Samsung Galaxy A51 and A01 launch in the US today starting at $109

Samsung Galaxy A51
(Image credit: TechRadar)

US consumers seeking affordable options among the best Samsung phones haven’t had many choices – until now, as the brand announced the Samsung Galaxy A51 and A01 starting today at $109, with other A-series phones to follow this summer.

The budget-priced Galaxy A01 and Galaxy A51 reach the US first. Beginning today, Thursday, April 9, consumers can pick up the A51 with triple rear cameras, including a 48MP main shooter along with ultra-wide and macro lenses. 

Its 6.5-inch AMOLED display with punch-hole and 4,000mAh battery mark this as a less refined but still powerful version of its flagship Samsung Galaxy S20 line of phones – but starting at a much more affordable $399.

The Galaxy A01, much lower-priced starting at $109, features a 5.7-inch display and two rear lenses: a 13MP main camera and 2MP depth sensor. Combined with a 3,000mAh battery and 16GB of storage (expandable up to 512GB via microSD) and 2GB of RAM, it’s a true budget option. 

The remaining phones in the A series will come later in the summer (Q2 and Q3 2020). These will include the Galaxy A11 and Galaxy A21 starting at $179 and $249, respectively, as well as the Galaxy A51 5G ($499) and larger Galaxy A71 5G ($599). More details, including spec and camera breakdowns, can be found on Samsung's blog post.

Samsung’s budget US invasion

These affordable phones will likely find a more receptive consumer base than they typically would as folks limit their spending during the coronavirus outbreak. 

But the A51 and its siblings also represent a strategy shift for Samsung. Previously, we the US had seen a budget Samsung smartphone here or there offered by carriers, but this seems like a more expansive plan. 

Plus, it likely explains why we didn’t see the Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite or Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite – both exciting budget flagships demoed at CES 2020 – launch in the US, as they could have overlapped price and feature points with the A-series. 

Whether or not the A51 and its ilk were intended to reach the US, they’ll offer good specs at decent prices, which could rival the rumored iPhone 9 and Google Pixel 4a before those heavyweights seem poised to launch. But Samsung's phones will have a distinct advantage: we already know the A51 5G and A71 5G will be able to connect to 5G networks.

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David Lumb

David is now a mobile reporter at Cnet. Formerly Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, he covered phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made. He's most interested in technology, gaming and culture – and where they overlap and change our lives. His current beat explores how our on-the-go existence is affected by new gadgets, carrier coverage expansions, and corporate strategy shifts.