12.5 C
New York
Friday, December 18, 2020
Home News Battle of the mid-ranges: Galaxy A51 vs. Pixel 3a

Battle of the mid-ranges: Galaxy A51 vs. Pixel 3a

Entertainment champ

Samsung Galaxy A51


$400 at Samsung


  • Eye-catching design
  • Large AMOLED display
  • 128GB of expandable storage
  • Four rear cameras
  • 4,000 mAh battery


  • Occasionally laggy performance
  • Exclusive to Sprint and Verizon
  • Camera not great in low light

With a large AMOLED display, four rear cameras, and a visually striking backside, the Galaxy A51 is certainly one of the most eye-catching mid-range phones out there. The 4,000 mAh battery will ensure you get to keep using the phone for hours on end without needing to charge up, and additions like a headphone jack and expandable storage are always great to have.

Unmatched camera

Google Pixel 3a


$379 at Amazon


  • Excellent 12MP rear camera
  • Smooth, reliable performance
  • Guaranteed updates through May 2022
  • Now Playing and Active Edge
  • Can be used on any U.S. carrier


  • No expandable storage
  • Dated design
  • Older phone

The Pixel 3a may look a bit dull compared next to the Galaxy A51, but it still has plenty to offer. Outside of the more boring design and larger display bezels, the Pixel 3a continues to deliver the very best camera you’ll find in this price range. Whether you’re shooting in broad daylight or nighttime, pictures look incredible. You also get smooth performance, up-to-date software, and more.

The Galaxy A51 and Pixel 3a both bring unique offerings to the mid-tier smartphone space, meaning each one is worth considering. We’d argue that the Galaxy A51 is the better choice if you’re doing a lot of content consumption, largely thanks to its superior AMOLED display, large battery, and support for expandable storage. However, if you’d rather have a top-notch camera and software that you know is always up-to-date, the Pixel 3a is the better buy. There’s also the subject of availability, with the Galaxy A51 only being sold on Sprint and Verizon while the Pixel 3a is sold unlocked and can be used on any U.S. carrier.

The Galaxy A51’s display and battery are hard to ignore


Samsung’s mid-range smartphone offerings used to be rather disappointing, but in recent years, the company has turned things around and gotten back on track. The Galaxy A51 is another example of that, offering a high-quality Android experience at a very affordable price.

One of the best things about the A51 is its display. On the technical side of things, it’s a 6.5-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 2400×1080. In real-world use, that means the A51’s screen looks fantastic. Colors are vibrant, everything is nice and crisp, and there are very slim bezels surrounding it. The centered hole-punch cutout is also quite minimal and doesn’t distract too much from the actual display.

Operating System One UI 2.0 Android 10 Android 10
Display 6.5-inch Super AMOLED 2400×1080 5.6-inch OLED 2220×1080
Processor Samsung Exynos 9611 Qualcomm Snapdragon 670
Storage 128GB 64GB
Expandable Storage Up to 512GB
Rear Camera 1 48MP primary camera f/2.0 12.2MP primary camera f/1.8
Rear Camera 2 12MP ultra-wide camera f/2.2
Rear Camera 3 5MP macro camera f/2.4
Rear Camera 4 5MP portrait camera f/2.2
Front Camera 32MP f/2.2 8MP f/2.0
Battery 4,000 mAh 3,000 mAh
Charging 15W wired charging 18W wired charging
Security In-screen fingerprint sensor Capacitive fingerprint sensor
Audio Mono speaker 3.5mm headphone jack Stereo speakers 3.5mm headphone jack
Dimensions 158.5 x 73.6 x 7.9mm 51.3 x 70.1 x 8.2mm
Weight 172g 147g


Samsung also went all-out with the Galaxy A51’s cameras, giving users a total of four sensors to choose from — a 48MP primary camera, 12MP ultra-wide camera, 5MP macro camera, and 5MP portrait camera. You’ll get the best shots out of the 48MP lens, which takes great photos when ample lighting is available yet struggles a bit in low-light situations. The quality of the other cameras isn’t the best we’ve ever seen, but at least having the option to take ultra-wide and macro shots is nice if that’s something you’re interested in.

While you’re playing around with the A51, battery life won’t be a major concern. The 4,000 mAh battery packed inside allows for long-lasting endurance, and it does so without bulking up the phone too much. Combine all of that with 128GB of storage, a microSD card slot for expansion up to 512GB, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a gorgeous back design, and a lot is going for the A51. Performance does tend to be a bit laggy at times, but if you can overlook that for all of the other features, it’s a pretty strong device.

Camera quality is unmatched on the Pixel 3a


At first glance, it can be easy to overlook the Pixel 3a when comparing it to the Galaxy A51. Not only is its design more boring and outdated, but it’s also been on the market for quite a while longer. However, you’d be silly not to give the phone a chance.

If the big draw to the Galaxy A51 is its display, the main reason to check out the Pixel 3a is its rear camera. You only get a single 12.2MP lens on the 3a, but overall image quality is better in just about every way. Whether you’re taking pictures at day or night, the phone manages to churn out shots that look incredible. Simply put, there’s no competition for a camera this good on a phone that’s this cheap.


That’s not all the Pixel 3a has to offer, though. Android 10 is clean and uncluttered on the phone, and since this is a Pixel, it’s first in line for any major software updates and security patches. Google guarantees updates for the Pixel 3a through May 2022, meaning you still have a couple of years of top-notch software support. We also really like some of the extra features Google throws in, such as Active Edge and Now Playing (the former allows you to squeeze the phone to trigger the Google Assistant, the latter automatically detects songs playing in the background and shows them on your lock screen).

We’ve found that performance is also better on the Pixel 3a, which runs smooth and without any lag, unlike the Galaxy A51. There’s no option for expandable storage here, but you do still get a headphone jack.

Buy the phone that suits your needs the best

As you can see, both the Galaxy A51 and Pixel 3a are solid purchases — it just depends on where your wants/needs lie.

With the Galaxy A51, this is a phone that’s just fun to use. The bezel-less and vibrant display looks fantastic, having so many rear cameras allows for tons of shooting possibilities, and there’s plenty of storage (both onboard and expandable) for loading the phone up with apps, games, movies, etc. Performance is weaker than we’d like to see and there’s the issue of the Sprint and Verizon exclusivity, but if you can work around those two things, this is a very good phone.

Then there’s the Pixel 3a, which doesn’t have as modern of a design but downright crushes it in the camera department. It also doesn’t have the performance issues of the Galaxy A51, offers one of the best software experiences out there, and isn’t restricted to any one carrier.

Whichever phone sounds like it meets your needs the best, buy away and enjoy it!

Entertainment champ

Samsung Galaxy A51


Looks great and lasts forever

$400 at Samsung
$400 at Best Buy

The Galaxy A51 is a minor improvement over last year’s A50, but that’s not a bad thing by any means. With a large and vibrant AMOLED display, a generous 4,000 mAh battery, and expandable storage that goes up to 512GB, the A51 has everything you need for keeping yourself entertained.

Unmatched camera

Google Pixel 3a


Take great photos — day or night

$379 at Amazon
$400 at Best Buy

Hands-down, the most impressive thing about the Pixel 3a is its camera. Pictures taken with the phone can go toe-to-toe with much more expensive flagships, and considering the 3a’s price, that’s darn impressive. Along with that, the phone also delivers smooth performance and excellent software.


DUEX Pro adds a second 12.5-inch monitor to your laptop

Few things can provide a boost to your productivity like a secondary display. If you’ve ever tried it, you know just how frustrating it can be moving back to a single screen.Buying a second monitor can be costly, and take up a fair amount of space. What’s more, if you live a portable lifestyle, you’ll end up leaving that screen behind when you head to the library or coffee shop.If you’ve ever pondered what it’s like to have a second screen for your laptop or Chromebook, wonder no more. The Mobile Pixels DUEX Pro is a portable dual monitor that connects directly to your favorite laptop, giving you an extra 12.5-inch HD screen.Whether it’s photo editing, blogging, working on a term paper, or just managing emails and social media, you’ll appreciate the extra real estate.Simply connect the DUEX Pro to the back of your laptop, plug it in via USB, and slide out the secondary display. The DUEX Pro’s hinge provides up to 270° of rotation, which means you can adjust the monitor to the exact position that works for you. You can even rotate the display to the back of your laptop screen and use it for presentations and conference.Get Yours Now!The Mobile Pixels DUEX Pro is normally priced about $250, but you can grab one for just $179.35, or about 28% off! Simply enter the promo code SAVEDUEXPRO at checkout and you’ll save big!Best SellersSave even more!For every $25 you spend in the AG Deals Store you get $1 credit added to your account. And, if you refer the deal via social media or an email that results in a purchase, you’ll earn $10 credit in your account.First Time Buying?If this is your first time buying, you are also eligible for 10% discount! Just be sure to subscribe for email updates.Free StuffNot looking to spend any money today? No worries. You can still visit the AndroidGuys section for freebies and pick something anyhow.

Amazfit Band 5 review

DesignThe Amazfit Band 5 is a budget-minded fitness tracker with a design similar to many that have come before it. The main tracker consists of a 1.1-inch full-color AMOLED touchscreen display in a polycarbonate case that houses all the sensors. To hold it on your wrist the Band 5 uses a black soft-touch adjustable TPU band.Of course, the band is replaceable if you prefer something more colorful and a quick search on Amazon revealed myriad colors to choose from.Finding a comfortable fit was easy thanks to the copious amount of holes on the included band, and combined with the lightweight nature of the Band 5, I could barely tell it was there after strapping it on.User ExperienceI’m coming from a Wear OS smartwatch and I found that the Amazfit Band 5 gave me many of the same features I was accustomed to along with some new ones. For starters, most watch faces will display the time and date, along with your step count or heart rate that the Band 5 monitors 24-hours a day.Plus, the store has a wide variety of styles to choose from, including some that display additional info, such as the weather, distance walked, calories burned, and more.Additionally, the Band 5 offers more functions, such as automatically tracking your sleep, checking your blood oxygen level on demand, monitoring your stress levels, and it can even track 11 different sports including swimming. The 5 ATM waterproof rating helps out with that last one.Just be aware, many of these monitoring features must be enabled manually using the accompanying Zepp app, including viewing notifications on the Band 5. In fact, even after enabling notifications, you still need to manually select which apps you will get notified from.It’s kind of a big undertaking to get the Band 5 set up initially. The app has so many options that it can feel a bit daunting to sift through them all and make sure you enabled everything you want. Plus, there are many features present in the app that are not compatible with the watch, such as the ones meant for the smart scale, and it quickly becomes cluttered and a little confusing.For example, it took me a couple of days to find where to set up support for Alexa. Furthermore, it’s not helped by the fact that some of the English translations are a little off, in some areas of the app it’s very apparent a native English speaker wasn’t present when translating.However, once you get the app and Band 5 set up, you won’t have to go digging around anymore. The Zepp app puts all of your pertinent details front and center, and it makes keeping up with all of your stats quick and easy.Overall, I guess you could say I have a love/hate relationship with the Zepp app. I love the way it displays all of my health data, but navigating and setting it up is quite the chore in the beginning. The good news is, Google Fit syncing is supported in case you don’t like the app or you’d rather view all your data from multiple devices or services in one app.I mentioned above that the Amazfit Band 5 gives me most of the functions I’m accustomed to with a Wear OS watch, however, one I didn’t realize I’d miss so much is an always-on display.The Band 5 doesn’t have support for this and the lift to wake feature requires quite an exaggerated flip unless you enable the “sensitive” option in the settings. This made me wish there was at least some sort of tap to wake function because I don’t always want to flip my wrist to view the time or my stats for the day. Regardless, it’s a sacrifice for extended battery life and I understand that.Battery LifeSpeaking of battery life, Amazfit estimates the Band 5 will get you up to 15-days worth of usage. In my experience, that’s a big stretch, I’m sure the Band 5 is technically capable of providing 15-days of usage, but it would be a very limited use case.In my experience, with everything enabled and taking full advantage of the fitness tracker, it lasted around eight to nine days. That’s still not bad at all, you can get a full weeks worth of usage in between charges. Still, it’s a far cry from 15 days.Final ThoughtsThe Amazfit Band 5 is a capable little fitness tracker that is much more affordable than a comparable Fitbit. It has some unique features that truly make it stand out at this price point such as Alexa support and an SPO2 sensor. Still, the app could use a little polish and a more organized design, but once you get it all set up you’ll pretty much live on the homepage anyway.The Amazfit Band 5 retails for $50 but it can currently be picked up on sale for $30 from Amazon, B&H Photo, or on the Amazfit website.Buy from Amazfit Buy from Amazon Buy from B&H Photo

Channel your inner guitar virtuoso with the Jamstik, just $199

Looking to figure out how to play the guitar, but not necessarily ready to invest in a guitar just yet? While that might sound like a goofy concept, it’s not an unrealistic one. The Jamstik Guitar Trainer, on sale for $199, is exactly the sort of thing that makes that a reality.Around since 2015, the Jamstik was a CES hit when it first hit the scene, picking up numerous awards and accolades. And for good reason; it’s a digital device that makes learning and playing the analog guitar easier than ever.The hi-tech unit looks, acts, and feels just like a guitar fretboard, and pairs to a companion app. Using your phone, it can help you with feedback, tutorials, lessons, and more.The compact device (18 inches) is highly portable and is better than ever. Indeed, the 2020 version picks up a few new features as well as a sleek matte finish.Jamstik FeaturesUpdated Tactile D-Pad & spring loaded strings for a more realistic feelSee your fingers on screen in real-time with the Jamstick appCompanion app is also packed with chords & instructions18″ size lets you practice anywhereOrder Yours!Purchase your Jamstik today for just $199 and get to learning guitar for the new year. That way, when the pandemic is over you can be the rock star you’ve always dreamed of becoming.Best SellersEarn Credits!For every $25 you spend in the AG Deals Store you get $1 credit added to your account. And, if you refer the deal via social media or an email that results in a purchase, you’ll earn $10 credit in your account.First Time Buying?If this is your first time buying, you are also eligible for 10% discount! Just be sure to subscribe for email updates.Free StuffNot looking to spend any money today? No worries. You can still visit the AndroidGuys section for freebies and pick something anyhow.

Last chance to order Apple Watch Series 6 for delivery in time for Christmas

With a new screen, faster processor, and monitoring for ECG as well as blood oxygen, this is the best Apple Watch yet.