Affordable smartphones are all the rage right now, and the iPhone SE has shed light on them in recent months. However, if you're not careful, most companies have been offering mid-range devices for some time, some with excellent sales. The Samsung Galaxy A51 is the latest in a line of phones that surpass the highly marketed flagship Galaxy S. So let's see how it can stand up to Apple's Resurrection Law. This is iPhone SE vs. Samsung Galaxy A51.
The first noticeable detail between these two phones concerns the size – see how much the Galaxy A51 line in the middle area still outshines the iPhone SE. There are no other sizes for the iPhone, just this easy-to-understand look back at the time of the iPhone 7 and 8. There are a lot more bezels at the top and bottom that specifically accommodate the Touch ID home button. And the screen is only tiny and 4.7 inches in size, which makes handling a breeze, but the viewing experience is literally downsized compared to any smartphone that goes big or home.
Fortunately, the A51 is not too big – it is The 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display is a treat that Samsung users can enjoy in almost any of their smartphones. It essentially corresponds to what we expect from 2020 smartphones, right down to the pinhole camera at the top. However, Samsung is really trying to use as much screen space as possible so that content is rendered directly on the line. The result is a minimal aperture, since the fingerprint reader is in the display. Unlocking the face with this front-facing camera works just as well and offers an opportunity for biometric options in the Samsung camp. On the other hand, Touch ID returned to iPhone SE just in time so that the exclusion of Face ID makes sense.
I recommend the A51 to be fairly thin and light, and the curved back makes it easier to use. This carrier also has a nice prism design, so there is a little feast for the eyes. I find this size just right for my taste – just right for easy handling, without having to blink when looking at it. Not to say that the iPhone screen is bad, it's just small and not an AMOLED display that always shows. If I just wanted my everyday life to be easy on the eyes, the A51 is definitely the go-to place for things like YouTube and Netflix.
Frankly, the fully plastic build of the Galaxy A51 is the main disadvantage of the design. I understand that Samsung had to find ways to cut costs, but if you look at the phone landscape below $ 400, better build quality is always a plus. This does not mean that the iPhone can withstand constant punishment, which is why we have these protective cases from Supcase on hand.
All-rounder or master of one?
So you can already see where the chips could fall in this comparison – the Galaxy A51 can offer many of the conveniences that Samsung users are used to, only tailored for the lower price. In the meantime, Apple has tried to put most of its current high-end specs in a different shell. It should come as no surprise here that the Bionic A13, however underclocked it may be, offers the smooth and easy iOS experience that Apple users are used to. It is probably even easier to find your way around in the user interface, since there is a home button again because the tactility is greatly underestimated. What Apple did with the SE is an everyday smartphone experience that works for just about everyone – people who are new to the iOS ecosystem and people who may need a backup phone if their iPhone suddenly changes at the flagship level needed a replacement. Despite dialing back the bells and whistles, the core experience is really what Apple wanted to offer, and they succeeded.
Not to say all the bells and whistles are gone – wireless charging and fast 18W charging are here, but I would argue that they were necessary for this small battery. With the SE, there won't be a day and a half battery life, and before the end of the day, you'll be looking for a place to put or plug it in.
Samsung, on the other hand, managed to keep many of their experiences in the Galaxy A51's mid-range Exynos processor running. We talked about biometrics with the built-in fingerprint reader and face unlock, but there's also the always-useful display, edge panel, and other features in the Samsung One user interface. Share what you will say about Android and iOS. It's just the truth that Android and One UI offer more customization and daily navigation options. While you can really take care of the daily experience, it doesn't mean that it will be very snappy – the Exynos 9611 is the biggest compromise that unfortunately spills over to every other part of this Android experience.
Apps, especially games Take more time to load and visual stutters occur frequently, even when you go to places like the Samsung Briefing screen or the latest apps screen. This could be helpful with the higher RAM options, but then you'll pay more money, just like with the higher storage options in iPhone SE. Speaking of which, the A51 has a microSD card slot, so storage space is definitely not a minor problem.
Another bright spot is how the Galaxy A51 can easily survive an entire working day thanks to this 4000 mAh battery. However, there is no wireless charging and wired charging is a fairly normal 18W. Samsung's own quick charge would have been a nice addition here. While I welcome the reliably smooth experience of iOS on iPhone SE, it's also largely the same as any other iPhone in someone else's hand. There is a value in that, so I give Apple my hat in this regard. I like the extra features like the always visible and better battery life, although that means a bit more waiting time for some things to charge. I'm not one of the people who get angry at the sight of a stutter – if you can get over it, the Galaxy A51 can be a daily device.