The cheapest carrier-locked 5G smartphone in the US
is finally available in an unlocked variant after making its international debut a while ago and recently being released on T-Mobile, Metro by T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T.
Unsurprisingly, the mid-range Samsung Galaxy A51 5G
costs $499.99, but somewhat surprisingly, you can already save big in several different ways. First up, the manufacturer itself will shave a cool 250 bucks off the handset's list price if you're willing to trade in something like the Galaxy Note 9
or Apple iPhone X
. A bunch of other devices are also eligible for a smaller discount of up to $175, including the Galaxy S9, S9+, Note 8, Apple iPhone 8
, iPhone 7
, 7 Plus
, Google Pixel 3
, 3a, and 3a XL.
Incredibly enough, the same pre-owned handsets can be traded in with a cracked screen in exchange for a very similar price cut, ranging from $110 for a Galaxy Note 8, for instance, to as much as $225 for a damaged Galaxy Note 9 or iPhone X.
Of course, not everyone has an old phone lying around in anticipation of entering an advantageous trade-in program, so some of you might be better off shopping for the unlocked Galaxy A51 5G
at Best Buy, where you can score up to a $150 discount with upfront carrier activation. Specifically, Sprint customers will be able to purchase the 6.5-incher at a measly $349.99 and then use the 5G-enabled A51 on T-Mobile's rapidly expanding network
Meanwhile, those planning to use the Exynos 980-powered device with the nation's largest wireless service provider can pay as little as $399.99 without jumping through too many hoops. What you need to keep in mind, however, is that this particular Galaxy A51
model is not compatible with Verizon's blazing fast mmWave-based Ultra Wideband network
, so you'll have to settle for 4G LTE speeds on Big Red.
The same apparently goes for AT&T customers for some reason, so technically, this is a 5G-capable device only if you choose to activate it on T-Mobile or Sprint.
If you're fine with that caveat, you might want to consider ordering Samsung
's unlocked Galaxy A51 5G on Amazon as well, where the handset is currently listed as "temporarily out of stock" both by itself and bundled with a free pair of first-gen Galaxy Buds
in a single black hue.
The e-commerce giant will take your order and email you with an estimated delivery date when that will become available while not charging you until actually shipping the product.
Similarly, B&H Photo Video will accept your pre-order and deliver the phone on a first-come-first-served basis starting on a currently unspecified date. Unfortunately, there are no deal sweeteners to be had at this typically generous retailer.
It almost goes without saying that the Galaxy A51 5G strongly resembles its hugely popular 4G LTE-only brother
, upgrading the battery from 4,000 to 4,500mAh capacity while retaining the 6.5-inch Super AMOLED screen with a resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels and a centered hole punch, as well as the 48 + 12 + 5 + 5MP quad rear-facing camera setup, in-display fingerprint sensor, microSD card slot, and headphone jack.