The Galaxy A51 and A71 that got announced at the start of the year usher in Samsung's new language when it comes to rear camera design. Like it or not, oversized rectangular clusters in the top left corner that group all shooters under the same roof is how the company's phones will adapt to the ever growing number of modules. The Galaxy A51 we have here, packs a total of four cameras on its back.
The assembly is raised by about a millimeter, but that doesn't make it particularly prone to wobbling, if that's a concern to you. The flash also found room with the cameras, and with a fingerprint reader missing on the back, the camera bump is the one thing that breaks the back panel's continuity.
Samsung designers figured an accent is then in order, and spiced things up with a rather unique finish. A seemingly arbitrary diagonal line separates a fine-striped bottom part from the solid top, while another diagonal line divides the back into a darker and a lighter portion. The two diagonals intersect, forming an 'X' of sorts with four different resulting quadrants.
And that's before the phone starts playing with light. Our Prism Crush Black review unit explodes in an entire rainbow of colors if you look at it under the right angle. Going by the official renders, we can see a hint of that rainbow regardless of the colorway. We do like the look, though if it were up to us, we'd pick one of the brighter colors.
For all its good looks, the Galaxy A51's back panel is made of plastic, so we wouldn't trust it to be too durable - a sheet of Gorilla Glass would have inspired a bit more confidence. The front does get some of Corning's 3rd-gen glass, so at least your display should be safer.
It's an Infinity-O panel that sits on the A51's front, meaning a mostly bezelless and notchless display, but with a tiny circular cutout for the selfie cam. It's a look that we're familiar with from the Note10s of this world and it's apparently another one of the company's signature touches for the time being.
As for the bezels, the A51 is a noticeable step up from the A50, with the chin now being a lot thinner. The top and the sides are even slimmer, but more importantly they're the same thickness too, which should please those of you that pay attention to small details. As was the case with the A50, the Galaxy A51 has a slit up top for the earpiece, carved into the glass.
The phone's frame is made of plastic, same as last year, and much like the A50, the A51's physical buttons are all on the right - what was the point of the whole 'buttons on the left' switcheroo we saw on the Note10? The buttons themselves have decent travel, but they do click a bit less satisfyingly if you press them off-center.
On the left side of the phone, way up towards the top, you'll find the card tray. On our dual SIM review unit, it'll take two nano SIMs and a microSD all at the same time so you don't have to pick between extra storage and an extra SIM.
Down on the bottom, there's the USB-C port in the center. A headphone jack sits on one side, the loudspeaker and the primary mic on the other. Up top there's another mic and that's about it.
The Galaxy A51 measures 158.5x73.6x7.9mm and weighs 172g making it one of the more pocketable offerings in the segment. It's thinner and narrower than the Realme X2 and competing Xiaomis (the Mi 9T and Redmi Note 8 Pro, to name a couple) and it's also lighter while still packing a 4,000mAh battery. It is, in fact, surprisingly slim and light in the hand.