review

Samsung Galaxy M51 Review: Samsung at its M-Powering Best

The upper mid-segment gets a heavyweight

by: - Last updated on: September 20th, 2020

When was the last time you used a decent quality phone right through a week and charged it only twice? Well, we honestly cannot remember. Phones with big batteries have been around for a while but with big batteries inevitably used to come design and performance compromises – the phone would be too bulky, or would be relatively modest specced.

samsung galaxy m51 review

The Samsung Galaxy M51 is a very different kettle of tea. It is not the smallest phone around at 163.9 mm in height and at around 213 grams, it is not super lightweight either. But at 9.5 mm thickness, it does not seem overly bulky. It is simply a slightly large phone, which is a normal sight these days. Hey, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra was taller and about the same weight, give or take a few grams.

Samsung Galaxy M51: a solid back (glasstic ain’t always fantastic to look at)

It is a smart rather than spectacular design, with the plastic/glastic back sporting a now-standard rectangular quad-camera unit and curving down to meet the sides. The finish is slightly glossy and the colors (Celestial Black and Electric Blue) are not exactly head-turning, but the M51 is a decent looking phone from the back. We love the fact that the fingerprint sensor is on the side and there is a 3.5 mm audio jack present, but given the height of the phone, the volume rocker might be out of reach for those with smaller hands. And yes, it is a little sad to see dust and water resistance still not on the M series menu – not a deal-breaker, but they certainly help!

Oh, that AMOLED display

From the front, of course, it is pretty much spectacular, with a 6.7-inch Super AMOLED Plus Infinity O Display, with a punch hole bang in the middle. This is a Samsung Super AMOLED display so saying that it is bright and colorful is as obvious as saying that puppies are cute. Some might have expected a slightly brighter display (especially after seeing the really bright one on the Realme 7 Pro and the OnePlus Nord), but most users are going to be more than content with the rich colors and the sheer size of the display at this point. It is a great device for viewing content, be it videos or just good old web pages! We wish Samsung had added better speakers to the mix – the single speaker on the M51 has the volume, but not quite the greatest sound quality (well, there’s the 3.5 mm audio jack to save the day).

Senior Snapdragon does a smooth job (with RAM aplenty)

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Most users are also going to be content with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G running under the hood of the device. Yes, it is not exactly the newest chip on the block, but then anything that is good enough for the Pixel 4a (and still rocks the very good Poco X2) should be good for a mid-segmenter. The chip is definitely not meant for heavy-duty gaming but allied with 6GB or 8GB of RAM (you get both variants), you can play Call of Duty at reduced settings, multi-task easily, and open your share of Chrome tabs and social networks without any lags whatsoever. Storage is not an issue either – you get 128 GB on the phone, expandable using a memory card. Connectivity-wise, there is 4G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS. The software is Samsung’s OneUI 2.1 skin over Android 10, which generally provides a clean enough experience, once you have dodged its attempts to make you download additional apps. A few ads do pop up in the interface but nothing to lose sleep over.

Samsung Galaxy M51 Camera Review

samsung galaxy m51 camera

Samsung had pleasantly surprised us with the cameras on the Galaxy M31s. And it continues that process with the M51. We again have a 64 megapixel Sony IMX 682 as the main sensor, with a 12-megapixel ultrawide, a 5-megapixel depth sensor, and a 5-megapixel macro sensor as well. There is no OIS, but Samsung has put in some software features that we saw in the S20 series including Single Take, which takes a series of stills, boomerangs, and short videos, and yet, the camera also recommends the modes you should be using. And by and large, the M51 delivers some excellent daylight pictures with decent detail and colors that are ever so slightly saturated.

[Click here for full resolution images plus additional samples]

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Even in low light conditions, we got surprisingly good colors, although details took a hit. The video quality was not the greatest but was good enough for social networks. The 32-megapixel selfie camera took some very good selfies, without overdoing the digital makeup, The M51 we would say goes right alongside the best cameras in its price segment.

And the battery rolls on and on and on

So a device with a good display, decent processor, and very good cameras and we STILL can say we saved the best for last. For, without a doubt, the biggest star of the Galaxy M51 is that massive 7000 mAh battery. It easily lasts two days of hefty usage and if handled with care, can actually see you get through a week with just a couple of recharges. It charges relatively fast too – the 25 W charger in the box gets it from 0 to 100 in under two hours. And well, for good measure, Samsung has added a USB Type C to USB Type C adapter in the box, allowing you to charge other devices with the M51.

The “fill it, shut it, forget it” phone for those who value function over form!

galaxy-m51-review

It is not the flashiest phone in town and will not set benchmarks on fire, but for is starting price of Rs 24,999 (for 6 GB/ 128 GB), the Samsung Galaxy M51 packs a lot of basic punch. It might not have the specs and jazzy looks of the likes of the OnePlus Nord and the still formidable Redmi K20 Pro or the processing power of the Realme X3, all of which come in the same price range, but the Samsung Galaxy M51 brings something far simpler to the smartphone table – it thoroughly ticks those three boxes that most users consider important – display, cameras, and battery (it ticks the battery box twice for good measure!). And that makes it the perfect device for those who actually use a phone rather than flaunt it.

As we said in our first cut, the Galaxy M51 is the “fill it, shut it, forget it” phone. It is the phone that you charge twice or maybe three times a week and just keep using, without worrying if it will run out of battery or come up short on performance.

It is not about form or fashion. Just good old-fashioned functionality!

Buy Samsung Galaxy M51

Pros
  • Fantastic battery life
  • Generally smooth performance
  • Good cameras
Cons
  • Not for heavy duty gaming
  • No dust and water resistance
Review Overview
Build & design
Software
Camera
Performance
Price
SUMMARY

It might look relatively plain but get beyond those looks. It has the display. The cameras. And a massive battery. All of which makes the Samsung Galaxy M51 a terrific option for anyone looking for a phone "that just works and works a lot" in the range of Rs 25,000!

3.9

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    1. The Galaxy M51 does indeed come with call recording. All you have to do is go to the dialler (the calling app). Then tap the three buttons on the top right corner, select settings, and then choose the “recording calls” option. Auto recording is turned off by default.

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