Samsung’s new range of Galaxy A series phones is an interesting one. We have been testing the Galaxy A21s, Galaxy A31, Galaxy A41, and Galaxy A51 5G for the last couple of days, and we have already published our reviews of the Galaxy A31 and Galaxy A41. These phones are similar in some ways, but a lot different in others, and each is targeted at a specific audience and pushes the envelope on what one can expect from affordable devices.
I have the privilege of using a flagship Galaxy smartphone as my daily driver, but for the last couple of days, I’ve been thinking: If I had to pick up the Galaxy A21s, Galaxy A31, Galaxy A41, or the Galaxy A51 5G, what would my reasons be for selecting any one of those devices? That’s probably a question many of you have been asking as well, and here’s my attempt at an answer.
Galaxy A51 5G: 5G on a budget and better performance than standard A51
The Galaxy A51 5G is the cheapest phone from Samsung to offer 5G connectivity, as the Korean giant pushes forward in its aim of making the new mobile network standard more mainstream, so the 5G support is obviously the first major reason why I would get this phone. The other is that Exynos 980 processor sitting under the hood. The LTE Galaxy A51 is powered by the Exynos 9611, which is adequate for the segment but far from a very powerful chip.
The Galaxy A51 5G, on the other hand, benefits from a newer, more efficient, and more powerful processor, an upgrade it received purely because it had to support 5G networks. I have yet to test the Exynos 980 properly, but needless to say that its performance — especially in games — is what you would expect from a phone in a higher segment, like the Galaxy A71.
The rest of the package is the same as the regular Galaxy A51, and that means a beautiful display, excellent software, a good-looking design, and all-day battery life. The A51 is the most well rounded affordable mid-range phone from Samsung on retail shelves, and the A51 5G’s faster connectivity and performance make the deal even better.
Galaxy A41: Compact phones are a rarity, and that makes the A40 special
Compact phones are on their way out. Every manufacturer is pushing larger and larger displays, and while that’s great for many, it’s a curse for others. The slim bezels on phones these days allows them to be more sensibly sized despite big displays, but no one is really making a compact phone anymore.
Samsung doesn’t do it too often, either: Usually, the only easily available compact phone in its arsenal is the smallest model of each Galaxy S — and, since last year, Galaxy Note — lineup. But those demand a hefty price, which is why Samsung decided to include the Galaxy A40 as a compact option among the many mid-range Galaxy A series phones it launched last year.
The Galaxy A41 is the successor to the Galaxy A40, and as we said in our review, it gets a lot right. But the compact design is the main draw – the display has grown by around 0.2 inches compared to the A40, but the A41 is great for one-handed use nonetheless. And the 6.1-inch screen is still big enough for enjoying videos, playing games, and browsing the web, so you’re not losing out on the actual viewing experience in the pursuit of a phone that you can easily fit in your pockets and, of course, your hand.
Galaxy A31: A near-Galaxy A51 experience with longer battery life
The Galaxy A31 is the phone for those who aren’t willing to spend on a Galaxy A51, and I’d buy it for that beautiful AMOLED display, fancy in-display fingerprint sensor (which is also present on the A41), the great battery life, and the versatile camera setup. All positives that I already mentioned in my Galaxy A31 review, and after the A51, this is the second best all-rounder phone that doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket.
What I wouldn’t get the Galaxy A31 — or the Galaxy A41, for that matter — is the gaming performance. I said it in our review, and I’ll say it again: Do not get the A31 if you play PUBG, Call of Duty, or a similarly graphics-intensive title. General performance is more or less the same as the Galaxy A51, but gaming is where the A31 completely falls apart.
Thankfully, I don’t play mobile games outside of testing them as part of my work, so the poor gaming performance on the A31 wouldn’t matter to me. And if you don’t, either, then the A31 is a great alternative to the Galaxy A51, especially if you prefer long battery life over how fluidly you can slew your opponents in PUBG.
The Galaxy A21s is the most affordable of the phones we’re talking about here, and it shows. It has an LCD display with a measly HD+ resolution, a processor that’s purely about efficiency, and basic software without most of the neat One UI features that you can enjoy on pricier Galaxy phones.
And that leaves the 5,000 mAh battery as its main attraction. Samsung has other phones with 5,000 mAh batteries and even some devices with 6,000 mAh batteries, but the A21s has a lower display resolution than all of them and the new Exynos 850 processor that’s more technically efficient, which should allow its 5,000 mAh battery to offer epic endurance.