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Samsung Galaxy A71 Review

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The Samsung Galaxy A71 is now in the Philippines as the company’s latest mid-range superstar.

Just like its predecessors, Samsung Galaxy A71 features a large screen, a big battery, and a powerful processor. It’s like the phablet of midrange smartphones — if that term still makes sense in this era.

So, today in our Samsung Galaxy A71 review, we’ll see what this device has in store for us.

Samsung Galaxy A71 Specs

  • Android 10, One UI 2.0
  • Dual SIM, Dual Standby
  • 6.7-inch Infinity-O FHD+ Super AMOLED display, 2400 x 1080 pixel resolution, ~392ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 octa-core processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • Adreno 618 GPU
  • 128GB internal storage, expandable via microSD up to 512GB
  • 32-megapixel front camera, f/2.2
  • 64-megapixel (f/1.8) + 12-megapixel (f/2.2) + 5-megapixel (macro) + 5-megapixel (depth sensor) rear cameras, LED flash
  • In-display fingerprint scanner, Face unlock
  • 4G LTE
  • WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • GPS, A-GPS
  • USB Type-C
  • Dimensions: 163.6  x 76 x 7.7mm
  • Weight: 179g
  • Colorsd: Prism Crush Black, Prism Crush Blue, Prism Crush Silver, Prism Crush Pink
  • 4,500mAh non-removable battery, 25W Super Fast Charging

Design and Build Quality

The Samsung Galaxy A71 is what large-screen smartphones should be like. Despite its ginormous 6.7-inch display, Samsung managed to keep it sleek and comfortable in the hands.

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In fact, it may be one of the sleekest devices that we’ve tested so far. It only weighs 179g and 7.7mm thin. Considering its tall screen, it’s relatively thin and compact.

The Galaxy A71 also inherits the same Infinity-O notch of its flagship brothers from the Galaxy S20 series. There’s a tiny hole in the middle for the single selfie camera. Having it on the far left, just like the others, would have been less distracting. But I guess Samsung wanted to make it look unique — and it works.

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It spares us from the tiring notches. And thanks to the Super AMOLED screen, the bezels were kept at the minimum and uniform in all corners.

On the front, we have a Corning Gorilla Glass 3. Not the toughest that you can get for the price, but we’re just glad that we have it. Samsung also pre-applied a screen protector for extra peace of mind.

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What’s disappointing is the glass-like plastic material in the back. Sure, the new design really looks nice on this one, but the material they used is really prone to hairline scratches, even when you’re careful with it. Thankfully, Samsung included a clear case on the box.

Oh, and the unit you’re seeing here is the Prism Black color option. It’s also available in Silver, Blue, and Pink.

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Samsung is implementing a new design uniform on almost all of its devices. The Samsung Galaxy A71 has its quad cameras in an L-shape order inside of a rectangular camera bump — similar to style of its batchmate, the Galaxy A51.

In fact, the overall design is similar to the Galaxy S20. From the Infinity-O notch on the screen, the camera configuration, and the clean surface on the back — which was made possible by having the fingerprint scanner embedded in the display.

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On the left side, we have the SIM tray way up the top. It can house two nano SIMs and a microSD card (up to 512GB), all at the same time.

You can find the lock/power switch and volume controls on the other side. Since the Samsung Galaxy A71 is really tall, it’s a little hard to reach, especially for people with smaller hands. The buttons are tactile enough, although they feel plasticky when pressed.

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On the top, we only have the noise-isolating microphone. While on the bottom, we have the USB Type-C port, another microphone, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Overall, we really appreciate the design and overall build of the Samsung Galaxy A71. We like how large and small it is, all at the same time.

Display and Sound Quality

One of the main attractions of the Samsung Galaxy A71 is its display. This thing boasts a 6.7-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED screen, with a 2400 x 1080 pixel resolution, ~392ppi. But oddly enough, it doesn’t have HDR support.

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Just like most OLED screens, it projects vibrant colors without oversaturation. Contrast is also on point. That’s under the ‘Natural’ display mode. You can enable Vivid if you want something more colorful, albeit they look unrealistic.

Screen brightness was also ample on the Samsung Galaxy A71. It can get bright enough for outdoor use, and can get really dark if you’re browsing the web at night before going to bed.

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Other than HDR, a stereo speaker would have also been nice. The single bottom-firing loudspeaker has decent volume for private listening and watching videos, although it lacks s bit of clarity.

If you want a more immersive experience, you can plug-in a pair of earphones via the 3.5mm headphone jack. The included in-ear headphones were decent — complete with volume controls. Dolby Atmos support is also included.

Hardware and Performance

Midrange devices became so powerful these days. In fact, they are very capable that spending more for a high-end device doesn’t make sense anymore.

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That’s what we’re seeing here in the Samsung Galaxy A71. This handset is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G processor, an Adreno 618 GPU, flagship-like 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of expandable storage.

We already know that it provides killer performance on heavy tasks, as we found out in our gaming review. It ran most popular titles like Mobile Legends and Call of Duty Mobile at smooth frame rates, even under high graphics settings.

Samsung Galaxy A71 benchmark scores

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With that, it goes without saying that it is also great in basic and day-to-day tasks. Thanks to its 8GB of RAM, apps load fast, switching between apps is seamless, browsing the web and social media apps are snappy, taking pictures is quick — everything is just zippy on this device.

Software and User Interface

The Samsung Galaxy A71 runs on Android 10 operating system with One UI 2.0 interface on top. As we’ve said in our Galaxy A50s review, the One UI is still one of the cleanest third-party UI in the market.

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Thanks to that, everything feels fast and straightforward on this one — which benefits both the performance and aesthetics of the device.

It still has some of the things that we liked about the One UI. Samsung’s signature Edge panels is here to give you quick access to apps. You can easily swipe up from the home screen to reveal the app drawer. And if you can deal with Bixby, it has a dedicated home screen for it.

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You can easily enable the system-wide dark mode in the control settings. Besides the stealthy look, it’s more comfortable in the eyes. Plus, since the Samsung Galaxy A71 has a Super AMOLED screen, it should also help you conserve some battery.

Moreover, you have the option to switch between navigation buttons or iPhone-like gesture controls. A Do Not Disturb is available if you’re busy or in a meeting. And if you don’t care about battery life too much, you can enable the Always-on Display.

These are just some of the software features of the Samsung Galaxy A71. But in general, it’s very satisfactory and compliments the device’s hardware.

Camera Quality

It looks like four cameras is starting to be the minimum today. The Samsung Galaxy A71 comes with a 64-megapixel primary shooter, 12-megapixel ultra-wide, 5-megapixel macro, and 5-megapixel depth sensor.

We went on detail about its photography prowess, as well as its video capabilities and other camera tricks, in our dedicated camera review. But if you don’t like watching that video, let me give you the gist.

The 64-megapixel primary camera, unsurprisingly, takes great images. The colors are natural and life-like, with nice colors and contrast. But if you want a spice of colors, you can enable the AI Scene detection.

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We’re getting identical tones with the 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera, although the sharpness is a bit inferior to the primary camera. The best part is, the wide field-of-view lets you cram more subjects on a single frame. Although corners are slightly distorted and stretched out, which is pretty normal for ultra-wide cameras.

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The 5-megapixel macro camera lets you get close to a subject by up to 3 to 5cm. Great for bug/insect and flower photography, although the colors get a bit mixed up at times.

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We also have the 5-megapixel depth sensor that does a great job of isolating the foreground to the background, with clean edge detection.

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Lastly, we have the 32-megapixel front-facing camera. Thanks to its pixel-packed sensor, selfies look clean and sharp. You can enable the AI Face beauty and it will still look clean.

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Security

Just like most premium midrange smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy A71 is equipped with an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner. But unlike the one we had on the Galaxy S20, it works so much faster and better.

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The device also has a face unlock feature, Samsung Knox security, and Face unlock. Samsung Passwords is kind of annoying, but you can switch back to Google Passwords in the settings menu to gain easy access to your accounts.

Connectivity

The Samsung Galaxy A71 can accommodate two nano-SIM cards, with a dedicated slot for microSD. Call quality is fine, thanks to the dual-mic array and loud earpiece.

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Reception from 4G LTE was also fast and reliable. I also found no problems with a dual-band WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0 during our testing. The phone also has NFC, which is actually rare on devices today.

Battery

One of the ‘big’ features of the Samsung Galaxy A71 is the battery. This handset comes with a 4,500mAh capacity which can easily last for a day or two of light to moderate use.

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PCMark’s battery test gave it a score of 11 hours and 12 minutes of screen-on time. That’s after a loop of synthetic workloads until the charge goes down to 20%. If you’re heavy on gaming, watching videos, and internet browsing, then you might have to reach for the charger every night.

Speaking of which, the Samsung Galaxy A71 comes with a 25W fast charging. The cable it comes with is USB Type-C on both ends. It lets you easily connect it to your Type-C enabled Mac or PC — although it’s a hassle to connect to anything else (third-party wall adapter, PC with no Type-C port, etc).

Verdict

There’s no denying that the Samsung Galaxy A71 is one of the best mid-range smartphones that you can get right now — at least in the Samsung space.

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Samsung was able to put a large 6.7-inch screen and a 4,500mAh battery inside a smartphone that’s really thin and sleek.

Besides its build and unique design on the back, the Galaxy A71 also has a fast and reliable performance, a clean interface, and a really capable camera.

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We just wish that Samsung didn’t omit the basic features that other high midrange devices have. That includes HDR support, water protection, and stereo speakers.

Still, the Samsung Galaxy A71 is a complete package. If you’re on a tight budget, this is the closest you can get to a Galaxy S20.

Samsung Galaxy A71 pricing and availability in the Philippines

The Samsung Galaxy A71 has an official price of Php22,990 in the Philippines. It’s available in a bunch of Samsung stores, kiosks, and multi-brand shops nationwide. You can also get it in Samsung’s online stores like Lazada and Shopee.

Pros

  • Large but thin design
  • Immersive display
  • Fast and reliable performance
  • Clean and straightforward interface
  • Capable camera for photo and video

Cons

  • No HDR support
  • No IP water resistance
  • No stereo speakers
  • Poor night mode and macro capabilities

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