Meanwhile, the 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera turned out to be a pleasant surprise. It captures a 123-degree field of view with minimal barrel distortion around the edges, and its colors are even poppier and more saturated than what you'd get out of the main camera. If you're walking around and shooting photos on a clear day, those pale blue skies will turn out a little more neon than you'd expect. Since this camera is mainly meant to capture lots of attractive, well-lit space, it's no surprise that it struggles more than the main camera does in low light.
Rather than a telephoto camera (which was almost certainly too expensive for a phone like this), the A51's third sensor is a 5-megapixel affair for macro photos. I've wondered in the past who spends their time bopping around and looking for very small things to take photos of, but ever since testing the OnePlus 8 Pro, I've become one of those people. It's too bad, then, that this never produced the sort of crisp, super-tight images I was hoping for. That's partially because the camera's image processing seems to iron out some of those minute details, but also because the narrow depth of field means getting everything framed up just right can take some work.
And that last lens? It's for a 5-megapixel depth sensor that Samsung uses to capture data for more bokeh-filled portraits. It does its job well. I've seen more than a few phones struggle with accurately separating the subject from its background, but the A51 handles the task without much fuss.
Ultimately, no matter which camera you spend the most time with, be prepared for good -- not great -- results. If getting the best overall photo is your biggest concern, you'd still be much better off with one of Google's Pixel 3As or the iPhone SE. Samsung's real edge here doesn't lay in the quality of its images so much as the flexibility that multiple cameras provide.