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Sunday, September 20, 2020

We tried out Samsung’s new Galaxy M51: Here are our initial impressions

Starting at Rs 24,999, the Galaxy M51 is exactly on par with a flagship phone but costs half the money.

Written by Anuj Bhatia | New Delhi | Updated: September 13, 2020 4:29:27 pm
Samsung Galaxy M51 launched in India (Express photo: Anuj Bhatia)

With premium mid-range phones challenging conventional flagships, the definition of the latter is changing as the smartphone market gets matured. Samsung’s new Galaxy M51 is the prime example of how phones have evolved. Even though the Galaxy M51 is marketed as a mid-range phone, the phone is nothing less than a flagship. In fact, the Galaxy M51 is everything you hoped to see in a flagship smartphone and on top of that is the only phone with a 7,000mAh battery inside.

A few hours after starting to use the Samsung Galaxy M51,  here are my first impressions.

Samsung Galaxy M51 hands-on: Jumbo size

The Galaxy M51 is big. Its display is 6.7 inches diagonally, which is larger than the iPhone 11 Pro Max’s 6.5-inch display. And the M51’s macho looks might actually put off women users.

While the 6.7-inch display is big, it’s pretty easy to get used to. The build quality is decent, though the phone is finished in plastic. The edges are curved, the display has thin bezels, and there’s a familiar Infinity-O hole-punch camera cutout in the center of the display.

Samsung Galaxy M51 (left), Apple iPhone 5c (right). (Express photo: Anuj Bhatia)

Despite the jumbo size, the phone never felt awkward in my small hands or pocket. The size is a direct result of the 7,000mAh battery as we know Samsung can keep it pretty slim with a smaller battery like on the M31s. And the phone is also heavier than usual.

Samsung Galaxy M51 hands-on: Gorgeous display

The screen is the best part of the Galaxy M51. The phone has a 6.7-inch Super AMOLED Plus display that looks fantastic. Watching Masaba Masaba on a 6.7-inch screen was a great experience. The M51’s display is very bright with solid colours and deep blacks. The Galaxy M51 is just amazing for consuming content.

Samsung Galaxy M51 hands-on: Capable performer so far

The Galaxy M51 model I am currently testing features a Snapdragon 730G processor, 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. Samsung will also be selling the M51 with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. Performance seems to be snappy. Browsing the web, checking Facebook and Twitter, running games, and taking photos on the phone felt free of performance issues.  All this indicates that the M51 will be a fast phone, but I want to keep the final judgment reserved for later.

The Galaxy M51 sports a massive 6.7-inch display (Express photo: Anuj Bhatia)

Samsung has been improving the user interface on its phones, and on the M51 we have got the OneUI 2.1, which is based on Android 10. It’s the same version that runs on other Samsung phones, including the Galaxy S20 Ultra.

Samsung Galaxy M51 hands-on: Plenty of battery

The Galaxy M51 has a massive 7000mAh battery, which is the biggest yet in a Samsung phone. It was difficult to accurately measure the phone’s battery life, since I started reviewing the phone a day back. But I expect the phone’s 7000mAh battery can easily last beyond a day’s use. There’s a 25W fast charger included in the box.

The Galaxy M51’s rear camera appears to be as good as the Galaxy M31s (Express photo: Anuj Bhatia)

Samsung Galaxy M51 hands-on: The rear camera is really good

The Galaxy M51’s rear camera appears to be as good as the Galaxy M31s (which you can read more about in my M31s review). There are four cameras on the back, consisting of a 64MP main camera, a 12MP ultrawide, a 5MP macro lens, and a 5MP depth sensor. The 32MP front-facing camera also appears to be okay.

I have snapped some really great shots with the M51, which you can see below.

I was only able to take a few photos during my short hands-on time with the Galaxy M51. But I can already see the main 64MP camera can take some well-detailed shots. I was particularly impressed by how the depth sensor works. Switching between different camera modes is easy. Autofocus is incredibly fast. You can do 4K recording on the Galaxy M51. More details in our full review.

Samsung Galaxy M51 hands-on: Early impressions

The Galaxy M51 is very uniquely positioned. Starting at Rs 24,999, the Galaxy M51 is exactly on par with a flagship phone but costs half the money. I think the Galaxy M51 challenges the status quo of flagships and at the same time, it creates a new niche of its own in a sea of smartphones. Do you need a flagship phone? Of course not.

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