Buyer’s guide. IPhone SE 2020 vs Galaxy A51 comparison


The idea for this comparison came from life, as very often I heard a number of statements about the iPhone SE 2020, which cut the ear:

  • Excellent working time
  • Fast charging, if not instant
  • Screen without bezels
  • Best-in-class display
  • Best value for money
  • The most affordable smartphone with such cool specs
  • A reference camera that outperforms similar Android devices
  • The fastest smartphone, overtakes any Android smartphone (Tim Cook said so personally).

I have not seen such a number of misconceptions as regarding the iPhone SE 2020, and they come from both ordinary users and Apple representatives, for example, from the same Tim Cook.

Usually, the comparison involves devices of the same class, with the same positioning. But the problem with the iPhone SE is that it’s an inexpensive, budget device that sells for a grossly inflated price. To appreciate this point, you need to compare the iPhone SE with a product that is significantly cheaper. There is such a popular model on the market as Samsung Galaxy A51, it is one of the best Android smartphones in terms of price / quality ratio, it is a bestseller. Its price is just half that of the iPhone SE. And therefore, the comparison will be unfair in relation to the Galaxy A51, this is a device of a different level, and it would be strange to expect it to perform at the same level as the iPhone SE. But let’s try to take a close look at all the features and characteristics in order to understand where the iPhone SE wins, how much better it is and how it manifests itself. Go!


  1. Design, body materials and device perception
  2. Comparing screens – IPS vs AMOLED
  3. Battery, chargers, wireless charging
  4. Камеры
  5. Dual SIM – Apple and Samsung Approach
  6. Memory – who saves and who does not
  7. Device performance – equal or not?
  8. Communication quality, LTE and SAR value
  9. Unique capabilities of each device
  10. Conclusion of this comparison

Design, body materials and device perception

Each generation of smartphones has a specific design language associated with the present. Once phones were copied by Nokia, then there was the time of the iPhone, today many devices are mixed to the point of indecency, they look plus or minus the same, this also applies to the iPhone. In this aspect, the iPhone SE can safely be considered different from others, someone is trying to call it a classic.

Buyer's guide. IPhone SE 2020 vs Galaxy A51 comparisonBuyer's guide. IPhone SE 2020 vs Galaxy A51 comparison

Huge frames around the screen, a fingerprint sensor on the front panel – all this is a legacy of the distant past, today such devices do not create. It reminds me of a 90-year-old grandmother’s romance with a young man, when he chooses the “classics” because she is smart, experienced and, perhaps, charming. Minus only in age. You need to be a very strong personality to go out with your “grandmother” and proudly declare that this is your choice. Something similar can be said about the classic design of the iPhone SE, it is outdated and hopelessly outdated.

In this aspect, the Galaxy A51 is the complete opposite of the SE, it is a regular device of the current generation: a front camera inscribed in the screen, the maximum display area on the front surface, a block of main cameras of four modules. In short, this is a typical representative of modern smartphones. And then the question is, what do you choose, modernity or gray-haired traditions of antiquity.

Buyer's guide. IPhone SE 2020 vs Galaxy A51 comparison

According to the case materials, the situation looks like this: in the iPhone SE this is glass on the back surface and, of course, on the screen. Aluminum frame, everything is quite familiar and simple.

Buyer's guide. IPhone SE 2020 vs Galaxy A51 comparisonBuyer's guide. IPhone SE 2020 vs Galaxy A51 comparisonBuyer's guide. IPhone SE 2020 vs Galaxy A51 comparisonBuyer's guide. IPhone SE 2020 vs Galaxy A51 comparison

The Galaxy A51 has a plastic case (glastic is a combination of glass and plastic), it is a material that is very resistant to impacts, scratches, and a graphic pattern is applied to the case.

Buyer's guide. IPhone SE 2020 vs Galaxy A51 comparisonBuyer's guide. IPhone SE 2020 vs Galaxy A51 comparison

In the perception of an ordinary person, the iPhone SE wins in terms of materials, here glass and metal. The attitude to plastic is such that it is horror-horror. But plastic is often more practical, it can withstand falls better, as well as the Galaxy in general survives falls more often, for any iPhone falls are an extreme situation, they beat noticeably more often. I don’t even want to talk about the cost of repairs in the case of an iPhone, exactly the same cosmic price, even in an unofficial service.

Buyer's guide. IPhone SE 2020 vs Galaxy A51 comparison

It is often stated that the iPhone SE is a very compact device, but this is not entirely true. The dimensions of the smartphone are 138.4×67.3×7.3 mm, and the weight is 148 grams. Against this background, the Galaxy A51 is larger, but its ergonomics are no worse, in many respects better (videos, web pages, everything except calls) – 158.5×73.6×7.9 mm, weight 172 grams. The Galaxy line has a compact A41, which is closer to the iPhone SE in terms of its dimensions (ergonomics are very close – 149.9×69.8×7.9 mm, weight 152 grams).

Buyer's guide. IPhone SE 2020 vs Galaxy A51 comparison

The iPhone SE model is good for those who only make calls, write a few messages, but do not watch videos, web pages – this can be done, but it does not bring pleasure. Compactness here is a serious advantage only for those who call and at the same time do not do it all the time (the battery is a flaw, since it is scanty for this device). While the Galaxy A51 is large enough, it is the flip side of the large screen size. And then the question is what people choose. If you follow the sales both in the market and in the iPhone line, then the choice tends towards a larger screen diagonal, this is perceived as an important parameter. And here is the next point in our comparison.

Comparing screens – IPS vs AMOLED

For years, iPhone fans have argued that the best screens are IPS panels, while AMOLED is something they will never get their hands on. Starting with the iPhone X, Apple’s flagships have been putting AMOLED screens from Samsung; in the minds of the company’s fans, they have suddenly transformed into completely different screens, which are better, more accurate and cooler in everything than those that Samsung puts into its own products. Conscious aberrations are funny and show the flexibility of these guys.

The dispute about which is better, IPS or AMOLED, has long been resolved, the color rendition on AMOLED screens is better, there are no flaws (they do not fade), the customization options are wider. Therefore, all flagships today use such screens, and Samsung has made them available in even entry-level and mid-range models, that is, you get flagship technology in the base models, and this is a huge advantage. For Apple, this is an expensive technology, the company cannot afford such screens even in a model costing 40 rubles. Let me remind you that the Galaxy A000 costs half the price.

Buyer's guide. IPhone SE 2020 vs Galaxy A51 comparison

Those who claim that a small screen is good do not play games, do not watch videos, do not browse pages, do not read from the screen.

Buyer's guide. IPhone SE 2020 vs Galaxy A51 comparison

A modern smartphone is different applications and calls are not in the first place for many here. Therefore, a small screen is always a minus, the exception is a small group of users. The photo above clearly shows how small the screen loses in size – 4.7 inches versus 6.5 inches.

The screen resolution in SE is HD, you can find such screens in a small number of budget smartphones, usually FullHD + resolution. So, in the A51 the resolution is 1080×2400 pixels versus 750×1334 pixels (20: 9, 405 ppi versus 19: 9, 326 ppi).

The huge bezels on the screen make it obsolete, which is a huge disadvantage in terms of both design and use.

Buyer's guide. IPhone SE 2020 vs Galaxy A51 comparison

The low resolution of the screen in the iPhone SE, as well as the use of an IPS matrix with a low refresh rate, lead to several unpleasant consequences. When scrolling lists with text, you need to limit the scrolling speed, otherwise the fonts will begin to blur and an unpleasant visual effect will arise. Therefore, the iPhone SE has limited scrolling speed, it is noticeably lower than that of the Galaxy A51 (yes, I remember that SE has the fastest processor on the planet, but this is not enough to make a good smartphone).

Now let’s look at the capabilities of the screens. So, the iPhone has support for True Tone, that is, the screen settings are adjusted to the external lighting conditions (in Galaxy, this is the choice of the color profile, which is clearly better, since the result is predictable and clearly visible).

Buyer's guide. IPhone SE 2020 vs Galaxy A51 comparisonBuyer's guide. IPhone SE 2020 vs Galaxy A51 comparison

There is a blue filter in both models, there are no differences.

For those who do not want to use glasses, large fonts are needed – here the Galaxy A51 wins, since the screen is larger and it allows you to display information on a different scale.

Buyer's guide. IPhone SE 2020 vs Galaxy A51 comparisonBuyer's guide. IPhone SE 2020 vs Galaxy A51 comparison

Screen-to-face ratio is what all manufacturers are fighting for, and Apple started the race. In SE it is 65.4%, in A51 – 87.4%. No comments are needed here.

Now about the unique feature of the Samsung screen, this is AlwaysOn Display – the ability to show the clock and notifications when the device is turned off.

Buyer's guide. IPhone SE 2020 vs Galaxy A51 comparisonBuyer's guide. IPhone SE 2020 vs Galaxy A51 comparison

The feature is very useful and captivating, you can set your own picture, calendar, the number of settings is quite large. And even the older models do not have any of this in the iPhone, for the company it is too expensive. Classic? As for me, this is the impossibility of being in the market, providing solutions that are widely available in competing products.

In the end, I can say that just one screen is enough to smudge the iPhone SE for its characteristics at twice the cost. But these are not all the shortcomings of the device from Apple, there are many more of them, so we continue to compare these two so different models.

Battery, chargers, wireless charging

Apple is used to wiping their feet on their customers; they have to pay for every sneeze. If there are no additional costs, then this is definitely not an Apple product. The iPhone SE comes with a charger that has been familiar from other products of the company for many years (5W, 5V / 1A). Want fast charging? Pay about 5 rubles for a plug and a new wire, as the old one will not work. And for that money, you get 000W charging, fast charging! Super!

The Galaxy A51 comes with 15W fast charging, so you don’t have to buy another charger separately.

Buyer's guide. IPhone SE 2020 vs Galaxy A51 comparisonBuyer's guide. IPhone SE 2020 vs Galaxy A51 comparison

Apple’s economy and the company’s greed are legendary. This is the only manufacturer that competes with budget manufacturers for components that have already been released. So, the battery in the iPhone SE 2020 has a capacity of 1821 mAh, while on the market 4000 mAh batteries are typical for our time (such as in the A51). No optimization of the processor, chipset or software can turn such a dead battery into something worthy. And that’s even with such a small screen and low resolution.

What are modern people doing? For example, they watch YouTube. The average viewing time on the iPhone SE will be 4-4.5 hours. On the Galaxy A51 – about twice as long! And this despite the fact that the screen is much more comfortable and brighter. In games, the power consumption of the SE is also noticeably higher.

In general, with moderate use, the iPhone SE will survive daylight hours and the battery is dead. If we talk about the Galaxy A51, then in the same scenarios it will work 1.5-2 times more (the question is whether the adaptive mode is enabled or not). Here, the loss of the iPhone SE is so obvious that one is simply amazed. Such a dead battery has not been in modern smartphones for a long time.

Charging times are also a disadvantage for the iPhone SE. Standard charging charges it fully in 2.5 hours, in 1.5 hours you get 80% charge. It’s just a classic! If you buy an 18W charger, then you will get 82% in an hour, a full charge in 2 hours. In the Galaxy A51, a complete charge in one hour gives 75% of the charge, in 100 minutes – a full charge (measurement for this comparison on the same network).


The iPhone SE has one main camera module, while Samsung has four of them (regular, wide-angle, macro, to blur the background). SE fans often argue that Samsung’s cameras are inoperable, fake, and generally very poorly filmed. Let’s take a look at Samsung’s “non-working” as well as “useless” modules to see how they can shoot against the backdrop of the “camera-best” iPhone SE, which costs twice as much.

So here’s a shot of a flower, just wanted to take a photo of the pollen.

These are shots using a separate macro module. Let’s see how the iPhone SE can handle this.

Doesn’t know how. And this is understandable, since the focal length of the camera is completely different and it is simply not intended for macro photography at such distances. It so happens that you are limited by the capabilities of iron and can not do absolutely anything. But you can shoot beautiful colors, a kind of abstraction.

Okay, let’s say it’s unfair to offend the flaws of the iPhone SE and Apple’s camera savings. Let’s take a look at how the main camera captures common scenes on the Galaxy and iPhone. Flowers in the flowerbed.

These are two images from the Find the Ten Differences series. If you peer for a long time, then you will probably see something, but for most of them these are definitely the same images (in the Galaxy, the 12 megapixel mode, did not set the resolution to 48 megapixels, since it has noticeably higher detail).

In the photo of the pig, both devices also worked plus or minus the same. Surprise? Although each has its own drawbacks, the iPhone has a digital back, Samsung has a smeared mushroom edge. But essentially the same thing.

We are having heavy rains, and here is a photo of the spillway. Galaxy wins in color and detail.

The milestone, the color rendition is noticeably brighter on Samsung, the picture is playing.

This does not mean that the iPhone always loses in terms of color rendition, for example, here I like the SE picture better, but this is rather a rarity, it does not happen often.

And here’s another module on the Galaxy A51 that allows you to take wide-angle shots.

Alas, the single camera in the iPhone SE is not capable of taking wide-angle shots, it is simply impossible. And to argue that a single camera easily replaces those multiple cameras in the Galaxy A51 is somewhat naive.

But the pictures on the front camera make those who use the iPhone regret, the SE left the 7 megapixel camera, it has poor detail, poor color reproduction. See for yourself by looking at my unshaven face.

In absentia, I believed that at least in the camera, the iPhone SE would show something like that, which costs 40 thousand rubles. But here it turns out that he can do much less than the Galaxy A51, which costs half as much. Yes, and removes no better, and often the same or even worse. So believe after that those who argued that this device is much more interesting and better in terms of the camera, despite the fact that there is only one module. One module, they said, but what a! So now I’m interested in finding out which module is there and how it stands out so much.

The video is better in the iPhone SE, in my opinion, the sound recording on a windy day looks bad on both models.

Dual SIM – Apple and Samsung Approach

In China, the iPhone SE has a slot for two nanoSIM cards, in Russia and other countries – only one. True, there is an eSIM, but for the mass consumer this is not yet the option that is needed and available. The Galaxy A51 has two SIM cards, you can use them at the same time, there are no restrictions.

Buyer's guide. IPhone SE 2020 vs Galaxy A51 comparison

Memory – who saves and who does not

The base version of the iPhone SE has 64GB of internal storage, no memory cards are provided. The amount of RAM is 3 GB.

In the Galaxy A51, the base version is 4/64 GB, plus it is possible to expand the memory using a microSD memory card (up to 512 GB). For those who want more RAM, there is an option for 6/128 GB, there are no options for a model with more RAM in the iPhone, and, probably, they are pointless, since the screen imposes strong restrictions on the entire system.

Device performance – equal or not?

Tim Cook proudly stated that the iPhone SE is much faster than all Android smartphones. And it’s true, in synthetic tests the A13 Bionic processor shows excellent results. But what does this have to do with real life? The scrolling speed of the lists is lower on the iPhone SE (in the section about the display there is an explanation why this is so), opening and working in applications on both models is, plus or minus, the same. There is no difference, much less the advantage of the iPhone. But we’ll talk about this in a separate article or video, so as not to expand this material indefinitely.

Communication quality, LTE and SAR value

Looking at the supported frequency bands on the iPhone, it is almost the ideal travel phone, it will work anywhere in the world at maximum speeds. The Galaxy A51 has smaller frequencies, but they are optimized for Russia, and the aggregation is also tuned to deliver the maximum speed within the country.

Why is Apple generous with such a modem? The answer is obvious – this is economy, the solution is taken from the flagships. In practice, if you don’t drive all the time, you just don’t need it. At the same time, the quality of the radio part is typical for the latest generation of iPhone, it is low, and this is compensated by the bulging of power (this is not a solution from Qualcomm). Which immediately affects the SAR value (effect on the body, heating).

The SAR values ​​are as follows:

  • Head – 0.98 W / kg (SE), 0.37 W / kg (A51)
  • Body – 0.99 W / kg (SE), 1.59 W / kg (A51)

Here again, the difference is quite telling, under operating conditions at the human head, the antenna in A51 radiates in the other direction in order to minimize the influence and reduce the power without losing the quality of the connection. On the iPhone, no one thought about that. The radiation in other modes in Samsung, on the contrary, is higher, since it is believed that it is often not a body, but a bag or something else.

Please note that using the iPhone SE as an external modem is pointless, the battery in this device is dead. Therefore, you should not take it on trips as an external router, or you can do it out of despair.

Unique capabilities of each device

It would be wrong to say that these models do not have unique features. With the difference in cost between them, the benefit of the iPhone SE in terms of the number of features that distinguish it should be huge, based on the cost, this is a product of a different class. So, what’s in the iPhone SE:

  • 5W wireless charging (very slow despite the size of the battery)
  • IP67 water protection (very cool and nice to have it).
  • Now, let’s list what makes the Galaxy A51 stand out:
  • AMOLED screen, including AlwaysOn Display
  • 3.5 mm jack for headset or headphones
  • FM radio
  • Four cameras in the main unit – a modern solution to another level
  • In-screen fingerprint sensor (better physical in the iPhone), the presence of face recognition (in the iPhone SE it is not).

It makes no sense to count point by point what is important to you and what does not matter. Everyone has their own opinion on these points, someone needs protection from water, someone considers it unimportant. Here everyone looks at their experience and capabilities.

Conclusion of this comparison

This comparison is absolutely unfair in relation to the Galaxy A51, this device costs significantly less than the iPhone SE, in Russia the difference in cost is two times – 20 thousand against 40 thousand rubles. That is, for the price of an iPhone SE, you can buy two Galaxy A51s!

Buyer's guide. IPhone SE 2020 vs Galaxy A51 comparison

And it seemed to me that for that kind of money, Apple could give something modern to its customers, but, alas, this did not happen. A dead battery, an outdated and small screen, a terrible quality front camera (classic!), One main camera that shoots the same as in the A51, and does not have wide-angle shots, macro photography, and so on. In short, when you buy an iPhone SE, you get fewer opportunities to take photos and share the emotions that surround you.

The price of the iPhone SE should be equal to the cost of the Galaxy A51, since the device is worse in almost all aspects (better materials, there is water resistance, but all this is not worth that much money). Even if you add the cost of the Apple brand, then the price cannot exceed 25 thousand rubles. This is a budget, outdated device, Apple makes money on it twice, robbing those who are not ready to pay for flagships. Poor, outdated charger included. In a word, a classic, a kind of 90-year-old woman with a denture and a perky smile. Apple has turned out to be the perfect model for those who cannot afford to buy the flagship of previous years (yes, at least the iPhone X), believes that the company provides the latest and cool technologies. But this is not the case. This model is for those who do not understand anything. Make them overpay twice the real price of such a product. I applaud Apple, so you need to be able to cut your loyal customers, this is the highest class.

PS Considering that the Galaxy A51 is so inexpensive and puts the iPhone SE on the blades, it makes no sense to compare the latter with older models, for example, the Galaxy S10, this device will simply tear the iPhone SE to shreds, they differ like heaven and earth. And Apple’s classics don’t stand a chance against a modern smartphone.

I would love to hear well-reasoned, detailed comments from Apple fans who will explain why this comparison is unfair, the iPhone SE is fresh, new, and not old. Let the battle begin in the comments!

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