than other macros that have recently gone through our analysis table, but being in the 'More' section of the app (really almost all manufacturers put it in there) gives us a clue as to how important it is.

Once upon a time, a battery was attached to a glued (and fast-charging)

And we reach the true strength of the analysis of the Galaxy M51, which justifies the choice of this terminal over any other. And it's that, it's 7,000mAh of battery, which is said soon.

We are used to the 5,000 on quite a few models this year, but the truth is that the average is still 4,500 mAh and of course, seeing mobiles like the Little M3 or this Samsung M51 with 6,000 mAh or 7,000 mAh respectively, crashes.

What does this translate into? With my use, it is quite intensive with games, photos, social networks, various emails that are constantly updated, Bluetooth with wireless headphones, many hours of Spotify... I have had two days of use and I put it to load at night after those two days because... because yes, so as not to arrive in the afternoon of the third day and have to carry it.

It's two days with intensive use and I'm sure users who use it less will be here at three days, which I think is absolute madness right now. In our tests with the maximum brightness, we have a peak of 13 hours and 38 minutes of the screen.

We also have 25 W fast charging included in the box. Sure, 25 W charges other phones well, but here it costs you a little more and to reach 50%, the mobile needs about 45 minutes. It is not the fastest charge, but it should be noted that half of the battery of this mobile is still 3,500 mAh, which is not bad at all. From 0% to 100% we need an hour and 47 minutes.

Sure, we could ask for more and other companies would surely have included at least one 33W charger, but seeing that Samsung is not among the most generous in this regard, at least we have the same charger that we find on mobiles as the S20 FE.

NFC and 3.5mm jack, but without the desired 5G

We comment on it when we talk about the screen: going for some TOP elements makes some other section have to be something more humble to be able to balance and offer the device at as competent a price as possible.

There are mobiles that for what the M51 costs offer 5G, but due to that huge battery and the SuperAMOLED Plus screen, that feature stays out of the equation on the Samsung terminal. So we have Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 5, NFC (more important than 5G, in my opinion) and 3.5-millimeter jack.

The 5G is fine, and we always say it, but it's really not a feature that, at least for now, should be the one that decides to buy one terminal or another. I mean, in Spain we are seeing a very irregular deployment of 5G both by coverage and speed, so we still do not consider it to be a key thing.

If it has it, obviously better than better, but you may want a huge battery and screen and you'll get something more like the 5G connection. That's where the M51 has a lot to say.

If we go to the sound, we have only one speaker. It doesn't have the highest volume or the best bass, but it's enough to watch videos and play video games. Being located at the bottom right we won't cover it easily, so no problem with this.

We have the possibility to equalize the sound to our liking and, if we connect headphones, we can select the Dolby Atmos mode, as well as the UHQ optimization that improves the experience in videos and music, dynamically enhancing the key spectrum of each of the contents.

Again, no boasts and obviously here we do miss a stereo sound, but it complies.

Samsung Galaxy M51 review: the perfect mobile if you need autonomy, and it also gives you much more

As we have seen throughout the analysis of the Samsung Galaxy M51, balance is the main virtue of the device. Although without the latest model processor or a display larger than 60 Hz, the South Koreans' mobile keeps the type very well thanks to solvent performance, a stable system and a display that looks really good.

We can look for tickles with some of the most powerful games, which make the terminal warm up a little, or looking at the screen from exaggerated angles that make that bluish tone of the SuperAMOLED appear but generally speaking, it is a mobile that will meet the expectations of many users.

Now, the real strong point, where it dawns, is the battery. It is not common to see 7,000 mAh terminals and this marks both the design, with considerable thickness, and the autonomy. Having two days and intensive in my case is an achievement, being able to stretch up to two and a half/three days depending on the user.

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